Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Facebook: What is Security, exactly?

So every time I log onto Facebook, they seem to have instated some sort of new "security policy." Meaning several times a day practically.  But how secure is your information?  What are some common mistakes people make on Facebook?  Can you ever truly make your information private?

Well, let's take a look.

For a while, other than the occasional glitch, you could keep your status updates away from the general public.  That of course was until Facebook started discussing "Dance Party."  Sounds like a new console game? Yes, but what is it actually?  Take a look here: Pretty much, in summary, Dance Party is a whole new Facebook feature that will give a feel of Twitter... however not many will realize it works the way it does: You can see ANY status updates you want.

Have you also noticed that occasionally, if your friends write something on someone's wall, and that person is not your friend, it will still appear in your news feed?  This is partially part of the Dance Party feature, but also their new concept to "help you find friends."  Thanks Facebook, but I have enough.

The new fad out in social media today is FourSquare.  It's so fun to check into places and get points, but there's also something else that it can get you: stalkers, robbers, and unnecessary attention.  Even though only your friends can see where you are checking in, many times crimes are committed against someone by people that they know, even if it's just a little.  Even just stating that you will be out of the house for the evening, or bragging about an upcoming vacation can make you a target.  Check out this for some real scenarios:

Social media is a great thing, but only when used wisely and with one's own discretion is information actually protected from the public.  Posts, pictures, fan pages, etc. can show up even in an average Google search, and once on the internet, it will be there forever, even if you delete it.  So here are a few short tips to keep yourself protected.

1. Avoid writing status updates that declare when you will be away from home.
2. If there's something about you that you don't want even just one person knowing, don't post it!
3. You know that party you're at? There could be a camera anywhere.  Think before you act.
4. Use a password that includes at least 8 characters, and combines capital letters, lowercase letters, and numbers and/or symbols.
5. Don't add someone you don't know or can't verify their identity.
6.Do not give out permission to just any app on Facebook-verify it is legitimate and safe.

Along with these tips, just use common sense.  If you question something before posting it, you probably should hit the cancel button and just not do it.  Your best bet is to use social media as a communication tool, as it is meant to be, but don't reveal your entire life story.  Generally, only the creepers actually care.

As one more supplementary article, from TechCrunch comes: The Facebook Bill of Rights.  This is what they feel Facebook should follow to keep its users safe, and I ask you to like it or post it on Facebook to spread the word to them that the people want privacy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Laptop Security

One of the most under-addressed topics about computers is security.  You hear about computer security, both physical and virtual, again and again, but where should it really be addressed?  I figured I would discuss a little bit about general computer security, as well as good anti-virus software options.

Virtual Computer Security

This, in my opinion, is almost more important than the physical computer hardware itself.  It is no good having a virus-ridden computer running your information such as phone numbers, bank accounts, passwords, and other such private and important entities.
First of all, pay-for anti-virus vs. free anti-virus never seems to make a difference to me.  Why pay for something when you can find a free program that does the same thing?  The number one thing you should watch out for when choosing anti-virus is if it conflicts with anything else on your computer.  Having multiple anti-virus programs at one time can be very dangerous as well, as one may recognize the other as a virus and battle it out.  So, lets discuss some good options for free anti-virus, and also anti-spyware.  All the programs I discuss work very well simultaneously with each other on my computers and run cleanly, but remember to check your computer specs before installing anything to make sure that it is compatible with your computer.

I swear by this.  Malwarebytes is the ultimate (and FREE) anti-spyware program on the market.  We use it at work, and I use it at home.  It is also a program that does NOT auto-scan, so you don't have to worry about a program running in the background or interfering with your current anti-virus.  I think every computer should have this, as it works wonders as a final combatant of viruses that sneak through.

Panda Cloud
Panda's first free anti-virus progam, and it is also cloud software, so it is a very small file for your computer.  It is also very simplistic, so good for those "tech illiterates" out there.  Claims to cover spyware as well as viruses, but I run Spyware Doctor simultaneously with it just for added security, which leads us into our next topic.

The Panda Cloud status screen.  So basic, yet so productive! 
Spyware Doctor
Completely free, if you know where to look.  The Google pack is where you need to go.  Feel free to download everything included in the pack, but we are examining Spyware Doctor.  I absolutely LOVE this program.  It finds everything, from hardcore spyware to minor tracking cookies on your computer.  As one who doesn't like anything outside on my computer, I love deleting tracking cookies without deleting my entire internet history.

Other anti-virus and anti-spyware programs I have used and have been happy with include AVG Free Anti-Virus, Avast!, Super Anti-Spyware, and SpyBot.  These can all be found on CNET.

Some quick tips for avoiding viruses, that are sometimes ignored by the general public (not your average "don't download it!" tips):

  • Use alternative web browsers to IE.  I recommend Google Chrome, personally.
  • If using P2P, shut down uploads.  Allow only downloading, and turn upload limits to 0.
  • Regularly check your processes.  If you are unsure of something, Google it and find out if its malicious.
  • Frequently update.  Yes. RUN YOUR WINDOWS UPDATES. For God's sake.

Physical Computer Security

This website, released by Microsoft, sums up physical computer security very well in 9 tips.
In short, the article states:

  1. Avoid using computer bags
  2. Never leave access numbers or passwords in your carrying case
  3. Carry your laptop with you
  4. Encrypt your data
  5. Keep your eye on your laptop
  6. Avoid setting your computer on the floor
  7. Buy a laptop security device
  8. Use a screen guard
  9. Try not to leave your laptop in your hotel room or with the front desk

And remember: just because your computer uses a Windows password does not mean your data is safe.  For someone that knows just a little about how Windows operates, it takes under a minute to crack a password.

Hopefully you have learned something new or found some helpful reminders in this post! Check back soon for new tips and tricks about computers, and reviews on the latest technology!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back from the Dead...

Hello Hello.
I know I promised to keep this blog up to date, and I will be from here on out as I will be back in school soon and have some free time on my hands.  For the past month or so my time has been completely consumed by Calumet County Community Theatre's production of Guys and Dolls.  The show was great, the cast was great, but I am tired, worn out, and miss my computer and technology.

So, topics to look forward to in the near future:
-Tech articles (ex. Google Docs for the Government, Windows computer maintenance ideas, etc)
-The truth behind Facebook security (This one will probably be in a few parts, as I feel very strongly about it)
-TweetDeck review (only just started using this fantastic tool yesterday)
-Previews of Windows Phone 7

Hope you find some of these topics intriguing, because I look forward to writing about them!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Strange Tech Devices: Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard

 Just for fun, and also because I haven't written in a week and am short on time, I thought I would quickly highlight a nifty ThinkGeek item: The Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard.

This item, costing $149.99 plus shipping, is a Bluetooth device, compatible with most computers.  It projects a keyboard image onto any flat surface, and works as such.  It can also connect to PDAs and Smartphones, and has a battery (rechargeable) that lasts up to 120 minutes.

It's completely a gimmick, and as one without $150 to throw to a virtual keyboard, I cannot give a full review as to how it really works, but I just found it interesting and unique and definitely something to talk about.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In Love with a Video Game Nerd (Who is Angry)

If you've spent any time on YouTube searching for video game reviews, you may have at one point encountered James Rolfe, better known as Angry Video Game Nerd.  AVGN reviews retro games and game systems (NES is his favorite to review), and generally chooses games that have irked him or that his viewers have reported as extremely difficult, stupid, or plain old annoying.

One thing I have to say is that AVGN is not totally for all audiences.  There is a "language barrier" per say, that would be inappropriate for young viewers. AVGN is not afraid to express how he feels about a game, which always leads to colorful vulgarities and references to feces.  Very entertaining for the more mature audience, but not something I would show an 8 year old child.

With that being said, I'll post a few videos here if you would like to see AVGN's awesomeness, and after these vids I will talk a little about James.

Now that you have gotten a chance to see AVGN, I'll tell you a bit about James.  James Rolfe has a history in film making, participating in the 48 hour film project with some of his friends and making shorts while he was in college.  Along with James' AVGN series, he has also begun "Board James," movie reviews, and "You know what's bulls***."  One common question about James is about his relationship status (because, let's face it, a vulgar nerd is quite attractive ;) hehe).  James is married to a lovely wife, who is quite pleased with his fame from his small, joke-oriented film ventures.

I would recommend visiting James' site, and taking a look at some of his work.  There is something for everyone when it comes to James' videos, and all of them have a special type of entertainment.

A final example is my favorite episode of Board James, Mr. Bucket.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Computer Prodigy-and no, I don't mean me.

First, I would like to state that this kid... is a genius.  And not just with computers.  He knows several languages, and while his primary language is not english, he speaks it more fluently than I do.
He is the youngest Microsoft systems engineer.
He wrote a 312 page book about Windows 7. (I think I should read this)
And he is only 9 years old.

I have no way to describe this kid.  Within the article there is some great information about how he is just a normal kid with a lot of knowledge, and about how he worships Bill Gates as his hero.  (What a smart kid!) This is the article.  I suggest it, since it is a very good read.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pirates, LimeWire's P2P life may be over.

First I would like to apologize for my lengthy absence from this blog-with school, two theatre performances to work on, exams, work... well anyway school is almost over for the summer and I am back-plan on weekly updates from here on out :)

Now, for this week, it has been well known for very long that if you want illegal music downloads, you turn to P2P clients to access this vast database of information.  Today we will cover the lawsuit LimeWire has filed against them, and also my opinion on the music downloading industry.

According to, LimeWire finally lost in the battle against the RIAA regarding the accessibility of unlicensed, unpaid-for music downloads.  The estimate is that 58% of illegal downloads comes from LimeWire, and because of this and their "lack of action" towards stopping the illegalities they are at fault for the downloads. LimeWire could face the RIAA's maximum penalty of $150,000 per illegal transaction, putting the total amount due in fines in the billions.

Now, here is a news video about file sharing and downloading.  Whether or not this reflects my opinion, you will soon find out.

And this is a podcast that covers my opinion on LimeWire.  The program ITSELF is not illegal, it's what you do with it.  Simple as that.

Now.  Here is how I feel about file sharing/downloading.  This is purely my opinion, and nothing more. We live in a day and age where, whether you like it or not, people require free things to allow for any interest whatsoever in a product or service.  It has a lot to do with the economy, but also that we as a society are spoiled by Google and the internet and accessibility.  What you are now thinking, however, is that by downloading music illegally, I am hurting the song artists by stealing all their money.  The truth behind this is that, #1. Artists do not make much money, sometimes none at all, from their sales.  It comes from ticket sales at concerts, merchandising, and publicity.  Still you say this is not a good reason?  Well #2 is my personal use of music downloads.  If there is a new song or artist I am not familiar with, I will turn to LimeWire and download that one song.  From there, I may download a few more songs from the artist.  On SEVERAL occasions, this has led me to greatly appreciate and enjoy an artist.  I then want the better quality, because with LimeWire you will NOT get the sound quality that physical purchasing of music will give you.  I have bought 10+ CDs in the last few months, all influenced by artists I heard on the radio and downloaded songs from LimeWire.

I have over 3000 songs on my computer alone, and about half are completely legit.  I will not say much about the rest because to be honest it's hard to tell what I downloaded through LimeWire and what I had to purchase from iTunes.  Artists I would never have listened to before are in my collection, and like I said, I purchase more music if I can enjoy it for free first.

Make your own opinions, but mine is that LimeWire helps the music industry.  Big Time.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can 3D TV really make it big?;contentBody for more information on this topic.

Wouldn't it be awesome to live the experience of a show by watching it in 3D on your in home television? We are all aware that we've steered away from the old school red and blue 3D glasses cut out of cardboard and handed out as promotional tools at Wal-Mart, but what is the future?  Our TVs display pictures in a 2D format; what does it require to make it "pop?"

Six major TV makers have already developed 3D-displaying TVs, and while still very expensive they are available.  But there is still the question of, how does it work?

Yes, you still have to wear glasses.  However, the glasses are battery operated and work in a specific way so that your eyes see in a 3D format.  These glasses allegedly create less of the "3D headache" that the old glasses did.  You won't be able to enjoy your 3D TV without these glasses, either.  So make sure you have enough for that football party you're planning!

Current HDTVs do not have the technology to be upgraded.  You would need to purchase a new TV regardless.  That is, of course, if you have any interest in the 3D programming.

Will this idea stick?  Or will it be like Nintendo's Virtual Boy-an overpriced gimmick that fails extremely quickly?  In my opinion, there will be a day when technology becomes more advanced, but right now 3D TV sounds sort of like the Riddler's invention in Batman Forever.  But, instead of transferring (and stealing) data directly to and from your brain, you have to wear the ruddy glasses and look like a fool watching your television.  3D TV (the current design) seems simply like a tech novelty.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The NES Still Reigns as Best 8-Bit System

How much would you be willing to pay for a rare, collectible NES game?
$50? $1,000?
How about $41,300?  Well, that is how much this wonderful eBay buyer payed for this sealed Stadium Events NES game, which was originally going to be sent to Good Will as a donation, but upon seeing one purchased on eBay for $13,000, Dave from Kansas decided to throw it on to eBay, a game that was part of a 185+ collection of NES games.

According to, Stadium Events has these values:
Stadium Events Bandai 1987
New In Box $38,000.00
Comes In Box $12,000.00
Loose $2,200.00

Looks kind of like this guy lost out by a couple thousand...

To read the original news article from CNET, visit this website:

To view the final auction, go here:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Acer Takes an Olympic Approach

This morning, CNET released an article that discussed the OS and computer choice of the Olympics.
Over 6,200 computers were purchased for the Olympics use, and these computers...

Acer computers.  The Olympic officials declined upgrading to Windows 7, saying it was just too new.  These computers are running on Windows XP, which, at least in my opinion, is outdated but still a quality OS.  However, hopefully in two years the Olympics move on up to Windows 7-it's superior.  Really, it is.  We'll discuss that a different day.

The first thing I did when I saw Acer as the company, I cringed... but then paused.  I myself own an Acer netbook.  This underrated company may finally be on their way to success.  The Taiwan-based company has been excelling over the last few years, and is becoming more popular, especially as a "Wal-Mart brand" computer.  (That's the whole reason I have an Acer-the cheapness, and the accessibility through Wal-Mart... no matter how much I want to avoid them.)  Why does Acer still make people back off?  Well, it's main problem is their computers have a reputation for being a slow, and sometimes they don't use top-notch parts.  This can be true, but like with anything you get what you pay for.  Acers are budget-style computers, and for the money they are actually excellent little beasts.

So, why buy Acer?  I'm not saying dump your computer and run straight out for an Acer; it's very true that they are NOT the best, and this company is competing in an industry with names such as Dell, HP... yeah, you get it.  But what if you need a small, cheap addition to your tech collection?  Go with the Acer Aspire One.  This is what I have (in blue), and while it isn't great for running several high-memory things, it cruises for internet browsing (especially with Google Chrome), instant messaging (Windows Live works GREAT), and word processing.  It's a get-down-to-basics computer in a sense, but isn't that the original purpose of a netbook?

Aspire One 10.1 inch Netbook Specs
(At least, the one I have)
Harddrive: 160GB
Processor: Intel Atom N270
Speed: 1.6 GHz
OS: Windows XP Home Edition
Battery: 3-Cell Lithium Ion (Close to 3+ hours battery life)

Downfalls: most of the time, does not come with an external DVD/CD drive.  Mine didn't.  Also, there is no real recovery option other than sending it back to Acer to have them reformat it for you, because it doesn't come with recovery disks (however, if you buy an external drive yourself, it gives you the option to create a backup disk....)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tech Wars: The Phone Wars-Episode 3: Revenge of the Phone Plans

The final showdown between the iPhone and the Motorola Droid comes down to the cost of the phone plans.  I am going to review two different combinations of phone plans on each provider, because obviously not everyone will require the same type of plan.  The first option reviewed will be the "unlimited everything" deal, and the second will be two phones on a set minute family plan (AKA the "I'm on a budget" aspect).

Verizon Wireless Unlimited Plan
Unlimited Minutes: $89.99
Unlimited Texting: Included with minutes
Unlimited Data (Minus Corporate Email): $29.99

Cost of Motorola Droid: With 2-year contract and online discount, $199.99
(Also, random fact, Verizon has a buy one get one free deal if you're going with a family plan)
Activation Fee: Verizon does not have one.

AT&T Wireless Unlimited Plan
nlimited Minutes: $69.99
Unlimited Texting: $20.00
Unlimited Data: (No specification about Corporate...) $30.00
TOTAL MONTHLY: $119.99 (GASP. It's a penny more expensive!)

Cost of iPhone: With Contract, $199.00 (3GS 16GB)
Activation Fee: $36.00 (One-time... ouch.  Just... sad...)

Hmm.  From the consumer point of view, other than the phone cost and activation fee, Verizon and AT&T look pretty much identical.  Now, if you are looking at corporate accounts, Verizon will in fact cost more.  Their corporate data plan is $44.99/month.  As far as I can tell, AT&T's stays the same.

Now, onto the family plans.  We will be comparing a 1400 minute national plan for two phones, with unlimited texting on both phones.  Also, both phones will be identical, both require data plans, and (luckily for Verizon) I will include any discounts for buying the same phone.

Verizon Wireless 1400 Minute Family Plan
1400 Minutes: $119.99 (This also includes 10 unlimited friends/family)
Unlimited Texting: Included in plan
Unlimited Data: $29.99/phone

Cost of 2 Droids: $199.99 (With online discount, 2-year contract, and buy one get one free)
Activation Fee: There is none!

AT&T 1400 Minute Family Plan
1400 Minutes: $89.99 (Includes rollover minutes)
Unlimited Texting: $30.00 for family
Unlimited Data: $30.00/phone

Cost of 2 iPhones (3GS 16GB): $399.98
Activation Fee: $36.00 for primary phone, $26.00 for secondary phone

As you can see, there is once again not a whole lot of difference between the plans.  The main difference is whether or not you want a 10-person calling circle, or if rollover minutes are for you.  Also, if you are trying to go on a budget, AT&T's phone costs and activation fees can hurt. A LOT.  But then it all comes down to phone preference, and perhaps if the iPhone means that much to you.  Also, corporate vs. regular varies for Verizon, which would once again make it more expensive.

My personal final verdict?  I've convinced my dad that switching to Verizon is the best option with the 1400 minute plan.  You may have already figured out I am in favor of the Droid, but also Verizon coverage is much better in this area.  Coverage areas can vary greatly, so this is something I would also research when choosing a plan.  Hopefully some day in the near future I will be able to give you an overview of what the Droid is really about!

Not sure what my topic is going to be for next time, but I am sure it will be in a completely different direction than phones.  Stop by soon and check it out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tech Wars-The Phone Wars: Episode 2-Attack of the Personality Factor

Now you have seen the technical specs of both the iPhone and the Motorola Droid, but I'm sure these don't totally hit home which phone suits you.  Maybe it even made you wonder if EITHER is good for you!  This post is going to cover some of the areas of life I feel are important when chosing a phone, and which phone I think would suit you best if you fit into these categories.

The media geek: Go for the iPhone.  There are more Apps dedicated to you, on-board video editing, Apple's reputation as the must-have music device and the iTunes compatibility, and its simple user interface make this the media giant for Smartphones.

The traveler: Droid.  While both have navigation, the battery life of the Droid during usage time, along with the keyboard for easy communication purposes (E-mail, blogging, texting, instant messaging...) make it an adaptable tool.

The uncoordinated technology-wise: Yes. This is how I am going to state technologically pathetic people in a politically correct way.  If you are "uncoordinated" when using technology (As in, you are that person who tends to crash a computer on a daily basis), please. please. PLEASE go for the iPhone.  It was built for its user-friendliness.  Take advantage of this.

The techie (non-professional): If you're that person that drools over gadgets, you want the Droid.  There's more to play with, it's a more advanced phone, and with the 5.0mp camera and the multitasking abilities... you would enjoy pushing this to the max.

The techie (professional): This definitely comes down to personal preference. Mac vs. PC, what exactly you want the phone for, blah blah blah.  Me, I choose the Droid.  But if you're a professional techie, you should be able to use Episode 1 as your deciding factor, as well as what's ahead in part 3.

I most certainly have not hit every aspect of what these phones are capable of, and who they are actually for.  But I think the main comparison comes down to this: Media vs. Business/Work.  If you're a media person, or solely want a phone for entertainment, you want the iPhone.  If you're using it for business purposes, work-related, or need to do many things very quickly, then I'd pick the Droid.

There is one more deciding factor in this war... and one that isn't talked about a whole lot.  Phone plans.  Check back for episode 3!

Please enjoy this wallpaper I threw together out of boredom!

Tech Wars - The Phone Wars: Episode 1-The Tech Specs

With all the hype over Apple products lately, one would think that they have taken control over the market, at least in the handheld electronics spectrum-they've got the iPod, for starters, which revolutionized portable music.  Now there is the iPhone, which seems to be in every other person's hand.  However, a new competitor has breached the phone market and while the iPhone is getting all the hype for its 3G smartphone-ness, the Motorola Droid has some statistics that cannot be ignored.  So, which is better?  Well it all boils down to 3 things: What do you want to use the phone for, what user functionalities best suit you, and also how much you are willing to pay for the actual cell phone service.  Let's start by examining the phones themselves, and comparing their technical specs.

iPhone-The basic layout, pros and cons.
For this review's purposes, I will be reviewing the iPhone 3GS, because it is the newer, superior version of the iPhone.  From and , I have found some important specs for the comparison.  The Apple iPhone weighs in at a mere 4.8 ounces, and is 4.5" tall by 2.4" wide, with a depth of .48".  This makes it very slim and easy to carry in a pocket.  You have two choices of storage capacity: 16 or 32GB, and also can choose black or white for your phone color.  (Although, here is where you could invite Michael Jackson to start singing that old hit, because quite honestly in the end... does color matter? I suppose to an extent...) Okay. That's the boring stuff.  Now let's talk about what REALLY matters.

Screen Resolution: 480x320 pixel resolution.  Not bad for a little beast.
Camera Resolution: 3.0 Megapixel (Better than some... yes) However, the iPhone has onboard video editing.  Something nifty for those vloggers out there.  And like always the Apple product does beat out the others when it comes to multimedia tools.
Wifi?: Yes. Well of course.
Battery Life (by continuous 3G talk time): 5 hours. This is definitely decent.
GPS: Yes-turn by turn and digital compass. Useful, needless to say.
Number of Apps: iTunes App Store with 93,200 Apps.  The LARGEST market of Apps. This is a plus for the iPhone.
Multitasking: NO. That, my friends, is disappointing. Even for Apple. (Not. That. I'm partial. To PCs.)

So overall, the iPhone seems to be a decent phone.  Some advantages it has over the Droid, which we will comment on next, are definitely the Apps.  This selection is over 9 times what the Android Market has.  Also, compatible video and audio formats---the iPhone has several more formats that are compatible... however it is still incapable of using WMAs.  Then again, they have their own Apple formats, such as MOV video files, that are not compatible with the Droid.  Not shocking though, as this is definitely Mac vs. PC to an extent.  Macs don't like to share, and Microsoft is nice and picky.

Motorola Droid: The Powerhouse of pros and cons

The Motorola Droid is a strong, versatile phone.  Information comes from and .  The droid weighs in a 6 ounces, which is significantly heavier than the iPhone, when considering that their size is nearly identical. 2.4" wide x 4.6" high and .5" deep.  It only comes in one color, which may be complainable for many (meaning those who go "Ooh shiny!" over "Wow that thing is crap...") But there is a significant difference between these two phones: while the iPhone is completely touch screen, the Droid is a slider-it has both touch screen capabilities AND a QWERTY keyboard.  This all comes down to preference, but honestly, what is really easier in the long run.  Typing on a keyboard as you're walking down the street, using your two thumbs and not worrying about navigating away from the keyboard by mistake?  Or fumbling with a touch screen, looking down because you keep missing the letters since there's no terrain difference like with keys, and the occasional "@#$#! I lost it cuz i pressed blah blah blah!" (This exclamation is frequent in college settings. Just saying.) So. Onto the tech comparison.

Screen Resolution: 480x854 pixels. Hate to say it ( I don't) but the Droid kicks the iPhone in this category.  However, on a teeny tiny screen, there comes a point where this stat only matters so much.
Camera Resolution: 5.0 megapixels. This is an epic number when it comes to phones.  Some would consider using this as their actual digital camera (says the one who has a 2.0 digital camera that is ducttaped together)
Wifi?: Yes, but does that shock you?
Battery Life (Talk Time): 6.4 hours.  This is VERY useful to those on-the-go individuals.  However I would like to point out (just to be fair) that its standby time is actually 30 hours less than that of the iPhone, weighing in at 270 hours instead of the iPhone's 300.  So if you aren't one to do the charge at night method, the iPhone may be important.
GPS: Yes, turn by turn and digital compass, just like the iPhone.  However we'll get to an important difference very soon.
Number of Apps: 10,000 through the Android market.  A slim selection in comparison to the App Store, which can be disappointing for those who really like loading up there phones and making them multimedia/entertainment/business/websurfing/gaming/etc. tools.
Multitasking: Ahem. YES. And THIS is where it gets interesting.  The iPhone is actually the only smart phone out of the main competitors (such as Palm Pre and MyTouch) that cannot multitask!  This can be dangerous for those of us who cannot stay focused on one thing at a time.  Or, if you're like me, and get lost very easily while driving and an important phone call comes in and you were currently streaming music from your phone through your radio from Pandora.  Okay, I haven't encountered that situation but be realistic-it could happen.  And multitasking could be very very important.

In the end there are some obvious variations between the phones, and many people would have no idea where to go from here with these specs.  That is why Tech Wars Episode 2 will focus on the user preference: I will try to cover the functionalities and why certain people would like one phone over the other better.  Thanks for reading, hope to see you back for part 2!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Welcome to Techie FreakOut!

Hello world!  I would like to introduce you to my new blog, which will soon be used as a project for my college course.  This is Techie Tips FreakOut, the blog that will share general knowledge pertaining to computers, whether building, searching for new parts, general usage, nifty tricks, virus removal, innovative programs... each update will be some sort of new tech information.  I will also do some reviews on new tech products, websites, and anything else the average techie might be interested in.

A little about myself.  I am a freshman in college at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and a Management Information Systems major.  I work as a computer technician for the Management Information Office (a segment of Residence Life) and specialize in virus removal and internet connections.  On my own outside of work, I build computers, help friends and family with software and hardware issues, and maintain some of their computers for them.  I also work stage tech in two theatres, UW-O's and the Engler Center in Chilton, WI.  While I'm not exactly a "techie techie" in these positions, I help build sets, work running crew and fly rail, and generally paint.  A lot.  Ask my clothes.  On my free time, I research new technology stuff, play with GIMP and do photo editing, and also occasionally make some advertising materials for friends, family, and sometimes my theatre people.  Hopefully this summer I will be starting a vinyl lettering business, so for now I'm working on creating advertising and information for that.

Expect my first real post within the next few days... the topic is still undetermined.  Think of this as a teaser, so please check back soon!  And thank you for visiting Techie Tips FreakOut!