LinkedIn has a feature where you can see almost everyone who has looked at your profile. If you pay for their premium service, you find out exactly who has looked at your profile. If you don’t pay, you see a few of the people but the rest are “LinkedIn Member” or a version of “Person In XYZ Industry in XYZ Place.” If you want to surreptitiously do some background research on someone, having your name appear on that list can sink your surreptitiousness. Big time.

So how do you read someone’s LinkedIn profile without them knowing? Google.

Use Google to search for their name along with “site:linkedin.com” and chances are you’ll see them listed. If you can’t find them on name alone, add in the state they live in or other details to narrow it down. Eventually, you’ll find them. Then, just look at the cached version of the page.

Let’s say you want to find a Michael Jordan, so you search “michael jordan site:linkedin.com” and get these results.
michael-jordan-search-results

Just scroll down to the one you want and look for the double arrows pointing right (indicated by the green arrow). Then move up to the top of the cached image and click on Cached, indicated by the red arrow. That’ll load up the page you want to see and you’ll never appear on that person’s viewed list.

If you already know the person’s LinkedIn profile URL, you can search on that and that page will be the first result.

How to Incorporate in Maryland

by jim on November 26th, 2012

If you do business and you don’t incorporate, either to a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC), you’re opening yourself up to legal liability. When you operate as a sole proprietorship, you and your business are one. There is no separation between the two. You can’t sell your business because it is you (you can sell the business assets though, so all is not lost).

If your business gets going and starts making any kind of money, you’ll want to incorporate. Fortunately, incorporated is easy and you can do it yourself. I incorporated my business on my own by filling out a simple form that I downloaded from the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation.

The only downside to doing this is that you’ll need to file a Business Personal Property return each year which comes with a minimum $300 fee.

(the following instructions are for Maryland only, though I suspect your state will be similar)

If you are forming an LLC, you will need to file Articles of Organization with the state. The form is just one single page with straightforward fields. My advice is that, for “(2) The purpose for which the Limited Liability Company is filed is as follows:” put:

To engage in any lawful activity for which a limited liability company may be organized.

In some states, that exact phrase is often printed onto the form!

Next, write a check for $121 to “State Department of Assessments and Taxation” – $100 for the fee to file the Certificate of Organization and then $21 for a certified copy of the Articles of Organization. The certified copy is optional but some banks require it if you want to open a business bank account (which is recommended, to maintain the corporate veil). Keep this certified copy in a safe place.

Then mail it to State Department of Assessments and Taxation, Charter Division, 301 W. Preston Street; 8th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201-2395 and wait eight+ weeks. You can also fax it to 410-333-7097 but a fax request will expedite it and require an additional $50.

Once you get confirmation, you are officially an LLC! Head over to the IRS to get an Employer Identification Number and you’ll be all set. And remember to file a Business Personal Property return each year.

How to Turn Off Notifications in Google Plus

by jim on November 19th, 2012

Do you have a few friends on Google Plus?

How about a few really active friends on Google Plus?

And are you just a tad bit tired of their updates? Or maybe you’re getting messages from friends of friends?

Whatever the reason, you’re being inundated with notifications from Google Plus and you’d really like to reduce the amount of messages you get, but aren’t sure how? Don’t worry, we’ve navigated the menus and figured out how to turn off and disable Notification messages in Google Plus. The reality is that the messaging notification system for Google Plus is broader than Facebook and you can get messages for a variety of reasons by default.

How to Turn Off Notifications from Google Plus

First, log into your account (you probably are already logged in) and go to Google+. At the top right, right under where you see a picture of your face, you’ll also see a small gear icon.

Click that to get to the settings page (or click that link to the left).

From here you should see your notification preferences under the headline of Receive notifications:

From there, you can select what actions will trigger an email from Google Plus.

Mute a Single Post

What if there’s a thread on Google Plus that you were once interested in but are no longer interested in? Or maybe it’s gotten out of hand and you don’t want to get anymore notifications about just the one post? There’s a solution for that.

Go to the post and look for a little downward arrow inside a circle, it’s located at the top right of the post’s box. Click that and you’ll see a drop down menu that has the option to Mute This Post. That’ll shut off notifications for that single post.

I hope this helps clear up your email inbox!

When Facebook removed the “Send” button from the commenting system, it made it so that hitting your ENTER key (or RETURN key) submitted the comment. You no longer could create paragraphs in your comments by hitting the ENTER key and it was kind of annoying. It was nice to submit without going to the mouse to click but it’s nicer when people can separate longer thoughts into discrete paragraphs.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution. To add a line (or carriage return, if we want to get all technical) just hold Shift and hit Enter. SHIFT+ENTER will act as a carriage return and let you finally create paragraphs in the comment reply layout.

Now stop writing walls of text and separate your thoughts into paragraphs – isn’t technology grand? 🙂

If your iPhone or your iPad has been slowing down lately, one of the common suggestions is to clear your Safari browser’s cache. As you visit websites, the browser cache accumulates a wealth of data so that future visits are faster. All that data, which consists of text and images, gets stored on your device and takes up more and more space. While they are meant to be optimized, sometimes it just becomes too much and you have to clear it. Clearing it is easy on a regular browser on your computer, you find the proper settings and clear it there. It’s a little trickier on the iPhone and iPad because your Safari browser doesn’t have settings… it’s actually handled on the phone’s settings.

Find your settings icon and tap it and then navigate to the Safari settings:

Just tap “Clear History” to delete the history of your browser and then tap “Clear Cookies and Data” to delete the cache of the browser.

Hopefully, by clearing that information, your device will run faster!

Hulu Experience Problems Loading Advertisements

by jim on February 14th, 2012

A few days ago I starting having a problem with Hulu. Apparently it was having problems loading the commercials before the start of a TV show and so I wasn’t able to watch the shows. No matter what I thought to change, the problem persisted.

Imagine my surprised when I realized that it was my ad blocking plugin, Adblock Plus. Something changed in how Hulu was serving up ads in the last week and now Adblock was blocking those ads, which meant no TV shows.

So, the next time you’re having problems with Hulu, or any other site, try disabling your adblockers.

How to Delete Your GMail Account

by jim on February 8th, 2012

Let’s say you’re doing some spring cleaning and decide that you have a GMail account you no longer want, you can let it languish, never to log in ever again… or you can delete your account. If you delete your account, it’s gone forever in a matter of weeks. You won’t free up your username and you won’t be able to use that username ever again in the future. If you delete your account, it’s gone.

So how do you delete your GMail account? It’s actually quite easy.

You’ll need to look in your Mail Settings, which is the little gear icon in the upper right. Then go to the Accounts and Import tab at the top. On that menu, click on Other Google Account settings link and then Edit under My products. That’s where you’ll find some choices under Services. From here, you have two options:

  • Delete profile and remove associated Google+ features
  • Close entire account and delete all services and info associated with it

Clicking on “Close entire account and delete all services and info associated with it” will delete your account.

If you do change your mind, you have a couple weeks before they delete it forever. They tell you that it may take up to 60 days to be deleted but if you do want it recovered, the best they can do is recover the username.

So, if you want to delete it, you can… but there’s almost no going back.

Gmail Error 400 Using Google Chrome

by jim on January 4th, 2012

I don’t know what causes the Error 400 when I try to load up Gmail in Google Chrome but I do know the solution – clear your browsing history. The Error 400 is typically returned by a server when it thinks the client, in this case me and Google Chrome, has made a bad request. Since I was able to get into GMail using Mozilla Firefox, I knew it was a Google Chrome specific problem. If it were a problem with my computer, I’d get it across multiple browsers.

But upon clearing my browsing history, the error disappeared.

How To Stop Google+ Notifications

by jim on July 9th, 2011

Did you just sign up for Google+ and are now getting a million notifications of who has added you? Tired of it?

Change your settings here:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/settings/plus

Enjoy!

How To Format an Xbox 360 Hard Drive

by jim on June 17th, 2011

My last XBox 360 just experienced a fabled E74 error and, very fortunately, I was just a few days from warranty expiration. While I was able to get that one repaired free of charge (they sent a replacement, a much quieter replacement), I realized that I still had my very dead, very E74’d five year old XBox sitting in a box. Since I had done quite a bit of research to find out how much it would cost to repair it, I thought I might get that fixed and then resold on Craigslist. There was only one hitch – I had a hard drive with a bunch of data on it (I’d long since migrated that data over to the new hard drive).

Fortunately, it’s easy to format an XBox 360 hard drive… or any storage device attached to the XBox.

  1. Write down your console serial number, located on the back of the unit. You’ll need this to confirm the format, this is so you don’t accidentally format something.
  2. Start the XBox without a disc so it goes to the XBox Dashboard.
  3. Select My XBox, then System Settings. Then select Memory.
  4. Select the storage device you want to format and then hit “Y.”
  5. This will give you the option to Format the drive, which deletes everything. Accept the confirmation message.
  6. It’ll ask you for that serial number, aren’t you glad you got that ahead of time?
  7. Wait.

That’s pretty much it. It’s best to do this before you sell your console so you don’t pass along any information you don’t want to.