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Archive for the ‘I’ve Always Wanted To Know…’ Category



I’ve Always Wanted To Know: Why aren’t return policies on tech products all the same? Depending on the product and the store you purchased an item from, returns can be easy, difficult, frustrating or refused completely. So why are there so many different policies? I’ll try to shed some light into the “why” behind the return policies. Continue reading

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: What’s the difference between an address and a search box? Why can’t I get to a website by typing the address? Continue reading

What’s So Great About 3D Microchips?

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: What’s so great about 3D microchips? Why is it any better then the current 2D production method? Answer: Microchips currently are made using a two dimensional (2D) process which means that circuits are all laid out on a single level of the chip. If microchips could be designed in three dimensions instead of just two, then you could build levels on top of each other. Continue reading

How Does Noise Cancellation Work?

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Noise cancellation headphones have become increasingly popular over the last decade but how do they work? What is the difference between noise reduction and noise cancellation? Which is better for what situation? Continue reading

How To Get The Most Out Of Tech Support

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

The irony among buyers of anything electronic or technical is they want a company with good support, but most people fear calling for help. If you ask a tech support agent, they will tell you horror stories, and if you ask customers, they will counter with just as many horror stories. What can you do to get the most out of the technical support department of a company when you call or e-mail? Continue reading

How Does A Computer Understand Speech?

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: How Does A Computer Understand Speech? Answer: Software like Dragon Natural Speaking or Services like Google Voice Search of Apple’s Siri Digital Assistant allow you to speak to a computer or smartphone and have the computer understand what you are saying. How does this work though? Continue reading

Is it Ok to Leave My Computer On?

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: Is It Ok To Leave My Computer On? Answer: Each industry has it’s own “depends on who you ask” question and one of the most common in the PC industry for confusion is “Should you turn off your computer when you’re not using it?” The question is generally difficult to have a consensus on because it depends on the type of computer, the needs of the user and how your… Continue reading

How Do Free Games Make Money?

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

From Facebook games where you’re a virtual farmer to online card games and role-playing games, one trend has taken over within the last few years: companies giving the games away for free. But how does a video game company afford the artists, designers and coders to make these games if they’re just giving them away? Is it really a scam, or is there some secret logic to it? Continue reading

What Is Spam? Why Is It So Common?

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Spam, which is otherwise known as junk mail or spam mail, is a huge annoyance for every user of e-mail. So what exactly is it? Why is it so common? How do you prevent spam? Why don’t internet service provides stop accepting spam? The answers to these questions may surprise you… Continue reading

Have you ever been told to get a malware scanner? Ever received the threat of a virus? Have you been advised not to use a specific program because it has spyware? What is the difference? Do you need a separate program for each, or does one cover them all? A lot of questions need to be answered, so we’ll cover them one by one. Continue reading

Why Do Manufacturers Run Out Of New Products?

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

It seems that more often than not, the latest product announced is out of stock for weeks and sometimes months after the official release date. If you want to own it, you have to pre-order it or wait in line during the early AM hours in hopes of getting one of the few received that day at a store. So why does this happen? Why is it a manufacturer can run out of a brand new product? Is it bad planning? Is it something else? Continue reading

Does Dust Really Damage Computers?

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: Does Dust Really Damage Computers? Have you been told that if you don’t keep your computer clean you’ll damage it? Can dust and dirt really hurt a computer or is this an old tech tale? If it does cause damage, how and what can you do to prevent it? Are there any signs of damage and is any of it repairable? Continue reading

How Do Wireless Chargers Work?

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Wireless charging is a popular new feature included on some cell phones and availible as an add-on to many others. How does the charger work? Does it require special batteries? Is it safe? I’ll go through each question step by step. How does the charger work? Wireless charging works… Continue reading

Are LED Holiday Lights Really Better?

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

With the festive time of the year the question comes up if the new LED style lights are really better or just a way for light manufacturers to increase profits. LED lights use an electronic circuit printed on a semiconductor which when electricity passes through it emits light. LED’s normally produce a single color and can have a lens over the circuit to color the light though some newer LED’s… Continue reading

I’ve Always Wanted To Know:Extended Warranties: Deal Deal or Waste of Money? Have you ever been in a retailer and after picking out the item you want to buy you hear the following line: “Did you want to go with the extended warranty?” Everything from a $10 calculator to a $3000 ride on lawn mower seems to have the ability to buy an extended warranty these days. Should you buy one if it’s offered? Some people swear it’s the best deal while others claim they are totally worthless so what’s the truth? Continue reading

What Is Quality Control?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Quality control is the process where manufacturers verify that an product conforms to the standard and construction they requested. Almost all factories and manufacturers have some form of quality control but why is it you still receive defective merchandise? Do they quality control employees and systems fail? Is quality control a lie? Is there some other secret to why it always seems like if there is a bad one you’ll end up with it? Continue reading

Why Do Cell Phones Cost So Much Money?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

In this weeks “I’ve always wanted to know” we explore why cell phones cost so much money. What makes them expensive? What components cost the most? Is that free phone really free? The answers may surprise you. There was a time not too long ago when the idea of having a phone that was always with you and always connected sounded more like science fiction then something you would be purchasing every 2 years. Since the dawn of the cell phone…. Continue reading

If you’ve went car shopping in the last few years you’ll see a number of cars now come with the option of a keyless system. The odd part of these keyless system is you still get a key but it’s just a remote control to lock/unlock the car it has no physical key that you must put in the car to open it or start the engine. How do they work though? Is it secure? Can someone walking by record your key number and then open your car using a generic transmitter? Continue reading

In today’s “I’ve Always Wanted To Know” Melanie & Tim talk on camera about the differences between a Tablet and an eReader and why you would choose one over the other. Which is better for books? Which lets you check e-mail and download apps? Want more facts: Check out this… Continue reading

How Does A Surge Protector Work?

Friday, October 12th, 2012

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: How does a surge protector work? If you own a computer, a television or any other piece of expensive electronics you should already own a surge protector. A surge protector is a key part of protecting your gadgets from damage but how exactly does it work? When you buy one what should you look for and what do the various terms mean? Continue reading

Are Incandescent Light Bulbs Illegal?

Friday, October 5th, 2012

You may have heard that incandescent light bulbs are illegal but that does that mean? Can you still use them? Can you buy them? Are companies making them. Well, the simple truth is… Continue reading

Can Static Electricity Damage My Computer?

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Static electricity builds up quickly when you rub up against something or walk on carpeting, but regular daily activities over time can also build up a static charge. After the charge has built up and you touch something conductive the energy discharges and you feel a little shock. Continue reading

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: What’s the difference between optical and laser mice?
Answer: Computer mice come in a few different types and people are often confused by optical and laser mice. The first important thing to understand is when someone refers to optical or laser they are talking about how the mouse detects when you move it not how it is connected to your computer. Optical and laser mice can be connected either through USB cables or wireless adapters and just because a mouse is an optical or a laser will not tell you if it’s wired or wireless. To determine… Continue reading

Why Are Muli-Core Processors So Popular?

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Modern computer processors are designed to have multiple cores, basically smaller processors on the single big chip which share resources and can process multiple bits of information at the same time. Why is this design better then one big processor? Why has it become so popular? Continue reading

What Is Interference?

Friday, September 7th, 2012

If you’ve ever used a wireless device and had signal issues someone has probably told you that there must be a lot of “interference.” But what is interference? What types of interference are there? Is it even interference or something else? Let’s start by talking about how a wireless signal works. A wireless signal operates at a certain frequency (ranging from 3Hz to 300Ghz) and who can transmit at a specific frequency is controlled by the government and generally follows the… Continue reading

What Is A Browser Add-On?

Friday, August 31st, 2012

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: What is a browser Add-On? Browser Add-Ons (or Extensions) are pieces of software that change the way your browser works or adds additional functionality to your web browser. Add-Ons can be something as common as Adobe Flash Player which allows you to play flash content on the web (movies, animated banners, games) to… Continue reading

How does a GPS work?

Friday, August 24th, 2012

GPS or Global Positioning System, is a group of 24 satellites that are in high earth orbit which are used with a GPS receiver to show your location on the planet. The system was completed in 1994 and today you can find handheld GPS units, car mounted units, cell phone GPS and even cameras with built in GPS functionality. How does it work though? The answer is surprisingly simple (and complicated at the same time)… Continue reading

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