Category Archives: iOS)

iPhone iOS; Stop robocalls (automated recording calls)

Armed with computers, able to spoof phone numbers, and hiding offshore from law enforcement, robocallers are on the loose again.  Robocallers are a huge annoyance when they call your cell phone because they chew up your minutes.  Here are two things I’m doing about them.


Still worth doing, I think; get your phone numbers on the FCC’s Do Not Call list.  If you get a robocall, complain.  Even if nothing happens, complaints may at least build statistics that could justify some kind of preventive action.

Block the calling number

On the iPhone, with a couple of taps you can block the number that originated a robocall.  Caveats:

  1. You’ll need to leave the entry for the originating number in your Recents list, to have a place to store the “Do Not Call” instruction.
  2. I’ve read that it’s possible for a caller to “spoof” that they called from a different number than they actually were at.  So they could get around your block by spoofing a different originating number. 

What to do:

05 recentsIn the Phone app, in the bottom tool bar, touch Recent.  The log of recent calls displays.  Find the number that called you.  At its right end, click i (information).






10 blockFlip to the bottom of the information display.  Click Block this caller.








Click to confirm you want to block the contact, or cancel.








Google Drive 2014; Import an Excel spreadsheet

I wrote about this in 2013.  Since then, Google Drive has changed its look, and possibly also adjusted how it works.  It’s still better to get your data into a Google Spreadsheet than to upload an Excel file.  The reason is that only computers and devices that have Excel installed can work with an Excel file.  But any computer or device with a browser can work with a Google spreadsheet.

We’ll start with an existing Excel spreadsheet that we’ve saved as a file; we won’t be using Excel during this process.

Send your web browser to Google’s My Drive.  In the left sidebar, click New.  A floating menu appears.  Click Google Sheets.

70 new sheet A new, empty Google spreadsheet appears.  In the spreadsheet’s menu (not the browser), click the File menu and select Import.

75 importThe Import File page appears.  There are several ways to get a file to import.  Check Upload in the top menu.

80 uploadThe Import File page appears.  Open your computer’s file manager in another window.  (OSX; Finder.  Windows; WinExplorer.)  Navigate to the file, click and hold it, and drag it into the browser’s “Import File” window.

85 dragThere are several possible destinations for the file you’re importing.  I chose “Replace spreadsheet” because I had already opened an empty spreadsheet.  Click Import.

90 replaceFor me, the resulting spreadsheet held the Excel data but was still named “Untitled Spreadsheet.”  I changed its title.  Later I noticed that I had two copies of the spreadsheet in Google; the one I uploaded early in this process (bad) and the one I created, replaced data in and renamed (good).  The problem with the bad one is that, if I open it, I see a screenprint-like image of a spreadsheet, not a grid-and-text image that I can change.  That’s an Excel spreadsheet, and Google can’t work with that kind of file.

95 duplicate