This Week in History

Ben Riggleman


    • November 8, 1966 — British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is born. (He is best known for competitive cooking shows like Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef.)
    • November 9, 1916 — Jeannette Rankin of Montana is elected to the House of Representatives, becoming the first woman to hold federal office in the U.S. Her pacifism is also notable: Rankin is the sole member of Congress to oppose war with Japan after Pearl Harbor.
    • November 10, 2007 — Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez repeatedly interrupts Spain’s King Juan Carlos I at the Ibero-American Summit, causing the exasperated monarch to snap, ¿Por qué no te callas? (“Why don’t you shut up?”) The phrase becomes a meme across the Hispanic world.


  • November 11, 1620 — Male Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sign the Mayflower Compact. In it, they agree to form a cooperative, democratic government — the first of its kind in America.


    • November 12, 1993 — The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) holds its first mixed martial arts event in Denver, Colo.
    • November 13, 1956 — The U.S. Supreme Court finds segregated busing unconstitutional. (It upholds the decision of a lower court in Browder v. Gayle.) This ends the Montgomery Bus Boycott, instigated by Rosa Parks the year before.


  • November 14, 1960 — Six-year-old Ruby Bridges becomes the first black child to attend an all-white school in Louisiana. A violent mob gathers outside the school, forcing President Eisenhower to send in U.S. Marshals to protect her.
  • November 15, 1864 — Union general W.T. Sherman torches the city of Atlanta, Ga. during the American Civil War. Sherman then leads his troops towards Savannah on the scorched-earth campaign remembered as his “March to the Sea.”


Source: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Speeding Up Your Android Device

Greer Jordan


Is your Android phone running slower than you remember? Buttons and/or touch-screen response time feeling slow or laggy? There are several reasons why an Android phone or tablet can slow down, not function properly, run low on battery, or just be a pain to use. This article could help get your device working properly again.

Android devices vary and dominate the marketplace. With that in mind, Android devices differ in many aspects, which can include some of the following:

  • Android software version.
  • Make, model, version, and mobile carrier attributes.
  • Custom modifications.

The following guidelines are for general troubleshooting. Keep in mind that the button layout, the ability to operate a desired task, how to get to the settings menu, and much, much more will vary across all Android devices.

The General Stuff

These are the must-dos for speeding up any Android:

  • Power-cycle or restart your device. (Do this at least once a week!)
  • Clear processes, notifications, and web browser tabs.
  • Remove, clean, and reseat all removable components, including: battery, SIM and SD cards.
  • Clear storage cache.
  • Do a software update.
  • Try a new battery. (Test or replace.)

If the above helped, great! If not, there are a few more things to check. An Android device generally wants around 10 percent of free space on both the device storage and the SD card. If they are packed full, the phone will never run to its full potential. Try some of the following to free up some space:

  • Move files onto a computer or cloud storage. (Google Photos has 15GB for free!)
  • Invest in a better/larger SD card. (Make sure it is at least Class 10 or throw it away!)

If your micro-SD card is not a Class 10, it basically means it is old and/or low quality! Back up your data immediately and replace the micro-SD because it is going to fail. If you are wondering how to tell what class-type your micro-SD card is, just look for a number on it between 1 and 10 that is generally printed on the side without the gold chipset.

Damaged Devices

If your phone is still bogged down, there are a few more things you can check. A damaged device can perform normally one day and deteriorate the next. Does your device have dents or a cracked display? What about water damage?
Water damage ruins electronics, and the symptoms can vary. All devices come with water damage indicators but the location of these indicators varies. If your phone has a removable battery, then there is generally a water damage indicator on the battery itself, and underneath the battery on the device. If your device does not have a removable battery, it may be located in the SIM- or SD-card slot. If you are having trouble locating the water damage indicator, do some Google research for your device and you should be able to locate it in no time.

Troublesome Applications
Lastly, check for troublesome applications that could be bogging down your device. Device-cleaning apps, battery-saving apps, and security apps are generally bad for your device. They hog up resources, disable features on your device, spam popups about spooky viruses, and generally want users to sign up for a paid app that promises virus removal. Go through your installed apps and remove all of these. If you feel like you must have these apps, just leave one (and only one) installed. I recommend “CCleaner” by Piriform. Find it on the Android Play store.
Remember! A good practice in choosing what app to download is to read customer reviews and check what the app’s rating is.

Factory Reset
Still bogged down? Back up everything important (SD card, computer, cloud storage) and factory-reset your device. Remember to remove your SD card before the factory reset! This will erase everything on the phone and restore the device back to factory settings.
If your device is still having issues after a factory reset, it may be time to consider some of the following ways to replace your device:
• Contact the manufacturer about a warranty exchange.
• If your device is insured, get a replacement.
• Replace your battery.
• Buy a new device.
Hopefully my guide on ways to help speed up your Android device has been helpful! Remember, Android devices vary. If you are having issues or cannot figure out to complete a task in my guide, Google research is your friend!

Greer Jordan is a member of the Information Technology senior seminar course and is planning on a career in a computer-related field. For more info about him, go to

iPhone 7: Should you upgrade?

Kendel Tatsak


The main talking point of the new iPhone 7 has been its lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack, but what else on the phone is new?

What have always shined most in Apple’s iPhones are their sheer speed and processing power. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus feature an A10 fusion 64-bit quad core processor. The CPU is said to be 40 percent faster than those in the previous iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.  

The traditional headphone jack was excluded to make room for a bigger battery, stereo speakers, a new home button that is no longer mechanical; and to make the phone water-resistant.

The new iPhones should have up to two hours more battery life than their previous versions. Instead of one mono internal speaker, there are now two: one at the top and bottom of the phone. The home button has been replaced with one that does not actually click anymore, but simulates a click through a small vibration. Apple have also said that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus can stay underwater up to one meter deep for about 30 minutes and still remain functional.

The absence of a traditional headphone jack has been enough for many consumers to immediately dismiss the iPhone, but what has Apple done to make up for the change? Well, first of all, each iPhone will come with a pair of wired EarPods that will plug directly into the lightning port.

There will also be an adapter provided to let you use any traditional 3.5mm headphones with the lightning port. (This is more than the newest MacBook could claim, which replaced the traditional USB port with two USB-C ports and did not provide an adapter free of charge.)

I personally don’t use headphones with my phone often, but if you’re constantly listening to music this could be a huge detriment. Having a dongle always plugged into your charging port will not only make for a clunky user experience, but it also adds another point of failure. If these adapters are anything like the lightning cables Apple manufactures, it’ll have an average lifespan of just a few months before you have to buy another one. This is a puzzling and somewhat disappointing move from Apple, which has always had sleek design as a top priority in the past.

If you can look past the headphone-jack blunder, this is a more than modest improvement from Apple’s previous iPhone. From the iPhone 5 up until the 6s, the default storage capacity was 16GB and you would have to shell out $100 extra to get up to 32GB. This new installment of iPhones will be the first time that 32GB is the smallest storage capacity, and I think that’s something to celebrate. With the iPhone 6s introducing a 12-megapixel camera and the new Live Photos feature (a feature that records 1.5 seconds before and after a picture is taken) storage was a major problem, almost making the upgrade to 32GB a must.

With all things considered, except the removal of the headphone jack, this seems like another solid advancement from Apple. So why did they remove the headphone jack? Well, your guess is as good as mine.

There was an equal amount of outrage when they replaced their almost decade-old 30-pin charging cable with the current lightning cable, but that turned out to be short-lived. The headphone jack will likely never come back, so in five years maybe we’ll see other companies follow suit and tethered headphones will become a relic of the past.

A Beginner’s Guide to Home Network Security

Chris Greer


I don’t want to startle you, but if someone wants to gain access to your home network by breaking your router’s encryption, they can and will.

With that said, it is unlikely to happen because it just isn’t worth the time and effort for most. However, that is no excuse to be complacent and let year after long year pass while not upgrading your network hardware. If you don’t keep your equipment up to date, you run the risk of being a victim of identity fraud and who knows what else.

So for those of you who have had the same router for ten years and are now using it to prop up that coffee table with the broken leg, it’s time to replace it and talk about what you can do to make sure your new router as secure as a tailless cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

If you’re like me and you live in Maine, you probably have Time Warner Cable for your internet service provider. I won’t bore you with an anecdotal diatribe about Time Warner because that would fill a decent size claw foot bathtub, but I will offer this advice: Do not lease equipment from them, as it is antiquated and more often than not, used.

You’re better off purchasing a modem from their approved list and connecting it to a router with a built-in switch and wireless capabilities. That way, you can connect multiple peripherals through a direct connection and also be able to use your favorite wireless devices like a smartphone or laptop. The equipment will eventually pay for itself due to the lack of a lease fee on your cable bill.

Make sure the router says “Gigabit” on it and not “Fast Ethernet.” Fast Ethernet is an old standard and will more than likely bottleneck your home network speed.

The next thing you want to make sure you router has is either “802.11AC” or “802.11N” wireless speeds, as any other standard will be too old to consider.

You will also want to ensure the router manufacturer allows you to change the default name and password. This is just an added level of security, and be sure to make it long enough to stall brute force attacks. Twelve characters should be fine.

Last but not least: Do not use WPS, aka Wi-Fi Protected Setup. It is a feature added to routers that has a litany of flaws, including vulnerabilities to brute force attacks and physical security issues if the router is not kept in a secure area.

Once you have your modem hooked up and your router connected and are able to get into the settings menu, it will be important to remember two things: WPA2 and AES. WPA2 stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 and is the go-to protocol choice for home routers. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and is the most secure method for encrypting your router. If you see settings for WEP or TKIP, run away very fast. Using these would be like removing the front door of your house and never thinking to replace it.

These are just some of the first things you want to think about when securing your home network. If you want to dig into your router and play with some of the more advanced features, I would highly encourage it — but be sure you do your research first. You don’t want that tailless cat losing its nerve.

Chris Greer is a member of the Information Technology senior seminar course and business-unit application support analyst at a local financial institution.

SMCC Coaches Spotlight: Katie Bergeron

Beacon Sports Staff


With the 2016-17 basketball season only two weeks old, first year Head Coach Katie Bergeron has her Lady Seawolves primed for an outstanding season. The Lady Seawolves are undefeated after four games, averaging 59.8 points per game while allowing 47.4 points by their opponents.

Bergeron’s knowledge base in coaching is backed up with skillsets that enabled her to break the 1,000 point barrier while playing on the Bowdoin College ladies team from 2007-2011. Her on court abilities lead Katie to play professionally for three seasons in Europe, two for the Leeds Carnegie team in the United Kingdom, and one season with the Aabyhoj Club in Aarhus, Denmark.

In terms of building a solid coaching knowledge base Katie has seen time as an assistant coach at Emmanuel College, as head coach of the South Portland JV girls’ squad, and as an assistant on the South Portland High School varsity team. Bergeron also worked as a community coach developing a youth basketball program, while she was working on her Masters’ Degrees at Leeds Metropolitan University in 2013-14. Her masters’ degrees are in the areas of Sports Business and Sports Law and Society.  

Bergeron’s coaching style is high key as she never sits during the games and is constantly encouraging her athletes from the sideline. As stated in the SMCC Athletic Department’s press release when she was hired this past summer, Bergeron has “four core coaching beliefs: communication, trust, efficiency, and enthusiasm. I have a passion for coaching and leadership as well as empowering young women to become their best.”      

These qualities have made their presence felt on the court has the Lady Seawolves are playing with intensity on the defensive side of the court and working as a team on the offensive side.

From the Desk of the Managing Editor: An Apology

Alex Serrano


In the October 25th edition of the Beacon Newspaper, I wrote a flagrant and insulting article titled, “What’s Up With Midcoast?” The column targeted the students of the Midcoast campus. In a regrettable and inexcusable show of cruelty, I characterize the Midcoast students as apathy-ridden and lazy. At the most offensive instance, I invoked my power as Managing Editor, challenging our fellow students to “shake the languid slug-monster from your little uncaring brain[s].” This was a blatant, caustic misuse of my power. I made a mistake which I believe I shall not forget very soon, nor be forgiven.

This article was a misguided, but well-intentioned attempt to rabble-rouse during a time of frustration with the aforementioned Midcoast Campus. My only goal was to shake up the Midcoast population to the point of action.

As a reporter and a writer, I realize that many of us thrive on the effect that our writing has on the target community. Unfortunately, the easiest emotion to tap into is angry, spiteful rage towards our fellow man (just look at this election cycle). If this had been more pleadingly worded, politer, there may not have been any effect. But the line must be drawn at insulting and hurtful language. When I read this article back, and with hindsight being what it is, I can now see the needlessly acidic mindset and the emphatic naiveté presented. Had I the faintest foresight present on the day of editing, this piece would surely have been cut down or scrapped completely.

The blame cannot be dealt to any of the Beacon staff. It is because of my position that this level of scathing disgust would be permitted on the pages of the Beacon. I will strive to rectify this mistake and will keep it in my mind from now on while writing. I seek not to excuse this mistake, but to rectify my misdeeds. I only sought to engage the Midcoast Campus in order to generate content for the Beacon.