Tag Archives: tech thoughts

Tech thoughts: Android app review: Stopwatch & Timer

Recently, I’ve been using a new app for my Android smartphone, the simply-named “Stopwatch & Timer.” Stopwatch & Timer does what its name states, act as a stopwatch or as a timer. The app gives some options, including setting several preset timers, changing the colors of the fonts, and setting alerts for when the timer reaches zero. There’s also a paid version of the app (named “Stopwatch & Timer Plus”), available for $2.99 (US). The paid version provides more support for multiple timers, renaming the…

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Tech thoughts: Internet blackout against SOPA aftermath

Several days ago, the Web, including big name sites like Wikipedia, Google, and Reddit, managed to get together and protest SOPA (and PIPA). Fortunately, it seems to have had some success so far, with both bills (for now) dead in t.he water. Also importantly, the mainstream media, whose corporate owners are backing SOPA/PIPA, were finally forced to acknowledge their existence. Until now, they’d pretended that SOPA didn’t exist, apparently hoping it’d be like when the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) was passed a dozen years…

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Tech thoughts: NORAD Tracks Santa

A stretch on the “tech” side of things, but I thought something seasonal might be nice for this week’s “tech thoughts” installment. Since the 1950s, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) each Christmas Eve tracks Santa’s trip through the skies. Over the years, they’ve upped the tech used for said program, with recent years making use of Twitter and its own website. (There’s also pages for Facebook and Google+.) Well, not so much of a stretch tech-wise, after all: NORAD Tracks Santa also offers apps…

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Tech thoughts: Streaming videos from my Linux laptop to my Xbox 360

The last few posts on my new Xbox 360 have noted how hard a time I’ve had getting streaming videos from my laptop to the Xbox working. However, I’ve finally gotten it done. The instructions on Ubuntu’s wiki show how to set up streaming from an Ubuntu-based laptop (or Xubuntu, in my case), using the command-line program ushare: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Xbox360Media The main issue I had (which I suspect is why it didn’t work before) was finding the correct IP address for my Xbox, which online instructions…

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Tech thoughts: My first week with the Xbox, plus WebOS back from the dead?

It’s been about a week and a half since I’ve gotten my Xbox 360, and so far, I’ve been enjoying the experience. The main games I’ve been playing have been “Marvel vs. Capcom 3″ and “Fable III,” though more the former in the last few days, particularly for its online game-playing options (via Xbox Live). Playing online, however, has proven to be extremely tough—either I’ve gotten rusty (from not playing the Marvel/Capcom games much since the 90s), my mediocre video game playing skills are to…

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Tech thoughts: Black Friday 2011

Yes, it’s time once again here in the US for “Black Friday.” Black Friday, as we recall, is nickname retailers have given to the Friday after Thanksgiving, when they supposedly earn a profit (“in the black”) for the year. It’s also the biggest shopping day of the year, and usually has bargains on various things, including electronics. (I wrote more about previous Black Friday experiences in last year’s post). This year’s electronics are the usual low-to-mid-end items, of course: laptops, desktops, video game systems, Blu-Ray…

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Tech thoughts: Xubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) review

Last week, I installed the newest version of Xubuntu, 11.10 (or “Oneiric Ocelot”…and yes, I had to look up how the heck “oneiric” is spelled). As long-time readers know, I’ve been using the Xfce-based distro since 11.04 (“Natty Narwhal”) last spring, which I switched to after disliking both GNOME 3 and Unity. So far, 11.04 has worked fairly well, and I’m pleased to report that 11.10 also works just as well. Ocelot hasn’t changed much from Narwhal in terms of features, so if you enjoyed…

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Tech thoughts: Netflix keeps DVDs, loses Qwikster branding

Earlier this week, Netflix announced that it was reversing course on spinning off the DVD division of its business. Instead, DVDs will stay under the Netflix name, alongside the streaming video side of things that Netflix is betting its future on, despite the lackluster streaming selection. Along with this, Netflix is also ditching the proposed “Qwikster” branding for its DVD rentals. Nice to see Netflix was willing to reverse course, even if to put a stop to the nonstop negative publicity this move generated. Not…

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Tech thoughts, early edition: Apple’s iPhone 4S/iOS 5 news (and other tidbits)

On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave Apple’s first post-Steve Jobs keynote address, announcing the new updates for Apple’s portable media/mobile phone products. However, the announcements were less than exciting, being mostly incremental upgrades and some emphasis on the new cloud-based features. A full summary of today’s announcements are on Engadget. My observations: The iPhone 4S (the newest iPhone model’s name) mostly features a general spec bump, a price drop on its predecessor models (with contracts, the 3GS is now free, while the 4 is…

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Tech thoughts: the new and improved Kindles (and the Nook Color’s fate)

This week, Amazon.com announced that they’re coming out with a revamped Kindle line. The revamped Kindle line consists of: A new $79 Kindle. This revamped entry-level model has no keyboard, relying on a square navigation button to type on an onscreen keyboard. A $99 Kindle Touch. Like the previous Touch model, this one has a touchscreen e-ink screen. A $149 Kindle Touch 3G. Same as the $99 model, but with free-for-life 3G Internet access. And finally, the new $199 Kindle Fire, the model that’s gotten…

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