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Full Featured Laptop for under $100 – Pinebook by Pine64

Image Credit: pine64.com

Image Credit: pine64.com

Pine64, makers of the popular single board computer product meant to compete with products like Raspberry PII and Onion boards, has come up with a sub $100 laptop. The laptop, named the Pinebook, is a fully functional laptop sporting a quad-core Arm Cortex A3 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of flash (with expandable storage up to 256GB via SDHC), and Bluetooth and WI-FI networking.  Officially it will support certain flavors of Linux (Ubuntu, for one) and Android 5.1. The laptop is looking like it will be priced at around $89 for an 11 inch or $99 for a 14 inch. The Pinebook is not yet available for order, but we are looking forward to getting our hands on one of these when they become available for purchase.

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New Look & Site Updates

Those of you who have visited before might have noticed that we now have a new look. I really didn’t want to part with the black theme, but with the feedback I have received from associates and a couple of site visitors, it seemed like a change was necessary. I am actually very happy with the result and will continue to tweak it as necessary. If you find any bugs please feel free to contact us.

In other news, the site has been online for a couple months now and things have actually been going fairly well. We have been receiving some traffic, certainly not major traffic, but for a brand new blog a substantial amount none the less. We even got linked to by a couple of small blogs. Really not a big deal for most sites, but when you are this small it is something of an accomplishment. If you like what you read here (or just like sharing) please share us on social media and social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, or Delicious.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Image Credit: carlswebgraphics.com
Image Credit: carlswebgraphics.com

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Life is not always easy, often seems to throw a lot of bad things at us, and it can become easy to loose sight of the good things. Thanksgiving is a day where we should take pause and reflect on that which we are thankful for, the good things in life. Many will spend time with our families, and feast on some good food. For those that can’t be with their families today, or have no family to be with I hope you still find a way to enjoy the day and have many things to be thankful for.

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4 Tips for Black Friday Shopping

Image Credit: freeimages.com
Image Credit: freeimages.com

 

With Thanksgiving coming this week we have been inundated with advertisements for America’s favorite holiday, Black Friday. Black Friday is of course not a real holiday, but it is something retailers and many Americans look forward to the entire year. There is good reason to look forward to it. You can knock out that Christmas list and you can even find real deals on some of those big-ticket items. Retailers of course love Black Friday, because they see massive sales not only on the advertised “DoorBusters”, but other items in the store that customers will inevitably buy when seeking the advertised items. After all the reason it is named Black Friday is it is supposed to be a time when retailers get their financials back in to the black (profitable). Here are some of the Black Friday tactics I have used over the years. They are especially good for tech products, but may apply elsewhere.

Plan!

You should really be planning out what you intend to buy well before Black Friday. Make a list before you shop, and stick to it. I recommend for larger purchases price them out in the months before the big day. Use this information to see if the Black Friday pricing is really a deal. You may find that the items are not that much more lower priced, and may even have been cheaper in the past. Don’t feel like you have to buy something now just because it is Black Friday. Many retailers will have several more sales leading up to Christmas.

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Snap, Inc’s (Snapchat) Spectacles….Why do we need this?

Image Credit: spectacles.com
Image Credit: spectacles.com

Back in September Snapchat made two rather large announcements, the first of which being that they are changing their name to Snap, Inc, dropping the chat from their name. The second announcement is that they are Introducing a new product called “Spectacles”. This new product is essentially a pair of sunglasses with a camera built in, the device will enable users to take hands free videos, or “snaps” and upload them to their Snapchat accounts.  If this sounds like it had been done before, that is because it has. Google made a limited release of a product that had similar features called “Google Glass”. Google’s attempt was not very successful.  They had issues with pricing, privacy and a general negative image, primarily brought on by Glassholes. While Snap has the mistakes of Google to learn from, I am still asking the same thing about Spectacles that I asked about Glass, why in the hell do we need this.

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Some good tips for spotting fake news

Fake News
Image Credit: someecards.com

Recently the issue of fake and inaccurate news, also called junk news, has found its way in to public discussion. This is not a new problem, but with the amount of fake news relating to the most recent election, the issue is receiving much broader attention. Many are putting the blame fully on the social media companies like Facebook, or search and news aggregators such as Google. While these companies do have a responsibility to help address the problem, the blame is not entirely at their doorstep. The users of those services are also in part to blame, as they are the ones who visit and worse yet share the offending material. As news consumers, social media users, and even as bloggers, we share in the responsibility to mitigate the negative effects of fake news. It starts with being able to identify fake news; here are some tips for spotting a fake news story.

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We’re on Facebook

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So I am excited to say it is time for taking the next step with this blog and we are now going social. You can like/follow us on Facebook and interact with us via our Facebook page. You will find a lot of our major posts on Facebook and more. Really it is just another way to make our content more accessible, and hopefully start to build a community of readers.

The fake news problem facing Social Media (..were looking at you Facebook)

On November 8th, 2016 something that many thought was impossible happened, NYC business mogul and reality TV star Donald J. Trump was elected as the President of the United States of America. President-Elect trump has had a widely controversial campaign. His often belligerent words and actions and his unpredictability make many in this country nervous, or in some cases even down right scared. Whether this distaste for and fear of the President-Elect is warranted, only time will tell, but one thing Americans who didn’t vote Trump want right now is someone to blame. It seems they found many things to blame, bad polling, poorly timed FBI investigations, poor voter turnout, and so on. But there is one target of blame that keeps coming up, and with increasing volume, “fake news”

Social media platforms as Facebook and search platforms like Google are facing widespread criticism for providing an avenue for inaccurate, and often down right fabricated news stories to become widely disseminated, and sometimes even viral.  Anybody who has been on the internet for any period of time has come across these types of stories, and sometimes they can be hard to tell from legitimate news. Many of the fake news websites look like legitimate news sources, and in many cases this is by design, to make it look like their false information has some authority. When these stories fit the narrative that someone already believes, they have a tendency to share these articles, further perpetuating false story. In today’s world where people get much of their news from social media, and the news shapes public opinion, this is a big problem; a problem that many feel swayed the last election to favor the Republicans.

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Microsoft joins The Linux Foundation..Did Hell freeze over?

Microsoft <3 Linux
Image Credit: Microsoft

In what many will consider shocking news Microsoft has not only been on a path of embracing Linux, but now they have  joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member, as reported by TechCrunch. To me this news is not at all surprising, as Microsoft has been making friendly overtures towards open source for the last few years, not only contributing to many Open Source projects, but releasing some of its once propriety code to the Open Source community, which they have been slowly doing for over a decade, but only recently have they been taking it seriously. In recent months they have also collaborated with Canonical, makers of Ubuntu, to include some Linux functionality right inside of Windows. In addition to this there has been a concerted push to get Microsoft products onto other platforms, including its SQL Server, Visual Studio for Mac, and Office mobile for Android to name a few.

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Happy 20th Birthday to ICQ Messenger

icq_new_1024

Popular messaging platform ICQ turned 20 years old today, that is a crazy amount of time for an application to remain in existence and definitely worthy of praise.  I remember the good old days of using it to chat after school when I was in middle school. It’s simplicity and functionality were great for its time. To be completely honest I had completely forgotten about it until just I stumbled on this medium post referencing its 20th, as in today’s world it just doesn’t have much use to me with so many superior, and integrated options available to us. At one time ICQ was widely popular, boasting over 100 Million users and finally getting bought up by AOL for 100s of millions of dollars. ICQ is still in development under the direction of its current owner Mail.ru, and still used by millions of users. Pretty crazy what a project from a couple of Israeli high schoolers turned into. Just thought this was worth mentioning.


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