Tech – for Everyone

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

Consumer Electronics Show 2015 (CES) Recap

Folks, here is the best article on the recent CES I’ve seen to date.

* CES 2015, from tablets to curved screens and wireless charging: A pragmatist’s verdict

CES can show you whatever you are looking for, so whatever you think of the industry, this one event won’t change your mind.” Read more..

Rel: CES 2015: Meet the worst tech of the show

The biggest tech expo of the year drew to an end with some remarkably strange, weird, and in some cases entirely pointless gadgets, gizmos, and technologies.” VIEW THE GALLERY

*     *     *

Coulda’ Been Worse Dept:

That guy should go buy a lottery ticket…

Today’s quote:Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

January 15, 2015 Posted by | computers, consumer electronics, hardware, News, Portable Computing, tech | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New! A Practical Use For Your Xbox

Great News For Couch Potatos!

The feature article in this week’s Windows Secrets caught my eye, and I’m very glad it did, as what seemed frivolous at first pointed to a glimpse of our (soon to be) future. And it seems everything in our future assumes we’re sitting in front of a big screen on our couch..

The article is: Pizza and tech: An app creates the perfect combo

See? Frivolous, right? But what it means is you can now order a pizza from your Xbox (no need to interrupt that game).

But wait! There’s more (scarier) stuff thanks to the coming Xbox One (and the second generation of Kinect). The (article’s) ‘blurb’ reads…

“There’s an app for that! We’re now well into an era of mini-apps — created for smartphones, adopted by Windows 8, and now rapidly making their way onto entertainment systems and other digital devices. In a preview of things to come, a Pizza Hut app lets you order your favorite pie right from your Xbox 360 gaming/entertainment system.

.. and frankly, I almost didn’t read the article (I mean, I have a life). But I read all the way through, and that’s where it got interesting.

Xbox One will include a dramatically improved Kinect built in. It can track heartbeats, muscular movement, and even your facial expressions — which is already generating discussions about personal privacy, as reported in a June 13 Rolling Stone article. It’ll even know when you’re bored, frustrated, or scared while playing a game.

What? A box will be watching my face? And monitoring my emotions???

The new Xbox includes a built-in, 1080p camera that can “see” you more accurately — whether good or bad, your Xbox persona might actually look like you. The system’s facial recognition automatically signs you in to a specific controller. It’s said that the Xbox One/Kinect combination can even track your movements in a completely dark room (for what purpose remains to be seen).

Holy jumpin’ Jehoshaphat. Does that sound good to you? If not, this should sell you on the new Xbox One..

Xbox One’s enhanced Kinect has new voice commands, enabling such real-world tasks as calling others on Skype and ordering movie tickets. You can also open multiple screens, letting you play a game or watch a movie and chat with friends or family at the same time.

Wow. Yes. That’s what we want. No need to interrupt the Amusements.. for any one or any thing. Insane. Scratch that. Let me just leave you with this idea: hal.jpg

To read the entire article yourself, click here.; and for the “privacy concerns” article, click here. (Both are Reco’d)

Today’s quote:Open the pod bay doors, Hal.


(I am reminded of the “Chucky” movies. I mean, all you do is bring a toy (a doll, in this case) into your house… and the nightmare begins.)

* Facial recognition (and analysis).
* Listens for patterns.
* Voice recognition.
* Sees in the dark.
* Always on.
* Reporting back to the mothership (Microsoft).

No potential for problems there.
No sir.

So here’s yet another Microsoft product I wouldn’t touch with a 10′ pole. (Did I mention? I’ve been a Microsoft user since Windows 3.11?) Things are indeed changing..
Read the articles. Find out about the Xbox One.

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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All we really have, in the end, are our stories. Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

June 20, 2013 Posted by | computers, consumer electronics, Gaming, hardware, Microsoft, News, privacy, security, tech, Xbox 360 | , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Music Radio For Your Phone (or Blackberry)(or PC)

Loyal readers know that some time ago now, I acquired one of those new-fangled Android “smart” phones. And (they) probably saw my recent mention that I was giving the new (to the USA) Spotify online music service a tryout as well.

image source =

By definition, smart phones are more than just phones – they are cameras (movie cameras, even) and, with Internet access, web surfers and music players and GPS navigators and more. They can be mini televisions, and we can watch Netflix.. etc., etc., etc..

I was hoping that Spotify would give my ‘droid added music “streaming” ability – and it would, if I sign up for a premium service level (otherwise, it is PC only). Currently, though, I am not enough of a ‘music person’ (too busy) to justify a monthly fee for music access for my phone, though I can say that my early perusals of Spotify’s “library” lead me to think music lovers will find it a true bargain..

Currently, I plug in my headphones, and use the ‘droid’s FM Radio feature and tune in my fave local stations; or play some songs that I have loaded onto my memory chip (no, I do not purchase tunes). I have the Pandora app, but have found I never use it.. but here are some free music alternatives for you smart phone/Blackberry/iPhone owners:
[note: these can be used on your PC as well.]

Pandora Radio
Pandora radio is the personalized internet radio service that helps you find new music based on your old and current favorites.

FlyCast is the mobile broadcast network that gives you what you really want – choice. Choose what you want from the best music in all genres, talk radio,

Slacker Personal Radio
Slacker Personal Radio is the easiest way to create free radio stations. Listen anywhere to free personalized Internet radio stations playing your favorite music.”

Spotify (currently “invite only”)(Go there and sign up to receive an invite..)

Also, I have heard raves about XM Radio (Sirius), which requires a subscription.

I am sure there are other music services out there in Internet Land, and I hope music lovers will write in with their faves/reco’s. What music apps do you use?

Today’s reading:
Netflix betting on subscriber fallout in Q3, everyone over it in Q4

Netflix posted solid Q2 earnings on Monday, but naturally, all of the attention was focused on the recent price hikes. Nevertheless, Netflix execs feel confident that all the complaining is just hype.Read more..

Great Instructional Videos to Learn the Basics of Windows 7

I am always on the hunt for instructional material for people that use their computers in their homes..Read more..

Today’s quote:Jumping for joy is good exercise.”  ~ Unknown

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

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July 26, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, digital music, gadgets, how to, Internet, iPhone, mobile, Portable Computing, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Netflix and other news

Kind of a hodgepodge today.. Some interesting topics.

Big news in the tech world. Implications unknown. Some court has found that smart phone maker HTC has infringed on Apple patents, and now not only is the company (and other smart phone makers) in um, er, “a muddle” (without a paddle?) but the future of android is suddenly unclear .. perhaps doomed.

I love the idea of letting clueless (frequently “seasoned citizen”) judges decide the future of tech. I understand a few of them have heard of the “Internet thingy”, so maybe not all their decision will be hopelessly uninformed and short-sighted. Just 99.9% of them to date have been..

Here’s something to read, if you’re interested: Apple deals massive patent blow to HTC, Android in serious trouble

“Late yesterday an ITC judge ruled that smartphone maker HTC has infringed two Apple patents, and it seems likely that every single Android device out there infringes the same patents.” Read more..


And I suppose I should say something about Netflix, and their recent price hike. Seems many of you are quite upset. Many think it is pure and simple gouging, and are particularly incensed as they feel Netflix have us by the short and curlies: many are canceling their subscriptions.
Okay. I understand that. (And they certainly could have gone about it better!)

If enough people cancel – it is reasonable to speculate they will rethink.

But I suspect there is more going on here, and it is my hope that this increase in revenue will be reinvested. See.. Netflix needs bigger pipes (more ‘infrastructure’) to keep up with demand. Not only that, but how we view our entertainment is changing. Advertisement-based “network TV” is going the way of the Dodo bird. Netflix is trying to buy the rights to “content” — current shows and movies. The game is changing, and Netflix is trying to come out a winner as a “content provider”.. as NBC and CBS, et al, struggle to stay alive in this age of IPTV, and “streaming media”.
It takes serious money to compete with networks, media ‘moguls’, and Disney.

The Internet is changing the world, don’t you know? The issue is .. complicated. I am not canceling nor squawking — heck, I am so happy to be able to watch ‘on demand’ and commercial free, I might pay triple!
Man, do I hate ads.


I do not know how many times in my life, some yahoo has called me “Mr. Spock”. (So many, I have come to embrace, and adopt it.. and frequently use it myself when trying to describe myself to others.) I do not really look like Leonard Nimoy’s character. I get called that because I am seen as “logical” (and not “emotional”). Fortunately, I have discovered why — it turns out I am a “left-brain thinker”. That explains it! It hasn’t been easy…

10 curses of the analytical thinker

Being a left-brain thinker can be an asset in the IT field. But as Alan Norton observes, it’s not without its shortcomings.Read more..

There’s more news in the “world of tech”, but, it’ll have to wait for another day. Because it is sunny and nice and warm here again, (after a “cool” spell) all the way up to 82°, and I do have a small gap in my obligations. I am going to try to get outside and play. Maybe… throw a Frisbee. Haven’t done that in.. oh, 25 years?

Yawl take care now, ‘ya hear?

Today’s quotable:Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.”  ~ Janet Lane

I got an “invite”: (testing now) Spotify hits U.S. shores, plus browser and uTorrent news

Big news hit U.S. shores this past week in the form of Spotify, the European on-demand music-streaming service. CNET Senior Editor Donal Bell calls it “the best free music option since stealing,” but unfortunately, you may not get to try it for quite some time since as of now, Spotify is invite only.

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

>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<

July 19, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, computers, digital music, gadgets, Internet, News, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Did You Miss CES?

The International CES is the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN)Anyone who’s even peeked at the Internet over the past few days has likely noticed the flood of technology news out of Las Vegas.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show is geek heaven on Earth — a Super Bowl, Disney World and New York Fashion Week all rolled into one for the techies who flock to Vegas to eyeball the newest gadgets from the world’s leading manufacturers. (read article here.)

If  you are not one of the 110,000 or so on the floor at the conference, and are curious about all the gizmos and gadgets and emerging technologies, C/Net has a page dedicated to covering this event.. which includes a “live feed”. It may be the next best thing to being there yourself.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Did You Miss CES?“, posted with vodpod

Check out C/Net’s coverage on LIVE@CES2010.

Also, you can visit the official CES Website and look around..

Sigh. All those kewel toys…

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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January 8, 2010 Posted by | tech | , , | 2 Comments