Remove saved Web site data from my iPhone browser?

AskDaveTaylor - 2 hours 31 min ago

While it’s true that many Web sites sneakily store data on your computer or device when you’re browsing and using their site, it’s rarely more than a few kilobytes of space, so unlikely that’s a huge contributor to you running out of space on your iPhone 6. More likely is that some of the apps you have are storing huge amounts of data that appear as “Other” in your iTunes disk space usage indicator, something you can ascertain by checking out this tutorial: What’s “Other” and why is it using space on my iPhone?

Still, it’s always interesting to know what Web sites are leaving presents behind in your browser space, so let’s have a look.

The easiest way on your iPhone is to go to “Settings” in iOS 7 or iOS 8:

Look for “Safari”, as you can see at the bottom.

Tap on it and swipe down to find the following:

You can see that I suggest enabling “Do Not Track” and “Fraudulent Website Warning”, but what we want is at the very bottom, the “Advanced” link.

Tap on it. It’ll show you what’s up:

Tap on “Website Data” to reveal what sites are dropping information on your phone:

Conveniently organized by size, you can see that — whatever that is — is the biggest culprit with a fairly modest 291KB. In total, all of the combined website data is 1.6MB. Not much space even on the smallest mobile device.

To delete any of these, simply swipe to the left and a Delete link will appear:

Tap on “Delete” and that space has freed up. I’ll get rid of a number of these, though really, it’s all so tiny compared to my movies and apps. Still, when I’m done, here’s what it looks like:

From 1.6MB to 1.1MB. Not much savings, but that’s okay. At least know you know how to figure out what’s going on!

The post Remove saved Web site data from my iPhone browser? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

Is a Web site’s Adobe Flash update message legit?

AskDaveTaylor - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 11:13

I’m so impressed that you’re skeptical about these sort of things because if your Flash player needs an update, it’s the player itself that will pop up the update window, meaning it won’t be part of the Web page that has the content in question. Instead, I believe you’ve bumped into one of the newer forms of malware distribution, a very smart design that is predicated on us users blindly clicking “update” if we’re told something we’re running is out of date.

How can you tell? As always, pay attention to the URL. Where’s the message coming from? Where is it taking you after you click — though you should never click if there’s even the slightest doubt.

Let’s look at one I bumped into while reading an article on, a quite reputable Web site:

Looks legitimate, though there are a few things that made me instantly suspicious. First off, the pop-up window is part of the landing page, not coming out of the Flash player itself. There’s also some odd wording, like “Top Video Sites Require The Latest…” rather than something more like “This site has content that requires…”

Still, it’s the URL that was a big red flag. Look more closely at it:

“”. That’s really odd. The “.be” domain is Belgium, but more importantly, it’s not or similar, so that’s a major problem.

To confirm, look what you see when you go to that URL without all the odd stuff appended:

That’s definitely more than just a bit suspicious.

To learn more, I used the online whois service to look up the information associated with this particular domain and, well, it’s the capper:

Manfred might be a lovely person, but there’s no reason in the world why an Adobe Flash update would be served up by a Belgian Web site owned by someone in China.

It’s a scam. It’s a way for them to infect your computer. And it’s smart of you to be skeptical and avoid the trouble!

Remember, be careful out there.

The post Is a Web site’s Adobe Flash update message legit? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

An inbox that works for you

GoogleBlog - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 19:07
Today, we’re introducing something new. It’s called Inbox. Years in the making, Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it’s not Gmail: it’s a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters.

Email started simply as a way to send digital notes around the office. But fast-forward 30 years and with just the phone in your pocket, you can use email to contact virtually anyone in the world…from your best friend to the owner of that bagel shop you discovered last week.

With this evolution comes new challenges: we get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks—especially when we’re working on our phones. For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do—rather than helping us get those things done.

If this all sounds familiar, then Inbox is for you. Or more accurately, Inbox works for you. Here are some of the ways Inbox is at your service:

Bundles: stay organized automatically
Inbox expands upon the categories we introduced in Gmail last year, making it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, all your purchase receipts or bank statements are neatly grouped together so that you can quickly review and then swipe them out of the way. You can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you’d like to see grouped together.

Highlights: the important info at a glance
Inbox highlights the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn’t in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries. Highlights and Bundles work together to give you just the information you need at a glance.
Reminders, Assists, and Snooze: your to-do’s on your own terms
Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add your own Reminders, from picking up the dry cleaning to giving your parents a call. No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to.
A sampling of AssistsAnd speaking of to-do’s, Inbox helps you cross those off your list by providing Assists—handy pieces of information you may need to get the job done. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store’s phone number and tell you if it's open. Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.

Of course, not everything needs to be done right now. Whether you’re in an inconvenient place or simply need to focus on something else first, Inbox lets you Snooze away emails and Reminders. You can set them to come back at another time or when you get to a specific location, like your home or your office.

Get started with Inbox
Starting today, we’re sending out the first round of invitations to give Inbox a try, and each new user will be able to invite their friends. If Inbox can’t arrive soon enough for you, you can email us at to get an invitation as soon as more become available.

When you start using Inbox, you’ll quickly see that it doesn’t feel the same as Gmail—and that’s the point. Gmail’s still there for you, but Inbox is something new. It’s a better way to get back to what matters, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps

Cross-posted from the Official Gmail Blog
Categories: Technology

How do you add / install a WordPress plugin?

AskDaveTaylor - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 10:29

First off, congratulations for not just running WordPress, but for being game to try adding a plug-in to your site. Now the wrinkle: Not every plug-in you can install is good, not every one is safe and not every one is even benign. Some of them, for example, can break your theme or interfere with other themes, which is why it’s important to talk to other WordPressers to see what they’re running and to read the reviews at the plug-in archive on

But don’t panic! Let’s just take this step by step.

To start, since we’re going to install something that monkeys with the default editor you use to write new blog entries in the administrative backend of WordPress, let’s have a look at the standard editor widget, specifically the top of the window. It looks like this:

That should look familiar!

To install a new plug-in to WordPress, look on the left side for “Plug-Ins” on the admin bar. Move your cursor over it — at least in WordPress 4.0 — and a sub-menu pops out:

If you’re guessing that you choose “Add New”, well, you’re right!

Click on that and you’ll be shown a screen full of popular plug-ins. But we want to focus on the very top of that window, where it shows this:

Go ahead and type in the name of the plug-in you seek into the search box.

I’ll do the same, typing in “TinyMCE Advanced”. A few options are displayed, but here’s the one you want:

Note the number of downloads and the star rating. If you are poised to install a plug-in with few downloads and low ratings, think twice! Look for an alternative that’s more popular and higher rated!

In this case, 4.2 million downloads suggests it’s probably worth the effort. So click on “Install Now”.

It’ll ask if you really want to do so:

In this instance, I’m installing the plug-in on my Dave On Film blog, but yours will have your domain in the dialog box.

Sure this is what you want to do? Excellent. Click “OK”.

Now the plug-in’s code base will be downloaded and unpacked:

You should never see this fail, but if it does, definitely don’t proceed! Email your admin or hosting company for assistance.

In this instance, however, we got “Successfully installed”, so click on “Activate Plugin” to actually enable it:

Now it’s up and running, as you can see from the above entry in the Plug-Ins screen. If it had configuration options, they’d show up between the “Deactivate” and “Edit” options. Oh, and that “Edit” button? Never click on it. It shows you the actual source code and it’s incredibly easy to break things if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing!

Now that TinyMCE Advanced is installed, let’s see what it does:

Cool, that whole “File” “Edit” “Insert” row of options and menus shows up to give us considerably more editing capabilities. Definitely worth it.

That’s the story. I also recommend any time you add a plug-in that you poke around on your site making sure your pages still lay out properly, your forms work, etc. All good? Then you’re good to go!

The post How do you add / install a WordPress plugin? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

The Sticker UI Book - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 12:56

The Sticker UI Book is a UI design sketchbook that with templates (web, mobile, and storyboard) and UI element stickers, being produced by Jennifer Williams and Brandy Bora of Killer Inc. You can order one via their Kickstarter campaign which ends Oct 30 2014 7:44 AM PDT.

Categories: Technology

How do I update Microsoft Windows 8 Defender?

AskDaveTaylor - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 11:05

After years and years of leaving us Windows fans to suffer with third-party anti-virus and anti-malware programs of various levels of efficiency, Microsoft finally stepped up to the proverbial plate and included a surprisingly powerful and effective antivirus program with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 called Windows Defender. What’s amazing is how few people realize that it’s part of the OS, but that might be because they’ve been conditioned to think antivirus = third party. Or it might be because those same third party companies push aggressively to retain their market share.

In any case, Microsoft Windows 8 — “Win8″ — does its best to keep everything updated on your computer and it should also be updating your virus definitions, etc, for Windows Defender too, but sometimes that doesn’t seem to work. No worries, here’s how to force an update with Windows Defender itself.

First, launch the program. The easiest way is to use the Charms Bar and search for “Windows defender”:

There it is.

Click on it — or just press RETURN when it’s highlighted. The program launches.

Uh oh. My virus and spyware definitions are 51 days old, and I haven’t scanned my PC since then either. Not good!

I can opt to scan now, but since my virus definitions are woefully out of date — and 51 days is forever in virus terms — it’s kind of pointless.

Instead, click on the “Update” tab.

You can probably guess. Click on “Update”.

It takes a while to download and install, so you’ll see this:

Then eventually you’ll see this:

Now while that’s going on, I suggest you click on the “Settings” tab and make sure you actually have Windows Defender, well, defending you:

As you can imagine, I strongly recommend you enable “turn on real-time protection”. So do so. Then click “Save changes”.

By this point, hopefully the download, install update is done. Find out, click back on the “Update” tab:

That’s better. You always want to see “Up to date” on those virus and spyware definitions.

Now go run a proper scan and get a cup of tea while you wait. It’s time well spent!

The post How do I update Microsoft Windows 8 Defender? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

Can I remove a spammy comment on Instagram?

AskDaveTaylor - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 11:42

If you’re an avid Instagrammer then I expect you’re already following me too, but just in case, you can find me on Instagram — and I’m a big fan of the service too — as d1taylor on Instagram and see the wide range of photos I post each week.

Back to topic, however! Yes, you’re right that however much you’d like to think of your Instagram photos as being shared with just the people who follow you, the fact is that they’re generally visible to the whole world if you don’t have a closed account. Which means that sometimes deadbeats, scammers and other folk leave comments that are rude, inappropriate or you just don’t like.

Fortunately, you can delete comments on your pictures, though it’s not at all obvious how to do so.

To start, here are the notifications from a few recent photos I posted on Instagram. This is all on the iPhone app, but the Android app works quite similarly:

Notice that second entry, from gabrielleonline. I have no idea who that is, but seriously “Teenage Love Spell”? Ugh. Totally unrelated.

To delete it from the photo of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition box I posted, however, involves jumping through some hoops.

To start, go to the photo in question and you’ll see the comments:

At this point you might think you can delete the offending comment but you cannot.

To do so, tap on “Comment” as if you were going to leave a new comment of your own.

Now you’ll see this:

You don’t want to add a comment, however, you want to swipe your finger right-to-left on top of the offending comment.

Magically an option appears:

Well that’s interesting!

Turns out the arrow option just removes the trash icon, which is a bit weird as you’d think it did something more interesting. Maybe it’s a UI element in progress?

In any case, tap on the red button with the tiny white trashcan…

There ya go. You can report them as a spammer or for hate comments if you have something like that, or you can more benignly just tap on “Delete” to delete the comment.

That’s it. You’re done.

The post Can I remove a spammy comment on Instagram? appeared first on Ask Dave Taylor.

Categories: Technology

Through the Google lens: search trends October 17-23

GoogleBlog - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 14:18
So what’s the word on the (internet) street these days? Search trends has you covered with the latest news that had everyone talking this past week.

The hard goodbye
This week, searchers paid their respects to legendary clothing designer Oscar de La Renta, who he passed away on Monday at the age of 82. Once called “The Sultan of Suave,” De la Renta was known for evening gowns that regularly graced the red carpets of Hollywood–and the closets of the White House. From Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, de la Renta dressed every First Lady since the 1960s.

Speaking of Washington bigwigs, we also said goodbye to Ben Bradlee, storied editor of The Washington Post. Bradlee is remembered for his courageous journalism; during his tenure as editor of the Post, the outlet published the “Pentagon Papers” and reported on the Watergate Scandal. Always chasing a good story, Bradlee coined the term “mego” (“my eyes glaze over”) for any reporting that bored him—unknowingly foreshadowing Internet-speak.

Is that you Betty Sue?
Back from a long career hiatus, Renee Zellweger stepped back into the spotlight in L.A. and came out with a bang—or shall we say, a new look. People were shocked to see Zellweger… looking a bit different from what they remember. The star’s reemergence caused a spike in searches for her hit movie Bridget Jones’s Diary (that was her, right? ) But Zellweger is taking the stares and comments in stride, stating she’s happy that she looks different because she’s living a happier and more fulfilling life—no shame in your game, Renee–whatever makes you feel complete.

Gone in sixty seconds
If you blinked, you already missed this trend. Toys “R” Us decided to pull a line of Breaking Bad action figures after an online petition asking the store to stop selling the toys received more than 9,000 signatures. So what was all the hoopla about? Susan Schrivjer, the Florida mom who started the petition, felt the dolls–which came with a plastic sack of cash and mock drugs—deviated from the company’s family values. Toys “R” Us agreed and put the figures on an “indefinite sabbatical”–Walter White-style.

Crime and Punishment
It was a week of crime on the trends charts as people were searching for more information about a gunman who shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a soldier of the Canadian army, at Ottawa's National War Memorial. This was the latest assault on a member of the Canadian armed forces in recent times and has stirred debate about extremism in the West.

...As the Black Eyed Peas would say
With the World Series underway, people were ready to scream and shout for their favorite team. Searches for the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals hit a high as the two teams began their battle for The Commissioner's Trophy. And that’s not the only party going on these days. Diwali, a Hindu holiday also known as the “Festival of Lights,” started this past Tuesday. The celebrations will continue until this Saturday—so you still have time to check out photos of the stunning light displays around the world.

Tip of the week
First there was Angry Birds, then there was Candy Crush, which was swiftly followed by Flappy Bird–it’s kind of hard to stay on top of the latest video game trends. Now when you search for video games on Google, a panel will appear with all the info you need to stay in the know.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, Communications Associate, who searched for [designer for the stars] and [play ball].

Categories: Technology

Wed, 12/31/1969 - 19:00

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