Friday, December 20, 2013

Donate Spit to Science - Common Tech for the Common Cold Healthcare - Scanadu - Linda Maintanis

If you've been reading me lately you already know about the nasty germ I picked up from a toddler; he was competing in an Olympic Cough event on a Delta Airlines flight November 30... Yes, that germ was live and contagious so along with a couple of hundred other folks I was infected.

My own symptoms were of  a sinus infection with a touch of pleurisy. After two weeks I began to tire of the flavor of mucus and was spending way too much time online. Then, a post on Facebook led me to a surprise, to Scanadu.

It read, "Scanadu Invites You to Donate Your Spit for Science!"

Do you have a cough, fever, sore throat, achy muscles and/or a runny nose? YES!

If You Do, help us better understand the biology of upper respiratory infections and/or the flu. Your spit may, down the line, help reduce unnecessary antibiotic use, help limit the spread of respiratory pathogens and contribute to a new product design.

I read more and learn that all participants will receive a $10 Amazon gift card for their contribution. Sweet.

I find the idea that someone is tracking which bacteria and viruses are in sick people's mouths clever. Mapping them by region and specific strains is brilliant. Imagine watching a wave of pathogens shift around the country...hmmm, maybe the contagious toddler from the Delta flight had spread germs out of his home base, Raleigh, NC.

scanadu, healthcare, survey, amazon,warwick, riCount me in.
I completed the online application and as promised, received my collection vial
in a plain brown wrapper.

scanadu, healthcare, survey, amazon, warwick, ri

Instructions are provided and quite simple. The plastic collection vial is well designed and it's just like they say.

They want your spit.

Next, you complete a brief, very brief, questionnaire and seal it all back into the pre-labeled box they provide you with.

I dropped mine into
the mailbox today.
The webpage says that when they receive the sample they will send
the gift card.
scanadu, healthcare, survey, amazon, warwick, ri

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Modem, New Router? Things Here May Never Be the Same, Coping With Transition Fears

When I heard the voice on the phone tell me that my problematic modem was from 2004, "and no, it was not under warranty", I reacted with mixed emotions. The idea that my difficulty had a diagnosis and could be fixed was pleasing, but the thought of a disruption in a system that was "still working" was not.

A trip to Walmart for the modem left me empty handed. They had not a single one in stock. So, off I went to Staples... thinking that that delay should have been avoided. Staples was well-stocked and with some helpful advice I had a modem in hand. I purchased the Motorola SURFboard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem for $89.99. Installation was quick, like five minutes, with no disruption in service.

But, my problems didn't go away. Things on the network were moving very slooooowly. Apple TV and Slingbox, in particular, were skippy. And just forget about the computer, I would literally count the minutes waiting to open a program... if you're reading this then you must have had the experience.

So, six weeks later, with serious trepidation, I find myself at the threshold of a new ROUTER. Yes, many fingers had pointed in that direction and I had to put my fears aside and face the task. My fears of having to set it up with a new password. To have to type in a new network key and password for three Apple TV's, Slingbox and a multitude of WiFi accessories was causing me to tremble.
tl-r600vpn, tp-link
So, I did what needed to be done. A call to our IT man got me a qualified recommendation. The TL-R600VPN 4-Port Gigabit Broadband VPN Router, from TP-Link for $61.99 at Newegg. Really? really.

The installation was no big deal to get done. I had absolutely no reason to be fearful of a system collapse. In fact, I can see the difference in performance - a huge change in speed and function.So, all-in-all a smart and easy upgrade.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Need Help Syncing Movies From Your iTunes Account to Your iPod? How to Make the Transfer in One Easy Fix.

I've had an annoying problem with my iTunes library lately. The trouble starts when I sync my iPod the night before a trip. I select the movies I want to sync from my movie section; but they don't all sync, one or two stubbornly stay back. I waste precious time trying to troubleshoot my way through iTunes help archives with serious tension. Then I end up giving up on the whole idea in favor of getting finished packing and sleeping. A few weeks later I find myself in the same cycle. And again today.

Linda Maintanis - Warwick, RI - MrsMay, Mouthsense
So I dipped my toe into the Apple Tech Support Pool with a phone call for help. At first my Applet didn't seem to know any more than I did, but soon enough we had chatted our way around the account and found a way to correct the problem.

So, if you find yourself needing this, or shall I ask, when you find yourself needing this, it is a very easy fix.

The first thing you need to do is stop trying to sync the movie from your account. Start by clicking the iTunes Store "home" button. Now click "Movies" from the header. Click "purchased" from the bottom of the Movies Quick Links column on the right side of the page. This should open your list of all purchased movies in your iTunes account. Notice: the small check-box at the bottom right of page, "Download HD When Available", make sure it is NOT checked.

Next, select the movie you are having the problem moving to your iPod. It probably has a little cloud next to it which means that you never actually downloaded it to your computer, you've been watching it from the cloud. Click to download. This will take approximately ten minutes for the average movie...

After downloading is complete you may click the iPod from your Devices on the left page menu bar. Make the movie selection now and "sync" as usual. You will have your movie on your iPod.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Google Plus Profiles - Child's Play Goes a Long Way in Validation

Who am I? A simple question, and certainly one that only one's self
is best suited to answer.

Linda Maintanis - Saint George Court, Warwick, RI
Much to their disappointment folks often find that their net forward self appears distorted. Search results leading to them or their online comments and posts are a rat's nest of snippets.

Google Plus is a great way for them to make their online posts, comments and reviews legitimized by their true identity as verified by Google. Your Google Plus Profile pulls all of those scattered tidbits together into a neat home-camp, so to speak.

The easiest way to do this is to log-in to your Google account (like where you get your Gmail) and open your account profile. From there you will go through the necessary upgrade to transform your old Google account and to help Google shake hands with you. From there it's just child's play. Enjoy!

Linda Maintanis

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Get Google Rewards - Add an About Us page to your blog

Google is a glutton for information. It has a ferocious appetite for quality material. The more (great) content you load up and diversify your pages with the more likely that the big g will reward you with higher page ranks.

Linda Maintanis

This should be no surprise to bloggers, yet it appears to be. Why should you expect that your blog will be treated any differently than any other webpage? With rare exception most blogs fall flat. And then they wonder why. If you're in it for the page ranks then listen up. This simple trick will get you started. Create an About Us page for your blog.

Enhancing your blog with some text and image links on an About Us page is like a mating call to Google's crawlers. I wanted to put the idea to the test; but it also seemed like a big waste of my time. An About Us page? On my blog?Linda Maintanis? which already has a link to my Google+ profile?...they know who we are, or I am, so why be redundant? To be specific.

The answer. To be specific. A validation, a declaration you might say, of who you are and what your intent is. That's all. Simple. Oh, and did I say Simple? Yes, keep it short and simple.

So how and where do I do this? I begin by "googling" the subject. A little research sums up the project and produces a few decent links to some instructions. Try reading Derek Halpern, How to Create an Amazing Blog About Page for a step-by-step guide to create a page that resembles a mission statement. A straightforward approach for an About page with original content can be found on Mashable's list of 21 Creative Blogger Bio Pages . You'll see here that practicality should govern common sense. Points here are to be humble, honest and humorous so as to provide transparency to your readers.

Lastly, you'll need some technical support, if like me, you're on your own. This page, How To Create Static Pages in Blogger, from HelpLogger is a no-brainers guide to perfection in one try.

It only took about fifteen minutes per blog to add the page, I will make note of today's date and monitor my Google Page Ranks for any change.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Should Blogs Have an Expiration Date?

The other night I found myself clicking through the blogroll. By this I mean clicking on the "next blog" button at the top of the page. This habitually addictive behavior began last week and much as I hate to say it I find myself drawn to peek just one more time at what's next.

 Regardless, that brings me to the topic of the blog graveyard. More than once while playing this game I've stumbled into a string of blog posts from three, four, even five years ago. Blogs written with flair for months, then abandoned for more pressing matters. Blogs created for a cause but never fulfilled to their legacy. Blogs posted fastidiously until 2009 and then...Wait, 2009? Exactly. They're dead as door nails. Shut them down. They occupy and clutter too much blog space. And the sheer number of title and names that they claim and broadcast to the keyword choked internet is staggering.

Believing that I was not the first to figure this out I searched for what others might have said about this and in the process got an education. The Google search results were eyeopening. They were old blog posts. I searched for the words; blog, life, cycle. and the first page of Google bares two "Google plus authorship" results from Problogger and Wired. Problogger's 2008 post Understanding the Blog Lifecycle to Prevent Common Downfalls is actually very informative and worth the read but I can't help wondering what might have changed in the last five years. The other post from Wired was wonderful, from 2007, called The Lifecycle of a Blog Post. Again, is there anything new out there?

Google has the position of control over this. The obvious answer will be a policy which addresses blog dormancy and dissolution. I expect that to happen sooner than later as the number of blogs created daily continues to grow.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Google Authorship the Easy Way!

I started this little project.

About a week ago I decided that it was time to clean up my image. My "on-line" image needed some polishing, and I had read that I should take ownership of my own identity on the internet before identity fraud took it from me. Where to begin?

First off, Google yourself. What do you see? and did you know that the most reliable source of that information is you? You can create your own profile and project via the web everything you want the public to find. Beat them at their own game, so to speak.

So, I Googled my name and the list was clean (smut free) but boring. That was good, but not great. I needed more credibility. More finesse. I wanted those little pictures of my face to show up next to my affiliations. How did that work? So began my latest project, The Google Authorship Program.