Thursday, June 27, 2013

7 reasons you should switch to Google Chrome today

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, when I became a man, I put away childish browsers. 1 Browserinthians 13:11

The more you use Chrome, the more you will like it.  It's like getting a new application that improves your PC but doesn't require you to change the way you work.

Here are 7 reasons you should drop your current browser and switch to Chrome

  1. It's faster than any other browser.  Don't take my word for it, read these charts from lifehacker that show exactly how much faster it is. 
  2. Your bookmarks and settings are available to you on ALL your devices.  Whenever you login to your chrome account from any device your bookmarks and settings are there.  
  3. Different user settings in the same browser -- If you occasionally need to have your significant other quickly log in to their account without switching Windows logins, you can click the switch user and all the settings for the other user (including cookies and logins) will be active.  This is also helpful if you have multiple logins to the same email accounts.
  4. It makes it much easier for the NSA to get your data rather than having to acquire it from multiple sources...
  5. Browser based apps -- Applications you can run inside your browser with a dedicated user interface. Examples include Google Drive, Pandora, and many others.   
  6. Stability -- Boring but important.  Chrome is extremely stable and now has the largest market share of any browser.  When companies are developing web pages, they target the top browsers which Chrome is solidly on top and continues to gain market share.  Similarly, Chrome makes it easier to disable adware (like unwelcome toolbars).
  7. Extensions, Extensions, Extensions.  There are SO many cool extensions that you can use and more being developed every day.   A few of my favorites include:
    • Clearly -- For reading articles and saving to evernote in a clean fashion
    • HoverZoom -- Lets you see the larger image on a website without having to click on it.
    • Ad block Plus -- block ads from all sorts of websites automatically.  Including Facebook. 

So uninstall Firefox and stop using IE but keep it for the occasional site that needs IE.  When you first launch Chrome accept the option to let it be your default browser.  And be sure to install Chrome on your phone and tablet so your settings and bookmarks are available to you.  And, if like me, you are using the iPad 2 (or iPhone 4), Chrome adds voice recognition so you can speak your searches.

Geiger CIO Dale Denham, MAS+ provides practical insights on how you can benefit from technology in no nonsense terms. Follow him on Twitter: @GeigerCIO.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Use your password to focus and motivate you

Clearly it doesn't matter what your password is. The NSA is going to read our email and I'm not too worried about it, but I'm not a paranoid privacy person (see my blog paranoid privacy parts).

But that isn't the point of this blog. The point of this blog is to use your password to focus and motivate you every day.

The point of this blog is NOT to:
  1. Convince you to use different passwords for sensitive sites.  But you might want to read this great blog post on lifehacker
  2. Convince you to use software like or 1password to secure your passwords and make your life so much simpler.  (but you really should)
  3. Point out the hypocrisy of those of you whine about the government checking your email & phone but you leave your passwords open for easy hacking. (Sorry, I couldn't resist)
The point of this blog is to get you to use your primary password to motivate you to take action.  Several people liked the concept I used to help me focus on losing weight (see the blog here how technology helped me lose 20 pounds) where I changed my password to my goal weight (190pounds which I'm glad to say I have now achieved and am still losing, thank you very much).

I've used this technique several times and not just for exercise goals.  Here are a few ideas for you to use your password to help keep you focused and motivated.
  1. 730000inSales! A great way to keep focused on your annual sales goal.
  2. 40GPmargin$ -- A great way to focus on your margin.
  3. Make5ColdCallsADay$ -- Remind yourself to make those calls
  4. PrayOrMeditate10MinutesToday -- Helps you take time for yourself
  5. July72000# -- A great way to remember an important date like a birthday or anniversary but be careful, this is one of the easiest to hack if people get some personal information.
  6. QuitSmokingByDecember&SaveMyLife -- You can do it!
  7. DrinkLessWine+Beer -- Help remind yourself to cut back a little.
  8. Run@8MinuteMiles -- Motivate yourself to hit a new training goal
  9. SendDaleAGift! -- Remind yourself to send me a gift. :)
  10. LeaveACommentOnThisBlogSoIDontFeelLonely! -- (It's nice to get comments via private messages but there is something very nice about getting a thumbs up or comment on the blog).  
You can use your most frequently used password to help you focus on whatever goal you want to set for yourself.  But be sure to use a few special characters to keep it from being too easy to get hacked.  Especially if your account has credit card or sensitive personal information.

And for those of you with kids like me, here is a bonus tip.  I change my kids passwords too.  Several times it has been spelling words that are tough for them.  Type a word as a password for a week, and they won't forget how to spell it.  But I also use it to reinforce messages like "cleanmyroom", "iwillnottalkback", "dontleaveclothesonthefloor".  Have fun with it. It drives them nuts and they learn something! 

Geiger CIO Dale Denham, MAS+ provides practical insights on how you can benefit from technology in no nonsense terms. Follow him on Twitter: @GeigerCIO