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    March 5, 2015
    Ways To Use A Dirt-Cheap Tablet

    There are a lot of very cheap touchscreen tablets on the market.  Hundreds of them, in fact, and all of them are running something Android.  So what kind of use can you get out of one of these dirt cheap tablets?  Well, if you’re looking for a use for the $38 Datawind Ubislate 7Ci, there’s a lot of fun uses there.  It’s not a very powerful tablet, but when you need a great digital clock, it’s a great choice.  Here are 12 uses for a cheap touchscreen tablet.

    I like the idea of using the tablet as a bedside clock, even if it is a bit expensive for a bedside clock.  I like the idea of using it as a digital picture frame, since those are pretty pricey even at this stage of development. Even if it’s not the best tablet in the world, so long as it can connect to the Internet and has some internal storage, you can find a use for it.  Maybe mount it to the kitchen cabinet and use it as a digital recipe storage device?  The cheaper the better, and the cheaper, the more uses you can find for it.


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    December 30, 2014
    The Worst Apps For Smartphones?

    Everyone wants the best of everything, especially if it’s free.  When it comes to smartphone apps, most people will take a free good app over a paid great app, if only because dollars still have values.  Even if it’s only a few dollars, we want to save what we’ve earned, and most apps just aren’t worth it.  Some apps really aren’t worth it.  Indeed, there are a ton of apps and no real way to pick through them.  That’s where experts come in.  Are these some of the worst apps out there?  CNN seems to think so!

    My favorite app of the bunch is probably the Be Kimd app, which you see above.  All it does is dim the screen of your smartphone.  Useful, yes, but there are already ways to do that using your phone’s current settings!  I guess if you don’t know how to use your phone that might be helpful, but the usefulness of that app is very limited in day-to-day situations.

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    November 11, 2014
    A Dyslexia-Friendly Font

    I don’t have dyslexia, which is fortunate for me since my main leisure and employment activities involve writing, reading, or otherwise using letters on pages.  I do routinely get numbers muddled up, turned around, or otherwise out of order, but that’s probably just my cluttered brain and not a real medical condition.  For those that suffer from dyslexia, there may be something to help you on the horizon.  A font called Dyslexie Regular is helping folks with dyslexia improve their reading and comprehension.

    “Traditional fonts are designed solely from an aesthetic point of view, which means they often have characteristics that make characters difficult to recognize for people with dyslexia,” writes font creator Christian Boer on his website. “Oftentimes, the letters of a word are confused, turned around or jumbled up because they look too similar.”

    Studies conducted by the University of Twente and the University of Amsterdam have verified claims that Dyslexie helps those with reading issues improve their comprehension and retention.  Even more worthy, the font itself is free to download for home use at

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    November 3, 2014
    Time To Buy: 8 Awesome Shopping Apps

    I saw my first Christmas commercial on October 26 during AMC’s Sunday night airing of The Walking Dead.  A week before Halloween, on a show about zombies eating people, I saw a commercial warning me to prepare for Christmas.  Well, it wasn’t a warning, more like a threat.  Either way, the holiday shopping season is approaching, and if you haven’t started spending your money on gifts quite yet,  you need to get yourself prepared for the inevitable.  Fortunately, technology is here to help.  Here are 8 great apps to make the shopping season a little less crazy.

    I rarely wait until the last minute to buy gifts, when I know what I’m going to get.  If I have an idea, I pounce on it.  If I don’t have an idea, well… then I end up dragging my feet and buying whatever comes to mind at the last minute.  I’m going to make an attempt this year to both buy my presents early and not give them early, but I can’t make any promises, no matter how many apps I might download onto my tablet.

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    August 20, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Email For Old People

    From a #TEDC14 talk by MailChimp’s John Foreman as taken by @jennstolen.

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    June 12, 2014
    Stop Facebook From Sharing Your Browser History

    One of the perils of modern computer use is the fact that your browser history is pretty much fair game for any website you go checking on.  Facebook, in particular, is looking like the sort of company that is willing to steal pretty much all your search and app history for its own uses.  In this case, they’re selling advertisements based on the kind of stuff you’ve been looking at.  If that kind of privacy invasion seems concerning to you, there’s a way to stop that from happening.  Here’s how you stop Facebook from selling your browser history.

    Facebook describes it this way:  ”You might visit a company’s website that uses cookies to record visitors to it.  The company then asks Facebook to show their ad to this list of visitors, and you might see these ads both on and off Facebook.”

    You have to head to the Digital Advertising Alliance and use their tool to help your browser opt out of the potential websites.  I opted out of 34 companies just while writing this post, and there are 116 or so more that participate in the opt out program, which will definitely help you keep your information a bit more secret and blocks the Facebook ad harvesting technique from being successful.

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    June 9, 2014
    Stop Soap Opera Effect

    One of the problems with the modern smart television is that, perhaps, it is too smart.  If you’ve tried to watch a DVD or an older program, you might have noticed some issues with the picture on your screen that might be caused by your television attempting to give you the best possible picture.  Called the soap opera effect, it’s an issue with the frame rate of televisions that causes some films to appear cheap, as if shot on soap opera video at a slightly higher frame rate.  Fortunately, it’s something you can fix if you have a smart enough television.  Some modern televisions can turn off soap opera effect with a menu selection.

    This is apparently common on modern televisions.  They use something called motion interpolation to insert frames into programs in an attempt to smooth out pictures and increase the quality of the presentation.  However, smoothing out blur and stuttering and that sort of stuff typically means the picture ends up looking strange, cheap, and artificial.  Thankfully, that’s a problem you can correct with the right setting within your television’s system files.

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    May 14, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Tweet The Fire

    Via:  Imgur

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    April 7, 2014
    Surviving Windows XP’s Retirement

    Tomorrow, Microsoft will officially retire its 12-year-old operating system, Windows XP, after a long reign as the most popular and useful operating system in the history of operating systems.  No OS has had a run quite as long, or a run that has covered so many tens of millions of computers around the world.  Just because Windows XP is going by the wayside, that doesn’t mean your computer has reached the end of its life.  Here are some tips and tricks for upgrading and protecting your XP computer for the foreseeable future.

    Honestly, if you’re using XP, you’re probably doing a lot of these things.  Being careful about running attachments, updating your software regularly,  making sure to avoid sketchy online stuff… this is all pretty basic stuff, and since most antivirus programs are going to continue for the near future to support XP, you’re probably going to be okay milking the last of that laptop or desktop’s functional life.  Still, it might pay to be extra cautious from now on, just in case.

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    March 31, 2014
    Happy World Backup Day

    When it comes to computers, there’s one thing you need to do on a regular basis if you care at all about potentially losing all your information, and that’s back up your files.  If you don’t back up your files, well, then you take your chances with losing all your content, all your pictures, all your music and books, and so forth.  With the cloud, it’s even easier to make sure all your information is preserved in case of a disaster scenario, but not everyone is willing or able to walk that line hence the necessity of a day dedicated to backing up files.  It’s World Backup Day!

    I’m not sure why World Backup Day is on March 31.  I guess because if you don’t back up, you’re an April fool of the highest order?  I’m not sure.  Either way, if you haven’t backed up your files and information, make sure to do that as soon as you can.

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