WorldStart Tech Tips 2015-05-22
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In The News 05-22-15
Verizon Buys AOL: Big Changes In Store
Verizon is laying out $4.4 billion to purchase AOL. AOL is the company behind Mapquest, The Huffington Post and several popular tech websites. The Internet pioneer also still serves millions of dial-up Internet customers.
This could mean a big change in the focus for AOL.
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said, "Verizon's vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform. This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience."
The company says it plans to focus on a mobile-first platform and the "Internet of things." That means it will offer content that works in conjunction with smart devices and apps.
The deal will first have to be approved by the government before anything is finalized. Do you use AOL products? Are you excited about the shift in focus to mobile or worried? Click here to let us know in the comments.
Internet Use Doubles
New research says that people are spending nearly twice as much time online as they did ten years ago. They total hours spent online has jumped to 20.5, more than double what it was in 2005.
The increase seems to come largely from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The time spent online goes up for younger users, with those 16 to 24 spending closer to 30 hours a week online.
Ready For A $9 PC?
We've told you about small flash-drive sized PCs before. Now check out C.H.I.P - a pocket-sized PC that will sell for only $9. The developers launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the device and in a matter of days raised nearly a million dollars, far exceeding their $50,000 goal.
They promise that C.H.I.P. will allow you to work in LibreOffice as well as search the web and check your e-mail and even let you play games with a BlueTooh controller. The device offers a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. It can connect to the Internet via WiFi and to a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
The device can also be plugged into nearly any screen. There's even a pocket-sized version with a screen that will fit into your back pocket. Right now, the project is still in the Kickstarter stage and expected to hit the market in May of 2016.
There is something worse than being in a car accident.
And that's being in a car accident with someone who's dishonest with nothing to lose. They run the red light, accuse you of cutting them off, and there's no witnesses to say otherwise.
So now it's he-said, she-said, and you're just trying to make it all stop!
Dash cams provide irrefutable evidence - and that's why they're getting more and more popular every day!
There's over 600,000 reported hit and runs a year... you never think it will happen to you, but nobody knows for sure!
JUST $32.97 for the ONE thing every car owner needs!
Record everything! Leave nothing to hearsay!
Dash cams are just perfect!
You set them up, switch them to "motion detection" mode, and go!
Of course, if you're concerned about vandalism or parking incidents, you can just leave it on the regular recording mode to keep a recording of your parked car too!
I wish I had one of these when I was in school, some of those kids had NO idea how to drive (and probably still don't!)
And this dash cam is LOADED with high-tech features, making this deal really unbelievable!
That means you'll be able to see anything in your recordings crisp and clear! License plates, car models, the whole works! You'll be shocked at how clear this thing records!
Using special LED lights, the camera will be able to record things that even YOU can't see! After all, what use would a dash cam be if it only worked during the day?
With a standard cigarette lighter socket plug and a USB plug, you can charge this battery on the road or at home!
I've already mentioned motion recording, but this even has loop recording! That means you don't have to worry about "erasing" pointless data! If nothing worth saving happened, just let the dash cam keep recording... it'll automatically overwrite early data to make room for new recordings!
Want to record a TON of driving? Pop in any microSD card from 4GB to 32GB to expand your storage and keep hours of driving footage at once! YES!
Hey - don't think this is just for insurance and accident cases!
If you're an adventurer or just love road trips, this is a great way to document your travels and keep events forever!
Sometimes you see some crazy stuff on the road, now you don't have to ask people to believe you! YOU CAN JUST SHOW THEM!
Dash cams are like an added level of insurance that don't cost you an extra dime after you have one!
And remember the amazing deal on this thing?
IT'S ONLY $32.97 WITH FREE US SHIPPING!
If you only need it ONCE in your life, it'll have paid itself off 1,000 times over!
Grab one quick, this was a special item my supplier offered us and we can't get many of them before they'll be gone forever!
PS - I'm not kidding about grabbing one quick, last time we had one of these devices they went fast... I don't know if I'll be able to get anything like it after these are gone!
Speed Up Your PC: Part 3
Slow PCs are a pain! But we’ve got some easy ways to speed them up. In part 1 and part 2 of this series we looked at ways to remove unwanted programs and clean up old files that could be slowing you down.
But we aren’t finished. There’s still a lot more you can do, like disable unnecessary programs when Windows starts up.
When Windows starts up, many programs tend to initiate in the background. The more the programs that initiate at start-up, the more time it will take your computer to boot. Most of these programs don’t even need to be running at time. Here we’re going to use CCleaner, which we discussed how to download in this article. So if you aren’t familiar with CCleaner, click here to read about it first. Here’s how you can disable them with CCleaner:
Click the Tools tab and then Startup:
Now, select the programs you don’t want to initiate at startup and click Disable. It also gives you the option to enable the programs you want to initiate at startup.
Now, we’re going to take care of any unwanted extensions in your browsers.
What most users don’t know is that unwanted extensions can be installed maliciously as well as with other programs. These extensions are a big reason for the slow browser and internet speeds. CCleaner gives you a complete list of all the extensions installed on all your browsers and the option to disable/delete them.
In the Tools tab, under...
Do you have a question for us? Ask it here!
Streaming Takes The Digital Music Crown
We've talked before about how music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify have taken over the music market. Many younger listeners no longer purchase either physical CDs or digital MP3s. Instead, they use subscriptions services to listen to their music.
These services usually offer a free option with commercials and limits on the amount of music you listen to or they offer paid commercial-free subscriptions that sometimes give you unlimited listening.
Users listen to the music with smartphone apps or on a computer. The growing importance of streaming is made clear by recent earnings from the Warner Music Group. For the first time, streaming income has overtaken the sales of purchased digital music.
Streaming increased by 25 million dollars in revenue in the first 3 months of 2015, while digital downloads actually dropped - by $22 million. That left the total digital revenue flat, but shows many digital customers are moving away from purchases to streaming services.
That's not to say that physical media is dead. Older customers still prefer it and the company says that sales of physical music is actually up by $12 million dollars. They credit strong sales by Kid Rock and Led Zeppelin albums in countries where streaming services aren't so widely available. It's interesting, since physical sales are down close to 10% worldwide.
Physical sales seem to be enjoying a rebound in the U.S., partly in thanks to the resurgence in popularity of vinyl...
Wayne from Clearwater, FL writes:
Regarding the Comcast boondoggle with them using you as a neighborhood hot spot, could Verizon be doing this as well. I have FIOS and on many occasions my service is horribly slow. When tested with sites like speakeasy, etc. my download is below 1mbps! It is supposed to be 15. Verizon denies any “issues” but I wonder. They can change speed and cut and re-instate service from their office with just a phone call to them when such things are needed, so what else are they capable of?
I cannot find any information about Verizon using routers in the way Comcast is. However, if they were, it would have to be stated in the terms of service agreement that you signed with them, so maybe take a look at that.
As far as the speed issue is concerned, there are several factors. I am first going to assume you are talking strictly about wireless connection, and not wired. Wired speeds generally will give you the promised and advertised speeds. But there are often restrictions on the wireless.
You also don’t state what router model you have. Different models support different bands – usually n or g. Older models only support g, which usually maxes out around 25-30 megabits. Still better than what you are getting or supposed to be getting, but just something to keep in mind. You may want to look into getting an additional wireless router to use along with the modem/router supplied by Verizon. I’d suggest looking for a dual-band wireless router, that way you can connect using n or g bands, if you choose this option. Also make sure you have your security set up, as it could be someone is stealing your WiFi connection and using up some of that bandwidth. It is recommended to use WPA2 security, rather than other options, as this is the most secure encryption at the current time.
Also, how close to your router are you? If you are farther away, the connection may be slower. The closer you are to the router, your connection is generally faster and better. Maybe look into relocating the router to a more centralized location, and avoid objects that cause interference, such as cordless phones, microwaves, and other appliances.
But my first suggestion would be to try to connect using a different...
Cartoon used with permission.
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Edison Talking Doll Recordings
This link came across my Facebook feed via some link aggregator or another. I checked it out because talking dolls are sure to be creepy. I traced it back to where it was originally posted on the National Park Service site. I’m bringing you that link today!
What you’ll find is information about Thomas Edison’s Talking Doll and eight newly digitized audio files of the recordings the dolls played. The site covers the history of the design, why it is important historically, how the audio files were recovered, and more. All of this is located in the center panel of the page.
You’ll also find links on the right side of the page. They are: Listen to Doll Recordings, Cultural History, Frequently Asked Questions, and Photos. You’ll also find links to these sections embedded in the information portion of the page.
For even more information about Edison’s Talking Dolls, you can also check out this page.
The recordings are all of nursery rhymes, and are to me very creepy. I wouldn’t want to listen to these on a dark and stormy night that’s for sure!
Check them out for yourself today!
Send it to Amanda at email@example.com
Hey everyone, Steve here and I’m personally writing this ad.
Well, because I almost can’t stand how excited I am about today’s special! In fact, I’m already putting these all over my house!
What am I going on about? This amazing new USB outlet adapter!
First off, it’s obvious why everyone should switch over as soon as they read this - it turns two regular outlets into three PLUS it adds TWO USB sockets!
I mean, think about it - everything charges via USB and it’s beyond silly to charge everything via your computer’s USB ports. Oh, and using the little charging adapter isn’t any better - it eats up one of your wall outlets!
With this, you not only keep your wall outlets, you add an extra one. PLUS you get TWO USB plugs!
Check it out, not only do you have two handy USB ports for charging, this also has TWO cradles that slide out form the sides to hold your device!
You can FINALLY stop setting your phone on the floor when you charge it!
But that’s STILL not all!
I mean, with all the above it’s pretty much the biggest no-brainer of all time to go ahead and grab a handful of these, but it gets even BETTER!
This isn’t just an outlet multiplier and USB charger with a cradle...
We’re talking 540 joules of surge and spike protection for anything that’s plugged into it!
I know, some people don’t think you need surge protection, but they’re probably wrong about other things too :)
When it comes to surges, most people think of thunderstorms, but that’s only ONE way it can happen - and it’s not even the most common!
Most surges come from INSIDE the home - and they happen dozens of times every day! Each time a heavy appliance turns on (think washer dryer, vacuums, air conditioner, furnace, etc.) it can cause a minor surge. Taken individually, these usually aren’t a problem.
However, taken over time, they can degrade the sensitive circuitry inside our electronic devices until they fail. In fact, if you’re ever had an unexplained failure of an electronic component, this may very well have been the cause.
This amazing little outlet adapter protects you from both major and minor surges - it even has an indicator light to let you know if the surge suppression circuitry was damaged!
Plus, the price is ridiculously good. In fact, everyone here at the office thinks I should charge a lot more for these, but that’s not how I roll :)
Get yours today for just $12.97! It’s an amazing deal - check it out for yourself.
PS - don’t wait too long. Our supplier only has a limited number of these available and has given us a special price just for our subscribers. Once these are gone, it'll be another few MONTHS before we see more (and we can probably kiss our specail price goodbye too).
PPS - Seriously, I can’t recommend this highly enough. Grab a few, you’ll be really glad you did!
May Wallpaper Is Ready
The featured desktop wallpaper for May is all set and ready to go. Due to some car trouble I was stranded for a few days and I didn't have time to get any new wallpaper ready. However, I did find some images that just seemed to scream "Spring!" - and I've featured them below.
And remember, there are hundreds of images to choose from on the site!
All can be found here and are 100% free:
Oh, and if you enjoy these images, please tell your friends!
For these and other great selections of desktop wallpaper, head to:
As always, the wallpaper is 100% free, so enjoy!
Attention All Wildlife Photographers!
My new book, Secrets To Stunning Wildlife Photography, is now available! Learn how to take your wildlife photography to the next level with this comprehensive 290 page e-book!
Photography Tips - Step By Step Videos!
Is it time to improve your photography? Check out my YouTube channel - loads of helpful photography tips with more added monthly (more or less).
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