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Tech Helpline Tips: Is It Time to Update or Replace Your Computer?
What year did you buy the computer you use most for your work? When is the last time you upgraded its operating system? Are you using the most current version of your web browser? If you can't easily recall the answers to any of these questions, there's a strong possibility that it is time to update or replace your computer. Here's a brief checklist to help determine if updating your computer's software is enough or if it's time to replace this vital technology that helps you do your job.
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How to Connect to a Computer Remotely
If you ever find yourself needing to access a computer remotely--either attempting to connect to a desktop computer at work or need to assist someone with their computer from afar--this primer is for you. Whether you have a Microsoft Windows PC or an Apple Mac, let's take a look at the basics you'll need to know.
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How Machine Learning is Redefining Real Estate Search (8/24)
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Will the Last PC User Please Turn Out the Lights?
Mobile has gone global and everyone from Wired Magazine, Gartner, Forrester Research, and Barron's is writing about it. The headline is almost always the same: "THE DEATH OF THE PC HAS NOT BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED." The real headline is that PC sales have been negative since 2011 and the 2015 numbers showed the largest drop in sales volume in history. Before you get overwhelmed with the fear of PCs going away, it will take a long time for that to happen. Globally, shipments of new PCs are still running at a pace of around 65 million to 70 million a quarter. (Interestingly enough, the iPhone ships about the same number of units – and that is just from one smartphone manufacturer.) As an aside, Lenovo (formerly IBM) holds the top market share with about 20 percent. HP is second in market share with 18 percent, followed closely by Apple at 16 percent and Dell at 14 percent. The new MacBook Air helped Apple pass Dell. The debut of Windows 10 did not make a big difference. There was a belief that corporations and consumers were holding off and building a demand ahead of the release. There was a little bubble, but nothing strong enough to thwart the 10% drop in PC sales. Heck, because of the move to mobile, Google even revised its revenue outlook. Companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook are enormously focused on mobile. You should be too! Real estate was super late in moving to mobile. Many would argue that we are still in the teeth cutting stages. A lot of this was caused by the lag of MLSs being cross-browser compliant and mobile browser compliant. Thank goodness that we are almost there now with the leading MLS vendors. Some, like CoreLogic, have even gone the extra mile to integrate mobile apps like GoMLS. Others are using third party solutions like HomeSpotter (formerly Mobile Realty Apps).
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Microsoft Takes on Apple with Hybrid Tablet/Laptop
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Is It Time for a Backup Battery?
We love working wirelessly on our tablets, and our cellphones are our business lifeline. We cannot afford to have them wired to an outlet or worse – 'dead' – when we are on the go. Losing battery life on your favorite mobile devices (or even your camera) when out in the field does not need to happen to you. Backup batteries are affordable and there are many options to suit your lifestyle. Whether you choose a backup that provides 'juice' to a single device or to several, here are some things to consider: What's its portability, including size and weight? How much battery capacity does it have? Will it be enough for what you need? Battery capacity is measured in milliamperes hours (mAh). Become familiar with your mobile device's needs. Will external cables be needed? Does it indicate how much power is left in it? Will it work on multiple devices? Will it be compatible with your devices? How is the backup battery recharged?
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Does your computer start very slowly? It could be your HDD.
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OS X Yosemite and iOS 8
It's another year and another WWDC (WorldWide Developers' Conference) for Apple. Each year, they announce another version of their desktop and mobile operating systems. Last year, iOS 7 was the big news, ushering in all kind of newness such as a completely modern interface, redesigned Photos app, and much more. This year, Apple not only announced iOS 8, but Mac OS X Yosemite. Each of these releases has TONS of new features, but I've listed my Top 5 overall features below: 1. Handoff Start a task on one device and continue it on another – seamlessly. For example, you might start typing an email on your iPhone and decide it might be a bit lengthy and therefore easier to continue on your MacBook Air. Just walk up to your laptop and click the Handoff Mail icon. Your email draft is is already there and ready to continue. 2. Expanded AirDrop This is a long-awaited feature that allows Macs and iDevices to play with each other when transferring files via Apple's AirDrop service. Previously, iOS only played with iOS and OS X only played with OS X. Basically, instead of having to email a file to yourself on one device and receive it on another, this feature allows you to easily transfer directly in either direction – without using wi-fi.
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Why It’s Important to Back Up Your Data
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Laptop vs. Tablet: Which Should You Use?
We asked Matthew Rathbun of The Agent Trainer to give us some guidance on the laptop vs. tablet dillemma. Here's what he had to say: A few years ago, I stopped putting off a desire I had possessed since I was young, and I took a weekend off and went to class to get my motorcycle license. Now, I ride my BMW 1150 Rockster as often as I can. Why do you care? Because, this is how I begin to answer the question, "When I need a new laptop, should I just get a tablet device instead?" I use the analogy because it puts into perspective my answer--which is both. Just like my motorcycle, the tablet is fun to use, gets good gas mileage and can quickly get me where I need to go. However, if there is bad weather, the need to transport more than two people, pack a lot of stuff or long distance traveling, then my car is the vehicle I choose. The tablet device is not quite ready to completely replace the laptop; rather they work together to meet my needs. I can check email on both and access most, but not all, websites. There is a much broader range of computing programs available to the Mac or Windows operating system than the App Store currently holds. Most tablets allow me to create presentations, documents and other multimedia presentations. It just isn't as easy to do on the tablet as it is on the laptop. And, there are often fewer options or features on the tablet.
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iPad vs. Microsoft Surface Pro for Real Estate
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How to Clear Autofill in Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox
You know how your internet browser always seems to conveniently remember the information you enter into form fields? Well, sometimes this feature can be a little too convenient, especially when you accidentally entered something when submitting a form. It'll remember that stuff, too! This is called "autofill." Fortunately, it's easy to delete all or just some of the autofill information that your browser remembers. This collection of three video tutorials will show you exactly how to do that. We'll start off by learning how to clear autofill from Internet Explorer: Click through to the next page to learn how to clear autofill in Google Chrome and Firefox.
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Cloudy With a Chance of Disaster
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Windows 8: Learn the New Windows
With the end of Windows XP nearing and Windows 8 in full effect, many are feeling the pains of change, including a new layout and a complete change to what everyone considers normal. Windows 8: kind of confusing, right? There's no Start button, no straightforward way to shut it down, no Windows Media Center (unless you download it separately). Worst of all, there's no instruction manual. So how exactly are you supposed to learn your way around the new OS? One way is to read through this great brochure, created by Microsoft, showcasing the new layout of Windows 8 and how those with touch enabled displays can navigate between screens as well as some great key shortcuts. To view it, click here. Another way to learn more is to view some great videos created by Microsoft that goes over some of the changes made to their site. You can view those here. Lastly, you can stay tuned as we continue to roll out videos and blogs giving you more insight into the new world of Windows 8. For now, view the next page for a tip on shutting down your new Windows 8 PC.
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The Minimalistic Gmail Cheat Sheet
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Hackers Use Social Media to Avoid Detection
The continued rise of social media has given hackers new platforms to exploit. Hackers are making malware that, instead of connecting to traditional C&C servers, which would be easier to detect, connects with social networks or search engines to receive updates. This is a technique researchers have already seen in recent cyberattacks. A recent piece of malware dubbed Miniduke used fake Twitter accounts to connect to C&C servers. With this rise in malware and means of spreading malicious software it is further stressed that you make sure that your computer is secure with the use of anti-virus/anti-malware software and that you are being vigilant about what you click on while using the internet. Another means of protecting yourself while on Facebook is to make sure you have a secure connection. For more on this, watch the video, "Secure Your Facebook," on the next page.
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7 Internet Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Online Productivity
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10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Will Simplify Your Life
Using keyboard shortcuts can greatly increase your productivity, reduce repetitive strain, and help keep you focused. Below are the top 10 keyboard shortcuts we recommend everyone memorize and use. 1. Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert Copy the highlighted text or selected item. 2. Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert Paste the text or object that's in the clipboard. 3. Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y Undo any change. For example, if you cut text, pressing this will undo it. This can also often be pressed multiple times to undo multiple changes. Pressing Ctrl + Y would redo the undo. 4. Ctrl + F Open the Find in any program. This includes your Internet browser to find text on the current page.
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To Buy or Not to Buy: An Extended Warranty Story
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What's Inside Your Computer?
How much do you know about the computer you're reading this article on? If you're like most people, you know that computers have a processor of some sort, a hard drive, and...well, people's knowledge often stops there. While you don't need to be a hardware guru to know your way around, say, CRM software or your MLS, it's always a good idea to have an understanding of what's going on inside your machine. This helps with everything from troubleshooting tech problems to knowing what specs to look at when shopping for a new computer. This quick video from My Computer Works provides a crash course in the basic components of a computer and what they do, including: Power supply - Supplies power to all components CPU (processor) - As the "brain" of the computer, the CPU is constantly calculating and moving data RAM - Short term memory; stores data for quick access and manipulation Hard drive - Long term memory. All data accessed by the CPU and RAM come from the hard drive Optical drive - CD, DVD, Blueray player Motherboard - All components are connected directly to the motherboard or through a cable Video card - Responsible for displaying everything you see on your screen Click through to the next page to learn more by viewing the video.
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Windows 7 or Windows 8: Which to Choose
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4 Troubleshooting Tips from a Non-Techie
Guest contributor Frances Brittle of Cloud CMA says: I recently experienced an issue logging in to one of my web based email-marketing accounts. In my quest to gain access, I conducted a series of basic troubleshooting steps that I'd like to share with you. I've included some general information on why these steps are relevant and what they're testing for. These steps are a surefire way to save time, and get on with what you're doing without being--or inadvertently becoming--a "techie." The problem I was having started on the login page of the web-based account I frequently use. I was entering the correct login ID and password, but kept getting a "timeout" message. My browser suggested that I try back later, or refresh the page--both of which I did, neither of which were successful. I then navigated through the following four steps, which ultimately resolved my issue and got me back on my way to email marketing! As a busy agent, if you ever encounter a web-related issue, don't panic, just follow these four basic troubleshooting steps: Step 1: Check other websites. Your Internet connection could be the problem. If so, then no matter what site you're trying to visit, it won't load. If other websites do, in fact, load correctly, then the Internet connection is definitely not the culprit. Narrowing down what isn't causing the problem is equally as important as determining what is.
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Start Your Real Estate Business With a Strong Internet Presence
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Facebook Hoax
In the last few months, many Facebook users have come across a status update that poses to be a legally binding privacy notice. This blanket disclaimer basically claims copyright on all items posted to Facebook, including photos, status updates, user's stock-in-trade, and anything else posted to Facebook. Unfortunately, you should probably consult with a real lawyer because this is all a hoax. Here is what the status update looks like:
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Apple Unveils iPad Mini
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Tech Talk: iOS 6 Disappointing, but Worth Downloading
The iPhone 5 isn't the only product Apple is updating this week. On Wednesday, the company released a new version of iOS, the software that underlies its handheld devices. On the whole, iOS 6, as Apple has dubbed the update, is worth downloading. It's faster and offers some compelling new features. But be prepared to be frustrated. Some of the new features are incomplete and one — the overhauled Maps application — is buggy and disappointing. Older iOS devices won't be able to use some of the new features in iOS 6. And two devices that could run iOS 5 can't run iOS 6 at all: the original iPad and the third-generation iPod Touch. I tried it out on my wife's iPad 2, which came out a year after the original iPad and was eligible for the iOS 6 update. But despite being just a year-and-a-half old, the iPad 2 gets only a portion of the new features available in the operating system. Its version of iOS 6 doesn't allow users to make Facetime calls over the wireless companies' data networks, while the new iPad's version does. Nor does it include Siri, Apple's compelling voice command feature, which just got some cool new tricks, including the ability to launch apps and to find sports scores. It also lacks features that Apple decided were appropriate for the iPhone or the iPod Touch but not for any iPad. Among those are Passport, Apple's new application that organizes digital loyalty cards and event tickets, and the camera app's new ability to take panoramic photographs. Those shortcomings aside, there still are plenty of new features in iOS 6 for older devices.
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Yahoo! Reports Mac Closing the Gap on PC
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Are You a Mac? Are you Sick?
If you have a Mac, you may have bragged to your PC friends about having a computer that is impervious to viruses. That all changed recently. Geeks from shore to shore, continent to continent have been talking about the first real Mac virus. About 600,000 or so computers are thought to be infected with the Flashback virus. If you think that you have it, use this free tool from Finnish anti-virus company F-Secure. It's free. You can thank them by leaving a note on their Facebook or Twitter page. They deserve the kudos. Another detection tool you can use has been made available by Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky. Meanwhile, Apple has issued a statement indicating that it is continuing to work on an official detection and inoculation tool.
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3 Reasons to Install Software Updates (And How to Do It)
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Real Estate Technology: PCs Are Going Away
This article, authored by Harper Thorpe, comes to us from the Core Logic Broker Café blog, "Broker Buzz." I was interested to see a recent article in USA Today that indicated that PCs are going the way of the typewriter. After a 30 year run, the end may well be in sight. Since I work with a company that delivers all of its services through a web browser, this clearly is an inflection point in history. Interestingly enough, the USA Today article was quoting Mark Dean—one of the guys that has spent his career at IBM and was on the team that helped to design the PC. He holds three of the 9 patents for the original IBM PC. August 12th 2011 marks the 30th Anniversary of the personal computer. Given that I have been in the high-tech industry for those 30 years, it seems like yesterday. Oddly, technology that existed before the PC is the technology that will empower the future of computing. In the early days, this technology was referred to as mainframe computing. Today, the current technology is essentially a bunch of modern mainframe computers (now called servers) connected together via high-speed networks serving-up the Internet, and the result is the modern cloud computing model.
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Using Technology
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