Saturday, March 23, 2013

Let Me Google That For You

I saw the LMGTFY website earlier this year for the first time and thought it was a pretty hilarious idea.  This video is just for fun and explains how the Let Me Google That For You website can be used to have some fun with your friends.  Let me know what you think, enjoy.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Will RSS Feeds Become Extinct?

Google Reader is going away.  I'm not sure what to make of it because I think the old RSS is a pretty useful bit of technology.  But if Google is throwing in the towel they either don't have faith in the technology or something else is up.  RSS can't go extinct, right?  To be honest I hadn't checked my Google Reader account in a while and I actually heard the news while watching the PCM Tech Help Show with Craig Chamberlin.

See that logo on the left?  I'm sure you've seen it around.  That is symbol for RSS.  For anyone who doesn't know an RSS feed is a "Really Simple Syndication" of a web site or "Rich Site Summery".  I have seen both definitions used.  Even the BigNate84 blog has an RSS feed.  RSS feeds are used so that people can subscribe to blogs or websites that create new content on a regular basis.  Instead of actually visiting this website everyday you can subscribe to the RSS feed through an RSS reader.  Then all you have to do is visit your RSS reader to view all your favorite content in one place.  Think of RSS as a tool that allows you to aggregate your favorite content.

This is kind of a bummer for me since I happen to use Google Reader to organize some of the blogs and YouTube channels that I follow.  I suspect three things could be happening here.  1) Other social media platforms are muscling RSS out of the picture.  2) The RSS format was too clunky for the majority of consumers to really understand and make use of.  3) RSS just wasn't profitable for Google and they are dedicating resources elsewhere.  Now I am in the market for a new RSS Reader, any suggestions?

Google Reader will not be available after July 1, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Nokia Lumia 822 Windows Phone 8

I have completed 1 full week using a Windows Phone 8.  I made the switch from Android just to check it out and because I was eligible for a free upgrade.  I ended up getting the Nokia Lumia 822 which replaced my almost 4 year old LG Ally.

I can't really write a good comparison article between WIndows Phone 8 and Android since my previous Android phone was so old and it was not anywhere near the latest version of the Android operating system.  The standard processing power and memory alone have improved dramatically across the board since my last phone upgrade.  So this phone is a huge improvement for me and that's great for all of us who love technology.

Despite being a self proclaimed geek, I have never been the type of person to run out and get the latest and greatest new gadget, especially when it comes to phones.  It's just not worth it to break a contract, or pay a ridiculous early upgrade fee.  Plus you never really want to rely on the very first release of any new technology.  Well seasoned techs know that the first version of anything will undoubtedly have some bugs.  I always wait until the market has had some time to adjust to the new technology and then I typically get the less expensive or in some cases free upgrade when it comes to smart phones.  I do the same thing when it comes to buying HDTV's and other electronics.

There are so many bells and whistles available when it comes to smart phones.  The truth is I only care about a few key features.  Namely the ability to call someone and access to maps so I can find my way around. Texting, email, calendars, YouTube and all the other apps are great and I use them all the time but they are not essential to me when I pick out a phone.  What I look for in a smart phone is the calling functionality and navigation system.  The 16GB hard drive and all the apps are just icing on the cake.  I am very much into technology and use pretty much every Google service out there but I made the switch from Android to the Windows Phone 8 and I have been quite happy so far with the Nokia Lumia 822.

Money Saving Tip:
I live in the state of Massachusetts where they collect sales tax.  I am also a Verizon customer.  I went to BJ's Wholesale club to shop for phones since they have a Verizon store inside.  After 2 years of having a Verizon phone you are eligible for a "free" upgrade.  Up until last year "free" used to actually mean free.  Before I get to my money saving tip you need to be aware that there is now a $30 free upgrade fee per phone.  I have been a Verizon customer since 2003 and it never used to be like this but that's the way it is now.  My tip for you when upgrading phones is to ask about sales tax on free upgrades.

At the Verizon store inside the BJ's they were going to charge me sales tax on a free phone.  In Massachusetts the sales tax is 6.25% and the free phone has a value of $600 so after the upgrade fee of $30 and the sales tax of $37.50 the total cost of the free upgrade would have been $67.50.  However the same Nokia Lumia 822 was also available at Target and Target does not charge sales tax when giving out free upgrades.  My advice to you is to shop around and ask about whether or not you will be paying sales tax on a free upgrade.  It probably won't be advertised so your best bet is to make some phone calls and save yourself some money.