Archive for December, 2011


Gold CrossMore Craigslist drama.

It’s just not right that a Marine who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and returned hale and hearty should get shot at home over a necklace.  But that’s just what happened in Florida.  A woman posted a gold necklace on Craigslist for sale and her fiancee met with the supposed buyers for a sale.  He thought he was meeting them at a mall plaza but it turned out to be an apartment complex.  Although he met them in the open, they snatched the necklace and took off running.  He chased them and then they shot him several times.

These two idiots had no intention of paying for this necklace.  They thought they were meeting with a woman alone and there were two of them.  They set the meeting up at an apartment complex they probably were familiar with since they took off running.  They didn’t anticipate being chased down by a Marine.  Well, now they are in jail on armed robbery and attempted murder.  Happy New Year.

Criminals; stay off Craigslist, it is a great resource and you are ruining it!!

Be safe, technology is a tool that should be handled with gloves and goggles.

Make sure you are in a public place.  If possible, set the place where you know there are policemen.  If possible, go to a restaurant where you are known.  Don’t let merchandise out of your hand until you have the cash.  Don’t meet with anyone from Craigslist alone, ever.

skylineGood Morning!  Ready to roar into 2012?  Well, if you’re looking to start or increase a small business for the New Year, here are some great tools.  Better, some are FREE!

Yep, that’s right.  You can still get help for your design or development business for free.

First up, GetJar.  A great collection of apps for your Android devices that are always free.  Some are normally paid apps, so before buying, check GetJar and find out if you can save a few bucks.

Next, Web Designer Depot, a great blog site with tons of free brushes, templates, fonts and other tools necessary to any Graphic Designer.  They are launching a new feature called Zero Bundle soon, so get to their site and sign up quick!

Site Grinder is not a completely free service, but they do have a 30 day free trial that is most worth checking out.  This is a plug in for Photoshop that automates creating your web pages.  Increase productivity and make money for 2012!

Then there is Template Monster.  While many of their templates are paid, they feature free ones all the time.  They also offer blogs and tutorials for free to get your skills polished up.  And if you’re a seasoned developer, you can sign up and sell some of your own templates and make some merry New Year cash.

Finally, there is good old DKemp Designs where tips and freebies are listed every day.  If you appreciate the help, donate $1-100 to keep the site going.

Have a Very Productive New Year!

stars in galaxyBusiness competition for customers is at a premium today, so it’s critical to stay on the cutting edge of new trends and technologies, except one.  There is a huge trend toward using texting slang and atrocious grammar when posting on business related sites and blogs.  As small business owners, putting on a polished on-line appearance can create opportunities and increase the respect we receive as a group.  One of the primary attractions of freelance work is the ability to work in sweats or jeans, but no one on-line needs to know how casual your dress is.  Projecting  an on-line persona that is pin-striped suit sharp every day makes your business look larger and more globally oriented.

I was inspired to write this post after reading several months of painful statements on major social networking sites.  Many requests for work seem as though they are made by 13 year olds to their friends.  Browse some of the posts and comments on LinkedIn by people seeking jobs or freelance work.  The websites and portfolios of these individuals show their talent, but their communication skills are below high school level.

As small business owners (freelancers this means you), let’s make a group commitment to always use proper grammar and spelling in all business posts.  This means on your business Facebook page, business Twitter page and any other sites where you refer to your business, seek referrals or post as your business.  Use all the tools at your disposal; Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, spell check, and if necessary, translation tools from Google and Yahoo for other languages.

Reach for the stars in 2012.

Christmas TreeA couple of great resources for hyper children waiting for the big day; NORAD Santa Tracker lets them watch Santa make his rounds in real time via Google Earth (thanks again Google).

Reindeer Cam allows you to watch live feed of real reindeer and they get fed twice a day by Santa himself!

Amazon has several copies of children’s Christmas stories for free, including ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and some have tablet/iPad compatibility.

Merry Christmas, Techsnoop

giraffeTech gifts are the most requested on all gift lists from children to seniors. Everyone wants gadgets to communicate, play and be more productive. This means tablets, laptops and smartphones in most cases.

If you are fortunate enough to get one of your prized gadgets, don’t forget to accessorize with virus protection, screen protectors and cases. These seemingly small items can prevent tons of heartache later. A dropped phone can contain your entire life from phone numbers and e-mail addresses to precious pictures of family. Any items not backed up can be lost if the phone is damaged badly enough. A case can insulate your phone against shock in the event of a drop and save your information.

Also, antivirus protection is not just for computers anymore. Now most viruses are being written for smartphones and tablets. These devices are even more likely to have personal information saved and hackers are targeting this information in the quest for identity theft. Download a free antivirus program from your wireless or internet provider as soon as you get your new device.

Back up your information to a cloud service such as Google or iCloud. In the event your device is damaged or stolen, most information can be retrieved and downloaded to your replacement. For information on your SD card, be sure to back it up to your computer at least once a month.

These tips can keep you enjoying your new gadgets longer with no regrets.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Gear from Techsnoop!

Micro CruzOK, so Techsnoop took the plunge and bought a tablet. Being on a budget, I choose the Velocity Micro Cruz 7″ Tablet. It was a great bargain on Black Friday. So, was it worth it?
Portability; the Micro Cruz comes with a cover, adapter and stand. A great set of accessories that make it easy to take around and use. While not the lightest it could be, it is comfortable to carry. After learning to customize it, I like it and will use happily until I can upgrade.

  • Handling; the 7″ size makes it large enough to view comfortably and just small enough to handle with one hand, barely. If I could change one thing, it would be slicing a little thinness down.
  • OS; the Micro Cruz uses modified Android 2.2 which blocks the download of apps from the Android Market. A serious handicap for the average user. However there are workarounds for the advanced tech-geek. I don’t know what caused Velocity to handicap their otherwise nice equipment with this drawback. It seriously detracts from the functionality of the device and nearly caused me to return it.
  • Uses; As an eReader, A++. Text is clear and crisp and it displays pictures well also. Photos; a great photo display, accurate color resolution.
  • Support; customer support is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
  • Battery life; Absolutely astounding. Had it on for a full day’s use of retrieving e-mail, tweeting and occasional reading and the charge lasted over 9 hours. Streaming from YouTube for over 2 hours with no problem.

Cons: slow processor, limited on-board memory, kind of heavy and thick.  Touch screen is not very responsive, takes multiple taps until you get the pressure correct. Has several glitches that occur when trying to customize.  Manual is not as thorough as it should be, but is well written and easy to follow.

In summary, if you are an advanced Geek on a budget who wants to plunge into the tablet era, go ahead.  Know that you will need to upgrade in the near future, but this is a great device to get started on.  If you are a casual user looking for a beefy eReader, this might suit you.  You’ll probably need some help from customer service to get up to speed.

Novice; unless you have a Geek friend on standby, don’t try this.  You’ll get frustrated and the money saved will not be worth it.
http://app.socialspark.com/widgets/2603?pid=264969&theme=pink&size=smallhttp://app.socialspark.com/widgets/2601?pid=264969&theme=pink&size=small

Frightmare Friday

AlertAlert! A new virus is out which can circumvent your anti-virus program.  It comes from phishing websites urls and can take over your computer.  If you get a message to update Adobe Flash player and cannot shut it down, you have been infected.  Another symptom is clicking on links on websites and being given a download message instead of going to the link action.  Also, if you cannot open folders on your hard drive, you may be infected.  I was infected visiting a site I have gone to in the past.  It was not infected then, but is now a victim of phishing.  This can happen to anyone.

If you suspect you have this virus, seek help immediately.  It can be cleaned off by going to a system restore point that is known to be clear of the virus.  If you are not setting system restore points and backing up your files on a regular basis, DO IT NOW.

FYI, I have a superior anti-virus program which is updated twice a day.  My computer is scanned every day.  When I scanned my computer, the program did not recognize the virus so it may be a keylogger.  If you are infected, change all of your passwords, uninstall Flash player and Java and reinstall them from the developer sites.  I have taken all of these steps and it was a pain.  But it would have been much worse if I had not had my files backed up and my system restore points.  Have a happy Holiday season and enjoy shopping online safely.

iPhoneWell, this video just shows that a low employment rate for Geeks is dangerous.  The combination of actors, video editing and scripting is outrageously funny.  I think we now have a new phrase coined into the language; Siri Abuse.  Definition; when your spouse or other family member abuses you using Siri.  Poor Siri, what is the world coming to when an application can’t just be the helpful tool it was designed to be?

Now admit it, you all knew this was coming.  As soon as a super-intuitive digital assistant came along, it was just asking to be used for evil.  After all, haven’t we spent the last 60+ years making movies about technology running amok?  Every helpful invention ever created has been bastardized eventually by someone, somewhere.  So now Siri has to suffer for the good of all mankind.

Sorry Siri, its enough to make an artificial intelligence want to take over the world.

HTC EVOTechsnoop has been so patient.  Waiting for the EVO to get it’s dual-core upgrade.  It’s all I could think about.  I never considered switching to another brand when I upgrade.  Fortunately, I still have plenty of time before my upgrade since HTC decided for some unfathomable reason to upgrade the EVO but downgrade its camera.  Um, Hello.  HTC redefined the concept of a camera phone.  The 8mp camera in the EVO created camera envy in phones all over the world.  My EVO pics consistently outshine even 12mp digital camera pics.

So why in the world would Sprint and HTC consider offering an EVO with a 5mp camera?  Didn’t they learn from the EVO 3D?  The camera is one of the reasons this phone is not a better seller.  People tell me all the time this is a dealbreaker for them in considering the 3D.  The smartphone market is highly competitive and there are more models out than can realistically be supported.  To be profitable, companies had better begin ditching some models.

HTC, please ditch the EVO 3D and the EVO Design.  They are not worthy of your brand, and a waste of good component materials.  You created the Amaze for T-Mobile with 8mp, the Rezound for Verizon has 8mp and the Vivid for AT&T has 8mp.  Loyal HTC and Sprint customers deserve 8mp and all the features of a dual-core EVO.

Here’s hoping this was just a blip, and HTC and Sprint have a better EVO coming out for us soon.

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