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Extend Power During Outages

When the power goes out and you don’t have your phone and/or battery packs charged, there are a few things you can do to extend your phone’s battery. Turn on low power mode, turn down the screen brightness, turn off location services and Hey Siri or Hey Google, and close all apps you don’t need. And just do less on the phone.


You may want to limit what it tracks about you and your listening habits and shares with third parties. Most of those changes have to be made via Spotify’s web- site. Log in and go to Account, Edit profile to turn off “Share my registration data with Spotify’s content providers for marketing purposes.” Save changes and go to Account, Privacy settings to turn off “Process my personal data for tailored ads” and “Process my Facebook data.” You’ll still get ads, just not personalized ones. You may also want to hide your playlists; they are public by default. Also, there is a private listening mode, but you’ll have to turn it on each time.


App Volume Annoyingly, you can’t adjust the volume on Macs for individ- ual apps to avoid loud alerts while blasting music. A free third party app, Background- Music (github.com/kyleneideck/Back- groundMusic), lets you set volume levels for each app running on macOS. The app puts an icon in the menu bar that, when clicked, displays the volume levels for various apps, which can be easily adjusted.

Better Searching

Google can search so many things that you have to use modifiers to improve results. You may know that quote marks around words will return exactly that phrase. If you find your term results include word(s) you don’t want, put a minus sign in front of that word(s) in the search box. You can include synonyms for terms by putting
a tilde (~) in front of that term. I often use site:xyz.com (for example, “site:fairview- towncrier.com”) at the start of my search terms to search a site whose own search option may not work as well. And remember that the Google search site has tabs for refining your search to images, maps and books; and under the tools tab you can refine your results to recently published pages.


On October 5, Windows 11 rolls out, and nobody seems to care. At least not those I’ve talked to. Don’t worry about upgrading next year; you have until October 2025, with continued security updates from Microsoft. And I will stop thinking I have to answer questions about Windows 11.

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