Gadget Grave Wed, 27 May 2015 14:00:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cortex A72 Wed, 27 May 2015 14:00:54 +0000 ARMs new High-end CPU, The Cortex A72


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.


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


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.

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 Sun, 24 May 2015 14:00:23 +0000 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 Thu, 21 May 2015 14:00:28 +0000 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.


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.


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 Mon, 18 May 2015 14:00:30 +0000 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”

poss bb8

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.

“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.”

how bb8

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 Thu, 14 May 2015 14:00:34 +0000  

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.


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.



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.


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.


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 Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:00:48 +0000 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.


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.


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.


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 Tue, 24 Mar 2015 14:00:38 +0000 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?


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!


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.


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.

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.

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HTC’s Flagship Phone Sat, 21 Mar 2015 14:00:50 +0000 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).


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!


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.


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.

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Android One Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:00:34 +0000 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.


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.


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.


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.

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Google Play Cracks Down On Pirate Bay Apps Wed, 11 Mar 2015 14:00:17 +0000 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.


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.”


“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 Sun, 08 Mar 2015 14:00:03 +0000 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.


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.


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.

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Apple iPad Pro or iPad Air Plus Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:00:03 +0000 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.


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.


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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LinkNYC: New York City Free Wi-Fi Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:00:18 +0000 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


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.


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.


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 Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:00:50 +0000 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.


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.


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.).


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 Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:49:33 +0000 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


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.


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.




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 Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:00:35 +0000 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.


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.


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.


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 Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:00:12 +0000 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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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 Tue, 17 Feb 2015 14:00:25 +0000 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.

Startup Stock Photos

Check out what some people are doing in NYC:

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.

Startup Stock Photo

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.

Startup Stock Photos

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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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge? Sat, 14 Feb 2015 14:00:53 +0000 The Samsung line has improved and continues to improve. With the Samsung Galaxy S6 in smartphone’s near future, there are so may rumors surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S6. One that appeals to me is that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will have a rounded edge (maybe 2 rounded edges!) but there are not any 100% guarantees for the Samsung Galaxy S6 with rounded edges but I say YES PLEASE.

It is no surprise that I LOVE Samsung and have bounced between the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Note 3 (I think I want the Note 4 or the Note Edge BUT I cannot decide because the rumors abound about the Galaxy S6!). A reliable source (SamMobile) reported that the Galaxy S6 will be the new flagship phone and that it is on display this week at the CES 2015– including the concept of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge! The Samsung Galaxy S6 (and edge) is only on display for select carriers and what is believed to be accessory makers.

Other updated rumors:


The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge will have the same possible features of the Samsung Galaxy S6 according to rumors. The rumors have the Galaxy S6 and Edge with a qHD Super AMOLED screen that is about 5”, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Edge will have Lollipop with of course TouchWiz. The rumors about the processor vary; some rumors say the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge will have the Exynose 7420 quad-core and other rumors have the Galaxy S6 Edge with the Snapdragon 810 processor. All rumors stated that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will come with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. Do not worry if that is not enough, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge will have a microSD card slot that will allow up to 128 GB card for extra storage! This storage maybe needed as rumors have the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with either a 20 MP camera or a 16 MP camera (I am hoping for the 20-MP so I can take pictures that I want to blow up). None of these are confirmed but the rumors abound point in this direction.

Rumors expect that the Samsung Galaxy S5 Edge will be announced in February of 2015, as the Galaxy S5 was announced at the same time – at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. All rumors should be answered by then.


I will contemplate which phone I want to have, the Note 4, The Note 4 Edge or wait for the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. All phones are great and if the rumors hold true the Samsung Galaxy S Edge will be worth waiting for- so can I wait for it? The rumored specifications for the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge have me on the edge of my seat waiting to see if I need to wait for the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge will be a beautiful smartphone with AWESOME specifications- as long as the rumors hold true. So, start your research before you buy a smartphone and then try to decide if you are going to go for a GREAT smartphone now or just wait to see what is the next GREAT Samsung Galaxy device.

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The New Way To Eat Oreos Wed, 04 Feb 2015 14:00:35 +0000 Austin, Texas has a massive festival that brings together “bright minds in digital technology, health, film, gaming and more.  The festival is called:  the South by Southwest Festival.  At this year’s South by Southwest festival a great invention was revealed (if you love Oreos).  The machine debuted at the event’s “Oreo Trending Vending Lounge” – a space that delivers “deliciously hyper-personalized and customized snacks based on real-time data collection.”  (  The machine uses techniques similar to 3-D printer to make the cookie with a variety of colors and flavors that you choose.  The flavors include banana, birthday cake, lime, mint and seven other flavors. (

The design group is Maya Design built the machine that boosts a touch screen and allows its customers to see how the custom cookies are built.

The cookie part- either chocolate or vanilla – is lifted up.  The machine then, squeezes orange frosting in a swirl pattern and then white cream is filled in the gaps.  After the filling is placed, then another cookie is placed on top.  The cookie is transferred to the bottom of the machine for the user to collect.

Bonin Bough, VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement at the food company Mondelez International stated that the company is “revolutionizing the distribution process by creating the cookies in real time with experimental 3D printing technology,” and uses Twitter.


It takes the cookie-building machine takes the machine under two minutes to accomplish and it was free for people attending the event.  I wish I had been at the event because this would be right up my alley!  Also, people trying the machine could eat Oreo cookies that were based on trending social conversations on Twitter.


The total flavors were sixteen and you could choose from four different patterns:  bulls’-eye, pie shapes, stripes and swirls.  The machine knows the exact amount of cream to place on cookie – 6.8 grams. Also, you could color your crème to any shade you wanted.  The cookies would be individualized to the person making the cookie.  I could have eaten a bright blue birthday cake chocolate Oreo (sounds delicious) or a chocolate cookie with banana and strawberry crème tinted green.  The possibilities are endless.  Hopefully they will add more flavors to try.

The machines will be traveling all over the world while testing and fine-tuning the prototypes so that eventually the machines will be available across the world and hoping for a place near me.  The machine is going to be used to test flavors and to “steal all the attention from the South by Southwest festival.”  (


I do believe- since I love Oreo cookies- this is the best idea ever!  I hope the technology grows and soon there are will be an Oreo Vending Lounge in every mall, maybe even Walmart.  I cannot wait to taste these yummy treats!

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My Note 3 Experience Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:00:48 +0000 I tested a phone that – in the beginning – I thought it was too BIG to work as a cell phone.  As a matter of fact, it took a good few days before I was comfortable with the phone.  Other than its size, the phone was AMAZING!  It is beautifully designed, with great features that make it worth the buy.

Also Check Out: Note 3 Specs and Review 


First and foremost- the phone’s battery life was the BEST ever!   I used the phone for five days and I charged it two times.  I charge my phone once a day (unless I am on it a lot, then it is more than just one charge.).    The stand by time is 420 hours and talk time is 21 hours (  The battery is quite large but the whole phone is large.

Secondly, the internal storage includes 16/32/64 GB with the device supporting up to a 64GB microSD card.  You should not run out of room with your phone.  Continuing with the internal aspects of this phone – it is fast (especially compared to my Galaxy SIII) and it should be.  The phone has a quad-core 2.3 GHz processor (

Another plus, the screen is beautiful.  The screen is a super AMOLED capacitive 5.7-inch screen with gorilla glass.  The screen displays beautifully but the cost to repair the screen is steep (protect your phone in a case).

The camera takes great pictures.  It is a 13 MP with autofocus.  Also, there is a dual-shot feature, simultaneous HD video and image recording as well as touch-focus, face and smile detection and image-stabilization (so your pictures are not blurry).  The front camera is not as spectacular at only 2 MP but still snaps good features.

If you have used Samsung smartphones, the phone is set up the same but with better features such as the S-pen.   The S-pen allows you to “cut and paste” pieces of pictures, messages and anything else you need to save.  Also, you can handwrite notes with the pen and draw.  The pen is a great addition and my favorite part of the phone (as well as my daughters).




The Action Memo allows you to quickly “write” a phone number, lunch order, plus you can erase and rewrite.  The Scrapbooker allows you to cut information you want to save and organize the information.  There is also S-pen apps and games you can download.  It is a great asset to the phone (

According to, the device is gorgeous – the “tour de force in juggernaut handset design.”  It is bold, blazingly fast and is incredibly sharp screen plus has an amazing battery life.   The negatives were the expense, its size and the faux-leather styling (

The stated that the Note 3 remains unchallenged in its category with excellent battery life, brilliant display and the top performance make “it an excellent all-rounder for those wanting a bigger device.”  (  Of course the cons are the same.  Expense and lacking high-end finishes.

All in all, this phone is one of best phones on the market and worth every penny (as long as you can past the size).  Go out and try it yourself – you will get hooked to the design, speed and beauty of the phone. (PS there are several colors to choose from:  White, Black, Pink, Merlot Red, Rose Gold Black, Rose Gold White).

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iPhone 6S Rumors Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:00:59 +0000 The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been released and the talks of the iPhone 6S have been stirring since right before the release. What is Apple going to do to make the 6S better than 6 and/or 6 Plus? All are rumors and with rumors, some come true and some do not- like the Sapphire Glass rumor. Below are rumors about what may/may not happen with the newly expected iPhone 6S.

Also Check Out: Apple Mania


First, rumor has it that Apple is looking at glassless 3-D features for the iPhone 6S. At the moment, the Apple iPhone 6 does not support any kind of 3D display but Apple has received a patent for what they call “ Interactive holographic display device.”   Apple could work on placing 3D technology in its iPhone 6S.

Also, Apple has not played the megapixel war but has increased quality throughout their phones through the lens capability of the cameras but this could be coming to an end.   Apple is planning a major update to its camera for the iPhone 6S . It is believed that the camera in the iPhone 6S will be the best yet. The picture quality is supposed to be just as good as a DSLR. It is supposed to be completed by a new two-lens system.   Also, it is rumored that the iPhone 6S will offer a 21-megapixel resolution but will not increase the size of the lens.


Now, we will to get to the bones of the possible new iPhone 6S and look at the design. First, the iPhone 6S may have a beautiful all steel body style. This style look gorgeous and will be water resistant- which is an area other smartphones have gone but Apple has yet. The screen size should be around the same, even though the concept of the iPhone 6S shows a smaller screen- I do not believe Apple will decrease the screen size. Also, rumors show that the design of the iPhone 6S is based on the iWatch concept.


Rumors have it that there are many features on the concept that will never happen. One is the demise of the Home Button. Apple would not get rid of the Home Button- especially since it is the fingerprint scanner for the security features of the phone. The iPhone 6S concept has an embedded sensor, and that the volume button and vibrate switch should be combined. We will see if Apple merges the two volume buttons into one like Android phones.

Rumors surround the up and coming iPhone devices. What will Apple place in its new iPhone 6S? Will the camera really get an upgrade? Only time will tell. Since the rumored iPhone 6S is supposed to be released sometime in spring/summer of 2015, we will not have to wait too long to see the new design. Will the iPhone 6S really rock our socks off? Only time will tell.

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3 Android Features Not on iPhone Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:00:57 +0000 How often do we compare Android with iOS each and every time Google and/or Apple announce a new version of their OS, fans of both sides take to the internet to argue who did it first, or who did it better. Most of the time, the two operating systems do borrow or adapt popular features from one or the other but a lot of features, even popular ones, often do not make the transition. That’s where you see a lot of the differences between the two in terms of features. Both Google and Apple follow a certain philosophy when adding features to their mobile operating systems and there are some things that neither of the big two will adopt (voluntarily or otherwise) from the other, Here are the three awesome Android features that will never make it to iOS, at least in the near future

Also Check Out: Google X Nano Pill

Battery Management


The main reason why Apple is unlikely to introduce a battery-monitoring feature like that in Android Lollipop does not have anything to do with its sales strategy. It is more than likely a PR move; can you imagine iOS users posting tons of screenshots of how poor their device’s battery is performing. Battery life is what Apple keeps boasting about improving with each new device it introduces. Users already complain about battery life, and this is something that happens on all devices, not just Apple. If Apple were to introduce an app that has an accurate way to measure battery performance it would open the barn door for a lot of complaints and screenshots floating all over social media like Facebook and Twitter. Bad PR as we know from the iCloud hack and BendGate is really hard to shake off.

Guest Accounts


Apple only lets you add a single Apple account to multiple devices. That is more for parental control than it is for allowing more than one person to use a single device. You don’t normally share a phone but iOS runs on the iPad and is like a family computer, it can be shared, However, it’s unlikely to ever happen for one simple reason; sales. Allowing device sharing could impact sales of the iPad. Since the iPhone 6 is already cutting into iPad sales. I cannot imagine a world where an iPhone can replace an iPad, It all comes down to money and device sharing doesn’t help Apple much.

Google Camera App


I’ve heard it everywhere; there is nothing like the Google Camera app. It is true the iPhone may boast a great camera and everything, but the camera app itself has just only got exposure adjustment but it still doesn’t hold a candle to the blur effect in Google Camera. There is nothing app wise for iOS that can even come close to it and it is hard to find anything for free. Google Camera is free, and it actually helps take great pictures. Now why isn’t this coming to iOS? It’s because Google will not give anything that great to iOS. Apple will probably develop something like it, or really close to it, or maybe not. Don’t get me wrong, Apple has a proven wonderful device, but these Android features just work PERIOD.


Check out Android Authoritys Video Review of The Google Camera

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Parental Monitoring Apps Wed, 24 Dec 2014 14:00:08 +0000 Worry about giving your child a smartphone? Worry that your teen is accessing inappropriate websites? Well, there are ways to monitor your children without taking their phone from them. How do you do this? How do you know things are not deleted? You download apps. Apps that will allow you, as a parent, to monitor your child’s websites, text messages, social media sites and app purchases exist and we will look at which ones work and which one don’t. I will also discuss which ones do what so you can make a decision on which app will work for you.

First, there is the ParentKit for iOS. When you open a ParentKit account, it will give you access to develop a profile. This profile is yours and from here, you assign different kids profiles and send them emails. From the email, you download and install. For smaller children, they will not see the app and will not be able to remove the app but teenagers may be able to delete but you can add a passcode to prevent this; and if they do figure out the passcode and delete- a flip phone is now their new best friend. With the app installed, you can monitor everything. This app gives you access to texts, apps, and allows monitoring and blocking of the Internet. This parental monitoring app will cost about $25 for 6 months (there is a free trial).   This app is a great buy for what it does. Check it out and see if it will work for you.

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Anotherparental monitoring app is Funamo. This app is for Android but is a great app to use. First, this app gives you complete parental monitoring of your child’s phone. There is a comprehensive list of things you can do. First, you can filter the Internet on any and all web browser. The Funamo has a patent pending on its web blocking technology. This blocks pornography web sites, allows safe browsing and this includes things like YouTube, Bing, Google and Yahoo search bars. Parental monitoring includes filtering by keywords and phrases that a parent specifies. Any pages with this keywords and phrases will be blocked. The fee is about $20 per service you use (one time fee). This is a great feature because you can pay for just the services you need.

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These two parental monitoring apps are great but there are limitations. First, each one is just specific to either Apple or Android and cannot cross operating systems. Next, both have a cost to it, neither expense is bad but you should research more to determine which one will fit your family needs.   Both do have at least 3 of out 4 stars.

For parental monitoring, there are plenty out there. The two parental monitoring apps listed in this blog are the top for Android and iOS. In the next blog, there will be parental monitoring apps that span across both iOS and Android. Be looking on ways to protect your children or to keep them from accessing inappropriate websites, music videos or downloading games.

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Snapdragon 810 Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:00:07 +0000 Ok we are going to talk about a new chip coming out next year that is going to show up in the new devices coming out next year. The Snapdragon 810 will replace the current 805 that is currently in the 2014 flagships. We will look at the specs and what to expect from this chipset.


Here is what is happening so far, Qualcomm is doing away with its “Krait” Architecture that it has used in the past since the Snapdragon S4 came out in 2012. It will now use the of the shelf designs from ARM, the 64-bit Cortex A57 and the Cortex A53. There will be a pair of 4 Cores in the Snapdragon 810 for a total of eight. ARM calls those the “big.LITTLE” this should make the Cortex A57 do the heavy processing and the Cortex A53 to do the lighter tasks to save on power usage. All eight cores n the Snapdragon 810 are capable of being active at the same time but there aren’t many apps that can handle it. Right now we don’t have any numbers on how well the Snapdragon 810 will perform but I am hoping the clock speeds and performance are up to par with previous chips.

On the Snapdragon 810 it’s 64 bit processor is more important than performance, with Apple dropping the A7 last year it wouldn’t seem that Qualcomm would drop its custom “Krait” architecture. I would expect the “Krait” comeback at some point in time assuming that they didn’t have 64-bit designs in development last year, and makes more sense in the short term scenario.

The Qualcom Snapdragon 810 will still use the Adreno GPUs for graphics. Qualcomm says the new Adreno 430 will be faster than the old 420, also consume less power! The Qualcomm Adreno will still work with the current API and the same resolution as its predecessor. The Snapdragon810 will support 4k screens as it becomes more common but the improvements will be minor and will be more than likely unnoticeable by the normal user.The Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 will compliment rather than replace the 5GHz


The Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 will compliment rather than replace the 5GHz wifi for now instead of the new 802.11ad. The range is limited band has trouble passing through walls and other barriers. Finally the Snapdragon 810 will be Qualcomms first chip to be built on the new 20nm process down from the previous 28nm it has been using in the past. This according to TSMC will use 25 percent less power, and improve performance and keep power consumption low. The last feature to make note of is a kill switch that is implemented into the hardware. Legislators are already passing laws that will require all smartphones to support remote data wiping and locking to deter device theft and data theft. Android, iOS, and others already support this feature in software, but Qualcomm’s “Safeswitch” will add an extra layer of protection.

We can expect the Snapdragon 810 to show up in flagship phones and tablets early next year. We can expect flagships Samsung and HTC will be among the first to include it. We should be ready for some pretty powerful phones next year and I for one am very excited to see what come out!

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Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro Sat, 20 Dec 2014 14:00:17 +0000 The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has been released and on the surface, this is the best thing since the invention of chocolate. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is a 13-inch tablet with a built-in projector. Yes, that is right, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has a built-in projector and it is slim and beautiful.

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro comes with an Intel Atom Z3745 Bay Trail processor, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal flash storage and it has a microSD card slot that you can expand the memory to 64 GB.   The rear camera is a bit lack luster with just a mere 8 megapixel and no flash. The front facing camera is not too shabby though with a 1.6 megapixel camera.  The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro comes with JBL 2.1 speakers and a 5W subwoofer.  The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro will come with KitKat installed as well.


The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is not going to be the fastest or best tablet on the market BUT it is slim with a built-in kickstand so that you can watch movies and videos without holding the device. The thing that makes this tablet one to consider buying is the projector feature.

There are some issues with the tablet though. First, Lenovo has its own version of Android. The Lenovo version of Android does not offer an   app drawer- so all your apps are on the screens. Also, there is a lot of bloatware on the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro. This tablet may be easier for Android newbies as it is easy to navigate due to the simplicity of the software and all the pre-loaded apps but those experienced with Android maybe a little turned off by the features.


Do not overlook buying this tablet. Remember, it maybe a decent tablet but it is also a projector. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is great for those who need to do presentations- business or school. Also, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is great for those in college- you can watch movies and other shows from your tablet onto your wall. What is the projector like? Well, it is not in HD and it is a bit lack luster, with complaints that the picture is a bit dim BUT just remember, you could spend 300-400 bucks on a decent projector and still spend more money getting a decent tablet. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro will dent your pocketbook by $400 or so. This make the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro a great buy!


The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has a beautiful, sleek design, which fools you because it is a bit heavy. The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro offers good specifications and adds the bonus of a built-in kickstand as well as a projector. For work or play, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is worth a look. For novice Android users, it is easy to use and comes with many pre-installed apps. For those who love Android, the simple, striped down version of Android may be a struggle. The projector is a good feature. For those who do business presentations, no more need to hook up to a projector as you will have one. For those who want to watch movies from a tablet, push a button and you can watch on your wall. Go check out the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro- it will be worth the dough!

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Win a iPad Mini or a Xbox One Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:15:41 +0000 Enter to Win a Free iPad Mini or Xbox One – Your Choice! (Read and share!)

It’s simple! Like and Share the Facebook Post ( for your chance to win a iPad Mini or a Xbox One!

How to get your name in the drawing for a better chance to win? For every $25 you spend in the store, ask the sales associate assisting you to enter your ticket number for a chance to win a FREE iPad Mini or Xbox One – your choice!  The drawing will be held on the 2nd of January, 2015!  Entering the drawing only requires your name, phone number, and email address!  Like us on Facebook to keep track of our amazing deals coming at the first of the year!

The holiday seasons can be such a rush to find some of those perfect gifts for your loved ones.  Sometimes it is just as simple as getting some clothes, or as complicated as deciding which phone to purchase!  Gadget Grave has the best customer service in the area and is ready to meet all of your smartphone, tablet, and computer repair needs!  With the finest technicians in the area, we provide quality, same-day repair on most of the world’s newest portable technologies.  If we don’t have your part in stock, we will order it!  We also sell new and used devices that are backed with the most honest warranty in the area.

Merry Christmas from Gadget Grave, and Happy New Year!

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 tips Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:34:12 +0000 The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is not just a beautiful phone but it is one that has some great features. We will look at some tips to help you get the most out of your Note 4. Some are known, while others are not. I will discuss these tips and explain how to enable or disable the features.

note 4

Don’t you hate when you are out and cannot charge your phone.   This happens to me all the time, especially when I work all day and then go to straight to a sporting event. Well, the Note 4 has a great feature. You can turn on Ultra Power Saving mode. This is a great tip because when you turn Ultra Power Saving on your Note 4, you can extend the battery life exponentially. You can access the Ultra Power Saving Mode 2 ways. First, you can go to Settings, Power Saving and then select Ultra Power Saving Mode. When you turn this on, it restricts the phone, does not allow apps to access the Internet. You can add apps or whatever you want to the power saving mode screen- if you need them. At about 50%, you can last 7 days in ultra power saving mode.


Another tip is that you can take pictures with you volume keys. Since the Note 4 is large. Taking pictures can be a little difficult. Using the volume buttons to take pictures will make it easier. To do this, go to the camera app and select settings. When the setting menu is open, select advanced settings by pressing 3 little dots. There is a section labeled “The Volume Key.” You can select the take a photo, start a video or zoom with the volume keys.

camera-settings-note-4note 4 vol

The next tip is in the same location!   It is all about how to work the camera settings on the Note 4. In the camera settings, you can adjust your picture and video quality. Also, you can enable HDR as well as image stabilization and a pleather of other settings to help you become a professional smartphone photographer.


Lastly, another tip is to adjust the vibration on the Note 4. The Note 4 vibrator is strong enough to move the Note 4 off the table. You can adjust the vibration to match the level you need. Adjusting the vibration can help save the battery as well. To change the vibration settings, go to the settings and then select sound. From there, select vibration intensity to change the intensity or to turn off.


There are so many more tips to personalize your phone. You can go to the Personalization in Settings and look at all the cool stuff there. Your Note 4 has a Guest Mode, you can backup and there is a blocking and private mode. Start looking at all the options available to you. The best tip I can give you is to explore your Note 4, test each of the features, play with settings and make it yours. The best part of owning an Android is that you can it exactly what you want it to be and exclusive to you.


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Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:00:44 +0000 Sony has done it again. Sony has developed a great new tablet that will rival the iPad Mini and it is the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.   The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact will become the slimmest and lightest tablet to date. Sony has already developed the Xperia Z1 and Z2 that are large but the Xperia Z3 will have an 8-inch screen and weigh less than 10 ounces. Let’s look at the specifications of the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.


First, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset that is a quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait processor plus an Adreno 330 graphics card. The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact 16 GB internal storage and has a microSD slot that supports up to 128 GB microSD card. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has 3 GB of RAM as well. The rear camera is 8.1 megapixels while the front is a 2.2 megapixel both video in 1080p at 30fps.

What is great about the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact? It is dust proof and water resistant up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes! Yes, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is waterproof! This is a great asset to have with children. But it gets better. The display is TFT LCD that has shatterproof glass and an oleophobic coating. This means that this screen should not break!


The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact still has some of the same features that Sony products are known for. The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact can be used as a controller for the Playstation 4. Also, even though the camera is only 8 megapixels, there is software that adds to the camera’s value. The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact combines an extremely thin base with a shatterproof and waterproof build. If this holds true than the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is not just the World’s thinnest and lightest tablet but it is the strongest.

Sony has not added the very best features into its Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet but it has added features that could be just as important. When shopping for a tablet, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, who is it for? You do not want to get a tablet that is easily broken to a kid or a cheap tablet that will not run anything within a year or two- but one that can last through the test of times. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is one of be better tablets on the market.


While there are tablets that have better features, there is not a tablet that is as thin as the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet or as light as the Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet. Also, consider the fact that it is nearly indestructible. That means that you should not be able to crack it or get water in it- up to a point. Do not push these features too far as the water resistant is only for 30 minutes up to a meter deep and I have not seen anything that could not be cracked. Go and try out the Sony Xperia Tablet Compact- it is worth your time and your money.

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5 online Programming Resources for Beginners Fri, 12 Dec 2014 14:00:49 +0000 There is a point in time where everyone wants to learn program, especially when you’re a geek, nerd or whatever. People put those labels on us all the time. We are just technologically adept. But if you want to learn to code here are some sites to help. Whether you want to learn Java, HTML or CSS. Even if you don’t plan on being a developer these should be enough to wet your whistle. So lets get started!

Zach Sims is the co-founder of Codecademy says that learning code is easier for beginners especially if you’re under 18. The key to programming is “learn by doing”, start off easy and learn by repetition, there are many sites to help with your journey for programming.


  1. Scratch

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Scratch is a MIT project that has a graphical interface. It’s graphical processing language (“Scratch”) makes animated characters on the screen move. Scratch isn’t something you can build a website or a program with, but it does teach algorithmic thinking also the basic concepts of computer language, and it can smith out the transition to HTML and CSS for sure. This is also great for children to start with as it is fun and they learn from doing cool things.



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The mission with is to expand the number of students, with acess to the learning tools it has for programming languages. There are exercises available that are formatted lile games with drag-and-drop tiles, also users can see the code as they are building it during the many challenges and when they are done.


There is one where you can make Elsa from Frozen walk 90 pixels, turn left 90 degrees and walk back, just by typing “moveForward(90);turnRight(90);moveForward(90);” this in Javascript!


  1. Codecademy

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As soon as you sign up with Codecademy, you can learn to design your own website with CSS and HTM, and make your name animated by using Javascript. Codecademy helps by letting you write a line of code, and see what happens instantly, instead of having a instructor watch you. You will also benefit from being asked to build lnown websites like Etsy, with a program called Ruby on Rails.


  1. CS50

CS50, Harvard University’s intro to computer science course currently enrolls more that thousands of online students and more than 800 in-class. The syllabus includes general concepts and languages, and has videos and problem sets online to let students everywhere around the world follow along. This is not hands-on as some of the others but it is more traditional as in computer science, but you should check it out anyway.


  1. Treehouse Club

Ok Treehouse is not free, it costs $25 bucks for the basic plan and $49 bucks for the pro. If you are into a more in-depth learning environment with access to workshops and interviews this is for you. Treehouse has special tracks for web design and iOS development for those users have specific interests in mind for their programming education.


Ok, there you have it! This should get you started on programming. Remember to have fun, and don’t get frustrated. You will quickly learn to code and have another skill under your belt.

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