How to Save Web Images to your iPhone or iPad

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 9.13.26 PMOver the last several years, “throwback Thursday” has become quite popular.

Although it is really supposed to be about nostalgia (like old photos), I thought I’d stretch the point, and occasionally post an old “how to” on Thursdays, for the benefit of the many new-device-users who have joined our blog.

Perhaps you’re wandering around the internet on your iPhone or on your iPad and you see a photo you would like to keep. Maybe you’ve just stumbled on a photo of a sailboat that is on your dream list, or a picture of an awesome cake that inspires you to bake and decorate.

How to Save a Web Image to your iPhone or iPad:

If you see a picture that you would like to keep, just touch the picture and wait a moment. A menu will appear with the option to SAVE the image. Touch SAVE.

You’re done. Yep. That’s all there is.

The image is now in your camera roll. To find it, go to your Photos app. Choose camera roll, and take a look at the last picture. There is your cake (or boat :) )

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From Skitch

Another great way to grab what you see is to take a screenshot. This means that you will actually take a picture of the whole screen. Just put one finger on the on/off button, and your other finger on the home button. Push them both at once. Hold for just a second and then let go. Click! A picture of the screen is now in your camera roll. Now go to the Photos app > camera roll. You’ll find your screenshot waiting for you as the last picture in the camera roll.

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It’s Here! World Book Night 2014!

photo-40Today’s the Day! It’s World Book Night, 2014!

If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a year, you know that I’ve been excited about this, before. World Book Night happens every year on April 23, and I am delighted to be participating for the third year in a row. Love this!! It’s a day dedicated to celebrating the love of reading and spreading this love with books books and more books.

World Book Night is an awesome initiative of a magnitude that I personally find hard to grasp. I can’t imagine the coordination and effort it takes to distribute a half million books for the greatest give-away ever. (Not to mention all the ground work of the publishers, authors, truck drivers and facilities needed to work out all the logistics.)

As a Book Giver, the process couldn’t be easier. You apply online, and wait to be notified. The application process is quite brief and it is at this point that you get to choose the book (from their list) you would like to give. IF you are selected, you get an email with the good news. Then shortly thereafter you select the place where you would like to pick up your box of books (this might be a local bookstore or library).

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Then, within a specific window of about a week, you pick up your box. As you wait for World Book Night you can go to their website for links to print out posters, badges and bookmarks.

This is the third year that I have participated, and I couldn’t be more pleased and proud to be part of such a fantastic project. Just imagine… on this same day, books are being handed out all across the US and the UK, with more countries planning to join in the future. It’s a coordinated effort of humanity to share the love of reading. In this country alone, there are over 25,000 volunteers going out into 6,000 towns and cities.

Several blog readers signed up this year and were selected (yay!). I will certainly post an alert on this blog when it is time to sign up for World Book Night 2015. I hope that even more of you will choose to participate next year. It’s easy, it’s free, it’s simply an extraordinary project to be part of. What a super way to share your love of reading. :)

Trivia: Why April 23?

It’s Shakespeare’s birthday :) and will be the date for World Book Night every year.

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Earth Day at the Apple Store and How they Recycle your Old Computer and/or mobile phone

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 6.44.40 AMIf you walk into an Apple Store today (EARTH DAY!!), you will see employees wearing green shirts for the day, and I have heard (although I haven’t seen it in person) that the leaf on the Apple logo on the front of the store will also be tinted green.

This visual-ness is part of their effort to increase awareness of their re-cycling program for old computers (Macs AND PCs) and mobile phones.

Their program pays you to recycle if your device still has value, or helps you get rid of it responsibly even if it doesn’t. You can learn all about this by clicking: Apple Recycling Program
(fyi… they take PCs as well as Macs)

More information about mobile phone recycling through Apple (all manufacturers) can be found, here.

And when looking to rid yourself of your unwanted devices (or ANYTHING else) …. please consider Freecycle. Your trash is often a treasure to someone else!

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Speaking of Chemistry: A New Science Podcast

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.06.23 PMI am a podcast listener. I subscribe to many (too many!!) but I enjoy them all. So far on this blog I have suggested a few, such as my all-time favorite, A Way with Words, the Moth, and a few others.

Today I am linking you to a new podcast that just launched last week.

Actually, the very first episode was posted on YouTube last month, but a production decision was made to try out episode number 2 as a podcast, instead.

Now this brings up an interesting question:

Video or Podcast?

Obviously there are pros and cons, and personal habits enter in as well…. Many folks prefer podcasts because they can listen as they work out, do chores, or commute to work. The YouTube version, however, provides the consumer with marvelous videos to complement the stories.

Would you prefer to receive such content as a video or a podcast?

Personally, I am more likely to listen to podcasts for the very reason that you can be doing other things at the same time. I am less likely to sit in front of the computer screen to watch something and dedicate my time to that, and that, alone. (However, full disclosure here, since my daughter-in-law (Carmen Drahl) is one of the co-hosts, I really do enjoy watching her host this episode! :) )

If you like science, I’m sure you will enjoy these programs. Speaking of Chemistry (the podcast) is now available through iTunes, free to subscribe. Learn about spider silk, e-cigarettes, and more.

And please ……… spread the word!!

Episode 1: Speaking of Chemistry

and now….

The NEW PODCAST:

Episode 2: Speaking of Chemistry: Latest podcast covers spider silk, e-cigarettes, and much more.
FREE in the iTunes store

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Easter Eggs. Find them. Not in the grass, but on your iPhone, iPad, and computer.

Screen shot 2013-03-30 at 7.48.59 AMIt is Easter weekend, and the perfect time to send YOU on an Easter Egg hunt.

This is a repeat post …. but timely for new readers and for those (like me) who forgot about these cool tricks!)

An “Easter Egg” is a hidden joke or message that a computer programmer has embedded in their work. The very first Easter Egg was hidden in an Atari Game, Adventure, back in 1979. The programmer had secretly stashed his name and it was up to the players to find it.

And these days those Easter Eggs are not just hidden in games, they exist in all kinds of programs. Even those YOU use every day.

So let’s look at two popular Easter Eggs that are ‘hidden’ in Google.

Try this:

Bring up the Google search engine page on your computer or iPhone.

Type in the query: zerg rush

Tap your search button and sit back.

Yikes! I won’t say here what happens … it’s up to you to try it. It won’t hurt anything. It is just a silly Easter Egg reference to a fondly remembered video game for all those wacky programmer folks at Google.

Here is another:

Go to the Google Screen on your iPhone.

Query the word: tilt

When your search results for ’tilt’ show up, they should be ……. tilted. :)

Enjoy your Easter Eggs!

And have a lovely weekend. :)

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Technology, Cars, and the Big City

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 7.07.28 PMI don’t live in a big city. I live in a busy area, part of the megalopolis that is the northeast US….. but not in a city. However, my adult children and their spouses all live in cities. And when I visit them, I always learn something new.

If you are a city-dweller, you can stop reading, now. This will be old news for you. But for the rest of us …… it is so interesting to watch technology changing something so basic as the old “TAXI!” hail.

But let me back up a bit. It is often not practical to own a car when you live in a city, and entrepreneurs have focused on that need over the last few years, filling the gap with Zip Cars and Cars2Go. Zipcars can be found parked all around the streets of a city, and if you are a member, you just reserve one (find it on your app), unlock it and drive away, using the car for just hours or days.

For really short trips (maybe you just want to drive a few blocks) a Car2Go might be the solution. With a member card, you just get in and go. The description from the car2go website sums it up nicely: “A car2go is always a pleasure to drive: just take it, drive it, park it. Simple and straightforward. You can always find a vehicle in your area. You open it with the member card you receive after signing up. You go from A to B, park your car2go again and that’s that.”

New-to-me for this city-trip was a service called Uber. (thanks, Jinna!)

Uber has been around now for several years, and is located in cities all over the world … but was jaw-dropping goodness when my daughter-in-law whipped out her iPhone and said that she was going to get an Uber car to take us home.

We didn’t have to stand on a corner to try and hail a taxi. Nope. She just pulled up her Uber app on her phone, and tapped to call a car. Then, on her screen, we saw a map. This map showed our location …. and also the location of the Uber car that was on our way to pick us up!

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We watched as the car got closer, so we knew when to start looking for it. No curb standing for us. She also had been given the license number of the car and a photo of the driver.

Car arrived and we hopped in. After a lovely ride to our destination, we said goodbye to our friendly driver and left the car with no money exchanged. Your trip and your tip is simply charged to your credit card, which you gave when you signed up for the service.

Remarkably convenient. And the price was similar (I think in this case cheaper) than a cab ride would have been for the same distance. *****Note to new Uber users: you need to select UberX to get cab pricing that’s similar to taxis. Uber Black car service is VERY EXPENSIVE (it’s equivalent to a town car service). and unfortunately it’s easy to accidentally click on. So be careful (and frugal) and choose UberX for the best price.

This is extra interesting to me since this is a service that I might actually use when visiting Philadelphia or NYC. As a day visitor I would never grab a car2go to navigate city traffic, but an Uber car would be a wonderful opportunity to skip the smelly yellow cab and the whole “I have to find a cab” experience.

A quick google search showed me that many cities (taxi companies) are not pleased with this service, fighting to limit the number of cars, etc.

But I’m hoping this wave of “alternatives-to-taxis” prevails. It is marvelously convenient.

Uber cars are in service all over the world. Click here for a list of all the participating cities.

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Tip to Save your iPhone battery on a Road Trip

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.53.06 AMI’ve been gone for a while, and part of that time was spent on the road.

I’m not a happy driver, so I chose to be the navigator for this adventure, which required some driving on unfamiliar roads.

I love love love the way you can follow your own car with the little blue dot as it travels the highways and byways. Watching us travel I was able to let my driver-friend know that we were getting closer to the turn we had to make, or even that there was a lot of traffic up ahead (google maps/traffic gives you red lines when the going gets tough.)

All this is wonderful, BUT it is a big huge battery drain. Since we were going to be in the car for a good number of hours, and I knew I’d be using these maps a great deal (draining the battery), I brought along a handy dandy car charger to keep the juice flowing.

I was happy with that, and it worked just fine.

Discussing this with daughter-in-law Carmen, she suggested that I turn off my wifi and bluetooth in the car.

Duh. Why didn’t I think of that? There was no reason to have wifi on in the car, and since I wasn’t in my own car, the bluetooth was needless, also.

But I wondered …. would it really make any difference?

I decided to test this.

So on the way home, I turned off both the wifi and the bluetooth ….and used my iPhone to navigate just as much as I did on the way out.

But THIS time, instead of draining the battery, I arrived home with an iPhone still over 50% “full”. This was a huge difference.

With wifi and bluetooth “on”, I drained the phone in hours and needed the car-cable to keep it powered.

With wifi and bluetooth “off”, I ended the road trip with an iPhone still holding a significant charge.

Wow. I never knew it would make THAT much of a difference! (thanks, Carmen!)

How to turn off your wifi and bluetooth on your iPhone:

Just run your finger UP on your iPhone screen to bring up your control center.

There you will see them both….the wifi icon and the bluetooth option. Just tap them to turn them on or off. In this screenshot, my wifi is “on” and my bluetooth is “off”.

Remember this when you want to prolong your battery life! The control center makes it easy to do (as opposed to drilling-down in the settings).

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Your Weekend Distraction: Springtime with Simon’s Cat

As Spring begins to make itself known here in the northeast US … after an absolutely horrid winter …. Simon’s Cat has another adventure.

Enjoy!!! :)

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Oy Vey! My Eyes Failed Me

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 12.39.29 PMSeveral days ago I posted a gushy happy recommendation for the app RetailMeNot.

If you read the post, you saw me ramble on about not being able to turn off the noisy cash-register-like notifications.

Love the app, hate the startling “ka-ching!”.

In a conversation with my dear daughter-in-law, Carmen, she shared her love of RetailMeNot on it’s website. She doesn’t have the app, but expressed her surprise that you couldn’t turn off the sound.

I assured her that you could not, and I thought that was surprising.

So I went and looked again (even though I had looked many times before)…..

Oh my. Oy vey.

It was there all along.

It is CLEARLY marked “mall notifications”.

But what did I see? I saw “MAIL notifications”. Not mall. I saw mail.

Can you say “old eyes”, boys and girls? :roll:

Thanks, Carmen, for making me look, again.

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Watch Colbert and Stewart for Free on your iPhone or iPad

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 6.52.59 AMWith more and more people dropping their cable subscriptions, it is great to be able to turn to your iPad or iPhone and catch the programming you miss.

Even better when it’s FREE.

Just yesterday, Comedy Central released their new app. Now you can watch full episodes of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report on your iPad or iPhone.

The app does include other programming as well, however, in order to see those, you must sign in with a cable subscription. BUT…. for Stewart and Colbert, no cable subscription required. Just download the free app, and enjoy. :)

Comedy Central for iPhone or iPad is FREE in the iTunes store.

Note: iOS7 is required

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