In an email received yesterday, Microsoft reminds us that Windows Live Mesh will cease to function as of February 14th, 2013. This Valentines Day let down means that services such as remote desktop and peer to peer sync will no longer function as of this date. Also, any synced Mesh data stored in Skydrive accounts will also be purged. Microsoft recommends that users switch to using the new features and capabilities provided in Skydrive which does not include remote desktop support. Instead, Microsoft is surprisingly recommending that users either use LogMeIn Free or LogMeIn Pro for this kind of service as shown in one of the included screenshots. Continue reading
We are looking at moving our family’s wireless phone services over to a contract free carrier in the early part of this new year. The current one of choice appears to be Straight Talk. On Verizon Wireless, we currently pay an average of $150 per month after taxes for one basic phone and one smartphone to share 1,400 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends and unlimited texts. The one smartphone also has an obvious data package married to it. That price is only because one of us gets a discount through our employer so you can imagine this bill could be much higher. That being said, a move to Straight Talk would reduce our wireless phone bill by almost $650 annually and would give us unlimited everything (talk, text and “in theory” data too) on either the same network we are currently using or on AT&T which is the network of choice for us due to the “Keep Your Phone” SIM card option Straight Talk offers. Bringing Verizon Wireless branded phones to Straight Talk is currently not supported and their carrier branded choice of devices is quite abysmal.
For the past month I’ve been searching for the model of AT&T phone I’d like to use for this transition. I’m currently on the fence between the Samsung Galaxy Note i717 and the Motorola Atrix 4G. Both are different in price and size. On the one hand, the Galaxy Note would help me to possibly negate the need of carrying a data enabled tablet. The Atrix 4G would allow me to have a generous sized screen device that can double as a laptop using its optional laptop docking station. I’m trying to decide which way will work best for me. Continue reading
I read an article today by The Wall Street Journal reporting that Google is now forcing Google+ public profiles on its Gmail users to directly compete very aggressively with Facebook. I couldn’t discern from the article if this change is going to be retroactive or only applying to new users moving forward but it seems to me like Google might be trying to fast paddle its way back to getting on the boat with social networking and at the expense of what its users might feel comfortable with. In regards to the Facebook world, does this sound familiar?
Google is starting to show signs it will take the “Facebook approach” to its social network. Basically: “We will make changes we think are in the best interests of our users.” Really though, this means what’s in the best interests for them and their advertisers. Don’t get me wrong, I really like what Google has done with Google+ and I would most likely personally use it exclusively if the membership base would come near to Facebook, but I just don’t see that happening even with this new effort. I think Google’s approach to making profiles mandatory is what is not settling well with users. They should have required this from the date the service launched on new accounts and provided existing users the choice of when to activate and setup their profile, publicly or privately. That would have made more sense, at least to me. Google probably thought they would see a lot of growth after launch that would make this requirement unnecessary. Continue reading
I really like my Google TV, the Logitech Revue. It makes surfing the web and using my television a lot more engaging when I can simply sit on the couch and do what I normally would have to do on either a tablet, smartphone or a computer. Don’t get me wrong, it still has its drawbacks and some are more disappointing than others. The one that sticks out like a sore thumb now more than ever since this device was released more than two years ago is the lack of Hulu Plus support. It simply isn’t there yet by either app or through Google Chrome and we shouldn’t expect it to ever be based on Google’s intent to no longer support its premature and undedicated efforts to bring its services and products into everyone’s living rooms along with its refusal to come to agreements with TV networks.
The question I ask myself is what will I do with the device moving forward. Right now it basically provides my TV with some “Smart” sense but that’s not going to be enough when my family already heavily uses services like Hulu. Last year I went ahead and purchased a Roku 2 XS to replace my aging and incredible slow Roku XD. Although I don’t like the fact that the Roku 2 is not near as stable running as its predecessor, at least it provides the ability to access Hulu Plus content. Continue reading
This year has been a trying one for a lot of us around the globe. One thing I have struggled with is posting new and fresh content regularly. Life gets in the way and sometimes makes it difficult to commit to certain personal interests. It has been neat though to see some of my articles become very popular. Namely, “NTFS on OS X Lion 10.7 SOLVED.” This article has brought a lot of exposure to the web site and accounts for a generous percentage of its first year’s web site traffic. It’s also one of the top five search results on some search engines when this topic is researched. For that, I am most thankful. I am thankful that I can bring content to the masses that helps them effectively solve problems.
Looking forward into the next year I have some commitments I’m promising for myself and our viewers to see take flight. First, more new and fresh content on this blog site. I’m thinking more so in the realm of helping others solve common and sometimes unique tech problems. While I will be posting articles about current and ongoing events, I think the focus of this blog site will be that of problem solving. I’m promising myself that I will commit to writing something at least once a day even if it is only a couple paragraphs. Fresh content is a must.