May's Digital Life from Lökwest - Common Sense Tech Academy, service updates, tips, and fun!
Thanks for deciding to read the best-curated tech newsletter around! This month, we've got a big announcement. After some behind-the-scenes work, our Common Sense Tech Academy is live! We have two courses available now, with more to follow. If you're missed our live tech talks and like to learn at your own pace, these courses will be a great fit for you.
As usual, we've got a round-up of great articles for you. Read about Apple's latest announcements and Zoom's latest features. Then get some tips on selecting a smart speaker and learn how not to get your texts hacked. We're closing out the issue with a bit of fun and a look back at the first laser printer.
We hope you enjoy this issue and have a great May!
FEATURE - Get schooled with us!
The Common Sense Digital Academy is here! We took a survey early in the year, and the majority of the respondents said they'd take an online course with us. We've been working behind the scenes and have two courses ready for your enjoyment. More courses will be added over time.
Based on our popular tech talks, you can walk through these courses at your own pace. The best part is, our school will work in a web browser or on your phone via the Gurucan app!
Take Get Your Inbox to Zero or Manage Your Passwords Like a Boss! for only $29 per course. This includes lifetime course access, access to our curated link list, and special discounts on future services.
We'll see you in school! 🙂
Welcome to the Common Sense Tech Academy, where we make simple concepts easy to understand. Take an online course today and improve your relationship with technology.
Here's how to download the Gurucan app and access the Common Sense Tech Academy!
An update on services post-COVID
Thanks to the miracles of modern medicine and logistics, I'm scheduled to receive my second dose of the COVID vaccination on May 9th. I will be starting to schedule select onsite appointments roughly two weeks thereafter. I'm still working out the "new normal", having shifted a lot of my support to remote, so please bear with me.
I appreciate the loyalty of those who've expressed interest in an onsite visit over the past year. You are on my waiting list, and I will be contacting you individually with further details in late May.
In the meantime, stay safe and healthy, enjoy the warming weather, and get vaccinated!
In the news...
Update your Zoom client now! (click on your picture, then Check for Updates). You'll be able to take advantage of the new "immersive view", where meeting hosts put participants in virtual settings. You've seen it in sports games, with fans in virtual seats. Now, you can all sit in the boardroom, at a library, and more. Here's to hoping this helps with some Zoom fatigue!
Apple’s new iOS 14.5 update makes it much faster to unlock your iPhone when wearing a face mask. It also includes new emoji and a new feature that gives users more power to limit ad tracking. This is a pretty major update, especially in the privacy arena. According to some news stories, if everyone declines Facebook permission with the new settings, their revenue could drop by 7%! 😮
Apple just held their "Spring Forward" event, where they announced a bunch of new products. Most notable, colorful new iMacs, a new iPad Pro with an M1 chip and 5G support, AirTag lost-device tracking gadget, and a new Apple TV 4K with a brand-new remote.
Tips you can use
We enjoyed this 2021 round-up from Engadget. Whether you're new to smart speakers or are looking to add more or upgrade, it's good to have a starting point. Check out this round-up for all budgets, as well as tips and tricks on how to choose the right speaker for you.
Yes, this is a real thing. Your text verification codes for two-factor authentication ARE NOT infallible. That's why we recommend using an authenticator app where possible. TL;DR - A gaping flaw in SMS lets hackers take over phone numbers in minutes by simply paying a company to reroute text messages.
Cool things to try
Read about how the Lost Tapes of the 27 Club project used AI to create brand new music "in the style of" dead artists. It's a pretty interesting idea, but is AI written Nirvana really as good?
Once in a while, we just have to share a site that's cool to play with. Enter your zip code or location, and get facts about what music is popular in your area. Then the real fun begins. Click around the world to see what's the #1 hit anywhere. Iceland? Korea? Norway?
By the time you find something to watch on the streaming service, your mood has changed! Sick of scrolling menus forever just to have no idea what to tune to? Check out Movie of the Night to instantly find something to watch on your streaming services!
50 years ago in '71
Xerox PARC physicist Gary Starkweather realizes in 1967 that exposing a copy machine’s light-sensitive drum to a paper original isn’t the only way to create an image. A computer could “write” it with a laser instead. Xerox wasn’t interested. So in 1971, Starkweather transferred to Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), away from corporate oversight. Within a year, he had built the world’s first laser printer, launching a new era in computer printing, generating billions of dollars in revenue for Xerox. The laser printer was used with PARC’s Alto computer and was commercialized as the Xerox 9700. (Source: Computer History Museum)
To install one, you just needed half a room, a half-million dollars, and a full-time Xerox Field Technician on staff. And now, you complain when you have to go and buy a new $89 color inkjet! 🙂
In closing...opinions wanted again
I'd like your opinion! What courses would you like to see added to the Common Sense Technology Academy? We're focusing on common technology tools or problems, so what do you want to learn?
If your topic is chosen as a course, you'll get lifetime access to it for free! 🙂🙂
Just reply to this newsletter with your ideas!