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Posts Tagged ‘tech’

At long last Netflix for iPod and iPhone is here! Even though I do have an iPad I was very excited to finally see Netflix for the iPod touch and iPhone. After having been released today it is already the talk of the web. So why is this update such a big deal? Well for one if you don’t have an iPad you can watch movies or tv shows instantly on your iPod!

Many people don’t have iPad (I know hard to believe right?) but they do have iPhones and maybe even a Netflix account. With Netflix now available on iPhone and iPod it really opens up the mobile capacity for people. Netflix has been around since the early 2000s and has quickly grown large in many ways. In recent years they have introduced instant play, an on demand ability to watch movies and tv shows right on your computer.

Now the instant play ability has grown tremendously. Not only can you watch movies on your iPad (and now iPod and iPhone as well) but devices such as the Roku box and gaming systems like the Wii and xbox 360 also have Netflix compatible capabilities. Instant play has revolutionized the way we watch movies. But what does this all mean for traditional stores like Blockbuster?

Well it could mean they are on their way out. One of the biggest hassles of renting a movie is having to, not only making sure you have it back on time, but also making sure nothing happens to the DVD itself so YOU don’t have to replace it. With instant play movies both issues are eliminated. Not only do you not have a physical DVD to keep track of, you don’t have to worry about retiring anything.

Now with instant play being on so many devices and becoming more and more portable we may see movie rental stores phase out. While right now there are some movies and tv shows that cannot be accessed on instant play alone, in time I believe it will. Another reason I think that more movies will become instant play is because it will dramatically cut down on pirated movies. Some people rent DVDs only to burn them and resell them on a DVD black market of sorts. Sure instant play won’t discourage pirates for long but it could give a fighting chance. Instant play can be watched almost anytime anywhere meaning soon even new movies will become available online until we see the eventual disbandment of brick and mortar rental stores.

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With more and ways to watch T.V. what is the future of T.V.? With so many sites like Hulu and corporate studios now allowing their shows to be put on their individual sites television has become very mobile and much more accessible. Could T.V. be on its way out? Personally I hardly ever watch T.V. on my actual television anymore. I just watch pretty much anything I want when I want online. I guess you could say I am not bound by conventional time schedules!

But seriously, could T.V. be on its way out? I think the answer may be yes. With so many new tv shows coming online we may soon see regular T.V. phased out. So many people watch their favorite shows online but they also watch them on their phones and other mobile devices! So what could possibly phase out T.V.? Well for one you can buy computers that are as large as some T.V.’s so why would you need to pay for a cable or satellite?

I honestly see a point in time where some people (including myself haha!) will not even bother with conventional television. I will just watch what i want to on the internet. Now for those business minded out there I will have to say. If enough people decide to start watching online and not paying for cable or satellite then you can bet your bottom dollar that television studios will begin to charge. In fact Hulu already has begun to charge. Certainly we cannot expect companies to just give away T.V. afterall it isn’t free to make them!

One thing that is for sure to happen is I believe that you will no doubt start to see other applications and developments emerge that will allow us to watch whatever we want whenever we want. Especially for tablet electronics like the iPad.

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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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With all the new gizmos and gadgets that hit the market every year it makes you wonder. Are conventional computers on their way out? Years ago I remember computers that were so heavy you needed three strongmen and a crane just to move them an inch. The along came the laptop. Sure it was still bulky but was a whole lot more portable.

Then everything got smaller, laptops, computers, you name it. But now we live in an age where there are phones that are almost just as powerful as some computers. We surf the Internet,send emails, write documents. All on devices that fit in our pockets. Does all this portable power mean that conventional computers as we know them are on their way out?

Well that is a question only time can really answer. With tablet devices like the iPad paving the way for a new generation of computers we may soon see desktops and laptops alike become obsolete. Now of course this won’t be a one day you wake up and boom you have an dinosaur sitting in your home kind of thing (though that does seem to be how technology works doesn’t it?)
But gradually we may see “normal” computers be transitioned into sleeker and more efficient designs.

But even if desktops DO become obsolete large screen computers will not. No one is going to want to do all of their work on a tiny little phone. But inside of a few years would might see walls that house computer displays (like a giant screen tv) or projectors that can create a fully interactive UI anywhere on the home or office. Either way you put it conventional computers will be on their way out and a new age of computer usage is on it’s way.

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Today I thought I would share a few tips that you can use on your every day electronics to help save and extend your battery life. For some people it can feel like they are constantly charging their electronic devices such as their phones, mp3 players and the like. If you feel like this is your problem chances are you may be wasting your battery life on a lot of useless things. For Cell Phones two of the biggest battery drainers can be the Bluetooth and constantly searching for a signal. Now if you happen to be in an area where there is little signal there isn’t much you can do about the former. The latter ,however, is an entirely different can of worms.

Unless you are the type of person who uses a bluetooth headset twenty-four hours a day seven days a week then there is really no reason to leave your Bluetooth on, on a consistent basis. By going into your settings ( though the exact location does depend on the phone.) You can turn off the Bluetooth and you’d be AMAZED at the battery life you can save. But there are also other devices now and days that use Bluetooth. Laptops are a big user of Bluetooth technology.

By also shutting off Bluetooth capabilities on your computer you can save plenty of battery life. Also, with laptops, they are well liked due to their portability and wifi. But if you are planning on doing something offline for an extended period of time go ahead and shut your wifi off. For one if what you are working on is extremely important then your are going to want to make sure there is no chance that you will lose your data. Second if you don’t have 3G capabilities on your computer there is really no reason to have your wifi searching which can be another battery waster.

But those aren’t the only things you can do to save your laptop battery here is a list of. Few other things you can do;

1. Lower your screen brightness- while a bright screen may be nice, lowering it could add a considerable amount of life to your battery.

2. Close down any large programs that aren’t in use- Not only do large programs take up RAM space but they can also totally kill your battery. If you aren’t using it shut it down.

3. Try to keep the video playing to a minimum- As any good techie knows playing videos takes up way more battery life than reading a document. If you need your battery to last you a long timer I advise against watching all then latest viral videos.

4. Turn down your sound- Again, eliminating unnecessary battery usage from anywhere will do wonders.

5. Stay AWAY fro carpet- Okay so maybe that one is airing on the side of impossible. But believe it or not walking along carpet (especially while wearing your socks and dragging your feet) can actually reduce your battery life and increase chances of killing your battery completely. It’s really all due to static electricity. Whether you feel it or not you’re building up static charge and releasing tiny shocks into the system ( too bad it doesn’t charge it!) over time this can actually damage your battery ( Trust me I am an EXPERT on this one) simple solution here is to try and pick your feet up around carpet.

Devices such as Apples iPad, and iPod or any MP3 player can also benefit from these tips.reduce your brightness, turn off wifi, 3G, and Bluetooth when not in use. Also if you are planning on spending any large amount of time around carpet you might wanna think of investing in anti-static protection. One last tip before I go! Try to not let the battery die completely in any device all the time. The more you let it drain completely the greater risk you run of it conking out on you.

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One of the hottest topics around the web right now is the topic of net neutrality. Now net neutrality at it’s heart is like an equality act for the Internet. It allows every site, small business, or web based network to have just as much of a fighting chance as the other bigger sites. For example, let’s say you wanted to start a site like Amazon.com. With net neutrality you have a fighting chance of someone finding your service and using it.

But here lately several business have been in full support of basically getting rid of net neutrality. One of the biggest companies that has been involved in the fuss is the search engine Google. So what exactly would happen if they got rid of net neutrality? Well you would still be able start your own online site or business but you would be hard pressed to get a fair chance.

What is going on is that Verizon wants to offer (for a price) major face time to some of the nets biggest companies. Think of it as a free pass to move to the head of the class. This could put a serious hurt on the smaller companies that can’t afford to buy this privilege. So should big time companies like Google be able to have access to something like this? Personally I think they shouldn’t.

If anything the tables should be turned and the small businesses should be the ones who get to move to the front. I think this whole thing comes down to favoritism via money. Google can give Verizon a truckload of money that would not only boost Verizon’s economic standpoint but would also increase Google’s revenue. I don’t necessarily believe all the bashings about Google being evil are true. After all, they are a business and they do have to make choices that will allow them to keep their business growing.

However, I don’t feel that net neutrality should even be an issue on the table. Companies like Google are already very well known and really don’t have a need to get their name out there. As I said before I believe that it is only fair that the smaller companies that are struggling should get a free pass. At least until they can get a sizable following at Which point Verizon would cut them off saying “Hey you have enough of a following that you need to be cut off.” The internet was built on hard work and is continued to be built on hard work. That is why those who are still working hard should get the extra push. Not the companies that are already established.

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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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