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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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    March 4, 2015
    Microsoft Adds Cross-Buying For Xbox One And Windows 10

    If you buy a video game, you want to play it as much as possible, right?  Of course.  No other way to beat said game than to play it, and unfortunately you have to choose a way to do it.  Xbox One or your actual computer?  One’s a whole lot easier, the other can be a much better gaming experience.  Ease, or quality?  Well, thanks to a new program from Microsoft, you no longer have to choose.  Microsoft has announced the Windows Universal App Platform, which means if you buy a game for your Xbox One, you’ll get it on Windows 10.

    Of course, it won’t be universal.  The choice to participate in the cross-buy program will be left to the developers, not Windows.  So if your favorite game chooses not to participate in the program, then you should complain to them, not Windows.  But there’s other good news.  You can now use Xbox One controller with Windows games, as well as play cross-platform with users on PCs able to play against folks on Xbox Live.  So yeah, that’ll be fun.

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    March 4, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Canada Gets Spocked

    Via Toronto Sun.

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    March 3, 2015
    Sony’s Virtual Reality Headset Is Coming

    For a long time in the early 90′s, the talk was virtual reality.  Of course, back in those days, virtual reality was goggles and a jumpsuit while strapped into some weird spinning gyroscope thing.  Some things never change.  Gone are the jumpsuits and gyroscope, but the goggles remain, and they remain mostly unchanged.  Sony has debuted its Project Morpheus, a new virtual reality headset expected to debut in 2016.

    Calling it “close to the final consumer product,” Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida said, “This looks like last year’s model, but under the hood we’ve put a lot of improvements.”

    Faster reaction times, an improved 5.7 inch screen, and an experience that is rumored to be hard to differentiate from the real world.  Sony, being one of the world’s largest manufacturers of video games, looks to turn its VR headset into some sort of immersive-world game (though they did get rid of their online gaming arm not too long ago).  However, they’re not totally removing the user from reality; the redesigned headset allows users to push the device to the right to return to the real world without taking the system off completely.

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    March 1, 2015
    Meet The Samsung Galaxy S6

    I never really got the excitement around smartphone launches.  Sure, I’d talk about them, read up on the phones, and all that stuff, but I’d never actually get just why people were so excited about a slight variation on their older phone.  Until I got one.  Now I get it.  Having something this fast and powerful in your pocket makes your life a whole lot easier, and when you’re someone like me who needs regular access to the Internet, it only makes things better.  No more forgetting to download podcasts; stream them from the cloud!

    Needless to say, people were very excited about the announcement of the new Samsung Galaxy S6.  More powerful, faster, lighter… all the usual smartphone improvements are there, but they come at a cost.  No more user replacement of the battery and no more Micro-SD card slot.  If you care about expanding memory and having better battery power, then this might not be the kind of development you’re looking for, but for everyone else–and most normal users–the S6 is an improvement over the old favorite, even if some of the design wrinkles haven’t been worked out.

    Image via Green Dot.

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    February 25, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Designer Cat

    Via Reddit

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    February 24, 2015
    Apple Is Adding Diverse Emoji

    Emojis are apparently a big thing, and people really have opinions about emojis.  Apparently they’re a big deal, and apparently people aren’t terribly happy with the options that are out there.  People want more diversity, and it’s not a surprise that Apple and the Unicode Consortium are willing to make that happen. Apple is making emojis more diverse, with a variety of racial and ethnic options.

    When you tap and hold on a face, hand, or person, another six skin tones pop up, provided it’s appropriate for the character.  There’s no way to change the color of the space invader or the skull or whatever, but the people can all change colors at will.  They’re also adding a host of new flag options, making the smartphone into an iPhone 6, AND changing the watch into a smart watch.  I’m sure there are some other changes being made, but these are the big ones, and they’re the ones people seem to want the most.

     

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    February 23, 2015
    Google Wallet Comes Standard

    If you’ve ever purchased a smartphone, then you know that your phone comes loaded down with all sorts of proprietary apps that you may or may not use.   There are apps from the carrier, and apps from the operating system manufacturer.  No matter your phone or provider, that’s just something that happens.  In the case of Google, they’re joining the remote payment trend.  Google Wallet will soon come standard on all new smartphones from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

    “This is great for customers and for mobile payments and we’re looking forward to working with Google to help more customers experience the benefits of tap to pay on their Verizon Wireless smartphone,” reads an email from a Verizon spokesperson.

    Google Wallet, like Apple Pay, is basically a third party payment manager.  Instead of carrying around cards, you enter the information into your payment app of choice and use it to check out online or at places where NFC scanners are available (assuming you have an NFC-enabled smartphone).  Of course, just because you have it that doesn’t mean you will use it, but increased exposure makes it more likely to be adopted by the consumer at large.

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    February 22, 2015
    YouTube Develops Kid-Friendly App

    It’s a wild world out there, and it seems that the addition of technology is only making the job more difficult for parents.  Everywhere I go, I see little kids with tablets, on phones, or with some sort of electronic device streaming entertainment into their faces so that the parents can get a little breather and the kids can get a little entertainment at the grocery store (or wherever).  Fortunately, media companies are working hard to make sure that your child’s screen time won’t be unsupervised.  A few years ago, Netflix launched a kid-friendly version to filter out the stuff inappropriate for little eyes, and now it looks like another company is joining them.  YouTube has launched a kid-friendly app to keep children from being exposed to the darker side of the Internet.

    In addition to helping cut down on salacious content, the kid-safe app will also help keep little ones safe from their own inappropriate searches.  Doubling down on the parental support, the app will also have built-in timers to allow parents to decide just how much time little ones can spend on YouTube.  There will be some ads, but they are promised to be as kid-friendly as the content.

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    February 20, 2015
    Fun Friday: 25 Years Of Photoshop
    YouTube Preview Image

    Video via CNET.

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