Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Time To Stop Using Internet Explorer

URGENT! If you're still living in the 90's and your primary browser remains Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) LISTEN UP: STOP USING IT IMMEDIATELY!!!! IE creator Microsoft (MS) yesterday revealed that a serious security bug with IE versions 6 through 11 that allows hackers to take complete control of you PC or Laptop when using what is now considered the worst internet browser available. And if you're still stuck on Windows XP, this bug is infinitely worse since MS abandoned support for the decade old Operating System last month. Using IE to access banking and or financial sites right now could have serious consequences for you if you visit and log into those sites using IE. Your best bet is to download and install Google's superior browser Chrome, Apple's Safari, or Mozilla's Firefox browser and use them instead IMMEDIATELY. You should be using one of these browsers anyway. PLEASE SHARE THIS post as this is as serious as any bug to come along until MS patches this serious security bug that has dire consequences for users who only know IE.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S5 Releases Friday April 11-Fails to Amaze The Press Corp

Samsung announced it's next iteration of the Galaxy S line in the form of the S5 way back in February at a press event in Barcelona, Spain during the Mobil World Congress convention. Even then, the still plastic body smartphone failed to wow the media present who collectively saw this as the Galaxy S4+ instead of an S5 since the changes from the current S4 were incremental. The changes were very incremental, slightly larger 5.1" screen, (S4 has a 5" Screen) 16Mp rear camera, a fingerprint reader swipe (nothing like the iPhone 5S's fingerprint reader), and a handful of minor updates, including a water-resistant body and hideous band-aid pattern like rear cover that screams tacky. Nothing in the S5, including it's slightly modified form factor wowed the press, and the ever-criticized toy-like plastic-body is still the biggest complaint most have about the flagship Samsung phone. For the past couple weeks most of the tech heavy-weights have been evaluating the final product almost two months after it was announced, and most walk away unimpressed with what is supposed to be Samsung's star smartphone. The Oracle of Tech Walt Mossberg of RE/Code (formerly of WSJ.com) weighs in after two weeks using the S5 to say that S4 users needn't upgrade given the incremental changes. He was most impressed with the water resistance (submerged in liquid for about 15-30 mins) and it came out working just fine. He Achieved 24 hours of battery time in moderate use which is pretty good for a large smartphone. Mossberg was disappointed with new swipe fingerprint reader which he said failed to unlock the phone even once on the first swipe, or even at all after multiple swipes. He also walked away underwhelmed with the heart rate monitor feature which was very fussy and asked you to adjust your finger on a sensor below the rear camera with a screen warning telling you that you're doing it wrong--enough to elevate your heart rate. It failed more than half the time he tried it.  All in all, Mossberg's comments about the new S5 are pretty much echoed in other online reviews out today. Friday the S5 is unleashed and goes on sale to the public, and Verizon Wireless has a BOGO offer, Buy One-Get One FREE after two $50 rebates with two year agreements on both handsets, something that will attract many buyers. The S5 comes with 16Gb standard memory for Apps, music, videos, pictures, documents, etc., but user storage available on Samsung devices tends to be under 10Gb after all the factory installed software is considered-- unlike the recently launched HTC One M8 which comes with 32Gb standard at the same price.  Both come with SD card expansion, but internal memory tends to be faster and more practical.  Whether or not the S5 will be enough to jump-start Galaxy S sales remains to be seen Kids!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sprint Duplicates T-Mobile's ETF Offer-Get up to $650 to switch!

Well well well.  What do we have here? A Sprint copycat promotion? It would appear to be just that. It's looks like Sprint isn't liking that T-Mobile is taking it's customers so it wants to return the favor and offer new and former customers the opportunity to come back--and they are willing to pay you up to $650 to do so. Much like Magenta's "Uncarrier 4.0" program, they will give you up to $300 for your smartphone trade-in from ANY other national US carrier (AT&T, Verizon Wireless, or T-Mobile), plus up to $350 in the form of a prepaid Mastercard to cover your early termination fee (ETF). Don't have an ETF? No problem! They'll give you up to $350 towards your EIP (financed device balance). Starting today and only through May 8th, Sprint wants you back in the worst way, and are willing to duplicate a now famous T-Mobile promotion to do it. Of course, you'll have to purchase a new Sprint phone and sign a two-year agreement, port in your number, and probably have to put up with crappy service in the process. But you're getting away from your old carrier scott-free right? Whoever said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery wasn't kidding. Better read the fine print to get all the details Kids!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

T-Mobile & Blackberry Call it Quits--Well Sort Of

Blackberry has had it's fair share of woes over the past few years as it saw it's once dominant marketshare dwindle to practically less than 1% in the last survey of the likes of Apple, Android, Windows mobile OS's. Adding insult to injury is how T-Mobile recently offered those who carried Blackberry smartphones a $200 minimum trade in on their trusty Blackberry towards any iPhone, Android device, or Windows smartphone. The "UnCarrier" decided that most of its subscribers really don't care if Blackberry rides off into the sunset, they just want to keep those customers on some other platform. While Blackberry has itself to blame for not jumping on the touch-screen revolution, they are down, but not out. Blackberry's instant messenger BBM recently launched on Android and iOS and was number one on their respective App stores for days--giving Blackberry a comeback of sorts. But consumers are trading in their once coveted Crackberry devices in droves in favor of Android and iOS. Following T-Mobile's recent taunt of Blackberry, the uncarrier was all but excommunicated from Blackberry's list of carriers who could sell Blackberry devices effective April 25. This means if you want to buy a Blackberry, you'll have to go to Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T for one after that date. But is this a wise decision for Blackberry at a time where it needs carrier support more than ever, especially now that they are not the only game available to Federal workers and Department of Defense applications now that iOS and Android devices are approved for use on those networks? Probably not. But T-Mobile's CEO John Legere is claiming that Blackberry is and always will be welcome on T-Mobile, and says this was a Blackberry decision. Will something change before the deadline? No one knows, but if Blackberry wants to be relevant again, it can't thumb it's nose at any carrier, be it the number one or number 4 carrier. Time to mend fences kids for everyone's sake.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Amazon Throws It's Hat Into the Set Top Box Arena

Check Out the New Amazon FireTV Here
Amazon as expected today announced it's own set-top streaming box called Amazon #FireTV which is similar to other streaming boxes available on the market today such as the Apple TV or ROKU streaming boxes. Amazon FireTV is available today for $99, and allows consumers the ability to stream movies, music, videos, pictures, and has enough power to allow the playing of games (2Gb RAM, Quad Core Processor). This is the most power in a set-top box ever to come to market. Amazon will offer Amazon Prime Video streaming, On Demand movies, and HULU Plus at launch, but plans to offer other services like HBO Go, Showtime on Demand, ESPN, Netflix, and many other streaming services found on competing boxes. This FireTV is available now from Amazon for $99 shipped FREE. Amazon will roll out services and games throughout the year for purchase. The box comes with a standard remote, but a $40 Gaming controller will also be available that doubles as a remote. Nothing earth-shattering here, but Amazon has long been expected to throw it's hat in the set-top box arena to take it's place in the digital living room. Choice is good Kids. Apple is expected to update it's aging Apple TV unit and ROKU yesterday introduced it's Roku Streaming HDMI Stick for $50, an offering similar to Google's Chromecast.  Let the games begin!