Sunday, December 17, 2017

Here's How to Register Your Drone. Again.

Are you getting a drone for Christmas?

Or have you recently received one?

You'll need to register your drone with the FAA.

The requirement to register drones is part of recently passed legislation, the National Defense Authorization Act.

Use this link to register your Drone with the FAA

Registering drones is not new.  Registration was first required in December 2015.   But earlier this year, hobbyists banned together to fight the requirement and won.  But the new legislation signed by President Trump this week again requires registration.

So stay on Santa's good list and be sure to register your drone.

Cool Tech Tips for a Cooler Life!
#drone #FAA #UAS #UnmannedAircraftSysten #plane #remote #onecooltip #register #registration

Sunday, July 30, 2017

FBI Warns Parents About Internet Connected Toys

FBI logo
Beware of the toys.  They may be watching, listening and sharing.

That's the warning to parents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about internet connected toys.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recently issued a statement to parents "to consider cyber security prior to introducing smart, interactive, internet-connected toys into their homes or trusted environments."

The concern is that the toys could pose identity theft and exploitation threats due to microphones, cameras and geo-location data that is improperly used, shared or stored.  

The full notice is worth reading but here are a few points:

  • Only connect and use toys with trusted and secure Wi-Fin internet access.
  • Closely monitor children’s activity with the toys (such as conversations and voice recordings) through the toy’s partner parent application, if such features are available
  • Ensure the toy is turned off, particularly those with microphones and cameras, when not in use
  • Use strong and unique login passwords when creating user accounts (e.g., lower and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters)
  • Carefully read disclosures and privacy policies

Should we be concerned?  Maybe to Probably.  It can happen.

Nearly two years, we warned readers about the problem caused by one company.  

In that case, Vtech a major tech toy company, poorly stored sensitive children data on the web.

So the best thing we can do is to be cautious and knowledgeable.

Source: FBI

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Waze Now Lets You Record and Share Your Own Turn-by-Turn Navigation Audio

We love Waze, Google's crowd-sourced navigation and traffic app.

From real-time predictive arrival times and the ability for you and your fellow commuters to report hazards and traffic problems, Waze is the best mobile navigation app.

From time to time, Waze has promoted celebrity voices who offered turn-by-turn navigation.  These have included Stephen Colbert, Mr. T and C3PO.

But now Waze lets users to create their own custom audio and also the ability to share that audio with others.

Here's how to record your voice directions:

  • Tap the Menu Waze Menu, then Settings Waze Settings.
  • Tap Sound & voice.
  • Tap Voice directions.
  • Tap Record New Voice.
  • Tap Enter a name for your custom voice to give your set of recordings a name. 
  • Tap Done.
  • Tap on the type of direction you'd like to record, 
  • Tap the record icon Waze Record to start recording and stop Waze Stop Record when you've finished recording. 
  • To play your recording back, tap the play icon Waze Play Voice.
  • Tap Save.

A few suggestions when making and using the custom voice navigation:

  • Be accurate when recording your custom navigation.  Safety first!  
  • Your voice recording is saved locally.  So it is possible that it can be deleted when you uninstall the Waze app.
  • Did you read the warning above about being accurate when making a custom recording?  Safety first!
  • Custom voice navigation is not as complete as the normal voice navigation options.  Use a custom voice when you are familiar with your travel plans and destinations.  Use the default voice options when you need more precise street names for your audio navigation.

You can also share your customer voice navigation with others.  

Here's how:

  • Tap the Menu Waze Menu, then Settings Waze Settings.
  • Tap Sound & voice.
  • Tap Voice directions.
  • Tap Share Waze Share iOS on iOS or Waze Share Android on Android and then Share again.
  • Choose your preferred method (SMS, email, etc.). and select the recipient.

Send your voice recording to friends and they'll hear your recorded directions while navigating with Waze.
Check out this custom voice:
Rodger's Wild Ride (Waze Custom Voice Navigation)

Cool Tech Tips for a Cooler Life!

#Waze  #Android #iPhone #voice #navigation

Urgent: Update Your iPhone to 10.3.3 to Fix Nasty Bug

Due to a significant software bug, iPhone users should update their iOS operating system to version 10.3.3 as soon as possible.

The bug can allow hackers  to take total control of an iPhone through an exploit of the Wifi chip inside the iPhone.

iPhone Software UpdateHere's how to update your iPhone operating system.

But before you do, first make sure you have a back up by using the iTunes on your PC or doing an online backup.

You should also plug your iphone into power and connect to wifi,

1.  If you receive an alert to upgrade, click and follow the instructions.

2.  If not, you can manually force the upgrade.

3.  To update over the air, tap to go to Settings > General > Software Update

4. Tap Download and Install.

After the install, follow the instructions to restart and login to your iPhone.

10.3.3 should be the last update before the new iOS 11 comes out later this year.

Source: Apple

Cool Tech Tips for a Cooler Life!

#iOS10 #10.3.3. #iPhone #hack #malware #ios #apple #bug

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Find Wi-fi Hotspots with Facebook

Need to find a Wi-fi hotspot?

Facebook is rolling our a new feature that lets you find WiFi.

Here's how to do it from your mobile device:

Open the Facebook mobile app and click the “More” tab.

Select “Find Wi-Fi” from the list

Then you'll see a map of your current location with Wi-fi locations highlighted.

Facebook Find Wi-fiFacebook Find Wi-fi - Washington DC

Business owners can add that they have Wi-fi to their Facebook business listings.

So the list on Facebook is not every local location.  But it can help you to find Wi-Fi availability to reduce your mobile data minutes or to access Wi-from a laptop or tablet.

If you are a business owner, you can learn more about adding Wi-fi info to your business listing HERE.

#Facebook #Wi-fi #wifi #hotspot #findwifi #findwi-fi #map #location

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Protect Your Online Accounts with Two Factor Authentication

Gaining access to our online accounts with just a few clicks brings both benefits and drawbacks.

Two Factor Authentication
Sure, you can log into your Google, Facebook or Yahoo accounts from wherever you are. 

But so can someone else.

That's why always using secure passwords is a must.

But what else can you do to protect your accounts from nefarious hackers and data breaches?

Two Factor Authentication is the answer.


Two Factor authentication provides an additional layer of protection when you log into your online accounts.

When you login with two factor authentication, you'll receive a special code sent by text to your mobile phone that also must be entered to provide access to your account.

That prevents someone who doesn't know both your password AND this special one-time code from gaining access to your account.

Many of your most popular sites such as Google, Facebook, YAHOO, Twitter and LinkedIn all provide this valuable security feature.

Here's how to enable two factor authentication for Google, Facebook and YAHOO:

  • Click HERE to start the Google 2-Step Verification set-up process for your Google account.
To start the two factor authentication for your Facebook account:
  • Go to your Security and Login Settings by clicking  in the top-right corner of Facebook and clicking Settings > Security and Login.
  • Scroll down to Use two-factor authentication and click Edit
  • Choose the authentication method you want to add and follow the on-screen instructions
  • Click Enable once you've selected and turned on an authentication method


To enable two factor authentication for your YAHOO account:
  • Sign in to your Yahoo Account info page.
  • Click Account Security.
  • Next to Two-step verification, click the On/Off icon click the on-Off icon in the two-step verification process. .
  • Enter your mobile number.
  • Click Send SMS to receive a text message with a code or Call me to receive a phone call.
  • Enter the verification code | click Verify.
  • The next window refers to the use of apps like iOS Mail or Outlook. Click Create app password to reconnect your apps. See the section below for more info.
  • Want to turn it off? Simply click the On/Off icon Use the on-off button. under Two-step verification.
  • Using two-step verification with apps
  • Some apps (like iOS Mail, Android Mail, Outlook, and Yahoo messenger for PC) require a specific password to connect that app with Yahoo. If you enable two-step verification, you'll need to create a third-party app password to use in apps like these.

#twofactor #authentication #Google #YAHOO #facebook #twitter #LinkedIn #security #password #hacker 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Trust with Verified Profiles and Pages on Facebook

With so much "fake news" on the internet, it can be hard to trust things you read on social media.

No where is this more true than on Facebook.

Scammers love to post fraudulent content that appears to be from reliable sources.  By slightly altering a person's or company's name, phony accounts and pages trick users into sharing personal information and clicking on spammy posts.  And your friends may share and share and share so much that it appears to be from a legitimate source.

So how can you be sure you are really seeing content from whom you think its from?

Facebook verifies certain public figures, media outlets, brands, businesses and organizations.

You can trust these legitimate profiles and pages on Facebook since they have been verified to let people know that they are authentic.

Facebook uses two icons to show this verification:

facebook authentic blue badgeThe blue badge on a Facebook page or profile means that Facebook has confirmed that this is an authentic page or profile for a public figure, media company or brand.

facebook authentic gray badge
The gray badge on a Facebook page means that Facebook has confirmed that this is an authentic page for a business or organization using public records information.

Not all public features, celebrities and brands have Facebook blue badges. And fortunately, the blue badge can not be bought.

Businesses and organizations that want a gray verified badge can submit a request that is verified with public information by Facebook.  If you own want your organization to be verified, read more information from Facebook here.

Twitter also offers a similar feature.  We'll cover that in a future post.

Cool Tech Tips for a Cooler Life!

#Facebook  #technology #verified #tech

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Amazon's Alexa Now Features Named Multiple Timers

Amazon Echo
Beep! Beep! Beep! What was the timer for?

That's no longer a problem for Amazon's Alexa  on Echo speakers..

Alexa now allows you to name your timers.

For example, you can create a timer named "laundry" and another one named "pizza".

Just use your device's wake word (Alexa, Computer or Echo) and then "Create a 30 minute timer called Laundry".

When the timer goes off, it will also tell you the timer's name.

You can also create named reminders for a specific date and time.

Alexa is our favorite personal assistant.

And with her growing set of skills, Google, Microsoft and Apple need to up their game to match Amazon's lead.

Cool Tech Tips for a Cooler Life!

#Amazon #Echo #Alexa #timer #timers #reminder #reminders

Apple News Link:

Monday, May 29, 2017

5 Steps to Prevent Ransomware

WannaCry Ransomeare
Ransomware attacks are on the rise and in the news again this year.

The recent WannaCry ransomware infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world.  Most notably, the British National Health System (NHS) was severely impacted when thousands of doctor and hospital computers were rendered useless by WannaCry.

For the uninitiated, ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

Paying the ransom is no guarantee that you'll get your PC data back either.

So what can you do to prevent a Ransomware attack?

The best defense is a good offense.

Here are our recommendations to prevent a ransomware or other malware from infecting your PC or mobile device:

1. Keep Your System Up to Date

Ransomware attacks, like other malware and viruses, often exploit well-known operating system vulnerabilities.  In most cases, there are already updates available to patch the weaknesses of the operating system.  But you need to ensure that your PC is up-to-date.  Ensure that your PC is set to automatically install updates and check that your PC is current.

2. Don't Click Suspicious Emails, Attachments or Social Media Links

Stop an attack by avoiding suspicious and unexpected emails, attachments and unknown links on social media.  Ransomware often spreads from PC to PC by email.  Always be wary of suspicious or unexpected emails and attachments.  And with the rise of social media, be sure of attachments and unknown websites from social media posts on Twitter and Facebook.

3. Back Up, Back Up, Back Up

If you love it, back it up.  Don't let your cherished family photos,  videos and financial records disappear.   Back up your data consistently.  And keep copies in other locations than where your computer is located.  You should also retain all operating system disks in case the it needs to be reloaded.  If you own a business, be sure you have a disaster recovery plan in place that also requires backups and offsite storage.

4. Install and Update Anti-Virus software

Maybe you think it can't happen to you.  Whatever the reason, be sure to have a legitimate up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your PC.  And check periodically that it is still active and has the most current virus signature files loaded to discover the latest viruses and malware.

5. Disconnect PC if infected

If you think you've been infected by Ransomware on your PC or other PCs on your home or business network, you can limit the damage by disconnecting each PC from WiFi and/or the cable connection.  This will help to limit the spread of the infection to other machines, especially via email and contacts.

Hopefully, you'll never face the harsh reality of a ransomware attack.  But with these precautions, you limit your risk.

Cool Tech Tips for a Cooler Life!

#ransomware #wannacry #cryptolocker #virus #bitcoin #malware

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Court Rules Against Registering Drones

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court ruled against the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) policy for registering drones.

This decision should mean that most hobby drone pilots will not need to register their drones with the FAA or even keep their current registration up-to-date. (*See legal note below)

We previously wrote about this harsh requirement two years ago.

In the ruling from May 19, 2017, John A. Taylor v Federation Aviation Administration, the court ruled against the FAA's regulations.   Specifically, the court found that the agency does not have authority to regulate model aircraft:

In short, Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act prohibits the FAA from promulgating “any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.” The Registration Rule is a rule regarding model aircraft. Therefore, the Registration Rule is unlawful to the extent that it applies to model aircraft.

But the court's ruling is not all inclusive.

Pilots of drones used for commercial use--- even piloted by a hobbyist -- still appear to need to register and maintain a drone registration for their model aircraft.

Most importantly, all drone users must continue to pilot their drones in a safe, responsible and legal manner.

The FAA released a statement on the ruling:
We are carefully reviewing the U.S. Court of Appeals decision as it relates to drone registrations. The FAA put registration and operational regulations in place to ensure that drones are operated in a way that is safe and does not pose security and privacy threats. We are in the process of considering our options and response to the decision.
We continue to encourage registration for all drone operators.
So have fun with your drones.  Be safe out there!
* Legal notice.  We're not lawyers.  We don't even play lawyers on TV.  Heck, we don't even watch actors playing lawyers on TV anymore.  So, nothing in this post or on the One Cool Tip site should be construed as legal advice.  Seek qualified legal advice regarding flying your drone.  Seek qualified legal advice on living your life.

Cool Tech Tips for a Cooler Life!
#drone #FAA #UAS #UnmannedAircraftSysten #plane #remote #onecooltip

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Amazon Alexa Now Lets You Make Calls

Amazon's internet-connected speakers now lets you call other Echo devices hands-free.

Amazon Echo
Using the Alexa-powered skill is easy.  You just have to ask Alexa to call one of your contact and your contact's device will start ringing.

To work, you'll need to register your Echo device using the Alexa app.

And your contact also needs to have a registered Echo device connected or use the Alexa app for iOS or Android.

You can also send audio messages to your contacts.

Contacts who also have an Echo device and have registered for the calling feature will be listed in your Alexa app.  You can also call them directly from the app.

At this time, Alex can't call regular telephone numbers.

Not surprisingly, Google announced voice calling to regular phone numbers for their Google Home device.  But calling other Home devices is not yet supported.

To learn more about Alexa calling, check out the Alexa Calling Help Site from Amazon.

Cool Tech Tips for a Cooler Life!

#Amazon #Echo #Alexa #phone #calls

Friday, May 26, 2017

iPhone Calculator Hack Your Never Knew!

The Apple iPhone has a hidden feature that's been hiding in plain sight for years.

iPhone Calculator
Do you know this secret hack?

To backspace as you are entering a number, just swipe left or right on the calculator's display line.

Doing so will wipe out the last number character you entered.

And for all this time we were clearing the entire number!

The iPhone still has secrets to give up.

Now don't we feel silly we didn't know this sooner?

Cool Tech Tips for a Cooler Life!

#iphone #calculator #apple #ios #app