Zoom In! How to Increase Text Size in your Browser

I am re-posting this Wicked Cool blog from 2008 because I find that, as I age, I need assistance with reading the "fine print".  You can test the instructions while reading the post.  Happy New Year. Heidi O.

Tired of squinting at websites with too-small text?  Use one of these easy techniques to make the text BIGGER, smaller or re-set the page to "normal size".  Works on most websites:

Ctrl and Mouse Scroll-Wheel

If you have a scroll-wheel mouse, hold down the Ctrl key and spin the mouse-wheel.

  • Works in both Firefox and Chrome.
  • Also works in Adobe Reader and the Adobe Reader browser plug-in.
  • Different browsers may vary in which direction you have to scroll for larger or smaller text.

Ctrl and +, Ctrl and -, Ctrl and 0

Hold down the Ctrl key and hit the + key at the same time.  More than once makes it bigger.  Use Ctrl and - for smaller text, or Ctrl and 0 to return to normal size.

  • Works in Firefox and Chrome.

 

If you don't want to use these options, there are per browser settings you can modify.

  • In the Firefox toolbar, select View then Zoom to see and set your options.
  • In Chrome, go to the upper right corner and click on the "hamburger" or the "three dots". The Zoom option is in this menu and you can set the percentage or choose Full Screen from here.

 

Where's Santa?

Radar

image © 2014 Nelson L., Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Just for fun I thought I'd try to find a TechBits topic that was in the holiday spirit.

After a bit of creative searching, I was surprised to find that we can track Santa Claus using radar, heat-seekers and high definition spy plane cameras. Starting on Christmas Eve, we can even monitor these trackers in real time using a web browser.

Have fun at www.noradsanta.org/. The navigation controls are not those of a typical website, but they're simple enough; use the left hand menu buttons and look for the Next, Previous and Close buttons presented as icons.

2017 Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference

Looking for a great January conference you can attend from your warm office while drinking hot chocolate and watching the cold winds blow?

The Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference is a state-wide virtual conference developed by the Nicolet Federated Library System and supported by 15 other library systems in Wisconsin. Several 60-minute web presentations focusing on public libraries will be given over three blustery days in January. This year it is being held January 24-26. Some of the "tech-y" topics include web trends, free online tools, coding, and makerspaces. Wisconsin in January... brrrr!

Anyone, in any library, of any size, is welcome to participate!

You can find more information about the sessions here. Sessions will be recorded for those who can't attend online.

The A,B,Cs of It

Image001 (3)Like everyone, I struggle with staying on top of tasks and projects. I recently attended a seminar on managing multiple projects. The most useful concept I garnered from the workshop was the concept of "A,B,C" tasks. It goes like this:

"A" tasks are due today
"B" tasks are due in 30 days
"C" tasks are due in 90 days

If you are doing an "A" level activity when you should be doing a "B" level activity, you are doing the wrong thing. 

After the workshop, I asked myself how can I use technology to help with this? I have been using Remember the milk for years to manage my "to do" lists. This is a great free tool that works on PCs as well as mobile devices. I looked a little closer and discovered that you can assign one of 3 color-code priorities. 

I don't follow the "A,B,C" system exactly. I use Priority 1 (red) to flag projects or tasks on their due date. This is nice, because each week I can scan for those items to see what major deadlines I have coming up (like write my Tech Bits post). I use 2 (dark blue) for things I should get done that day--these are my true priority 1 tasks (like creating agendas). I use 3 (light blue) to flag more routine tasks that effect mostly me (checking my "waiting" email). So, on a given day I had better not be working on priority "light blue" items if I have "dark blue" items to do. If I miss a "red" item, I am really in trouble. 

What task management systems and techniques do you use?

By the way, the minute I started writing this blog, the song "Teach me tonight" was playing on AccuRadio. It includes in the lyrics the phrase "the A,B,C of it." 

 

Kahoot!

At the All Directors Meeting last month, Tessa Michaelson Schmidt from DPI used a cool game to end the Annual Report: Before, During, and After workshop. It was a really fun way to wrap up the presentation and reinforce some of the main takeaways it. As I watched, all the participants were really engaged in the game, laughing, and working together to figure out the answers. What an awesome tool to use for workshops - for your patrons or for your staff.

KahootIt's called Kahoot and it's free to use! Simply create an account to get started. Then play the intro quiz to get familiar with the game and then create one of your own.

I created a test Kahoot survey about TechBits. Try it out here! You'll need either two windows open on your computer or a computer and a mobile device. In this example, you're playing both the teacher and the student.

After you open the link, choose the Play button and then Start Now. Choose Classic  or Team mode (I used classic in my testing). If you are using a mobile device, there's a free Kahoot app you can use or go to Kahoot.it on the web browser. When the game PIN appears, enter that on your device or web browser to join. You'll play the game on one screen/device and you'll use the other screen/device to advance the questions - you get to see both sides of Kahoot this way.

Let me know if you create or use Kahoot in any of your workshops or training sessions. Have fun!

Image on my computer:                                                                             

KahootPIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image on my phone:

 KahootPhone

 

ProProfs Quiz Maker

We'll have a new hire starting soon, and that had me thinking about all the delivery codes used by the system and wondering whether there was a tool out there to easily put together a quiz to help in learning all of these.

ProProfsQuestionTypesI took ProProfs quiz maker for a spin. They have a free option with no limits on how many questions I could include in my quiz. The interface was easy to use and offered many different question types and quiz settings. With the free account, all quizzes are public, security is removed, ads are added to the quiz, and any results are deleted. Paid accounts are a little on the pricey side, but might be well worth the money if you find yourself using lots of quizzes for training purposes and would like more options and flexibility.

Want to see the end result of my experiment?
Here's a link to my LINKcat Library Delivery Codes quiz. I'm sure you'll all score 58 out of 58*!

ProProfsNumberOfQuestions*There's a setting that lets users decide how many questions they want to answer. I've enabled this, so you can actually opt for a subset of the full 58. Just click on the little gear to select the number of questions before you begin!

What tools have you found for helping to train new hires? Please share them in the comments.

Watch out for spam traffic in Google Analytics

Library folks who are responsible for the library's web presence: let's talk about spam traffic in Google Analytics reports. If you've looked at a Google Analytics report lately, you've probably seen it: fake visits generated by a web bot or spammer.

You may have raised an eyebrow at a surprising number of visitors coming to your U.S.-based website from a far-away country in an Audience report. (Those are spam visits.)

Watch for suspicious audience demographics in the Audience Overview report

You may have wondered why so many strange websites are linking to your website and generating referral traffic, in the Referrals report. (Those are spam referrals, and they're not really linking to your site.)

Watch for suspicious websites in the Acquisition, All Traffic, Referrals report

"But I thought Google Analytics only captured real traffic. You have to be a real visitor to trigger the tracking code JavaScript." That's what I thought! But spammers constantly adapt technology, and can use randomly-generated tracking code ID numbers to send data directly to Google Analytics (aka "ghost" traffic") without ever visiting the websites that use those tracking codes. Or send web bots to crawl a site without following the rules that prohibit this. What can we do?

DO: If you use Google Analytics reports, take a closer look at what's in them. Higher-than-normal traffic may be fake. Keep your common sense hat on.

DON'T: Visit the weird URLs you see in your reports. The purpose of Google Analytics spam traffic (if there is a point, besides wasting our time) is the same as email or blog comment spam: to cheat our curiosity, to get us to click or visit a site, and then lure us into buying something, or trick us into giving up personal information or passwords. Don't fall for it!

DO: Set up some filters in Google Analytics. For all the websites I help maintain, I'll be doing this to help ensure that the data we're collecting is real and useful.

DON'T: Worry about seeing your website traffic numbers go down over time after those filters are in place. 8 visits from people who care about the local library matter WAY more than 97 from a spammer on the other side of the world!

Further reading:

Need for a second, ‘throw away’, phone number

Back when e-mail was new, I learned that a second, ‘throw away’ email account might be of some value. Share your ‘real’ email address with friends and family. Share your ‘throw away’ email address with businesses that may become ‘spamy’.

Trash can with lid_md

In a similar vein, a recent article in the New York Times, “A 10-Digit Key Code to Your Private Life: Your Cellphone Number”, has prompted me to consider getting a ‘throw away’ phone number for security/privacy reasons. The article notes that two sets of digits may well be with you for life: your Social Security number and your cellphone number. “The cellphone number is more than just a bunch of digits. It is increasingly used as a link to private information maintained by all sorts of companies, including money lenders and social networks. It can be used to monitor and predict what you buy, look for online or even watch on television.”

With that in mind, I went snooping around the Internet for a free/cheap app that could provide a second phone number. AppCrawlr has a robust selection of apps, as well as ratings, for both Android and Apple phones. Neat! So, now it might just be time to get a ‘throw away’ number.

Have you used a second phone number app? If so, what did you select and what’s been your experience?

Credit Card Skimmers

Last weekend my bank called to say that they detected some fraudulent charges on my debit card.  The most frustrating part about this is that it's impossible to know how the crooks got a hold of my card number. 

Today I read an article on channel3000.com about credit card skimmers and it got me thinking that maybe this could be the method used to get my card information.  I've heard about skimmers but never really looked into them until today. I just assumed that a skimmer is something that someone puts inside a gas pump....I was wrong. It turns out that skimmers could be anywhere and we need to be vigilant before swiping our cards.  Skimmers have been found on gas pumps, self-checkout lanes at Walmart, many ATM's (in many forms), and even ATM enclosed vestibules that require a card swipe at the door.  Most skimmers use Bluetooth technology to wirelessly transmit the data to the thieves.  Here is a great article that will make you think twice before you swipe: https://krebsonsecurity.com/all-about-skimmers/

Here is an example of a skimmer that was placed over the ATM to look like it was part of the device.

Skm
On the left you'll see the skimmer in place and on the right you see the skimmer removed.

Image cred: https://www.engadget.com/2014/07/28/credit-card-skimming-explainer/

Downloading your Facebook account data

Note: Pat first wrote about this topic in 2010. Some things have changed since then, so I'm writing an updated post. 


I'm thinking about cleaning up some of my Facebook data (remove old photos, posts, etc.). Although I'm pretty sure that any photos I have posted on Facebook are also backed up somewhere else, I want to be sure that I don't lose anything. After some Googling, I discovered that you can download the data from your Facebook account.

To get started, click on the arrow in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and choose Settings.

Fb-bluebar

From your General Account Settings page, click General on the left side of the screen.

Fb-generalaccount

At the bottom of the General Account Settings, click on the Download a copy of your Facebook data link.

Fb-download

A new screen will appear. Click the green Start my Archive button. You will get a pop-up noting that it will take a little while to gather the archive data. Follow the prompts to continue - clicking another Start my Archive button and entering your password. You will get a confirmation message pop-up when this is complete.

Fb-startarchive

Check the email account for the email address associated with your Facebook account. You will receive an email from Facebook stating that a download has been requested. You will get a second email when the download is ready. For me, the second email came one minute after the first email, but my Facebook account is not that large (not that many photos and no videos).

To download the data, click on the link from the second email stating that your download is ready. (Note that you can also go back into your account and click the Download a copy of your Facebook data link.) A new screen will appear. Click the green Download Archive button. You will get a pop-up asking you to re-enter your password. 

Fb-downloadarchive

After you have re-entered your password, the archive will download as a .zip file. Save the file on your computer and unzip the file to access the contents. Keep in mind that your Facebook data is private information. For more information on what information is included in your Facebook archive, see the Accessing your Facebook data help page

You will be able to download your archive for a few days after you receive the email with the archive link. I was able to download my archive three days later but Facebook does not state exactly how long it keeps the archive available. If your download link has expired, you can start the process over to generate a new archive.

The downloaded archive can be challenging to navigate. The index.htm file is a good place to start (you can open this file with a web browser). For some additional information on navigating the archive files, see http://www.idownloadblog.com/2016/01/18/how-to-download-facebook-archive/