Google Alerts – Robocall Help – Headset Help – ANC tip – Product Tips
John Vrooman | January 15, 2021
Happy New Year! Before jumping back into things, as usual, I want to first mention some random, but exciting and consequential topics that I’ve been following, and would encourage you to consider following as well. The topics are: Quantum Computing; Protein Folding; Artificial Intelligence (a.k.a. “AI”); Augmented Reality (a.k.a. “AR”); Solid-State Batteries; and CES 2021 (CES = Consumer Electronics Show).
The primary tech tool I use to help me follow topics of interest is Google Alerts. What I like about Google Alerts is that it’s a “set it and forget it” type of service. You simply tell Google Alerts what you want it to find and how often you want it to deliver updates (alerts) to you. Once you’ve completed those simple tasks, you’ll soon start receiving periodic Google Alerts e-mail messages that will include links to articles, blogs, etc. that relate to your Google Alert topic(s). Tip: When you set up an alert, pay attention to the “Show options” link that’s found below the area where you enter your Google Alert search criteria. Also, after setting up some alerts, look for the “Settings” (gear/cog icon) that’s positioned above your list of Google Alerts. When you click the “Settings” gear/cog you’ll be able to select an option to receive all your alerts as a single, weekly, “digest” e-mail message that I prefer over receiving many Google Alert e-mails.
Go for it, I encourage you to create some Google Alerts on the above topics and of course, other topics that interest you.
FCC.gov Information About Robocalls and Text Messages
While browsing through the FCC’s website I came across a couple of webpages that caught my attention and may interest you too. The first page is titled “Stop Unwanted Robocalls and Texts,” and you can get to it by visiting this link…
A second and more interesting (to me) FCC.gov webpage is titled “Call Blocking Tools and Resources.” This page includes links to several call blocking and labeling resources that should interest those who have a phone. Here’s the link to the webpage to help get you started…
Picking “The Best” Work-From-Home Headset Isn’t Easy
While talking on the phone, I like using a headset. Why? Because when you use a headset, you typically are also able to free up your phone holding hand, and commonly also benefit from improved inbound and outbound audio quality. Unfortunately, picking the right headset (for you) isn’t easy. A few initial headset-related decisions that you need to make are, what style headset do you want? Do you want 1) in-ear style (earbuds), 2) over/around the ear style, or 3) on-ear style? Do you want your headset to be wired, wireless (typically Bluetooth), or convertible between wired and wireless modes? The following link will lead you to a Google search results webpage that contains several articles that cumulatively identify many good options that are worthy of your consideration…
ANC (Automatic Noise Cancellation) Solution
When you’re on the phone, you sometimes have to deal with unexpected/ undesired noise. Snow blowers, lawnmowers, TVs, heaters, fans, kids playing, etc. are just some examples of noises that can suddenly interfere with a phone call. Automatic noise cancellation is a technology that can help reduce unwelcome noise from phone conversations. Some phones and headsets include ANC technology, and when that’s the case, it can be helpful. Unfortunately, the cost of headsets that include high-quality ANC capabilities also tends to be more expensive. Even worse, many headsets don’t have any ANC built into them. When that’s the case, a solution that I want to bring to your attention is ANC software. Fortunately, some ANC software works well and can be acquired, installed, and used for free (or a fee depending on your use volume and/or product feature needs). An ANC software product that caught my attention that you might want to learn more about is a product called Krisp. When you visit the product’s website, you can watch some examples of the product in action. I found the product demos to be quite compelling. If you’re interested in learning more about Krisp, here’s a courtesy link to get you started…https://krisp.ai/
While we’re on the topic of ANC, I thought you may find the following howtogeek.com’s article titled “Why Do Noise-Canceling Headphones Hurt My Ears?” to be worth reading and knowing about. Apparently, some people have a sensitivity to ANC technology.
Apple Pencil Alternatives
If you’re an iPad user, there’s a good chance that you’re familiar with the “Apple Pencil.”…and their high price. While Apple Pencils are really neat, their price keeps many from getting one. If you’re one of the many iPad users that haven’t gotten an Apple Pencil because of the product’s high price, there are some less expensive options available. I came across an article at the reviewgeek.com website called “The 4 Best Apple Pencil Alternatives in 2020.” If this topic interests you, here’s a link to the article…
Heads up: There are two versions of the Apple Pencil, so you should confirm whether or not the Apple Pencil alternatives that are covered in the above article will be compatible with your iPad model.
Multi-Function Laser Printer Suggestions
Are you in the market for a multi-function color laser printer? If so, you’ll likely find the following reviewgeek.com article titled “The Best Small Office Multi-Function Color Laser Printers” to be helpful…
Are You Interested in Learning About Website SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
If you’ve heard of SEO Optimization, but you’re not that familiar with what it actually is, the following moz.com article titled “How to Focus Your SEO Strategy: A Quick Guide for Businesses New to Online Optimization” serves as a great introduction…
Are You in the Market for a Video Conference Backdrop?
Whether you’re a privacy nut, a “professional image” freak, a greenscreen creative type, or just want (or need) an easy-to-use backdrop, check out anyvoo.com. Their backdrop products may not be the lowest cost options available, but they look like they will likely meet the needs for many. While your exploring anyvoo.com’s backdrop product offering, you’ll likely also want to review an article on their blog titled “These 19 Video Call Backdrops Could Actually Make You Proud to Work From Home.” Here’s a link to the article…
Reminder: If you have any comments, suggestions, tips, or questions, you can email John at firstname.lastname@example.org.