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Headshot of MakeUseOf Writer, Guy McDowell

Guy McDowell

/ Joined 13 December, 2008

With 20+ years of experience in IT, training, and technical trades, it is my desire to share what I've learned with anyone else willing to learn. I strive to do the best job possible in the best manner possible, and with a little humour. Keep in touch: Twitter - Facebook - Google+.

208 Articles
946 Comments
Myth Debunked: 5 Gadgets You Don’t Actually Need For School

Product Reviews

Myth Debunked: 5 Gadgets You Don’t Actually Need For School

Need. Want. One is a four letter word and the other is a necessity. Listen up and heed this old man’s words as I get you set to go back to school, do some real learning, and save thousands of dollars by not buying into this computer fad. Look at me! I got an iPhone! Look at me! I can film my lectures! Look at me! I made a spreadsheet that does my arithmetic for me!

Guy McDowell August 28, 2013
Myth Debunked: 5 Gadgets You Don’t Actually Need For School
What Can You Learn From An Email Header (Metadata)?

Internet

What Can You Learn From An Email Header (Metadata)?

Did you ever get an e-mail and really wondered where it came from? Who sent it? How could they have known who you are? Surprisingly a lot of that information can be from from the e-mail header, or by using info from the email header to do some detective work. Today, we’re just going to focus on how to unhide the header in Gmail, and then look at what we can glean from the header.

Guy McDowell August 13, 2013
What Can You Learn From An Email Header (Metadata)?
3 Ways To Make Your Smartphone Communications More Secure

Android iPhone and iPad

3 Ways To Make Your Smartphone Communications More Secure

Total privacy! Or so we think, as our words and information went flying through the air. Not so: First it’s word of warrantless wiretapping, then it’s word of newspapers, lawyers, insurers and more hacking your communications, who’s next? How do we stop this? Unfortunately, laws are very after the fact, so you need to take some measures right now. This is where we look at how to secure your smartphone communications to make cherry-picking your information a lot harder.

Guy McDowell August 12, 2013
3 Ways To Make Your Smartphone Communications More Secure
4 Alternatives To The Pebble Watch

Product Reviews

4 Alternatives To The Pebble Watch

The Pebble E-Paper Watch (which we’ve just reviewed and will be giving away) has a lot of interesting functions, is highly customizable, and raised over $1 million within 28 hours of being put on Kickstarter. Maybe the Pebble isn’t exactly what you want though. Maybe you’d like a different look or functionality. Money talks, and these other smartwatch innovators are ready to listen. Some of these are concepts and some are already on the market! Which one do you want? Maybe all of them?

Guy McDowell August 8, 2013
4 Alternatives To The Pebble Watch
Cyber Bullying Unmasked – The Tragic Case Of Cassidy

Internet

Cyber Bullying Unmasked – The Tragic Case Of Cassidy

Kids can be cruel. Almost as cruel as so-called grown-ups. That cruelty has found its way on to the web and into the lives of countless young people who thought they might be able to escape the harassment by enjoying their on-line pursuits. It is very likely this is the story of an untold number of girls and boys the world over.

Guy McDowell June 24, 2013
Cyber Bullying Unmasked – The Tragic Case Of Cassidy
Cover Your Tracks With These 3 Unmissable Data Removal Tools

Internet Linux

Cover Your Tracks With These 3 Unmissable Data Removal Tools

Personal privacy is the hot topic these days, at least in the news. It should also be the hot topic in your computing life, as well! What you do online and on your computer says an awful lot about you and, in the hands of the wrong people, can prove disastrous. Oh, fine, at least we have a password on our computers. But let’s say we are doing something where privacy really does matter. Imagine we had a benevolent reason to cover our tracks. On to some tools that will help us do just that!

Guy McDowell June 21, 2013
Cover Your Tracks With These 3 Unmissable Data Removal Tools
How To Encrypt Data on Your Smartphone

Android iPhone and iPad

How To Encrypt Data on Your Smartphone

With the Prism-Verizon scandal, what allegedly has been happening is that the United States of America’s National Security Agency (NSA) has been data mining. That is, they have been going through the call records of Verizon’s approximately 99 million users looking for, well, anything! If the thought of the occasionally overzealous government official isn’t enough reason to encrypt your smartphone, then all the identity thieves and scammers out there ought to be. Today, I’m going to show you a few things you can do to make that information a bit more secure.

Guy McDowell June 18, 2013
How To Encrypt Data on Your Smartphone
How To Use Your Smartphone To Protect And Uphold Your Civil Rights

Android Internet

How To Use Your Smartphone To Protect And Uphold Your Civil Rights

Can you imagine how much quicker the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 60’s would have come to a head if they had the power that we hold in our pocket? Some would say that the Civil Rights Movement is still going on, and The Arab Spring shows us that it is. Here’s how you can document the challenge and make a difference with just a smartphone, some courage, and compassion.

Guy McDowell June 4, 2013
How To Use Your Smartphone To Protect And Uphold Your Civil Rights
Which Weather Widget Would You Use? 3D Weather vs. AccuWeather.com [Android]

Android

Which Weather Widget Would You Use? 3D Weather vs. AccuWeather.com [Android]

Since the dawn of media, the weather has sustained publishers of almanacs, sold newspapers when nothing was happening, tuned listeners into the radio, and viewers into the television news. Today, we carry all of this media in the form of our smartphones, yet something as primal as our need to know the weather is still important. Today I want to share with you two ways to get the weather, the 3D Weather widget and the AccuWeather.com widget.

Guy McDowell May 31, 2013
Which Weather Widget Would You Use? 3D Weather vs. AccuWeather.com [Android]
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