Blog Posts by Becky Worley

  • New Xbox: What’s Better, What’s Missing

     

    Eight years after the debut of the Xbox 360, Microsoft has announced the Xbox One.  While it’s no quantum leap forward in gaming, it is attempting to tackle one of the biggest problems we face in our living rooms: a fractured landscape of devices that don’t play nicely together and require WAY too many remotes.  

    Xbox One Specs

    ·     8 times the computing power of the previous Xbox 360

    ·     500 GB Hard Drive

    ·     8 GB Memory

    ·     Built-in Blu-ray DVD player

    ·     Kinect will come standard with every Xbox One

    ·     Kinect redesign with larger field of view, 1080p HD Camera, enhanced gesture recognition, and improved array microphones for voice control

    ·     Gaming Controller redesign: more distinct d-pad design, tactile feedback (rumble) “Impulse Triggers” and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity to the console.

    Gaming or Entertainment Breakthrough?

    The new Xbox One represents an upgrade rather than an overhaul on physical design, internal horsepower, and social connectivity. But it is making an

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  • New Trick to Get the Best Seat in Coach



    Flying first class is fun. Flying in the middle seat of row 42 generally isn’t. But a few tricks and low cost gadgets can transform that coach seat into a much more pleasant experience.

    How To Score A Good Seat In Coach: The Basics

    First, let’s be clear: there’s a big difference between a good seat in coach and a middle seat. So securing a good seat is the first trick. You’ve probably heard of seatguru.com; it lists all carriers and plane configurations to help you figure out which seats have the most legroom, which don’t recline, and which ones are too near the bathroom. You may assume that you can only get seats with good legroom in the more expensive economy plus type regions, but that’s not always true. Just as an example, seats 23A and 23F on a US Air Airbus 321 are amongst the cheapest seats on the plane, but there’s a missing seat in front of them to accommodate an exit row. So if you’re 6’3”,you need to reserve one of these.

    New App: Seat Alert

    Your best bet for getting a good

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  • Facebook Scam Alert - What Really Happens When You "Like"

     

    You’ve seen those pictures posted on Facebook “type ‘move’ into the comments and watch what happens” or “If I get a million likes my dad will get me a car.”  They seem innocent enough, but they are big business, and you are not doing yourself any favors if you like or comment.

    The classic example is a colorful picture of a prism with the image from the cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album in it. It’s accompanied buy the caption: “OMG it really works Step 1: Click on the Picture. Step 2: Hit Like.Step 3: Comment "MOVE" Then see the Magic!!” You see in your news feed that your friends have liked and commented on the image, so clearly something amazing must happen when you interact as directed.  So you click, you comment, and... nothing happens.

    Or at least you think nothing happens.  But your activity has now spread this image and the page into the news feed of all your friends.

    Like Farming

    It’s called Like Farming. Here’s how it works. Someone creates a page and starts

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  • Smart New Charger for Smart Phones

    I get hundreds of pitches for new gadgets. Only a few really surprise me. Following are the newest and most interesting smartphone accessories I’ve come across recently. I’m not advocating you run out to buy them, but these are smart iterations and signs of what’s to come.

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  • Microsoft’s Embarrassing Change To Windows 8

     

    Microsoft’s new operating system has not been well received, and they may be planning to change some fundamental pieces – like reinstating the missing start button and getting you to your desktop as soon as you boot up. But in the meantime, I’ll show you how to fix Windows 8’s biggest annoyances right now.

    First the rumors: Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet reports the update to Microsoft Windows 8 (code named Blue) that will release in August of 2013 may include a start button.  The little icon in the lower left hand corner of the screen has been an anchor of navigation for many, over years of Windows use, and they feel lost without it.

    But if Microsoft succumbs to pressure and returns it to the operating system, it probably won’t be your classic start button, more like an icon in the same place as the original, which will take you to the Metro UI Start Screen of tiles.

    Another rumor is that users will have the option to bypass that start screen on boot up and go directly to the

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  • Wet Cell Phone Rescue Tool That's Better Than Rice

    Each year millions of phones are damaged by water.  The interior gets wet and the circuitry goes kaput. Replacing a wet smartphone can cost upwards of $400, so are there any ways to save a phone, especially an iPhone that’s gone for a swim?

    Previously I tested the efficacy of drying a phone in uncooked rice, it worked for Blackberries and some Android phones, but I couldn’t get it to save an iPhone. So when I saw a new product that promised a 100% success rate for resuscitating wet phones (including the iPhone), I had to try it.

    First I dunked a powered on iPhone 4 in fresh water for 20 seconds, fully submerging it and cringing as I watched air bubbles popping out of the phone’s innards, as I knew water was rushing in. 

    Then I pulled out the Dry-All Smartphone Recovery kit and followed the directions.  First turn the phone off, towel dry, put in the Dry-All case for 24 hours. The biggest mistake people make after accidentally getting a phone wet is to turn it on

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  • 5 Worst Tech Rip-offs

    When you’re about to buy a new gadget or computer, you have to make a ton of decisions – decisions that could end up costing you way too much. So what are the worst tech rip-offs – and how can you avoid them?

    Rip-off #1: Buying from the Carrier

    Buying a new phone poses lots of questions – starting with: where should you get your new device? The cell service providers would love you to believe that if you buy from them, you’ll get an amazing package deal. They’d also love you to believe that you HAVE to get your phone from them. You don’t. As long as the type of phone is supported by the service provider you choose, you can often save a significant percentage by buying the device from a third party site like Amazon Wireless or Wirefly. Just as an example, I recently found the HTC EVO 4G LTE for $30 on Wirefly, while the carrier wanted $100 bucks on for the exact same phone. Likewise, I found the Samsung Galaxy SIII listed for $200

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  • Can Modem Lights Warn of Danger?

    Your modem and router lights are blinking all the time – even when you know that no one is using the Internet. Is that a warning that something’s wrong?

    Mostly, the lights on your modem or router indicate perfectly normal activity. Even when you aren’t actively browsing the web or downloading a video, your computer busily monitors all its network connections – to your Internet Service Provider, to your Wi-Fi-connected phones, and to other connected devices, like your cable box, AppleTV, or Xbox. And all of this communication shows up as activity on your modem or router.

    Real Threats

    While most blinking lights are nothing to worry about, there are some real threats that you should know how to protect yourself from.

    Botnets: Botnets are software programs that scan through the Internet looking for unsecured computers they can take over and turn into zombie spam machines. But no need to panic here; any computer that has even a basic firewall or is behind a router is

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  • Will The Next iPhone Keep Ahead of Android?

    If Apple’s regular release schedule is to be trusted, we should expect a new iPhone this summer. Will it be called the iPhone 5S with small improvements over the iPhone 5? Or will the pressure from rival Android phones force Apple to go big and make a complete overhaul?

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  • Best New Device to Find Your Keys

    Imagine a device that could find your keys with the push of a button or track down your wallet in seconds when you’re frantically searching for it. Those devices have arrived, but they are not all equal. We test the competing technologies that want to help you find your lost keys and wallet.

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