Remove ads in webmail.

One important productivity tip whether it be in the physical or virtual worlds is to avoid clutter. 

Ever notice how a cluttered desk or office space can cause stress? You may not realize it till you clean up and then realize, "Wow, I feel so much better now". Whether you consciously realize it or not, clutter distracts you in a variety of ways and none of them are good.

A week or so ago I introduced you to the web page decluttering tool, Clearly. Today, let's talk about another Chrome extension, Webmail Ad Blocker.

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Concept is simple, this little baby removes the ad clutter from your GMail, Hotmail and Yahoo email screen. Below is a real life example from my Gmail earlier today with Webmail Ad Blocker off and then with it on. I've been using this for over a year and have not had any problems with it. 

Now you can stay focused on the task at hand. Less clutter. Less chance of being distracted by an ad and running off down a time-wasting rabbit-hole!

Super Bore without Cable or a Dish... legally

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You aware of the cord-cutting movement? Phenomena? Lunacy? Call it what you will. There's a lot of folks opting out of traditional TV "cords" and going all internet. No, really! Check out a search on "cut the cord". The results are not about a standard procedure on newborn babies.

Anywaaaayyy, we did this about 18 months ago and have never looked back. We've been saving about a net of $80 / month as we dropped DirecTV, told Comcast no thanks to their cable TV service and paid instead for a slight increase in speed from Comcast Internet. That's nearly $1,000 saved per year!

We already had a Netflix account and Amazon Prime, so we've never been without something to watch if we wished. Lots of TV shows are now available online via the broadcaster's web sites. Sure, it cut into our watching of sports, but we were really down to only watching a few NFL games a week. On the upside, it helped with our goals of reading more books!

Recently the infamous service Aereo launched in the Atlanta area and we jumped on their $8 / month plan. What is Aereo? Well the short version is that we are renting an over the air antenna from them so we can stream local TV stations over the internet. They even throw in 20 hours of DVR time! Why do I refer to them as infamous? The broadcasters and cable companies have been throwing battalions of lawyers at Aereo... to no avail!

So now if there's a big game of any sort that we want to see or keep up with current TV shows, we're in! We sat on our porch last night and watched the game streamed via Chromecast to a 42" "portable" TV we use for just such occasions. The game was awful, but we had fun nonetheless.

Sure Aereo isn't 200 channels, but it also isn't $80 / month and I still end up reading more. Win, Win, Win! You should check and see if your geographic area is covered by Aereo. We've been happy with it since we signed up a couple months ago.

If you want to learn more about cord cutting, I recommend a fun YouTube show appropriately called Cord Killers. Note that by watching this show you'll be on your way to proving to yourself that you really don't need that crazily threaded cable and associated box.

Got a WiFi Router? Got Rage?

Got a WiFi Router? Got Rage?

I've really learned to hate wifi! Sure it allows me to use the internet all over the house without running wires through the walls, but it has to be the most frustrating part of my computing infrastructure! Some days all works great everywhere, other days I can connect, but have terrible throughput. Wait an hour and things get either better or worse and I haven't moved!


Read on for how even an ostensibly ProTechChoach suffers the vagaries of techno gremlins!

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Chromecast Review

Chromecast Review

Chromecast is a nifty little device that allows you to use your favorite Android, iOS, Windows or Apple device in conjunction with your TV. Consider this scenario: You are sitting on the couch with your tablet in hand. You decide you want to watch NetFlix or Youtube or any of an increasing number of applications. You realize that the show would be much more enjoyable on the larger TV screen in front of you. No problem! Click the Chromecast icon in your app and choose to view on the Chromecast of your choice, after all, at just $29.99 from Amazon, there's no reason not to have one on multiple TVs in your house. Your mobile device then becomes a remote control for the video. You can pause, fast forward, change volume and of course move to any other video of your choice.

Setup is simple and straightforward, though the list below may seem long, I accomplished my initial install and setup in about 10 minutes.

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