July 31, 2012

Top 4 Affordable Smartphones on the Market

Smartphones are some of the best inventions ever. With a smartphone, you can talk, text and cruise the Net from just about anywhere. These are the top 4 smartphones that won’t make you take out a second mortgage to afford them.

Motorolla Droid Bionic

This is one powerful phone, and it’d make a great prepaid cell phone. With this much battery power, the huge screen and its dual core 1ghz processors, the Bionic could give Lee Majors a run for his money.

Apple iPhone 4

Apple’s latest entry runs well on its battery, carrying you through the day while feeling great in your hands. Everybody knows that your comfort level while using your phone says a lot about your tendency to get involved. Your desire to find a great price on a phone also says a lot about how good the deal is that you’ll end up finding.

HTC Thunderbolt

Do you need speed but still want to be able to afford it? If that’s the case, the Thunderbolt is your baby. They’re just making it to the secondary market as people who always need something new sell them for next week’s plaything. This means a great deal is also a great find.

Google Nexus S

Google’s device is still very solid despite being an entire year old — which is the cell phone equivalent of a 20-year-old car. Regardless, its expandability makes it an extremely solid device, and its operating system more than makes up for being just middling at raw speed.

Three Common Questions about RAM

Computer memory is one of the more important elements in any computer. Without enough memory, you may not be able to do the things you want, including playing games, saving videos and other important files. Here are some common questions that people often ask about computer memory so you can get a better understanding of your needs.

What is the difference between memory and RAM?
A computer’s hard drive memory is different from the processing memory, or RAM. The hard drive’s memory these days is usually hundreds of gigabytes, such as 120 GB, 320 GB or larger. Some computers may even come with more, such as a TB, or terabyte, which is roughly 1,000 GB. The computer’s RAM, on the other hand, is the computer’s processing memory. The RAM is usually a couple gigabytes and the more gigabytes of RAM, the faster your computer will run.

How do I add more RAM to my computer?
In most cases, you can add more RAM to your computer yourself. Once you determine how much RAM to add, shut down the computer. Disconnect any devices you have connected, such as printers, hard drives and others. Take off the computer cover and remove any static by wearing an antistatic wristband or grounding yourself some other way. The RAM card simply snaps out and you can snap the other one in its place if you get the right angle. Use slight pressure when removing and replacing the RAM to prevent damage and be sure to avoid touching the pins or chips on the card during the process. Once you have the new RAM in place, replace the cover and power it up to see how much faster you have made your computer.

How do I know if I have enough RAM?
RAM is very inexpensive these days. There was a time when it was very expensive to add even a small amount of RAM to your computer. But with it being so cheap, you can get as much RAM as your computer will hold. You cannot harm your computer by adding too much RAM so max it out and enjoy your computer’s efficiency.

Keeping Up with Technology News

NBC News Washington
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Technology seems to change from day-to-day, so much so that you can feel as though it’s very hard to keep up with what is going on. There are ways you can accomplish this, however, without having to devote a huge amount of time to it. The first step is to find a technology news source that provides accurate information. Even the most current news is going to be no good if it isn’t right. So make sure your technology news source does its homework.

The second step is to realize that you really don’t need to check your technology news source every day. Once or twice a week should be enough, unless you hear about something (from a reliable source, of course) that appears as though it is going to be happening very quickly, and the information applies to you or your business. Then you might want to make more frequent checks. Again, make sure all the information you’re reviewing is accurate.

The third step is deciding whether or not any new technology is really going to make that much of a difference. For example, if the latest technology news involves new “apps” becoming available for cell phones, you want to make sure that it’s one that you and your employees actually need. If you participate in affiliate programs, and a new “app” provides faster access to information on the top affiliate programs, then you definitely want that.

You know what needs you and your company have, and by keeping up with technology news, you probably know ahead of time whether or not the latest happenings are going to have an immediate effect on you, or if you can wait a while before taking advantage of the latest things. When you have chosen a good source, you will have the information you need to make informed decisions.

Five Tips for Cleaning Your PC Keyboard

Your keyboard is one of the most important computer hardware components that you use. However, many people take their keyboard for granted. As a result, the keys begin to stick or they become loose over the years which can be very frustrating. But you can avoid that problem by using the following tips to clean your keyboard regularly.

1. If your keyboard is a standalone component, unplug it from the computer first. Then tip it upside down and shake it. This will get the loose particles and debris out.

2. Turn your keyboard back over to its original position and use compressed air to blow out any other particles that were left behind after shaking it. You may want to do this step outside in a well-ventilated area due to some of the chemicals in the can of compressed air. Spray in between the keys and then turn the keyboard upside down again and shake out any debris that the compressed air has knocked loose.

3. Clean each key surface by combining a diluted solution of water and dishwashing liquid. Use a mildly damp cloth and clean the various oils, dust and dirt from each key. If you do this regularly, you can simply use a cloth dampened with plain water. Dry each key with a dry cloth.

4. Vacuum the keyboard. You can either use a miniature vacuum or the dusting attachment on your normal vacuum to clean off any dirt or debris that has been left behind.

5. If some keys are sticking, you can gently pry off the problem keys with a small screwdriver and use your damp cloth or cotton swab to clean beneath the surface of the keyboard. Only the number and letter keys should be taken off, though. The space bar and larger keys are too difficult to replace so you may want to have a professional fix those if those keys are sticking. Also, be sure to make note of where the keys go before you pry them off so you can put them back into their original spot.

Fiber Optics Are Changing the Way We Surf Online

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Have you ever typed the name of a website into your browser and sat twiddling your thumbs as it loaded? How about playing an online game and had lag issues every few minutes because your ping rate was so low? Sometimes this has to do with the server that the website is being hosted on or the speed or your browser or computer, but often these slow load times have to do with your Internet provider — especially if you have problems on a regular basis. Slow-downs can increase if you share your home network with many other users, such as in a college dorm or in a large family with many computers.

What would it be like to surf the Internet at zooming fast speeds? How would it feel to know that you can go online and watch a streaming TV show found on Hulu.com without worrying about lag because your teenager is playing an online game?  Wouldn’t it be nice to watch movies with the vlc media player with no problems? Luckily for you, the future is fiber optic Internet. It’s spreading across the country and may be in your area soon.

And you know it must be big and innovative if Google is getting involved. In February of 2010, they announced that they were planning on getting into the industry by offering a one gigabit per second, fiber optic Internet to a community to be determined. That’s around 100 times faster than most people in America can access today. The hope is to use that community to experiment with next generation applications that require higher speeds to function.

So why is fiber optic so revolutionary? Because it has many advantages over its copper wire counterpart. It’s less expensive, thinner, able to carry a high capacity, and uses less power. One of its greatest attributes is the loss of signal degradation. It has much less loss of signal than with copper and so you are able to have clearer calls and a clearer TV signal. It’s also cheap to produce, lightweight, flexible, and non-flammable. Because it’s cheaper to produce, often the prices for it are very competitive even with the increase in quality.

Four Tips for Preserving Your Laptop Battery

From top to bottom: SR41/AG3, SR44/AG13 (butto...
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Few things are as frustrating for laptop users than to have their battery power run out at the most inconvenient time. Some batteries can last for hours while others may only last for an hour or two. Regardless of your battery capacity, though, there are some things you can do to lengthen the amount of time it lasts before losing its charge. Here are some tips to prevent your laptop battery from dying too soon.

1. Cut down on the applications that you run. If you are running several programs at one time, your battery is not going to last very long. Games and heavy graphics can drain battery power more than most other types of programs. Use the fewest number of programs necessary when you are running your laptop on battery power to get the most from it between charges.

2. Keep your laptop cool. Heat is bad for your laptop and it’s bad for your laptop’s battery. It can drain battery power and it can cause your battery to lose its capacity over time. A laptop cooling pad can keep your laptop cool, but it generally uses a USB port for power which can drain the battery. If you have a small fan that you can plug into an outlet and set next to you laptop, that can help it stay cool and get the most life from your battery.

3. Avoid using external devices. There are many computer hardware components that you can put into your laptop through the USB ports. MP3 players, external hard drives and other devices drain the battery quickly because they draw power from the battery as well.

4. Let it drain every few weeks. Allowing your laptop battery to completely drain is a bad idea if you do it every day. However, if you do it once every three or four weeks, you can help preserve its present capacity and extend its life.

Four Benefits of Using a Tablet PC

Photo of HP Tablet PC running MS Windows Table...
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There was a time when laptops were the ultimate in mobile computers. But as times and technology continue to change, there are new developments in the mobile PC world. One of the latest pieces of computer hardware designed to make life easier is the tablet PC. Here are four benefits you can experience by using one of these new pieces of portable equipment.

1. Taking notes is now a cinch. Do you remember the days when you took notes in your college class and you had to write them by hand and then transfer them to your computer when you got home? That was very time consuming. With a tablet PC, you can write your notes directly onto the tablet and then transfer them to your computer in seconds. You can edit your notes and even search through them using keywords in a matter of seconds.

2. Record audio and take notes at the same time. This is a handy feature if you find yourself daydreaming during college lectures or other speeches. You can record the audio as you take notes. Then you can view your notes and listen to the corresponding sections of the lecture to get a better grasp of what was being said.

3. Use voice commands. If you get tired of writing notes, you can let your voice take over. Tablet PCs have voice commands so you can simply speak and it will record what you are saying in an audio format and in a digital text format.

4. Save time. All of the benefits that you can experience by using a tablet PC are designed to save you time and make life easier. Whether you are a student, teacher, business owner or any other type of profession, a tablet PC can be a great way to get more stuff done in less time. Its portability allows you to take it everywhere you go so you can get work done regardless of where you are.

Browsers Compete to Meet Consumer Needs, Like Seraching, Shopping for Auto Insurance, and Interfacing with Wed-Based Applications

Internet Explorer 8
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The browser wars have been going on since 1996 when Window’s Internet Explorer and Netscape faced off. Internet Explore has held the top spot for browsers in part to its connection with Microsoft. After releasing Windows XP, Microsoft left Internet Explorer on hold, which allowed Google to corner a portion of the market with its Chrome browser. As of August 2010, Chrome held seven percent of the market. Firefox also continued to upgrade and make improvements, resulting in it cornering 23 percent of the market. As Internet Explorer reaches its 15th birthday, Microsoft is working on a new browsing version.

A person’s browser choice is one of the components of using the Internet that depends on the features available for completing online goals. Some people want to use Internet Explorer because they are familiar with the browser and its functions. They know exactly how to search and buy auto insurance and other products online without trying to figure out the functions of a new browser. Others prefer Chrome and are looking forward to PCs coming with the browser loaded as the default option.

For now, Microsoft holds 60 percent of the market. The company may see the number increase if it releases Internet Explorer 9 in 2010 or 2011. The new version of the browser will add support for HTML5, incorporate a faster engine for JavaScript, and accelerate the loading time for texts and graphics. The company hasn’t set a final release date, but a beta version may come out in September 2010.

As browser companies gear up for the release, Google is already increasing its marketing efforts for Chrome. It points to the ability of the browser to tap into other Google applications. With Chrome, a person can get a basic computer and use web-based applications and tools to bring the machine up to a competitive level.

Four Ways to Make Your PC Faster

A slow computer can be very frustrating. You could be on a roll when working on your latest project but your computer could slow you down and minimize your productivity. Luckily, there are some things you can do to speed your computer up and make it more efficient. Use these strategies to minimize your frustrations and get your work done quickly and smoothly.

Run Only Necessary Applications
One reason your computer may be running slow is because you are running too many programs or applications. The higher your computer’s workload, the slower it is going to work. Check to see if you are running any programs in the background that could be reducing its efficiency. Only run the programs and applications that are necessary at any given time so you do not overwork your computer.

Remove Spyware and Viruses
Viruses, spyware and other malware can reduce your computer’s efficiency and ability to run smoothly. You may not even know that you have these dangerous things on your computer for awhile. Invest in a quality antivirus software program and anti-spyware program to get these problems off of your computer. A good program will even catch these problems before they get onto your computer so you can keep everything clean and running smoothly at all times.

Install More RAM
One of the most effective ways to make your computer faster is to install more random access memory, or RAM. The more RAM your computer has, the more temporary information it can store. The RAM affects your computer’s ability to run programs, play music and videos and respond to your mouse and keyboard commands. Maximize your computer’s RAM capabilities and see how much faster it runs almost instantaneously.

Keep It Cool
Keeping your computer or laptop cool will help it run faster and more efficiently. This means keeping the air vents unobstructed, keeping the clock rate to a minimum and running the fewest number of programs necessary at any given time. If necessary, use a small fan or laptop cooler to keep the air circulating so your computer will run faster.

Three Ways for Storing Your Information

Storing your data on your computer is a great way to keep it readily available. However, your computer’s internal hard drive can only hold so much. After awhile, too much data on your computer will slow it down and make it run inefficiently. It may even cause it to freeze up at times. Here are three convenient methods for storing your data so you can clean up your computer and still keep the information you need.

External Hard Drives
An external hard drive is a great way to store tons of data. You can buy external hard drives with as much memory as you will ever need. If you ever fill up the drive, you can always buy a new one and start filling that one up as well. However, since you can get external hard drives with two terabytes of space and even more, it will take awhile just to fill one of those up. Simply connect it to the USB port on your computer and you can start transferring data in a matter of seconds.

CDs and DVDs are ideal for storage because you can separate the data into categories. One CD or DVD can be for your favorite playlists while another could be for important documents. They make great backups even if you keep the same data stored on your computer or external hard drive. It never hurts to have a couple backups in case your other storage devices fail or get stolen.

Many companies allow you to store much of your data on their server either free or at a very low cost. Many email providers now offer unlimited storage space so you can email stuff to yourself as a way of storing it as well. When you store your pictures, music, documents and other information online, you can access it from anywhere. You can go on vacation and not worry about dragging your storage discs with you because you can simply get any information you need straight from your email or online storage website.