Tag Archives: technology

The Social Network- what’s all the hype about?

photo credit: copyright SOCIAL NETWORK

I just finished watching the movie, “The Social Network” and I gotta say, it was well-made and a good movie.  Like the Enron movie,  it was informative and entertaining and since it’s based on a true story of a social media network we all use daily, it is true to life.

As a computer geek in a former life, I also enjoyed some of the software and coding lingo.  I went to school with people like this!  This movie delivers what it promises- the story about Mark Zuckerberg and the invention of Facebook- the hottest social media and network on the planet! 
I rented this movie from Redbox but Netflix releases it on February 7, 2011, as well and I am sure soon it will be on instant queue.  So there are opportunities to watch if you can’t see it in discount theaters or rent it. 
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Iphone 3GS- Review of the Usefulness of the Apps

It has now been almost 4 months since the Iphone 3GS entered my life and it has certainly changed it. It has changed the way I do e-mail, the way I do work, and the way I drive- yes, even affects the roads I take at rush hour! The Iphone is amazing! Here are the top Apps four months into its use:

Email- obviously, the E-mail button is priceless. It beeps and shows the number of unread emails I have in my inbox and this tool is invaluable.

Voice Control- Did you know you can hold the button on your iphone and get Voice Control – You can say “Call 1 – 800 – (and the number)” and it will dial it for you- nice!

Google Maps- the best App you can have in a busy city like Denver, LA, Chicago, and the list goes on- it tells you which roads are “RED” or “YELLOW” or “GREEN” so you can determine which roads you take to get home or to work. It is my best friend as I leave work and let me tell you, has saved me minutes to hours! Of course, if you are in a city where there is traffic everywhere, this App may not help you but a helicopter may. There’s gotta be an App for that 🙂

Vlingo- this is a great tool to update your social status without typing on the road or anywhere you are- voice recognition software takes care of it and you can proof it before posting on twitter or facebook. You can also do voice dial here and search the Internet (like Google or Dragon) and even search for an address or location. If you search for an address or location, then it will take you to Google Maps. From here you plot where you need to go and voila! You are on your way!

Shopper Lite or the Premium- This is a great tool for all you bargain hunters and shoppers out there. I just discovered it. It gives you all the local stores, the hottest deals in the area, and sale flyers for each store. You can even do a search for a specific item. So, if you are looking for a specific product, type it in and it will give you the best place to get it in the area. Nice!

The Weather Channel- This is obviously a useful App as you make your plans for trips or just how to dress for the day and more importantly, how you dress your kiddos.

Peekeez- this is a webcam “peeker” (AKA- the Nanny Cam) – you specify the webcam to use through software on your computer, and then you can view that webcam and if you go premium you can even record what is going on at home while you are away. Used appropriately, this is a great tool for parents who need to see their kids. You can share your webcam with friends and family too!

Emoji Free- is a great App which lets you add smiley faces, other symbols and just have fun. You have to make a change in your settings under Languages to make it work but then it incorporates into your keyboard. What a fun tool to have- text away!

Google Voice- if you are the lucky few to get invited to have Google Voice, you can send texts, receive texts (straight to your email if you want). This is a great thing because if you are about to exceed your monthly text or minute limit, you have an option to call people without worrying about paying extra. Along with Google calendar and Google Search engine, this is another great tool to have.

Phone Flicks- if you have a netflix subscription, Phone Flicks for free lets you keep track of your queue, add movies, and conduct most transactions on netflix with your account.

Starbucks Mobile card- I love this – you can instantly keep track of your mobile cards, rewards, and add cards/remove them, add money, and at some Starbucks, even scan the card on your iphone instead of whipping out the card. Nice!

Kayak- If you have heard of the travel search engine, it now mobile and you can compare airlines and costs side by side with ease from your iphone. I can’t believe the flight I bought a month ago is now $40 cheaper- DERN IT! But yes, Kayak can send you notifications too!

PrinterShare- great app if you want to print from your iphone to a network printer – with the proper permissions you can print anywhere!

Jotnot- Yes, you can scan and fax documents. They give you an allotment for free ones and then you have to buy per page. But, not bad!

IRelax and Sleep ELite- These are noise machines and relaxation sounds to sleep – it is like travelling w/ sound spa or noise machine w/o actually packing it in your $30 per bag checked luggage. I love mine and it drowns out the hotel noises.

All in all, I am very pleased with the Iphone and while AT&T sucks with phone service, I do like the Iphone.
In the Game arena, I enjoy Uno, Drop Four (connect four), Words with Friends and Sudoku, but there is so much more out there to do and learn

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Best Iphone Apps and Most addictive – PART TWO

In my previous post I wrote about the top 15 apps after three weeks of owning the iPhone. As promised, after 6 weeks of owning the iphone, it is time to write another installation of the most useful apps. I am also going to factor in the most addictive. Here goes:

1. Words with friends- this one is free or for 99 cents you can get it ad free. This app is addictive. It is essentially scrabble with friends and/or strangers. You can have a billion games going at once which is fine since it can take days or weeks to finish a game. The game has some flaws because words can be spelled that are not words and yet dome words that are in the dictionary are rejected so be prepared for that. WARNING: If you get this App, you will not be able to put it down and the world around you will become almost non-existent so be prepared!

2. Shazam – this us a cool app to help you find out song you’re hearing but do not know the name or artist. It let’s you download it and even gives you a tour schedule. Pretty cool.

3. Camera One is an app and turns your iPhone camera into a more functional tool but I do not know what all the buttons do so need an instruction manual. Hopefully I can find it through the App store or google – that is the only flaw of this thing but the features appear cool. There is even a timer on this camera!

4. Irelax- is an app that is a sound machine, lullaby-maker, and alarm clock all wrapped up in one. When I travelled to D.C. a few weeks ago, I had to download a sleep machine. It is Free and called SLEEP MACHINE. There are tons of white noise makers on the app market and they all work great but I gotta say, a friend got me turned onto IRelax and it really is the best out there. The options are endless and it is easier to use than most of the other white noise or sound machine apps out there.

5. Urbanspoon- I really like this over yelp and the SHAKE feature lets you turn your Iphone into a “restaurant” slot machine… be careful what you land on. If you are not in the mood for Polish food.

There are tons more apps that are useful. I like Mapquest and google maps and really love having GOOGLE CALENDAR right there as my home page Application to quickly check the calendar, and I love dictionary.com and Wikipedia. All in all, I have had a great 30 days with the Iphone. I was even to shop online and quickly find what I needed on a HOME DEPOT App. Amazon.com is available on line but the features are a bit limited. I wish I could stream daily episodes of “The Daily Show” and other shows on the iphone like I can on my laptop or PC but for some reason, I cannot do that yet – I think Apple does not let you run Adobe Flash Player because they’d rather I pay 99 cents on Itunes and purchase the episode rather than watch it for free. This upsets me a bit but I am not surprised that Apple does that. In any case, I will just have to Tivo my episodes and do my best to convert them for the iphone.

As far as service goes, AT&T is an okay 3G network. I wrote a blog on that. But, did you know AT&T rolls your minutes? This is a bonus for me since my usage varies with how much I travel in a month. Stay tuned for more App-reviews to come…

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AT&T is not the best 3G network – a review based on my trip to the East Coast

I have had the Iphone now for four weeks and unfortunately, as you all know, there is a monopoly right now with who can carry the iphone – AT&T. This is quite unfortunate but Verizon is not on the 3G network and Sprint has something better-4G. I used to have T-mobile and while there were dropped calls and what not, I really miss the service and prices. Rumor is that this year, 2010, will see T-mobile getting the Iphone next. I hope so, because I think I would switch to them as soon as I could.

Recently, I made a trip to D.C. and the AT&T coverage out there was horrible. I hear that out east is Verizon country but when I had Tmobile, it worked great out east. AT&T had no 3G where I was and I could not get on the internet or the phone during the time I was involved in a hearing. In any case, my experiences with AT&T thus far travelling has been piss poor. In Colorado, it may work out okay but I would have to agree with others that AT&T does really stink.

Ah well – for now, I am stuck with them and the Iphone – don’t get me wrong, I love the Iphone and all it has to offer but the service needs to match the technology and in this case, AT&T is a poor match for the Apple Iphone.

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Iphone Update and Itunes Review

So it has been two full weeks with my Baby G3- the Iphone 3GS. I love it so far and find it quite useful. For example, I was in a bind to find out if I could make the BART in San Francisco or whether I’d have to take a cab and boom! I got the times right away and based on where I was at SFO, whether I’d make it or not. In any case, what a useful lil phone. It is a great tool to get directions, get a phone number in a pinch, and takes decent photos and videos too! I have used the Tivo Plus for Desktop and transferred TV shows on it and watched movies. Only complaint: No captions but otherwise, it is cool.

I like the iphone and so far, find some of the apps very useful including banking online but I gotta say I hate the platform that the iphone works on- ITUNES. I have always hated it with the ipod too but now, I find it even more annoying to deal with. It baffles me how Apple can make such great toys – such awesome hardware with such a bad software for itunes to use as a platform for these otherwise neat toys.

In any case, I have come to like the iphone and regardless of how piss poor and user “unfriendly” I find Itunes, I think I will keep it. Let the addiction begin…

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