Friday, September 20, 2013

LinkedIn Shares E-mails

LinkedIn is essentially the Facebook for business. It is a social network designed around business relationships.

But those with whom we do business and those with whom we want to interact further are not always the same. You might have a colleague with whom you're happy to discuss business matters on the site (or app) but don't want them to have your e-mail address. You know the guy. You might be the guy. Maybe I'm that guy?

Well, tough!

If you're connected through LinkedIn then they can get to your e-mail by exporting their contacts. The export function provides the user with a nice list of user names and e-mails in .csv format that can then be imported into any number of programs.

To get the .csv file:

  • Under NETWORK select CONTACTS
  • On the bottom right of the page is a link to EXPORT CONTACTS
  • This will take you to a new page where you can select format (.csv is the default and works for this application)  and then EXPORT (you may go through a CAPTCHA page and if so, verify).
  • A file will drop on your desktop that you can open with Excel (or equivalent) and read off the e-mails in plain text (you might have to give permissions in IE if you're stuck using IE).

Not cool!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Apple iOS7 Vs The Otterbox Defender

Many pundits complain about the amount of time Apple spends on the design and slimming of iPhones as users immediately put those slim, pretty phones in big, clunky cases. The big, clunky case of choice for many (myself included) is the Otterbox Defender. My son does not get a phone unless it fits in an Otterbox (phone, pad). I am a long time fan of the product and know that they've saved my electronics more than a few times.

Apple released iOS7 yesterday to the general public. A welcome update with many nuances we users are learning. The new OS includes three new significant swipe commands. They are:

  1. Swipe down to access Notifications
  2. Swipe up to access the Control Center (frequently used features), and
  3. Swipe from the middle and pull down to access Spotlight (yes, that's where they've hidden it).

However, after updating my Otterbox Defender clad iPhone 5 so that it runs the new iOS7 yesterday, I find, along with many other dissatisfied owners, that the the Control Center cannot be accessed. The large, hard plastic surround for the button limits access to the part of the screen required to activate the Control Center.

And Otterboxes response is less than useful. Users on the Macrumors Forum have reported that the official response from Kendra was "I am very sorry that you are having trouble accessing your iOS7 software. I recommend that you contact Apple and make them aware of the issue. I am very sorry for this inconvenience. Thank you for your time."

Not what I'd expect from a company selling a $60 case! And of course, the issue is not mentioned on their web site and they are still advertising that the Otterbox Defender works with the iPhone 5.

Edit 10-28-13: It seems that Apple listened and fixed the issue, now allowing swipes from the left side of the lower screen. Thanks to Anonymous (no, not that Anonymous, they have bigger fish to fry) for notifying me of the fix.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Free iOS VPN from TouchVPN

It's been a while. I haven't had much to say recently and rather than publish noise, I kept quiet. But I wanted to share this information so here goes....

You've seen that option in your settings and are wondering what exactly is a VPN and do you need one. A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. Typically this means that you will have the ability to access your network over the internet with some level of security. Great if you work at a multinational or university who doesn't want to share secrets.

But why do I need a VPN on my iPhone? I don't need to access secret data on my work computer on my phone. Is there anything there for me?

Well, yes. According the the TouchVPN web site, "Everyone Need VPN". To paraphrase their content, VPN has a number of benefits to the average mobile user.
  • Web Surfing Anonymously - users can browse the internet anonymously even when using public Wi-Fi hotspots or through your cell provider.
  • Enhanced Safety and Security - data is encrypted through the VPN. Well, as long as you trust the company providing the VPN service*.
  • Unblock Websites & Bypass Web Filters - VPN has servers in the UK and US and becomes an efficient way to unblock region-restricted sites that allow access from those countries (I'm looking at you BBC).
  • Hiding your IP address - VPN replaces your local ISP's IP address with the VPN public IP. All websites you visited will only know the VPN IP intead of your real IP address.
Possibly the most well known public VPN (I love that oxymoron) is Hotspot Shield but their service is not free. If you are too cheap to pay for their excellent service (hey, we can smell our own), try TouchVPN.

Their web site provides adequate details on how to connect through their UK-based or US-based VPN. The US-based VPN is pretty fast but the UK-based VPN is slow (so no BBC on my iPhone, still have to rely on Netshade on my Mac).

*Do I trust TouchVPN? I did a lot of searching to find an answer to this question before I decided to write this post. Their server is out of a small town just outside Wichita, Kansas. They are a relatively new company but all the buzz seems positive. Scamadvisor gives it a trustworthy rating (do I trust Scamadvisor?).

**In researching this post I ran across Blogger Jin's web site that lists 21 free alternatives. You might prefer the service from one of the alternative sites he lists.