LastPass has failed me at least 50% of the time



Let me explain.  I have used LastPass for several years and always liked having a secure place for my passwords and secure notes.  I loved that it worked on all my devices including my phones and tablets.  I recommended LastPass to everyone I knew because I believed it was the most secure way to save passwords.  The truth is however, I wasn't using LastPass correctly.  I had LastPass save passwords I made up, but I never relied on LastPass to generate the passwords for me.  I decided to give LastPass a shot at creating and saving my passwords.  My experience was brutal!

There are so many different situations where LastPass can screw up that it's simply not worth trusting it.  First of all, there are many websites where LastPass cannot fill the form.  It presents you with the icon, but clicking on it does nothing.  You can click on the LastPass icon to grab your username and password and manually pasted it into the form, but that's a bit of a hassle. 

The bigger issue is in generating passwords.  Over the last couple of days I changed about 40 passwords and tried to let LastPass do the work.  It worked on about 15 of those sites, and screwed up the other 25.  Usually LastPass ended up screwing up and saving the wrong password.  How does this happen?  There are several ways.

One way is when a site presents you with a "change password" form with 2 fields.  One is your new password and one is the confirmation of your new password.  I clicked on the LastPass password generator in the form which presented me with a password.  After telling LastPass to save the new password, what I didn't know because a LastPass dialog box was blocking the form, is that the new password was not entered into both password fields.  This means I couldn't save the new password, but LastPass had already erased my original password in favor of the new password.  I found that out the hard way!  The fix was manually resetting the password with the website.

Another similar situation is when a site asks you for your new password, you generate it, then it asks you for your old password on the NEXT page.  LastPass has already overwritten your old password so you're screwed again.

Another situation is when LastPass simply saves the wrong password for a reason I cannot explain.  This happened to me at least 8 times and I had to manually reset those passwords as well.

Trying to get LastPass to play well with Wordpress is an absolute nightmare.  There are several Wordpress URL's and LastPass can't figure them all out.  You might go to https://wordpress.com, or username.wordpress.com, or en.wordpress.com.  If you don't have 3 separate entries for Wordpress in LastPass you're screwed!  Try changing your password for Wordpress then ending up at a different URL where LastPass can't supply the right password.  It will drive you mad, especially after you try resetting the password but LastPass overwrites the wrong one.  You will go in circles like I did.  

I am a developer and if I can't figure this software out something is definitely wrong.  I was such a fan of LastPass but over the past couple of days I've come to realize it cannot be relied on completely.  If you are okay with manually copying and pasting your passwords, and being very careful when you change a password, it is a useful tool.  Otherwise, I would recommend using Dashlane or some other product.  

I have been in touch with the support crew at LastPass and they have been very diligent about tracking down my issues.  The problem is these issues are real.  They have confirmed that several of the sites I've mentioned have had issues with LastPass.

I just don't understand how people actually rely on this tool.  I REALLY want to like LastPass.  I heard Steve Gibson rave about it and I wanted him to be right.  The truth is, although I believe LastPass to be completely secure, it is also completely unreliable unless you are willing to do EVERYTHING manually. I could never recommend this for a novice or anyone who didn't want to have to think about it.  


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Yosemite not displaying PDF's properly in Preview - SOLVED


After upgrading to OS X Yosemite, Preview stopped displaying some PDF's properly.  When launching a PDF I would get a gray screen followed by a black screen.  The only option was to hold the power button down to shut the machine down. 

After searching the Apple Discussion forums and submitting a bug report to Apple, I finally stumbled upon the fix.  

1.  Go into Preview Preferences.
2.  Select the PDF tab.
3.  Uncheck "Smooth text and line art."

That's it!  Problem solved.

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My Kindle Won't Charge - FIXED!


My Kindle 3 wouldn't charge and no matter what I tried I couldn't get it to work.  Then I tried using my iPad charger, and it worked!

I had not used my Kindle in awhile and it would not charge.  I plugged it in for 30 minutes and I still got the "Empty Battery" screen.  I called the help desk and they told me it could be my charger.  They offered me a new charger but since I was in a hotel I whipped out my iPad block.

I plugged my microUSB into the iPad charger and plugged it in.  The yellow light would come on for a few seconds, then start blinking, then go off.  The support rep I talked to said that might mean it won't charge.  I tried holding the power button for 20 seconds but nothing happened.  Then I noticed that every time I held the power button down for 20 seconds the yellow light would turn on again, then go off.  I kept repeating the process over and over thinking every time the yellow light came on for a few seconds the battery was getting some charge.  After may 7 times, the yellow light stayed on.  I left the charger in for 50 minutes and wuala!  My Kindle came back to life.

Make sure you keep it plugged in for at least an hour.  Keep holding the power button down for 20 seconds until the yellow light comes back on and stays on.

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My new favorite app is AirServer


AirServer is an app for that you run on your computer that turns it into an AirPlay server. When you run the app on your computer it enables you to stream music and video from your iPhone to your computer.

I have two Apple TVs, as well as an Airport Express. When I choose AirPlay on my iPhone or iPad they all show up as options for streaming. I wanted to stream music from my iPhone to my Mac but Apple does not build that ability into the OS. AirServer solves the problem by turning your Mac into a server for AirPlay just like your Apple TV. After installing AirServer on my Mac, it now shows up along side my Apple TVs and Airport Express as an option for AirPlay.

Not only can I stream music and video, AirServer also supports AirPlay mirroring so you can show your iPhone's screen on your computer.
Check out this review of AirServer from iBlastPhone.

AirServer works best with a Mac, but there is a Windows version too.

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Raising the minimum wage would be counter productive



If you watched the State of the Union Address tonight, you heard President Obama suggest that we should raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour. His argument is that anyone who work a full time job should not live in poverty. I'm sure he feels that it is a "right" for anyone who works 40 hours per week to be able to afford whatever he needs. The problem is not all jobs are equal, not all pay is equal, and everyone's reality is not equal. Mr. Obama should focus on encouraging people to get an education so they don't have to work in minimum wage jobs instead of artificially raising the minimum wage.

What Mr. Obama fails to realize is that increasing the minimum wage increases the cost of doing business. Increasing the cost of doing business when the economy is weak is counter productive. It will slow business growth and cause businesses to pass the increased cost to the consumer, resulting in increased costs of goods. Who do you think that will hurt the most? People on the lower end of the income scale.

The best thing President Obama can do for the economy is stay out of the way. Lower corporate taxes, get rid of Obamacare, and let business invest again. They will be able to hire more people, who will pay more taxes, and we'll get out of the fiscal mess we're in.

President Obama needs to stop acting like he's running a charity, put ideology aside, stop pandering to lower income people by demonizing higher earners, and start being pragmatic about the economy. Just get the heck out of the way and we'll be fine.

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What is wrong with John Kerry's face?


Did you see John Kerry's speech on his first day as Secretary of State?  What happened to his mouth?  Is it botox?  Plastic surgery?  Collagen injections? I have no idea, but he looks funny.

Watch the video above and you'll see what I'm talking about.

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The government should put taxes on sale!


There is so much talk these days about raising taxes.  Everyone wants to believe that all we need to do is raise taxes on rich people because they're not "paying their fair share."  Rubbish.  The rich already pay the highest rate, and largest share.  We can argue that until the cows come home but that is not the point of this post.  

Why should tax rates go down?  Because it will let people keep more of their own money and encourage them to spend, bringing more revenue into the Federal Government.

Imagine you own a T-shirt business.  You make T-shirts for $10 and sell them for $20.  You realize that people aren't buying your T-shirts at $20 so you're not making enough money.  Is the answer to raise the price to $25?  Obviously not!  The answer is to put the T-shirt on sale and offer it at a lower price.  That way you attract more buyers and you make more money.  If you drop the price to $15 you will only make $5 per shirt, but if more people buy it you'll come out ahead.

The same rules apply to taxes.  If they drop the rates the government will see an increase of revenue to the government because people will keep more of their money and will spend it. Every time the government has reduced taxes, the revenue to the government went up dramatically.

If the left really wants to solve our fiscal problems they would stop spening, and put income taxes on sale!

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Share FileZilla bookmarks across multiple Macs


If you want to share your FileZilla bookmarks across multiple Apple computers you can accomplish this with Dropbox (or Google Drive, SkyDrive, etc.).  The key is to move your sitemanager.xml and bookmarks.xml files to Dropbox, and create symbolic links on each computer to point to those files.

  • Show all files in Mac OS X
  • Quit FileZilla.
  • Create a folder in your Dropbox folder for you FileZilla settings to (e.g. ~/Dropbox/FileZilla/).
  • Move your existing bookmarks.xml and sitemanager.xml that you want to share from ~/.filezilla/ to ~/Dropbox/FileZilla/. 
  • Create symbolic links for those 2 files using Terminal:
ln -s ~/Dropbox/FileZilla/bookmarks.xml ~/.filezilla/bookmarks.xml
ln -s ~/Dropbox/FileZilla/sitemanager.xml ~/.filezilla/sitemanager.xml
  • Start FileZilla and make sure everything is working.
  • Create symbolic links similarly for the rest of your computers.

Be sure to do this procedure on each Mac that you want to use the new files.  Keep in mind, you are now adding a layer of risk to your web server.  It maybe a small risk, but if someone gets into your Dropbox account they will have the passwords to login to your web server.  

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Gmail changes black links to blue in email newsletters


Google's Gmail changes black links to blue links in email newsletters.  If you have your links styled in black by using either of the following, Gmail changes your links to blue without telling you.  All of your readers will see blue links instead of black.  Why do they do this?  Who knows, but the fix is easy.


style="color:#000000;"
style="color:black;"

What's the fix?  Just change the color to something very close.

style="color:#111111;"


Now all your links will appear just as you want them to.  Come on Google.  What's up?

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