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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Saving a wet cell phone- 10 ways to dry out your mobile investment.

A while back, I wrote about using a bowl of white rice to dry out a cell phone. This method is not guaranteed to work all of the time, but it's really better than doing nothing. It turned out to be a popular post and it got me to thinking: This is apparently a real problem and there must be more methods than only immersion in a bowl of white rice.

Turns out, there are many more ways than just a dry rice bath.

Mmm...the smell of a feshly baked cell phone...

The people who should know at have a list of ten ways to possibly save your $300 (or more) investment. Believe it or not, household appliances like your freezer or TV may be able to help you out- even some alcohol may also be of significant use in saving you hundreds of dollars (or pounds or Euros) when your phone goes plop or your teenager didn't remove his iPhone from his jeans before stuffing them in the washer.

Remember, all of these suggestions are last-ditch desperate attempts and should only be used when you have no other option. Do all of these at your own risk. But when you're trying to avoid spending part of the mortgage payment on a replacement nearly anything you can try is better than doing nothing at all.

My first, best piece of advice is not to get the phone wet in the first place. But accidents do happen and it's reassuring to know that there may be methods, albeit desperate ones, to ressurrect your mobile buddy and get it back into service.

Go to the website here.

Good luck!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Google Plus Explained- it's a New Way to Explore Social Media.

Facebook is a great service, but everyone in your group of friends (in my case 300+ people) see everything you write- whether you really want all of them to read it or not. You really have no option but to publish your thoughts for all to read, even if it's none of their business.

Twitter is OK, too. But suffers from the same idea. In fact, you don't even get to choose or accept your followers. They just pick you and you have no choice in the matter. Everything you post is open to the eyes off all who have chosen to make you a part of their lives.
Google Plus aims to change all that. G+ provides you with what are called "circles". Private groups you choose and approve that are allowed strict access to certain messages. No one else allowed.

Say you have 100 members in your entire GP member list. 25 are family, 50 are business and 25 more are part of your church. You have the option of sending messages to everyone, one person at a time or just for those people in certain circles. If you have a time change in your weekly church meeting, send a message to people in your church circle and no one else will see it.

Hanging out never looked more fun.
(source: Google)

Additionally, you have access to "Hangouts". Think of these as video chatrooms where up to 10 people can talk about whatever. The software can determine who is speaking and automatically makes that person the largest video image on everyone else's screen. You can invite others and have a pre-arranged meeting or you can just, well.. hangout and wait to see who wants to talk to you.

The catch? Google Plus is still in a trial stage with "only" a few million invited members right now, but is set to be released to the entire public sometime in the near future. If you'd like to know more and sign up for an invitation to try GP when the trial expands during the next few weeks and months, simply click here and you'll be on the cutting edge of social media.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Flying car approved for road use. Could this kind of vehicle take off for consumers?

It may drive like a car, but
it doesn't look like one.

I grew up reading my dad's Popular Mechanics magazines. It seemed that every third issue had an article in it about the next big thing- flying cars. The author would wax poetically about driving to the airport, deploying the wings and taking off  for a vacation in paradise. All at the touch of the proverbial button.

Well, it's fiction no longer. The Huffington Post is reporting that the National Highway Safety Administration has just given the green light for the Terrafugia Transition aircraft/car to legally roam across the highways and byways of the United States with all of the minivans, cars and trucks- just like the rest of us.

The Transition in flight. Is this
the next big thing?
(source: Terrafugia)

The Tansition keeps the wings folded up, origami style, against the side of the vehicle while driving on the road surface. Once at a location that's suitable for takeoff, the driver/pilot pushes a button and the wings slowly deploy until they lock into position for flight.

The dash looks pretty much like any car with the exception of a few additional gauges needed for flight. Along with the steering wheel is a typical pilot's control stick planted in the floor. The aircraft seats two and can fly 425 miles at 115mph in the air and still gets 35 MPG as a car.

Interested? The Transition will set you back a cool $250,000. Still interested? Then, you'll find more information at the Terrafugia site located here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cool Tools- The best of anything that makes life easier.

I inherited a bunch of tools from my grandfather after he passed on. Among the assortment of hammers, pliers and other stuff I hauled home, I found a strange little shovel. Almost a toy, the shovel was ruggedly built with an oak handle and had a very curved blade- too much for generic use. I had never seen anything like it before until a few years later when I was watching some landscapers plant a tree and they were using an indentical shovel. Turns out, the shovel is meant solely for digging round holes for trees and bushes...and nothing else.

I would call that a pretty cool tool.

Others like me seek out these specialized gadgets for all manner of uses. The common thread that binds them together is the specificity of their design. And finding a quality choice from among the many choices that might be out there can be a challenge too. Luckily, there's a website that relies on the submission of the general public to help them find tools that are well-built and, most of all, useful for the required task.

What is this tool and why is it cool?
Click the link to find out!
(source: Cool Tools)
Cool Tools is a website that seeks out the input of users, professionals and hobbyists to submit their choices for the finest tools available for the job. Many of the users make their living using the posted tool and have gone through a long experience with lesser choices. Experience is the best teacher and you benefit from their encounters with the best.

Sometimes the tools really are tools or they could be books or websites or DVDs or just objects that make life a little easier all around. If any web visitor disagrees, they're welcome to submit their choice and to justify why it's best for the job.

The site is breezy, informative and cheery. Topics and tools can be as obscure as a great BBQ grill, an exciting electric scooter or the best guide to renting property in Bulgaria (!). If it's useful and well thought out, you'll find it here. Also, there's a link at the bottom of every article for you purchase, visit or otherwise experience the specific toll yourself.

To go to the Cool Tool site, click here.

And if you have any trees to plant, I have the shovel to do it right. Pretty cool.