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Ron"Ron" K.

6 Level 6 Contributor
  • 138 Reviews
  • 972 Helpful Votes
  • 0 Thank Yous

Experience: Computers & Technology, Reference, Business

Member since August 2009

  • Reviews

    138

  • First Reviews

    114

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  • Fans

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  • Profile Views

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Review Distribution

About Me

Chicago's North Shore. Psychologist - love my work, Gym-rat, beach-rat, smile...tennis, dominant chord in my nature...just factual, really good food and fine film.

How I Can Help

Passion? Common-sense & honesty. I have gift of savvy intuition.

Interests

Tennis, gym, music, and film...and on...

138 Reviews by Ron

1/25/10
I'm very sensitive to 'words'. People often get a "gut-hunch" of who we are based on what we say, and how. Business correspondence is an obvious application, but I feel it spills over to how we affect friends, colleagues, and even lovers.

With that in mind, I found "After The Deadline", a great, free, site that can help you correct your grammatical errors, but syntactical issues, and more.

Here's what the site says in "about":
"We use artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to find your writing errors and offer smart suggestions". Even when I think I've created the flawless document, a cut&paste into "After The Deadline", reveals more 'over-talk' than I realised.

A highly recommended tool for finishing/sharpening important writing!
11/22/09
Point Your Browser HERE: http://stereopsis.com/flux/

_You must be familiar with modern LCD screens, right? If you look carefully, most of them have a button to automatically change the attributes of the screen to adjust for the types of media which is being viewed: one specially tweaked for movies, another for photos, a separate one for text and there's one we're particularly interested about — night.

_You see, working in front of a computer screen at night raises a particular concern. The fact that you're staring at a bright screen late at night when your body is supposed to be turning in, disrupts your circadian rhythm.

_A bit of medical jargon coming your way — during nighttime, darkness permits the production of melatonin by the pineal gland. Melatonin causes drowsiness and in tandem with the central nervous system, controls the circadian rhythm. In layman's term, all this means is the bright light from the LCD screen screws up your sleep-wake cycle.

_That's why there's a customized "Night" setting on your LCD. Furthermore, there are several apps that will reduce the brightness of your screen while working at night; Shades is one example of a Mac app that will do just that. I don't know if you've noticed the LCD's reflection off a person's face at night — it's mostly bluish white. Technically, the specific colour temperature is 6500K; also known as daylight. That's right. If you find it hard to fall asleep after using your computer, this is why.

_F.lux addresses this issue but it does it slightly differently. Instead of reducing brightness per se, it actually warms the colours you see on your screen and imitates the lighting in the room during nighttime. It's quite hard to wrap your head around until you actually use it but I'll do my best to try and explain it:

THE LOW-DOWN: After downloading and launching the app, it will ask you for your location and the type of lighting that's in the room — tungsten, halogen, fluorescent or daylight. Based on the information, it calculates exactly when the sun sets in your area and adjusts the colour temperature of your screen to mimic the lighting in the room. Note that the Mac version's interface isn't as refined as its Windows counterpart — but it doesn't matter very much because all of the time, the app is absolutely unobtrusive. There are no pop-ups and you won't notice it running.

I have found the "night mode" so much more relaxing on my eyes, and I "think" a calming effect on my body.

Try IT!

(Thanks to MakeUseOf.com for description)
11/12/09
Deal and job hunting - out of the box. Best "DEAL" and "JOB hunt" search in a long time.

Tink-O-Matic utilizes Craigslist, eBay, and several other search engines to help you find the classified ad that's been eluding you. Whatever you might imagine you'd care to search for, Tink-O-Matic will give you our best shot.

You can select which search engines you want to use, and with time will learn which combinations provide best results for what you seek.

Simple and intuitive, you'll be amazed, as was/am I how well this site will work for you.
10/5/09
Documentary Heaven was set up early July 2009 to provide the public with a vast collection of documentaries spanning across every genre out there. They intend to continuously update the site, on a daily basis, to bring you nothing but the very best views into, music, history, animation, computers, wars, and whatever else might spark your interest.

This is far more fascinating than you might first consider. There is no hidden agenda here, no politics, just free entertainment and learning something along the way.
9/27/09
This is a very serious consumer advocacy web site:

"Helping you, the consumer...
Search the Ripoff Report before you do business with retail stores with bad return policies, checking & credit theft, rebate fraud or other unscrupulous business policies such as phony auto repairs, auto dealer bait-and-switch tactics, restaurants with bad service or food, corrupt government employees & politicians, police corruption, home builders, contractors, unethical doctors & lawyers, online stores that sell non-existent products, dead beat dads & moms, landlords & tenants, fraudulent employment & business opportunities, and individual con artists who scam consumers".

The site makes clear that filed reports CANNOT be removed, even by an attorney's appeal, which means your claim is forever.

If you've been burned and need to voice your ire, this is unquestionably the place to do it. Highly recommended as SAFE & EFFECTIVE. Free web site.
reQall
9/9/09
Call reQall on your mobile and be asked, "Add, Share, or Recall?" This is the coolest gadget/personal organizer I've found lately. Savvy hi-tech method of controlling your days & weeks by calling your mobile and leaving verbal messages, WITH TIMES AND DATES, only to have these notes TEXTED back to you - and get a copy in your Gmail to boot. Send one message and "add" names you've listed, and have that text sent to everyone you named. So much more I can't recall. CHECK THIS OUT!
9/9/09
This is very much down to taste. When lost in concentration, a soft whispering of 'white noise' cuts static from my mind, and helps me focus. Also great for creating just enough "noise" to make it difficult for strollers to attempt a conversation with you. I enjoy this gadget/tool and keep the site minimized and whispering when I need to really be focused. Very Zen...smile.
9/18/14
If you shop on Amazon, it's very handy to know when prices of items you've been watching have dropped! Chintzee is an Amazon-based web tool that lets you keep an eye on Amazon price reductions by sending you an alert every time prices drop.

You only need to go to the homepage to try it out. The website shows the top items that have had a price drop on a daily basis. You can also start a specific search by entering product keywords, ASIN, or the Amazon URL.

To monitor the price of a specific product, click the "Watch" button, fill in the necessary details and choose to be alerted either by email or Twitter. You can also view the products' price history illustrated in a graph.

Chintzee helps you save money and time by avoiding the hassle of constantly checking up on item prices. This is especially useful when time-short and shopping to compare prices is more time than you've got.

Features:

* Helps you monitor Amazon price changes.
* Lets you receive alerts when prices go down.
* Allows you to see product price history.
* Alerts through e-mail and Twitter.
* Search for your item using keywords, ASIN, or by URL.
* Watch items.

Similar Tools: Vizzl, Amazon Discount Finder and Amazanian: Better Amazon Search.

Check out Chintzee @ www.chintzee.com
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2/15/13
Whew, long, long time. I simply had to offer this up. Want to know which iOS and Android apps are problematic, have a history of causing issues, even capturing and disseminating your personal information? Here's the "about", right from the site:

Zscaler Application Profiler (ZAP) is web based tool designed to streamline the capture and analysis of HTTP(S) traffic from mobile applications. ZAP is capable of analyzing traffic from both iOS and Android applications and includes the following functionality:

Search: View summarized historical results for past scans.
Scan: Proxy traffic from a mobile device through the ZAP proxy and the mobile
app traffic will be automatically captured and analyzed
iPCU: Upload your iOS device configuration file(.deviceinfo) to check risk score
of installed application. It will give you overall risk score of your device.
The information provided is based on out knowledge base.

ZAP classifies traffic into the following buckets and calculates an overall risk score for the application:

Authentication: Username/password sent in clear text or using weak encoding methods.

Device Metadata Leakage: Data that can identify an individual device, such as the Unique Device Identifier (UDID). Personally Identifiable Information Leakage: Data that can identify an individual user, such as an email address, phone number or mailing address.

Exposed content: Communication with third parties such as advertising or analytics sites.

I've found several problems with apps using this web-based application tracker, and consider it a very useful tool.
Hope you're all doing well!
Ron
5/17/12
I've tried it and it works like a charm.
Web site takes your information then calls your phone, at predetermined time you select, with a selection of things you might like to hear on the phone at wake-up.

Simple as that!
Enjoy. Ron
4/12/12
Hello All. Been a while. Hope everyone is good. I really like this application:

Sending confidential information such as passwords, account information and other sensitive data in emails and IM is not necessarily safe. That data is stored with bits and pieces all over the place.

OneShare has a solution: Click the blue button on the main web page (there is NO need to sign-in or provide ANY information), paste something private into the main field, it's ENCRYPTED and you're provided with a URL which can be told, mailed, or communicated however, to whomever you wish. Once your "partner" has the URL, they navigate easily to your message.

You can select how long the data should hang around - 30 mins. or 3 days, then - it's gone.

How secure? Here's what OneShare says:
"How Secure Is It?
No service is 100% secure. However, we do take security extremely seriously.
We use HTTPS (SSL; Port 443) to encrypt the data from your web browser to our servers. All data is stored encrypted. When someone views the unique URL that you send them; your encrypted message is deleted from our system.

Our data-center maintains the latest security updates and patches on our server.
Google Analytics is used on our site for web analytics. We, unfortunately, do not know who you are although we bet our users are rather great people.

We believe in openness and full transparency. If there's a security issue, we'd like to know. Feel free to drop us an email at *******@oneshar.es."

There you go. There's an Android and iOS version of OneShare app.

I've been using OneShare for several months, in some tantalizing ways, trying to facilitate a leak from the website. Nothing so far whatsoever. Friends, family ,and colleagues have loved getting "one-time" bits of info that expires on it's own.

As always, let me know thoughts, comments, and questions. Take good care, hope to be back w/ another soon.
Ron
11/10/11
NOTE: http://bit.ly/uVvKsZ = [shorted URL] and...

[FULL URL]: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-windows-driver-backup.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gizmosbest+%28Gizmo%27s+Best-ever+Freeware%29

Sorry to bog the review down with lengthy URLs, but I don't believe SJ handles path info well at all, and I don't want you to get lost!

Drivers are the files that communicate between your SOFTWARE and HARDWARE. Backing-up drivers, is a smart and incredibly useful idea. If your software CD is lost, or the web site you would go to for drivers & upgrades stops supporting your hardware/software, or simply disappears, a Driver back-up & restore suite can save your butt.

These are FREEWARE (no cost at all!) Top driver BACK-UP & RESTORE suites. Be CAREFUL in reading about the different offerings, the pluses and minuses, even do extra research online in making your selections.

Consider passing along to people who "get" this concept, and you'd like to help out. Can be a life-saver.

ALWAYS ASK SOMEONE if you are not absolutely certain what you're doing, understanding, at least check online!
Ron
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is explanation from Gizmo's site. It';s not always written well (no clue why, they are HIGHLY regarded), but this explanation may help as well:

"Drivers are an important part of the system. They act as intermediaries between the system, and the hardware devices. They interpret the signals, and facilitate communication between the system and the devices. Without drivers, the devices won't work at all, or won't work properly.

Generally, the drivers come on a CD/DVD, with the hardware devices. As an alternative, they can also be downloaded from the manufacturer's site, and that's the best place to download the drivers, or their newer versions.

But, sometimes, the CDs can get misplaced, or lost, or the drivers might not be available from even the manufacturer's site, because they might have stopped providing support for the hardware. In such cases, the driver backup software are like a boon. These software back up the installed drivers for different devices, and even the drivers that come with Windows.

If you have an old system, and do not have a CD, or cannot get drivers from anywhere, it would be a good idea to backup all the installed drivers on the system, including the Windows drivers. Or, even if you have the CD, or the drivers, I will still recommend backing up the drivers, and storing them at a safe place, just in case. Its always better to be on the safe side.

I will also suggest backing up drivers using more than one software, so that if one program is not successful in restoring them, or misses some drivers, the other ones may still be able to do the job.

In this review, I have tried to cover programs which have the ability to backup drivers, and restore them. Some of them do not have the ability to restore, but still do a good job with the backup, and therefore, have been included. Restoring drivers manually, can be a bit tricky, so I have given preference to the programs which apart from backing up, can also restore the drivers from that backup.

Some of these software also have the ability to update the drivers, but I have not covered that in the review. This review is purely based on the abilities of the programs to backup and restore the drivers, and not updating them. As said earlier, the best place to download new versions of the drivers is from the manufacturer's site."
11/6/11
tFree Browser Add-In Hides Ads And Page Clutter!
[www.readability.com/addons]

Have you noticed how modern web pages have become horribly cluttered. Banner headlines, adverts, snippets of other content that the page author wants you to read, and so on? **Readability** is a browser add-on that makes a stunning difference. Once installed (I run Firefox), it appears as an icon atop your browser. With one click, the web page will seem to implode on itself and reappear with adverts and "junk" removed. This is one of the most startlingly effective tools I've seen lately in managing webpages, and how you experience them.

NOTE: When Readability is clicked, and the page is "cleaned" the data will be changed a bit. The text might be a touch larger, or have all been condensed into one font, or colour. Despite these SUBTLE changes, the page, to me, is a better read. Likely some pages won't require the 'shift' Readability creates. Others will go from nearly unusable (for all the clutter and crap), to wide-open and ad free.

You can get Readability for Safari, Firefox and Chrome. It's a free download from *www.readability.com/addons*. NOTE: The browser add-ons are free to download and use. For a fee of $5 a month you can also get additional features, such as saving pages to read later. You'll even be able to send pages to your Kindle. I have use for neither, so FREE should be good for the many.

While installing, in Firefox for instance, a safety window will pop and point-out Firefox is asking for permission to install. Select "YES", or "ALLOW", and move on. Readability will NOT hurt your system and can be easily uninstalled as any other add-on would be.

I find this fascinating. It may cause some controversy. Web pages LIKE those ads and marketing links in place for you to purposefully, or accidentally click-on, How will the "business side" feels about Readability remains to be seen.

Like to hear thoughts, and comments,
Ron
11/1/11
Here's the description from the site that nicely sums up what it does:

"The main purpose of Simplehelp.net is to help beginner-to-intermediate computer users learn how to do various things with their computers. Simplehelp.net teaches a wide variety of topics to all levels, such as troubleshooting email, preventing spam and removing spyware."

Using tips, tutorials and articles the site answers questions in an easy to understand format. Beginning computer users will feel comfortable here since the site is geared towards folks who are starting out and have questions but don't know where to go to get answers that are compatible with their level of knowledge.

That said, I often find interesting and useful information here, and the format of the site rates high on my usable and looks great scale. Advanced users might want to read the "About" section for some interesting tips on how the site can be useful to you.

Hope this helps someone,
Ron
10/17/11
COMPLETE URL: http://www.addictivetips.com/internet-tips/the-complete-guide-to-protecting-your-privacy-online/ - Site Jabber is often not capable of extracting the URL I intend to get to you, especially with redirects, so above is where you want to point-your-browser. (Let SJ know this needs fixing. Makes posts much tougher to create for you, and can confuse getting you to the right place. Just E-mail and say, 'Hey, fix this. Smile. Squeaky wheel gets best consumer attention.)

Some excellent ideas and freeware to protect your security online. CAVEAT! When visiting a site like this (Gizmo), while their offerings are wonderful, and some of the most sought-after, quality-names specials can be found here, Gizmo is still about making money. Their sponsors often (you should know this by now) will place large flash banners saying "DOWNLOAD HERE" at the top of page, or creatively placed to TRICK (most accurate word I can use) you into clicking, downloading something having NOTHING TO DO with what you were interested in.

Gizmo doesn't like this either, but it's what their advertisers INSIST on, and they can't refuse the significant monies the advertisers offer. SO YOU BE CAREFUL! Look closely for the word 'ADVERTISEMENT' above/around the download links. Make sense? At times the actual download links are simply that, regular font size buried in the middle of a paragraph saying, 'download widget-maker here' for the best, etc. Really sux, true. So all that just to REMIND you to heads-up.

FROM GIZMO'S PAGE:
It is also worth mentioning here that you might also want to check out how your contact list is saved by web services. For example, when you check contacts to be invited to LinkedIn via Windows Live Mail, there is a drop down box which provides the amount of time LinkedIn can access your contact list. The least amount of time is 1 day but that's not the option selected by default. The option selected by default is 1 year. As if one day of access to the contact list wasn't enough. The point is that you can no longer trust any web service, search engine, online extension and the likes when it comes to online privacy. One can easily avoid data theft, invasion of personal privacy and security by taking some small but important measures. In this post, we will provide you with a complete guide as to how you can protect your online privacy. As far as I am concerned, users should not be forced or tricked into providing personal information which they don't want to share. No service provider should have the right to show forceful prompts asking for personal data. Another threat to privacy comes from extensions which gather your personal information and even work in Incognito mode, which makes them acquire access to the most private data.

It's getting freaky unsafe out there kids. BE CAREFUL.
After-all-that, you will find some great stuff here. You can easily subscribe to Gizmo and get the newsletter in your mail-box. A quick glance at subject will tell you quickly - interest or delete.

Love to hear some feedback/thoughts on offerings. Useful ...or not really? Be candid.
Have a fine week kids,
Ron
9/28/11
Here's what site says: "A simple tool to save web pages for reading later. How it works - Instapaper gives you a Read Later bookmark. When you find something you want to read, but you don't have time, click Read Later. Come back when you have time, or read your articles on the go. Create a free account to get started.

Really handy to keep track of all the wonderful sites spotted while working, otherwise lost, InstaPaper creates library for you.
Ron
9/28/11
Hi, Hope everyone is well/happy:
I've used this quite a bit for business and academic purposes. You can Copy/Paste your text into website, and it will review your work for grammar, syntax, and a variety of other common errors certainly detracting from ideal communications.
Here's what site says:

"PaperRater.com is a free resource, developed and maintained by linguistics professionals and graduate students. PaperRater.com is used by schools and universities in over 46 countries to help students improve their writing.

PaperRater.com combines the power of natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, information retrieval (IR), computational linguistics, data mining, and advanced pattern matching (APM). We offer the most powerful writing tool available on the internet today.

As part of the development process, we put together a team of computational linguists and subject matter experts to develop a core Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine using statistical and rules-based NLP to extract language features from essays and robustly translate that into statistical models. We hope to showcase some of our technology at a later date.

What makes us different?
We've tried out similar websites and found them to be out of touch with most writers' needs. We found false-positive rates as high as 50% on grammar detection. As the Hippocratic Oath encourages medical doctors to "first do no harm", we wanted to create tools that do not muddy the waters in the process of assisting with the craft of writing. These same websites acquire hefty payments for the use of their services, while our goal has always been to provide tools that are universally accessible."

Comprehensive, but if your writing must suggest precision, this can help.
Warmly kids...smile,
Ron
9/28/11
1. Discussion - The 20 most useful Android smartphone apps of 2011
(POINT YOUR BROWSER HERE!:
http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/discussions/102-348270)

TechRepublic is upper echelon of reliability and savvy. If your an Android user, this list is "bread&butter" stuff.

Have fun "app-ing" into oblivion...
Ron

p.s. TechRepublic is WORTH subscribing to for all IT and personal/business computing needs.
9/28/11
Unusual find. For those who find a diverse "How-To" site orgasmic to browse - here you go. Lots of serious how-to advice, all in video format. Some rather bizarre:

"So you've been pulled over and you need an out. Well, if you're prepared with a water bottle and some skills chances are you may just freak out the cop and he'll let you go!", and plenty with smart/useful topics:

Tartine Bread: "The Beauty and Artistry of Bread Making. Unfortunately, I'm a little behind schedule on my pizza dough making mission, but I promise - more experiments coming soon! In the meantime, here's a beautiful video about the nuance that goes into bread making, as demonstrated by famed San Francisco baker ... ".

Best guess most will find something here to come-in handy. Fun to search categories watch vids just as well.
Warmly to Friends,
Ron
7/12/11
Cut Your PC's Energy Usage By Up To 35%

Modern computers do, of course, have lots of power settings to help you cut down on electricity usage. Trouble is, you have to continuously adjust if you want to balance the computer's desire to save power with your desire to have a seamless hands-on session with your computer.

Here Jabbers is where a clever new piece of software comes in. "Granola" bills itself as intelligent power-saving software, which continually adjusts the power requirements of your computer to balance your need for speed against the PC's need to save energy. Simply put, if you're doing something that doesn't require your CPU to run at full power, then the software will slow it down where possible.

The single-user version of Granola, which runs on all recent versions of Windows, is freeware. It's a 4 MB download, and you can get it from http://www.grano.la. Why not give it a try? You've only a few bucks to save...these days every bit helps. If it works for you - tell friends.
Best,
Ron

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