Archive for November, 2011


brainApparently, the speed of our cognitive reasoning and thoughts peaks at age 22. This doesn’t seem fair since no one knows anything of value until after age 30. Why should we be punished with slowness just when we begin to be smart?

The good news is that it has now been scientifically proven that older people are smarter than younger people. Take that, youngsters. People over 40 “have larger vocabularies, are better judges of character, and score higher on tests of social skills“.

This research gives a possible reason for youngsters picking up on technology faster. First, they have less info crowding their brains, secondly, they think faster and so are able to process the steps faster.

Fear not, in compensation, oldsters have way more raw knowledge and talent (take note employers). The trade off for a slightly steeper learning curve is a huge leap in good judgement.

So, now you know, your parents did know best.  Buy them a great Christmas gift to make up for your years of secretly thinking they were senile.

TabletsWe can all agree that a tablet is one of the most wished-for items for Christmas.  Moms, Dads and students all want a tablet of some kind.  Although the iPad 2 is great, there are many other tablets that may possibly suit your lucky recipient better.  Particularly if someone already has an Android based smartphone, they may do better with an Android based tablet.

Samsung has quietly been perfecting the Android based tablet.  Front and rear facing cameras and a dual core processor are standard features and The Galaxy Tab is leading the pack in offering the user size options, it comes in 7″, 8.9″ and 10.1″ configurations.  Another plus is that the Galaxy tablets are Flash-enabled to let you view all content on the web.

The screen is crystal clear and with so many sizes to choose from, you can pick the one that suits your business or lifestyle needs.  Hype aside, the Galaxy Tab family offers choices and flexibility.  The Android market is a great resource to further customize this gadget and make it truly yours.

Happy shopping.

GiftsTo those who have planned ahead and have disposable income to utilize over the 2011 holiday season, Techsnoop has some suggestions for you.  Of the items deemed to be hot this year, we have a few comments to add.

Kindle Fire; no matter how you slice it, Amazon has a hit on their hands.  This tablet has just enough punch to be a quality entertainment gift option for those on a non-iPad budget.  While the storage is low, most of the content for this device is designed to be stored in the Amazon Cloud.  This makes it accessible, but not hogging up your hard drive space.

Nook Tablet; A better choice if you have some legacy eBooks and music to transfer.  The Nook Tablet has 16GB of storage and and SD card slot.  Plus, it comes ready to stream from Hulu and Netflix.  This is another worthy entry in the affordable tablet competition.

Smartphones; All major carriers now have a version of the Samsung Galaxy S II.  This is a great phone with dual-core processor, 8GB ram, 8MP camera and great reviews.  If someone on your list needs a new Android phone, this is a great option.

Inkling; A graphic designer’s new best friend, the Inkling by Wacom allows you to sketch or draw on paper and create vector or Photoshop layers and import to your computer.  Without being tied to your laptop or tablet.  So when you’re out and about and inspiration hits, get sketching.  A great choice for your favorite graphic designer (hint, hint).

Gaming systems; The latest innovations in games is interactivity.  Kinect for XBox and Playstation Move for Playstation 3 are great gift ideas for the gamer in your life.  Don’t forget the gift card for Gamefly.

Last but definitely not least, iPad2.  If you have the money, this is the most wanted gift of the year (or any year).  Versatile, light and durable, the iPad is a great entertainment device and productivity hog.

So get out and find the best Black Friday deals you can with your list in hand.

Yes, I am an addict.  I hope you will take this as a cautionary tale and save yourself.

So, I want to start a blog, but there’s no time.  Well, drop the games use the time to start a blog.  About what?  Well, blog what you know they say.  What I know could fill a library, large library.  But, OK, I know tech.  In fact, I have been dubbed the family Geek.  So, blog about technology, gadgets, resources, reviews and trends.  Got it.  But some stuff I have to say doesn’t fit into the tech category.  Start a new blog about culture, politics and news.

Now the cat wants in on the action.  He has much to say and demands a voice.  Since I have the opposable thumbs, I have to do the typing.  He’s snarky.  Hey, I have a new family addition coming.  Blog about that.  Brain about to explode.  Must add Empire Avenue and Klout to keep up with stats and add followers to Twitter and Facebook.  400 followers, have to keep up and engage.  Send thanks, mentions  and RTs.  Need to organize these, add Crowdbooster, Tweetdeck.

Uhmmm, real life calling, I have customers who need work done.  Tweetdeck keeps popping up to let me know about tweets and mentions.  Made mistake of linking blogs and Twitter to smartphone.  Now, beeps keep coming all day.  Catch up on blogging on the run, what was that great idea?  Can’t recall, start new post, find links make pics and post to Facebook pages.  Oh No, don’t invite me to Google+, I have no time, HELP!.

The shiny new toy is now tarnished, ribbons tattered, wrapping paper shredded.  The buttons are worn and dirty and the toy isn’t so pretty.  But like your favorite teddy bear, I’m compelled to keep dragging it around until all the stuffing is gone and the eyes are lost.  My Intenet love affair has become routine and we take each other for granted.  It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but like all true love, lasting relationships take hard work.

So, now my friends I have to make some hard choices as to which of my playthings will get the hatchet and which will be shined back up to full usefulness.  The toys are all so pretty even now it is hard to choose which to put away.  Help me if you can, if not save yourselves, choose the toys wisely and keep the list small.  Gotta go, Tweets coming through phone.

Click here to read part one.

Craigslist is a great Internet resource. You can find goods, services, jobs and friends on the site. And a little humor as well.

Recently, there has been an increase in Craigslist tragedies due to economic desperation. People searching for jobs have lost their lives instead.  It seems that the criminal element has taken the depressed economy as an opportunity to prey on the desperate.

So I hereby plead; support your friends and family who are out of work.  Help them research jobs from individuals or small companies before an interview.   If suspicious, drive them to the interview and case the site ahead of time.  If you get a strange feeling, urge them to leave.  Job seekers; always meet in an established office site or a public setting.  Never get into the car with the interviewer.  Follow them if they want to show you anything away from the meeting place and get an address you can text to friends or family.  Don’t get out of your car if they lead you to an abandoned or isolated site.  Drive off and report them.  Never give anyone money to get you a job.  Report anyone who asks to the site they posted  on.

Most of all, if you are feeling desperate, reach out to someone.  Talk your feelings out and regain objectivity.  These are not dumb people being preyed on, just tired and depressed.  Their depression leads them to see hope in the job postings and the criminals prey on this.  Help yourself and your friends by staying safe during your job search.

And most important, write to your Congressional Representatives.  Let them know how desperate and upset you are.  It’ll make you feel better to let off some steam, and maybe some action will take place in Washington where it counts.

Nook & FireTablets have become the new must-have accessory.  So the question becomes not if, but which tablet to choose from?

With the entry of two new contenders, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook, there are some solid lower priced alternatives.  First, what will you use your tablet for?  If you need it for heavy-duty business on the road, look for a higher end model.  These are not for heavy office app usage.

But, if you are streaming, reading, e-mailing and viewing pics, one of these could be right for you.  Priced at $199 for the Fire and $249 for the Nook, both are in the price range of a high-end smartphone.  Battery life and storage capacity are better with the Nook, so if you plan to store a lot of media on your device, the extra $50 is worth it.

For me, I hate being handcuffed to a specific service provider so the Fire won’t work as you have to get all of your content from the Amazon Cloud.  But if you are already an Amazon Prime customer, this is a fantastic deal as there are all sorts of freebies that will come with your Fire.

With the current technologies, screen resolution and readability are very close on most devices, so you can narrow your decision based on storage and use needs.  Oh, and connectivity?  Both are Wi-Fi only.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

No matter what business area you are in, you need a website.  Web presence makes your business larger and global immediately, for a relatively small cost.  Factors to consider are cost to build and set up, hosting fees and maintenance of the site.  Maintenance is the area least considered by small businesses.  Everyone knows that Google analytics exist, but few understand that fresh and updated content factor into your search rankings.

If your business is very small and service oriented, you may make do with one of the free template sites until you can afford a web designer.  Keep in mind that you won’t be able to develop a “brand” look with this, but it can quickly get you up and running so that you can market yourself.

Next, learn how to use social media for your business exposure.  If y0u have a Facebook page, you will need a new one for your business with only business related p0sts and commentary.  Invite your friends and family to “like” your page, but hide their posts unless they are responding to your business comments.

Find meaningful tips and content to share on Facebook and Twitter.  There is a wealth of information on optimizing your social media.  Google “how to use Twitter” and see how many listings come up.  Search the Twitter listings by tag or topic and find specialists in your business area.  Follow them, converse with them and mention them.  You will gain knowledge and followers.

Part 3 coming soon.  Missed part one?  Find it here.

social mediaIt was all so innocent.  The internet was a bright, shiny new toy waiting to be unwrapped with the first sprinkle of snow on a Christmas morning.

I opened a Yahoo e-mail account.  There my friends could send me the jokes we could not share at work.  Slightly naughty, but fun limericks, rhymes and – gasp! cartoons.  I was in.  Along came iVillage, iWon and others who offered your own web page, discounts and fun prizes.  I was intrigued.

Suddenly, there was MySpace.  I turned up my nose like the cute girl at the bar.  I could not be enticed or impressed.  I had my favorites.  Still, there was the pull of the crowd, but I resisted on principal, “that’s for kids”, I said.

I made do with Reunion.com and Classmates.com to hook up with old school friends.  But something was missing.  I succumbed to MySpace.

And then I spotted the bright sparkly strip that was Facebook.  An old friend invited me and I accepted.  Other friends found me and invited me to free games.  What harm could there be?  Ha, Ha.

From one game to 20, in no time flat with a friend list topping 600 and unable to keep up with the gift requests and quests, I soon began to feel the stress.  Then the privacy issues, Augghhh!  I opened another page, just for family and close friends.  I removed personal info from the gaming page and closed ranks on the family page.

Uh oh. I started a business.  Can’t post on gaming page and don’t want to limit like the family page.  I opened another.  Starting a business forced me to LinkedIn and Twitter.  No self-respecting business would be without these.  Now, what to Tweet?

Start a blog.  Ok, simple.  Uh, no.  Blogs need an identity, and I had too many.

Continued next week.

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