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Ads & Cameras

Ad blockers in your web browser accomplish three goals: reducing ad clutter; cutting down on malicious ads trying to inject malware; and speeding up the overall loading of many ad-heavy websites. And now, the FBI is recommending the use of ad blockers to reduce the chance of ads impersonating brands. None are perfect, but one I like is uBlock Origin (ublockorigin.com).

If the camera on a smartphone is important to you, you might want to try a blind camera test at vote.mkbhd.com, which may help you avoid brand bias. It may take a bit of time to go through the proffered photos; you will feel like you’re at the eye doctor choosing between two images over and over. Make sure your computer is bright and not in night mode. The test reviews 16 of what are commonly viewed as the best smartphone cameras.

On iPhones and iPads with the latest iOS, you can select multiple items by swiping down with two fingers. Then you can delete, move or do other actions. You won’t have to do it item by item.

Command-Q or Control-Q are two very quick ways to quit any application on Macs or PCs, respectively. There are other keyboard shortcuts you might want to learn to keep your fingers on the keyboard and not moving between the mouse/ trackpad and your keys.

Windows loves to offer suggestions that seem like ads, and there are settings you might want to turn off. Open Settings (click the start menu icon, then the gear icon or Settings.) Find and click on System, then Notifications and actions, then uncheck the first three options, or turn off “Get notifications from apps.” While you are in Settings, go back to the Home for Settings, go to Privacy, and take a look at which options are turned on and think about what you might want to turn off. One more thing to turn off is News and interests that you mouse over in the lower right of the taskbar. Right-click the taskbar and select News and interests > Turn off.

YouTube has many great videos, some even with decent transcriptions. But their automatic transcription may not display in a way you like. You can generate or show those transcripts more easily at youtubetranscript.com.

You can prevent weird or unasked-for pictures from showing up on your iPhone by making sure that Airdrop is either turned off or at least not set to receive from everyone. Go into Settings, find and tap on General, then Airdrop. Set it to off or “Contacts only” to be safer.

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