Saturday, June 26, 2021

Got Reader Mode? Sure you do, you just don't know where to look

 If you're on Windows 10, you have Immersive Reader Mode in the Edge browser.  Edge is the blue/green wave icon on the Taskbar that looks sorta like a lower-case 'e' which is the replacement for Internet Explorer.  Let's explore this.

But first, Firefox also has Reader View.  Oh, Chrome has several variations but none of them are as good as Firefox's or Edge's versions.

So, in Edge, before enabling Immersive Reader Mode (see cursor arrow with text hint):

Edge, without Reader Mode enabled

And the same page, with Reader Mode enabled (clicking on the icon toggles Reader Mode on & off):

Edge, with Reader Mode enabled

Not everyone reads articles online but, if you do, it cuts out so much clutter and distractions.  

Note that Firefox's icon to toggle Reader Mode is in the similar place in the Address Bar and only appears when a page can be enabled.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Phone Scammers are Using Real Phone Numbers - So PLEASE COMPLAIN to the FTC

Today I got a call from the Social Security Administration.  The Caller ID read 1-800-325-0778, which is the SSA's phone number for TTY calls.

Screenshot of SSA's Phone Numbers
I left the call go to voicemail.  A message was left, and it was a robocall.  Here's a screenshot of the visual voicemail: 

So do I block this caller ID against future calls?  Yes.  I am not deaf, so I do not expect to get calls from this phone number, except for more robocalls.

However, much more importantly, I reported this call to the FCC.  The thing is, scammers can use whatever phone numbers they choose, including Comcast's, your bank's local branch, the White House, or even your own phone number. 

Between the phone companies and the FCC, they need to resolve this issue of faked Caller ID numbers.  They will only do it when there is enough noise from the public.  So, go to, and choose Imposter or Scam, then fill out as much as possible.  Not every field is required.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Sign up for the Free USPS Informed Delivery ... before someone else does!

At first I thought that's Informed Delivery was clever but not all that important.  My thoughts have changed.  In a BIG WAY.

U.S. Secret Service is warning of cybercriminals using the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) “Informed Delivery,” feature to commit various identity theft and credit card fraud schemes.

I HIGHLY recommend that everyone sign up for USPS's Informed Delivery.  It is free and it prevents fraudsters from claiming your account & address first, then ordering credit cards in your name, and then knowing when to pick up your mail as cards are delivered.

I use it primarily to see when important mail and packages are expected and delivered.

But, from SC Media's article highlighting the Secret Service's findings, I see that it is more than simply a convenience.

Of course, I do hope the USPS will make these accounts more secure for mail recipients, but I'm not betting on that happening anytime soon.  As it is, when I use my account to hold my mail, apparently the separate USPS service that deliver many of USPS packages or packages from other couriers (including FedEx and UPS and DHL) do not get the same message to hold packages.  I suppose I need to complain a bit higher up the chain!

Here's an example of the USPS email that lets me know what mail is expected.  Note that the non-specific image was pointing to a magazine delivery.
USPS Informed Delivery Email

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


I'll let you look up "FUBAR" yourself if you don't know it and are curious.  But please do not lose sleep over this.

EQUIFAX has reported a massive leak and now the tool that they provide to allow you to check to see if your information has been compromised may have been hacked, as well.

The article from c|net (here) essentially states that EQUIFAX's solution, to use the ID protection tool (free for a year if you were affected) may have been hacked, as well, so Caveat Emptor or, in English, Buyer Beware.

What to do? Again, don't lose sleep. Don't hit your cat. Or your kids, or anyone else.  You can yell at the dog or anything else that wakes you unexpectedly in the middle of the night. 

Whatever you have been doing, do that. If you check your credit reports (not scores) from EQUIFAX, TransUnion, and Experian on a yearly basis, keep doing so.  If you don't, then consider starting now thru the US FTC website's link.  Or not.

I actually do not recommend signing up for the free credit protection for a year promotion.  From what I have seen, you need to provide this 3rd party your name and account numbers on all of your financial accounts. That just doesn't sound like a good idea (i.e., common sense) to me.

BUT... if you are concerned about any of your accounts, change your passwords.  Make them strong passwords (Google offers some advice on this). Consider using 2-factor authentication if it is available.  Make your backup & recovery options more secure, too.  Please note that the EQUIFAX breach did not release password information.

And please, no tin hats.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Is there an easy way to alphabetize the desktop icons in Windows?

Yes and no.


  1. The icons can be moved freely and arranged in any order you like
  2. The icons can be sorted alphabetically. Point the cursor to an empty spot on the Desktop and right-click, then left-click on Sort by [Name, Date, Size, or Item Type].


  • There is no way to set or fix the order of the icons.  Now, they will not change order if you don't move them.  
  • However, going into Safe Mode or reducing the screen resolution setting may cause the icons to be reordered so none of them are missing from view.


  • Auto Arrange will "permanently" sort them by your chosen Sort by choice
  • The icon size can be changed as well.

I wish I had a fix for this one.  Like many, I'll group some icons together.