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    October 24, 2014
    Securing Your New Phone

    I think if you’re going to update your phone, you will have done it by now.  Lots of folks rushed out to get new iPhones and new Android devices in recent months, so it’s not surprising that you’re going to have to get your new phones secure and locked down in proper modern defensive postures.  That’s where apps come in.  When I got my Kindle so many years ago, the first thing I did was go out and get a security app for it off Amazon’s store.  If you’re an iPhone or Android user, then there are lots of great ways to take the extra step of security you need in this day and age of smartphones.  Here are some great security apps for your iOS and Android devices.

    It’s pretty strange that we live in a world where you have to make sure viruses don’t get on your phone of all things.  Especially considering that 15 years ago, or even less, a portable phone was a phone that could barely make telephone calls.  Now they can’t make phone calls, but they can do pretty much everything else that you’d want online.  Anything involving the Internet means anti-virus software, and anything involving your phone means lock-down and remote-wiping capabilities, so make sure you keep both of those on your phone.

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    October 22, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: iBend

    Via:  Macworld

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    October 20, 2014
    Google Tests Anti-Piracy Ads

    One of the easiest things to do online is to find sketchy content.  From movies to music, if you really want it, you can find it.  However, it might take more than a simple Google search in the future.  Google will be testing out anti-piracy search results, in which searchers are redirected (by ads) to legal ways to listen to their illegal music.  Provided those legal ways are free, I can see that initiative being very successful, like via Pandora or VEVO or whatever sort of ad-supported network you may choose.

    The new method is part of Google’s continuing fight against piracy, as first detailed in the 2013 report “How Google Fights Piracy.”  First they began to delist websites hosting stolen content.  Now they are turning your web searches against you, with terms like free and download and whatnot triggering the ad displays (and potentially skewing search results).

    “For example, the query ‘expendables download’ returns an ad format at the top of the page advertising Google Play, Vudu, and Amazon,” said the piracy report.  ”The same ad format triggers on queries for queries like ‘expendables torrent.’  While relatively few users search in this way compared to root queries like ‘expendables,’ we are happy that these new ad formats are driving traffic to legitimate sources of media.”

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    October 15, 2014
    It’s Rifftrax, Charlie Brown

    Tonight is a great night for television watching, because one of the most popular Halloween specials in the history of television will be airing.  That special is the classic It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and it’s a wonderful piece of entertaining nostalgia.  However, that can be improved upon, if you’re one of the witty minds behind Rifftrax.  Rifftrax makes comedy commentary tracks to be played along with whatever DVD you’re watching (or bought already synced up to the movie in question) and enjoyed for the laughs they provide.  The Rifftrax guys don’t shy away from classics like Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, and now, this particular TV special.  Mashable has a sneak preview of Rifftrax’s take on Charlie Brown.

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    It’s not the full special, and it won’t happen during tonight’s special airing of the Charlie Brown Halloween special, but the whole short and commentary will be screened on 10/30 as Rifftrax Live takes on Anaconda in a nationwide (and Canadawide) simulcast event at selected theaters.  For more information and tickets, visit Fathom Events’ Rifftrax Live page.

     

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    October 15, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Mom’s iPad

    Image:  Reddit

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    October 14, 2014
    Netflix Offering 4K TV For A Price

    If high definition just isn’t good enough for you, then there’s a solution.  That solution, of course, is 4K television.  If you have one, I’m sure it’s great.  If you don’t have one, then you’ll be on the non-cutting edge of the wave.  If you do have one and you need a new way to show it off, then perhaps consider turning to streaming video.  Just be prepared to pay a little more.

     

    Netflix is adding a surcharge for 4K content.  Instead of getting 4K streaming for your standard $8.99 package, it will now run you $11.99.  Still, if you have a 4K TV, you may as well pay extra to get the most out of your 4K experience, and another $3 a month isn’t that big of a deal.  Granted, most of what’s on there now is documentaries and Netflix’s own series House Of Cards, but maybe you want that extra definition as you watch Kevin Spacey do nefarious things in Washington, D.C.

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    October 14, 2014
    The Windows Tablet That Costs Less Than Windows

    If you haven’t heard of the companies Emdoor or Ployer, don’t be alarmed.  They’re not well-known companies here in the United States, and they’re probably not all that well-known in their native China, but they did make waves at a recent technology show in Hong Kong where both companies announced that they’re going to put two Windows tablets on the market with one noteworthy bonus:  both laptops cost less than the price of buying Windows.  Not one, but two $65 tablets.

    The Emdoor I8170 is a 7-inch tablet, while the Ployer MOMO8 is an 8-inch tablet.  Of course, they’re $65 so they’re probably very, very far from the top of the line, but if you’re going to choose between a $65 Windows tablet and no tablet at all, well… that’s not much of a choice.  They’re powered by Intel Atom processors, though not the top of the line ones, and feature an impressive 16GB of onboard storage.  Of course, they only have 1 GB of RAM to speak of, so they’re not going to win any sprints or be able to do a whole lot at one time, but when you’re buying a tablet for less than the cost of a new video game, well… you take what you get.

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    October 10, 2014
    Tracking Trends: Words With Friends

    It’s been five amazing years for Words With Friends, Zynga’s flagship word game and one of the best approximations of Scrabble you can get your hands on these days.  I’m a big fan of the game (and feel free to start a game with me) and while I’m not the best WWF player, I’m very enthusiastic and have anywhere from 5 to 10 games going at any one time.  I must not be alone, because Zynga has released a lot of fun facts about just how much people love their word game.

    There have been 58 billion words played in the game, with players running up 1.2 trillion points.  In the 7.7 million games played, 217 billion letters have been used.  Amazingly, there are 5,478 words that have only been used once (though I’m sure that’s going to chance now that people know the words are out there).  The most popular words are qi, it, he, re, and jo.

    Now, if  you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go.  I’ve got several games waiting on me, and I’m itching to try out my new letters.

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    October 10, 2014
    Teens Fleeing Facebook

    The Facebook boom is busting.  Once upon a time, Facebook was driven by teenagers and 20-somethings, but now it appears that the bloom is off the rose and the teens are leaving Facebook.  Between spring 2014 and fall 2014, Facebook use among teens dropped from 79 percent to 45 percent, which is a staggering collapse for the world’s only real social networking platform of note.  Increasingly, teens are finding their way to Twitter, Instagram, and other social networking services, or none at all from the looks of the survey conducted by Piper Jaffray.

    Even accounting for gender and household income, the 7200 students surveyed seem to have decided to take a break from Facebook.  Of course, these kinds of dips and dives are common among teens, particularly given their responsiveness to trends and their ability to move back and forth between social networks as they feel like.  I think that Twitter and Instagram are the more… cool social services, but Facebook is just too omnipresent–for the moments–for teens to give up on completely.

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    October 3, 2014
    Fun Friday Videos: The Butt Test

    The Samsung Galaxy Note 4, like the iPhone 6 Plus, is a huge phone.  Well, by phone standards anyway.  It’s light and thin and looks pretty breakable, but as it turns out, where the iPhone bends and breaks, the Note 4 bends and retakes its shape.  Samsung put out a pretty impressive commercial detailing the Galaxy Note 4′s flexibility and strength, and it’s worth watching if only to see the giant rubber butt they use to bend-test the phone.

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    If you own a Samsung phablet, this is a reassuring video, definitely.  It’s amazing to think of how much weight something that small can withstand, and how much bend force it would take to bend the case.  If you’re an iPhone 6 Plus owner, well… I suggest you buy a really good phone case and avoid sitting with your new iDevice in your pocket, if at all possible.  Maybe keep it in a purse or briefcase, or at least a chest pocket.

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