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    That Mac script that passes MP4v to ffmpeg

    Because of how Mac OS Mojave, Big Sur, Monterey handles file permissions, many Firefox add-ons are not able to pass downloaded files to outside binaries. Usually, the add-on will return a “file/directory not found” or “permission” error.

    I use one such add-on that converts movies to audio-only so that I can listen to a video in a car. After the upgrade to Mojave, the add-on started having problems with passing the downloaded MP4 file to ffmpeg to convert into M4A (MP4 Audio). So instead of typing commands into the Terminal to pass the file to ffmpeg, I decided to make an Automator script to convert MP4 to M4A from contextual menu by right-clicking on the file

    1. In Automator create a new Quick Action
    2. Make the item shown below. I usually keep the ffmpeg executable in ~/bin
    3. Save the script
    4. Name it Convert MP4 to M4A

    That’s it. Now you can right click on a MP4 file and call up the conversion script from the Quick Action or Services item.

    This script is meant for people who know what they’re doing. It won’t check if the file you’re trying to convert is an actual MP4 file, and it won’t display any errors to the GUI. Use with caution.

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    How do I unlink my Facebook account from the McDonalds mobile app?

    Short answer: At the time of this article (Dec 2021) YOU CANNOT.

    You can’t even change your e-mail address with the McDonalds app even if you signed up using your e-mail address only.

    According to the official McDonalds Mobile Order app help page: https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/mcdonalds-app/faqen.html

    Can I change the Email Address? No.

    I suspect that the developers for McD decided to use the e-mail/login-method as the primary unique key for each user instead of assigning a number for the userID. Kind of ridiculous. If you get fired from work or graduate from school, your e-mail address is going to change. If you move from Meta to Google, your login method is going to change. McDonalds expects each customer to possess a “for-life” e-mail address to be using the mobile app.

    I hope this changes in the future because it is totally do-able technically and makes sense practically.

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    SEO Providers – Successories.com

    Today, I received the e-mail below from a SEO provider that ultimately has something to do with “successories.com”. (Celiamania.com is registered through the private domain service “domainproxy.com”).

    To: webmaster

    Reply-To: donotreply@domainsbyproxy.com

    ***SPAM*** FWD: Quick question regarding link removal… [CELIAMANIA.COM@domainsbyproxy.com] (FROM: linkremoval@linkremovalhelp.com)

    Hi,

    I am contacting you from a third party agency who is contracted by “successories.com” to monitor and improve the organic ranking of their website successories.com in various search engines. As part of a recent update to search engine algorithms, Google’s tools have detected that there are some links from various pages of your website which have now been considered “spam” by Google and are having a harmful effect on  rankings. This is due to the way in which these links were created.

    Organic rankings and traffic to the site are vital to our client’s business, and so it is important for us to bring our site into compliance so that we do not continue to be penalized by what Google thinks are links we acquired purposefully against their Webmaster Guidelines. Since this was not the case, we are formally requesting that you remove all the links to the successories.com site from your website.  In addition, I will be forwarding this email to Google to verify that we are taking the proper measures.

    The link to my client’s site is on the following page:

    212 Degrees


    http://celiamania.com/wordpress/?paged=37
    http://celiamania.com/wordpress/?paged=37&wpmp_switcher=desktop
    http://celiamania.com/wordpress/?paged=37&wpmp_switcher=mobile
    http://celiamania.com/wordpress/?stc_oauth_start=1&stcaction=comment&loc=http://www.celiamania.com/wordpress/%3Fp=100%26cpage=1&type=

    Thanks again

    As you see, they don’t give me their name or any contact info other than the linkremovalhelp.com e-mail address. It’s up to me to go search for it. But I don’t need to. The probability is very very high that this is a SEO staff.

    These SEO services have really bad rapport, and I was going to ignore this mundane request, as I was not doing anything wrong or illegal. If you actually look at my pages they refer to, it is somewhat of a negative review of the book “212 Degrees” that they (still) sell on their website. It’s not really a review of the book – but of people who gift such books without much thought.

    There’s nothing I need to do – BUT being the nice person I am. I decided to make this a win-win situation. I will go edit that old article and make the “simple text” anchor link into a “relevant text” anchor link.

    Also, notice… there are no anchored hyperlinks within this article. :)

    References:

    http://www.815seo.com/link-removal-request-email-examples-and-template/

    http://www.seobook.com/removing-links

    http://moz.com/learn/seo/anchor-text

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    Tax Season Is Here


    February is almost over and financial institutions are finally catching up with their paperwork to send out the 1099’s. This year April 15th is a Tuesday, so no reprieves for observation of Sundays. Although you can extend your filing date, you MUST [over] pay your taxes by April 15th if you are going to owe taxes.

    During this economic climate, many people change jobs often. This makes estimating your taxes based on previous year returns very difficult. The easiest way to see approximately how much you’ll owe is to go through a tax filing program like TurboTax with the information you have now (W-2, 1099, most of your medical bills) and get a really good estimate. Then you can go through your return with a fine tooth comb later to add information you can’t compile in time.

    Intuit has has many different grades for their TurboTax software from Basic to UltraMaxCandylandUnicornDream. If you know exactly what you’re doing, you CAN get the Basic version and file additional forms manually. If you need the step by step guidance, you must move on to Deluxe (for home owners), Premium (for stocks/bonds/investments) and Home & Business (for science teachers who run a lab in their basement).

    If you don’t know which one you need and you’re willing to pay for upgrades, then you can start for free online at TurboTax.com and let the website determine which grade you need automatically as you progress.

    But if you need to make many different filing scenarios to see if filing jointly/separately gets you better benefits, or if a home office is worth the calculation, then I recommend getting the packaged version and saving multiple files.