Month: October 2014

6 Handy Websites

BugMeNot allows people to share login credentials for websites, eliminating the need to register and maintain your own accounts for websites you don’t often use.

RetailMeNot allows people to share coupons and promo codes for websites and stores. Always check a site like this before making an online purchase! Could save you a few bucks.

Mailinator is a disposable email client, no sign up required. logo

SeatGeek gathers ticket data from a bunch of different websites and shows you all the prices so you can find the cheapest tickets and best deals. Great for sporting events and concerts.

Filler Item Finder gives you a list of items on Amazon at whatever price you input so you can meet the $35 free shipping requirements.

No Phone Trees doesn’t even look like a real website, but it is. It helps you to skip automated phone trees you get put through while calling companies.

*Bonus!* Nick Reboot plays all the best classics from years ago on Nickelodeon, streaming 24/7.


Why it takes so long for your Android phone to get the latest update

Android 5.0 is coming later this fall, which, if you’re a Verizon customer with a Samsung phone, probably means Android 5.0 is coming… eventually! Verizon customers always tend to be the last to get the OS updates, but why is that? Why do some people get the OS update within a month or so of its release while others wait more than half a year? The answer is middle men. Lots of them.

So here’s a really basic explanation of what’s going on behind the scenes. Bear in mind it’s a lot more than what I’m about to explain. First, Google releases a basic version of the OS to a phone hardware company like Samsung or HTC so that they can evaluate it and begin preparing for the update. Google provides the code for the OS to manufacturers of computer chips for the phones, so that they can ensure the phone hardware of both current and new phones will support the OS. This usually takes a month.

Next, Google releases the OS to phone manufacturers like LG, Samsung, HTC, and Motorola. They take the OS and ensure it works with their various phones and tablets. But they don’t do just that, they also add on their own features on top of the base OS. For instance, Samsung adds on it’s TouchWiz UI (a launcher, basically the “theme” or look of the phone) plus extra features and apps like S Health and their own camera app. This takes about a month or two.

After that, it goes to the phone carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. These companies all feel it’s necessary to add even more bloatware onto the phones, like Verizon’s VZ Navigator. The worst part? Sometimes carriers or phone manufacturers have to go back to Google to work out a problem with compatibility, so it can take even longer. Verizon is notorious for taking forever with releasing updates.

Luckily parts of these steps can happen at the same time, but the fact of the matter is there are a lot of factors that come into play. There are a lot of chip manufacturers, a lot of phone manufacturers, a lot of different devices from each that the OS needs to be compatible with, plus there are a bunch of phone carriers.

Now look at Apple: Apple is a hardware and software company. It designs the OS, it designs the phone. It has a small number of different devices, so ensuring compatibility on the chips is not as difficult. Apple is also notorious for demanding near-full control over all aspects, so pushing the update through the carriers simply goes faster. It’s a much shorter process.

Source 1 | Source 2

6 Great Programs You Should Have on Your PC

  1. Antivirus. If you have Windows 7 or Windows 8, you already have Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender, respectively. Look into using them regularly. I’d also recommend MalwareBytes.
  2. Backups. Most people who regularly backup have learned the hard way that they need to be regularly backing up. I use Free File Sync because it’s great at managing my multiple hard drives and backups, but Windows Backup does a good job too.
  3. Adblock PlusI had thought that most people had known about this by now, but apparently not. This thing will block ads across all websites, including YouTube video ads. Works with all major browsers.
  4. F.lux. If you’re using a computer when it gets dark, you’re probably straining your eyes. Flux adds flux-icon-smon a slight yellow-ish tinge to your screens at night to make them easier on the eyes. The only time you’ll really notice it (unless you’re watching a movie) is when it changes automatically during sunset.
  5. Undo sentSo this isn’t a program but I really want to recommend it. This is a feature for GMail only, in GMail labs. It adds a timer to your email, so once you click sent you can click undo if you realize you forgot something at the last minute. It’s come in handy more than a few times.
  6. Plex. This is the easiest home media server I’ve ever set up. It streams all my media content from my computer to my smart TV, smartphone, Macbook, tablet, and Roku. It’s compatible with a lot more including Chromecast.

Apps You Should Try (Because I Said So)

Pocket – It’ll save your articles, websites, basically any web content so you can check it out later. For when you’re at work and can’t watch that video just now. Or you see an interesting article and want to save it for later. I think it’s great and use it daily. google-now-google-search-jelly-bean

Google Now – Seriously if you aren’t using this yet you need to get it now. If you’re concerned about Google learning too much about you, you may not want it.

Yahoo Weather – Yahoo is killing it in the app department if you ask me. This is a beautiful weather app that I would totally use all the time if I used weather apps and cared about the weather more than what Google Now can already tell me.

Yahoo News Digest – About 10 stories two times a day. One set during the morning, one set during the evening. Short and summarized, and they include useful info like maps, infographics, wikis, etc. For when you just want to know what’s going on.

All of these are compatible with Android/iOS.