Tag Archive: reviews


In the ever more crowded tablet market, Samsung has shoved another offering, the Galaxy Note 10.1.  Why, you may ask is this news?  Because they have added a split screen app to view content and take notes at the same time.  It also has an option to watch video and use apps at once.

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Techsnoop just participated in the Chase/LivingSocial grant challenge.  This event was entirely social media driven in that all entrants had to receive a number of votes from Facebook users to get to the review process.  The event was also a great way to evaluate the power and response of the various social media platforms.

Techsnoop utilized four platforms in total; Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and WordPress blog to request votes.  Although evaluation was not the intent of the challenge, Techsnoop can unequivocally state that Twitter was hands down, the most effective venue.  Facebook reached more people, but the responders were 80% Twitter users.  And not all respondents were followers, the entire Twitter community joined in to help boost businesses they had never heard of into the voting process.

What does this mean for your business?  Well, if you have a message or product you need action on, Twitter is clearly the platform to utilize.  Facebook and Google+ users seem to just cruise content without taking action.  Blog readers may not review the post in a timely fashion.  But Twitter is an immediate, actionable platform where users tend to act on requests and information.

Perhaps it is the very brevity of the messages that drives the rush to act, or maybe it is that posts fly by so quickly that users know they cannot come back to the post later.  Whatever the reason, if your business needs action, use Twitter to get the word out.

Take it from Techsnoop, Tweeps Rock.

There has been lots of buzz about the new Adobe releases, so Techsnoop will be presenting overviews and reviews of the most important features so you can decide if its time to upgrade.

This feature will become a favorite of everyone; editing video (camera phone anyone?) with Photoshop.

The HTC One X has been generating a lot of buzz, for great reasons.  Great screen, lots of enhanced features and a sleek look.  If you are considering this as an upgrade option, here it is;

Ok, admit it.  You are addicted to Angry Birds.  Whenever you have a free minute, or even under your desk at work, you’re not texting, you’re shooting birds at pigs with a slingshot.  You compete with friends and family to see who can get to the upper levels first and who has the high score.

I’m with you.  Yes, I resisted at first, thinking “shoot birds at pigs, really, I have better things to do”.  Turns out, I don’t.  And neither do millions of other people.  Angry Birds is a bona fide cultural hit across nations, languages and now possibly, planets.

Rovio has taken a simple game and made physics addicts out of over 700 million people.  And you thought physics didn’t have real life uses.

Free StuffThe economy is improving, but you still need to watch the entertainment budget.  Here are a few free resources for you and the family to stay entertained and on budget.  And who doesn’t like to get free stuff?

Amazon.  Yes, this is a huge shopping site and they have great deals.  But two of their best deals are free.  The Amazon App store for Android offers a free premium app every day.  Just visit the site every day from your Android device or your computer and add the app to your device.  You can install it as needed and it doesn’t expire.  Some apps are games, some scaled back versions of paid apps and some are full versions.  Too good to pass up.

Got a new tablet and need books?  Ereader News Today.  If you “Like” their Facebook page, you can get updates to remind you to visit the site each day. Ereader lists books that are offered on Amazon for free each day.  Many are limited time freebies so you should download as soon as possible.  Check the price before downloading to make sure the price has not returned to normal or that the free price is not limited to Prime members.  If you don’t have a Kindle, the Kindle reader is free to download to your laptop or Android device.  And if you have 2 or 3 bucks to spend, Amazon offers a bargain book of the day usually discounted 75 to 90%.  A good way to try out new authors or genres.  If you are an iPhone or iPad user, the iTunes store also offers free eBooks on a frequent basis.

Designers, try out Psd Tuts a great site for sharpening your skills and creating dramatic Graphics and Websites.  And of course, the tutorials and resources on this site are free!

Whenever possible, leave a small donation on free sites to help keep the resources flowing.  I commit this year to donating $10 per month to free, Small Business sites.

So, happy after Christmas specials and get productive in 2012!

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.
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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.

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.

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!

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