It's Tech Tuesday

May 24, 2016

How Iraq Turned off the Internet

How does a country create an internet blackout? Last week, Iraq turned off all broadband and mobile broadband connections. Why? So students wouldn't cheat on exams. Click here to view the article from Wired magazine.

3 Google Calendar Hacks that will make you more productive!

by Bettercloud Monitor

Google Calendar is a great tool for staying organized and keeping track of your events. To make sure you’re maximizing everything it has to offer, check out these three hacks for Google Calendar that can help you save time and be more productive.

Display your calendar events in a new Chrome tab

Instead of always opening and looking at your calendar, try the TabTab extension for Chrome. It syncs with Google Calendar, so your calendar events are displayed in a new tab and you can easily stay updated with your upcoming events.

Create appointment slots

You can block off time slots so that people can just book meetings or appointments themselves, thereby eliminating that pesky back-and-forth email scheduling dance.

  1. Select a block of time on your calendar that you’d like open for your appointments. In the event box, name your event.
  2. Click on Appointments Slots at the top of the event box. You can offer the whole block of time as a single appointment slot, or you can offer multiple slots in intervals (e.g., 15 or 30 minutes).
  3. Under Add Guests, add the email addresses of whoever you’d like to book appointments.
  4. Anyone who has the calendar link at the top of the page will be able to book appointments in the block of time you’ve set aside. Instead of having to schedule each appointment individually, you can let people book their own appointments, saving everyone time.

Only show working hours

By default, Google Calendar displays all hours of the day. However, you probably aren’t booking appointments at 4 AM or 10 PM. To only show working hours on your calendar:

  1. Click on the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner > Settings > Labs.
  2. Enable “Hide morning and night.” This will display only working hours, giving you a cleaner, easy-to-read calendar.
3 Google Calendar Hacks that Will Make You More Productive

What Siri can do

Apple’s Siri digital assistant can do a lot of things for you, from getting your local weather forecast, to seeing what movies are playing nearby, or even booking a reservation for a restaurant. Not everything Siri can do is well publicized though, and Apple hid a few interesting and useful features to make her even more useful. All you need to know is how to ask for them.

Below is a list of 12 of the most compelling hacks we’ve found in seeing what Siri can do.

1. She’s a calculator

Want to calculate something without typing it into a calculator? Just ask Siri. She uses Wolfram Alpha to compute any mathematical problem you ask, so if the Wolfram Alpha site can do it, chances are Siri can, too.

2. Look it’s a plane

Ask Siri “what planes are flying overhead,” and she will retrieve a list of planes currently flying over your location, complete with a direction to look for them.

3. Fix those pronunciations

Siri without a clue how to pronounce certain names? Let her know. Say “learn how to pronounce…” and say the contact name. You’ll be able to walk her through the right pronunciation in under a minute.

4. Are we there yet?

If you’re using navigation functions on your iPhone, Siri can give you an time of arrival based on that information. Just say “ETA” and she will give you the estimated time that you should expect to arive at your destination.

5. Eat healthier

Calorie conscious? Siri is too. She can estimate the number of calories in many foods, both generic and some more specific. For example asking “How many calories in a Big Mac?” will return 520 calories, McDonald’s calorie guideline for that sandwich.

6. Convert anything

Again, Siri uses Wolfram Alpha for a lot of calculations. One thing the site can do is quickly is conversions. Just tell Siri what you’d like to convert from and to and she will do the rest.

7. Figure out a tip

Need to know what tip you need to leave? Let Siri figure it out. “What’s a 20% tip for a $56.80 bill split among four people?” will return not only the total tip that should be left, but also what portion of that tip everybody will owe.

8. Coin flips and die rolls

Need to pick who’s taking out the trash tonight? Ask Siri to flip a coin, and she’ll randomly tell you either heads or tails. Want to play a game of chance? Siri can roll the dice for you.

9. Find someone

If you use Find My Friends or a friend is sharing location information with you, asking Siri to find that particular person pops up their location on a map.

10. Find peace and quiet

iOS includes a Do Not Disturb function that allows you to silence the device during periods when you need to be free of distractions. Saying “do not disturb” to Siri turns on this function. You can even turn off the phones cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity by saying “airplane mode.”

11. Remember holidays

We all know certain holidays like Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day because they’re on the same calendar day every year. But other holidays like Easter and Thanksgiving do not. Use Siri to remember what days these holidays fall on. Can’t remember a birthday? As long as you have birthday information saved in your contacts, you can also ask Siri what days are your friend’s birthdays (While you’re at it, ask Siri to set a reminder too to buy them a gift).

12. Be a trivia king

Arguing over what movies Kevin Spacey has starred in? Ask Siri and she’ll return you those movies, along with ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. Want to know how many points Kobe Bryant scored last year? Siri can answer that too, with official stats from the NBA. Let Siri settle those arguments for you quickly and easily.

By Ed Oswald at

Fun Tech Facts Part 2

  • The first personal computer was created by Berkeley Enterprises. Affectionaltely referred to as Simon, it sold for a pricey $300 in 1950.
  • It has been 40 years since the world's first mobile phone call successfully took place.
  • On average, technology users carry 2.9 devices on them at all times.
  • There are 350 million Snapchat messages sent every day.
  • RadioShack was one of the first companies to start the personal computer revolution, back in 1970, with its TRS-80.
  • The first mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1963; it consisted of a hard wooden shell and two clunky metal wheels.
  • Of the 60 billion emails that are sent on a daily basis, 97% are considered spam.
  • The first cell phone sold in the US- the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X- was designed by Rudy Krolopp in April 1984. It weighed two pounds.
  • There are 500 apps added each day to the Windows Phone Store.
  • The man known as the Father of Information Theory, Claude Shannon, invented the digital circuit- the foundation of the magic that provides us all access to the Internet today- during his mater's degree program, when he was just 21 years old.

And Finally...

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And also...

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Have an AWESOME SUMMER everyone!