Autoplay Videos – Argh

I can read faster than I can watch a video.  There are numerous sites where the video automatically start playing – first the ad then the video.  I can read usually read an article in the 20 to 30 seconds duration of the advertisement.  However, if I try to read the article, the video seems to act like a little child saying “No, no watch me! Watch me!”

I have learned how to disable the auto play of videos.

Microsoft Edge:

  • Launch Microsoft Edge
  • Click the three dots in top right corner or press Alt+X
  • Click Settings
  • Click Advanced
  • Under Media autoplay select your preference from the drop down box.

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  • If you select Block, it will warn you “Some sites might not work as expected.”  This will prevent the videos from autoplaying.  You will need to click the video to play it.

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Chrome:

The Chrome browser settings did not have an option to turn off autoplay.  It is done on their “flags” page.

  • Launch Google Chrome
  • In the address bar type: chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy and press Enter.

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  • The flags screen will be displayed with Autoplay policy at the top of the screen.

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  • Under the dropdown list, select your preference.  To stop autoplay, select “Document User Activation is Required”.  The video on a website will not play unless it is clicked.

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  • Click “RELAUNCH NOW”

What I did not test was, if I was logged onto my Google or Microsoft account, if changing these settings would propagate across all devices.

 

Bye, Bye House!

I been neglecting my blog lately because at the beginning of April I made the last effort to sell my house. The house had been for sale since February 2015. We had two offers on the house, which both fell through. I had over 100 people come through the house. According to the realtor, the house needed updating. The wallpaper needed to go. I had the wallpaper removed from the bathrooms in March 2015.

I came to realize that most people were looking for the finished house they saw on HGTV or the DYI network. Currently, I am boycotting all home improvement shows because I refuse to do the cheaper stuff they show on TV. I also figured out why most home improvement shows like “open floor plans”. They say it is to be near the family. But, it is cheaper not to rebuild a wall. No wall, electrical is needed in the wall. Why to do think men wants a “man cave”? It is to get away from the family.

For 6 weeks, I: trimmed bushes, pick up limbs, wash windows and walls, touch up paint, called the handyman to replace rotted boards, painted the new boards and side of the house, repaired the steps, striped a post and refinished it, repaired the garage door (yes, the spring broke), painted over the wallpaper in the foyer, took the blinds off of the foyer door and painted, put window film on the foyer door windows, took the wallpaper board down in the bathroom and painted, and had three windows replaced because the seal was leaking.

Finally, another offer on the house. Thank God, I do not have to trim the holly bushes. But, I still needed to finish packing, get the furniture moved, and have the AC serviced.

Here are some of the final pictures of the house after I moved everything out.

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I do not believe that anything I did over the past few months made any difference in selling my house.  I believe that the right time to sell finally had arrived.  I hope the new owner are happy with the house.

Now I can do other things, like write in my blog about my new adventures.

 

Windows 10 – The Security Adventure

Windows 10 Users Account

During my exploration in the Microsoft Cortana, it prompted me to link my laptops  credentials with my Microsoft account.  I did.  No big deal.   I mainly only use this laptop when I am traveling, so I may want access to my Microsoft Apps from this device.  After the laptop was synced with the Microsoft Account, it prompted me to create a Pin.  Before I go through my experience of create and Pin and Picture password a little rant.

What I did not expect, once I linked the laptop to my Microsoft Account, it changed my background to this ugly yellow-gold background.  Looking at the Personalization settings (Right-click on desktop -> Personalization) under Themes -> Theme settings it had selected the Synced Theme.  Really, you just couldn’t keep the original theme?

What was even more unexpected?  Once synced, it changed my Windows 8.1 PC to the Synced Theme.  Really?  That is two PCs I had to change the Theme on.

Log on Credentials:

The current password to my laptop is my Microsoft Account’s password.  Lets add a Pin to the account.

Creating a Pin:

First lets ask Cortana to open the user account.  Nope, that didn’t work.  It opened Microsoft Edge Browser and did a search for user account.  To open user accounts select Start Button (Windows Icon) -> Settings -> Accounts -> Sign-in options.  Under Pin select Add.

Windows 10 Users Account Pin

Type in the Pin you would like to use.  It should be a 4 digit number.  I recommend not repeating a number or using a sequence number such as: “1111”, “1234”, “0000”, or “9876”.  Press OK.

I’ve locked my computer to test the Pin.  OK, I think I love this.  As soon as I typed in the last digit of the Pin, the computer unlocks.  I did not have to press the Enter key.  I know it is just one key.

Picture Password:

Now to setup a Picture Password.  This should be fun. From the Accounts/Sign-in Options select Add under Picture Password.

First it wants me to verify my account.  No problem, I will type in my Microsoft password.

Windows 10 Users Account Picture

Even though this is a nice picture, I think I want to use my own picture.  To change picture press the Choose picture button and find the picture you would like to use and press OK.  It will display the picture and you have the option to Use the picture or choose another.  I will be using the picture I found.  The next step, making the taps or gestures on the picture.

picture gesture 1 picture gesture 2

After I made my initial three gestures on the picture, the program prompted me to repeat the gestures.  Congratulation!  I have a picture password.  Let me lock the computer.

This is nice, but I think I like the Pin password better.  On the log-in screen, Windows 10 provides with the option of selecting what method you want to use to log-in: Picture, Password, or Pin.   You can select a different method and that will be the default method until you change the method.

Lock Screen:

If you scroll down on the Accounts/Sign-In options you will notice “Related settings”, under it there is “Lock screen”.  Let click on Lock screen.

I can select the Background for my Lock screen.  From the drop down list, I can either Windows spotlight, Picture, or Slideshow.  Under Picture, I can find a Picture on the device and use that for the lock screen.  Under Slideshow, I can select a directory or folder on the device and use all the pictures for the lock screen.  For this device, I will leave as the default.

The “+” under “Choose an app to show detailed status” let me select either None, Weather, Get Office, Calendar, or Xbox.

The “+” under “Choose apps to show quick status” has a few more options such as People, Alarms & Clock, Mail, and Store.

You do not have to select any, but I think I will select Weather for testing.

Screen Timeout Settings allows you to select when the screen will power off and the device will go to sleep.  It keep my settings from the before, so not changes there.

The Screen Saver Setting lets you specify what screen saver to use and how long the device is to wait with no activity before it locks.  By selecting Photos from the drop down list, you can tell it to show your photos.

I also recommend that you let Windows lock the device after a period of time.  This will help prevent unauthorized access to your device.  With the most innocent threat coming for friends and family thinking it would be funny to post something on your social media account a.k.a. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.

The adventure will continue….

Microsoft Edge Adventure

windows edge

Yesterday, I upgraded my little laptop (4GB Ram) to Windows 10.  Everything went smoothly, except it wanted to restart the laptop to finish an upgrade and the first link I click in the new Microsoft Edge browser, the screen went blank.  I did a hard shutdown (I pressed and held the power button until the laptop shutdown).  Now I ready to explore Microsoft’s Edge Browser.

Importing Favorites:

Today, when I clicked “Looking for your browser favorites?” Microsoft Edge opened a new tab with instructions on importing favorites.

Windows edge favorites

How to Import our Favorites into Microsoft Edge

Note: The words “More Action” is no where on the browser screen.  Just click the three periods “…”.  And, “Hub” is the three little lines (see image above, the pointer is on the lines.)  This process was done quickly – I had more favorites than I thought.

Exploring the Settings:

While I am in “Setting”, I might as well take a look around.

The “Favorite” bar is off by default.  Yay!  I hate the favorite bar.  Well, I hate most toolbars.  Google, Bing, ASK … I don’t like them, so I don’t use them..

The “Clear browsing data” is under Settings.  This option lets you specify the defaults for what you want to clear out when you select it from the Hub.

Advance Setting has the most interesting options.  Why is the “Home” button turned off by default?  After I turned it on, it prompted from a home site.   This is your decision.  If you want to drive Microsoft mad, set it to something not related to Microsoft.  Yes, I want it to block pop-ups.

“Use Adobe Flash Player” is turned on by default.  The flash player has been riddle recently with security holes.  For now, I think I will turn that off.  The other advance options I will leave those as the default from now.  I may come back later and change them.

Write on the Web:

I haven’t determine the benefits of this feature.  It may come is handy if someone is writing instructions.  Since the web is now our library, highlighting and taking notes may be a necessary.  But, when I was growing up, we were always instructed not to write in books.  To turn on “Write on the Web”, click the pencil/pen in the upper right hand corner.  In the top left, you have a pen, highlighter, eraser, notepad, and clip.  In the top right, you can save your changes and exit.

Windows edge write

I have seen this type of feature better.  Yes, it is a feature in some content management software.  The Microsoft’s Write on Web feature doesn’t have nearly has many options.  Maybe it is planned for a later upgrade.

Wait, the “Clip” feature maybe very handy.

Distraction-free Reading:

It appears that you must add something to your Reading List to use Distraction-free Reading.  Since I have a tablet for most of my reading needs, I will move on to Cortana.

Personal Assistant:

Cortana – This will be explored in a different article.

Search:

Is the most important aspect of a browser.  Let’s see how that functions.  By default, it is using Microsoft Bing.  After clicking on the “+” for a new tab, it said “Where to Next?” and showed some “Top sites”.

windows edge where to

I am only remotely interested in one of these sites, and have no interest in downloading the app on the Laptop.

For my test search I will use the term “disable Get Windows 10 icon” and I will compare the results to my desktop search with Bing using Internet Explorer 11 and Google using Chrome (latest version).

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Search using Microsoft Edge (Bing)

chrome

Search Using Chrome (Google)

Internet Explorer search

Search Using Internet Explorer (Bing)

There are some differences, but that is how the search engine handles the search and some other factors.  The performance seem adequate.  Other websites appear to display fine.  Such as, Facebook, Pinterest, and Amazon.

Should I dare click “Show my news feed?”  I don’t particularly like the newsfeed, let me see if I can customize it.

windows edge customize

Since I do not like any of those options, I will be changing it or using a different browser.  Under More Actions (“…”) -> Settings, the only options three options for a new tab: Top Site, News Feed, and Blank Page.

The adventure continues….

Windows 10 – The Upgrade Adventure

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OK, I am a geek.  I have one desktop (only because the other desktop power supply went out and decided to get a new desktop once Windows 10 came out instead of fixing it), one all-in-one PC, two laptops, and two Android tables.  Yes, I am a geek.  Oh, and one Android phone.  You are probably wondering how can you be a geek without any Apple devices.  Well, I think that makes me more of a geek.  You see, I never wanted to be tied to the Apple Store.  But, I am off track.

Starting today, I am upgrading my little pink laptop, the one I mainly used when I am traveling, to Windows 10.  Since, I normally only turn it only when travel, I never clicked the “Get Windows” icon to sign the laptop up.  I don’t know if I need to do that, but I did and waited for five days for Microsoft to notify me that it was ready.  I’ve could have upgraded it using other methods, but I wanted to use the same method as the non-technical users.

Laptop Specs:

  • Sony Viao – 3.3 lbs. (that is irreverent)
  • Process: AMD E-250
  • RAM: 4GB
  • 64-bit processor

See, little laptop!

After Microsoft notified me the upgrade was ready, I clicked “I am ready, go get it” or something like that.  Then it prompted me to either schedule it or upgrade now.  I selected to upgrade now.  Then it started working and working.  An odd thing happened.  I got the message box wanted to reboot my PC because and update was just installed.  Well, duh, that is what I am doing.   It would not let me select the delay option, the only option was to “Restart Now!”  I rebooted my laptop.

After the laptop rebooted, I restarted the upgrade.  And, this time it gave me the “License Agreement” which I read in it entirety (yeah, right!)  The first part of the upgrade took about an hour.  This was running of the wireless extender.

Upon completion of the initial install, it prompted me to log in and then provided me with the opportunity to customize the setup.  Even thought I click the customized icon, nothing happened (or I was too impatient), so I click the quick customize.  I was going with this option any way since the majority of the Windows users would be taking this option.  The setup took about 10 minutes to run.  Now we are ready for some fun.

The first thing I noticed, once the setup finished, was the desktop looked about the same except with this ugly black bar at the bottom.  The second thing noticed, was Adobe Acrobat wanting to install another update.  Adobe you are like a virus, but I will save that rant for another day.  But, first thing first…

No, Windows you can not share my Wi-Fi password.  This especially important for Windows not to share my password when I am using my phone as a Hotspot.   Clicked Windows Icon -> Settings -> Network/Internet -> Manage Wi-Fi setting -> then turn off “Connect to suggested hotspots” and “Connect to networks shared by my contacts”.

Lets look at the new Edge Browser.  Norton (security software) immediately doesn’t like it because it does not support extensions.  And, prompts me to change my default browser to Chrome or Internet Explorer.  Not now Norton, and don’t bug me again.

The Microsoft Edge Welcome shows some of it features, such as: “Write on the web”, “Read Distraction Free”, and “Your built in personal assistant.”  I will have to explore theses later.  First I will import my browser favorite by click the link “Looking for your browser favorite?”  The screen just went blank.  Waiting, waiting, waiting….  Hmmm, guess it time for a hard shutdown (maybe just a little too impatient.)

The Windows 10 Adventure will need to end here for the day.  More to come later.