Who among us can’t relate to this situation?!
Who among us can’t relate to this situation?!
Every so often I like to run a piece about the most popular Digital Media Mom posts: pages that are currently getting the most “hits” on the site. As of this writing, here are the top five most popular DMM posts. Interestingly, all but one of them are specifically about the Kindle Fire.
Just a quick one today, but it’s a real handy one! Did you know you can use Google as a calculator?
It’s absolutely true! Just go to Google.com and type in your equation. Hit the Search button and POOF! Like magic, Google’s not only got your answer, but displays an on-screen scientific calculator so you can keep the math problems coming! This is a great help for those times when you’re out and about and need to do some math that’s a little too complicated for your phone or tablet’s built-in, basic Calculator tool, or for those times when you’re sitting at your computer and need to do a quick calculation that’s too complex for your computer’s built-in, basic Calculator. Google calculator can handle Algebra, Trig, Calculus, and even financial equations like you might use to calculate amortization schedules.
Here’s an example, to illustrate that Google can handle advanced equations (click or tap on the image to view an enlarged version in a new tab or window):
Another great Google math trick for students is to enter ANY equation, even one with variables, and let Google trawl the web for pages with similar examples. This can point students toward fantastic new online study resources (click or tap on the image to view an enlarged version in a new tab or window):
Keep coming back, or sign up for my email list (form is in the upper right-hand sidebar), to get more great Google tips and tricks!
Today’s post is brought to you by the current ThinkGeek.com sale (up to 50% off!) on clothing and outdoor items, running through 3/2/14. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to keep bringing you great content for free, so thanks for your support!
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Next time you’re looking for something short to read, head on over to East of the Web’s Short Stories portal. There, you can find thousands of short stories to suit every taste—all for free!
Each listing includes a brief description, an average review rating, a recommended minimum reader age rating, and even the story’s length in pages. The stories can be read online or printed out in hard copy.
Kindle / Paperwhite / Kindle Fire owner tip: If you have a pdf converter program, you can click on the ‘printable view’ link for any story, print to pdf format from your browser, and then transfer the story to your Kindle, Paperwhite or Fire via USB or send it to your device via email. Remember: pdf is one of the formats you can read on any Kindle device.
iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch owner tip: look for the Short Stories app in the iTunes App Store. You can use it to browse the full East of the Web Short Stories collection and download stories from the site, and it also serves as a full-featured reader app with user options to change the font or text size, “page” orientation and more.
This screenshot shows a very small sampling of what’s available on the East of the Web Short Stories site – click on the image to visit the site!
‘Nuff said – head on over to East of the Web and start reading!
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And now, a word from our sponsor:
Today’s post is brought to you by Zebra Tees, where you can get very cool limited-edition t-shirts featuring white artwork created by independent artists printed on black tees, all priced at just $9 each (slightly higher for sizes above XL). Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to keep bringing you great content for free, so thanks for your support!
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The answer to the title question of this post, “Do my digital photos give away my location?” is: it depends. It depends on the settings of the device you used to take the photo, and the app on the device that was used to take the photo. That’s why it’s tough to address this topic in a way that’s general enough to be truly helpful to consumers.
EXIF Data: Latitude and Longitude Where The Photo Was Taken
When people talk about how the location where a digital photo was taken can be stored along with the photo itself, or “geotagging”, they’re usually talking about the EXIF metadata. “Metadata” includes various technical details about the photo, such as its resolution, its filesize, its file format and more. “EXIF” stands for “Exchangeable Image File”, and among other details, EXIF data typically includes camera settings at which the digital photo was taken and the longitude and latitude coordinates for where the photo was taken.
Metadata that’s stored along with a given digital photo isn’t stamped right on the photo itself, but most of it can be viewed by right-clicking on the file name or icon and viewing file “Properties”. The file Properties dialog will usually only list some of the metadata (and doesn’t typically include the longitude and latitude information, unless there’s a “More” or “Advanced” option for viewing file metadata), but there are apps, browser plug-ins and computer programs available that will display all of the metadata attached to a digital photo.
It’s easy to see where EXIF data can cause some security and privacy concerns for consumers, but the good news is that it’s not usually too difficult to turn off EXIF data storage on your device. The bad news is that the exact steps to do this vary by device and by the app being used to take pictures (where an app is involved).
I’ll provide the broad strokes here, but if the instructions I’m giving aren’t specific enough for your situation you will have to refer to your device’s user manual, or the manufacturer’s or app’s support website to get more specific help.
Note that following these steps can only ensure the EXIF data won’t be stored for pictures you take after the changes have been made, they will NOT affect the metadata on photos you’ve already taken. You’ll need a special metadata editor program to remove metadata from pre-existing photo files, but I don’t recommend getting such a program because the ones that allow you to remove ONLY the EXIF data while leaving other stuff like the date and time in place aren’t cheap and aren’t easy for non-tech-savvy people to use.
Turning Off Geotagging
Remember, these are only the very general directions. You may have to do some poking around in your device’s Settings or Options menu, in your photo app’s settings, or in your device user guide to get more specific help.
On an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (depending on the model): go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and set the Camera option to “OFF”
On a non-Apple smart phone or tablet: go to Menu/Settings/Options > GPS and see if there’s an option to turn off GPS location services JUST for the camera, like on an iPhone. If there isn’t, then you probably have to go into the Camera app’s Settings or Options menu to turn this off. Even if you’ve never installed a camera app yourself, if your mobile device is capable of taking pictures it will have a Camera app. Go to your device’s list of installed apps to find it.
On a Kindle Fire HDX, the setting is located under Settings > Apps > Camera (and the ‘location tags’ option is set to “OFF” by default).
On a digital camera (video camera or still camera), you should be able to find location data settings somewhere in the Options menus. Again, you may have to explore the menus or your user guide to find it.
If you’re concerned about location data being stored along with your digital photos, turn off geotagging on all the devices you use to take digital photos.
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And now, a word from our sponsor: Zebra Tees. Just check out one of this week’s limited edition shirt designs below, and see if you can resist clicking through to see the other designs available this week!