A long time ago I asked a fellow technician how he kept up with Tech developments. He always had the news on the latest and best utilities, useful apps, and tweaks and tricks for tuning operating systems. His answer? Actually, he mentioned the articles here at Technibble as his primary …
I got a chance to interview Lisa Hendrickson from “Call That Girl”. I find Lisas story incredibly interesting because she has been through most phases a computer repair business can go through. She started out working for someone else and doing computer repair on the side before eventually making …
Many of us are looking for inexpensive ways to get word of mouth advertising for our businesses. Computer repair business owners like myself have had lots of success giving free talks to community organizations. Here’s how to take advantage of this easy method getting your name in front of more …
There is no doubt about it, the amount of threats facing technology users today is higher than ever before, and it keeps increasing. After looking over some recent reports about some of the ‘free’ security suites available and how they scored in ‘real world’ tests, I’m no longer recommending free …
Three months ago you performed some maintenance on a client’s computer, and they haven’t used it since you worked on it. They turn it on, and something unexpected happens. A piece of hardware failed, or a certain program isn’t working right, or a virus seems to have infected the machine. …
When Windows 8 machines started hitting shelves without the previously common license key label on the side, it removed the possibility of using those stickers to activate installations on the same computer after recovery or repair. If you’ve been handed a Windows 8 machine and you need to replace the …
What do you carry around in your mobile toolkit? What about hardware and replacement networking devices for clients? What products do you carry around for clients to purchase on the spot from you? How prepared are you for each service call? Let’s take stock of items you should carry around …
Pricing your maintenance plans can be a challenge, and deciding how much to charge and how much to perform, and then marketing your maintenance plans can also be a challenge. Depending on your clients’ needs, as well as the competition’s offerings, you might need to adapt accordingly. First of all, how …
Gandalf from WindowsMatters.com wrote an article last year about his Windows 8 based PE boot disk, which is a really useful boot disk with many free portable repair and troubleshooting applications on it. Not too long ago he came out with an update, a dual boot 32 bit and 64 …
If you’ve spent any time at all in a service industry, you’ll probably have a lot of stories about bad customers, unpaid invoices, and individuals who think they don’t have to pay invoices unless they’re threatened with legal action to pay them. I know I’ve run into a few myself, …
It's been fifteen years since The Longest Journey came out, making it a pretty apt name for a series. A cult classic, The Longest Journey is regarded as one of the best point-and-click adventure games and best game stories of all time.In 2007 fans finally got a long-awaited sequel, known as Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, which wrapped up a few story threads from the original game while opening up even more questions.
And now, seven years and one successful Kickstarter campaign later, we finally get Dreamfall: Chapters, an episodic sequel that takes place immediately after the events of the 2007 game.
A partnership that lets Wi-Fi users get on free public networks in San Francisco and San Jose, California, with a one-time joining process now also covers a hotspot along the River Thames in London.
The cities at either end of Silicon Valley used the Wi-Fi Alliances Passpoint specification to set up Wi-Fi roaming between their city-owned networks earlier this year. The technology lets residents and visitors set up a secure connection with either network and then automatically get on the other citys system whenever they enter its coverage area.
Its an arrangement that makes a lot of sense between the two cities: Theyre both home to major tech companies and are commuting distance apart. Adding in a river halfway around the world may seem like a stretch, but for travelers, the easy access to Wi-Fi across borders could be a nice convenienceand a sign of things to come.
We have a saying around the Greenbot newsroom that the most exciting tech-centric news usually hits on Friday afternoons. Google just dropped a Friday afternoon news bomb.
Recode reports that Google CEO Larry Page has transferred leadership of all core Google products over to Sundar Pichai, who was formerly head of Android and Chrome OS. He will serve as Senior Vice President of all Google products and will manage a number of divisions, including business and operations, access and energy, Nest, Calico, Google X, corporate development, legal, finance, and business, which includes ad sales. YouTube is not included in the deal because CEO Susan Wojcicki will continue to run that division somewhat independently.
So you bought a Revolv smart hub to manage your smart home. You obviously recognized a well-designed product. The only problem now is that Nest Labs saw the same potential. The folks who designed the worlds most famous thermostat, since gobbled up by Google, have swallowed Revolvand immediately stopped sales.
I was a bit gobsmacked when I saw the Revolv smart-home hub at CES last January. With this one device and a smartphone app, you could control just about any smart system in your home. The odd-looking device could control your home lighting, your door locks, and your programmable thermostat, but it could also speak to your Sonos mutli-room audio system.
It turns out that a vital missing ingredient in the long-sought after goal of getting machines to think like humansartificial intelligencehas been lots and lots of data.
Last week, at the OReilly Strata + Hadoop World Conference in New York, Salesforce.coms head of artificial intelligence, Beau Cronin, asserted that AI has gotten a shot in the arm from the big data movement. Deep learning on its own, done in academia, doesnt have the [same] impact as when it is brought into Google, scaled and built into a new product, Cronin said.
Attempts by users to isolate the cause of the issue have been fruitless so far. The problem affects a variety of Macs with dissimilar configurations and linked to many different routers. Whats clear is that the problem hit these users after installing Yosemite. In most cases, Wi-Fi becomes unstable, with connections dropping every few minutes, irritatingly slow or simply unusable.
Apple CEO Tim Cook says bringing the recently launched Apple Pay system to China is his top priority for doing business the country.
Apple Pay launched on Monday in the U.S. and allows iPhone 6 users to make tap-and-go payments at compatible terminals in retailers. It hasnt expanded outside the U.S. yet, but international expansion is on the cards. The NFC (near-field communication) technology it uses is already standard in some countries.
The auction intended to turn many U.S. TV channels into spectrum for mobile services wont start until early 2016, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission says.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had earlier forecast that the auction would begin in the middle of next year. But in August, the National Association of Broadcasters challenged some aspects of the agencys plan in court. Due to the schedule for briefings and hearings in that case, plus the complexity of putting together the auction, the agency has pushed back its calendar. It now expects to start accepting applications in fall 2015 and to launch the auction early the following year, according to an FCC blog post on Friday.
At this point I'm convinced the games industry is doing silly things just to provide material for this column.
John Cena reads poetry, Dragon Age has some disturbing "sexy" dialogue, and we get glimpses of both The Witcher 3 and the deceased Star Wars Battlefront IIIthis is gaming news you need to know for the week of October 20.
Connect your Kinect
If you bought an Xbox One before they stopped forcing you to buy a Kinect, you can now hook it up to your PC directlyprovided you buy a $50 adapter. No, I don't know what the adapter does except make the price for an Xbox One Kinect match the price for a standalone PC Kinect.
Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 tablet appears to be a bona fide hit, according to Microsoft executives.
In the company's positive earnings report, released Thursday, the company disclosed that Surface revenue topped $908 million for the quarter. It's likely the Surface business will top a billion dollars business before long.
"Surface had strong results this quarter, driven by positive customer response to Surface Pro 3," Satya Nadella, the company's chief executive, told analysts and investors. "The product lineup is the right one and customers are responding favorably. Surface Pro 3 is now in 28 markets and importantly we have improved the business economics of this product line."
The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process.
News stories from a handful of publications in recent months have accused some think tanks and advocacy groups of astroturfingquietly shilling for large broadband carriers. In a handful of cases, those criticisms appear to have some merit, although the term is so overused by people looking to discredit political opponents that it has nearly lost its original meaning.
Critics of astroturfingdefined as hiding the sponsors of a message or group as a way to make it appear to have grassroots supportsay it twists political debate by making some positions appear to be more popular with the public than they really may be.
After a spate of news stories about alleged astroturf advocacy in a contentious U.S. net neutrality debate, the IDG News Service looked into the funding transparency of several think tanks and advocacy groups involved in the issue. Several disclose limited or no information about their funding, we found.
Astroturfing is commonly defined as a lack of funding transparency, paired with the appearance of grassroots support.
The IDG News Service looked at 14 of the most prominent think tanks and advocacy groups involved in the debate. The following list is not exhaustive, however. It does not include some small organizations, and a handful of groups that have joined the conversation recently.
A spate of recent news stories have revealed that a wide variety of lobby groups have financial ties to broadband carriers and trade associations, accusing them of faking grassroots opposition to strong net neutrality rules.
The recent coverage from news organizations has overwhelmingly targeted a lack of funding transparency in groups opposed to strong net neutrality regulations. Some of that coverage disparity may be because groups advocating for strong net neutrality rules tend to be more transparent about their funding than groups opposed, but some pro-net neutrality groups also have limited funding transparency mechanisms.
Much of the reporting on so-called astroturfing has come from Vice.com, the news and culture website that has championed immersionist journalism. Vice is perhaps most famous for sending former Chicago Bulls basketball player Dennis Rodman to North Korea in early 2013.
Need to stick a tilde over an N or add an accent mark over an E? Or maybe you want to add some Emoji to your text messages? Doing either of these is actually quite easy on Android, though not particularly obvious. Heres where to look.
Typing special characters
You can type special characters in just about any app using the standard Android keyboard. To get to the special characters, simply press and hold the key associated with that special character until a pop-up picker appears. Keep your finger down, and slide over to the special character you want to use, then lift your finger: That character will then appear in the text field youre working with.
Amazon wants investors to forget all about yesterdays disappointing earnings announcement and its lowered sales guidance for the 2014 holiday season. The company released two bits of more positive news this morning: The number of games and apps available for its $99 Fire TV media-streaming device has tripled since its launch in April, and all 10 episodes of its original series Alpha House (starring John Goodman) are now available on its Amazon Prime Instant Video service.
Amazon declined to reveal how many Fire TVs it has sold (the company doesnt publish unit sales for any of its products, according to a company spokesperson), but it likely has a ways to go before it catches up with Roku (10 million units sold since 2008) or Apple (the company recently claimed an installed base of 20 million Apple TV devices).
LG is taking the covers off its very own processor and is putting it right to work in its newest smartphone. The companys new eight-core chip, named Nuclun, powers the LG G3 Screen, a Nexus 6-sized smartphone going on sale in South Korea.
The Nuclun chipemploys four 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A15 cores for high-intensity processing, with four 1.2GHz Cortex A7 cores for less demanding tasks. LG says the number of working cores can be tweaked for either maximizing processing power or dialing it back to focus on battery life savings.
Nuclun can handle next-generation 4G networks with speeds up to 225Mbps. Yet it still works with our paltry LTE networks, which will be around a while given how American networks are still rolling out LTE to many regions of the country.
A court has shut down a New York tech support vendor after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission accused the company of scamming computer users into paying hundreds of dollars for services they did not need.
Pairsys cold-called computer users in the U.S. and other countries, claiming to be representatives of Microsoft or Facebook, and convinced them to allow the companys workers to gain remote control over the customers PCs as a way to diagnose computer problems, the FTC said.
Researchers have taken a step forward in developing batteries that can store 10 times more energy than existing lithium-ion batteries.
The scientists have been experimenting with a garnet ceramic material called LLZO that could hasten the release of batteries based on lithium-air chemistry. Lithium-air batteries have been in development for decades but are considered unstable for practical use.
LLZO could lead to batteries that are safer, denser and more longer-lasting than lithium ion. Researchers tested its properties using electron microscopy at the U.S. Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
Conventional lithium-ion batteries have reached their limits and a new chemistry is needed to advance the state of the art, said Cheng Ma, a post-doctoral associate researcher at ORNL.
Music streaming service Deezer is going beyond music and adding podcasts in an attempt to attract more users. The company announced Friday that it had acquired Stitcher, the popular podcast and live radio streaming app available on Android and iOS, and built into more than 50 car models from makers such as BMW, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar and Mazda.
A price tag for the deal was not announced.
What this means for you: Stitcher users shouldnt notice any change in their favorite audio app after the Deezer acquisition. The two companies said Stitchers standalone Android and iOS apps would remain as-is. The catalog of podcasts and live radio shows will also be built into Deezers primary service to add more variety to its existing music service.