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Monday, March 29, 2010

More iPad iQuestions and iAnswers for iYou

One of the very firsts posts on this blog dealt with Apple's new iPad. Think of it as an iPhone about the size of a magazine and able to do everything an iPhone can do, except phone calls. Very few people have held one or used one or even really know what one really does that a laptop or smartphone can't do.

Now, Apple has started letting some of the answers leak out about their new baby and most of it is amazing and techno-marvelous. On April 3rd, the Apple drops from the corporate tree to the American public and time and the consumer will decide if a screen-only device is capable of capturing everyone's imagination and hard-earned dollars.

Now Yahoo! has seen the iPad and developed a blog posting to answer most of your questions and mine about this new device. Questions range from "what is it?" to "what the heck can I do with this thing?". As far as blog posts go, this one is pretty long, but that's good news because that means there's alot of info for you (and I) to discover. check it out here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The air filter to the widget is experiencing a backflow error resulting in a non-functioning Gangley circuit.

The title of today's posting makes no sense (because I made it up!) and for many of us, we all get the glassy-eyed stare when our geek friends start talking about computers and using that confusing geek-speak with terms like ICQ, OpenGL and the ever popular Telnet.

Rather than hearing nothing but the mystical rambling of this computer voodoo, instead, go to the good people at to look up your tech friend's "that must be made up" computer term.

From Access to Zettabyte, most of the words that fly over your head and mine are simply and clearly explained. Bookmark this page for later reference, so when your kids or the family nerd start spouting off about his new Gnutella system (I did not make that word up, go ahead and look it up yourself) you'll be able to have some idea about what they're speaking about.

Click here to better define what I'm talking about.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Amazon ain't just a river in Brazil

Begun by Jeff Bezos who was so broke at the beginning he used a door for a desktop (legend has it he still does), the company began in the mid-1990's as a book store, offering millions of titles.

Today, has grown into an online shopping giant, with hundreds of thousands of products (millions?) for sale. Not just books anymore, although those are available still, but music CDs, videotapes and DVDs, software,consumer electronics, kitchen items, tools, lawn and garden items, toys & games, baby products, apparel, sporting goods, gourmet food, jewelry, watches, health and personal-care items, beauty products, musical instruments, clothing, industrial & scientific supplies, groceries, and more (my fingers are cramping from writing all of these!).

Shipping is often little to free and prices are some of the lowest you'll find anywhere. Selection is virtually limitless and the customer service is world-class. Chances are, if you're looking for a rare, hard to find Hungarian widget with floral decoration, Amazon has it in five colors.

Click on the link to go shopping now.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is there an app to tell you what an "app" is? Or what's an app store? There is now!

Here's a fun fact: there's a program that allows you to use the camera on your cell phone to take a picture of the barcode on a product. The phone then accesses the internet, searches for that exact same product elsewhere - for a cheaper price- and notifies you in seconds where to get and the address of the store. Pretty cool app, isn't it?

An "app"? What the...
When you hear someone talk about an "app", they're really talking about an application- a software application. An app is really no more than a micro-sized software program usually designed for a smart phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc.) that performs one highly specific function like providing restaurant reviews, a fun game or something more practical like an appointment reminder. They cost everywhere from zero (free, free, free!) to hundreds of dollars, although the majority are less than $20.

So, where can you find these wonders of technology and how do you buy some? The guys over at will explain it all. Turns out, buying and installing an app is straightforward and quickly done, although you must be careful- collecting apps can be habit forming!

Click here for the explanation.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How the big box thing under the desk works

Let get down to basics here: How exactly does this computer thing work, anyway? I mean, you push the button, the box whirs and buzzes- maybe a beep- and it's ready for use.

But, let's look under the hood of the anonymous box near you and see what makes it work.

There's a silver thing there, a bunch of wires here, a little box with a fan in the corner. What do they do? How do they work together? How do all of these gizmos make your screen come alive?

These are a bunch of unanswered questions and, as well know, I'm not the guy to give you the answers. But, thankfully, I do know where to find the answers. The good people at knows how a computer works. So, click on this link and we'll find out together what the litlle box with the fan in the corner does.

Note: Don't really take your computer apart and touch anything. You could get a  nasty shock. Don't ask me how I know this...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

You too can be a know-it-all and know it all.

Wanna be a know it all?

Wanna know about the "Treaty of Paris"? What "The Bernoulli Effect is? or Thomas Jefferson's summer home? (it's not Monticello). Wikipedia is a great place to start.

It's not meant or intended to be the last word on any topic you choose. See, Wikipedia is created by, and added to, by internet people all over the world. Wikipedia's topic selections may number in the many millions, but Wikipedia's staff is no more than a couple of dozen folks. Content is policed and corrected by those very folks who care that the information is right and right all the time. It's completely free and and no ads as the site is supported soley through the monetary contribution of it's users.

Operation is simplicity itself- there's a blank box on each page. Fill in the box with the word(s) of your choice and press the return key on your keyboard and the magic happens.

The facts are not checked  and are sometimes out and out wrong- the whole place relies on the self-policing of the readers and contributors to keep the place accurate in the long view and this tends to work...mostly.

So, why use Wikipedia? It's a great place to find casual information to satisfy one's curiosity. Generally, most articles are supported by footnotes, references and attribution that supports the facts in the article. Usually, if you want more detailed information, it's a good idea to click on the weblinks at the bottom of the article.

Click on this weblink to go there now.

Monday, March 1, 2010

What? Is that true? No, it can't be? Is it? Maybe?

You probably get the same e-mails I do: Abraham Lincoln had webbed feet, President Obama moonlights at Taco Bell, Aliens invented Scrabble and the like. At times, many of these can seem quite plausible and real, some may even have pictures or video as "proof", so which ones do you believe?

An unusual website called can help you descern between real and fake. They look into hundreds of the most common e-mails making the rounds and find out through solid research, interviews and sources exactly was is and isn't true. They rank each topic with the judgement of true, untrue and mixed (a rumor based on fact that's been "enhanced" with additions, subtractions and flat-out lying).

Snopes doesn't take sides or a political view, except to find out the facts. Now, when you get those "pancackes are made from baby penguins" e-mails, you'll know how to answer these claims.  Rumor has it, you can look for it here.

Warning: Be careful how you respond to those sending you these "rumor e-mails". Some folks get awfully caught up and invested in the agendas and can be insulted or angry when you challenge what they believe to be true. You've been warned...

Free TV! 10,000 hours of programming- just for you.

There's a website for TV lovers called They called it Hulu because of some Chinese words were combined, adapted, squished and otherwise jammed together to justify calling the site Hulu. Whatever, they should have just called it Hulu and left it at that. Whatever you call it, Hulu is still amazing.

Carrying shows from not only NBC, ABC and FOX, Hulu also offers programming from cable outlets like Comedy Central, USA Network, PBS, NFL Network, A&E, Bravo, Syfy and many, many others. The only catch? You have to sit through a 30 second commercial at the beginning, then the rest is for you to watch commercial free. More than 10,000 hours of your favorite shows, plus music and concerts.

Watching Hulu is as simple as watching YouTube- click on the clip you wish to see and within seconds, it starts playing. That's it. No software to download, no registration to complete and no special tools or knowledge needed.

So check out and maybe you can e-mail me and tell me why in world they chose hulu over the 10,000,000,000+ other words in the world.