Fix Google Plus Auto Backup to [Solved]!

If you have an Android device and have been frustrated by the inconsistent functionality of Google’s Auto Backup of your photos and videos, you are not alone!

Most of the time, the status on the device will read “Backup up…49 left” and be stuck there forever, unless you cheated and disabled backing up over WiFi.  But if you want your photos and videos to back up while you are on you own (or someone else’s) wireless network, you were stuck indefinitely.

Turns out that the fix is quite simple.  Google thinks that your WiFi network is what it calls a “mobile hotspot”, or something else tethered to a mobile network using mobile data.  For this reason, several applications don’t allow the transfer of data if you’ve specified WiFi only because it’s watching out for your best interest.

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to resolve this issue and fix your problems!

On your device, navigate to settings and look for your “data usage” menu.  Once there, click on the 3 dots menu and click on “Mobile Hotspots”.  Find your network name and UNTICK it.  That’s it!

Big Ten tuition for 2015-2016

As a long overdue update to my previous post regarding big ten tuition costs (, I’ve compiled new information about tuition for the schools in the Big Ten conference.
Since last time, the conference has grown so this chart compares the tuition costs across all of the schools in the Big Ten.
It was a challenge to estimate some costs and some universities included the cost of room and board in their fees explanation while some did not. This is a rough guide to help you along the way.

Tuition for Big Ten Schools for 2015-2016
Tuition for Big Ten Schools for 2015-2016

The average cost of attending a Big Ten university for in state residents is now approximately $22,300 while out of state residents can expect to shell out nearly $37,000 for one year of education.

How to choose a Strong Password

Chances are, your passwords are not very good.  Chances are even greater that you use one password over and over again, with minor variations.  Did you know that a good hacker could probably figure out your password in just a matter of minutes and then gain access to: your bank account, your credit card, your stock trading website, your email, twitter, facebook…

A strong password is defined by the webopedia as:

(strâng pas´wërd) (n.) A password that is difficult to detect by both humans and computer programs, effectively protecting data from unauthorized access. A strong password consists of at least six characters (and the more characters, the stronger the password) that are a combination of letters, numbers and symbols (@, #, $, %, etc.) if allowed. Passwords are typically case-sensitive, so a strong password contains letters in both uppercase and lowercase. Strong passwords also do not contain words that can be found in a dictionary or parts of the user’s own name.

Recently, I’ve started making a good effort to create strong passwords.  I’ll be the first to admit that strong passwords are a pain in the neck.  They’re long and you have to remember them!  However, I’ve found a good scheme that works for me and I think will work for you too.

This is what I do.  I take a song that I like and won’t forget, find a section of the lyrics, and take the first letter of each word to make up my strong password.  So, here’s an example password that could be used: Hbda,Hbd2u!  This password is complex because it is long, uses special characters (the ! and the ,) and has a mix of upper and lower case letters.  And it looks hard, doesn’t it?  But it’s really not!  It’s just the end of the song “Happy Birthday”.  How simple is that?  “Happy birthday dear anyone, Happy birthday to you!” Piece of cake, right?

Now, think of a song or two and start making your passwords strong!

Big Ten Tuition Cost Comparison

Since I work at a Big Ten university, I was curious and wanted to know how much each university charged for a year of schooling.

The results are in the graph below and represent published figures from each university’s website.  Please note that these numbers only represent what they call “Tuition and Fees” and don’t include any room and board, meal plans, book, or anything else.  The sources I used to come up with this graph are listed below as well.

While most of the universities did publish their tuition cost, Northwestern University stood out in that their price was not transparent.  I did a rough estimate for only their tuition for 3 quarters and did not include any other fees, so this number is on the very low end of their spectrum.

Also, note that not all universities had posted their tuition for 2010-2011 yet, so some of them still have the 2009-2010 cost.  The tuition year is show in ()’s.

Big Ten Universities Cost Comparison

The most expensive university in the Big Ten is Northwestern University which costs roughly $35,000 for 1 year of education plus all kinds of fees for residents and non-residents alike.

The least expensive university in the Big Ten is Iowa, which costs roughly $7,000 for residents.

The least expensive university in the Big Ten for out-of-town students is Minnesota which costs a little under $22,000 per year.

The sources I used for these figures:

How to Clean Aluminum Water Bottles

For the last few months, I have been using an aluminum water bottle at work.  This thing is great because it keeps me hydrated at work and is fairly hygienic.

These last few days though, I’ve noticed the development of some bumpy residue that is sticking to the sides and bottom of my aluminum bottle. I’ve found out that this is just normal oxidation from the bottle’s contact with air and water.

Regardless, it’s still unsettling to see this kind of growth in my bottle so in an effort to rid my aluminum bottle of these oxidation bumps, this is what I do:

1) Once every 2 or 3 days, I put some (maybe 1/4 full) warm, soapy water in the bottle and shake it up (after capping it, of course) really well. This helps clean the bottle and slow down the oxidation process.

2) With stubborn oxidation bumps, I use aluminum bottle tablets and a special aluminum brush to help clean the aluminum bottles. It’s important not to use any kind of abrasive brush on these bottles because it could damage their inside coating and I, for one, would not like to drink aluminum bits that were loosed due to this. You can get the brush and tablets for around $15 on Amazon.


3) Another thing I do on occasion is to use some baking soda and distilled white wine vinegar on the aluminum bottles. Cap it up, shake it up, and check your progress. Step 2 works the best, but this will work in a pinch to help reduce the oxidation.

Cleaning your aluminum water bottle is easy. The key to keeping them clean is regular washing with warm soapy water and the use of tablets and the brush once in a while.

Since writing this post, I’ve purchased extra bottles to have just about anywhere.  I stash a couple at work, a few at home, and invariably leave one in the car once in a while!  Love my water bottles and hope you take good care of yours!