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Have you ever wondered what you can do to prolong the longevity of your computer? Aside from the obvious keeping it out of water there are plenty of small things you may not even know about that can damage your computer. For one you should never leave your laptop sitting on a carpeted floor. A laptop needs proper circulation to keep itself cool. By setting a laptop on the floor any heat generated by the battery is trapped in the carpet beneath the laptop and is added onto the heat already being accumulated.

This can actually cause the computer to run harder and burn up a lot quicker. It is best to leave your laptop sitting on a hard surface so it can get the proper circulation. You should also make sure to keep the circulation vents on both your laptop and desktop clean as this can generate the same results. Another thing that most people don’t think about is making sure their keyboards are clean. Over time dead skin cells and other wonderful particles can fall in some keyboards.

This can cause the keys to stick and in some cases not function at all. The best thing to do is to take a sweeper that has the ability to have a hose attached and sweep it out. This can take care of little things but should the keys be so gunked up that this doesn’t work, then you should remove the keys ( something that should be done by a person with experience if you are not comfortable with it.)

We can’t forget the mouse either! Though not many people still use the good ole’ computer mice with the trackball for those who do here’s a tip on what to do if it isn’t working right. If you should find that the mouse isn’t working a good as it used to (i.e. Sticking, choppy movement, etc) chances are you need to clean the trackball. Just like the keys the trackball can collect gunk and reduce efficiency. On most models of trackball mice there is a little compartment at the bottom of the mouse that can be removed with a coin or paperclip. If you remove this cover and pull out the little ball you can take a cotton swab with a dab of rubbing alcohol and clean the ball and the innards of the compartment. This can dramatically increase your mouse’s ability to work!

Lastly, and one of my biggest pet peeves, is to make sure you keep all food and drink away from your computer and laptop. In fact try to keep it away from any electronic device. Countless people have lost their computers due to spilling something on them. When you eat and drink around your computer you are bound to drop crumbs and droplets onto it. On occasion you may even spill your entire drink on it. This isn’t as devastation to a desktop as it is a laptop. Because generally if you spill your drink on a desk top it will only reach the the keyboard not the main system.

That is depending of course on where you keep your system. But with a laptop if you spill something on it you are pretty much dead. In the event that you do spill something immediately hit hit the power button to turn it off, unplug the power source fro the computer, and turn it upside down with the lid open. This will prevent any liquid from getting further into the system. Also by unplugging it and shutting it down you reduce risk of totally frying your laptop.

After you have waited for at least 24-48 hours ( I would shoot for 48 just to be safe) you should be safe in turning it back on. In some cases you may have been lucky and the computer will be fine. However, if the computer won’t turn on don’t automatically throw it away. Try taking it to a computer specialist to see if your hard drive is still salvageable. If it is you can remove it and possibly save your data!

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You’re at a quaint little restaurant in Paris, or a beautiful park in some obscure little town and think, “Wouldn’t it be great to let the world know about this?” With geotagging that is exactly what you can do. Geotagging is a form of metadata (think of metadata as data about data, kinda like the description you give your photos on social networking sites. That’s metadata.) that can be attached to a pictures and videos and other things like that. Now unlike a description a geotag is not physically seen.

It is a strand of embedded metadata that gives the viewer the ability to find the exact longitude and latitude of the place where the picture was taken. Then using anything from a GPS to just typing in the coordinates on Google, whoever viewed the picture can pinpoint the location and visit it themselves. But can geotagging raise a question of personal security? Recently Adam Savage (co-host of Discovery’s Mythbusters) took a picture of his vehicle at his home and uploaded it to Twitter. Unbeknownst to him in doing so he also embedded the exact location of his residence.

This is when both security and ethics come along in geotagging. Like anything that deals with the Internet and the world wide web being security smart is always top priority. It is easier now more than ever for some obscure person to find out almost anything about another person just by a simple search. So is geotagging a compromise on personal security? The simple answer to that question is no.

As with anything that is public it is the duty of the user to ensure that any personal info they don’t want getting out stays secured. Now what if you have an instance in which you forget to turn off things like geotagging? I mean we are all only human and I am sure that Mr. Savage had no deliberate intention of revealing his location. What do we do in that case? This is where ethics would come Into play.

For a lot of people on social networking sites they have friend bases comprised of many whom they don’t personally know (and even if they do know them it still doesn’t mean they can entirely trust them.) people are bound to look up the coordinates of someones location whether posted intentionally or not. But does that give us the right to? What if someones phone, by some off chance, accidentally takes a picture while inside their pocket, becomes geotagged, and gets posted? Sure it may sound far fetched but the possibility is still there.

This is the point where the viewer should decide if it is truly ethical to find the location at which this picture was taken. Some will and some won’t. Still the bottom line here is this. If you don’t want your every move document for the whole world to see TAKE PRECAUTIONS. Shut off your geotagging abilities, lock your phone, and be smart. Remember, once something gets put on the Internet it will inevitably remain there even if you thought you deleted it.

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If you are into any type of Apple following (or stalking as is  my case) you try to be as up-to-date as possible on all things Apple! Word on the web is that Apple is discussing making a newer and smaller iPad. At roughly 9.50 x 7.40 inches the iPad is already a very portable and easily transported device. We’ve all seen it before, the rumors start in the chat rooms and forums “OH Apple is coming out with this AMAZING new product!” To which Apple replies “NAHHH all those stories are strictly fabrications!”

Then three months later BANG! You have yourself the elusive iPhone or iPad or anything Apple has ever created really. But would it really make much sense to make the iPad smaller? A few years back Apple created the iPod and the biggest complaint among users was that it was too bulky. Which in all honesty it was, I mean come on, the sucker was literally a portable external hard-drive! But like all new gadgets it went through its infant stages of being big and bulky (I like to call it technologic baby fat.)

To the sleek iPod touch we have today (Which I ALSO have a name for called Techno Puberty. Gone is the chub, hello curves!) After the creation of the iPod classic we have had several incarnations of the iPod all of which have been either smaller, thinner, or both and all leading up to the iPod touch. So back to my point here. I completely understand apple wanting to improve on the iPad.

Personally I would love to see them add the FaceTime ability on the iPad especially to the 3G versions which would be virtually like a video phone (even thought the iPhone 4 already IS that I don’t currently HAVE an iPhone 4 so I am out haha!) Apple may very well decide to include more features in the next-gen iPad, which we all know there will be a next-gen because any true Apple fan knows that if you don’t like what Apple has come out with wait 6 months and they will improve on it. HOWEVER, I don’t think that making it smaller is really a good idea. Most people love the iPad because it is so large and easy to manipulate. I have my iPod which is great to throw in my pocket but my iPad is great for those times when I don’t feel like sitting with my laptop or watching a movie on a small screen.

If they did go smaller I would say no more than one to two inches all the way around. Of course it would be very interesting to see if they can in fact make something as powerful as an iPad as small as an iPod and perhaps that is their goal!

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