5-steps-to-digital-hygiene-managed-solution5 simple steps to boost your digital hygiene in 2017

January is a good time to stop making excuses and get your digital life in order. Here are five inexpensive, money-saving, aggravation-reducing ways to maintain tech, and protect yourself and the environment in the New Year.

By Bill Snyder as written on cio.com
I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. Let's face it, no one keeps them.
Instead of resolutions, here are five simple ways to help you save money, avoid digital disasters, and get your personal technology into top-flight condition. None of the tips are complicated, and I've used them all during the past few years so I know they work.

Audit digital subscriptions

These days, many digital services have auto-renew subscriptions. It's wise to regularly check your credit card statements to see what you're billed for. You may find a charge for a streaming-video service, magazine or newspaper you forgot about but still pay for. You don't have to get all compulsive about it, but you might even put reminders on your calendar to cancel services before trial periods expire or keep a list of all of your paid subscriptions. If nothing else, the list will come in handy at tax time if you itemize deductions.

Buy (and use) a can of compressed air

This one sounds goofy, I know, but the vents on your laptop and the spaces between keys on your keyboard collect what technical experts call "schmutz." Clogged vents can cause overheating, and that can kill your laptop. Junk inside a keyboard can cause keys to jam. A 3.5 ounce can of compressed air costs $4.99 at Best Buy, and Amazon charges $7.34 for a 12-ounce option. Both are a lot cheaper than the new laptop you'd need if you fry your system's motherboard.

Find a password manager to love

Hacking is an epidemic today, but most folks simply aren't going to make and keep track of different passwords for every site. No one can track dozens of passwords without writing them down somewhere, and that, of course, defeats the purpose. But a good password manager can be a lifesaver.
I use LastPass, and its free version now let's you share your passwords across multiple devices. LastPass finally supports Microsoft's Edge browser, as well as Chrome and Firefox. The service generates complex passwords for each site you visit and stores them in what it calls your "vault." You only need to remember one master password. A couple more password mangers that get good reviews are LogMeOnce and 1Password.

Backup, backup and backup again

You've heard it over and over again, but many users are left without their data, music and photos when a drive fails or malware corrupts their systems. Backing up can be a pain, but so can locking your door and keeping your money in a bank. If your digital stuff is important to you, you need to back it up to the cloud or buy a roomy external drive — or both.
Microsoft OneDrive gives you 5GB for free and 50GB for $1.99 a month. Upload speeds are generally slow, so the first time you backup to the cloud will likely take a while. Another option is to buy an external drive. A 2TB drive (or 2,000GB) now costs well under $100, and most of them come with software to automate the backup process.

Recycle old electronic junk

By now, most Americans recycle newspapers, bottles and cans, but many old electronic devices still wind up in a landfill. That's a real problem, because they contain heavy metals and other pollutants than can get into the water table. Instead, take them to an electronics recycler. Most cities have them. To find yours, simply Google "electronics recycling" in your community and you'll quite likely find more than one. If you ditch an old smartphone or over-the-hill PC, make sure you wipe the hard drives and get rid of any personal data.



3 Ways to Embed Power BI

By Jessica Cook as written on powerbi.microsoft.com
Want to share your Power BI reports and dashboards as part of a website or application? This week, Guy in a Cube looks at three ways to embed Power BI, including publish to web, using the REST APIs, and the new Power BI Embedded service within Microsoft Azure.

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Mixed race woman plugging in digital tablet

9 Ways to Extend Your Android's Battery Life

By Molly McLaughlin as written on android.about.com
We've all been there. You're away from home, and your Android's battery is quickly slipping away. You need to squeeze out all the battery life you can until you can plug in, but that's not for several hours. What's a desperate on the go, have-to-be-connected person to do? Luckily, there many ways you can conserve battery life, whether you're down to almost nothing or looking to keep your Android going longer as a general practice.
Here are nine ways to save battery life whether you're at flying high at 75 percent or lurching toward 10 percent or less.
  1. Shut it down. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, location Services, and NFC, that is. If you're not using it, turn it off. Switch on Airplane mode if you're somewhere with a poor signal, so your phone doesn't keep trying to connect.
  2. No really, shut it down. Better yet, power the phone off until you need it again. If you're not waiting for an important call or text, just unplug for a bit. Maybe even read a book!
  3. Why so bright? Your screen can easily devour battery life if you don't pay attention. In those dire moments when you need a battery extension, turn down the brightness a couple notches.
  4. Find the culprit. Look at which apps are taking up the most battery life by going into the application manager and looking at the apps currently running on your phone. Here, you can see how much bandwidth each app is using, and even force stop it, if necessary.
  5. Keep it simple. OK, this is obvious, but it has to be said: avoid using power hungry apps like games and videos, and any app that's powered by ads, thus requiring a network connection.
  6. Join the Lollipop Guild. Or the Marshmallow Brigade? Introduced in Android Lollipop, a power saving mode, turns off haptic feedback (vibration) on your keyboard, dims your screen, and slows down your smartphone. Marshmallow adds a Doze Mode, which kicks in when your device is idle for an extended period of time and keeps apps from running in the background.
  7. Of course, there's an app for that. Download an app like Clean Master or Juice Defender, which help manage power-hungry apps and adjust battery-draining settings in the background to keep your phone running efficiently.
  8. Get to the Rooting of the Problem. Rooting offers battery-saving benefits. First, you can clean up your phone by removing bloatware, and at the same time, you can access apps designed for rooted phones that can help you save on battery life, such as Greenify.
  9. Always bring backup. Finally, get a smartphone case with a built-in battery. You can find charging cases in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes from Mophie, PowerSkin and uNu. Alternatively, you can purchase a portable charger from Anker, PhoneSuit, Powermat, and others.
In the meantime, Android smartphones are becoming more and more efficient, while Google adds more power-saving features to the OS. For example, the upcoming Marshmallow 6.0 update will include Doze Mode, which prevents apps from checking for updates when the phone has been idle for a while, and a Do Not Disturb feature, which, when enabled, lets you choose which notifications come through for a set period of time. Manufacturers have added their own features, such as Samsung's ultra power saving mode, which changes your screen to a grayscale theme and limits app usage.

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