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Dave Cortright
Silicon Valley, CA
Technologist · Designer · Environmentalist · Conservationist · Vegan · Singer
Recent Activity
Yet another org that I volunteer with has had a hacker try to scam them out of money by spoofing an email that appeared to come from the executive director sent to the finance guy. What many people don’t realize is that it is very easy to spoof an email.... Continue reading
Posted 6 hours ago at Info Tech for Non-Profits
Nearly 2 months ago I listened to the RadioLab podcast called Driverless Dilemma. It discusses the classic ethics thought experiment known as “The Trolley Problem” in the era of self-driving cars. As a designer and engineer, I have to say that the entire premise of this sinister, Rube Goldberg thought... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at KPAO by Dave Cortright
First, let me say that sexual assault is awful. I understand that living as a woman in our society means constant vigilance, and that unwanted sexual advances are going to impact practically every woman in some way, either directly or through a friend, neighbor, colleague or relative. But, the words... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at KPAO by Dave Cortright
For a couple of years now, YouTube has been exposing songs from their Google Play Music library in YouTube via what they refer to as “art tracks”. They show the song title, artist, album, and album art as static info in the video area while the music plays. The best... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2017 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
I spent 3½ years administering a RingCentral VoIP system of 15–20 lines. I would say they are ok. They are definitely feature-rich, with a decent mobile client and a partnership with Zoom for video conferencing. Coupled with the non-profit discount we negotiated, it was reasonably priced. However ease-of-use—both for the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
Now that I’m working from home with a flexible schedule, I’ve signed up to do on-demand dog walks using the Wag app. Gotta love the new gig economy! If you’re interested in checking out Wag, sign up using my promo code DAVE0457 to get you first several walks free and/or... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2017 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
Using a search engine is a pretty important skill to have these days. So much so that this should probably be a core requirement in high school and college these days. Google has a page devoted to their advanced search operators. But there are a few that I use most... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
I personally will never buy an iPhone X. First, it is way too big. I have an SE and I love it. I can reach every part of the screen with my thumb while holding it, and it fits into every one of my pockets without me worrying about cracking... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at KPAO by Dave Cortright
On my MacBook Pro, there are dedicated keys at the top of the keyboard for changing the brightness of the screen or volume of the audio. However there are only 16 discreet values, plus a 17th one for “off”. Sometimes you want a bit more granularity. Hold down the option... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
The wildlife conservationists I help work in very remote areas where there either is no electrical grid, or the one that is there is unreliable. In these scenarios, it’s important to have your own powered light source. MPOWERD Luci solar lights are a favorite. They are reasonably inexpensive and perform... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
These days it is super-easy to capture quick video clips that you want to post to social media or embed in a blog post. For quick and easy editing, I use the QuickTime Player app on the Mac. Open the clip in QuickTime, then click Trim… in the Edit menu... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
I’ve been wanting to create an automation for these tasks ever since I first did presentation wrangling for all of the 18 or so presenters at the 2014 Wildlife Expo. The best presentations are the ones where the slides are a simple as possible, and presentation is carried by the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
The biggest downside of the most recent line of MacBooks is that they are unable to be upgraded. The memory and storage chips are all soldered directly to the logic board. However at least with the MacBooks (both Pro and Air) made 2012–2016, there is a workaround. You can use... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
When people talk about tech, they often mean electric devices that need a power source and usually have an on/off switch. However there are at least a couple of different kind of tech that can be just as (or even more) useful: design tech and materials tech. OXO products—especially their... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
I just double-booked myself because and event I had committed to on Facebook wasn’t in my personal Google calendar. So I decided to fix things to prevent it from happening in the future. I did find articles on the web about how to do this, but since Facebook updates the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
It’s coming up on the end of the year giving season, and you are planning to donate $1000 to your favorite charity. You could just give it via cash / check /credit card like most people do, and they will happily take it. And of course you can then deduct... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
Since I primarily manage Mac and iOS systems, I haven’t blogged much about Windows. However if you are a Windows admin, then you absolutely need to know about Microsoft’s Sysinternals toolset. I use Process Explorer as a much more powerful replacement to the standard Windows Task Manager. And Autoruns is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
The folks I support often do presentations in whatever venue they can book for cheap or free. Sometimes it’s just a large living room in a supporters house. So having the right gear is important. For the projector, I highly recommend one with a “short throw”. That allows you to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
The Centre for Effective Altruism in the UK runs a great website called I only just signed up a couple of weeks ago on the recommendation of a respected advisor, and so far it looks really great. Sign up for their weekly email series to get it pushed to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
I always tried to use the space bar to play and pause YouTube videos, but if the focus isn't in the video player itself, it always scrolls the page down. Well no more! I now use the K key to play/pause, and J to jump back 10 seconds. L also... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
Wow, this is huge. For the longest time I thought the only way to get a movie to play in PowerPoint using just a presentation remote was to change the Play setting to Automatically. The default value is On Click, but that never worked; a click would just take you... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
I previously blogged about Google’s site: search operator (which also works in other search engines). You can create shortcuts for commonly-used sites in Chrome using the Search Engines setting. It helps if you have a bit of knowledge about how URL parameters work, but even if you don’t, just follow... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
It’s surprising that this still isn’t fixed. But yes—when you save a Word doc to PDF or try to print to PDF—it completely removes all of the hyperlinks. It’s insidious because it leaves the blue underlined text styling in place. But that’s all it is: styled text. This does work... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
This is actually a simple yet brilliant idea. Since the first line of defense of any tech problem with the network is the reboot the modem and router, why not do it preemptively to prevent the problems from happening in the first place? This outlet timer is designed specifically for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits
It’s a common scenario: you need to send some sensitive information to a colleague or friend, and you know that email is not the way to do it. Instant messaging isn’t any more secure. You could use chat: Skype, WhatsApp, or best of all Signal. But that requires that you... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2017 at Info Tech for Non-Profits