Visit the Shaks

  • Shak In Style
  • Shakhammer
  • Love Shak, Baby
  • LoanShak
  • ShakYard
  • WorkShak
  • Shaktronics
  • Shak & Jill
  • Animal Shak
  • Shak & Jill


    Join Jill for savvy Real Estate discussion.
    visit the shak!

    Did you know?


  • Before you file a piece of paper, ask yourself, "do you need it for tax purposes or legal reasons?" If not, shred it.
  • read all shaktoids!
    March 30, 2015
    Project Spartan Is Now Available

    The time of the Internet Explorer is coming to an end.  Microsoft’s venerable browser has held off all challengers, even down to modern strugglers like Firefox and Google Chrome, but it’s got a lot of baggage to the name, some good, but mostly bad.  It’s that bad noise that comes along with the name that is causing Microsoft to scrap one of it’s best-known products.  It’s a new world out there, and with a new world comes new requirements and a new centerpiece web browser.  Microsoft’s new browser, Project Spartan, is now ready for testing.

    Of course, if you want to test spartan, you need to also test Windows 10, but since it’s free, why not?  If you’re already testing an experimental build of an OS, go ahead and add onto it with an experimental browser.  It’s Microsoft’s next-gen replacement for Internet Explorer, after all, so may as well get your hands dirty.  It’s all designed to be faster, run cleaner, and make sharing that much easier, as well as to allow people to write notes directly onto websites.  So yeah, it sounds pretty cool.

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

    Add to: del.icio.us  Digg  Face Book  stumbleupon  technorati
    March 28, 2015
    What Is USB-C And Why Is It Good?

    There are a lot of different cables and connection devices out there.  USB, mini-USB, micro-USB, Mag-safe, Lightning, and a whole forest of power connectors.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was just one connector that could do everything?  Well, it looks like there might be something like that just might be found on the back of the latest version of the Apple MacBook.  The future of all connections just might end up being USB-C.  Apple’s getting it first, but it’s going to become the industry standard sooner than later, since it’s the product of the USB consortium and available for use by pretty much anyone.

    So what makes USB-C so good?  Well, we’re talking about one port for all services.  It’s faster than USB 3.0, for one thing.  It’s also able to carry more of a charge, so it will replace your battery connector.  Most importantly, there’ll be no more struggling to figure out which way to plug in the cord, because USB-C has an omnidirectional cord end; and there’s no male or female connectors, so it won’t even matter what side plugs in where!   Pretty cool stuff, right?

    Perhaps the best thing about USB-C is that it’ll be completely open.  If you have a laptop and your friend has a USB-C phone, well… it’ll charge both of your devices, without crossing things up.

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    Add to: del.icio.us  Digg  Face Book  stumbleupon  technorati
    March 26, 2015
    The End Of The Tablet

    I have a tablet, as I’ve written about many times. It’s not the newest and shiniest tablet on the block, but it’s been dropped and survived, it plays games as well as you please, and it’s a top-notch streaming video device thanks to a great HD screen and Amazon Prime compatibility.  I love my tablet, I’m glad I have a tablet, and I finally talked my parents into getting a tablet too (they’re also very happy).  However, until the battery becomes worthless or I finally drop it once too often, I’m not going to replace it.  First of all, I don’t have the money.  Second of all, my tablet is doing the things I want it to do just fine.  Apparently I’m not alone in that thinking.

    Tablet sales are down, and experts are suggesting we’re hitting a tablet dead end.  After all, there’s no need to upgrade a tablet like you do a computer to run faster/more complex program.  Apps are apps.  Unless you’re Apple and you force older devices into obsolescence, why would you need a new tablet?  Granted, you might want some of the upgrades, but there’s no need to buy a new tablet like you rush out to buy a new smartphone.  The improvements just aren’t usually worth the price, assuming an HD screen.  And if you are considering a new tablet, there are a lot of touch screen options that are just as easy to use and significantly more powerful (ultrabooks, netbooks, convertible computers with touch screens).

    If you’re a tablet owner, what would make you buy a new tablet?  Is there some feature that would make a new tablet a must-have?  I can’t think of one that isn’t created by the manufacturer.

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

    Add to: del.icio.us  Digg  Face Book  stumbleupon  technorati
    March 25, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Eclipse

    Via Reddit

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

    Add to: del.icio.us  Digg  Face Book  stumbleupon  technorati
    March 20, 2015
    Your Chevy Is Watching You Drive

    I’m sure it’s scary for parents to have to deal with a new driver in the family.  I’m sure my parents weren’t crazy about my driving either, when I first started driving.  Then again, I didn’t rush out onto the road at sixteen to roar down to the mall at top speed and with top volume on the stereo.  I can imagine for a lot of parents, monitoring their child’s driving might be something they’re interested in.  GM has your hook-up.  The 2016 Chevy Malibu will offer a Teen Driver suite that allows parents to control and monitor teenage driving.

    “We developed this system so parents could use it as a teaching tool with their kids—they can discuss and reinforce safe driving habits,” said General Motors safety engineer MaryAnn Beebe.  ”As a mother of two, I know anything that has the potential of keeping one’s family safer is of great value to parents.”

    Among the tools is one that sets a maximum volume for the radio (great idea), mutes the radio if seat belts aren’t worn (okay, still good), a governor setting a top speed between 40 and 75 miles an hour, and a bunch of other goodies to encourage safe driving and inform the parents when safe driving isn’t being done.  In theory, it seems okay, except for the fact that if parents can do this to kids, they can do it to each other, and I’m sure there’s some way for law enforcement to access this information, either legally or illegally, and that’s not something I’m okay with.  Car crashes are terrible, but the last thing I want is my car turning into a narc because I went 76 miles an hour on the freeway.

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    Add to: del.icio.us  Digg  Face Book  stumbleupon  technorati
    March 18, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: The Legend

    Via Reddit.

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Add to: del.icio.us  Digg  Face Book  stumbleupon  technorati
    March 18, 2015
    PS Vue Versus Sling TV

    The future is streaming, not cable.  That’s just how things are looking, despite the best efforts of both cable companies and broadcasting networks.  That’s just how it’s going to work, and the sooner people get on board, the better off they’re going to be when the sea change completes.  Sony is jumping into the streaming service, announcing the PlayStation Vue streaming TV service for PS3 and PS4 owners.  It squares off against another service, Sling.  The Vue is $50 per month, while Sling is $20 a month.  Aside from the cost, what’s the difference in the two?  Here’s an in-depth comparison between Sling and PlayStation Vue.

    I have to admit, the fact that you have to buy a PS3 or PS4 to make the Vue work isn’t a big downfall.  Neither is the required purchase of a Roku or Amazon Fire TV or whatever.  That’s just par for the course.  The problem is the Vue is $50 a month; the cheaper Sling is still $20 a month, too.  For that price, you can get both Netflix and Amazon Prime, or a lower-level cable subscription.  Plus, there’s always the over-the-air option.  I’m in a pretty good location for that sort of thing, and I can get probably 20 channels, including all major broadcast networks (many of them aren’t cooperating with Sony and Sling).

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    Add to: del.icio.us  Digg  Face Book  stumbleupon  technorati
    March 17, 2015
    Nintendo Is Heading To Mobile Games

    Nintendo is one of the world’s leading handheld gaming companies, and they have been for most of my life.  The GameBoy revolutionized things, and even as other competition has arrived, Nintendo has kept up great work in the mobile gaming world without bending to the times.  Now, they’re looking for some outside help when it comes to turning your smartphone into a Nintenphone.  Nintendo and DeNA Mobile are combining forces to design some specialized smartphone games.

    “Nintendo has decided to utilize smart devices aggressively,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. “Now that smart devices have grown to become the window for so many people to personally connect with society, it would be a waste not to use these devices.  We are challenging ourselves to redefine what ‘Nintendo platforms’ mean.”

    The best thing about this news?  It won’t be simple ports of classic Nintendo titles; it’s going to be all new mobile games designed by DeNA and Nintendo to work on today’s phones.  No clunky controller schemes or awkward buttons; smartphone games designed specifically for smartphones.  Pretty amazing, and one of the most exciting things about the whole announcement.  If anyone can make touch work, it’s Nintendo.

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    Add to: del.icio.us  Digg  Face Book  stumbleupon  technorati
    March 11, 2015
    Apple Store Breaks Down For 10 Hours

    If you were one of the millions of people that depends on Apple’s products, you had a pretty rough day today.  After all, you pretty much depend on Apple to keep track of everything, right?  That’s the whole point of the cloud.  Without that, you’re in a lot of trouble.  Apple suffered a 10-hour outage thanks to a DNS issue, which took Apple’s… everything offline for the bulk of the day.

    So what was offline?   Well, the App Store, Mac App Store, iBooks Store, and iTunes Store, to begin with.  Even if you could get your apps to load, there was no capability to do any sort of in-app purchasing, which means that Apple was hurt, but app developers were really in a bad state thanks to the outage.  The estimated financial damage was estimated at $1.14 million dollars per hour, which is a staggeringly high sum despite the fact the DNS outages weren’t worldwide, but more limited geographically.  Still, knock out Europe and North America and there go most of your purchases, at least in this particular part of the day.

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    Add to: del.icio.us  Digg  Face Book  stumbleupon  technorati
    March 11, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Sad Mac

    Via Register.

    Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

    Add to: del.icio.us  Digg  Face Book  stumbleupon  technorati
    Top