Gadget Grave http://gadgetgrave.com Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:00:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Asus Zenfone 2 http://gadgetgrave.com/asus-zenfone-2/ http://gadgetgrave.com/asus-zenfone-2/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:00:49 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6392 Asus has been a name for computers, laptops and tablets. Asus is also developing smartphones, with several listed on the best smartphones of 2015. The Asus Zenfone 2 is one of those smartphones. What does the Asus Zenfone 2 have to offer? Well, lets take a look at all the buzz.

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First the Asus Zenfone 2 is thin, sleek, and resembles something you would see if the Moto X had a baby with the LG G2. The body is thin on the edges and thicker in the middle like the Moto X but has buttons on the back like the LG G2/3. The Asus Zenfone 2 supports two SIM cards and the display is the IPS capacitive touchscreen. The screen is a 5.5 inches and has a Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. The Asus Zenfone 2 has Android Lollipop v5.0, an Intel Atom Z3580 with a Quad Core 2.3 Ghz processor – if you get the 4 GB of RAM model- or an Intel Atom Z3560 with a Quad core 1.8 GHz processor- if you get the 2 GB RAM model. The Asus Zenfone 2 comes with 16, 32 or 64 GB of internal storage with a microSD slot that supports a microSD card up to 64 GB.   As noted above, the Asus Zenfone 2 has either a 4 GB of RAM or 2 GB of RAM.  Just wondering if there is a reason to have so many choices, I understand that for people who can’t pay a lot, you can the smaller amount of RAM with the smaller amount of internal storage, but why not just offer a 2 GB version with 16 GB of internal storage and the 4 GB RAM with the 32 or 64 GB of internal storage?

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The Asus Zenfone 2 camera is 13 megapixels and has autofocus, dual LED flash and HDR technology. The Asus Zenfone 2 can video in 1080p and has a nice 5 megapixel front facing camera for selfies. One of the best things about the Asus Zenfone 2 camera is that even in low light, the PixelMaster camera takes stunning pictures as it boosts contrast by 400 percent. If the camera works this great, this could help the Zenfone 2 with sales since everyone always wants a better camera.

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The best part about the Asus Zenfone 2 is the price tag. The Zenfone 2 will retail around 200 bucks! With the nice features that are higher end, you would have expected a bit higher price tag. With the price alone, this phone should be on the top of many lists. If you are in the market for a nice phone but cannot afford the major brands, then I would be giving the Asus Zenfone 2 a try.

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For Asus, they usually have great products. Asus is known for their performance as well so the Zenfone 2 is on the top phones of 2015 list for a reason. Asus isn’t just stopping with the Zenfone 2, Asus has taken a tip from Samsung and there is also a Zenfone 2 Zoom. The Asus Zenfone 2 Zoom has an external lens to zoom in extremely far- it changes your smartphone to the digital camera just with a touch of a button. For those who love to take pictures with your smartphone, do not have a digital camera or for those who only want to carry one- you get both in one device. The Asus Zenfone 2 and Zenfone 2 Zoom, it is no wonder these 2 phones have hit the top 2015 smartphone list.

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Cyanogen http://gadgetgrave.com/cyanogen/ http://gadgetgrave.com/cyanogen/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:00:47 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6400 Have you heard of Cyanogen? If you love to root your Android phone, you no doubt do but for those that do not, they are a company that made an Android that was not attached to the Google Play Store or other Google services. Cyanogen is an open source form of Android allowing developers to build, tweek and make a better operating system.

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Cyanogen is working on having its version of Android on smartphones and wants to be the Android people want. Cyanogen has now partnered with Microsoft and this could mean something big for both companies. The partnership with Microsoft will add Microsoft products in Cyanogen devices, sometime this year.

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Cyanogen teaming up with Microsoft has allowed products such as Skype, Office and Outlook to be part of the Cyanogen programing in smartphones. Microsoft will develop versions of these apps along with other apps for the Cyanogen operating system- similar to the apps it created for the Amazon Fire operating system.

 

Cyanogen has stated that the smartphones will not have every app as bloatware on its smartphones, but many will need to be downloaded. A representative for Cyanogen has stated that with Cyanogen being “user choice” open operating system, that Cyanogen needs to provide the best apps available but the Microsoft apps will be apart of the system but users will be able to pick and choose which apps to download and install.

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Cyanogen is possibly getting a $70 million investment from Microsoft but did not name where all of its $80 million funds have come from. With Android, it is usually synonymous with Google but with Microsoft backing Cyanogen- then the tides are turning and it adds creditability to Android as not only being a “Google” thing.

 

When you go the Cyanogen home page, the first thing you see is this: “What Matters to Us. Under “What Matters to Us,” there is “Openness” and to Cyanogen, this means that with openness, it benefits everyone and the growth and possibilities increase. Cyanogen wants to revolutionize the mobile operating system to an open platform. Next is Community. Community to Cyanogen is a group of makers, modders and freethinkers, and that this is Cyanogen’s foundation. Lastly, is Experience; and Cyanogen sees the mobile experience as being fluid and intuitive in the upcoming years. Cyanogen believes that with more openness then you excel progress.

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With Cyanogen beginning with its own Android on smartphones, it has the potential to take over the market. Cyanogen went from almost nothing to being one of the top “roots” for Android devices. The company, Cyanogen has been around for just a few years but is vastly popular among Android users. Cyanogen is pure Android and allows even MORE customization because you are stuck with the bloatware from carriers, phone makers and Google.

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Cyanogen partnering with Microsoft is a big deal. It is a big deal for Cyanogen- as it gets much needed funds, access to cellphone makers and gains creditability. For Microsoft, Cyanogen helps Microsoft gain access to Android users, gives Microsoft another platform for their apps and maybe gives them a future in which to build a lasting, mutual partnership.

 

https://cyngn.com/cyanogen-os

 

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Samsung Galaxy S6 tips part 2 http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-s6-tips-part-2/ http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-s6-tips-part-2/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:00:43 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6432 The great thing when you got an Apple device was iCloud and the ability to locate your Apple device from your computer. There are some amazing features on the Samsung Galaxy S6 now that helps Samsung compete with rival smartphones. First, there is a way to track your phone, erase it over the Internet as well as lock it down. This feature started in the Galaxy S5 and continued into Samsung’s new smartphones. With the Galaxy S6, you need to go to Android Device Manager. This is located under settings, the security, then Android Device Manager. You will need to toggle the “switch” from off to the on position on the following:   “Remotely locate this device” and “Allow remote lock and factory reset.” If you go to the following website: https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager you can locate your device. (When I did this, with my Note Edge, it located my exact location at the hospital- as in where I was inside the hospital.). At the website for Android Device Manager, you can “ring, lock and erase” your phone.

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Another security feature of the Samsung Galaxy S6, is the fingerprint scanner. If you choose to set-up the Fingerprint scanner, then you can use your fingerprint to unlock your phone. This makes your phone pretty secure. According to bloggers, the fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a definite improvement over the Samsung Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanner. In order to register your fingerprint, you have to go to “Lock screen and Security” under Settings. From there, you touch “Fingerprint” and then hit the plus sign to add your fingerprint. Follow the directions to “record” your fingerprint into the device. When you set up your fingerprint, you will have to set up a backup password- just in case the fingerprint scanner quit working or you are in a freak accident and burn off your fingerprints. Unlike previous Galaxy S models, the Galaxy S6 fingerprint scanner just requires you to hold the home button with the appropriate finger.

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Another cool tip is Private Mode. Private Mode allows you to hide any information that you do not want others to see. To use Private Mode, you first select your files- from photos, videos to music and even information found in your browser and files. You can select multiple items that you want to hide from others. In the upper right corner, you select move to private. When you get everything placed into Private Mode, you have to go and turn on Private Mode. You can do this by going under settings, then Privacy and Safety. Look for Private Mode and toggle it to on or off, as needed.

 

Another security feature for the Samsung Galaxy S6 is that you setup the SOS function. This function, on command will send your emergency contacts a SOS message, When this function is on, you can tap the power button 3 times consecutively and it will send a message to your listed emergency contacts.

 

Lastly, there is Emergency Mode. Emergency Mode places your phone is power saving mode- it is better than the Ultra Power Saving Mode and in a pinch, you can use it to save battery life. It turns off the screen as well as background data so that you can still have service. To access Emergency Mode, long press the power button and select Emergency Mode from the menu that pops up.

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Remember, these are just tips to help you understand your Samsung Galaxy S6’s features. Use the one that work for you and forget the ones that don’t.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Rumors http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-note-5-rumors/ http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-note-5-rumors/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 14:00:04 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6417 Samsung Galaxy Note 5, YES PLEASE!!   Being a lover of Samsung devices- I have had the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S5, Note 3 and now the Note Edge (which is AWESOME!!)- I am WAY too excited for the release of the Galaxy Note 5.   What will Samsung do to continue to climb and corner the market for phablets? Lets take a look together, and do not look at me, as I drool..

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One thing Samsung has learned from the release of the Galaxy S5 then the Note 4 Note Edge and Galaxy S6 is that it is either go BIG or go home. With the disappointing sales on the Galaxy S5 (I do not know why, it is a GREAT phone), Samsung made a rebound with the release of the Galaxy Note 4 and the Note Edge as well as the success of the Galaxy S6/Edge. But this girl cannot wait to get her hands on the up and coming Note 5! Why you ask? Because the Note series, beginning with the Galaxy Note 3, has offered some great features that you cannot get with just any smartphone or phablet. PLUS the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 5 pictures put this phone on top.

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It is rumored that the Galaxy Note 5 will be upgraded from the UHD display to a real 4K display! The Galaxy Note 5 Edge is rumored to have 4K dual edge screen. The Galaxy Note 5 is rumored to have a slightly larger screen as well. Other rumors note that the Galaxy Note 5 will boast wireless charging technology, an upgraded camera that is supposed to be a “professional” camera plus an improved battery life! The pictures show a sleek, possible unibody design and are thinner than the predecessors. I cannot wait to see and touch this phone.

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Other possible features include an Exynos chipset or it could be the upcoming Snapdragon 820 chipset (or maybe both). The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 may even include 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Another rumor is that since the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will not come out until after September, then it may include a new edition of Android that Google is planning on releasing sometime mid-year.

 

The Galaxy Note 5 will continue to Samsung’s Note legacy as well as continuing the success of the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge sales. If the Note 5 is anywhere near what the rumors state, then the Galaxy Note 5 will send its competition to the corner and Samsung will continue to dominate the phablet world.

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With all this technology advancements, I do wish the rumors discussed some of the features- such as the dual curved screen and the S Pen. Both features on the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge are GREAT and I love these features. I love the convenience of the menus on the edge, controls of music, caller ID as well as the ability to read my text – maybe with the Note 5 Edge, you will be able to answer text messages of the edge part of the phone and maybe the S Pen features will increase and make it more valuable to the Samsung Note line. Either way, this girl CANNOT wait to see and test out the new Galaxy Note 5. Hurry up to the end of the year!

 

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LinX http://gadgetgrave.com/linx/ http://gadgetgrave.com/linx/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 14:00:42 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6408 With the smartphones playing the “who has a better camera” it seems Apple has done something to try and propel itself “over the top.” Apple has recently purchases a camera tech company out of Israel named LinX. LinX most recent projects include multi aperture cameras that can do things like background blurred, 3D picture capabilities and other features that you can only get with a digital DSLR.

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LinX works specifically for camera that will be small enough for smartphones and tablets, which is one of the reasons Apple purchased the company for around $20 million. LinX’s cameras could help with low light performance issues by making it easier to take photos indoors or outside when it is dusk or nighttime. You may, even, be able to take photos without a flash at night. One of the biggest features that LinX has been working on is selective focus after a picture has been taken. This is something that has become increasingly popular with modern devices and Apple will be able to use this technology in its future devices. Another feature Apple has from LinX is that its multi aperture design that produces the best results in low-lit environments, in HDR mode and maintaining the color fidelity of every day pictures.

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What will Apple do with this technology? For one, the small, slim sized module is great for everything Apple makes- from Notebooks to tablets to smartphones. The camera’s technology will enhance the picture quality of Apple’s products and propel its products to the frontline. Also, by purchasing LinX, it earns all the rights of LinX and this can keep competitors, such as Samsung, from owning the technology or gaining access to the technology. Since Samsung produces cameras, it is probably safe but LinX has done something other camera makers have not, and that is making- for right now- the best camera for smartphones on the market.

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So why does all this matter? LinX has made picture-taking sharper, prettier and the lens on the smartphone or tablet (or even computer) is smaller. This means that the camera lens will NOT be sticking out. Wow, you will not have to worry about the lenses breaking if you drop your camera. If you are not following, it will mean no more protruding cameras on Apple products. The sleekness of the LinX cameras will fit into the new slim design of the Apple iPhones.

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Last year, LinX released its first SLR camera for smartphones. The LinX camera is a 8mpix, with dual aperture and two 4-megapixel sensors with a 2.0 micron backside illumination pixels. When you compare this camera with the iPhone 5/5S camera- the LinX camera- even with smaller megapixels, was brighter and clearer and did not have as much noise. Also, the LinX camera had great detail even when you zoom in. LinX is also working on using its technology to take “3D” pictures, and do depth mapping.

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LinX is a great buy for Apple. Not only does LinX have great technology and ideas, but it will help Apple prefect its cameras in its device. LinX cameras are coming soon and I cannot wait to see this technology in action.

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We Buy Your Used Electronics http://gadgetgrave.com/we-buy-your-used-electronics/ http://gadgetgrave.com/we-buy-your-used-electronics/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 19:44:25 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6650 Sell us your old devices!  We pay top dollar for used and broken electronics.  We use websites like www.gamestop.com and www.gazelle.com to find common market values.

Give us a call at (479) 431 – 6091 or swing by one of our locations.

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LeTV http://gadgetgrave.com/letv/ http://gadgetgrave.com/letv/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 14:00:13 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6406 What is Le TV? Le TV is a Chinese company that has developed the first USB Type-C “Superphone.” Who would have thought a unknown company out of China would beat big time players like Apple. Le Tv introduced three new Android based “superphones” that feature a reversible socket. Le TV’s flagship “superphone” has Android 5.0, a 6.33 inch Quad HD display, snapdragon 810 chip that is 2 GHz- octacore 64-bit processing chip. Le TV’s Le Max comes with 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, either 64 GB or 128 GB internal storage and a 21-megapixel f/2.0 camera that has Sony’s new IMX230 sensor. The camera has optical stabilization and a dual tone flash as well as a bright 5-ultrapixel selfie.

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The Le TV’s Le Max has an ESS HI-Fi chip with an AKG’s audio tuning. The Le Tv’s Le Max also boasts one-touch fingerprint reader that is on the back, infrared remote, dual LTE SIM support, wireless HD display link and a 3500 mAh battery.   Le TV took its design cues from the iPhone 6 Plus, HTC One Max and the Huawei’s Mate 7 and made a sweet looking phone.

 

Le TV has several other smartphones. One is the Le 1, it is a normal smartphone but still has great features. The Le TV’s Le 1 has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a MediaTek Helio X10 2.2 GHz octacore 64-bit processing chip. The Le TV’s Le 1 has 3 GB of LPDDR3 RAM and you can pick from the following internal storage options: 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB. The back camera is 21-megapixels and almost identical to the camera on the Le Max. The battery is the same as well. There is no Hi-Fi chip in the Le 1 and it is not uni-bodied as with the Le Max but for a less expensive version, it is a great value for the price.

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Le TV has come out knocking on the competition’s door. LeTV is a new Chinese company making smartphones for the first time. Unlike other smartphone makers, Le TV has decided to go big or go home and that approach, along with advertising, has allowed Le TV to become a contender in the smartphone market in China.

 

Le TV’s Le 1 retails for approximately 1,499 yuan 9this translates to approximately $240 American dollars). The Le Max price has yet to be released but I am sure it will be competitively priced. Le TV is going to be crowdsourcing for a price for the flagship superphone. This marketing tactic should cause worry among competitors such as Xiaomi and Huawei. Individuals who live in China can preorder the superphone as well as the less expensive options from Le TV and the Le TV is planning on beginning production on the Le 1 and the Le 1 Pro soon.

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If this smartphone turns out to be as good as it seems, the people around the world will be salivating for a Le TV smartphone. Le TV is not a company to be taken lightly as its first phones have come out ready to fight and take its competition down.  Le TV is going somewhere and I hope Samsung, Apple, LG and others are taking note.

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Google Cardboard http://gadgetgrave.com/google-cardboard/ http://gadgetgrave.com/google-cardboard/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 14:00:45 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6410 When you first read the name Google Cardboard, you wonder what in the heck Google is doing now. Google is working on a way to bring virtual reality to the “common folks.” Google Cardboard is trying to provide more people with a cheap, easy device and is a big hit among early adopters.

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What exactly is Google Cardboard? It is a foldout piece of cardboard smartphone mount, which you add things like lenses, magnet, a fastener and rubber band to hold it to your face. You use the Google Cardboard to turn your Android phone into a virtual reality headset. Google Cardboard was a project from the 20% projects- where employees can work on side project ideas as long as they work on their work most of the time. The success of this project has led other companies to look at the design and use it to create cheap, easy to construct virtual headsets that will work other smartphones like Apple.

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You build with cardboard, you can use your own, add 40 mm focal distance lenses with magnets, Velcro and a rubber band to hold your phone in the right place. After you build your Google Cardboard, you place your phone in the right slot and then look through the lenses. Google Cardboard places your phone the perfect distance from the lenses to create a 3D effect. You can use compatible apps and place the virtual reality Google Cardboard and place it up to your face.   You can move your head around that the image on your smartphone responds, with the demo Street Vue, you can walk around Paris while moving in your actual surroundings – because it interacts with your surroundings.

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Google Cardboard comes equipped with an NFC chip and it can launch your “Cardboard app” when you place your phone into the cardboard headset. The magnet inside the cardboard is used to help you touch the screen and it is like a button since you cannot access your screen when your phone is inside the cardboard.

What can you do with Google Cardboard? For one, there are plenty of apps out there that is compatible with Google Cardboard- and this includes games. You can access demos such as Google Earth and “fly” around the world. Another thing you can do with Google Cardboard and watch YouTube movies or videos like you are watching on a big screen. One of the games is Lamper. It is built for virtual reality and works with Google Cardboard and makes you feel right in the game. There is an app called VR Cinema and it is for Google Cardboard. VR Cinema takes MP4 files and splits up the screen to give you a 3D experience with any movie (you got that right ladies- Magic Mike can be in 3D).

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While Google Cardboard cannot change everything into 3D, Google has made it easy for developers to create games and apps to use with Google Cardboard. Games and apps should increase giving you more options in the future.

What is the exact cost of Google Cardboard? It will set you back about twenty bucks. You will have to follow the directions and “put it together.” There are cheaper versions, but make sure that your phone will fit properly in the slot in order to get the best experience necessary. If you do not want to purchase the kit, you can download instructions on building your own Google Cardboard virtual reality headset instructions- but remember you will have to buy the 40 mm lenses as well as the other items needed.

I cannot wait to order me a Google Cardboard and try this experience……

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The S Pen http://gadgetgrave.com/the-s-pen/ http://gadgetgrave.com/the-s-pen/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 14:00:50 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6426 Do you have a Samsung Note 4 or Note Edge? Have you ever wondered what to do with the S Pen and if it even has any use? The S Pen is a GREAT feature and I love mine. There are so many different features to the S Pen than just the usual ones that you may/may not know. Exploring the S Pen known and hidden features is a great way to discover what features work best for you and which features do not work for you. When you remove the S Pen from its cradle, there is a menu that appears. The menu has several features: Action Memo, Smart Select, Image Clip and Screen Write. Have you ever selected the wrong feature with your S Pen? It is ok! You can push the button on the S Pen and the menu with pop back up.

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Have you asked yourself what the purpose is of the Action Memo feature? I find the Action Memo as a great utensil for writing down important information, phone numbers quickly and even a grocery list. The Action Memo allows you to convert your information from the memo-into a contact- for those numbers you jot down quickly- to taking an address you scribbled down and finding it on Google Maps. You can “pin” the memos to your home page as well! This is one of my favorite features of owning a Note!

 

Another favorite feature is Smart Select. I use this S Pen feature to save tidbits of information or to send my employees select pieces of information that pertains to that specific employee. The Smart Select will even adds where you copied the information from in the text so that you can go back to the website.

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Image Clip is useful as well. Have you ever come across a picture on the web that you wanted to share? With the Image Clip and your S Pen, you can form a rectangular, circular or magnet selection of the picture. After you select the picture, you have the option of saving the image, sharing or both. There is no need to screenshot an entire screen for just one picture!

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Screen Write is the last S Pen feature in the S Pen menu. The Screen Write allows you to screenshot what is on your display and then write all over it. The Screen Write option has a wide variety of “pens” and formats to choose from. This is a great feature if you need to jot something down with a screenshot you are saving- like if you see something you want to make for your friend, you can screenshot the website with the S Pen, then jot down your friend and her favorite colors.

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These four options are not the limit of the S Pen! There are so many other things that the S Pen can do. If you do not like texting, you can use the S Pen to write the text and it will convert your handwriting to typing. You can use this feature with emails as well!

 

http://www.androidpit.com/best-galaxy-note-4-s-pen-features

 

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Samsung Note Edge http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-note-edge/ http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-note-edge/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 14:00:55 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6422 There are many reviews about the Samsung Note Edge. I have had my Note Edge for four months now and let me tell you- it is an AMAZING phablet! If you are in the market for a phablet- this is the phone to get, especially if you love the Note 3. What makes this phone so much better than the rest and what about the newest Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge?

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First and foremost, the Samsung Note Edge has the S Pen and all its features- something the newest (and really awesome) Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge does not come with. If you do not use the S Pen and it is the Note 3 or better, then you are missing out but if it something you do not or would not use- then skip to the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge. As for the Note Edge, it is said that the Edge on the Note Edge has more features than the Galaxy S6 Edge.   What I can tell you about the edge on my Note Edge, is that the edge part has controls- for camera, video play, to answer the phone when the cover is closed and I can read text messages without opening the phone (it would be nice if I could respond without opening the cover). The edge encompasses my menu and I am here to tell you, that I LOVE having the menu on the edge part. The edge also has several different panels and you can add/subtract to the panels – and you can add and change the color, names and setup of your menu. It holds more than the old menu spot.

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Another great thing about the Note Edge is the beautiful display. The Quad HD Super AMOLED screen is GORGEOUS! The color saturation and clarity will turn heads- just go play with one on display- go to YouTube- watch the 4K videos and see GORGEOUSNESS of the Note Edge display! Do not stop there; you can video in Quad HD and UHD! This means that you can get GORGEOUS videos on your phone (you may need a nice sized SD card for that video!).

Not only are the videos beautiful but also the picture quality is wonderful. My pictures displayed are clean, crisp and vibrant. The display does not degrade pictures taken professionally and it also takes great pictures (if you use your smartphone camera, this camera is a GREAT camera with good quality pictures!).

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The Note Edge is an improvement of the Note 3 but ten times better and it surpasses the Galaxy S5. The Note Edge is quick, loaded with similar features to the Galaxy S5- such as Samsung’s new security system. With the Note Edge, you can make/sign into your Samsung account. There is nothing that can be done with the device when it is logged into Samsung.   Also, you can go to findmymobile.samsung.com and locate your phone, erase your device as well as lock it down so it cannot be accessed without a 4-digit pin.

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I am (admittedly) a phone junkie. Reading the scoop on the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge, I have momentarily stopped and thought about changing. But the differences are minimal- the Galaxy S6 is just a beefier version of the Note Edge- without the S Pen. I highly recommend the Note Edge and I do not think you will be disappointed in your purchase of a Note.

 

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Camera http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-s6-camera/ http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-s6-camera/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 14:00:55 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6424 Samsung heard the camera woes and worked to improve these woes with the Galaxy S6. The camera boot time is down to under a second to help catch those quick pictures. Samsung also brightened the camera with infrared white balance detection, which leads to better picture quality and less yellow. On top of this, you can read the following tips about the Galaxy S6 camera. Choose and use the ones you like and toss the ones you don’t like.

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One feature is that you can choose the “Quick Launch” feature in the camera settings. When you select this, it allows you to double tap the “Home Button” and the camera will pop up quickly and allow you to shoot the picture.

Another new feature is Tracking AF. Tracking AF you to select an object or persona dn the smartphone will keep up with the subject if it moves or if you move. To enable the feature, you can go to the settings menu in Camera app and switch the Tracking AF on. Another cool feature of the Samsung Galaxy S6 camera is that you can set up the camera to automatically pull up the picture you just took instead of hitting the little picture below. This is great and all you have to do is turn on the “Review Pictures” option in the Camera app’s setting menu.

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Another feature of the Samsung Galaxy S6 camera is voice control. The voice controls commands do not have to just be shoot or capture. It can be smile or cheese and you can get your friends involved in the picture taking experience. If you prefer, you can have the settings recognize the volume buttons to take pictures, to video or to zoom I or out. To do this, all you have to do is go into the Camera settings and set the volume controls to be whatever you want it to be.

Do you struggle with taking selfies? The Samsung Galaxy S6 has an answer to trying to snap a selfie. There are two different approaches to taking a selfie with the new Samsung Galaxy S6 camera. The first one is to hold your finger over the heart senor for two seconds; if you do not like that way- you can wave your had in front of the camera and the camera will countdown. Both will help with blurry pictures or trying to take the selfie with just one hand instead of two hands.

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Another great new feature are for those individuals who love to take pictures and know how to do it professionally. The Samsung Galaxy S6 camera has added a professional mode. Under this mode, you can adjust the ISO, white balance, exposure and focus modes. These features will give those who love their digitial DSLR an experience with their smartphone and enhance their ability to take great photos with their smartphone.

Lastly, Samsung has added MANY awesome apps that you can download for your Samsung Galaxy S6 camera. These include a surround shot- that takes a 360 degree picture, sound and shot- that records audio at the time the photo was taken. Also, there is a rear-cam selfie – that uses the rear camera and voice cues to take picture, a dual camera mode- where you can take a selfie and a picture from your rear camera, food shot- that is a macro-focus mode to bring out fine details and a sports shot- that selects focus and uses exposure settings for fast moving scenes.

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The Samsung Galaxy S6 has an amazing camera and awesome features to boot. When you get your new Galaxy S6 or if you own one now- get into those camera settings and see all the possibilities for some of the best photos you can get on a smartphone.

 

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Drippler http://gadgetgrave.com/drippler/ http://gadgetgrave.com/drippler/#comments Sat, 30 May 2015 14:00:10 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6420 Have you ever wanted to have tips for your device, specifically, at your fingertips? Or how about the best games and apps for your phone? Have you heard of Drippler? If not, go directly to either Google Play or iTunes to download. This app is one of the coolest apps for your phone. Drippler compiles information about your type of phone into one location. You can see reviews, tips, tricks and cool games/apps for your smartphone. But how does it work? Let’s read further to discover how Drippler works.

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When you download and install, the first screen that you come to- is of course- the sign in screen. You can sign in with Facebook (like most apps) or using Google+. Then Drippler analyzes your device. Drippler will show you, the make, model and carrier of your smartphone as well as the version of software your smartphone is running. So mine says Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, Android 4.4.4 (KitKat), Verizon Wireless. At the bottom, there is a question: Do you like games. After you read the analysis and make your selection to the question, you hit get started.

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From there, Drippler populates apps pertinent to your device, games that work well with your smartphone as well as tips to help your smartphone reach its full potential. On any given day, I get several tips on using Note Edge, as well as neat tricks, which leads me to play and change my smartphone all the time. Without Drippler, I could do many of the tricks with time- but in this day in age, who has time? Also, don’t you hate going to a site looking for something about your smartphone and it is for a different smartphone? I do not have to worry about any of that with Drippler.

 

Another great thing about Drippler is that every time you like/dislike something, the app learns and gets smarter. The Drippler app uses all the data to become more efficient at bringing you the information that you want for your device. Everyday, it refreshes with new articles and you get to see what is new for your phone. Another great thing is that, with Drippler, you learn when you will get the next update or how to fix bothersome glitches.

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Drippler is not just for Android either; you can get it from iTunes for your Apple smartphones. The Drippler app will detect your iPhone and tell you what model, GB of storage as well as the software version you have installed. As with Android’s Drippler, the app will be customized to suit your Apple device and as you like/dislike articles, tips and tricks; the Drippler app gets better at finding articles, tips and tricks that you will enjoy.

 

Drippler is a must for any techie out there or even for those, who are learning their smartphone for the first time. Since I have downloaded Drippler and used it, I have to admit it has been a great addition to my smartphone. The first time I downloaded Drippler, I had the Samsung Galaxy S5, when I changed to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, it downloaded and detected I had a new smartphone- now it is on my Note Edge and I love the tips, tricks and even some of the games that Drippler suggests. Go ahead and try it, You will not regret it!

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Cortex A72 http://gadgetgrave.com/cortex-a72/ http://gadgetgrave.com/cortex-a72/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 14:00:54 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6496 ARMs new High-end CPU, The Cortex A72

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ARM has announced a new high-performance CPU: Cortex A72. To put it in simple terms , the Cortex A72 is a smaller, efficient, and a smaller version of the Cortex A57. The first shipment of the 16nm FinFET mobile SoCs will more than likely ship in 2016. Mike Filippo, ARM’s chief architect for the Coretx A72 “Our focus on A72 was to achieve next-gen performance and pull a ton of power out of the design. We did that is spades.” The Cortex A72 is a beast of a chip! Depending on the on the workload, The Cortex A72 is claiming around 20 to 60 percent increase in instructions per clock over the Cortex A57.
While the reduced latency on functional blocks would supposedly make for higher frequencies harder to hit, the reduced area and power consumption mean that the Cortex A72 (2.7 GHz) can actually clock in around 10 percent higher than the Cortex A57 (2.5 GHz). Power efficiency wise the Cortex A72 is around 18 to 30 percent better than the A57.

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Arm Cortex A72 Rundown:
3.5x performance in Cortex A15 in smartphone
Maximize sustained device performance
75% less energy for same workloads enabling slimmer and cooler devices
Compelling scalable solutions
Smartphones to large-screen compute solutions
16nm FF POP enables high frequency designs
Designed with the system in mind
CoreLink CCI-500 interconnect
Mali-T880 GPU, V550Video, DP550 Display
MMU-400, NIC-400, ELA-500

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The Cortex A72 is primarily targeted at 14 and 16nm next-gen processing, Arm touched upon the performance side of the Cortex A72 at 28nm. Both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 618, and 620 and also the Mediatek MT8173 are bringing the 28nm Cortex A72 to the market this year.
On the naming side of the equation, moving from the ‘A57 to A72 rather than A59 or something similar, ARM explained it like this “it is a marketing decision as we wanted to give better differentiation between its higher performance cores from the mid-tier and low=power cores.” There seemed to be some confusion between the more power efficient A53 and some powerful A57, where users would assume that are similar thus moving its new big core into the A7x series.

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After those astounding performance stats what does those figure really mean? If the Cortex A72 really is that fast how does it stand against the Broadwell? According to ARM very well indeed! The Broadwell still out performs the Cortex A72 when there is plenty of power on hand. But when you constrain the power and thermal envelope, like in the Core M, the Cortex A72 comes close to catching up. WOW you would think that this has the same processing power as a Broadwell and a Core M! Well these stats are coming from Arm themselves. We’ll hold off on further analysis until the CPU comes out, but with the 16nm Cortex A72 processing power I could see it in server applications, some are comparing it to Xeon processors. I cant wait until this hits the market, The power and low power consumption are going to be phenomenal! We should be seeing this hit the new devices later this year and early next year, and if it true on the hype that is circulating, I most definitely will be keeping an eye on this.

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KANO Computing for kids http://gadgetgrave.com/kano-computing-for-kids/ http://gadgetgrave.com/kano-computing-for-kids/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 14:00:23 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6488 We live in an age where children have access to tablets, smartphones and computers. The devices are powerful and very intuitive, and have web access with an ever growing library of applications to explore. This makes learning information easier than ever before. But children and adults have very little exposure to the internal workings of a computer. But to to truly understand the true workings of a computer you have to understand the internals and how they come together and how they work. Kano wants to be the Lego of computers and coding. The package comes in a colorful kit with bright, safe and parts that click together in a unique transparent case. The “mind” of the computer as the company describes it , is a raspberry pie board, and soon you will be adding an SDCard, WiFi, speaker, and a keyboard along with a power supply and HDMI cables.

Calling it “PC Building” is far from real world experience but it does get you started along the right path of understanding of how computers work. This isn’t rocket science or voodoo, but a simple step by step assembly and you will be up and running in no time. The OS is linux based but you should feel right at home if your a Windows or a Mac user.

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Everything on the Kano is broken down in baby steps, almost like a game as you are rewarded with experience points. The programs like Minecraft and Pong rely on visual programming. The “Kano Blocks” is the program used in the visual side of programming it is like a jigsaw puzzle that you put together, Kano will then output the code in Python or JavaScript to show what you just did, How COOL is That! Although Kano isn’t perfect, there are bugs in the preinstalled apps and some of the graphic elements are kinda primitive. The Raspberry Pie is low powered and will slow down under stressful tasks but it never downgrades the overall experience. Children that use smartphones and tablets might grow impatient quickly though. The Kano does go beyond just the learning side, there is the chromium browser, a video player for YouTube, paint app, and a text editor. Also included is a marketplace to download game and productivity apps like Libre Office.

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OK the 150 dollar price tag is a little high considering the Raspberry Pie cost 35 bucks. But the work Kano has done on it’s OS , the educational app, games and overall packaging make this pretty good deal. I for one would purchase this for any child. Giving the fact it exposes them to real world programming and the experience of building their own computer is priceless. With the technology advancing more and more every day, children need to keep up with advancing technology or get left behind. I for one pride myself for teaching my children about the advances in technology and keeping them up to date in all aspects. While this is simple by all means it does help with the daunting task of teaching them the many aspects of building a computer. Starting with the basic construction it builds on more and more of the way the computer comes together as a whole. Then it introduces them to simple programming where they can build off of and hopefully kick start them into the world of programming.

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Intel Compute Stick http://gadgetgrave.com/intel-compute-stick/ http://gadgetgrave.com/intel-compute-stick/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 14:00:28 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6477 I for one appreciate a small form factor desktop. Intel has a new product called “Compute Stick”, this takes the mini desktop concept as far as it can go. At 150 dollars with Windows 8.1 and 110 dollars for Ubuntu this stick isn’t really a desktop in a traditional sense, it hangs off the back of your monitor instead of sitting on your desk. Even though it isn’t very powerful it is one of the smallest Windows desktop you can buy right now.

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The Intel Compute Stick is a black plastic boxy slab. there are vents on the top and sides that keep it cool and the bare minimum for ports and buttons. There is a tiny fan inside that cools the device, and the sound is barely noticeable. Inside the Compute Stick there is a Small HDMI cable you can use the stick to connect to a TV and it even has a micro USB power adapter to power the device. The Windows version has a 32 bit version of Windows 8.1 with Bing. The 32 bit version helps relieve the memory problems with just 2 GB ram. While this does limit the system performance most applications will run fine, but most applications do not have 64 bit support in the first place.
The biggest downside to the to the Compute Stick for people is the system limitations- even though the CPU is 64 bit 64 bit windows will not install. Windows 7 won’t install either because it will not see eMMC drives or able to boot from them. The Bluetooth adapter would be very laggy when the CPU is under a heavy load which is a big turn-off for at least me. Intel informs us that drivers are on the way to resolve this issue but we will see. The Compute Stick uses a Quad Core 1.33GHz Intel Atom Processor, 2 GB DDR3 ram and 32 GB of eMMC storage. It also has a plain Jane 2.4 GHZ 802.11n and Bluetooth connectivity to top it off.

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Graphics performance on the Compute Stick is not impressive either. The Bay Trail GPU is a slimmed down version of the Intel HD 4000 HD and is one third the power of a cut rate HD graphics GPU. You can plug it into a TV and it will handle most streaming services that are out today. Plug it in to a 1080p TV and your good to go.
The good is it is 150 dollars, a very tempting buy on a whim type of a device. If Intel does put out better drivers for this the Compute Stick will be a decent piece of hardware in my opinion. The bad is Bluetooth being laggy can make wireless keyboard and mouse a pain to use. Performs well enough for what it does, but compared to other mini-desktops, it’s slow, Low RAM and storage, which is even worse in the Linux version. There is only one full-size USB 2.0 port, which limits the number of peripherals you can plug in at once, also there is limited official OS support. I for one would make the purchase, the uniqueness and the ability to compute from a small form factor is very appealing.

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The Technology Behind BB-8 http://gadgetgrave.com/the-technology-behind-bb-8/ http://gadgetgrave.com/the-technology-behind-bb-8/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 14:00:30 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6470 bb8

I have this obsession with Star Wars, and this is a natural non life threatening condition. Die-hard fans like me, when the Star Wars Celebration started this year it gave me something to get excited about. The new Trailer was shown AND we got to see the glimpse of the new droid BB-8, and to the surprise of all Star Wars fans it wasn’t CGI! For Star Wars fans this was a revelation. We had only seen a glimpse of the robot in the first trailer released last year. It was a rolling robot ball for a body with a robotic head to top it off, and it doesn’t fall off and it moves freely. Everyone is scratching their heads wondering how did they do that? As the crowd looked upon it, Abrams explained the reasoning behind the robot,

“There were a lot of discussions about how having a CGI BB-8 would be so much easier for shooting,” he said. “But we also knew it would be so much better for the film, for the actors, for the set, for the look of it, if it were performed. Neil Scanlan and his unbelievable team … built and puppeteer-ed BB-8 in the movie and did an extraordinary job, and it was better for the actors and it was better for the film itself.”

 

Disney recruited a company called Sphero, they designed a rolling ball (Sphero) that was controlled by your phone or tablet and the concept was fascinating. The website shows a video of the little guy rolling around like BB-8. But what about the head? We see that the head is really not attached, or it would clearly not be able to move around. The theory is that there are magnets that allow the head to float a millimeter or so on the surface of the body. That would not account for how it stays on top of BB-8s body when it rolls. Here is my guess. The cap is a second robot: head is a second robot that is remote controlled and that is how the Head of BB-8 looks around. I am thinking the head has a gyroscope or something that tells the head which way is up, and an accelerometer to detect motion. There is a patent from Disney filed for a “Magnetic spherical balancing robot drive” https://www.google.com/patents/US8269447.

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Now that covers the body of BB-8 now we need to figure out the head. Here is another patent that could possibly be the solution to how the head stay on BB-8 and an explanation. http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20140345957

“A self-propelled device includes a spherical housing and an internal drive system including one or more motors. The internal drive system acts to provide power to an interior surface of the spherical housing, thereby causing the self-propelled device to move. A biasing mechanism is coupled to the internal drive system and includes a spring and a spring end in contact with the inner surface of the spherical housing. An accessory component magnetically interacts with the biasing mechanism through the spherical housing such that as the self-propelled device rotates along, the accessory component remains stable with respect to the biasing mechanism.”

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While this no solution it adds to the mystery and if this is the shape to come for many toys or upcoming Star Wars movies there is a lot of excitement to come. Star Wars has always been the leader in the field of cutting edge technology and BB-8 is no surprise.

 

Star Wars Celebration 2015

 

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Google’s Project Ara http://gadgetgrave.com/googles-project-ara/ http://gadgetgrave.com/googles-project-ara/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 14:00:34 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6414  

Google has been working on a modular smartphone – called Project Ara. With the Project Ara’s smartphone the Spiral 2 prototype- it comes with a 5 megapixel camera but you can do something that you cannot do with another smartphone- you can change out the lens and add more powerful lens. Project Ara is like no other smartphone; it allows you to pick and choose from a pile of parts to make the phone you want.

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Project Ara is ran out of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group and the sole intention is to allow smartphone users the ability to decide what you want, when you want.

Project Ara is not the most beautiful phone as it is a rectangular phone that is subdivided into smaller rectangular segments. The back is full of circuit boards and contacts and that is where you put on the rectangular blocks for each module. One block would be for the camera and another for the processor. Another part of Google’s Project Ara is that you can add the screen you want and if it breaks, you just pop that one off and add another screen. According to rumors, the rectangular frames will come in different sizes so you can choose from different sized screens and handsets. Part of the rumors discussed how you would be able to hookup medical equipment to the device as well or add a special game pad to the smartphone to enhance your experience.

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From Google’s Project Ara, the prototype smartphone- the Spiral 2, has 8 interchangeable modules- you can put the modules anywhere on the device- so the camera could be moved anywhere on the smartphone and you can put it in the best place for you.

 

The rumors state that cost will be based on what parts you pick- with high end parts, like a 4K display will cost more than a regular HD screen. You will be able to decide where to invest the money and pick what upgrades you want. Another cool feature of Google’s Project Ara is that when it comes to upgrading- you get to choose, when to upgrade, what to upgrade and you do not have to get another phone! You will just switch the parts you don’t want with new parts- this makes Project Ara cheaper unless you decide to switch bodies.

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Google announced that Project Ara will be released sometime in 2015- only in Puerto Rico- dates have not been set and it is still unknown the time frame for the launch. Google has signed two carriers from Puerto Rico for Project Ara, they are Claro and Open Mobile.   Puerto Rico was chosen by Google due its large volume of internet traffic- it is roughly 75 percent of the country plus the country has plenty of feature phone users and Puerto Rico has the right mix of smartphones in the market.

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Rumors have Toshiba building two processors for Project Ara and have created the camera for Project Ara. The modules are supposed to be created by Yezz. Google is hoping to have at least 20 to 30 modules for the launch. Pricing will depend on the specifications you choose and the body style. There is speculation that Google’s Project Ara could cost more than smartphones with the same specifications.

 

I cannot wait to see what exactly Google Project Ara will truly look like since prototypes do not always look the finished project. Also, there is still a bit of a battery life issue and other little bugs that need to be worked out for the finish product. I will wait for the finished product- hopefully it wont be too much longer.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Tips and Tricks http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-s5-tips-and-tricks/ http://gadgetgrave.com/samsung-galaxy-s5-tips-and-tricks/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:00:48 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6051 The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a lot of useful bells and whistles; and the best thing about the Galaxy S5 is that you can personalize the Samsung anyway you want. I think that everyone should try out all the features so that you can see which ones work for you and which ones you would rather not use. This blog will give you a few useful features on what some of the cool features on available and how to use them.

First feature is the One-Hand option. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is large and some people are intimidated by the size. This feature will describe ways to use the Galaxy S5 with just one hand! The one-handed option squeezes the screen you are using together so that you can use with just one thumb or finger. In order to turn this feature on, you will go to Setting and then to Sound and Display. From there, choose One-Hand operation. With this feature- you can slide your thumb on one side or the other to have access to everything on the screen.

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Another feature is Cinema Mode. This mode is for anyone who owns a Samsung Galaxy S5 and watches movies on the device.   Cinema mode renders the videos so that it is like watching on a television and not your Galaxy S5. The Cinema mode makes the colors, saturation and image as “normal” as possible on a smartphone. If you watch a lot of movies on the nice sized screen, then the Cinema mode is perfect for you- you can enjoy the quality of a television on your Galaxy S5.  To get to Cinema Mode, go to Settings, then Display and then choose Cinema.

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Another great feature is about the Smart Network Switch. The Smart Network Switch is great for those whose coverage is less than desired. What it does is makes sure your Samsung Galaxy S5 is always connected, by switching from Wi-Fi and data. This will keep you connected without any interruptions. This is great feature for those who are connected to – lets say your school’s or work’s network and it disconnects you- the Samsung Galaxy S5 will automatically keep you connected by making sure you connect to your mobile data. You can get to this option from the Wi-Fi section at the top of your Samsung Galaxy S5’s pull-down menu. Just make sure the box is checked marked.

Another great feature is Smart Stay.   This feature was originally for the Samsung Galaxy S3 but Samsung realized it was a great feature and kept of for the Galaxy S5. This feature keeps Galaxy S5 users from constantly having to unlock the device to finish reading an article, watching a movie, ect. The feature, Smart Stay recognizes when someone is looking at the Galaxy S5 so the screen will stay on. You can access the feature by going to settings and then turning on Smart Stay.

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Another cool feature is the Smart Remote. This is no ordinary remote. The Samsung Galaxy S5 can be programed to your television service provider- such as Cox or AT&T Uverse. You can select your favorite channels and programs. Instead of looking through the channels, it will display your selection of favorite shows and you can hit the show and the television will turn to that channel. To activate it, go to the Smart Remote located in the app drawer.

These features are a great way to maximize your Samsung Galaxy S5 features. Each one is great in its own way and the best thing is that if you do not like it, then you can turn it off but hey- give it a try.

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Asus ZenWatch Smartwatch http://gadgetgrave.com/asus-zenwatch-smartwatch/ http://gadgetgrave.com/asus-zenwatch-smartwatch/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 14:00:38 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5228 Are you looking to buy a smartwatch? Looking at the different choices? Not to add one to your plate, but Asus ZenWatch is something that needs to be considered. Asus has a smartwatch? Yes Asus has a smartwatch and it has a great design. Asus is known for its computers and tablets and now it is coming out with a smartwatch called the ZenWatch. What are the specifications? What is good about the ZenWatch?

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The Asus ZenWatch wants to be different and to stand out among the smartwatch department. The ZenWatch built its smartwatch based on non-smartwatch watches. The design of the Asus ZenWatch is not where this story ends; the specifications are good as well!

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The Asus ZenWatch has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual core 1.7 GHz processor.   The ZenWatch has 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage. The specifications of this watch are like a small, inexpensive tablet. Yup- you read that right, the ZenWatch is about as powerful as an “entry-level tablet.”

The display of the ZenWatch is just as nice. It is a rectangular curved AMOLED screen that is almost an inch diagonally. The resolution is a bit less than the Samsung Gear S. The screen is still beautiful and the watch is still a great idea. The size of the watch is ideal- it is just around 1 ½ x .3 inches and it weighs about 75 grams so it is sleek and will not feel out of place on your wrist- in place of your traditional watch. Also, the ZenWatch has a sweet leather strap and is secured with a quick release clasp. The watch body is all-metal and the leather band is Earthy give the ZenWatch a high-end feel.http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/03/asus-zenwatch-android-wear-specs/

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Asus ZenWatch uses Android Wear (this is Google’s OS for smartwatches) but with some nice tweaks to the OS system. The ZenWatch has an easy to use interface that is simple to navigate. The ZenWatch displays a traditional clock face but you can swipe from a side to display the menu. Also, you can tap on the screen or say “Ok Google” to view the Google voice search page and you can use OK Google to work the watch. http://www.cnet.com/products/asus-zenwatch/

The ZenWatch works with smartphones that have Android 4.3 or higher but if you use an Asus smartphone there are some features that are “bundled” with their own apps. There is a feature called Tap Tap that allows you to pick an app from your phone on your watch. Also, you do not have type in your code as long as you are Bluetooth range.

The Asus ZenWatch is an unexpected smartwatch that will make you go hhhhmmmm…. The ZenWatch is packed with great specifications – for a watch and is beautifully crafted. The ZenWatch gives you what you want in a smartwatch and what you love about traditional watches. If you are in the market for a smartwatch, you need to take a look at the Asus ZenWatch because it blends technology with grace and will meet your needs in a smartwatch. Plus the ZenWatch retails at a great price: $199.99- not overly priced but not cheap. Go check out the Asus ZenWatch right now.

http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/phones/mobile-phone-accessories/asus-zenwatch-wi500q-1263892/review

http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/03/asus-zenwatch-android-wear-specs/

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HTC’s Flagship Phone http://gadgetgrave.com/htcs-flagship-phone/ http://gadgetgrave.com/htcs-flagship-phone/#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 14:00:50 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5712 HTC has struggled with getting its piece of the smartphone pie. HTC has a great phone and those who buy HTC phones usually stay with HTC phones. December is not usually a time when smartphone companies announce “new” smartphones because they want you money on the phones out but HTC has leaked information about the upcoming HTC flagship phone. These are all just rumors but if half of them are true, then HTC will officially enter the ring and may beat Apple and Samsung. Let’s take a look at the specification of the new HTC flagship device (which are AMAZING).

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First, HTC is thinking about changing the name of its flagship smartphone. The rumor has the device as the HTC One M9 but other rumors have the name as Hima. Whether the flagship device carries the One linage or HTC changes the name, one thing is for sure- it is going to be spectacular!

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Let’s discuss the smartphone. The rumors have the HTC flagship with a 5.5-inch QHD screen. If the screen stays the same as a HTC One M8, the flagship device will have 534 pixels per inch and that is pretty good. The HTC flagship device is rumored to come with Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 810 that were just released. HTC is looking at having an octa-core processor and will be 2.5 GHz.   Some rumors believe that the HTC flagship device will only be as powerful as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.   The RAM will be three gigabytes matching the Note 4. The internal storage will be a possible 64 or 128 GB. This is to compete with Apple devices as well as Samsung that allows for additional storage through a microSD card.

Now, we will get to the good stuff- the cameras. If the HTC flagship device comes with the camera rumored- it will be the BEST smartphone on the market. The front camera is rumored to be 13 megapixel while the rear camera is 20 megapixel. HTC will continue with its ultrapixel snapper technology, have an optical zoom, and continue the HTC duo camera feature.

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The design is still up in the air, but rumors state that HTC will just tweak the HTC One M8’s body style. The rumors are plenty here- from a slimmer HTC to an all-metal HTC to a possible waterproof phone. Another rumor is that HTC’s flagship phone will be completely different in its design. The design is not set yet, so we will have to wait.

How long will we have to wait? There is a possible release date of sometime in March 2015. Right before first quarter profits. The HTC flagship phone is going to be beautiful and full of AWESOME features. What would you do with the best front facing camera on the market? In the world of selfies, the 13-megapixel front camera will help propel the phone into the ring. The HTC flagship phone is one that Apple and Samsung need to pay attention as it is going to take the smartphone market by storm- but this is ONLY if the specifications stay true because without the specifications, the phone will probably fall flat as the Samsung Galaxy S5 did- updating a good phone is ok but turning a good phone into a spectacular phone is what sells.

http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/August2014/htc-one-m9-release-date-specification-and-price.html

http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/htc-one-m9-specs-leak-alongside-new-htc-hima-name

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Android One http://gadgetgrave.com/android-one/ http://gadgetgrave.com/android-one/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:00:34 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5718 What is the Karbonn Sparkle V?  What is Android One? That is what I asked myself when I first saw this name. Karbonn is a smartphone maker from India that makes inexpensive smartphones. Android One was not made to for the western world. Android One is a Google backed project to bring smartphones of good quality to developing markets such as India. Google has stipulations on the Android One are as follows: that the smartphone has good specifications, stock Android and Android One smrtphone makers must make the devices upgradable to latest software for at least two years. Many inexpensive Android smartphones are bought and stuck on the Android software the device comes with and Google’s Android One is supposed to change this – they are similar to the Nexus device but cheaper and have many companies making the Android One devices. Karbonn is looking to expand its market to western countries and has released its newest smartphone: Sparkle V to the United Kingdom. Karbonn has plans to release several other smartphones as well.

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What is the Karbonn Sparkle V? What are the specifications of the Sparkle V? Well, lets take a look and see. The Karbonn Sparkle V was released in September 2014. The Sparkle V comes with dual SIM slots, is unlocked, and has a 4.5-inch IPS LCD screen. The chipset is Mediatek MT6582 with a quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex A-7 processor. The Karbonn Sparkle V will have KitKat installed but will be upgradable to Android Lollipop. The internal storage of the Sparkle V is a dismal 4 GB but you can add a microSD card- up to 32 GB for more storage. As far as inexpensive smartphones, 4 GB is about average for internal storage. The Karbonn Sparkle V has 1 GB of RAM.

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The Karbonn Sparkle V will have a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. The video quality is 720p. The front facing camera is good but the back is okay. The Karbonn Sparkle V is definitely not the best Android on the market but for around $200 U.S. dollars, it is a great buy with Android One backing the smartphone. Look out inexpensive smartphone makers such as ZTE and Alcatel have competition.

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Even though the Karbonn Sparkle V has not made it to us yet, it is only a mater of time. The Karbonn Sparkle V may find a place in the United States among prepaid smartphones. With the backing of Android One, the Karbonn Sparkle V will also gain a following with those who want a Nexus but do not have the money for the Nexus. The Android One “plan” by Google is a great idea.  Giving smartphone companies a pure Android version for their phones is great. Google holding the companies- such as Karbonn with expectations is great as well. People can get a great smartphone- like the Karbonn Sparkle V and can keep their inexpensive smartphones longer than before! I just have a question: I wonder if the Kabonn Sparkle V is repairable or any of the Android One phones? If not Google should consider adding this stipulation to its Android One program.

 

http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/Dec2014/android-one-hits-the-uk-with-the-karbonn-sparkle-v.html

http://www.gsmarena.com/karbonn_sparkle_v-6687.php

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Google Play Cracks Down On Pirate Bay Apps http://gadgetgrave.com/google-play-cracks-pirate-bay-apps/ http://gadgetgrave.com/google-play-cracks-pirate-bay-apps/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 14:00:17 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5726 Here recently TorrentFreak reported that Google started removing Pirate Bay-related apps from it’s Google Play Store. Seeing how Google has crack downed on the most egregious pirate sites really isn’t so surprising for sure.

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Google has sent notices to the proprietors of numerous Pirate Bay apps on the Play Store, informing them that their apps violated the intellectual provisions of Google Play’s terms of service. According to the report:

Another drastic move came today when Google began removing many Pirate Bay related apps from its Play store. The apps in question include “The Pirate Bay Proxy,” “The Pirate Bay Premium,” “The Pirate Bay Mirror” and “PirateApp.”

 Downlaod-Torrents-On-Android

“The developers are further informed that they received a “policy strike” which may lead to the termination of their accounts, if similar problems arise in the future.

TorrentFreak spoke with Gavin, the developer of “The Pirate Bay Proxy” app, which has 900,000 downloads and 45,000 active users per day. He is disappointed with Google’s decision and has filed an appeal hoping to get his software reinstated.

According to Gavin, his app doesn’t do anything different than other browsers, Google Chrome included. It simply points people to a working proxy site and then acts as any other browser.

top 5 best torrents for android by referguru

“The app is no different from Firefox or Chrome in that it’s a tool which provides access to TPB or any other web address,” Gavin says.”

To me this is a drastic move toward the developer and Google Play. The RIAA is bringing the HAMMER down on these developers. Yes there is piracy rampant outside the Play Store but without the developers whether assisting with piracy or not the RIAA is just bullying anybody it can.

Even the RIAA has said that Googles efforts are useless!

Certainly, Google has amassed an impressive array of data in its report. And there’s a lot to applaud, and we are grateful for the steps they’ve taken. But ultimately, the appropriate benchmarks are metrics that demonstrate that piracy has been reduced. As much as Google may be doing, Benjamin Franklin cautioned that we must ‘never confuse motion for action.’ At least in the case of search results, for all of the motion being generated by both Google and the RIAA — our search removal requests will hit 30 million this week — it is increasingly clear we are making insufficient progress against piracy.

What is even more surprising is that the crackdown is happening in Google Play. Generally Google has maintained a kinda hands-off approach with its store, but in contrast to the filtering that Apple already does. But it’s really hard to see that Google will not do anything other than give the developers their rights to their apps and content, because that is their bread and butter. Sometimes this doesn’t even make sense. So I guess you’ll just have to side-load the apps for now. I have more than once side-loaded apps because some apps will not show up in the Play Store for my device, even though it runs perfectly fine on my device. But I do pay for the app on the Play Store then sideload the app itself. I do contribute to the developer because without them where would Android be! [TorrentFreak]

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Dolby Vision http://gadgetgrave.com/dolby-vision/ http://gadgetgrave.com/dolby-vision/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 14:00:03 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6062 When it comes to televisions, everyone is trying to find a way to improve quality. Dolby is no different in that race, except that Dolby is changing something that has yet to be changed. Dolby is working on changing the pixel- making them brighter and better than before. What does this mean and how will it work? How is it different from others?

First, it is different because most other displays just improve pixels and the refresh rate. Dolby is working on changing something deeper- the pixels themselves thus making the pixels even better than ever.

Dolby Vision wants to close the gap between what is filmed and what we view- these are two different things. High-end video cameras have the ability to film an enormous amount of detail, color, depth and clarity. This means that what is videoed is gorgeous and almost perfect but what comes across on the movie screens or television screens is not quite what was filmed- there is a lot lost in transition. Dolby wants to move 4K technology to the next level by creating televisions that not only can view 4K movies in but showcase these films in near perfect quality. Dolby Vision is supposed to help creators and manufacturers of television pass along the video that is bright, colorful and detailed- just as if you were there. Dolby Vision changes the Ultra HD video and turns it into a stream that keeps the original content. Dolby Vision will not only be something added to televisions but technology that the film industry will need to adopt.  It is about changing and moving forward and introducing a better way of viewing your favorite shows and movies.

Dolby Vision will increase the color palette, reduce the image quality as the signal is broadcasted and will brighten the picture while increasing the contrast. This will create a lifelike picture.  Dolby Vision  will optimize the contrast of the televisions as well. Dolby Vision will increase contrast considerably thus creating the illusion that you are looking out a window and not a television screen.

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Color saturation is another important component. With Dolby Vision, the increased brightness, white balance and contrast will brighten up the color giving you a true picture. With HD, the color still is not quite right. See below for the comparison: The flower on the right is in Dolby Vision while the other is in True HD that most televisions are produced with.

There is a downfall for the Dolby Vision technology. There is increased bandwidth and that adds cost. Dolby Vision will offer a standard mode, a HD signal and a modified signal that gives you the full Dolby Vision true-to-life video quality.

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While Dolby Vision offers a great picture quality- one that is near perfect- it is still not quite ready for every television or Movie Theater. The Dolby Vision is a great way to add quality to any picture and I hope that in the future this technology will not cost past the purchase of the television as it does now. I love the new technology that is coming out in televisions, movies and on smartphones. Maybe one day soon, Dolby Vision will be something offered on smartphones.

http://gizmodo.com/how-dolby-vision-works-and-how-it-could-revolutionize-1594894563

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Apple iPad Pro or iPad Air Plus http://gadgetgrave.com/apple-ipad-pro-ipad-air-plus/ http://gadgetgrave.com/apple-ipad-pro-ipad-air-plus/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:00:03 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5186 Apple has been working hard on its tablet sales, especially since their tablet sales have fallen four quarters in a row. What is new with the iPad? Well, there are rumors going around about a large 12.2” screen. What does this mean for the tablet industry? What are all the rumors saying? We will look at all the rumors in this one blog and let you read about all the rumors. I am unsure where Apple will take its new iPad but a 12.2 -inch iPad will be another addition to their long line of nice tablets.

 

It seems on November 28, 2014, rumors were met with leaked “Facts” about the upcoming newest iPad. The bigger iPad is rumored to be named either the iPad Pro or the iPad Plus. The leaked details includes a 12.2-inch LCD display and it would be roughly 12 x 9 x .28 inches but other rumors state that the display will be about 13 inches. Only time will tell about the size of the device.

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The rumor is that it will be called the iPad Air Plus. The possible processing chip in the device is said to be the A9. The iPad Air Plus or iPad Pro will have speakers on top of the device as well as on bottom. This will increase the sound quality of the iPad. It is rumored that the iPad Air Plus or iPad Pro will look like the iPad Air (hence the name) and iPad mini. The iPad Air Plus or iPad Pro is rumored to meet the demands for larger screens.

The rumored iPad Air Plus or iPad Pro is not really named yet, but the two choices are of course iPad Air Plus or iPad Pro. Writers are thinking that the name will be iPad plus, since there is the iPhone 6 Plus and Apple tends to keep the same theme throughout its products.

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The point that Apple wants to make with their tablets is to enter the world where tablets can be used as workstations.   At the moment, iPad tablets do not have the capability of doing more than one task at a time, it does not have the functionality of a laptop and it is a bit small to do any kind of work with the device for a long period of time. The rumor is that the iPad Air Plus or iPad Pro will propel the iPad tablets into this market, giving people the power, niceness of an iMac Air or even the new Windows Surface tablets (which are really small portable laptops).

The iPad Air Plus or iPad Pro has not been verified and all information are just rumors. Rumors have some truth to them but we will not know which rumors are real and which ones will go to the wayside.   With sales down for Apple tablets, Apple will be wanting to find a way to overcome this and become the number one tablet again and in a world where size is important, the bigger the screen, the better it will be to overtake the tablet market once again.

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http://www.phonearena.com/news/Giant-iPad-Air-Plus-design-details-leaked_id63328

http://www.macworld.co.uk/review/ipad/ipad-pro-or-ipad-plus-preview-3580947/

http://venturebeat.com/2014/11/28/apples-ipad-pro-may-launch-next-year-if-these-schematics-are-real/

 

 

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LinkNYC: New York City Free Wi-Fi http://gadgetgrave.com/linknyc-new-york-city-free-wi-fi/ http://gadgetgrave.com/linknyc-new-york-city-free-wi-fi/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:00:18 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6120 Public phone booths in one city are getting transformed. These symbols of times past will lose the telephone but gain something better, more useful- they will become wi-fi hotspots , charging stations and a place to make free wi-fi calls. New York City will become the first U.S. city to provide free Wi-Fi. New York City will transform of all its old public payphones to something more useful; they will place pylons that will have free Internet access. Once completed it will be the largest public Wi-Fi around. It will not be just any wi-fi but gigabit wi-fi. LinkNYC is being built by in partnership with CityBridge and the city government. CityBridge already has advertisers lined up to help support the free wi-fi and this is expected to generate 500 million dollars in revenue. Also, CityBridge has help with the building from Qualcomm, and Comark.   These partnerships will help New York City’s internet become 100 times faster than internet for the city government and twenty times faster than Internet in your home.   According to press releases, you will be able to download a high definition movie in about thirty seconds.

Check Out More Details Here

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Construction will begin in early 2015 and will take until the end of the year to get all the structures up and functioning. At the end of the building, there will be over 10,000 links that span throughout New York City and her boroughs. Turning the phone booths into interactive pylons is a great way to add to New York City. Each LinkNYC pylon will have advertising and a tablet. The tablet will allow someone to access public services, interactive maps and make free emergency and information calls. Also, there will be chargers to charge your cellphones and public service announcements will scroll. The pylons will be able to help with almost everything.

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If you are worried about signing into the largest free wi-fi system, do not worry, they have thought about that. LinkNYC will not only be the largest free wi-fi network, LinkNYC will be the largest free encrypted wi-fi network. CityBridge who heads the project is going to keep all money in the New York City area. CityBridge is getting a local company to build the pylons for the city plus will keep all other jobs local as well – from networking to maintenance adding around 150 jobs in the manufacturing, advertising and tech industries and around 650 support positions.

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LinkNYC is a great project for many reasons. Not only will those old phone booths become a forgotten memory, they will be replaced with something more useful. The pylons will add free Wi-Fi around the New York City area, giving everyone access to public information, give tourist interactive maps to help them navigate the city and will offer free encrypted Wi-Fi to span over the entire city and its boroughs.   Also, the project will add over 600 positions to theNew York City area thus boosting the economy in the area. Another great thing about the project is that it is free Wi-Fi. With LinkNYC becoming a reality, soon other big cities should follow suit. Not only offering the city free Wi-Fi but offering stimulating the economy, adding jobs and changing the face of relics of times long gone.

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Net Nanny http://gadgetgrave.com/net-nanny/ http://gadgetgrave.com/net-nanny/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:00:50 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=6187 Net Nanny sounds pretty self-explanatory but what does it really do? What operating system does it run? Net Nanny is a program that you can download for a computer, Android or Apple device. Net Nanny has been around a long time for computers and has taken its programs to the smartphone/tablet arena to help parents have a piece of mind with the electronics children have today. Net Nanny can block based on content such as violence, sex or profanity. Each requires a Net Nanny account, which is free but the subscriptions cost money after a 14 -day trial. This blog will breakdown what Net Nanny does in Android and what it does in Apple as well as cost.

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First, Net Nanny is available on any Android device via the Google Play Store. The Net Nanny monitors activity, blocks inappropriate websites and content and you can limit apps. Parents have access to reports on the Net Nanny Console and it runs on Android 2.2 and up as well as on devices such as the Kindle Fire. The Net Nanny also allows remote access to configure and change settings, as the parent feels fit. Net Nanny can limit access as well as having profiles based on age that make configuration easier.   Employers to keep employees from visiting inappropriate sites by using Net Nanny and the App Manager lets parents/employers remote access to even uninstall apps. Some Cons are that if you do not save data, when updates are available it can wipe your data off the dashboard. Also, the monitoring software slows down Internet browsing and slow data transfer.

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Next, we will explore Net Nanny for Apple. Net Nanny for iOs has three defined safety settings, safe search enforcement, a profanity mask and browser settings to replace Safari. These settings include cut and paste, zoom, landscape mode, tabs and bookmarks as well as URL browsing history. Net Nanny can disable YouTube, iTunes and app purchases; this can prevent kids from re-downloading Safari or another browser that does not block content. Net Nanny for the Apple does not have as many features but does have more than Apple’s features. Apple allows you to disable Safari and other apps but does not have a way to prevent the reinstallation of apps (this can allow a browser and access to the Internet that is not filtered.).

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With Net Nanny, you have many options. If you are worried about your children and their access to the Internet, then Net Nanny is a great choice. Net Nanny is available on Windows, Android and all Apple products. This gives you the same platform across all devices. Net Nanny needs to add Xbox and PlayStation to it repertoire. There are some cons, like paying for each platform (Such as if you have a Windows laptop and an iPhone, you would buy both separately); this can get expensive if you have Apple devices as well as Android and Windows. Also, you would set up a Net Nanny account for each device. Soon, Net Nanny will have one “parental Control Room” account that will span across all settings and provide a one-stop place for all media types.

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Android Lollipop Security http://gadgetgrave.com/android-lollipop-security/ http://gadgetgrave.com/android-lollipop-security/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:49:33 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5706 Security has been a huge issue with the Android OS and there have been reports of malware showing up on Android Smartphones here recently and I have seen a few. These are not really all that bad, but if you visited some really shady sites and actually invited malware to install on your device that wouldn’t be good. Google has some built in protection already, by scanning apps on the Play Store in real time. Now with Android Lollipop coming out, there are more advanced security features to help keep your smart phone safe from malware.

Multi-layer security

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Android Lollipop will now come in a sandbox type of setup that allows apps to access only applicable and necessary data. There is even real time scanning on the Play Store and on your device. The security is really as foolproof as it can get. What this really means is that the system will look out for potentially harmful sites when you are using Chrome and supposed to keep them in check.

Android Lollipop will also feature SELinux, SElinux is a Security enhanced Linux Kernel, that implements access control security policies that is used by the Department of defense. It uses an under-the-hood scanning system that does its part at the operating system level. This makes dealing with any threat far easier and the monitoring is continuous without any let up. Android Lollipop will continue with the existing Google trend of maintaining Android pieces as standalone applications within the Play Store. This will enable automatic updates and quick access for users once it is done. There is also the new Webview which is a rendering engine used by Android applications to display Web content. This will ensure the administration of any security patches in a real time manner 365 days a year.

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The new SMART LOCK security FEATURE

Android Lollipop now has Smart Lock security implemented and that means you will no longer have to worry about leaving your device unlocked and risk that somebody might gain access to your data. It will work like the Trusted Bluetooth Motorola feature that is on some Moto devices. You will only need to set up a Bluetooth device like a smart watch or your car stereo as ‘trusted’. When you are near these, you will not to enter your pattern or PIN. When you are out of range, your device will automatically lock up. There is also an NFC option that is being implemented where in you can configure a particular NFC tag to function as a key to your device. This can be anything from a sticker, keychain or a NFC tag which then can be tapped on the back of your phone to bypass the lock screen.

Smart Lock security will also work with the face unlock futility that has been totally revamped. It now works faster and is more reliable than it has been ever before. Google now assures us that the Smart Lock security feature will get upgraded through the Play Store and it will not have to wait for firmware upgrades or releases.

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DEVICE ENCRYPTION

All the new Android Lollipop devices will also prompt the user to enable encryption at the first power on so that all your future data gets automatically encrypted. This is now another security feature that will make your device threat and malware free. That being said, with these new features your android should be the safest it has ever been.

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Windows 10 http://gadgetgrave.com/windows-10/ http://gadgetgrave.com/windows-10/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:00:35 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5865 It sure seems like once every few years Microsoft has a flop operating system and then a really good one. While I do like Windows 8.1, the majority of PC users are not super impressed with its UI and functionality. Windows 8.1 looked to capitalize on the capabilities of touch as well as nice visuals to begin easing into its new mission statement of carrying an experience across multiple devices (tablets, consoles, laptop’s etc…). While the idea is nice, most people miss the start menu and other basic functions of Windows, while even more still don’t know how to use 8.1. Microsoft obviously has to do something to address key issues plaguing users and causing many to hesitate to switch. Enter Windows 10.

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I am not a Microsoft fanboy by any means. I don’t like to take sides when it comes to a operating systems and I believe each one has a specific purpose that it works really well for. That being said the beginning stages of Windows 10 look very exciting and it seems as though Microsoft may be poised for a turnaround starting with a very simple move, the reincorporation of the start menu. Hardly anyone bought the Metro interface replacing the start menu and I will say it could be clunky at times. Windows 10 will bring back the start menu while adding the beloved live tiles to the classic feel. No more fidgety switching between screens.

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The day was going to come when Microsoft incorporated intelligent voice control into its operating system and it appears to be a major part of Windows 10. With the implementation of Cortana as your new personal dictating secretary, prepare to be either amused or amazed at the lack of or amazing performance by this little gadget. If voice control is perfected in Windows 10 (heck even if its just good) this will be an incredible step forward for the Windows operating system. The demo videos I have seen seem promising and Cortana is a top rated competitor regarded by many respectable judges as one of the best digital assistants to date. Like many things that this company undertakes though it will probably take time to perfect and there are privacy implications to consider as well. While everything you do online is monitored either way, now every appointment, contact, event, phone call or even text message  that you use Cortana to setup will likely go through some sort of server somewhere.

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UI adjustments will make Windows 10 quite a bit easier to stomach graphically as well. Microsoft is aiming at creating not a similar product, but a familiar reliability and broken-in feel for its new highly customizable operating system. It is the hope that Windows 10 will become the new standard for productivity and a well evolved touch/mouse and keyboard capable system. From the early reviews I have seen the OS seems to simply work and mesh better especially when multi-tasking as the you may now switch between modern apps on the desktop as well as have multiple virtual desktops running. While all of these things do look promising they are subject to change and it’s always hard to tell exactly how an operating system will do until its fresh and golden out of the oven. We will see, and we will also be here to help you make the transition when it arrives. Come see us and get your computer optimized or cleaned up today. We do computer repairs of all types so just give us a call.

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The 5 Most Dangerous Computer Viruses http://gadgetgrave.com/5-dangerous-computer-viruses/ http://gadgetgrave.com/5-dangerous-computer-viruses/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:00:12 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5199 Could your computer already be infected?

In 2014 cybercrime has caused a great amount of cyber-security incidents. Two Anti-Virus Companies have put together estimates that lose billions each year! Symantec estimated that cybercrime victims worldwide lose around $360 billion each year, and a McAfee study has put cybercrime profits at $933 billion a year. It is estimated that there are more than 150,000 computer viruses in circulation and 148,000 computers infected daily. Here are some of the viruses you should be especially wary of.

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Zeroaccess

This is known as the max++ and Sirefef, this is a rootkit that is responsible for numerous botnets that spread throughout millions of Microsoft Windows systems since around 2009. This one is used to download other malware on an infected computer and to form a botnet that is mostly involved in Bitcoin mining and click fraud, while remaining hidden on a infected system. Computers involved in Bitcoin mining generate Bitcoins for their controller, while the Computers used for click fraud will simulate clicks on website advertisements that are paid for on a pay per click basis.

Trojan:Win32/fakesvsdef

This one is a Trojan targeting Microsoft Windows that was first documented around late 2010. It was originally deployed as an application called “HDD Defragmenter” hence the name “FakeSysdef” or “Fake System Defragmenter.”

The Win32/FakeSysdef disguises itself as one or more of an innocent program that purports to scan your computer for hardware failures related to system memory, hard drives and even system functionality as a whole. They will scan the computer, show false hardware issues, and then present a solution to fine-tune the system performance or clear any viruses. They will then ask the user for a payment in order to download the repair update and activate the program in order to repair these contrived hardware issues.

Zeus

This is a botnet that creates malware and its main use is to collect data, steal identities and bank information. Zeus is especially difficult to deal with because it is not just one botnet – it can create others to steal any data stored on your computer. This is primarily spread through what is called drive-by downloads and phishing schemes. This was first identified in 2007 when it was used to steal information from the United States Department of Transportation, it then became more widespread in 2009.

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Alureon or TDSS

The Alureon (also known as TDSS) is a Trojan and bootkit that is designed to amongst other things, steal data by intercepting a system’s network traffic and searching it for usernames, passwords and credit card data.

Computers will usually get infected by manually downloading and installing the Trojan software. Alureon has been known to be bundled with rogue security software the name changes but the deployment is the same. When the dropper is executed, it will first hijack the print spooler service (spoolsv.exe) and write a file system boot sector at the end of the disk and then changing the master boot record to execute this bootstrap routine. It will then infect any low level system drivers like those responsible for PATA operations (atapi.sys) to apply its rootkit. It also manipulates the Windows Registry and block access to Windows Task Manager and even the desktop, sometimes it will block access to Windows Update and attempt to disable some anti-virus software.

Cryptolocker

This one is a particularly nasty virus, it was first discovered in 2013, is a Trojan ransomware that targets computers running Microsoft Windows. The CryptoLocker attack can come from numerous sources, one is usually disguised as a legitimate email attachment.

When this is activated, the malware encrypts certain types of files on local and mounted network drives using RSA public-key cryptography, and the private key used to de-crypt it is stored only on the malware’s control servers.

Then the malware displays a message offering to decrypt the data if a payment (through either Bitcoin or a pre-paid voucher) is made by a specified deadline. If the deadline is not met it threatens to delete the private key If the deadline is not met. Then the malware will offer to decrypt data via a online service provided by the malware’s operators, for a significantly higher price in Bitcoin.

 

The Cryptolocker has been cracked and can be defeated, but there are new variants that are still emerging. Most of the newer viruses I have ran across are more or less varients of the 5 main ones. In some instances the computer is so infected that a complete OS install is necessary. So that being said please be careful with email attachments, and if it sounds to good to be true it is. Stay protected my friends.

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Generation Tech http://gadgetgrave.com/generation-tech/ http://gadgetgrave.com/generation-tech/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 14:00:25 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=5308 There is a rising need in the global economy for tech savvy consumers and workers alike. Never before have children been exposed to such a large amount of tech early in life. Generation Tech, as I will refer to them, is a new generation of people who will never know what a life without digital was. Children will never know what it’s like to not have wireless internet around every corner. Most children by the age of two will be able to operate a phone that many of us would have trouble with. Is this because technology is becoming easier to use, or is Generation Tech just adjusting to the environment of an ever changing digital age.

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Check out what some people are doing in NYC: www.nycgenerationtech.com

Stepping back just 20 years ago would be an unbelievable time for kids today. No personal computers, very limited internet which was more or less designed so that universities could share research (sounds a little like a useful Facebook). The internet has blazed a trail and raised a standard for global communication. Generation Tech will never know what it was like to have to write a letter to let someone across the globe know how you feel. With the rise of SMS and other internet based communication platforms, this generation may even see the complete decline of the phone as a primary source of communication.

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While it is impossible to know what the future holds for sure, we can say with confidence that it holds better tech. If there is any doubt about this, look at how amazing most of our smartphones are. Listed below are just a few tech items that our smartphones alone have replaced:

  • PDA
  • Video Camera
  • Watch
  • Cameras
  • Music players (CD’s, Walk-mans etc…)
  • Watches
  • Wallets
  • Laptops (While they are still nice to have)

The list could literally fill this entire page, and to think there are items as simple as calculators that didn’t make my short list. It isn’t the time to be scared of technology in the sense that for the most part it helps us do things more efficiently. Sure it’s nostalgic to take a bunch of pictures and just see which ones “came out the best” but for the average user this method kind of sucks. Generation Tech is spoiled to taking multiple shots and seeing a picture instantly on their smartphone. If you could go back in time 20 years with just your cell phone (and hopefully clothes) you would baffle the masses at such amazing technology.

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While Generation Tech is very tech savvy as the name implies, it’s really sort of up to us whether or not they are life savvy. The implementation of technology in our lives is gradual because there is so much gray. If there was ever a time that we need to focus our efforts towards making useful technology it is now. If you feel lost in this new speed of light tech movement, or just need to know how to surf the web without annoying pop-ups let us know. We have highly skilled technicians on staff that can provide you with a tech solution for your life.

 

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