Charge your iPhone in less time & other great tips

Yes, you’re going to get a iPhone 6s pretty much immediately.  Me too.  But let’s at least go into it knowing a few more tricks that your current iPhone already has up its sleeve…


1. Put your phone in Airplane mode while charging to significantly cut down on charging time.

Swipe up from the bottom of your phone and tap the airplane icon to go into airplane mode.  This is great if you need quickly charge. It makes the charging time “fly” by — see what we did there?

2. Give your phone a quick jiggle to fix a mistake.

While writing an email, text, or editing a photo, shake your phone if you make a mistake and get this little guy prompting you to undo what you just did.  Note: Shaking harder will not un-send a text you didn’t mean to send.

3. Turn your phone sideways for a more detailed calendar

Seriously the easiest tip ever.  Just turn your phone sideways and get a better view of your calendar. But since you don’t use your calendar consistently, it’s just a better view of dates for you to squint at and say “I know something is happening on the 15th…..what was it again???”

4. View email drafts with one tap

Just tap and hold the Compose button in your email application to quickly access your drafts.  We have rewritten many an email because we didn’t want to take the laborious steps of finding the draft.  So this one is a personal favorite.

5. Set a timer for music or audiobooks to automatically turn off

This one is great.  Get your audio playing (music, audiobooks, whatever) then set a timer in the Clock app.  Under the “When Timer Ends” section, instead of choosing a sound, choose Stop Playing. That’s it!  Now you can take a nap while listening to your most guilty pleasure playlist (Christopher Cross, Spice Girls, Justin Bieber, and the like) and make sure it turns off before anyone comes home to hear it!  Thanks iPhone!


Did we miss any other life saving tips?


iPhone 6s shortlist of new features

There are tons of rumors about what’s in store for the new iPhone being announced by Apple tomorrow.  Here’s the shortlist you care about from truly reliable sources…


Pricing structure will stay the same

$199, $299, etc…


New Color: Rose Gold


Improved Camera

12 Megapixels!  Compared to 8 in the current 6 & 6 Plus.


Force Touch

This adds one more dimension to your interaction with your phone.  Now the force you use when touching the display will have a different impact on your experience.  Imagine playing a game and speeding up the harder you press the throttle…delete buttons can now require a little more force so they’re not accidentally tapped, and maybe even protect your privacy by requiring passcodes that detect how hard you’re pressing on the screen!


A little thicker — but not really

0.2mm thicker to be exact.  Pretty much unnoticeable.


There will of course be much more – but these are the highlights to expect.  We’ll be following the Apple Event tomorrow, 9/9/15, for the official announcements…Along with the rest of the world!


Google’s many logos

Google changes their logo the way your doctor’s office changes the magazines in the waiting room.  They’re different, but not really.

Here they are…in all of their primary color glory.


















And there you have it.  The many (similar) faces of Google.  What do you think of this latest one?

Codd’s 12 Rules

Without Edgar F. Codd, who knows where modern databases would be.  You might not realize that just about everything these days is driven by a database (Facebook, for example, is just a really pretty database.)  So, Edgar F. Codd, we salute you.  And your mustache.


Here are Codd’s 12 Rules of a relational database.  All 13 are still relevant today (no, that’s not a typo).


Rule 0: The Foundation rule:

A relational database management system must manage its stored data using only its relational capabilities. The system must qualify as relational, as a database, and as a management system. For a system to qualify as a relational database management system (RDBMS), that system must use its relational facilities (exclusively) to manage the database.

Rule 1: The information rule:

All information in a relational database (including table and column names) is represented in only one way, namely as a value in a table.

Rule 2: The guaranteed access rule:

All data must be accessible. This rule is essentially a restatement of the fundamental requirement for primary keys. It says that every individual scalar value in the database must be logically addressable by specifying the name of the containing table, the name of the containing column and the primary key value of the containing row.

Rule 3: Systematic treatment of null values:

The DBMS must allow each field to remain null (or empty). Specifically, it must support a representation of “missing information and inapplicable information” that is systematic, distinct from all regular values (for example, “distinct from zero or any other number”, in the case of numeric values), and independent of data type. It is also implied that such representations must be manipulated by the DBMS in a systematic way.

Rule 4: Active online catalog based on the relational model:

The system must support an online, inline, relational catalog that is accessible to authorized users by means of their regular query language. That is, users must be able to access the database’s structure (catalog) using the same query language that they use to access the database’s data.

Rule 5: The comprehensive data sublanguage rule:

The system must support at least one relational language that

  1. Has a linear syntax
  2. Can be used both interactively and within application programs,
  3. Supports data definition operations (including view definitions), data manipulation operations (update as well as retrieval), security and integrity constraints, and transaction management operations (begin, commit, and rollback).

Rule 6: The view updating rule:

All views that are theoretically updatable must be updatable by the system.

Rule 7: High-level insert, update, and delete:

The system must support set-at-a-time insertupdate, and delete operators. This means that data can be retrieved from a relational database in sets constructed of data from multiple rows and/or multiple tables. This rule states that insert, update, and delete operations should be supported for any retrievable set rather than just for a single row in a single table.

Rule 8: Physical data independence:

Changes to the physical level (how the data is stored, whether in arrays or linked lists etc.) must not require a change to an application based on the structure.

Rule 9: Logical data independence:

Changes to the logical level (tables, columns, rows, and so on) must not require a change to an application based on the structure. Logical data independence is more difficult to achieve than physical data independence.

Rule 10: Integrity independence:

Integrity constraints must be specified separately from application programs and stored in the catalog. It must be possible to change such constraints as and when appropriate without unnecessarily affecting existing applications.

Rule 11: Distribution independence:

The distribution of portions of the database to various locations should be invisible to users of the database. Existing applications should continue to operate successfully:

  1. when a distributed version of the DBMS is first introduced; and
  2. when existing distributed data are redistributed around the system.

Rule 12: The nonsubversion rule:

If the system provides a low-level (record-at-a-time) interface, then that interface cannot be used to subvert the system, for example, bypassing a relational security or integrity constraint.

Thank you Wikipedia!!!

Nerd Destinations

We rounded up the best of the best Nerd destinations.  Pause Star Wars, put your chocolate milk down, and stop reminiscing about the last time you totally corrected someone that didn’t know what they were talking about — and plan your next vacation RIGHT NOW.


1) Middle Earth

Hop a flight to New Zealand.  Say hello to Xena the Warrior Princess while you’re there.  Then saddle up on a horse and head to Matamata in New Zealand’s Waikato district (that’s still how they get around in New Zealand, right?)  Once you’re there, be the first person to ask a local if they’ve seen Gandalf recently.  That one is sure to kill!



2) The Great Hall (Hogwarts Hall)

On your way back from Middle Earth, pop into Christ Church, Oxford and see the hall where Harry and his pals hatched plans to defeat He Who Must Not Be Named.  You know, Voldemort.  This church/college was established in 1546 and is steeped in old world tradition.  Sounds like a good thing right?  Well – the tradition was so strong that women could not attend the college until 1978!  Hermione scoffs!




3) District 12

So, the enchanting setting of Middle Earth is in New Zealand.  The architectural marvel that doubled as the Great Hall is in Oxford.  What does the good old U.S.A. get?  District 12.  Yup.  When the Hunger Games needed to bring to life a location that was basically barely passable as being suitable for human habitation, they didn’t even have to get on a plane.  Henry River Mill Village in North Carolina fit the bill pretty much as is.  Over the years this town was destroyed by floods, a depression, fires, and more.  Every time it tried to eek back into existence, it was wrestled back down.  Apparently the odds just weren’t ever in its favor.




4) Luke Skywalker’s home on Tatooine

Ok, let’s make this trip simple:

Step 1) Go to Tunisia.

Step 2) Locate the Sidi Driss Hotel in Matmata.

Step 3) Have someone take a picture of you staring thoughtfully into the sky (get both suns in the picture if you can.)

Step 4) Leave Tunisia.




5) Nintendo World Store

Ok – we deviated from the movie settings for this last one – but it HAS to be on the list.  You can think whatever you want about Nintendo now, but the reality is, they created an industry.  Some of the most recognizable characters in history are Nintendo characters.  Not video game history.  ALL history.  It’s of course located in Rockefeller Center in New York – where else!?  Ok, maybe Japan would have made sense.  But other than Japan, where else!?

10,000 Square feet of games, merchandise, and most importantly – tons of people Nerding just as hard as you about all that stuff!  Make the trek.  This one is too good to miss.

Sorry – did you say something?  Oh, how did we leave that one out?  Well you see, the list is 5 places long and the place you just mentioned was actually #6.  Tell us about it in the comments though!

DON’T be Kirk Hammett! Backup your data!

Kirk hammett – lead guitarist for metallica – lost years worth of song ideas because he didn’t back up!

don’t be kirk hammett!


Yep, this really happened.  Kirk Hammett actually said that one of the reason for the LONG delay between albums is because he lost his phone where he recorded song ideas and never backed anything up.

Do we really even need to write a paragraph on the importance of backing up?  I don’t think so.  So let’s just jump right into some easy solutions & explanations to keep you up and running.


iCloud is Apple’s solution to keep all of your Apple devices in sync.  It automatically backs up things like App Store purchases, photos, documents, contacts and more and makes them available to all of your other Apple devices.  If you want to work on a document from your computer then pick up where you left off later on your iPad, then iCloud is your solution.


Who should use it: People that exclusively use Apple products and want all of them to be in sync with each other.

Who should not use it: People that use no or few Apple products and are looking for traditional backup of files without any sort of syncing.

Get started here:



Picturelife is for backing up photos and video only.  But while it is limited to only photos and videos, it handles those extremely well.  A subscription with Picturelife will cost just a few dollars a month, and for that you get a service that will automatically backup every picture and video you capture on every device you have.  You can access them anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.  Their website and app interfaces are great for viewing, editing & sharing all of your photos & videos.  You can even search your library using English search terms – i.e. “videos in Los Angeles”.  The backup is automatic & fast.

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2_28_57 PM

I had a personal experience with Picturelife that sold me.  I was on vacation and at the beach.  I NEVER have my phone on me while I’m at the beach so it doesn’t accidentally go in the water.  But I was done for the day and relaxing, just taking in the sun (truth be told – I have 4 children so that “relaxing” part is a complete lie.)  Anyway, like I said, I’m relaxing in the sun without a care in the world, flipping through my phone and taking pictures.  I know that we’re about to leave so I put it in my pocket.  A few minutes later I hear my son calling me.  He’s pointing to his inflatable Killer Whale that has floated out into the ocean.  Letting it float out to sea would have been easy.  Watching my son as it floated out to sea would not!  So I jump in and swim after the whale.  It was a successful rescue.  But there was one casualty – my phone.  It.  Was.  Dead.  Completely dead.  After a mile long swim out into the deep sea (again, another huge exaggeration) my phone just gave up.  But here’s where the story gets good…  After we got back to the hotel and I logged into, I saw the pictures I took just minutes before jumping into the water.  In the few minutes between taking the pictures and my phone being submerged in the ocean, Picturelife had already grabbed them!  So while I lost the phone, my pictures were safe & sound.  That’s the day Picturelife hooked me (get it — “hooked”, like fishing — fish — ocean — get it?)

Who should use it: People that are only concerned with ensuring that their pictures and videos are never lost.

Who should not use it: People looking for a full backup solution beyond pictures and videos.

Get started here:

External Hard Drive

The options for hard drives are endless here.  You can get huge capacity and fast speeds now for relatively reasonable costs.  And this is probably one of the most straight forward ways to completely backup the entire hard drive of your computer exactly as is.  In fact, most operating systems (Windows & OSX) have software that will automatically handle the backup process for you if you keep the hard drive connected.  And while this is a very traditional form of backup and it will backup everything you have, it does have some significant limitations.

  1. Unless you have a home network setup, the hard drive will only backup computer it is connected to.
  2. Setting one up to backup from a mobile device can get tricky and doesn’t always work as expected.
  3. It’s still a physical device in your home.  So if the disaster that requires you to revert to a backup also took out your hard drive, you’re out of luck.


In general, external hard drives are a great supplement or Plan B to another backup solution.

Who should use it: More technically savvy people that know exactly what they want backed up – and how.  Also people that want extremely fast and easy access to their backed up files without actually having to completely revert to a backup of everything.

Who should not use it: People that want an automated one-stop-shop for having everything secure and backed up off line where nothing (almost nothing) can hurt it.

Get started here:

There are endless solutions for backing up your important files.  These are just a few of the different types of backup solutions available.  Your best bet is finding one you find easy to jump into and maintain – because even the best backup solution doesn’t mean anything if you don’t use it consistently.

Friends don’t let friends lose their files.  So, save a file, share this article.  And tell us how you protect your files!