Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Holiday Greetings

Please allow me to say…

I hope those of you who had the day off today had a great three day weekend.. and for those who had to punch the clock, thank you for being there.

February 21, 2011 Posted by | blogging | 2 Comments

Sunday Beauty XXX

Today’s photo is a nice example of the ‘long exposure’ technique, and kind of pretty too.

Click on image to see more by this artist

Photo by epSos.de, courtesy of Flickr Commons

 

February 20, 2011 Posted by | Digital Images | 4 Comments

No end in sight

Folks, I apologize for being absent. It so happens that life has been presenting me with many opportunities and challenges that are keeping me at the top of my game… and quite busy. I simply do not have the time to write.

I thank you for stopping by, and I hope you all have a marvelous weekend. Here is a pretty picture to start things of right.

Click on image to see more by this artist

Photo by Vasenka, courtesy of Flicker Commons.

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Digital Images | | 4 Comments

My First Look At Android, part 1

What?! No Netflix?!

Loyal friends of Tech – for Everyone will know that I generally write about Windows PC’s, specifically, and computers and the Internet, generally. (A ‘special theme’ here being cybercrime and Internet security.)

They will also know that I really have not talked about mobile devices: smart phones, like the iPhone; and tablets, like the Galaxy Tab and iPad. Except maybe to say that pedestrians and bicyclists who have their heads down, and are ‘texting’ instead of looking where they are going really ‘frosts my cookies’. (I won’t tell you what I think about drivers who text.. but maybe you can guess..)

click to see how this image was made in Photoshop (tutorial)

Well this past year, Apple’s iPad caused many folks to label 2010 as the “Year of the Tablet”. And this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was – surprise! – all about new tablets and smart mobile devices (the object formerly known as “cell phone”). And we are bent on moving to the “cloud computing” model. So.. my guess is these units are here to stay.

My exhausting and thorough, in-depth analysis and research (ahem) led me to believe that the main players of the operating systems for these ‘smart’ mobile devices are Apple, Android, RIM Blackberry, and Windows.. kinda in that order.

I won’t bore you with the reasons, but I am avidly not an “Apple guy”. I repair and support them at Aplus Computer Aid, sure. And I give the iPod, iPhone, and iPad due credit for being ‘revolutionary’, sure. (There are plenty of Apple-enthusiast websites out there already.) Short version: when it became time for me to go shopping, I tried really hard to avoid Apple.

I will come back to this subject, but for now, I only have time to say that I am currently putting through its paces an Android 4G smart phone that, it seems to me, has all the bells and whistles. Here are some of my initial impressions of Android. Quickly:

My first “pros”:
* Lots of free “apps” and kewel ‘widgets’.
* Intuitive. Snappy. Easy. (Haven’t had to look at the manual yet.)
* Seems to do everything, and .. if it doesn’t, quick as a blink, I can download “an app for that”.

My first “cons”:
*
For my getting-older eyes, I think I want a larger screen than the smart phones have.. perhaps a 7″ tablet. Unfortunately, my understanding is, the ‘phone tablets’ are not available in the US.
* Netflix ‘streaming’ is not available for Android
(iDevices and Windows 7 Mobile only).

That last was, you may be surprised to learn, a fairly big disappointment to yours truly. I put in a call to Netflix, and was told that I am not the only person on Earth who wants a Netflix app. I was told that because of the difference in the nature of Android, and because of DRM issues, Netflix has work to do, and cannot release a single app, but has in the pipeline – and coming “very soon” – device specific apps. The more popular your phone, the sooner you will get an app.. is the way it sounds to me.

However.. this fact does make the iPhone appear more attractive. At least to Netflix users.

To read Part 2, click here.
And also, Android Adventures – Part 3

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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February 14, 2011 Posted by | Android, Apple, cellular, computers, gadgets, hardware, Internet, mobile, PC, Portable Computing, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sunday Beauty XXIX

It being Sunday, how about some beauty?

Balanced Rock, Arches National Park, Utah

Photo by Ray Rasmussen, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. (Click on image to see larger.)

Folks, Mr. Rasmussen asked if I could add a link to his website. One look and I said, “sure!” Wow, he has some nice stuff there. Here it is: http://raysweb.net/

February 13, 2011 Posted by | Digital Images | 6 Comments

YouTube Gone In Two Months?

It is my humble opinion that there is only one reason you and I have the Internet.

yahoo page

Some of you may remember – from about a year ago now – that Google purchased YouTube, and shortly thereafter came the headline: YouTube Launches Video Ads — Public Reaction Negative.

Google wants to make money with YouTube. Problem is… the site is expensive as *heck* to run, and they just can’t seem to run enough ads to pay for it all. What’s the solution? Make the user experience as crappy as *heck*, so they use less bandwidth as people stop coming to the site, AND make money during the entire process! Do I smell a hint of BRILLIANCE?” *

This quote was from an article about Google’s  move to fit more ads onto YouTube, posted on LockerGnome. You can read the whole article here, and see the details, but I would like to say some of you may find the language a little salty (though, it’s not too bad, really.) It suggested that YouTube now had a year to live

That year is up in April. (I wonder what the Internet without YouTube will be like…?)

In one of my prior articles (talking about the Yahoo! “mergers” and take-over bids) I came up with a catchy title — “A World Run By Ad Revenue“. It seems to me that we have reached a point in our evolution where we have become so inundated with advertising, that we have developed an internal ability to block them all from our minds.

When that doesn’t work — there’s the Mute button.

Today’s free download(s): I don’t actually see all that many ads when I surf the Internet because I use ad-blocking software/tools. (Don’t worry all you businesses running ads, I never buy stuff because you ran an ad anyway. I boycott you because I hate ads that much).
Firefox: I use the plug-ins AdBlock Plus, NoScript and FlashBlock
Internet Explorer: I download and install SelectView

There are other products available for you to choose from, both free and ‘for sale’.

[note: hackers (really “cybercriminals”) have found ways to deliver malware through ads, so blocking ads is safer. But naturally, advertisers don’t like the idea that we can ‘block’ their expensive come-ons, and are constantly pressuring developers and lawmakers to find ways to take such tools out of our hands.]

I very much doubt that YouTube will go away.. or that advertisers will clue into the fact they are throwing away money… But I do also hope this is not our future..

hong-kong-advertising

Because some *people* thinks it works…

Yes Advertisers. It’s true. I stopped watching TV because of you (the 5,000,000th pharmaceutical ad was the ‘straw’).

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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February 12, 2011 Posted by | advice, browsers, computers, Firefox, Google, IE 7, ie 8, IE 9, Internet, software, tech | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wise Words + Friday Fun

This has been posted around the Internet many times, but life has found a way to remind me of it. Again…

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it.

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parent’s fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you the test as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

~ Wise words from Bill Gates.

And since it is TGIF, how about something to help take your mind off of the fact that there will be no football this weekend.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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February 11, 2011 Posted by | advice | 4 Comments