Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fight Boredom with StumbleUpon App for the iPhone

Sometimes life just gets boring. The book on the table beside you looks distasteful and nothing is on television. Facebook? No one is online. Email? Inbox is empty. Free time can quickly begin to feel like wasted time. Millions of people have beat back the boredom in the last few years with StumbleUpon, the internet's version of channel flipping. The best thing about StumbleUpon is that you can customize the topics that you like to read about, so not only can you pass the time, you can also feel inspired by stories and web pages catered just for you. Now with StumbleUpon making its debut on the iPhone, you can stumble anywhere, anytime, into something incredibly entertaining.

For those unfamilar with StumbleUpon here are a few of the basics. StumbleUpon is a website dedicated to linking its Stumblers with web pages that will intrigue and entertain them. No membership or sign up is required. You don't even have to choose topics if you do not want to. Simply hit the "Start Stumbling" button on the page and have your browser whisked away to a new site that you have probably never seen before. Only the best of the web is featured. Once you are comfortable with stumbling, you can choose which topics you are most interested in and from then on you will only stumble to pages pertaining to those topics.

The new StumbleUpon app is simple to use and is available for the iPod Touch and iPad as well as the iPhone. Unlike the site itself, you must have an account to use the iPhone version, but the sign up is quick and easy.Upon first opening the app your options are simple. First timers may want to simply hit "Start Stumbling" first and see what the internet has to offer. Users more familiar with StumbleUpon will be able to choose specific topics, or if they have a previous accounts, their preferences will already be present. If the page is something that you enjoy, you can hit the thumbs up at the top of the screen and the app will filter its stumbling results to reflect what you have previously enjoyed. The same goes for the thumbs down. If you don't like what you've stumbled across, hit the thumbs down and StumbleUpon will try and avoid similar pages from then on.

A new feature that the StumbleUpon app offers is the option to choose only stumble pages that are mobile friendly. Right under the "Start Stumbling" are four buttons labeled "Photos", "News", "Flickr", and "Youtube". When you choose one of these options, you will stumble to mobile-friendly sites, pictures, and videos catered directly to the iPhone. This option is very convenient for quick on-the-go stumbling between classes or meetings, or even just to make lunch break a little more interesting.

With StumbleUpon finally arriving on the iPhone boredom has a much slimmer chance of taking hold. The StumbleUpon app is simple and easy to use, needing very little time to get acquainted with the setup. The app itself is quick and responsive, remembering all of your preferences and never taking you to the same page twice. The sites it will take you to will capture your imagination and stimulate your creativity.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

24 Hour Android Sale

24 hour android sale

Wirefly, the online site that sells discount mobile devices, is having a 24 hour Android sale that only lasts until this Thursday at midnight. They are offering amazing deals on some incredible phones. You can pick up the Motorola Backflip or the HTC Aria for free when you set up a new account with AT&T. You can also get the Sony Xperia or the Samsung Captivate for only $49.99. All you have to decide is which phone fits your needs the best.

Motorola Backflip
The Backflip features a great keyboard and has a battery life of about seven and a half hours of continuous talk time. MotorBlur also integrates e-mail and social networking quite nicely.

HTC Aria
This Android phone from HTC is absolutely adorable, and it is incredibly fast. It also has an excellent 5-megapixel camera. It is being called the first “usable” Android phone from AT&T.

Sony Xperia
The Xperia is great on battery life. It runs a little bit over 7 hours of continuous talk time. It also has a fantastic camera and great video playback. Sony gave the Xperia a slim, chic feel and plenty of features to make it a great choice.

Samsung Captivate
People are calling Samsung’s Captivate the top Android phone from AT&T and quite possibly the best alternative to the iPhone. It’s sleek, fast, and powerful. It has a big bright screen and tons of great apps.

You better hurry because this sale won’t last much longer. These are some excellent deals on some fantastic phones. Wirefly is the place to go if your looking for a new Android phone.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

White Noise App Will Lull You to Sleep

white noise appI don’t know about you, but I have problems going to sleep in complete silence. Depending on where I am, there are different things that act as my white noise. Sometimes it’s the sounds of the city or of crickets in the country or even just the whir of a fan. At times, you might be sleeping somewhere where these natural white noises are not available. That’s where the White Noise mobile app comes in handy.

The White Noise mobile app is available for a variety of different devices. It can help you relax anywhere with different options ranging from crickets to rain and thunder.

There are two different versions of the White Noise mobile app. There is the White Noise Lite version that is free for iPhone, Android, and Palm phones. It gives you enough sample sounds that you might be completely satisfied with the free version, but if that isn’t enough, then you can purchase the full version. For $1.99 you can purchase the full version for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry phones. For $2.99 you can purchase the full version for Windows Mobile and Palm WebOS phones.

White Noise Lite (the free version) comes with 10 sample sounds including: trains rolling on a track, crickets chirping in a forest, and the sounds of an airplane cabin. The full version of the app has about a total of 40 different soothing sounds that allow you to choose between options like beach waves or crashing ocean waves, light rain or thundering storms, and tons of other sounds.

The White Noise app is perfect when you travel a lot. You can easily plug some headphones into your device and take a nap or sit your phone nearby before you go to bed and turn the app on. Now, you may be concerned that your battery will run down if the app is playing all night. Well, both White Noise and White Noise Lite feature a timer that you can set. It will allow you to decide when you want the app to turn off so your battery won’t be shot. Now, you will only be able to run the app in the background while you do other things on your phone if you have the full version, but that’s not a huge deal.

The lite version of the app is a great way to check out the app and see if you want to spend the money on the full version. It gives you a really good sampling and could be all that you need. Both versions of the app allow you to create playlists of sounds so you can fall asleep to something like a light rain and then wake up in the middle of the night to something like beach waves. You can mix and match tons of different combinations.

Want more free apps? Check out the top 10 free iPhone apps.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dish Networks Turns Your iPad into a Remote Control

Dish Networks Turns Your iPad into a Remote Control
Imagine you've just settled into your favorite chair after a long, hard day at work, you've got a nice cold drink, you've got your iPad so you can catch up on some reading, and you're just about turn on the TV, when you realize your remote control is out of batteries. Let's face it, when we're tired, most of us would rather watch the worst TV show ever than get up and change the channel ourselves, but what if I told you you could change the channel with your iPad? Well, if you're a Disk Network subscriber, you can now do just that.

Dish's new app turns your iPad into a remote control for your Dish digital video recorder. Just like similar apps for the iPhone and iPod touch, the app called "Remote Access" allows you to access all of the same DVR functions and features as your remote control does.

You can use the app to schedule TV recordings on multiple receivers, delete timers, browse and search up to nine days of shows, manage your DVR library by setting priorities, resolve recording conflicts, and delete the shows you've already watched. It works with almost all of Dish's standard and high-definition DVRs.

Best of all, if your TV is connected to a compatible Dish receiver, the Remote Access app can work as a TV remote control. You can use it to change channels, browse the program guide, play recorded programs, and access navigation features such as rewind, fast forward, and pause.

Dish also offers similar remote control-type apps for laptops, desktops, and non-Apple smartphones.

Along with several other vendors, Dish is also partnering with Google to make an app for the upcoming Google TV. This web-based app by Dish would provide a search box that would allow you to search for data via web and television sources. It would also allow you to find relevant content, regardless of whether it's on TV or online, and allow you to personalize it so that it's easier for you to discover content that fits your tastes. The first Google TV device is supposed to be introduced this fall by Sony. Dish will make it possible to use Google TV on its DVRs as well. Companies such as Best Buy and Logitech will also have a hand in Google TV.

In the meantime, Remote Access for your iPad is free and can be downloaded at the Apple App Store. Don't have an iPad? Consider trying out a temporary iPad rental to see if you like Apple's latest device.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

BlackBerry Service Banned by United Arab Emirates

uae bans blackberry serviceOn Sunday, August 1st, the United Arab Emirates announced that BlackBerry service will be banned for security purposes as of October 11th. That means no BlackBerry messenger, e-mail, or Web browsing anymore.

This will not only affect those living in the UAE but also those that visit the country, even if their BlackBerry was issued in another country. The devices will still be able to be used for phone call purposes, but that’s about it.

The authorities say that the new ban is for security concerns. BlackBerry data is shipped to company computers that are abroad, so this makes it extremely difficult for local authorities to monitor and control any illegal activity or abuse.

Many people are very critical of this new ban. Some feel that it is simply a way for the country’s conservative government to control any content that they might consider politically or morally offensive. The UAE government officials says that there are BlackBerry features that are “causing judicial, social, and national security concerns.”

Maisoon al-Iskandarani, an Emirati BlackBerry user working at an international bank in Dubai, says, "I think it's a very big step back. All developed countries in the world have it. Why should we not? How are you going to stay in touch with your clients and colleagues?"

The country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) director General Mohamed Al Ghanim says, "With no solution available and in the public interest, in order to affect resolution of this issue, as of October 11, 2010, Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry Email and Blackberry Web-browsing services will be suspended until an acceptable solution can be developed and applied.”

P.J. Crowley, a U.S. State Department spokesman, said that such bans are "a move in the wrong direction." He states, "We're going to clarify with the UAE what's behind this announcement, but we think it sets a dangerous precedent. It is our view that you should be opening up societies to these new technologies that have the opportunity to empower people.”

Reporters Without Borders, a press-freedom group based in Paris, has urged the UAE to lift the bans and come to a compromise "that does not limit the freedom of the Emirati population,” but I don’t think that the UAE is going to consider another option right now.

Research in Motion (RIM), the Canada-based company in charge of exporting and managing overseas BlackBerry data services, defends their security policies. They released a statement stating, "RIM operates in over 175 countries today and provides a security architecture that is widely accepted by security conscious customers and governments around the world. RIM respects both the regulatory requirements of government and the security and privacy needs of corporations and consumers. RIM does not disclose confidential regulatory discussions that take place with any government however RIM assures its customers that it is committed to continue delivering highly secure and innovative products that satisfy the needs of both customers and governments."

Obviously despite all of this, the UAE remains unconvinced. Until they can come up with a satisfactory solution to their concerns about BlackBerry services, those living in or traveling to the UAE will just have live with out BlackBerry services. As annoying as this may be, it’s not the end of the world. I think people are more concerned about the principles of the matter. If the UAE feels they can take away things like BlackBerry service because of security issues, what else might they feel needs to be banned in the name of “security?”

Cell phones and all of their features and services are becoming a part of every day life for almost everyone. Read all about how landlines are quickly becoming obsolete.

Looking for help with travel and technology? Then call a Tech Travel Agent at 800-736-8772. Or see this link for a Laptop Rental on your next trip.
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