Saturday, June 11, 2011

Switch to Wordpress

I've moved over to WordPress, you can visit the new blog here:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Skype In/Out

I just wanted to comment on Skype's Online Number and Outgoing calls... I have a pretty good Internet connection, so I ordered the $6/mo number and the $3/mo unlimited USA and Canada calls and it's going very well so far. I like the Android and iPhone apps for Skype. I think the POTS (old school telephone service) is going to be dead pretty darn fast.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dropbox Vs Cloud

If I understand correctly, Dropbox allows you to access your files even when you're not connected to the Internet.

I'm pretty sure the Cloud doesn't ;)

+1 Dropbox -1 Cloud

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Wireless - Reality of 4G and How Stuff is Done

Now, I am making this post clearly not as a stockholder of AT&T or Verizon Wireless, because this information is in the consumer's interest.

Right now, when you use a 3G phone, the voice part of your call is done more or less traditionally... the voice packets go to the cell tower, and are transmitted, and all that stuff. it's sort of like a tin can and string phone, one end, other end, except there is no string. That's what made a cell phone different than a landline. It was more or less "voice" going through the air.

3G made the phone have a split personality over the analog phones of the 80s and early 90s. 3G data... texts, email checking, stock quote updates, where done over a data connection, and then voice calls were put separately into a voice connection area, from a simple standpoint. (You could look into this for weeks and weeks, it's not important the particular details.)

4G phones do EVERYTHING on data. Your voice calls, and all your emails, and texts, all go over a complete data channel.

You need to ask yourself, with a 4G phone, why would you ever pay for minutes if it's just data? You should be paying for data only. This is why Skype is so popular.

I hope 4G spells the end of "minute" plans. It should all be unlimited at that point to your "data package." For example, a 3gb data plan should include unlimited minutes until you hit the 3gb limit. Just my feelings. Charging for "minutes" when it's data is just a complete scam.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Portable Workstation Setup

I've been testing a new computer setup for use when I'm working at libraries. I have a 13" Macbook, an iPad, and a Mi-Fi personal 3G wireless router.

I downloaded an app for my iPad that turns the iPad into a second monitor for a Mac, but it requires a Wi-Fi connection to work. So I've set up my Mi-Fi into a local router and I've connected both my Macbook and my iPad to that wireless network, so now I have a second "screen" and 3G Internet access.

Dual screens and 3G Internet pretty much anywhere in the states...

I think it's a great portable office setup :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Android Smart Phone at Prepaid Cell Rates

I heard that Virgin Mobile was releasing a true Smartphone but I was expecting there to be a monthly bill increase versus a regular Virgin Mobile phone. Amazingly, it's the same price.

Samsung Intercept first Android phone on Virgin Mobile Prepaid

In the late summer of 2010 Virgin put out a prepaid plan that started at $25 a month for unlimited text, data, web, etc, and 300 talk minutes (no free nights or weekends, sadly). I picked up the LG Rumor Touch for $129 which was actually a lot more powerful than I thought, but still not of the same class as an iPhone or an Android-based phone.

Normally a carrier charges a cell user $20-$30 a month just for the DATA, on top of the text and voice charges. With the Intercept on Virgin Mobile, it's $25 for data, unlimited text, and 300 minutes. That's just freaking amazing.

(No, I'm not a Sprint stockholder or anything. I'm just glad one company believes a smart phone should cost less than $30 a month.)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Education OS as a Theme not an Installation

Okay, I was trying to find what operating system is best for kids, from a researcher's perspective. You can say Edubuntu, you can say Sugar OS (the one that started at One Laptop Per Child) or you can take a step back and realize maybe thats the wrong question to ask in the first place.

It's pretty obvious that Windows and Mac OS (and Linux) as they come in the box are not suited for school children use. Yes, they pick it up fast. Yes, it's what adults use (well, it's what adults used before the cloud and the web took over). But why are we telling children they can set up their computer any way they want as long as there is a Start button in the lower left? We presume that exact standards are required for educational learning, I mean, in respect to stuff the same place on each individual's screen.

Okay, if I say "tap your start menu" you know where to look (assuming you're on Windows). You might set it up in the standard lower left, or you may have moved your task bar around the screen. The day you learned to use computers, you found out where stuff is. Right now, if I say "do you know where to find what time it is?" You'll know exactly where to find the time. You should be able to put your clock wherever you want, and you still understand the concept. Kids aren't stupid, they can understand where they put stuff. They know where to find stuff. The interface should be customizable because we should assume children are highly intelligent.

I think we need to stop asking "What OS is best for kids?" and realize that the most likely solution is that the OS doesn't matter. It should be customizable and themed, flexible, efficient, and reliable. If we're looking to know the answer to what OS is best for kids, we're thinking in the wrong decade. The interface is what matters. I think we should consider the "Best OS" argument dead. Themed UIs for the win!