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New printer, Google targeted ads, Windows 10 fixes

Choosing a new printer? It might be time to ask some questions. Is a true photo printer what you really need when taking a thumb drive of photos to a local photo printer or drug store is cheaper than buying special paper and all those color ink cartridges? Or, maybe you can make do with black and white using a monochrome laser printer (now often less then $100) that does not have all the extra parts for scanning that you never do. Any kind of printer you get now should have networking built-in, ideally Ethernet cable and WiFi, and support for AirPrint for printing from iPads and iPhones.

Consider opting out of Google’s targeted ads, especially if you stay logged into your Google account all the time. Google likes to target ads, but you may not want Google marketing to you based on what you watch on YouTube or which terms you search on. Go to google.com/settings/ads and you can change the slider to off for ads delivered while logged in or for other sites that use Google ads. While checking your ad settings, take a little time to poke around your other personal information settings, just be curious what you can control.

There are times with the iOS App Store just hangs and won’t show new updates. You can force it to refresh by tapping ten times any of the five buttons along the bottom of the store screen. After the screen blanks for a few panicking seconds the store should reload correctly and show updates.

Older versions of IE, Internet Explorer versions 8, 9, and 10, have been “killed” off by Microsoft as of mid-January. This means that Windows Vista users pretty much have to use Firefox or Chrome to get an up-to-date and more secure web browser, Microsoft won’t be helping you out with security fixes.

Just a few more fixes in Windows 10 you should consider doing, (that is until next month). You can stop Windows 10 from automatically restarting after updates, click the Windows button (lower left of screen), Settings, Windows Update, Advanced Options, then click on the drop down at the top to see and then click on “Notify to schedule restart”. And, if you feel that Windows 10 may be uninstalling software behind your back, you may not be crazy. There have been reports of legitimate software being removed during some Windows updates, including quite a few popular free antivirus programs. The only notice you will get is upon the next restart of your computer, Microsoft will present a list of “incompatible” or removed software. Miss that list and you will only notice it when you go looking.

Notifications on your smartphone and within OS X and Windows 10 can become annoying. So, take some time to dig into adjusting which apps or programs will actually pop up those notifications. Although each operating system handles notifications slightly differently, look for settings that pertain to specific apps and how those apps get to attract your attention when you are doing something else. You will become less annoyed, more peaceful, and the world will look sunny again.