Tech – for Everyone

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

The wackiest, weirdest gadgets of CES 2017

Folks, in case you don’t know, The Consumer Electronics Show is where companies bring out new technology products.. it’s a chance to look into the future. And also a chance to see what the big brains think we (the ‘average consumer’) want.. or will want someday.

Not only do I NOT want any of this.. I really wish they weren’t developing it. Half of it has kinda scary implications.. But, here you go –> Your glimpse into the future is here:

* The wackiest, weirdest gadgets of CES 2017

I really hope zero people buy any of that. Ever.

But you know people will.

Because they’re.. well.. humans.

Today’s quote:How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank

Copyright 2007-2017 © “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 9, 2017 Posted by | computers, consumer electronics, gadgets, hardware, News, tech | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tips for cleaning your smartphone and other mobile devices

Folks, here are some useful and/or interesting “infos” I think you will want to know about.

* Cleaning supplies for your smartphones, tablets, and accessories

Matthew Nawrocki shares some tips for cleaning oils, dirt, and grime from your smartphone and other handheld mobile devices. Read more..

* (This is another one where the reader comments are interesting too) Will 90 percent of users always hate Windows 8?

Windows 8 doesn’t exactly seem to be setting the world alight. Perhaps the requirement that indifferent users have to sit down and learn their way around something new is causing problems…” Read more..

* IT job cuts: Is the end finally in sight?

A poll of IT chiefs’ views on hiring and budgets picks out a whiff of change in the jobs climate.” Read more..

* Sort of related: Words that mean nothing in a resume

Some of the most often used terms in resumes are also the most meaningless. Learn how to avoid that pitfall.” Read more..

* Two free, full-blown alternatives to MS Office

As Microsoft’s Office has grown in size and complexity, more than a few users have wondered whether there’s a viable alternative — especially when it comes time to pay for an upgrade or new copy.” Read more..

* Yippee yahoo: Spy agencies to be granted access to US citizen finances

Should intelligence agencies in the United States have unrestricted access to the banking details of U.S. citizens? The federal government believes so.Read more..

That shouldn’t bother me.. right?

* Software giveaway (reader submitted): today only..Nature Illusion Studio Standard Edition (PC) 100% Discount Coupon Code *** Great News! Nufsoft has agreed to extend this deal for another day – Enjoy! ***

“Nature Illusion Studio Standard Edition transforms your nature photos into living works of art with weather effects that are sure to astound! Using Nature Illusion Studio Standard Edition, you can add realistic snow, water, rain, and more, then throw in some butterflies, birds, and other objects to increase the level of nature in your nature photography. You don’t need to be a professional graphic designer, either, since Nature Illusion Studio Standard Edition offers an intuitive interface that lets anyone transform their photos.

It’s not just rain or snow, either. Within each category, you have complete control over such details as the intensity, wind direction, speed, transparency, and size. And once you think you’re done improving your photos with weather effects, you can take it to the next level! Nature Illusion Studio Standard Edition lets you add sound effects to all of your photos, immersing your audience in a total sensory nature experience. When you’re done, you can save your living photos as self-executing files, videos, or screensavers!

Thank you for the heads up, Dear Reader.

Today’s quotable quote:I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

Silly Poll #3 (cont..) Does “clumping” cat litter save money in the long run?

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.

March 14, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, consumer electronics, free software, gadgets, how to, iPhone, mobile, software, tech | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tuesday Tidbits and Rude People

I found these recent items interesting and/or important.

* Not quite sure what this spells for the future of IT, but here’s an Android 4.0 7″ tablet for $80 (can you say “disposable tech”?)

SVP Android 4.0 ICS 7″ Tablet PC w/ Google Play Store, Capacitive Touch Screen, WiFi, A13 & 1.3GHz

Introducing SVP 7-inch Android 4.0 ICS Tablet PC with Google Play Store; Smart Pad with Capacitive Touch Screen, A13 1.3GHz CPU, WiFi Capability, Camera, 4GB Internal Memory. This is a recommended Tablet Computer in the market with superior design, easy application and top performance.

* CISPA pits privacy against security: A closer look at the issues

The United States Congress is once again considering a bill that could forever change how we as individuals use the internet. Michael P. Kassner looks at what those changes are.Read more..

* 8 basic options for mobile printing

Want to print something out using your tablet or smartphone? Although many mobile printing applications are still rather rudimentary, here are some applications you might want to research.” Read more..

* I find this funny. China’s foreign minister: Cyber space needs rules, not war

A Chinese government official, who called mounting claims about the country’s cyber spying on the United States “shaky,” charged governing bodies to devise global hacking rules – a feat much easier said than done, history has proven.Read more..

(That’s a bit like Hitler saying we need to give peace a chance..) (Oh. Wait. He did say that.. )

Spring flowers

* Have people gotten ruder? You bet. Here’s an interesting article: Disruptions: Digital Era Redefining Etiquette

Some people are so rude. Really, who sends an e-mail or text message that just says “Thank you”? Who leaves a voice mail message when you don’t answer, rather than texting you? Who asks for a fact easily found on Google?

Don’t these people realize that they’re wasting your time?Read more..

* They said this tech would free us up from menial labor, and give us all a life of ease. I think it has resulted in job loss (replaced by a robot!) .. but ease? Four Steps to the Cloud: Start By Firing Your Sales Team

Looking to get into the cloud business? Then fire your sales people.Read more..

Well, that’s enough for today. Hope you found something interesting in that assortment. (The bold emphasis were mine.)

Today’s quote:Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” ~ John Adams

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.

March 12, 2013 Posted by | advice, Android, cloud computing, computers, consumer electronics, Cyberwarfare, gadgets, hardware, how to, Internet, mobile, News, Portable Computing, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Android Adventures – Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of my Android series. (Previously, My First Look At Android, part 1 and Playing with an Android – Part 2.) Yesterday, in part2, I ran long listing the features of my new Android smart phone I am finding most neat-o and useful. So let me continue…

7) “Hands free”/voice search/”Genius button”: Along with my phone, I got one of those Lt. Uhura ear doodads (Bluetooth headset), as Kallyfornyah has a much-ignored “Hands-free” Law. With it (or the ‘genius button’) I can tap a button, and say, “call, Joe Smith, mobile” and – like magic – a woman’s voice confirms that I am calling Joe’s cell. Or, I can say “find pizza” and – like magic – my phone will display results, and a map. I mentioned before that I am a dinosaur: so, I am a bit “weirded out” by voice recognition, but the more I use it the more I like it. I have to confess, too, it’s cool.
(The “genius button” is a dedicated “voice recognition” activator. Those w/o such a shortcut might prefer Vlingo.. from what I understand, it has fewer errors than Google’s app.)

8) “Swype”: Being the old dinosaur that I am, I completely missed the the whole ‘texting’ thing, and never learned to “thumb type” on those little-bitty buttons. While I find “touchscreen” keyboards doable, I also find myself using the backspace button almost every other letter. That is why I LOVE “Swype”, and consider it a must have. Here’s a video demonstration..

9) Clock/timer: I am somewhat like the “absent-minded professor” and get caught up in what I’m doing; which makes me a wee bit forgetful, and the ability to quickly set a timer to chime and remind me that it’s time to move the hose, or check the oven, has proven quite valuable to me.
(I still (usually) wear a wristwatch, but I have set each screen on my phone to have a clock ‘widget’; so a glance there is just as good as a glance at my wrist.. well.. my phone’s clock will tell me the temperature too.)

10) Productivity ‘apps’: I have found that get-myself-organized tools, like To Do Lists and calendared appointments (and reminders) are most useful to me when they are actually in the same place I am: it has proven near useless for me to write myself a note, and then leave that note at my friend’s house, or in my car, or some other location I am not.

It occurred to me that, as a full-blooded Geek, I am never too far away from a computer.. so I decided to start using Google Calendar, Tasks, and Evernote (whose slogan is “Remember everything”). I wanted that same ability on a phone. Android is a Google product, so seamless editing/updating of Calender, Gmail, and Tasks was/is a big “selling point” for me. I really enjoy being able to schedule a follow-up appointment, while I am with my client, by just tapping my phone — and having that appointment appear on my computers at home/office automatically (no ‘multiple entry’).
With Evernote, I can use the phone’s camera to ‘snap’ an image as a note/reminder.. which has come in handy a few times already. And I use it kind of like an ‘everywhere sticky note’.

I am curious what mobile “business productivity” apps folks out there are using, and finding “best”. I hope readers will leave their reco’s as a comment.

11) This last one is just plain .. odd. I downloaded a compass/leveling tool to fiddle with, and dang, if the bubble-leveler didn’t come in handy for some household chores I had to do (picture frame leveling).

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


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March 12, 2011 Posted by | Android, cellular, gadgets, hardware, Internet, iPhone, mobile | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

If You Have An Android Phone, Read This

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has posted an article that all smart phone owners should be aware of, and Android owners should read very carefully. It contains a list of apps that have been poisoned to “root” your phone and steal all your info.. and maybe do more than that. Worse (scarier), these apps are on the app Marketplace. And, I may have downloaded one.

Stolen apps that root Android, steal data and open backdoors available for download from Google Market

“To many of its fans, the openness and freedoms offered by the Android mobile operating systems is one of its main selling points. But that openness come with a price – it makes it easy for nefarious types to sneak malware into apps. And that’s exactly what they are doing.”

I am going to provide his list of infected apps, but just because you don’t see one you recognize as having installed doesn’t mean you should skip reading his article (click here to read it). It contains info we all should know.

  • Falling Down
  • Super Guitar Solo
  • Super History Eraser
  • Photo Editor
  • Super Ringtone Maker
  • Super Sex Positions
  • Hot Sexy Videos
  • Chess
  • 下坠滚球_Falldown
  • Hilton Sex Sound
  • Screaming Sexy Japanese Girls
  • Falling Ball Dodge
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Dice Roller
  • 躲避弹球
  • Advanced Currency Converter
  • App Uninstaller
  • 几何战机_PewPew
  • Funny Paint
  • Spider Man
  • 蜘蛛侠
  • Bowling Time
  • Advanced Barcode Scanner
  • Supre Bluetooth Transfer
  • Task Killer Pro
  • Music Box
  • Sexy Girls: Japanese
  • Sexy Legs
  • Advanced File Manager
  • Magic Strobe Light
  • 致命绝色美腿
  • 墨水坦克Panzer Panic
  • 裸奔先生Mr. Runner
  • 软件强力卸载
  • Advanced App to SD
  • Super Stopwatch & Timer
  • Advanced Compass Leveler
  • Best password safe
  • 掷骰子
  • 多彩绘画
  • Finger Race
  • Piano
  • Bubble Shoot
  • Advanced Sound Manager
  • Magic Hypnotic Spiral
  • Funny Face
  • Color Blindness Test
  • Tie a Tie
  • Quick Notes
  • Basketball Shot Now
  • Quick Delete Contacts
  • Omok Five in a Row
  • Super Sexy Ringtones
  • 大家来找茬
  • 桌上曲棍球
  • 投篮高手

Toward the bottom of his article is a link to another of his articles, which describes what you need to know to keep your phone safer.

Again, this is important enough that I am asking you to read the article (click here to read it) and forward it to all your friends and family who own smart phones. Android, and Google’s app Marketplace are not the only targets of the cybercriminals. Apple’s store is no better off, and they do not vet their apps for malware.

Makes me glad I haven’t used my phone to check my balance…

Related: Study: Cybercrime cost firms $1 trillion globally (that would be in 2010..)

Data theft and breaches from cybercrime may have cost businesses as much as $1 trillion globally in lost intellectual property and expenditures for repairing the damage last year, according to a new study from McAfee.

Make no mistake: the Evil Doers are going after all Internet-connected devices.

It’s a brave new world.

How nice. Someone is trying to send me a free computer. I like free computers.

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


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March 2, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, computers, cyber crime, gadgets, hackers, Internet, mobile, News, rootkits, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Xoom, Xoom

As I mentioned in my My First Look At Android, part 1, I recently purchased an HTC smartphone, and have been exploring its Android operating system. In that article, I referenced Apple’s iPad, and this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show). I talked about the “year of the tablet”.

The iPad was the first consumer ‘tablet’, and its popularity (read “sales”) ensured that other manufacturers would produce their own tablet PC’s, and try to grab a slice of that market share. Well, a year later they’re coming, (or here) and Motorola’s Xoom – with it’s Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” operating system – seems to be the lead contender for unseating the iPad as the tablet to own.

I have been watching the tablets, as I really am not satisfied with my smartphone. Why? The small, 3.8″ screen. I really would prefer a 6″, or 7″ screen. Large for a phone? I guess. But if their were a tablet/phone available here in the US, that’s what I’d get. I am considering selling my phone, getting a tablet, and using Skype.. or waiting until a 4G phone/tablet hits the market.

So I was watching for the Xoom reviews, and, lo, two arrived today.

Motorola Xoom review: Google Android reaches adolescence

“The Motorola Xoom is the first tablet computer to use Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Is it ready to rival Apple’s iPad?”

First impressions of the Motorola Xoom: Five quick insights

“The Motorola Xoom is more of a PC replacement than the iPad, but it still has some frayed edges that need to be evened out before most early adopters will want to jump on board.”

I have been a tech for too long, and am too ‘seasoned’ to be anyone’s guinea pig (aka “an ‘early adopter'”), so I will not be rushing out and buying a Xoom. (I urge people not to buy version 1.0 of anything.. as kewel and hip as be-the-first-on-your-block might be.) But I will be watching developments. These gizmos do indeed look like they are here to stay; and, yes, I want one.
But just not yet. I agree with these articles, and I’m giving myself a year for this new stuff to shake out. (And competition will lower the price by then, too.)

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


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February 28, 2011 Posted by | computers, gadgets, hardware, Internet | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Transfer Videos to the iPhone…

I am the last guy in America who hasn’t turned his phone into a pocket movie theater.”

I have a certain kind of fun reading other tech websites, because I watch them for hype and “pack journalism”.. of which there is plenty. Part of that is due to how search engines (Google, Bing) operate, and the hopes that by using “hot keywords“, readership numbers will be better.

Movies-on-the-iPhoneHot keywords seem to be: iPad, iPhone, Android, download, smart phone, movies, videos, YouTube, and latest. So.. the “smart” tech sites will on Monday have an article “Download Movies To Your iPhone”; and on Tuesday, “iPhone Basics: How to Transfer Videos to the iPhone“, and on Wednesday, “Android And YouTube videos: Meant For Each Other”. Almost every tech site will mention the YouTube downloader app (“which supports iPhone, iPod, PSP, cell phone..!)

Now.. I look at the 1.75″ x 1.5” screen on my phone, and I think, “Don’t be ridiculous. No way am I going to try to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 4 on that.” And I wouldn’t even if my whole phone was a screen (like an iPhone)(the more you mention these “hot” keywords, the more readers you’ll get)(Android)(iPad)(iPhone).
I wondered if I was alone in this? From the sounds of the tech sites, I am the last guy in America who hasn’t turned his phone into a pocket movie theater.

A little while ago, I conducted a casual reader survey — my thanks to all who participated. Well, the survey results suggested that I wasn’t alone at all, with almost two thirds of respondents saying they had never watched a video on their phone. The other third: “a few times a month”. And one person, a “few times a week”. (To the one person who responded “everyday”, may I suggest, shouldn’t you be studying?)
To me, such a never-to-very rarely score makes me think these tech websites are hyping a non-function to sell more gadgets.. But I am a bit cynical. I could be wrong.

Now, I am sure that this website’s demographics play a significant role; and I know that the yuppie-gotta-have-the-latest-iGadget-types gravitate to other sites. There are – such as the article referenced in today’s title (above) – websites dedicated just to smart phones; and I admit, sometimes I think I should talk about smart phones more. They are becoming miniature PC’s after all. (And, camcorders..) And, WordPress (host of this site) will let me post articles, written on my phone, directly to the ‘net. Isn’t that cool?!

All I have to do is learn how to squint, and type with my thumbs.


** Software License Giveaway Drawing Ends Tonight**


Put plain and simply, Sandboxie gives me a secure feeling when traveling around the Internet, and I feel ‘naked’ without it. For the details (such as how to enter), click here.

Sandboxie’s creator, Ronen Tzur, has graciously and generously donated five licenses to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank him for that. So I am going to do a random drawing contest from folks who “enter” my drawing. The contest will end midnight Thursday, July 15th, and the winners announced Friday the 16th.
A “registration” license is “lifetime” and can be used on as many computers as you own.

Act now! Deadline nears… Midnight, tonight (Pacific).

Today’s reading: More people are losing their jobs due to online missteps
It’s the kind of story that those who use Facebook and Twitter don’t like to hear. Despite warnings from career experts around the globe, employees persist in posting personal and sometimes inappropriate information on their personal online accounts.

Today’s free download: Large Scale Giveaway of PDFtoWord
Get it while you can – AnyBizSoft PDF to Word Converter 3.0.0 (worth $29.95) for FREE.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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July 15, 2010 Posted by | Apple, cellular, digital Video, gadgets, hardware, mobile, Portable Computing, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments