Thursday, February 11, 2016

Making Your GOOGLE CALENDAR More Useful

For those of us whose online lives are entrenched in our Google accounts and use the offerings from Google, such as Google Drive or Calendar or Picasa, there's on obvious usefulness to these tools.

As you jump on board and start using them, you probably, much like myself, just start using them without digging too deeply. And hence, you may not give a lot of thought to if you can make them more useful to you or not. At least for me in the beginning, I reluctantly started using some of them but really did not give it much thought beyond the basics.

For me, I've had an interesting affair with my Calendar, in that it's great to have and annotate events but I've found myself the victim of a few shortcomings. Shortcomings that were more my fault than anyone else.

-

CREATING CALENDAR EVENTS and Making Them Stand out


First off, I think making a calendar event is pretty straight forward.

(IF you're in Agenda Mode, click on the calendar view, pick the week, month or what have you,

Quickie Entries:

-Click on the day you want to add an event,
-Type your event... like "Wife to Airport at 10am."
-Click 'Create Event.'

It knows you typed 10am and will put the event in the right slot.

In Depth, Unique Entries with Personality:

-Click on your day,
-Click 'Edit Event'

The 'Edit Event' screen has more options if you need more.
When you do a quickie entry, just typing the event and time, Google is smart enough to know where to put your event because you typed the time in the description.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How To Clear Space Under Your Google/Gmail Account

The other day I was looking at how I was using up almost 12% of my free 15GB allotment of space under my combined Google accounts. The combined data includes documents under Google Drive, Gmail itself and Google Photos.

I know 12% is not a lot, but I know my tendencies and if I let it go for too long, then it will be 20%, then 50% and then I'll be starting to worry. Not to mention that the longer I go, the more work I'll have to do when I have that much data.

So I decided to do some February cleaning.

My Drive contents are so few that I did not even look there yet. But if you use drive, you should look at what you have out there and if you need anything out there or not. Particularly anything with images in it.

And my Photos, which include what I have stashed under my Picasa for my blogs, isn't a big impact either. That's because I shrink down images in size and footprint, repeat the use of basic images across multiple posts, or do not use any images if it's a prolific site, like Cinema Static.

That left me with Gmail to peruse through.

This is where the fun began.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Recalls from Carrier, Macy's, Pier 1, Walmart and Disney Parks

Today's product recall list has pressure cookers, air conditioners, Martha Stewart, Pier 1 chairs, Walmart griddles and Disney Parks infant jumpsuits.

- - - - -

Breville Recalls Pressure Cookers Due to Risk of Burns

The sealing gasket can be incorrectly inserted upside down on the lid which can allow the unexpected release of built-up pressure.

contact Breville for a replacement sealing gasket and updated instructions.

Consumer Contact: Breville USA Inc. at 800-983-3165 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or online at www.brevilleusa.com and click on the “BPR600XL Recall” link.

- - -

Carrier Recalls to Repair Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps Including Previously Recalled Units Due to Fire Hazard

The power cord plug can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.
Contact:  Carrier at 800-761-8492 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.carrier.com and click on Important Product Safety Recall for more information.

- -

Macy’s Recalls Martha Stewart Stainless Steel Cookware; Injury Hazard with Frying Pans

The metal discs that cover the frying pan’s rivets can pop off and hit consumers, posing an injury hazard. (Oh great, kitchen wars!)

Contact: Macy’s toll-free at 888-257-5949 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET Sunday through Saturday or online at www.macys.com and click on “Product Recall” for more information.

- - -

Pier 1 Imports Recalls Swingasan Chairs and Stands Due to Fall Hazard

The suspension hardware on the chair and stand can break, or the stand can become unstable during use, posing a fall hazard.

Contact: Pier 1 Imports toll-free at 855-513-5140 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Saturday or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Sunday or online at www.pier1.com and click on “Product Notes & Recalls” at the bottom of the page for more information.

- - -

Walmart Recalls Rival Griddles Due to Shock Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Walmart

The heating element can crack and water can get inside, posing a shock hazard when the griddle is plugged into an electrical outlet.

Contact: Walmart at 800-925-6278 between 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT on Saturday and between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. CT Sunday, online at www.walmart.com and click on “Product Recalls” for more information.

- - -

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Recalls Infant Bodysuits Due to Choking Hazard  
The Darth Vader and Disneyland 60th infant bodysuit snaps on the bodysuits can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.

Contact: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts toll-free at 844-722-1444 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.disneyparks.com and click on “Recall Notice” for more information.

- - -

As always, these and other recalls can be found on the CPSC website.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Follow or subscribe to Consumer Bits on

Friday, January 29, 2016

New Facebook Emoji Are Coming

 New Emoji from Facebook

It's been confirmed with little detail (but what's new in the "informing the public" mode?), but Facebook will be releasing new emoji fairly soon to the USA.

Facebook has been testing the new emoji in other countries first and apparently they are a hit. So here they come.

It makes sense, because after all these years of just a "like" button,  it was plainly inappropriate to hit "Like" when you are trying to acknowledge someone's loss of a pet or family member. I mean, seriously, Hey dude, I "Like" that your entire family tumbled over a cliff in the car, screaming and suffering for hours before perishing.

Um, yea, no. But damn, it did take a long time for this to take place.

According to one Sydney Australia paper, if you hold down the thumbs-up "Like" symbol, the other five additional emoji will appear. They are Angry, Sad, Wow, Haha and Love.

Took ya long enough FB!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Follow or subscribe to Consumer Bits on

Recalls: Bean Bags (deaths involved), Ceiling Fans, Craftsman, Crib Mobiles, LED Lamps

Ace Bayou Reannounces Recall of 'Bean Bag Chairs' Due to Low Rate of Consumer Response; Two Child Deaths Previously Reported; Consumers Urged to Install Repair.

The zippers on the bean bag chairs can be opened by children who can then crawl inside, get trapped and suffocate or choke on the bean bag chair’s foam beads.

Contact: Ace Bayou toll-free at 855-571-8151 from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.acebayou.com and click on “Recall Information” for more information.

"The two deaths involved a 13-year old boy from McKinney, Texas died and a 3-year-old girl from Lexington, Ky. who suffocated from lack of air and inhaling the chair’s foam beads. Both children were found inside the chairs. "

- - -

Casablanca Recalls Ceiling Fans Due to Injury Hazard because the fan motor and attached blades can separate from the adapter when operating in reverse updraft mode, causing the fan motor and blades to fall, posing an injury hazard.

Contact: Casablanca toll-free at 855-800-3789 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.casablancafanco.com and click on the “Safety & Recall” tab at the bottom of the page for more information.  

- - -

The Craftsman Brand Recalls Blower/Vacs Due to Fire and Burn Hazards because the blower/vac’s motor can catch fire, posing fire and burn hazards.

Contact the Craftsman brand hotline for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: The Craftsman brand hotline toll-free at 888-266-7096 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Saturday, or online at www.craftsman.com and click on Product Recalls for more information.

- - -

Dollar Tree Recalls ' Assured Burn Relief Gel' Due to Failure to Meet Child Resistant Closure Requirement because the packaging is not child resistant as required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. The burn relief gel contains lidocaine, posing a poisoning risk if swallowed.

Contact: Dollar Tree at 800-876-8697 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.dollartree.com, then on the bottom of the page, under “Customer Service,” click “Contact Us,” then “Company Questions & Answers,” and click on “Product Recalls” in the left column.

- - -

Skip Hop Recalls Crib Mobiles Due to Injury Hazard because the strap attaching the product to the crib rail can break, posing an injury hazard if the product falls on the infant in the crib.

Contact: Skip Hop toll-free at 877-475-4746 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, by email at customerservice@skiphop.com or online at www.skiphop.com and click on “Safety Notices” at the bottom of the page under “Customer Care” for more information.

- - -

Technical Consumer Products Recalls 'Great Value LED lamps' Due to Electrical Shock Hazard.

Water can enter the lamp in wet location applications, posing an electric shock hazard to the user.

Consumer Contact: TCP at 800-324-1496 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, by email at recall@tcpi.com or online at www.tcpi.com and click on “Recall” for more information. 

- - -

As always, you can visit the www.CPSC.gov site for more details or contact the vendors directly.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Follow or subscribe to Consumer Bits on

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Recalls: Home Depot, PetSmart, REI and More

Here are a few recalls to be aware of... pay particular attention to the Home Depot note. There are a lot of products in it.


Bostitch Electric Pencil Sharpeners Recalled by Amax Due to Shock Hazard 

-

Harbor Freight Tools Recalls Cordless Drills Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

The "Drill Master 18-Volt Cordless Drills" can become stuck in the powered on mode, causing it to overheat, posing burn and fire hazard concerns.

-

Home Depot seemed to have sold a bunch of products after they were recalled.

They included CE Tech 1,000 Ft. Riser Cables, Cordelia Two-Lamp Fluorescent Shop Lights, Easy Reach by Gorilla 3-Step Pro Series Step Stools, Fiskars Bypass Lopper Shears, Genie Garage Door Openers, Harris Products Group Welding Torch Handles, HeathCo Motion-Activated Outdoor Lights, Homelite Electric Blower Vacuums, Kidde Disposable Plastic Fire Extinguishers, Kidde Smoke and Combination Smoke/CO Alarms, Legrand Under-Cabinet Power Strips, LG Electric Ranges, LG Top-Loading Washing Machines, Lithonia Quantum® Two-Light Emergency Lighting Fixtures, MAT Industries HDX Two-Gallon Air Compressors, Mohawk Altitude Gold Shag Rugs, Nest Protect Smoke + CO Alarms, Nourison I-CANDI Rugs, Pramac America Powermate Sx 5500 Portable Generators, RSI Glacier Bay® Medicine Cabinets, Soleil Portable Fan Heaters, SoleusAir Dehumidifiers by Gree Electric Appliances, Vornado Air Electric Space Heaters, Waterloo Industries Husky® Securelock Vertical Bike Hooks, Westinghouse Lighting Glass Shade Holders, Wing Enterprises Switch-It Stepladder/Stepstools

Hazard: Hazards include fire, burn, shock, falls, lacerations or other injuries depending on the product.

-

MVP Group Recalls Glass Jar Candles Due to Laceration Hazard

-

PetSmart Recalls Top Fin Betta Bowl or 'Glass fish bowl' Kits Due to Laceration Hazard because the glass bowl can crack, shatter or break during normal handling, posing a laceration hazard.

-

REI Recalls  evrgrn Campfire Rocker Chairs Due to Fall Hazard. It can apparently tip over backwards if you're not careful.

-

As always for more details on these recalls, see http://www.cpsc.gov/ and search for these product noticess!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Follow or subscribe to Consumer Bits on

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Facebooks "Most Used Words" And Other Apps Are Privacy Nightmares

Facebook Apps Are Privacy Nightmares

When you see a cool, new feature, function of toy on Facebook pop up, do you head right on over and try it? Have you given it any thought as to why they make apps for you on FB? Or why they want access to your account?  Have you wondered what happens when you give those apps permissions to access your account, what really happens?

Maybe you should.

Every time you give an app permission to access your account, you are also giving permission for that app to not only peruse your account, but they also ping off your account into your friends accounts, regardless of their own set of permissions.

And now there's news on the street that the "Most used Words" Facebook app is causing what is called a "privacy nightmare."

17 million users have started the app and and folks are realizing as they take these dumb ass tests that they are so inclined to enjoy, that they are giving up a ton of personal information to an unknown third party, like their name, sex, friends list, and everything you have ever liked on Facebook. And don't forget, with you having given them permission, they can also access your photos.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Turning Off "Your Memories on Facebook"

Turning Off "Your Memories on Facebook"

See updates below:

In this post I tackle the issue of "turning off" my Facebook Memory reminders that we keep getting shoved in our faces. Whether we want them to or not. It's not so much a 'turn off' as it is a filter the hell out of my feed mode. You'll see. If you want to read my total experience, keep reading, so see how I got to turning off Facebook Memories fix. If you don't have a ton of time, skip past the page break to the headline in mid-secion....

-

A while ago I started getting these bullshit messages that "We care about you" from Facebook showing me images from the past. At first, since they were showing up every few days at best, I didn't care.

But I made the fatal mistake of clicking in the upper right corner of one of them and chose "Show me fewer of these posts." Now I'm getting them every day.

Other reports say when you click the 'X' a new one replaces it.

WTF Facebook?

Then I went in and turned off "On This Day," and by all reviews of my account, it is off. But my reminders keep coming.

To be honest Facebook, if you CARED, you would actually turn this shit off instead of showing us outdated crap we already forgot about. My favorite is having my memorial to my dead dog getting shoved in my face.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Recalls From "Family Dollar,' GE, PNY, 'Shark Ninja' and more

- - -

Family Dollar Recalls Wax Warmers Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

The wax warmers can produce high flames, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.

Contact: Family Dollar stores at 800-547-0359 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at www.familydollar.com, then click on Product Recalls in the Help section at the bottom of the page.

- - -

Fireworks Over America Recalls Space Monkey Multi-effect Fireworks Due to Burn, Fire, Impact Hazards

Contact: Fireworks Over America at 800-345-3957 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT or online at www.fireworksoveramerica.com and click on Important Safety Recall for more information.

- - -

GE Recalls 'GE Zoneline® Air Conditioners and Heating Units' Due to Risk of Fire

Contact:  GE toll free at 866-723-2697 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, online at www.geappliances.com/products/recall or www.geappliances.com and click the Recall Information tab for more information.

- - -

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Samsung GALAXY S6: I Figured Out How To Turn Off Select Blinking LED Indicators

SAMSUNG Galazy S6 - figured out the LEDs

I have had my Samsung Galaxy S6 for a few weeks now, after having divested myself of a huge POS Motorola phone. But as I became acclimated with my Galaxy S6, I started wanting to customize it to my own liking. In this case, I wanted to kill the flashing LED lights. I don't need them.

But as I cruised the web it seemed that everyone was saying that you can either turn all the LED lights off or none, and that there was no selective service to pick and choose which LED notification to smite on the S6.

But I think I figured out how to block certain LEDs from winking at me.



I went to

'Settings,' then

'Sound and notification.'

Under there, I opened up 'App notifications.'