Gadget Grave http://gadgetgrave.com Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:48:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 HTC One M8 http://gadgetgrave.com/htc-one-m8/ http://gadgetgrave.com/htc-one-m8/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:00:36 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4404 When deciding on the next phone, it may seem easy – in the beginning, but with all the great choices, which phone should you choose?  One to consider is the HTC One M8.

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HTC took a design and upgraded every bit of the design.  The HTC One M8 builds on the past models, improving the smartphone in every way.  The first notable difference is the feel of the phone.  HTC One M8 has a 5-inch screen but still feels small in your hands.  This could be because the phone is 5.76 inches tall, 2.78 inches wide and JUST .37 inches thick!  The weight is less than 6 ounces.  That makes the HTC One M8 one of the lightest and manageable phones.  (http://gadgets.ndtv.com/htc-one-m8-1357).

The slight curve in the back fits in your hand falsely.  The backside is an all aluminum frame available in Gunmetal Gray, Glacial Silver and Amber Gold.  The HTC One M8 screen is a five-inch Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen with corning gorilla glass and HTC sense.  The HTC One increased its processor to quad-core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 801.  (http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_one_(m8)-6074.php).

The HTC One M8 has built-in stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers but the best upgrade is the introduction of a microSD card slot.  The HTC One M8 comes with 32 GB of internal storage and the user can increase the storage up to 128 GB.  This is a great addition to the phone.   The HTC One M8 has 2 GB of RAM and 50 GB of cloud storage.  You should not ever run out of space with this phone.  (http://www.phonearena.com/phones/HTC-One-M8_id8242).

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Even though the camera is dual 4- ultra mega-pixel for the rear, it takes crisp pictures in amazing detail.  It also has a dual-LED flash and autofocus.  The best upgrade in the world of selfies is the 5 MP front-facing camera.  This is the best front facing camera available on the market.  (http://www.engadget.com/products/htc/one/m8/)

HTC M8 Flat Infographic

There are mixed reviews about the device.  Some believe that the improvements are not enough to compete with Galaxy S5 or the upcoming iPhone 6 but I disagree.  The HTC One M8 has a great light feel that beats the Galaxy S5 or the current iPhone.  The slightly rounded back feel comfortable in your hands and the phone does not seem to have a “Large” screen feel.  (http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/htc-one-m8-1235307/review).

Another feature is the rear camera is just as good as any of the smartphone cameras available.  The camera may just be 4 – mega-pixel but it packs a lot of punch and in tests, it actually takes great pictures.  The HTC One M8 has the best “selfie” camera on the market and this alone will bring a following of people who want a great front facing camera.

 

How to choose the best smartphone for you?  First you decided on what features you love, want and must have.  Next, read reviews, specifications and go test the phone in stores.  When you begin, you may realize just how much the HTC One M8 fits your style, must-have list and have a design that you love.  I must admit, I love my Samsung but the the HTC One M8 tops the chart of  my list of phones.

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Technophobia http://gadgetgrave.com/technophobia/ http://gadgetgrave.com/technophobia/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:00:18 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4332
  • Technophobia (from Greek τέχνη technē, “art, skill, craft” and φόβος phobos, “fear”) is the fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex devices, especially computers.
  • A vast ocean of dangerous opportunity lies before us due to the seemingly limitless catalyst that is technology. The world is certainly getting smaller around us and increasingly scary as well. A few happenings lately have led me to believe that unchecked, we could become a society much like that portrayed in the movie Minority Report with companies as familiar as Google getting the gears turning.

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    A society where horrible people can be caught before they do horrible things might not sound like a bad thing, unless you are remotely aware of human nature. Does this make technophobia a real thing? Too much power can lead to bad things and your privacy is of utmost of importance. This is why some people might experience technophobia Who gets to draw that line? How could we surrender the priviledge of our privacy for the hope that other humans will treat it as their own? Google seems to be first in line to provide their opinion as they tip off Houston Police to illegal content in a man’s Gmail account. While this man deserves to be in prison as the content was the worst kind, it is controversial that they even had the right to do so.

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    The world of drones is rapidly developing and changing daily. Drones have even  affected our local economy recently as the 188th acquired it’s new unmanned drone mission. BP has received a permit from the FAA to begin using drones commercially to survey equipment, pipelines and roadways in Prudhoe, Alaska. While the commercial use is exciting, it can also be quite scary. Drones provide a fantastic scope of surveillance that was previously unavailable.. It is widely believed that heavy drone activity in cities could lead to injuries and deaths from crashes. While drones will likely save many lives there are some potential sacrifices to our privacy to be mindful of.

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    Its scary to think that our location is so easily attained these days but Facebook thinks its an awesome idea. This blog isn’t supposed to be doom and gloom, these are things that are right out in the opening and outright concerning. Facebook has developed a Nearby feature that shares your current location with all your friends. The need to be available at all times and be part of a constant online stream of consciousness type conversation is incredible and unlike anything else in our known history; at least Facebook thinks so. We all want to be more and more connected right? Call me old fashioned I enjoy a little privacy in my life and my location is just none of your business. Maybe I’m technophobia. Facebook does turn this setting off by default so it’s not the worst thing they have ever done.

    It’s not wise to fear technology, you have to embrace it in this day and age. Privacy is a hard thing to get back once it is lost and the tech giants don’t seem to see an issue with bruising it up a bit. While I love the fact that criminals can be caught more easily, I don’t like the fact that Google would share my information so readily with law enforcement such as email. What if someone obtained your email information and framed you? Suppose we should all just change our passwords often.

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    Acer Iconia Tab A100 http://gadgetgrave.com/acer-iconia-tab-a100/ http://gadgetgrave.com/acer-iconia-tab-a100/#comments Sat, 11 Oct 2014 14:00:32 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4641 acer1

    OK folks say hello to the Acer Iconia Tab A100, This was the company’s first 7 inch tablet. Currently running Android 4.0.3 it’s specs are run of the mill but nice for an economical 7 inch tablet. Running a Nvidia Tegera 2, a five and two megapixle cameras, and micro-USB and HDMI ports make this a must have budget tablet. I tested the 8GB Acer Iconia Tab A100, the retail price when they came out was $329.99. So lets get to the nitty grtty and check this bad boy out.

    The Acer Iconia Tab A100 is no cheap plastic lightweight for sure. Weighing in at 0.92 pounds the Acer Iconua Tab A100 is heavier that most 7 inch tablets. In my opinion, it feels solid and comfortable in my hands. The back is stylish with the logo and cool ribbons flowing from one side to the other. The five megapixel camera on the back and the flash next to it actually accents the tablet. On the front of the Acer Iconia Tab A100 you will find the 2 megapixel camera and the capacitive home button. On the same end of the front camera the side houses a glowing power button and a Headphone jack. On the other end of the tablet there is the HDMI, Docking connector, micro-usb port and the speakers. In ladscape mode on the top is where the Micro-SDCard slot, volume controls and a lever to lock it into landscape mode (neato) finishes up the asthetics

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    The Acer Iconia Tab A100 has a wonderful display at 1024×600 youtube videos are crisp and clean, but when the tablet is flat the angle washes out the video. This no big deal as even the sound is amazing! Unlike other tablets the Acer Iconia Tab A100 has a sharp clear sound. A real plesure to listen to. I will not sound tinny? Like other tablets I have listened to, but it could use more volume. The camera on the Acer Iconia Tab A100 isn’t mediocre by any means. I was surprised at the rear camera, and it did a great job of rendering natural colors. Now by no means is this better than my phones 13 megapixle camera but is was really good. The front camera is also not bad, for a 2 megapixle camera the stills are very good.

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    The Acer Iconia Tab A100 is no slouch in processing power either. Packing a 1GHz Tegra 2 processor I would have thought there be some performance hits and that is not the case. Apps open and close fast display responds smooth to taps and swipes with no lag. In from my experience this performs as well as some of the high end tablets. I decided to try and slow this down by playing a newer game. I loaded Mass Effect Infiltrator, to say the least amazing! The only hiccup the Acer Iconia Tab had so far is when doing tutorials. The game ran pretty darn smooth for me. The battery life was decent, not phenominal but I thought it was fine. It has a 1,530mAh battery which gives around 5 hours of life, not the best but hey I found it definitely usable and on par with the average tablet.

    To finish up, what do I think of the Acer Iconia Tab A100? For a low cost tablet I would buy one for each of my children and have no regrets. This is a great tablet, great performance, excellent graphics and speed to match! Gadget Grave has these for 90.00 each and that my friends is a great deal not to pass up.

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    Half-Hacked http://gadgetgrave.com/half-hacked/ http://gadgetgrave.com/half-hacked/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 14:00:54 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4310 It is estimated that in the past 12 months roughly half of the American adult population has had their information exposed by hackers. That is a ridiculous number and kind of a testament to how far we have come in the digital crime era. It’s not because we are ignorant to bad stuff on the internet because we aren’t. Many of us have had our information stolen simply by visiting a store during the holidays (that was scary). The point I’m making is that protecting yourself 100% is simply not possible throughout day to day life but there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself on your computer and online in general

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    We don’t want to see ad’s therefore we ignore them, its a phenomenon called ad-blindness that can get us into hot water at times. How often have you clicked through several prompts just to get a game installed? Back in the golden days when you installed software of just about any kind it was exactly as packaged. These days just about anything you download, (including tools we like) have stuff that you probably don’t want on your computer attached, to it. PUP’s, or potentially unwanted programs are a common annoyance when installing any kind of software that you download on the internet. While these little programs aren’t typically malicious they can be a drag on system resources. Some are packed with nasty browser redirects (takes your internet browser to targeted shady links) that can further pack your computer with more serious malware that phones home to a worker computer somewhere just waiting on your call.

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    Don’t even visit questionable websites. If you don’t know if a site is questionable that means its questionable. I recommend using a search engine like Google to avoid getting sidetracked by ad-plagued results pages. These ads are targeted to look like what you just searched for; for instance if you search for CNN.com, you come up with CNN.org/news/specialoffer/dentalwhiteningcouponsdeluxe or some garbage like that. If when you search with Google you are still getting too many fake items on top of your search results then something is wrong. Browser redirects and ill placed clicks are two of the most common ways you open yourself up for attack. That ad-blindness we talked about earlier comes back into play when your brain turns off after reading CNN. Dot ORG is not going to cut it for this famous news networks URL. Be alert and stay far away from questionable websites

     

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    Change your passwords often or you will regret even owning a computer. Long sentences make great passwords. Mix a few caps in there and maybe a symbol here or there and you have yourself a password that will take years to crack (good thing you’ll be changing it every 6 months). The thing is its annoying to change your password and nobody wants to do it. You want your simple, easy to remember password that you’ve had for years to remain the same. Think about all the photos on our Facebook, all those years of pictures that likely you have accumulated already on just that one social networking platform. Now imagine all of that gone because you didn’t change your password…ever. It can happen to you and your images could become someone else images, even your private messages to friends and family. Hope you’ve never sent financial information over Facebook or email because its not a great idea. Those archives are often searchable even after deletion if a hacker is really savvy. If you’d like to find out more on how to protect yourself and your family from being attacked come see us!

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    Ebates Review http://gadgetgrave.com/ebates-review/ http://gadgetgrave.com/ebates-review/#comments Sat, 04 Oct 2014 14:00:19 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4308 Ebates Review – I am a frugal person- raising 3 teens and 1 almost 10 year old; being thrifty means more nice clothes for the kids needing to stretch every dollar.  This site gives you cash back for using their links to maneuver to stores.

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    When you first register, you get a free gift card to your choice of venues (such as Target, Walmart, Amazon plus one for Ebates.)  On the left side of the screen, you can either select a store or select a category.  In the top middle are vendors offering double cash back and the in the middle are “deals of the Week.”  The bottom lists featured stores and coupons.  The right side contains a welcome video, your account information as well as few ads- such as an app for you smartphone or tablet!  (Ebates Website)

    Sign-ups are easy, you just type in your email and the password you want to have for the site.  Under My Ebates, you will type in your shipping address and Notification settings – to either receive or to not receive emails.  You can check for your cash back in about 48 hours from the purchase.  If you do not see a cash back owed, contact customer service- with the transaction number and amount and it does not take long to get the credit.ebates-review-gadget-grave-2

    The money is distributed 4 times a year – May 15, Aug 15, Nov 15 and Feb 15.  Purchases for the first distribution must be made by March 31, the second by June 30, third by Sept 30 and Lastly by Dec 31- and it is disbursed several different ways.  The money can be mailed by check- no fee to you, through PayPal or you can send the money to a charity, family member or another organization.

    ebates-review-gadget-grave-3According to Cam Secore, (Ebates Review) the company is affiliated with many stores- online sites only which the site receives a commission for every dollar you spend- thus they pay you a little percentage for using their site.  The site is not a scam and I have gained approximately 2% back on my earnings.  That may not sound much but when you spend around 400 just in clothing for kids- you are getting $80.00 back; that $80.00 means that you truly spend about $80 for your children’s clothing.  Add this to name brand places such as Aeropostale- and it is a great deal.  Plus, when you visit the site, you can check for the deals- such as double the percentage of cash back as well as free shipping AND using coupons that you get and the amount of clothes that you can get increases.  With Journey’s- I was able to buy 4 pairs of shoes for the kids- a pair of Sperry’s, and 3 Converse shoes for 149.00 and received $6.00 cash back.  It is not much but it added up – and buying Christmas for 4 kids and 2 grandkids, We saved 15.00 and spent around $300- which is 5% (half of the sales tax in the area).

    Some stores listed on Ebates are Best Buy, Target, Areopostale, GameStop, Forever 21, Journey’s and Weight Watchers.  Go try it, the savings can add up and a penny saved is a penny earned.

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    Recording music with your iPhone and iPad http://gadgetgrave.com/recording-music-with-your-iphone-and-ipad/ http://gadgetgrave.com/recording-music-with-your-iphone-and-ipad/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:00:14 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4306 Recording music with your iPhone and iPad has never been easier.  There is an app for that- a little high you need to purchase a few things- unless you have the items already- then you just need an app.

    First for the iPhone 4/4S/5- you need to purchase a Apogee Jam guitar interface (Apogee Website).  This device will set you back  $100 unless you can find it cheaper (Click here to buy).  For the iPhone 5 and above- you need to a lightning to 30-Pin adapter.  With both- you can record using a garage band app.  If you want to record vocals- you need to buy a Blue Mikey or something similar.  These tools allow you phone to become a recording booth.recording-music-with-your-iphone-ipad-3

    For your iPad you need to get an Apple camera connection kit and a Behringer Guitar Link UCG102 USB interface to connect the guitar to your tablet.  To add vocals, you will need an USB microphone.  For the iPads, you will need to add the lightning to 30-Pin adapter.  (Recording with iPhone and iPad).recording-music-with-your-iphone-ipad-1

    GarageBand ’11 is a great studio app.  This app cost $14.99 and interfaces between devices well.  You can use the app to learn how to play the piano and/or guitar.  There are two windows open and it is easy to maneuver.  There are many menus with hidden less used features that are easily accessed.  The ratings are 4 out of 5 stars from CNET (Download Garage Band Here) and the same for iTunes.  It is a good beginner program.

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    Music Studio is a step up from GarageBand ’11.  This app contains more options and it has an extensive interface that is instinctual and recognizable.  There are tons of stock instruments plus you can purchase other tones adding to your possible options.  This also recognizes a mic and other plug-in to allow you to add your own instrument and vocals (see above for plug-ins.).  For the price, it is a good app if you are ready to get your music out there without a studio.  The rating for this app is 5 out of 5 stars.

    MultiTrack DAW is a less expensive recording app.  The app allows musicians to record up to 4 tracks – with 8 tracks live recording is coming soon- with an USB input.  This app is great for those who want to record their rehearsals or their shows.  You can upgrade the recording ability for extra money.  This app is for the iPad though.

    The last app is cheaper but will leave you wanting more.  First is the Imachine.  This app has some great features- playing velocity scale in real time for each drum pad- that is fun to play.  The drum machine syncs with music, it sounds okay and is relatively easy to use.  You can import music or record your own samples.   It is not extensive as the apps listed above and mixing music is not quite as easy but is great for individuals practicing and improving.

    If you want a true recording studio feel- GarageBand is a great choice for Recording music with your iPhone and iPad and the Multitrak DAW is great for the iPad.  Of course if you do not want to spend 14.99, the Imachine is a good choice for both the iPad and iPhone.

     

     

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    Top 5 Teenagers Apps http://gadgetgrave.com/top-5-teenagers-apps/ http://gadgetgrave.com/top-5-teenagers-apps/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 18:12:10 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4302 With the smartphone boom, it is great as a parent to be able to track your teenagers and know where they are and what they are doing.  These are the Top 5 Teenagers Apps currently on the market.

    1. instagram-logo-vector-download-i14Instagram- this app reminds of what Twitter would be if people only posted pictures or vidoes and they can be shared on social networking sites like Facebook.    Teenagers take pictures of themselves, their friends and daily activities and post- using hash tags.  You can comment on the pictures and there are many little “games” played on the like TBH (To Be Honest) and DRH (Date, Rate, Hate).  If you ask this mom, this app is monitored quite regularly to make sure pictures are clean and there is no bullying (whether from my kids or others toward my kids.).  On good thing- parents need to know- is that the “profiles” can be private and even if someone follows you, unless you accept their request- the person cannot see your pictures.  I have gotten onto many of my “adoptive daughters” (mine KNOWS better) for posting their phone numbers on pictures.  Instagram is free on iTunes as well as the Google Play Store. (http://reviews.cnet.com/software/instagram-ios/4505-3513_7-35416720.html)  you can login to the app from the computer but you can do anything from the computer- it is strictly an app.
    2. Snapchat-flashy-featuresSnapchat- My daughter and her friends LOVE this app.  She spends her time “snapchatting” her boyfriend while she is texting him or her friends.  With Snapchat, you can take pictures and send them- they disappear and cannot be viewed again after up to 10 seconds.   Snapchat has its good points but I am not a big fan of this app because I am really nosey about what my kids say, send, post and this app does not allow me that luxury.  I limit the people she “snapchats” to limit problems or issues from arising PLUS I am constantly looking into her room and keeping my eye on my kids.  (http://fatherhood.about.com/od/fathers-social-media/p/Snapchattm)
    3. tumblr_logotype_white_blue_512Tumblr- another popular app that teens visit.  Teenagers love to go and look at sayings, get ideas for hair and makeup plus post their ideas.  I have seen funny items and have taken “Tumblr” pictures- you know the pictures where 2 friend’s hands make a heart among other ideas.The app is not too bad but does require monitoring like any other site.  Reviews discuss the pros and cons.  Pros are that it is easy to use, mostly visual, free and great for beginners.  The cons are that there is learning curve, a tin text field and the domain names have to be registered with another provider.  As long as it is monitored it is as harmless as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.  (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2195458,00.asp).  The app is free on iTunes as well as Google Play Store.
    4. We<3it- this app collects pictures and seems to be similar to Pinterest.  You can browse items others have added, plus add your own.  Also there are “canvases” that you can reorganize as well as add categories.  Teens visit this site more than Pinterest probably because it gives ideas and has sayings that teenagers are looking for.  The site does not seem to be dangerous since there are little “personal” pictures and more items people find they love from the Internet.  http://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.weheartit.com rates the site 4 out of 5 stars.
    5. Ask.fm is another popular site among teens and is banned from this house.  The site allows questions and answers to be posted “anonymously”.  The problem with this site is that many questions tend to be personal and there are circumstances of cyber-bullying on this site.   Many of my daughter’s friends use this site and post on Instagram a “link” to their Ask.fm and encourage individuals to post questions and answers to questions.  I have seen bullying take place within this “social network” site and as a parent, do not allow its use.  I encourage other parents to review this app, what their child is posting and what is being posted about the questions asked.  http://www.commonsensemedia.org/website-reviews/askfm

    Parents need to understand the popular apps their kids are on and what happens on these apps.  There are so many ways that our children are exposed to different people’s ideas, taste and cultures through these sites but at the same time, it can allow bullying, sexting and other unhealthy ideas to take place.  As a parent, knowing, understanding and being involved- even nosey- in your children’s affairs will help you protect and know what your children are doing when you are not looking.

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    Game Console vs Mobile Devices http://gadgetgrave.com/game-console-vs-mobile-devices/ http://gadgetgrave.com/game-console-vs-mobile-devices/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:48:40 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4300 With cellphone technology jumping leaps and bounds, one question pops into my mind:  Will gaming consoles lose ground?  The portability of the mobile phone coupled with the new technology allowing for gameplay is gaining a strong following.  Games such as Angry Birds and Flappy Birds have captured followers plus popular games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas have mobile versions but the mobile world is not quite ready to conquer the console world.

    It is true that gaming on mobile devices are increasing at an alarming rate – 126 million players expected to rise to 144 million http://tiny.cc/773fmx and mobile gaming devices like the PSP Vita has not topped expected sales but there are pros and cons to mobile gaming.

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    First, lets review the pros.  Mobile devices have added great features to their cell phones – with increased RAM, CPU speeds and graphics.  Another great asset with gaming on the cell phone is cost.  There are tons of free games and most other games do not run more than about ten bucks apiece.  Some games have decent story lines, taking its cues from classics- such as the old Warcraft, or developed a version for the cellphones like Grand Theft Auto.  These games have brought lots of money to the gaming industry and the cellphone industry has introduced us to Clash of the Clans, and Grand Theft Auto has several mobile versions available.  The number one top paid game is Minecraft- started out on PC, went to mobile devices before it hit the console market.

     

    One con that mobile devices have against taking over the console world is graphics.  Consoles have great graphics- that increase with each device.  Phone graphics are better than they were but not quite as good as consoles .   Also, cellphone are limited with space.  Great games have great graphics that require speed, space and memory- all are limited (At the moment) with the cell industry, Game consoles still produce fast- little lag- gaming.   Smartphones have HDMI capability (requires extra purchases) but it still does not compare to the console connected to the television http://tiny.cc/qa4fmx.

    With the increased mobile gaming industry, the next wave could be games that cross paths- play on your Xbox or Playstation and while out and about- check in with you mobile device.    It is completely feasible to begin a game on the computer and continue on your mobile device.

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    With the increase of mobile devices being used for games, one begs the question- is the console dead?  I do not think that the smartphone will kill the console. Computer gaming use to rank high- higher than consoles.  Over time, consoles seem to have overtaken the gaming world, but there are still games such as- Diablo, Everquest and World of Warcraft that dominate the computer world and keep computer gaming alive.  Consoles may need to adjust and change but mobile devices will not kill the consoles- bruise them- but there will always be those games and followers that keep gamers glued to consoles.

     

     

    With cellphone technology jumping leaps and bounds, one question pops into my mind:  Will gaming consoles lose ground?  The portability of the mobile phone coupled with the new technology allowing for gameplay is gaining a strong following.  Games such as Angry Birds and Flappy Birds have captured followers plus popular games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas have mobile versions but the mobile world is not quite ready to conquer the console world.

    game-console-vs-mobile-devices-2

    It is true that gaming on mobile devices are increasing at an alarming rate – 126 million players expected to rise to 144 million http://tiny.cc/4b4fmx and mobile gaming devices like the PSP Vita has not topped expected sales but there are pros and cons to mobile gaming.

    First, lets review the pros.  Mobile devices have added great features to their cell phones – with increased RAM, CPU speeds and graphics.  Another great asset with gaming on the cell phone is cost.  There are tons of free games and most other games do not run more than about ten bucks apiece.  Some games have decent story lines, taking its cues from classics- such as the old Warcraft, or developed a version for the cellphones like Grand Theft Auto.  These games have brought lots of money to the gaming industry and the cellphone industry has introduced us to Clash of the Clans, and Grand Theft Auto has several mobile versions available.  The number one top paid game is Minecraft- started out on PC, went to mobile devices before it hit the console market.

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    One con that mobile devices have against taking over the console world is graphics.  Consoles have great graphics- that increase with each device.  Phone graphics are better than they were but not quite as good as consoles.   Also, cellphone are limited with space.  Great games have great graphics that require speed, space and memory- all are limited (At the moment) with the cell industry, Game consoles still produce fast- little lag- gaming.   Smartphones have HDMI capability (requires extra purchases) but it still does not compare to the console connected to the television http://tiny.cc/2c4fmx.

    With the increased mobile gaming industry, the next wave could be games that cross paths- play on your Xbox or Playstation and while out and about- check in with you mobile device.    It is completely feasible to begin a game on the computer and continue on your mobile device.

    With the increase of mobile devices being used for games, one begs the question- is the console dead?  I do not think that the smartphone will kill the console.  Computer gaming use to rank high- higher than consoles.  Over time, consoles seem to have overtaken the gaming world, but there are still games such as- Diablo, Everquest and World of Warcraft that dominate the computer world and keep computer gaming alive.  Consoles may need to adjust and change but mobile devices will not kill the consoles- bruise them- but there will always be those games and followers that keep gamers glued to consoles.

     

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    Fake Samsung Devices http://gadgetgrave.com/fake-samsung-devices/ http://gadgetgrave.com/fake-samsung-devices/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:39:29 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4298 How to keep from getting a fake Samsung Galaxy!

    With the increasing popularity of Samsung devices, it’s no wonder there are clones.  These phone seem to be a Samsung device but if you know what to look for, then you can spot the fake.  These cloned Samsung devices have become increasingly hard to spot.  These devices are increasing adding original features.

    fake-real-samsung-device-gadget-grave-3

    So, you wondering how to spot the clone and avoid paying what is a lot of money and seemingly a good deal? Recently, we have had several individuals enter into the store with imitation Galaxy SIII and Galaxy SV.  Both were brought into our store due to small issues and as we inspected these devices- our techs spotted the fake phones and we had to break the news to the customer.

    What did we see in the phones to tell they were not real?  First, examine the back.  The back of the clone has the “Samsung” name only.  The real Samsung has “galaxy S(III, IV or V) and usually the carrier name (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular).  Also, the LED light on the real Samsung is white while the fake LED light is yellow.

    fake-real-samsung-device-gadget-grave-4

    Also, boot up the phone and look at programs that are on the phone.  The clones usually have apps that are not standard to the real Galaxy phones.  Some of the layout of apps as well as general look of the android system is different.  If you do not know what to look for, check YouTube for videos to help you determine what the phone should look like booting up and the way it’s laid out in the system.

    for the SV

    for the SIV

    for S2, 3, and 4.)

     

    While the phone is on, the resolution of the fake is not as good as the original.  The images taken by the fake Samsung is dull and lackluster compared to the original.

    fake-real-samsung-device-gadget-grave-1

    Another way is to open up the back and examine the back.  The screws are different, sometimes the battery, SIM and SD card layout is different.   The Samsung original battery contains a serial number and “production numbers” while the clone batteries do not.

    The USA is not the only country flooded with fake devices.  International Business Times reported that Germany seized over 250 fake Samsung S4 phones that had shipped from Hong Kong.  http://tiny.cc/a2yfmx

    fake-real-samsung-device-gadget-grave-2I am not saying that buying Chinese “clones” is a terrible idea- if you know it is a clone, they may make decent phones (you will get what you paid for).  If the person selling the phone is selling you a fake Galaxy S device- then buyer beware.  There are several “Android” devices that copy the Samsung theme which work well but on thing to consider is, what it will take to fix that device.  It is hard to get access to the parts and most times, the great deal phone- cannot be fixed.  Sticking to the original will save time and money in the long run.

    http://tiny.cc/22yfmx

    http://tiny.cc/s3yfmx

     

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    Plants vs. Zombies 2 http://gadgetgrave.com/plants-vs-zombies-2/ http://gadgetgrave.com/plants-vs-zombies-2/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 15:30:55 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4314 I started playing Plants vs. Zombies to just relax my mind but realized this game takes some brainpower.  If you have played the game- here are a few details.  Your purpose is to plant different plants.  These plants attack using different types of weapons – with a few “barrier” plants.  I wish it was as easy as planting the plants, growing them and they attack but no.  When you first begin the game- you have to plant sunflowers- these increase “sun” production and you collect the suns (they work as money) in order to buy the plants to defend your “house” from the zombie attack.  Each level gets harder- requiring strategic planning- this game works your brain a little; it can be fun and frustrating all at once.

    gadget-grave-plants-vs-zombies-2The sequel holds the same charm but the style is slightly different.  Instead of defeating zombies with increased strength and complex, the sequel offers different challenges that must happen- such as protecting “endangered plants” or defeating zombies with plants given to you.   (http://www.macworld.com/article/2046992/review-plants-vs-zombies-2-sticks-to-its-roots-but-paywall-leaves-us-feeling-dead-inside.html).

    The characters and worlds have increased in difficulty.  The Pirate Seas, you fight to defend your brains from attacks from zombies hot in cannons, swinging in by rope and being carried by birds and parrots that attack and carry your plants off into the sky.  (http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/07/17/plants-vs-zombies-2-review).   The Wild West takes up “planting space” with railroads and zombies that jump behind your plants to eat them.  The Ancient Egypt is the first and has zombies that create sand tornadoes and tombstones that protect the zombies from your plants.

     

    gadget-grave-plants-vs-zombies-3

    The plants are cute.  There are boomerang plants, lettuce heads that throw lettuce and these cute “spring beans” The “string beans” send pirates off the deck and into the water.  Another difference is the ability to “feed” your plants special “leaves” which allows you “super strength” temporarily.   (http://www.macworld.com/article/2046992/review-plants-vs-zombies-2-sticks-to-its-roots-but-paywall-leaves-us-feeling-dead-inside.html).  Experimenting with different plants and their “special powers” allows another step into the plan of saving your brains.

     

    One downfall is money.  The game is free to download and play but if you want the cool plants, more sun or any extras- you have to pay for it.  I am not opposed of spending money but do not have extra money to spend on game “accessories.”  Unlocking every plant will set you back $20 and the different worlds about $5.  Not a bad price for a free app.  Of course you can purchase this game for the PC or gaming console as well.   (http://www.macworld.com/article/2046992/review-plants-vs-zombies-2-sticks-to-its-roots-but-paywall-leaves-us-feeling-dead-inside.html).

     

    The game has highly rated with an iTunes rating of 4.5 out of 5 (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plants-vs.-zombies-2/id597986893?mt=8) and a 4 out of 5 stars from the Google Play store.  (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ea.game.pvz2_na&hl=en).

    gadget-grave-plants-vs-zombies

    This game has taken China by storm.  The sequel is the top-ranked game with over 4 million downloads for the first 6 months of its release.  Plants vs Zombies is a game for all ages as I was introduced to the game by my 2 year old nephew (do not worry Tim, I have a few games to introduce to Noah when he is older) and a good way to deal with the stress of the day.

     

    Available_GooglePlay_Button app_store_badge_en_0609

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    Sea Salt Solar Panels http://gadgetgrave.com/sea-salt-solar-panels/ http://gadgetgrave.com/sea-salt-solar-panels/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:00:43 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4316 Solar panels are a great way to conserve fuels, use a free natural source for energy and is great for the environment.  One problem with solar panels- they are great for the environment EXCEPT for one of the ingredients used in making the panels- cadmium chloride.  The substance is highly toxic as well as expensive.  The cadmium chloride is used to boost efficiency of solar cells.   Scientists have discovered that magnesium chloride (as known as salt) boosts the same cells as the cadmium chloride with greater benefits.  For one, salt costs a fraction of the cost – about 0.3% the cost of cadmium chloride.  Another benefit is environmental impact- salt has little safety concerns as well as environmental.  The cost of sodium free magnesium salt is $1 for a kilogram – far less expensive than the $300 for a kilogram of cadmium chloride.  (http://www.geek.com/science/sea-salt-can-replace-solar-panel-component-for-0-3-the-cost-1598014/).    Magnesium Chloride- Salt without the sodium can be found in Tofu as well as salt-free salt.

    images

    The cost to buy cadmium chloride is a drop in the expensive of the material.  Manufacturers spend millions of money- not to produce the solar panels with the material but to protect its workers from the toxicity of the chemical and to dispose of the chemical remnants per safety procedures.  (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827).

    solar-salt-head-590x330

    Sea salt  (with sodium) can be harvested from places like the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake.   There is an abundance of salt and with its price and little negative effects on the environment- it is a great choice to build cheap solar panels that can become a power worldwide (http://www.geek.com/science/sea-salt-can-replace-solar-panel-component-for-0-3-the-cost-1598014/).   Not only is the cost cheaper to buy but there are little toxicity issues leading to cheaper cost for manufactures.  Plus disposal costs will be almost nonexistent due to the fact it is a basically salt.

    solar-salt-2

     

    The technology was developed at Liverpool University what have been trying to find a safer alternative to the toxic cadmium chloride.  According to Dr. Jon Major- the discovery could drive the cost of solar panels down to the cost of fossil fuels.  (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827).   With the cost of the solar panels declining, the idea of solar panel farms and solar panels on more houses is feasible.

     

    The downfall to this discovery is there needs to be more discoveries.  With the cadmium chloride replaced, the technology can only expand so far.  Another key ingredient is that the panels require tellurium- an extremely rare element.  There is not enough of this element to outfit every house with solar panels.  (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827).

     

    The great thing about solar panels is that there is enough sunlight on Earth- every hour to generate enough electricity for the planet for a year.  Sunlight is a great way to cut our independence on fossil fuels.  Each step forward increases our chances of becoming more environmentally friendly.  (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27987827).

     

    Our continuation to better our planet will help increase the longevity of Earth for many years to come.  With the progress science is made, solar panels will (hopefully) gain momentum and become a great source of renewable energy.

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    Websites to Beat the Blues http://gadgetgrave.com/best-websites-beat-blues/ http://gadgetgrave.com/best-websites-beat-blues/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 16:24:15 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4326 Bad stuff happens quite a bit, it’s pretty much just a fact of life. How we let it affect us can shape our entire lives. I have searched the internets high and low and found some pretty hilarious and helpful sites that might actually help your mood no matter what day you’re having. A few are pretty classic slapstick but some are downright soothing to the soul. Check out a few of my favorite sites for inspiration.

    I am currently the Dad of one and soon to be two little girls. I know how to use technology to my advantage to effectively distract and entertain my little girl for short periods of time. All it takes is a video of cute animals to tide her over if we need a break from the constant running back and forth chasing after her. So I reveal to you the secret weapon that is, Cute Roulette. A enormous collection of the cutest videos on the internet that are sure to brighten your day right up!

    Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.13.18 AM

    Next on the list is one of my absolute favorites for an all around bad day, its called 1000 Awesome Things. The name is self explanatory, each item has a nice long description detailing different aspects that make life so freakin awesome! If you are in need of a mood changer, this site is equipped for the job. I found this site recently and it has quickly become one of my absolute favorites to visit. Many of the little factoids are simply funny human quirks but some are actually a little deep!

    Obviously “the nicest place on the internet” makes the list and if you haven’t heard of this one it’s worth a look. This site is a wee bit corny (or creepy) for me but I’m sure it would make just about anybody going through a tough time feel better. Basically it’s a big collection of people saying or doing nice things towards at you like hugging you or blowing a kiss or a wink or just a short word of encouragement even. Everybody needs a little love once in awhile.

    Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.14.30 AM

    Another one of my favorites is Blah Therapy, a site devoted to venting your stresses or listening and advising people if you’d like. It’s completely anonymous and gloriously relieving, although I don’t know if I’d go to wild with it. You’ll be surprised how readily available people who want to listen to your problems are. It’s actually a very strange thing to think about and this site is a revolutionary way of linking those people in complete anonymity to you. You can literally talk about whatever you want or listen to whoever you want’s problems and try to help them out as well. It is truly a feel-good site.

    Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.15.17 AM

    There are plenty of reasons to feel good about technology these days. The above sites are just a few of the many places you can get a little free inspiration throughout your day. Give them a try and let us know if we can take the stress out of your day with our Gizmo Shield protection package starting at $129.99.

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    Is Your Laptop Worth Fixing? http://gadgetgrave.com/laptop-worth-fixing/ http://gadgetgrave.com/laptop-worth-fixing/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:00:08 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4181 There are not many cases in which a laptop simply cannot be repaired; but numerous cases where it is simply not economically justifiable to do so. Age is a major determining factor, as well as what the actual problem is and what the computer is used for. If the computer has sentimental value then a board replacement might be warranted even if the repair is more costly than a replacement. For the average everyday computers though there is a pretty clear line that we draw as technicians to save you money. We evaluate each repair with the same techniques to determine what the best approach is to get you computing again. The goal is not simply to revive your electronics but to get you in the right ones.

    dsc00704sd2

    Some computers are money pits plain and simple. The quickest way to tell if your in too deep with your laptops repair expenses is to determine whether or not a comparable if not better replacement laptop would be less expensive. I hear the phrase “I paid $800 for that thing 5 years ago!” quite a lot, and trust me its unsettling to us too; but it’s also a good thing! We are now able to get faster, better machines for a fraction of the cost of yesterday. It’s hard to put old faithful out of service, but if its costing you more than $200 and its more than 4 years old it’s time to move to better things. This is only our first evaluation technique and its the most solid one we have.

    dscf05583

    Multiple repairs are another sticky situation when it comes to getting economy computers up and going. When I say “economy computer” I mean the ones that most of us are interested in buying, inexpensive! These cheaply made but surprisingly solid machines make up about 75% of the laptops we repair. Multiple repairs are exactly what they sound like, your laptop has multiple things wrong with it. For instance, lets say your cat decided to run full speed through the house pulling your laptop, via that invisible cord directly in his path, off the safe surface it once resided and onto a gravity induced catastrophe! Your charge port is broken as well as the LCD (or the screen) and possibly more. A charge port alone is not a huge issue, and an LCD is certainly an economical repair; but together they can sometimes make the repair of your laptop not feasible especially if board damage was incurred as well.

    3811561_orig

    The most precious part of your laptop is not the LCD or the charge port or even the motherboard. For now, it’s the only vital component in your laptop that is likely still mechanical, your hard drive. The hard drive houses all those irreplaceable pictures, documents, resumes and much of your life. Soon this will probably not be the case but for now these drives are fragile. A small bump while they are running is enough to cause major issues. Many computers come loaded from the factory with shock sensing accelerometers that park the fragile mechanical heads inside the hard drive in anticipation of a fall. While this is semi-effective it’s not match for a solid fall. How can you protect your data no matter what type of dropkick you administer to your laptop? Get an SSD… We can promise you’ll love the speed as well as the reliability and it doesn’t cost any more than what a normal HDD would if your willing to get creative with your storage. Come see us and check out your options!  

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    Window XP end of an ERA http://gadgetgrave.com/window-xp-end-era/ http://gadgetgrave.com/window-xp-end-era/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:00:39 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4177 Window XP end of an ERA and what effect it will have on end users.

      Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer News Conference At New Store Opening

    I have worked in the technology field for quite a few years I have seen Windows XP slowly get pushed to the back burner. Well the time has come that Microsoft has put the Old Horse to pasture. Since XP is no longer supported what does that mean for us and the corporate world? Well let me tell you it is not good and you will be forced to change. But change is good! So let’s go over what scenarios that will happen if you decide to stick to Windows XP and options that you can take if you have programs that use XP.

    Microsoft_WindowsXP_3.31.14

    Here we go, support ended on April 8th, D-Day if you will, this will leave a big Window (no pun intended) open to viruses and Malware. The security patches that get released on patch Tuesdays will no longer roll out. What does that mean for you? Personal information can be mined. I don’t mean to get all scary but this is true. ANY security hole that is found after the 9th will be exploited. That hole will give hackers a one way ticket to any information they want. You might say I have antivirus software I am protected. Well yes you are for now. But the support will run out after time also. Why would anti-virus companies support an outdated OS that isn’t supported anymore, they won’t. I have tried to use Microsoft Security essentials which is a lightweight antivirus, I prompted me that it is no longer supported for this version of Windows. Yes there are others that will support it until you migrate to another windows but you will have to upgrade anyway.  Next are my recommendations that you should look over and consider.

    windows1There are many flavors of Windows that currently available to upgrade to. Well Upgrade is said lightly here. You cannot upgrade per say. The next version of windows will have to be a custom full wipe install. I do not know why windows did that but it is what it is. There are instances where you can upgrade but few and far between. First there is Vista. The support for that will end also but try to stay away from it. I would recommend windows 7 or Windows 8. First Microsoft is making it harder to get ahold of windows Vista and Windows 7. Yes we can get these but 7 is way easier and the support will be around for some time. I have ran Vista and 7 on the same machine for testing purposes and found Windows 7 to actually perform way better than Vista. I guess it is the way Vista manages memory that actually slows it down. In my opinion there are some nice machines out there that are inexpensive with the newest windows. Consider this, it is time to get that old machine out of the house. At Gadget grave we have anything you want and at a low cost. We also offer 180 day warranty and our custom antivirus/Malware package to keep you safe.

     

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    Free Programs That Actually Speed Up Your Computer http://gadgetgrave.com/free-speed-up-computer/ http://gadgetgrave.com/free-speed-up-computer/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:00:41 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4191 You’ve seen the commercial on TV announcing with great urgency that your computers speed issues are due to thousands of errors in your computers software that need fixing. Consequently enough the software advertised is capable of removing all these errors and speeding your computer up “like it was new again”. What was so good about our computer when it was new, why do they get slower over time, and is there anything I can do to stop it?

     homepagebanner

    The (sort of) great thing about your computer when its new from the factory is that it seems quick, responsive and reliable. With internet access, this feeling of euphoria can fade quickly. Temp files stack up like invisible mountains slowly eroding your hard drive space and robbing precious system resources. Temp File Cleaner at BleepingComputer.com is an excellent resource for clearing out your junk temp files. I do recommend using caution at BleepingComputer, this site does have some tools that if you don’t know what you’re doing can cause you to have a bad day.

    The reason for the parenthetical “sort of” above, is that new computers generally come with a bunch of “crap” on them that can annoy you. Your computer will no doubt accumulate this “crap” when you use it on the internet, this is a fact of life. PCdecrapifier.com offers a solution to remove multiple programs at a time from your computer. If your having a hard time deciding whether or not to keep the program simply click the help link and you’ll receive global removal statistics for that program. This program will help keep your computer free of junkware and other annoyance-ware!

    CCleaner_re-review_05large

    CCleaner is a great program that cleans quite a lot of junk that accumulates on your computer. The registry repair tool also removes annoying and potentially dangerous registry errors that pop up when you boot Windows. A clean registry, browser and even recycle bin amount to a clean computer. Just like performance robbing gunk builds up in your oil, junk files build up and gum up the works for many computers. Simply running this program can solve many issues you might have in browsers.  

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    ADWCleaner is possibly one of the most potent and more scary of any of these programs. From the first click you”ll experience a brilliantly designed systematic and highly targeted shutdown and scrub of your browsers. If your having issues with search engines yielding batty results or talking ads everywhere or just plain bad browsing experiences try this program out. The results are incredible and after a two click scan process the system restarts and your browsers are powerful once again.

     

    Ultra Defrag is an excellent program that thoroughly scans your hard drive to ensure optimal performance. For those of us still using mechanical hard drives this is an excellent program to run every four months or so as well.


    We use all of these programs on the daily and they are just a small part of our arsenal! Come see what real computer repair and optimization can be!

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    Old MacDonald Bought a Drone! http://gadgetgrave.com/old-macdonald-bought-drone/ http://gadgetgrave.com/old-macdonald-bought-drone/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 14:00:14 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4179 Drone technology is certainly one of the more exciting tech frontiers that lies ahead of us in the immediate future. Excitement and terror are the two general emotions that a UAV or unmanned aerial vehicle incite. Soon our online orders may be delivered to our homes in a matter of hours, or even pizza delivered not by a human rushing through traffic, but by a small drone with GPS coordinates programmed. The scary stuff comes in the form of spying and other potentially unsavory activities that can be conducted such as stalking someone without the hope of them even acknowledging it. Nevertheless we will likely continue work with these devices and this new tool has farmers across the nation excited.

      drone-reuters-lg

    To get a flight over your land with professional imagery taken manually it would cost you on average about $1000 per hr. A farmer can now purchase a fully functional drone for $2000 and create detailed maps of his/her land allowing them to see things like irrigation problems to fungal growth that wouldn’t be visible from the ground. The drones can be used to dissect the crops growth pattern hour by hour and day after day to spot trouble spots earlier. UAVs are readily equipped with airborne cameras that record multispectral images which means infrared and what we can see, for a unique look at the health of each section of vegetation. This sort of thing just 5 years ago would have cost a farmer a fortune; now its a relatively cheap option that could help farmers get an edge up on the ever growing demand for food. 

     drone

    While drones are under constant scrutiny in the public eye for privacy issues and dangerous crash possibilities, rural farms do not have these issues. The ability to survey the changing topography of cropland is a supreme advantage to have. Farmers are now able to take a small investment and yield huge results that save time and quite a lot of money as well. Even if farmers are reluctant to purchase their own equipment, hiring a drone firm will be a highly appealing and affordable option for many. The applications around the farm are limitless, check on your livestock or do a quick overview at night to check on the fields or watch for predators invading the chicken coup! In all seriousness, the development and use of this relatively new tool is going to be big for agriculture. Drones will have many business ventures when the legislation that allows it comes along, this is undeniably one of the most useful private ventures I have seen to date. 

     MQ-9_Reaper_CBP

    Technology is progressing at an incredibly fast rate and while many ventures have been feared, I don’t know anyone who’s opposed to more efficient farming. The fear of technology may come from a deep seeded fear of things we don’t fully understand running our lives. Technology is simply the fruit of the pursuit of a better life. While the pictures you had to shake (well, thought you did) are a part of our nostalgia, we love our smartphones ability to nail that perfect shot after 13 tries in 13 seconds. Life should be enriched by the tech we use, not controlled by it. Come see how we can simplify your life and streamline your tech! Optimization packages for your computer start at $64.99.

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    Road Not Taken…Yet http://gadgetgrave.com/road-not-taken/ http://gadgetgrave.com/road-not-taken/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:00:08 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4175

    Every single day free energy comes streaming down to us; relatively unlimited, clean energy that until recent times was sort of a joke. Whatever you believe, you can appreciate words like “unlimited” and “clean”, right? The question is how do we justify putting more money in industries that previously have let us down. The simplicity of this solar collecting idea is what makes it a possible winner and a catalyst for solar power dominance. Quite possibly the solution to clean, renewable energy may be right under our feet. A winding network of previously misunderstood untapped usable space right under our noses. This may sound a little Back-to-the-Future, but keep an open mind, things have progressed quite a lot in only the past 10 years!

      Downtown Sandpoint 2 - small

    Our parking lots, driveways, patios, backroads, highways and interstates are awaiting quite possibly the most radical facelift of our time! The majority of them may, over the next few decades, become solar collecting cells! This may sound absurd but you must watch the video and try to think about all the applications that this could be used for. Entire roadways could be programmed by highly secured (let’s hope so) city centralized hubs that would dictate emergency signals as well as navigate detours for drivers and warn of upcoming danger. The light show necessary to produce all of these seemingly magical smart roads is powered by LED arrays which amount to a miniscule drain on the collecting cell. Each tile weighs about 130 pounds and can be easily replaced, which is still not the coolest part of this new idea.

    Solar_Roadways.png.662x0_q100_crop-scale

    The antiquated roads and highways across the country are a money pit. We can raise taxes and improve these roads over and over and over again but for what? Why keep filling more holes and in many cases repaving hundreds of thousands of miles of road per year when we could be creating energy and smarter, safer roads for ourselves. If we replaced every major road in North America with these solar-roads we could produce three times the energy we actually need, with zero impact on the environment. It is a great idea and a great step forward in this day and age. The only problem of course as with any new green tech, its hard to make and expensive.video-solar-freakin-roadways-e1401152841202

    Coming in at a whopping $10,000 per 12”x12” tile in its initial release it is certainly a very expensive and region complicated solution. For some areas of the country that receive less sunlight it may not be a viable option, but the creators are adamant that it will work. While the green tech boom has boosted the job market, the cost of replacing every single major road would almost be triple the annual budget. The great thing about technology is that we get better at it and it becomes easier, making it cheaper making it more awesome. While this technology isn’t coming to a local neighborhood near you any time soon, you better believe it could be within your lifetime!

    20140513182548-Glass_-_small_piece

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    100GB of Safe Online Storage Free http://gadgetgrave.com/100gb-safe-online-storage-free/ http://gadgetgrave.com/100gb-safe-online-storage-free/#comments Sun, 03 Aug 2014 14:00:20 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4193 Online storage is the smart solution for backing up those precious files we all accumulate. The problem is, very few of us want to pay additional amounts of money every month to maintain online storage. There are ways to get around paying for online storage and thats what this blog is going to uncover! I have searched high and low to find you 100GB of the best online storage for free, zero dollars. Scattered below are brief descriptions of each online file storage solution along with their capacity and ease of use. With a little bit of elbow grease you can easily squeeze over 100GB of free online storage!

    Google drive is by far the easiest and first on my list to sign up for. Do you have a Gmail account, if so then you already have access to the wonderful tool. Google drive offers you 15GB of online storage, free of charge. Thats an incredible chunk of storage for just signing up, and it comes with a state of the art document suite thats astonishingly easy to use! Your data is safe from the elements on your Google drive

    Google-Drive

     

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    Microsoft is next on the list offering 10GB free just for signing up and downloading the app on your mobile device or syncing with a mac or pc. You also get up to 5GB (½ GB per person) for referrals that you might bring to onedrive. This is a nifty place that also allows you to use a slimmed down version of office online similar to that of Google drive, where your work saves automatically into your cloud.

     

    30 of 100 (w/referrals)

    Box.com is a site that offers 10GB of free online storage right off the bat. It has a desktop sync and mobile app that you can get for iOS or Android. Box doesn’t have the flashy referral bonuses that dropbox does but it offers discounted storage solutions that can save you a bundle! For the launch of their app they actually offered 50GB of lifetime storage that I myself cashed in on.

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    Dropbox is perhaps one of the easiest online storage solutions to gain extra storage with. You do start off with a measly 2GB of storage but you can refer your way quickly up to 16 extra GB of storage totaling 18GB of free online storage. This is done relatively easy if you have a lot of friends who could benefit from a little extra storage!

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    MediaFire is a perfect place to store your stuff that offers a whopping 10GB of space up front! You do have to download a desktop app that runs and syncs but its convenient, barring any heavy system usage, to have these drives readily available on your desktop.

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    ADrive.com offers you 50GB free online storage and has a 100% repuation on Webutation.info. This is an incredible amount of space for free and you should check it out!

    118 of 100 (WoooHoo!)

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    Here are a few that offer small amounts of free storage if you are willing to take the time!

     

    • Mozy Online Storage-2GB free (You have to download a storage manager)

    • Amazon Cloud Drive-5GB free

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    Ask us how pairing an SSD upgrade with online cloud storage can greatly enhance your outdated computer (10X Faster) for a fraction of the cost of a new one!

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    Bleeding Edge Car Tech http://gadgetgrave.com/bleeding-edge-car-tech/ http://gadgetgrave.com/bleeding-edge-car-tech/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:00:56 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4195   Technology in cars is always a hard balance to maintain. The tech in your car must be seamless with its operation in order to inform the driver without distracting. There are many applications coming in the near future that may change the way we connect in our vehicles. Some of the challenges are obviously the distraction factor, ill timed failures or inaccurate information and just plain old scary malfunctioning electronics. One of the technologies in this blog could be a catastrophic fail if it somehow malfunctioned but all in all it is a life saving step forward. Life should be made easier by technology in our vehicles and quite a few new ideas indicate automotive manufacturers are catching on.

    Mercedes-Benz-CarPlay-003

    The internet is everywhere and soon it will be seamlessly part of your vehicle. The connectivity as of yet has been limited for people wishing to connect in their vehicles. The biggest hurdle lies in trying to connect a device that wasn’t designed by the car company because of the lack of capable stock electronics. GM is one of the most recent companies to step up to the plate in the manufacturing of cutting edge internet connectivity. Their new car lineup will feature 4g internet connectivity inside the car with the ability to navigate the roadways with voice command gps and quest for new music on pandora or apps like it. Imagine if you will a car gps that actually does what you ask it to!

     volvo_touchscreen_1

    Perhaps the most impressive of all the new car tech are the cars that don’t use gas. Everyone should agree, paying for gas really sucks! Tesla is a car company that is pioneering all-electric automobiles and growing by the minute. The CEO Elon Musk hopes to soon mass produce electric cars affordable to the common consumer. The idea of a vehicle that runs on electricity that’s also affordable to the common man, coupled with the ability to charge it from your solar driveway (look at our other blog about solar roadways) free forever, sounds like a great goal to me. Gas prices have soared and continue to steadily rise and for what? What are we really gaining continuing to research the use of something that’s so difficult to obtain? Solar energy blankets are earth every day in abundance just waiting to be harnessed. These electric vehicles may well shape the future of the auto industry. 

    volvo-concept-universe-interior-dashboard-touch-screen-7
    Electric cars that don’t cost anything to operate sound great, but how do you feel about your car driving itself? Google is moving to offer that option soon. State of the art laser sensors coupled with unprecedented gps tracking and traffic monitoring software, will get you from point A to point B in complete safety in a Google self driven car. Think about a world without the possibility of human error on major roadways. Parking lots would be a thing of the past, cars would move in courteous order at an appropriate speed, maximizing the efficiency of the vehicle and the safety of the passengers. While this concept is an amazing one, I’m thinking I would miss driving myself occasionally as well. If you need advice on how to make your life easier with tech, even in your car, give us a call or come by we solve problems.

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    Why I’m Excited About iOS 8 http://gadgetgrave.com/why-im-excited-about-ios-8/ http://gadgetgrave.com/why-im-excited-about-ios-8/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:00:07 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4197 Why I’m excited about iOS 8, Apple’s new iOS is packed with features that make the phone undeniably better along with all other devices taking the update. Listening to the consumer pays off if you’re looking for loyalty these days and this update proves that Apple is still capable of it. Each new feature listed below is a fantastic evolution of its predecessor. The messaging app, photos and even the keyboard have changed into something much better. Here are some of the key points that I thought were great.

    ios-8-features

    The messaging app has been boring for quite some time and has slowly evolved into useful. iOS 8 brings new features to messaging that make it one of the coolest parts of the phone. To start with, you can now send sound clips via messaging in a push-to-talk style button interface. Easily add multiple pictures or videos to one message and record video or take shots within the messaging app. The long awaited quick reply has arrived as well, allowing you to reply from the small notification while remaining in another app which is probably my favorite of the major changes. Nightmare group messages can now be a thing of the past. Edit the recipients of a group message on-the-fly to avoid blasting friends while they are working!

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    Photos are getting better and finally so is the storage plan. Since my very first iPhone I have been in constant need of more space for photos. I’m sure you’ve read our blog about how to get free online cloud storage to keep your iPhone’s precious pictures backed up, but it would be nice if your phone just sort of took care of that for you. I would pay a little extra a month to ensure that my iPhone wouldn’t lose my pictures no matter what happened. Imagine being able to pull up pictures or videos from years previous and post them straight to a facebook conversation, without wasting precious storage on your phone. Another great feature added is the ability to search your photo library for events, places, people etc…

    The keyboard is an impressive upgrade from its stagnant predecessor. The keyboard now gives you three suggested words or group of words that it thinks you might say next. Imagine that as you type to your buddies your phone finishes your sentences for you. How does it know? It analyzes not only what you say and how you say it, but who you say it to and provides suggestions based on its findings. The “QuickType” keyboard also knows what the conversation is about and gives you auto-reply standard answers like yes or no questions. Apple assures that your conversations remain private and stored only on your devices. Also the keyboard is now open to third party alternatives such as swype!

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    If you want to know more about how a good smartphone can simplify your life, come see us. We have solutions for many different technology needs and can help you find what works for you. If you’re looking for a simple to use interface across your tablet, phone and even computer then take a look at our Apple devices!

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    The Worst Feeling http://gadgetgrave.com/the-worst-feeling/ http://gadgetgrave.com/the-worst-feeling/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:00:54 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4199 Those of us who have children have probably thought about the incredibly scary possibility of a missing or hurt child. These days when children get separated from their parents they can usually send a text and find Mom or Dad, but its better to be safe than sorry and cell phones are not always the best idea for very young children. I wanted to bring to light some of the recent tech that is improving the way we monitor our childrens safety today.

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    I am about to welcome my second child into the world and we are in a mad dash preparing every little detail for the new addition to our family. It’s nice to have access to a plethora of medical care information for babies! Check out the app Baby MedBasics app which has a number of life saving tips and walkthroughs that are priceless! Quick access to all things baby is a steal at 2.99. The worst feeling is that something will go wrong and you won’t have a plan.This is a great way to ensure that you stay informed on your baby or small child’s health needs.

    sensor-kid-security

    For those of you with teen drivers the Canary app can offer you a little peace of mind while they are out on the road. Canary alerts you when your teen is driving over 12 mph detailing speeds, locations, calls and texts. This will allow many parents to monitor their teens driving habits and dangerous cell phone usage while moving down the road. The app is actually incredibly easy to use and its free! This is by far one of the most robust driving apps I’ve seen for a simple smartphone tracking app. Many auto insurers have similar programs for tracking your teens driving and phone usage but few are this easy to setup! 

     texting-safty

    Amber Alert GPS is a small device that your child can carry with them that tracks their exact location as well as allows two way communication between a primary contact (Mom or Dad) and the child in need. It is discreet enough to be hidden from sight if your child were threatened and not able to talk on the phone. This handy little device allows more freedom for your child in a world of uncertainty. The Amber Alert GPS is powered by the AT&T network but it can be used on any smartphone running Android or iOS with any carrier. Simply download the app and connect to the device.

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    There are several ways to safeguard your computer to prevent your family from being exploited or exposed to inappropriate websites. Numerous programs empower you to control what your young children see online, and most of them are inexpensive. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you do that, bring yourself and your computer into Gadget Grave. We can customize a security solution that works for your family. Our optimization package starts at $64.99.  

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    The Bright Future of Education http://gadgetgrave.com/the-bright-future-of-education/ http://gadgetgrave.com/the-bright-future-of-education/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4173 Whatever you may believe about public education today improvements should be on everyones agenda. The bright future of education with technology provides new ways for students to gain rich experiences for a fraction of the cost of years before. Students can easily experience safe content monitored information super highways and gain information with ease; it might be obvious why this might worry many. Are we creating a digital dependency in students to just look everything up on Google? If so, is anything wrong with that? What do you really know about the potential for technologically enhanced classrooms across the globe?

     the-bright-future-of-education

    World collaboration is an idea of creating a safe environment for students to collaborate with a group across the planet from each other via the internet. Schools can get special grants that pay for a number of devices as well as grants that pay for high speed internet to deliver high quality streaming content. While no system is perfect and there is always room for improvement, many schools comply strictly to safety standards implemented by the federal government. This makes it possible for schools with lower income to deliver a quality experience to its students. For instance a simple projector, a cheap laptop with internet access and a dark room with a blank wall would facilitate the above experience for under $500. While simulation is not reality it can be a great substitute when there is no alternative. It is simply not feasible for every public school to take 300 students on a journey to egypt, and not even possible for them  to explore the pyramids in a way that they could right back in the classroom via a web browser. 

     future-tech-in-education

    Understanding how each and every person learns and facilitating lessons in a different way is a good place to start if bulleting a list of advances technology has afforded us. While this may sound like a robotic approach to such a sensitive subject of learning abilities it has actually sparked innovation in the way we address those so-called “abilities”. The question is no longer why students are getting left behind, its what can we show them to help them understand. Each student can manipulate tech in the classroom in a way that suits their mode of learning, as long as we are asking the right questions it won’t matter that information is at their fingertips. Good questions probe beyond simple answers and require us to think on a higher level to deliver great answers. Multiple technologies whether it be tablets, laptops, or even kinesthetic technologies can be made available to students to help them collect and understand data in different ways.

    touch-screen-tvs-future-of-technology

    Creating critical thinkers has been the goal of public education for quite some time. Specific technologies in assessment allow us to monitor students strengths and improvement needs in real-time, thats kind of a big deal. When I was in public school I never dreamed of the teacher asking all of us a question and in real time submitting our answer! This also allows teachers the ability to track each specific students progress through each step of the lesson and to develop individualized plans for each student in the classroom. Teachers are required to have IEP’s for many students and this program is a successful method for developing strengths in the place of weaknesses for many students. Technology allows the teacher to offer targeted help for every single student.


    If you want to know more about how to safeguard your computer for the student in your house, bring yourself and your computer into Gadget Grave and we can show you how to do that as well as install the necessary tools to keep you safe for the long haul. Our preventative shield package is right at $129.99 and ensures top notch protection for your families computer!

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    Browsers http://gadgetgrave.com/browsers/ http://gadgetgrave.com/browsers/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:00:37 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4125 According to several major news outlets, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning to individuals from using Internet Explorer.  Also NBC and PC World

     

    no-internet-explore

    Why?  Apparently there is a major vulnerability that has been discovered. This weakness allows hackers to obtain all access to your computer.  There is a remote code execution- dubbed- CVE-2014-1776 that allows hackers to gain the same access to the computer as the owner of the computer.

    Microsoft is scrabbling to fix the issue but it has yet to be resolved and users should download another browser until the security hole is fixed. This weakness is one of the reasons I do not use Internet Explorer – that and all the pop-ups and spyware that infect a computer.

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    There are several viable choices for browsers.  Chrome is one of the top browsers.  Since it debuted in 2008.  It is fast and can be ran on most systems- including Windows XP and Vista, which Microsoft no longer supports (causing a person to use an older slower version.)  Flash is part of the design and requires no extra downloads as well as plug ins are “click-to-play.”

    Another great feature of Chrome is the interaction between Google and the browser is cool.  I can sign into my Google account and Chrome can load up all my bookmarks on any computer, it remembers sites I frequent on a new tab I open.  It is more secure and you can download an ad-blocker that works very well (no commercials while using Pandora!).  The browser pops up a red display- meaning something is not right here – when you visit pages that are not safe and does a good job with phishing site blocking.

    This browser is free and available for most Apple products, Windows and Android devices.  I recommend this browser- especially if you use Google.

    Another choice is Firefox.  This browser has remained a steadfast choice among computer users.  The browser is fast and looks great.  Firefox offers Web audio support and still remains the most customizable browser available.  Firefox offers “’Panorama’ tab organizer” that organizes all those open tabs in an easier view.  Battle of the Browsers Firefox has always been a leader and introduced a DO Not Track system.  You have three choices- “Do Not Track, Track, and Don’t tell).  This browser is still the second best in market.

    Firefox is available for almost all Apple and Microsoft products as well as Android and I still use this browser.

    Opera 20 is another free browser.  This browser offers a sleek, minimal design.  The browser is fast and is compatible.  The browser is considered on of the most innovative browsers and it uses the Chrome interface.  Opera offers plenty of malware, and other warnings built into the page to help keep you secure.  Opera is one of the safest browsers says PC Mag.

    While Microsoft Internet Explorer is having a major security breach- do not panic, there are other choices- other options.  It is good to switch up your browsers; all are relatively easy and a lot like Internet Explorer.  If you do not like using another browser, you can switch back when the security is fixed.

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    Snapfish http://gadgetgrave.com/snapfish/ http://gadgetgrave.com/snapfish/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:00:33 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4123 Have you heard of Snapfish.com?  This program is a great place to store all your photos.   Snapfish is just a photo storage center, but a place with simple editing tools as well as a store.  Snapfish offers printing through their website or you may send to Walgreens, Wal-Mart and other stores within your town.  You can print all different sizes, books, blankets and other items.  Also, you can ship your items to different locations- to friends and family as gifts.

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    When you first sign up, you receive free items plus Snapfish offers promotions all the time.   Snapfish offers unlimited online photo sharing and storage, professional=quality prints and gifts, free uploading from your mobile device and other services free.  http://www.snapfish.com/snapfish/aboutUs.

    You sign up through an email address.  When you first log in, the site opens into a welcome page.  This page contains your recent albums on left and on the right, there is a yellow box that lists Upload photos & Videos, order prints, shop, share and mobile apps.  The site is relatively easy to maneuver.

    Another great thing is that your information is private unlike other sites, where your pictures are shared with others.  I use mine for personal and business reasons.  I can send and pay for pictures and I can pick up pictures at the One-hour studio at Wal-Mart or Walgreens.

    The editing offered by the site, is simple and easy to use but does not offer complex editing options as other sites.  I suggest you use your favorite editing software- then upload the pictures.

    Your pictures are organized by date.  When you upload, you can name each album or leave the date uploaded as the album name.  The picture quality is amazing and I encourage all my friends to use Snapfish.

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    PC Magazine stated that Snapfish had great editing tools when it comes to creating personalized cards, calendars and other custom products but sometimes the work did not look as good as other sites.  The review talked about Snapfish’s final product,  I have not had this issue but I usually order and pick up my stuff from Wal-Mart.  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1859065,00.asp

    Top Ten Reviews rated Snapfish as 10 out of 10.  Pros being an easy app and site and a con being that pricing changes depending on store you pick up your photos from or due to the fee charged for shipping.  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1859065,00.asp

    A blogger and photographer reviewed Snapfish with three other sites similar to Snapfish.  According to her blog, more people voted for Snapfish then the other 3 places- stating clearer pictures.  Check it out here!

    The reviews are good with their quality differing in the reviews.  I have used Snapfish for all my storage and to send, share and print pictures.  I have had a free collage sent to my house that was a great photo and I was complete satisfied with the results.  I also send a lot of my pictures to Wal-Mart to be printed.  It is an easy way to get prints quickly.

    I suggest trying Snapfish.    You can use it to back up your photos on your smartphones and pictures stored on your computer.   I wish Snapfish would have existed about 10 years ago- as I did lose many memories due to a hard-drive crash.  I have searched long and hard and use Snapfish for my personal photos and have set my photography clients up an account for quick, safe and secure access to their pictures.

     

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    The game of LIFE http://gadgetgrave.com/the-game-of-life/ http://gadgetgrave.com/the-game-of-life/#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 14:00:51 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=3865 I must say I usually don’t buy apps but this one I did. I remember this game from when I was a kid and thought it was fun. Everyone has at one point played this as a board game. Remember the plastic scenery and that spinner!! The decisions of being an adult, getting a career, going to college, getting married and having children even retirement. Well it is the same here. Everything I remember from the board game is here. You must take a path (fork in the road), and choose if you want a career, or go to college. Over the years the game has changed, going from cash to the current version which award life points. This is a joint effort between Hasbro and EA and I must say the graphics are absolutely outstanding! The 3D animations are pleasing to the eye and are actually pretty cool when moving around the board. You choose your cards at various parts of the game and more than a couple of times made my wife mad from taking half her inheritance. And the spinner the most iconic part of the game is true to the original.
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    To get a good spin you will have to spin it like a rotary phone, kind of annoying but it does work. Spin the spinner, and the app takes care of the rest, moving what looks like a minivan around the board. Every once in a while the app pops up saying you owe money, receive money and the amount you owe the other player. Every once in a while you will have to make a decision for instance, do you want to be a doctor or a mechanic?
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    My biggest gripe is you are basically along for the ride. You also have to sit and wait your turn and sit through the other players turn. The saving grace is you have the option to speed up the animations and skip the computer players  whole turn. Also when you are playing multiple players up to 4 you do have to pass the device around, not a big deal but still. But with all the drawbacks this is a fun gave to pass the time. My wife and I along with my 7-year-old son played a few round and he was excited when he got married and had kids. Even though this game was actually meant for kids I found it enjoyable.
    lifeSC
    In conclusion there could be some tweaks made to the game to make it more interesting and work across more platforms. This is available on the IOS devices and I do believe it is not compatible with android tablets. Since I don’t have a tablet I was unable to test it there. So if you are trying to pass the time by yourself or with the kids say at a Doctors office. That this is great to keep everyone entertained. Screen shots and a market link are below, and at only .99 cents well worth it. (for me anyway).
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    Back up http://gadgetgrave.com/back-up/ http://gadgetgrave.com/back-up/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 14:00:11 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4127 Back up what, you ask.  Back up anything important that you do not want to lose.  When it comes to your phone, you should back up your contacts, videos, pictures and other information you find important and need.  Backing up is simple and but could take time.

    I know you do not believe that it is important to back up your stuff, because you take care of your phone, ect; BUT lately people have questioned how to recover pictures and other data on devices that are no longer functioning..  Accidents happen daily and it is heartbreaking to lose pictures and other information.  How many numbers do you have memorized?  Where is little Johnny’s first homerun picture?  On your phone?  What will happen if you drop your phone in your pool?  What if your phone just quits working?  Backing up saves you from trying everything under the moon to retrieve data- that in many cases is unrecoverable.

    Below are some simple ways to backup valuable information.  These ways could take time but to know your important information is always retrievable, that is worth the time.

    With Android, there are several different ways to back up your information.  First, you can change your settings so all your pictures are saved to an SD card.   The card is great extra storage and it is removable- so if the phone crashes- then your pictures and other items are on your SD card transfer to your new device or to your computer.

    Also, you can connect your Android device to your computer and backup your items.  You have to connect as USB storage- then move your pictures and other items over to your computer.  Just as you would a jump drive; if you use a MAC, then you need to download Android File Transfer to connect to your computer.

    Another way is to use your backup services offered by your carrier, Verizon offers “  cloud storage,”  which is free up to five gigabytes.

     

    CNET_Cloud_Storage_roundup_610x404

    A few other cloud storage clients!

    AT&T offers a similar service for certain customers called AT&T Locker .  You have to be a AT&T Mobile Share Value Customer and you receive 50 gigabytes free.

    You can back up your contacts to your Gmail account as well as use Google Drive to store pictures and other important data.  SMS and call logs require an app.  Many are offered free through Google Play Store and these will backup any information you want.  One I like G Cloud Backup.cloud-storage-2

    Apple does seem to have an advantage over Android when it comes to backing up your stuff.  You just need to backup to iCloud or connect your phone to your computer and back up through iTunes.  This great feature allows individuals to back up everything regularly and they do not have to worry about what happens when their phone quits.  Also, iCloud allows you to track your phone if it is lost or stolen.

    A great way to backup your computer is use an online “cloud service.”  Google drive is free up to 15 gigabytes and you can add 10 extra by adding your smartphone- you have to download an app that is free. .bigstock-Cloud-Computing-29952392

    Do not hesitate and back up your information.  You never know when it could be lost forever.

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    New Phones http://gadgetgrave.com/new-phones/ http://gadgetgrave.com/new-phones/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 14:00:55 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4129 Two New Phones worth a 2nd glance and their contribution to the next wave of smartphones.

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    For several years, smartphones have increased in popularity.  With their fragility, these phones tend to break easily- especially the iPhones and almost all screens (unless you own a Casio or other indestructible phones.  Phones are trending to be better for its users and more durable.

    First- Sony is introducing an amazing new rendition of Xperia – called the Xperia Z2.  This phone is water and dust resistant.  Their website boosts that the phone is life proof and shows the phone falling into water- which it can go up to one meter of water for about 30 minutes (You MUST make sure all the port covers are secure!).  The phone’s screen is only 5.2 inches and it weighs less than 6 ounces.  It is thin and sleek.  You can use up to a 128 gigabyte micro SD card  and it has the highest amount of RAM in smartphones- three gigabytes of RAM (the Note 3 has 3 gigabytes of RAM but most Android devices have 2 –http://www.phonegg.com/top/60-Highest-Ram-Amount–and Apple is 1–http://www.phonegg.com/phone/3291-Apple-iPhone-5s-A1530-64GB).The camera is not too shabby either, boosting 20.7 megapixels and image stabilization.  The video quality is said to be four times the pixels of HD and twice the resolution.  There is a “Timeshift mode” that allows a person to “shoot 120 frames per second then select individual scenes to slow playback”

    The Sony Xperia Z2 is following the same ideals of its competitors.  Owning Sony products- you will see an increased similarity between each device as well as NFC tags and other products that will connect to your phone.

    This phone will be released sometime in May- being pushed back due to not meeting stock standards and the amount of preorders.  Pricing has yet to be released.  If this phone lives up to its hype THEN it will be a great phone.

    The rumors floating about the iPhone 6 boosts its nearly indestructible body.  Using Liquidmetal to make most of its interior- the substance is used currently as a layer around the metal parts of the iPhone 5S.  If the rumors are true about the Sapphire glass- then the screen of the iPhone 6 will be nearly indestructible.  The Apple iPhone 6 is set to release sometime this year. iphone61

    You can see the Sapphire glass in action here

     

    Both phones will having amazing points and will revolutionize the smartphone arena.

    With the phones becoming “indestructible” people need to remember that no matter how indestructible these phones are becoming there will always be vulnerability to the phones.  The phones made to withstand water- require the owners to double and triple check the ports to ensure proper protection.  Nearly indestructible screens are just digitizers and the LCDs could still become damaged from falls.  I would not suggest testing your phones indestructibility as things happen and even the most indestructible phones finally break.  I cannot wait to see what the world of cellphones holds for consumers.

    Of course as electronics break, there will always be GadgetGrave to repair your devices.

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    Apple Mania http://gadgetgrave.com/apple-mania/ http://gadgetgrave.com/apple-mania/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 14:00:37 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4133 Every day, I answer the question- what are the differences between the iPhone 5 series.  One thing all have in common is the added materials and less glass composition of the phones.  This is great who found the iPhone 4 series fragile.

    Exactly what are the differences between the phones?

    First up is the iPhone 5.  This phone has a four-inch screen.  Weighs 3.95 ounces and is composed of aluminum.  The camera is 8-megapixel and the front is 1.2 megapixels.  The hardware consists of an Apple Mania A6, dual core- 1300 MHz with one megabyte of memory.  Built-in storage begins with 16 gigabyte with 32 and 64 gigabytes available.  The phone colors are black and slate or white and silver.

    Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 3.59.11 PM

    The iPhone 5C is similar to the 5.  The phone has a four-inch screen and 8-megapixel camera and 1.2 megapixel front camera.  The body is completely different- composed of polycarbonate.  The processor is not different but the graphics processor is different.  The phone has a gigabyte of RAM and storage begins at 16 gigabytes and can increase to 32 gigabytes.  You cannot get this phone with 64 gigabytes.  The great and different feature of the phone is the color choices.  You can choose between green, yellow, blue, pink and white.

    The iPhone 5S steps up a lot from its predecessors.   The screen size is still just four inches and is composed of aluminum.  The camera is only 8 megapixels but consists of a new technology allowing larger aperture, pixels and sensor- increasing better picture quality.  The two-tone flash helps with more accurate coloring in photos.  The phone’s hardware is an A7 dual core 1300 MHz and contains the same 16-gigabytes of storage but increases to 64 gigabytes.  The color choices for the phone are silver, gold and space gray.  The iPhone 5S has a fingerprint scanner made from Sapphire glass.  This glass is supposed to be the second hardest substance in the world.  The Sapphire glass is rumored to be the next screen for the iPhone 6.

    The iPhone 5S is for anyone who loves a fast processor and a better camera.  The phone is light; great looking and the reviews rate the phone higher than its predecessors.

    Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 3.59.29 PM

    With the iPhone 5C- it is about customization.  If that is what you crave then this is the phone for you.  The camera is still good and the lightweight design makes this a sleek phone.  The drawback is that the phones highest capacity is 32 gigabytes so if you crave a 64 gigabyte- then choose the 5 or 5S.

    Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 3.59.20 PM

    The iPhone 5 is not too much different from the 5C BUT is made of aluminum – which some people like better than the polycarbonate.  The color choices are limited but both shades are sleek.

    The iPhone 4 and 4S are still popular models due to their low cost.  These phones still viable options but are really slow compared to the new models but repairs for these phones are relatively inexpensive.

    The next highly anticipated iPhone 6 will take the market by storm as well as continue to keep Apple Mania lovers happy and competitors vying to break through the market.

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    Android Mania http://gadgetgrave.com/android-mania/ http://gadgetgrave.com/android-mania/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 14:00:24 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=4131 With all the new phones coming out, which one should you choose?  With all the choices one can have a hard time deciding. I thought when the Moto X was released, that it was the phone for me.  It has some great features- completely customizable, you can increase internal storage to 32 gigabytes, and a decent camera at 10 MP.  It is a bit small compared to other phones but it is rated high- between four and five stars. A BIG downside is no external storage and if you use a lot of apps, then you will need to buy the 32-gigabyte version. Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 3.51.38 PM

    Then there is the LG G2.  This phone has an amazing design but the back buttons are different.   The back button did throw me off at first but while using this button- when you need to increase or decrease the call volume- it really is easier than traditional side buttons.  The reviews are mixed with this phone but most agree it is a great phone.  The camera pictures are good at 13 MP and videos in 1080p HD. The main issue with the phone is no external storage and getting use to the buttons being on the back of the phone. . If available, purchasing the 32-gigabyte internal storage phone is the better option. If that is not enough, there are two more contenders.

    Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 3.51.46 PM

    First, there is the HTC One M8.  This phone has a sleek design, fast processor and comes in either 16 or 32 gigabytes.  The phone has amazing sound and cool features like Ufocus- which allows you to focus after the picture has been snapped, photo filters and “seasons” which add drama to your photos.  The back camera is only 4 megapixels but the front camera is 5 megapixels.  The phone is a great gem and worth a look if you are in the market for a new phone. As always, Samsung has added a great phone to its lineup.  The phone is the Galaxy S5.  This phone is quite fast, comes with up to 32 gigabytes of internal storage PLUS a microSD card slot that will support 128 gigabytes.  The camera is 16 megapixels and the video is 4k- which is better than 1080p. But there is a downside, the S5 misses points with critics for its design.   If you need a lot of storage or a great camera then the Galaxy S5 is the phone for you.   If you want a phone that is completely customizable THEN the Moto X is your phone.  Even though the back camera is not the best HTC does boost a 5-megapixel front facing camera- great for all those selfies and the extra photo software is an added bonus.    The G2 is a great phone and would be good for those who can adapt to the back buttons. Always choose phones based on what you want in the phone.  It is ok to look at reviews, check around, go to stores and test devices (listen to the sales people) but overall always choose a phone that fits your needs, wants and one that you love.

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    Net Neutrality http://gadgetgrave.com/net-neutrality/ http://gadgetgrave.com/net-neutrality/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 14:00:01 +0000 http://gadgetgrave.com/?p=3870 Right now overwhelming boredom is rolling over you as you fall into a deep, peaceful slumber. Net neutrality is probably not a word that you care much about at the moment. In light of a few recent changes I thought it might be a good idea to give you the ugly truth about what could be happening soon. Imagine walking into a public library and grabbing one of your favorite books and sitting down to read it. As you read this book one of the librarians approaches you and says “Sir, how would you like to pay today”. The librarian would then explain to you that unfortunately because of the wear and tear to the library that specific book has caused over the years, what with all kinds of people wanting to read it all the time, there would now be an added charge to read that book. “You could certainly browse through are free titles up towards the front”

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    Don’t know what Net Neutrality is? Go here and Learn more!

    This kind of logic is the same that some very large Internet service provider’s or ISP’s here in the U.S. seem to be using. Net neutrality is quite literally, freedom on the internet. The ability to go to whatever legitimate website you choose to go to for free is being threatened. The saddest aspect of recent legislation is how it will affect education, public libraries, college students and low to middle income families who have young children in school. The principal up until recently is that the ISP’s were to be sort of a “dumb” pipeline from you to the world wide web, much like your telephone line or cable. A recent ruling by a federal appeals court has set this idea into motion. Basically your ISP’s without net neutrality in their way, can freely slow down websites that they simply don’t like. They may also charge you to access certain premium tiers of internet. Are you mad yet, just wait.

    NetNeutrality

    Another perspective shines a less than flattering light on the FCC, the supposed loser/winner (I’m scratching my head too) in a recent battle against Verizon. Usually when things like this happen we are told that those big mean companies are causing all the problems and they want to rob schools and middle to low income families, families with young children in school etcetera. What if it wasn’t Verizon or At&t or any other large ISP that was truly leading this fight. The FCC is spinning the loss in court as a victory that establishes the ability of consumers to go anywhere and view anything legitimate on the web free (I’m scratching my head again). Could it be that the FCC is really just laying the foundation for tightly restricted legislation over our internet content. It would certainly seem like that is their intention, considering the only reason net neutrality was struck down was because it lacked legal framework needed to substantiate the FCC’s authority in the matter.

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    While both are compelling arguments, it might be that neither are good for us consumers. The hope is that we stop big businesses from getting too big so that they discriminate and  help out other deep pocketed clients more than their everyday consumers. The concern is that we’re trusting a government (who has a history of breaking trust) to legislate responsibly and not acquire more and more control as they mound legislation like a gigantic political snowball. It could be nothing, but if you take a look at how the rest of the world gets their internet you’ll be thankful for the way yours is delivered, at least for now.

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