Disable notifications for apps in Windows 8

Notifications are handy to let you know something like when you have a new email. But if you’re like me, you disable Facebook notifications because otherwise you’d get pop ups all the time (using the Facebook Touch app or others available). Same goes for Twitter. I don’t have just a few friends on my Twitter feed, I follow thousands, and several hundred people follow me! So I like to

From the Start Screen, bring up the Charms Bar by placing the mouse in the upper or lower right corner of the screen – on a touch device, swipe in from the right edge toward the center of the screen. Then click the Settings gear icon, then Change PC Settings at the bottom. Click on Notifications on the left, then toggle notifications on or off – altogether, or app-by-app.

Will #XboxReveal mention Windows 8?

Tuesdays are my tech articles, and I admit I’m behind on a few articles over the last few days, but I had to pop in and remind people that the #XboxReveal is today. You’ll be able to watch it live at Xbox.com/Hub. I’m also interested to see what Microsoft does.

There will be a new console, but I’m almost wishing they would blow people’s minds and say no box! “Xbox” should become a service on the PC, comparable to Steam. And I don’t mean the “Xbox for Windows” games that we see in the Windows 8 Store, but really an environment that you load in to, much like the Games app, but from there it exists as its own platform, and any game available on the console, is available on the PC. Okay, I highly doubt that will happen, but there needs to be some kind of seamless integration among the Windows 8/RT, Windows Phone, and Xbox platforms – and I hope they give some great detail on that today. E3, next month, June 10th, will talk about the games. Today? I’m expecting some general media and entertainment information.

I plan on having some follow up comments on this later today or tonight, and I promise I’ll bring back some regular posts to the website, but I’ve had some hectic days, lately, and I don’t expect things to calm down – but I assure you, I’ll make time for you folks!

Don't give Facebook your phone number

Facebook REALLY wants your phone number. They’ve encouraged you to add it for years, but the latest round of “pop ups” at the top of the page want to remind you that it’s important for your security. I never did it, because in the early days, your phone number was visible to anyone who is your friend. And while you might be “Facebook friends” – it doesn’t necessarily mean you want that person to be able to call or text you. Having your number on Facebook leaves the potential for them to be able to provide it to their advertisers. And now, if you don’t have your permissions set just right, then just by playing a game, filling in a survey, or liking a page, you run the risk of sharing or publishing your phone number with companies you did not intend to give that information to.

To ignore Facebook’s latest plea, and close that annoying banner at the top of the page, simply click the “X” that is hiding out on the left side of the banner (see the picture above). We’re used to looking for the “close” / “X” icons in the right corner, so it’s easy to overlook it. But for now, just click the “X” in the banner at the top of the page, and don’t give in to Facebook asking for your number. They don’t need it. It’s just another data point they can use to find out your location based on area code, your carrier based on the number, and the aforementioned “just giving your number away.”

How to clean up viruses, 2013 (4th edition)

I first wrote an article about malware in 2009. It was for a government funded organization and spread across five counties in Pennsylvania. It has been updated annually since then with my best suggestions. The previous version is still available here, but this year I wanted to do something a little more direct. I have included the usual screenshots of fake programs you should look out for, but on top of that, I wanted to give you some additional programs that I like to use, including at least one I didn’t mention back when I talked about my IT Toolkit.

First, Shut your computer down. You heard me. Continue reading “How to clean up viruses, 2013 (4th edition)”