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WorldStart Tech Tips 2013-01-25

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Quick Tip

Bing Fare Predictor

Trying to decide when to purchase your flight tickets for that summer vacation? It doesn't hurt to check to see if you're getting the best deal. Bing's price predictor is a great way to gauge the patterns of air fare. Just enter your trip itinerary and the site will tell you whether to buy your ticket or to wait. The information is based on price trends and historical fare data.


If you would like a more in-depth look, click on 'Fare History' to view the pattern for an entire year.




Note: While writing this I discovered that while the 'tip' to buy or wait will always appear in the results, the Fare History link showing the additional information is not available for all itineraries.

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A Cloth To Clean Everything – THE RIGHT WAY!

Stop Wasting Paper Towels - Stop Wasting Your Time!

We've Got an All-Purpose Cleaning Cloth That Lasts Forever!




No Soap - No Solution - No Residue!

Static & Lint Free


Just $4.97 For A Limited Time Only!

You Know What's Just Foolish? Using Paper Towels to Clean Your Glasses! REALLY?!?!

You’ve been ignoring your optician’s warnings, haven’t you?! They weren’t kidding when they said that wood-based products like tissues and paper towels will scratch your lenses – permanently! KNOCK IT OFF!

And what about your sensitive electronics? Touchscreens? Monitors? Televisions? They get dirty and smudged up too... but if you clean them with the wrong cloth... they get PERMANENT SCRATCHES!

Why even clean 'em, if you're just going to ruin 'em?

You Need the Maxell PROFESSIONAL MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth - It'll be the LAST Cloth You'll EVER Need!

Seriously, for less than the price of lunch, you can get a cloth that was actually meant for cleaning your eyeglasses and electronics! SAFELY!

And you'll never have to worry about replacing it, either - it's woven strong and it'll NEVER wear out! The material is soft and smooth - it'll never scratch or damage your glasses like paper towels or other, less suitable cloths will do over time.

And it's big enough for ANY job!


This guy is programmed to defeat dirtiness of all kinds!

So, keep those lenses clean and clear! And once your glasses are clean, you’ll probably notice a lot more things! Like all that dirt on your electronic equipment!

It’s OK! You Can Use This Same Cloth On All Your Electronic Stuff Too!


Some materials just instinctively attract crud - it's like dirt, dust and lint are magnetized to them! And really, they are, due to the static electricity they create! All you're doing with those other rags is wiping dust right back onto what you're trying to clean off. Talk about counter-productive!

BUT NOT WITH THIS CLOTH!  This material is actually anti-static and will not attract lint or dust - it'll just eliminate it from your electronics for a clear, clean finish!

No Soap - No Solution - No Residue!

This cloth is 100% FREE of any chemicals or solvents, so it won't leave some greasy, streaky residue. Use it once, and you'll see: it's the BEST cleaning cloth EVER!

So here’s the bottom line! You can clean your eyeglasses safely, with no scratching, no residue, no smearing. You get to see clearly again and again!

AND because of this cloth’s special properties it will safely snatch all that crud off your electronic equipment too, like your TV screen, monitor, cell phone etc.!

And then you can wash it and reuse it over, and over, and over! It even comes with its own carrying pouch!

The BEST part...  It's REALLY inexpensive!

That's right - for today and today only, you can get the Maxell Professional MicroFiber cloth for just $4.97!

If you buy 2, or your order total is over 5 bucks - US shipping is FREE! Wow - that's a sweet deal!


Computers 101

Surface Pro & Latitude 10 Full Windows 8 Tablets

CES 2013 was the first time anyone has been able to go hands-on with the soon-to-be-released Surface Pro from Microsoft. This tablet is not the Surface released months ago running a limited Windows 8 RT edition, but the full desktop version of Windows 8 with support for all of the hardware & software of a traditional laptop. 


Surface Pro Specs

  • 10.6″ 1080p IPS Multi-touch Capacitive Screen
  • 2lb Vapor Magnesium Case with integrated kickstand
  • 64GB or 128 GB of storage space
  • Ivybridge Mobile Core i5 Processor
  • 4GB DDR-3 Ram
  • Pressure Sensitive Pen
  • USB 3.0, Micro SDXC, Mini Display port & Headphone jack
  • 802.11 G/N & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Starting Price: $899
  • Availability: Early 2013 (no exact date announced)

So what were the impressions from the hands on demos? This is the tablet for people looking for a full fledged computer in a tablet form factor. While the price is high, $899 for 64GB or $999 for 128GB not including the touch cover, the device offers the fastest tablet experience and widest variety of software & hardware.

Now if you’re sticker-shocked at spending so much money for a tablet, then Dell may have the answer for you. The Latitude 10 featuring a full version of Windows 8 has a starting price of only $499 and offers quite the bang for the buck. 

Dell Latitude 10 Specs:

  • 10.1″ 720P Gorilla Glass IPS Multi-Touch Screen
  • 1 lb 7 oz soft touch casing
  • 32GB or 64GB of storage space
  • Intel Atom Z2760 Processor
  • 2 GB DDR-2 Ram
  • Pressure Sensitive Pen
  • USB 2.0, Secure Digital Slot, Mini HDMI & Headphone jack
  • 802.11 G/N & Bluetooth 4.0
  • Starting Price: $499
  • Availability: $599 64gb model Immediately, $499 32gb model coming soon

The Latitude line has been traditionally aimed at business customers, and while Dell officially states this is the primary customer type for this product, it would make a fantastic tablet for anyone. The full Windows 8 allows you to run any software & hardware that you would on a traditional laptop, and the dock connector offers a docking station (sold separately) which gives you 4 more USB 2.0 ports, full size HDMI, gigabit Ethernet and audio outputs.

So which should you buy?

That’s a rough question because I wouldn’t feel right without mentioning Intel announced the 4th generation of its CPU designed for ultrabooks and windows tablets. It offers impressive power savings and increased performance. Having mentioned that, the question comes down to one of performance and price.

If you’re looking for a second device/iPad/Android competitor: Latitude 10 offers you a bit better then netbook performance with a fantastic display and full copy Windows 8.

If you’re looking for a primary computing device on the cheap: If your looking for web browsing, e-mail, document creation and basic photo editing, Latitude 10 can serve as a primary computer. $500 more for a Surface Pro is hard to justify. I’d highly recommend purchasing the dock to connect keyboard and mouse when using it as a traditional desktop.

If you want the most performance today: The Surface Pro is the way to go. From the i5 chip to the faster ram, USB 3.0 expansion and higher resolution screen you do get what you pay for. The touch cover ($139 extra) is a obvious accessory along with a mini display port to VGA or HDMI connector (for connecting the Surface Pro to projectors or larger monitors) along with a USB 3.0 hub.


P.S. What is Apple going to do to counter this? I’ve long been an iPad user (I’ve owned every iPad Apple has released) but with the specs of the Latitude 10 I’m considering a switch. Let’s hope we see a iMac Air with full Mac OS & Windows Bootcamp soon or many will be jumping ship to Windows 8.

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On The Move

How To Install Android USB Drivers

In most cases, when you connect an Android device to your computer for the first time, the drivers will automatically be installed. However, the phone will most likely be detected as a mass storage device, not as an Android device. This gives it similar properties as an external hard drive, and should be fine for most users, since you will still be able to copy files to and from your device.

However, if you need to “debug” your Android device (one of the requirements for rooting), you will need to make sure the computer recognizes it as an Android device. Since there is such a great variety of Android devices, there is no single solution for installing the drivers.  This guide should work for most devices, but might not work for all. 

Installing the drivers using the Android SDK (recommended):

1. Download the Android SDK.

Download Android SDK

For the complete tip, go to WorldStart!


From The Archives

Image File Guide 

I get questions about image formats all the time, so if you don’t know your JPEG’s from your GIF’s, this is for you. First, a little background on file compression.

There are basically two ways of saving images, lossy or lossless (no, I didn’t make those up). If an image is saved in a lossy image format, it means the format being used discards some of the “unimportant” image information. However, the resulting image file is smaller. Lossless retains ALL the image information.

OK, now that you know that, here’s a overview of the most common image formats.

JPEG – By far one of the most common image formats. It’s primarily used for photographs. It is a lossy type of format, but most people can’t really see the difference. You can adjust the amount of compression when saving a JPEG image, so you do have some control over the final output quality. JPEG’s are extremely popular since they compress into a small file size and retain excellent image quality.

Keep in mind that the more you compress a JPEG, the more “pixely” it will tend to look. For the best results, save your JPEG’s at the “medium” or “high” setting (your imaging software should bring up this option when you go to save as a JPEG). I really can’t see any image degradation in most pictures saved at the medium setting.

To learn about other kinds of image formats, head over to WorldStart!


Today's Feature

Friday Funnies!

Cartoon used with permission


For stories, jokes, quotes and cartoons every day, sign up for our Just for Grins newsletter.


Amanda's Coolsite


I know I've brought you other awesome guitar tab sites in the past, but Soundslice offers something more than just free tablature. They have created an interface where you can see the tablature synced with video of the song being performed.

I know from my work as an academic coach that everyone learns differently and at their own pace. From knitting, I've learned that sometimes that line of pattern makes no sense to me until I can see someone else hands going through the motions. In fact, I almost exclusively use YouTube for knitting how-to videos these days.

So why wouldn't the same be true of playing guitar. Now you can not only hear what you're trying to play and see the guitar tabs, but you can actually watch someone play the piece. If you've had difficulty and wondered if seeing someone do it would be more helpful, then this is the site to help you learn guitar tabs. Another great feature of the interface is the ability to slow both the tabs and the video down to half time so you can easily see what's going on and practice at a slower pace.

Best of all the site is free to join and use, but what I like more than that is that you can click the Play with an Example button and try it out before signing up. So that if it doesn't work for you,  or you don't like the platform then you won't have another random account out there. If you do like it you can easily register for a free account from both the main page and the example page.

Just click the Sign Up button, then provide a working e-mail address,  create a username and password, and agree to the terms of service. Once you've filled the form out with the required information, click the Let's Boogie button and get started with your own account. 

This is an awesome site for learning guitar tabs, check it out today!


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Do you have a cool, non-commercial site that you want to share?

Send it to Amanda at


One More Big Deal


This is the easiest way EVER to transfer files to and from internal hard drives! Sounds simple - but the uses are off the charts! 

How's it work? 

You take an internal hard drive - IDE or SATA (that's pretty much everything from the last 10+ years) and plug it into this device. Then plug the USB cable into your computer - that's it! 

The hard drive you hooked up will show up as a removable drive under My Computer! No pesky driver install required! How cool is that?



This is the biggie! Let's say you have an old computer laying around and you REALLY want to get the info off the old hard drive and onto your new computer. With this, just pop out the old hard drive, hook it to this little gadget, and plug the USB cable into your new computer.

You just got your data back!

Oh, and if you're like me and have been computing for awhile, you probably have an old hard drive or two lying around. If so, just hook it up to this and have instant USB access to your files! Now THAT'S smart!

My favorite use for this? Using it as a cheap backup device!

Forget spending $100-$150 for an external HD that you'll just shove in a drawer after your backup! Grab a MUCH cheaper internal drive OR just grab an old hard drive you have lying around that's not gettin' any love - then hook 'em up to this cable - instant backup device!

When you're done, just stick the drive in your desk drawer! Hey, that's my backup plan most of the time! Internal drives are easier to store, cheaper to buy (think WAY cheaper) and just as reliable!


So, you have a large file - or group of files - that just won't fit on your flash drive but you need to get them to another computer. Hmm. what to do...

I know - grab that old hard drive sitting in your drawer and use this handy cable put them on there! After all, this cable is basically turning your old hard drive into a giant flash drive, right? Why not use it like one?


OK, this may not be for everyone, but I've done this several times with these cables and it works GREAT!

See, I get a lot of people that come to me with infected computers. Well, some of those infections take HOURS to get off their computer because every time you boot Windows, the virus turns on as well. Smarter viruses then disable all the software tools you install to get rid of them! ARRGH!

So, instead of taking hours to try and manually remove a bad virus, I just pop out the hard drive and - using this cable - hook it to my personal computer. Now I have access to the everything but since windows didn't boot on the infected drive, the virus STAYS DORMANT - and is helpless to stop me from killing it! A quick scan and removal with from my AV software and the problem is fixed!

All thanks to this handy little cable!


Versatility Baby!

Getting easy access to the data on an internal drive that's been removed from a PC is impossible without either a cable like this or tearing apart a compatible computer and hooking the drive back up (assuming you even have the proper connection on the new computer).

Oh, and if you went from a desktop to a laptop - forget it - THIS is the ONLY solution to retrieve that data once you remove the drive! It's one of those tools that every PC user just needs to have, that's for sure!

Of all the extra computer accessories I've purchased over the years, I use THIS cable the most! 


Brace yourself - you get all this hard drive and file finesse for just $20.97 and US shipping is FREE!

Check it out: 

 Watch out - the sale ends soon, but hey - they may just sell out first!! (Price is heading back up to $29.97)  


Monthly Wallpaper

January Wallpaper Is Ready!

Time to dress up your desktop with some new calendar wallpaper! Pick from the featured photos below or head to the site for a complete selection.

Featured Wallpaper For December:

Arctic Tough Guy

This big white monster was photographed on a Polar Bear trip to Churchill Canada. This was taken during the last hours of our last day on the tundra. He was the only bear we spotted that was ...(More)

Keweenaw Sunset Breakers

I’m always surprised at some of the locations where I setup a tripod. This was on the Keweenaw Peninsula in the northern most reaches of Michigan – at a roadside picnic area! I kid you not, I stopped by to fix... (More)



These two and I had a bit of an awkward relationship over the summer of 2012. It mostly consisted of them seeing me and then running away. I kind of have that effect on women I guess… (More)

For these and other great selections of desktop wallpaper, head to:

As always, the wallpaper is 100% free, so enjoy!


You can also view the current newsletter and archives online at

Copyright, Disclaimer, Etc.

ISSN: 1529-336X
Copyright 2013, WorldStart. All unauthorized reproduction strictly prohibited.

WorldStart is not responsible for errors, omissions, or pricing mistakes.

You are welcome to reproduce this newsletter (i.e. print it, store it) for your own personal use. You are also welcome to forward it, in its entirety, to friends and family.

If you would like to reproduce this publication, or any part of it, in any other publication, be it web based or otherwise, you must contact us for permission. Any unauthorized re-distribution will be considered a copyright infringement and grounds for a lawsuit.

Finally, you agree to try any advice contained or suggested in this newsletter at your own risk.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation (duh!)

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