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October 8, 2014

A Better USB Connector

Filed under: Main — Tags: , — admin @ 12:01 am

Don’t get me wrong: The USB cable is genius. It improves upon a nightmare of cables that once festered behind every computer like a nest of snakes. The problem? While you have a 50 percent chance of plugging the cable in the proper way, you get it wrong about 80 percent of the time.

October 7, 2014

Driving Distracted

Filed under: News — admin @ 7:51 am

Pretty much anyone can guess that using a smartphone while driving isn’t the safest thing to do. In most states where such a thing is outright outlawed, they do allow you to use a phone “hands-free.” Turns out that’s even more distracting.

Article Link

October 6, 2014

Windows 95 on an Android Smartwatch

Filed under: News — admin @ 8:30 am


Some people just have too much time on their hands . . .

(Mute your speaker before playing the video.)

The Verge

The State of Computer Graphics

Filed under: News — admin @ 8:00 am

One of the holy grails of computer graphics is the ability to realistically render a human face. Apparently that quest is now over.

Check out the video (link below) and determine whether or not you think the human head rendering is realistic. It’s scary.

The next step is to render a robotic face that looks realistic. How much longer until you think that happens?

Huffington Post Tech

How to Shoot Video

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

Yes, your smartphone or tablet has the ability to record video. I describe how it works in my various Android For Dummies books. What I don’t really do, but I’ll probably do from now on, is really tell you how to shoot video.

October 5, 2014

Wi-Fi is 15-Years-Old

Filed under: News — admin @ 7:57 am

You think nothing of having Wi-Fi today. Laptops, desktops, mobile devices, coffee shops, even the car dealer has Wi-Fi. But in 1999, Wi-Fi was a new thing.

Business Insider does a quick look back at how amazed the MacWorld crowd was in 1999 when Steve Jobs introduced the iBook and it’s amazing wireless Internet access.

Business Insider

October 4, 2014

Wi-Fi Security

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — admin @ 7:50 am

I could write an entire blog post on keeping your home or office Wi-Fi network secure. Instead, I’m providing a link to an excellent article by Amit Agarwal, founding of the website Digital Inspiration:

Digital Inspiration: Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

October 3, 2014

The Post-Jobs Apple

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

apple-logo1 The recent introduction of iPhone 6 Plus has motivated some pundits to accues Apple of being a me-too company. After all, the large format iPhone comes years after Samsung created the first phone-tablet, or phablet, the Galaxy Note.

Is creativity dead at Apple in the post-Jobs era?

October 2, 2014

Well! Here’s a Mac Virus

Filed under: News — admin @ 7:46 am

You’ve heard the mantra: Mac’s don’t get viruses.

Well, perhaps you haven’t heard it recently. That’s because of a few security flaws that Apple has recently acknowledged. The latest one is actually a worm (malware) that turns Macintosh computers into zombie boxes — just like their PC cousins!

Oh, I remember well those “I’m a Mac” and “I’m a PC” TV ads. How I can imagine Justin Long and John Hodgman bantering back and forth. “I get lots of viruses,” Hodgman’s PC would say. And Long’s Mac would just have to confess, “Me, too!”

The article (link below) doesn’t mention how the Macintosh’s get infected, or how to remove the virus. But the infection seems pretty wide-spread. Also the article is a bit technical.

If Apple follows through as it has with other security concerns, then any vulnerabilities in OS X will be fixed pronto. Then again, you can’t fix stupid: Don’t allow unknown software to be installed on your PC. Mac people now have to heed that admonition.

Net Security

October 1, 2014

Why It’s Called Windows 10

Filed under: News — admin @ 4:34 pm

This may seem like a dumb reason, but apparently Microsoft skipped Windows 9 for fear of sloppy programmers.

You see, if a program is designed to look for, say, Windows 95 or Windows 98, then it may simply search for the text “Windows 9” and stop there. If so, the program could misidentify Windows 9 as Windows 95 or Windows 98. At least that’s the reason postulated by the article, link below.

I’m not buying it.

My reason is that programmers use the internal Windows version number, or vernum, to determine which Windows version is being used. Now some just might use the Windows name, but that’s not the coding practices I’m familiar with. There is historical evidence for this reasoning as well.

When DOS 4.0 came out, it was terrible. Many programs wouldn’t run, so the programmers began coding a DOS version test. The problem was that DOS 4.1 was okay, but the version tested only for the “4” and not any “.1” part. Also, numerous developers checked for only a single version of DOS or perhaps only the current version and any earlier versions. This version-checking nonsense drove people nuts as programs wouldn’t run or would refuse to run, despite the DOS version being okay.

To counter the version correction madness, Microsoft introduced a new command for DOS 5, SETVER. It would fool a given program into accepting the current DOS version. I wrote about this command years ago in various books. Anyway, if Microsoft were serious about the “Windows 9” issue, I would think it could devise a similar solution.

Regardless of the reason, the next release of Windows will be known as version 10, not 9.


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