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What is There to Love about the iPod Touch 5? (A Lot!)

Yes, I am an iAddict.

Apple has long dedicated itself to creating products that not only attract consumers, but turn them into long-term fans of the brand. I myself have surrounded myself with MacBooks and iPhones for years, but if there is one gadget in particular that has me hooked, it would be the 5th generation iPod Touch.
Measuring in at a mere 0.24 inches thick and weighing only 3.10 ounces, it almost feels surreal to think about how much technology is packed into this small container.

With the screen size upgraded to 4 inches, the iPod Touch feels very accommodating for Internet browsing, watching videos and playing games, while not feeling over-sized like some of its competitors. Apple designed it so that everything could be reached easily when using the device with only one hand. The Retina display packs 326 pixels into each inch, rendering graphics in beautiful clarity.

Perhaps the most-loved feature for myself would be the 5 megapixel iSight camera, which fulfills my photography needs so well that I find myself leaving my trusty DSLR at home more often these days. Who knew I’d be capturing some of my best shots on a smart device!

Twitter: A Great Way to Promote Your Business!

Twitter, the micro-blogging social media website, is hugely popular and can be a great tool to promote your business, 140 characters at a time. There are a variety of reasons to consider Twitter as a strategy in marketing.
First of all, Twitter is easy and free to set up, so you can have your page up and running right away. Because your posts are limited to 140 characters, keeping the page updated does not take a lot of time from your day. However, if you use the site the right way, the results from the time you invest marketing on Twitter can pay back with great results.

It is not only the content of your Tweets that sends a marketing message on Twitter. Your overall appearance on the site contributes to the impression you make. When you set your page up, keep it looking professional. Customize your profile picture and background with images that clearly represent your business and look high-quality. Use the options in Twitter’s settings to list your business’s website and location as well as a short description so people can tell right away what the Twitter page is for.

Online Banking – Tips to Keep You Safe

While some people avoid banking online because they are worried about security issues, when done properly, online banking has low risk, and can be very helpful in keeping yourself aware of the state of your accounts, no matter where you are.

Online banking systems vary with your branch, but if you ask an associate at your branch to help you get started, they will show you how their system works and get you set up with a username and password for accessing your account.

Generally, you will then be able to go to the bank’s website, enter your username and password and log into your account (there may be additional levels of security). Once into your account you will be able to see what is currently in your accounts and your transaction history.

Tips for Online Banking

  • Use online banking only on your own computer. Public computers can be hacked or monitored much more easily with viruses, keyloggers, etc.
  • Use a password for your account that you can memorize so that you don’t have to write it down.

Organize iPhone/iPod Apps Quickly on Your Computer

Dragging and dropping apps on your iPhone/iPod can be a real drag (to excuse the horrible pun). Luckily, iTunes offers the ability to be able to view your iPhone’s screen inside of iTunes to quickly organize your apps. To do this, you should update your iTunes and iPhone software version to the latest versions to ensure compatibility. Then you’ll be able to hook your iPhone up to your computer and view your iPhone screen in the “Apps” tab of your iPhone info in iTunes.

Step 1

Open the iTunes program and plug your iPhone in to your computer using the USB cable it came with. Wait for your iPhone to appear in the left sidebar of the iTunes program.

Step 2

Click on the name of your iPhone in the left sidebar to open its information.

Step 3

Click on the tab labeled “Apps” at the top of the window to open the iPhone screen view in iTunes. From here you can choose which apps you want to sync using the checklist at the left side or drag and drop apps on the iPhone screen view to organize them.

Apple: Syncing and Arranging Apps From the App Store

Lighten the Mood!

All work and no play, blah blah blah, very dull indeed, so to break up some rather intensive website improvement posts, here’s some little high-tech funnehs to chase away the blahs!

Very Angry Birds...

All of a sudden my browser got slower. But much cuter.

Grandpa tried out Facebook today. He didn't understand what all the fuss was about.

On the plus side, that should be the next form of “planking”…

And a little whimsical back-in-the-day…

Building a Better Site – Privacy Policy

Often overlooked, having a privacy policy on your site is vital if you want to display Adsense on your website. In fact, having a privacy policy easily accessible on your site is one of the requirements in the Adsense Terms and Conditions (you know, those things that you didn’t read). All joking aside, if you do not have a a privacy policy that meets Google’s specifications, your Adsense could be suspended.

Thankfully, resources are available that mean you won’t have to be penning the legalese of the policy from scratch. Several boilerplate policies are already available online and can be adjusted to fit your website. If you grab one from online though, make sure that it has been updated as recently as possible so that it is up-to-date with Google’s latest policies (As of April 2012, the last update to the Privacy Policy requirements was in April 2009). Specifically make sure that your policy contains a section regarding the use of DoubleClick DART cookies to adhere to Google’s policies.

A popular boilerplate Privacy Policy can be found and copied from HERE.

And while you’re at it, why not give those Google Adsense Terms and Conditions a quick read-through?

New Social Networking Addiction – Pinterest

Still need an invite to Pinterest? Send me an email at
admin@invenioblog.com or Tweet me at @InvenioBlog and I will send you one!

Taking a break in my Make Your Website Better series to talk to you about Pinterest. The latest social network craze, you’ve probably heard something about it already.

Basically an image sharing social network, Pinterest is a little different in that it helps you to share other people’s images that you like. You do this by “Pinning” them to your virtual bulletin boards which appear on your profile. Other people can “follow” you or your boards, and then your Pins will show up in their Pinterest stream of images. To make it easier for you to “Pin” images you find on websites, Pinterest gives you a little “Pin It!” button in your toolbar. Click it, and it displays a visual list of all the images on that webpage, which you can then select, add details to, and pin onto your boards.

Pinterest Home Page

Speeding Up WordPress With the W3 Total Cache Plugin

Moving forward with my plan to make my WordPress sites better I again looked for another way to keep my site speed up. This, I figured, was a very important step, as reports have shown that if your site does not load in 10 seconds, visitors will move on, and I definitely don’t want that.

Adding a cache plugin was something I knew was a significant step in bringing up site speed. A cache plugin will put together and store (cache) each page as a static page to serve to the visitor, rather than serving the dynamic pages that WordPress creates. This makes a big difference in speed because dynamic pages are pages that are generated each time a visitor opens them. In the background, the page needs to get the content information from the database, get information from the theme files for how the page should look, and generate an HTML page from the PHP code. This all takes time. The cache plugin simply stores a copy of the HTML page and serves it to the visitor. Much simpler, much faster. And of course, when you make updates or someone comments on your site, the cached page is simply updated to show the new information (if you update some things such as a plugin, WordPress will prompt you to manually update the cache and provide you with a Cache update button at the top of the WordPress admin area).

Optimizing Images on Your Site

My second step in making my WordPress sites into better sites was to look into Image optimization. Because I had one site in particular that was very image-heavy and images are one of the site components that take the longest to load, I was looking forward to the results of this step.

I used the Smush.it service provided by the Yahoo Developer Network via the WP Smush.it plugin. You can also use this service for non-WordPress sites by going to their page and using either the Uploader or URL tab to optimize images. This process is loss-less, so it will not affect the quality/size of your images, just make them lighter to load.

In the case of my WordPress site, I simply added and activated the plugin. It will now automatically optimize any new images I add to the site. To optimize images I already have on the site, I can go to my WordPress “Media Library” page and click on the “Smush.it now!” option in the far right column to optimize each image. Once done, this column will show how much the photo’s file size was able to be reduced by. (There is also the option to do a Bulk Smush.it to optimize all images at once, though it can take a long time and is an experimental feature).

Compress Your Site and Speed It Up!

My first step in making my site better was to see how I could boost its speed a bit. I had started the day by reading an article by Google that ominously announced that 99 years of human life are wasted everyday by websites with uncompressed content. Now plagued by page load time guilt, I looked for how to go about doing a gzip compression on my websites.

Luckily, the solution is no farther away than the cPanel, and takes less than 15 minutes to do. (And with Google reporting that it can boost page load times to a third of what they are uncompressed, this one is worth it.)

Log into your cPanel (login page is usually cpanel.yoursite.com) with your username and password and scroll down the main page until you see the”Software/Service” section. Click on the “Optimize Website” icon.

Click on the "Optimize Website" icon.

When the page opens, you can use the radio buttons provided to switch the compression settings from disabled to either compress all of the website’s content, or only compress the specified MIME types, which you can define in the text box provided below. When you are done, just click on the “Save Settings” button to compress your website and speed up your load times!