Tech Education

We demystify some of the confusing parts of the web and technology.

Machine Learning

September 30, 2016

…and What It Means to You

If you happen to follow any technology- or web-related news sources, you may have heard a thing or two about Google’s ‘G Suite.’ Perhaps you’ve heard about machine learning regardless. For those unaware, a brief definition, courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica:

Machine Learning [is a] discipline concerned with the implementation of computer software that can learn autonomously.

Machine Learning, britannica.com

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Gary is a team member at Sephone, helping to design, build and maintain websites. He is also a web design student at the New England School of Communications of Husson University.

Hidden Facebook Features

August 5, 2016

Tools are great – never have I pondered the contents of my workbench without a smile on my face. Perhaps I’m utilitarian. Nevertheless, having a feature-rich device or platform that can be leveraged to ease the flow of work is certainly helpful. Perhaps even better than tools themselves are their unintended, or even hidden, functions. Recently I was trying to solve a problem with a post that was made to Facebook, and discovered one such hidden function. This spurred in me a desire to compile a list of my favorite lesser-known Facebook features – things that are great for everyday users and marketers alike. read more

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Gary is a team member at Sephone, helping to design, build and maintain websites. He is also a web design student at the New England School of Communications of Husson University.

Upside down pictures

July 15, 2016

We recently had a customer come to us asking why the images they uploaded to their blog were upside down.  So we wanted to give a bit of an explanation for this and provide some options to help work around the problem if you are experiences this as well. read more

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Brady is the voice on the other end of the phone line when you call Sephone. He graduated from the New England School of Communications in 2009 and assists Sephone in building and maintaining our sites.

Why we do server maintenance

June 24, 2016
FreeImages.com/Whrelf Siemens.

FreeImages.com/Whrelf Siemens.

Server maintenance comes with the territory when you do what we do.  As part of a recent exercise to ensure we are secure and running as efficiently as possible we had to do some updates to our servers, and we wanted to share with you why we do these things. read more

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Brady is the voice on the other end of the phone line when you call Sephone. He graduated from the New England School of Communications in 2009 and assists Sephone in building and maintaining our sites.

Your phone WILL run out of space one day! Are you ready?

April 21, 2016

Are you a person who likes to travel or spend time with your kids?  Summer is right upon us and that means taking lots of photos.  One thing that you do not want to forget to do is backup those precious memories.  There are a lot of inexpensive options out there to help you.

  1. Create a Dropbox account and allow your photos to upload right after you take them.
  2. Connect your phone to iCloud.
  3. Connect your phone to your computer.
  4. Use a micro SD card (if your phone allows it).

There are many other options that you can take advantage of as well.  But these are just a few that I have been doing recently and they have been working out pretty well.  Keeping all the photos backed up on a flash drive and/or your computer plus Dropbox for me is the better way to go.  This way when I erase my photos on my phone, I know they are backed up and I do not have to worry about losing them.

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Alex is a developer at Sephone, helping to build apps and websites. He is also working on his Master’s degree in Computer Science.

Permission To Land

March 11, 2016

There are many kinds of apps out there, apps that can perform all sorts of tasks – from keeping track of your daily “To-Dos,” letting you show off your vocabulary to your friends, to pushing a button and hearing any one of many silly sounds. Some apps, especially those which rely on physical hardware to perform these actions, require certain permissions to function fully and properly. In the past, the list of permissions an app needed to function was displayed during installation on Android devices. This is no longer true, as recent Android updates have reformed how apps in the mobile OS interact with phones.

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Out With The Old

Previous versions of Android required apps to display a list of necessary permissions during app installation. This meant that, upon trying to install an app, you’d see a screen much like the one to the left. This screen gives you a breakdown of exactly what information to which the app will have access. This is important because whomever developed the app also have access to this information. We should all be careful when it comes to this data. It’s our data. While it is completely understandable that a GPS app would need access to your physical location via your phone, there are apps out there that request your location that don’t really need it.

In With The New

As of Android 6.0, playfully dubbed ‘Marshmallow,’ apps will now ask for permissions during runtime instead of during installation. For consumers, this is good news in more than one way. First, it really shortens the amount of time it takes to install applications. Rather than having a bunch of screens to click through, clicking install really just installs the app.

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Next, having the app ask for permission at runtime gives users a sense of when, and perhaps why, the software needs certain details. For instance, when loading a camera app, a screen may appear asking for permission to utilize the phone camera. This is expected, but the user can actually deny the app from accessing the camera at this screen. While in this example the app is rendered useless, this is not always the case. There’s a game called Alphabear, and during start-up, this screen is displayed:

While we realize that this feature is used to verify the identity of the phone should there be a purchase of an  in-app purchase, we may choose ‘deny’ for our own piece of mind. Spry Fox, the game creators, make some of our favorite mobile games, and though they proobably wouldn’t misuse the data, but it’s OUR personal information, and until a purchase is made in the game, we would continue to deny the app from accessing these files. And the game plays just as it should otherwise – and is quite fun!

 

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Gary is a team member at Sephone, helping to design, build and maintain websites. He is also a web design student at the New England School of Communications of Husson University.

Getting AMP’ed Up

February 12, 2016

If you’re a web developer, you’ve probably heard about Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) – the newest trend in lightweight pages for cleaner, faster mobile browsing. Perhaps you aren’t so familiar with them, though. What exactly is an AMP, and how do we make one? Furthermore, why is it important?
Google's Email Alert about AMP read more

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Gary is a team member at Sephone, helping to design, build and maintain websites. He is also a web design student at the New England School of Communications of Husson University.

HTML – Put it all together

February 8, 2016

Over the past year we have put together a bit of an intro course for you on the basics of HTML and CSS.  We have reviewed browsers and text editors, setting up your file architecture and HTML document head, and some of the general HTML and HTML5 tags and CSS that you will see when editing an HTML document.  Now that we have completed this course, you should be able to create a basic HTML page for display in a web browser.

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Brady is the voice on the other end of the phone line when you call Sephone. He graduated from the New England School of Communications in 2009 and assists Sephone in building and maintaining our sites.