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Weekend of April 3rd, 2015 – Hour 1

Tech News & Commentary

Terrance in Anchorage, Alaska listens on KFQD 700 AM told us: “I would really love to find a phone that is not made in China with a battery that is not made in China, that uses something other than Windows, Apple OS, or Android. Is there any such phone? I found a phone that was only available in Europe that uses Ubuntu. I was wondering, why isn’t it available here?”

Terrance, The real answers as to why the Ubuntu phone is not available here, is because there’s virtually no interest in the phone anywhere! Even in Europe they barely sell, and that’s a fully unlocked phone for under $200.

intotomorrow_logoThe truth is that the phone’s specs were underwhelming even when it was announced a few years ago, and they’re even worse now, and the OS itself may be great, but users are basically sentencing themselves to owning a fancier feature phone, since no one but themselves is going to bother adapting their apps to yet another uninteresting platform.

Now, as for phones not made in China and not running iOS, Android or Windows… the toughest part will be the OS, there are some phones that are still not always made in China.

The problem is that as far as manufacturers are concerned phones are made where they’re made and no one cares, so you may get a Brazilian iPhone (we’ve heard of Foxcomm factories setting up there), or a Korean Samsung Note 4 (they have factories actually set up in the DMZ!), but for the most part you get what you get and volume and  odds alone make it far more likely for your phone to come out of China.

If you’re really set on getting a phone that won’t come from China and won’t use any mainstream OS though, your options are basically this: a few, but no all Blackberries, and even Blackberry has largely moved all manufacturing out of Canada, and getting a non-chinese battery is gonna be next to impossible.

We live in a globalized world, you may have to surrender and accept that we have largely chosen to use a workforce in China that is treated very nearly as slaves, rather than to put up with higher prices for our products.

For more information tune in to Hour 1 of our podcast.

Consumer Reports Feature:

Dust, coffee drips, and other debris on computer keyboards and monitors, tablets, phones, and TVs make them look disgusting — and can affect how they work. But cleaning your electronics the wrong way can do more harm than good, so says Consumer Reports. The magazine’s electronics spokesman James McQueen is here with some tips on how to properly clean your gadgets.

The “Into Tomorrow” team discussed the latest apps that they have been playing with recently.

• Mark recommends: Periscope, FREE

 

      “Periscope, the new live streaming video app from Twitter. Actually, Twitter bought the company developing Periscope for $100 million dollars almost a year ago, but now the app has officially launched and I have to say it’s pretty cool. Essentially Periscope lets you turn your smartphone (iPhone only at this point, Android users will have to wait) into a live video broadcasting tool. It’s quite addicting. You just open Periscope and it shows you video streams to watch that are live right now. Click on a stream and you virtually drop in to another person’s life, somewhere in the world. Video and audio quality are very good and people watching the stream can chat with each other and the streamer. If any of the people you follow on Twitter start up a stream on Periscope, you’re notified by your phone that they’ve gone live. Video streaming is nothing new. Video streaming with a smartphone is also nothing new. But having a service as ubiquitous as Twitter being both the distribution point and the table of contents is a real game changer. It’s possible that Periscope will be a fad, but it’s so well executed and so compelling that I really think it’s going to change the world in the same way that Twitter did.” — Mark

What are your favorite Apps? Let us know at 800-899-INTO and we’ll feature them in this segment!

Tune in to Hour 1 of our podcast for more details

Guest Segment:

Nat Maple, SVP/GM Global Consumer, SOHO & Online – Acronis
backup software for individuals & businesses

Brandon in State College, Pennsylvania listens on WRSC 103.1 FM and called in to help another listener: “I have one of those Asus laptops, the screen will come disabled at times. When I first got mine, i did some research. You have to hit the function key to re-enable the screen. Don’t know if that will help. I know I thought my Asus was broken, but it wasn’t. Just wanted to throw that out there.”

What Brandon is talking about is the function key combination to switch to an external display. On an ASUS laptop that is done by pressing the Fn key and the F8 key at the same time.

Windows will generally autodetect when an external display is, or is not, connected and do the right thing without needing to be told. However, it is indeed possible that a laptop could become stuck on an external display and cause its internal screen to be disabled.

So, as Brandon suggests, before you decide that your laptop screen is broken, you should (if you have an ASUS) try Fn+F8 to switch off the external monitor support. Other laptop brands will use a different combination. Dell, for instance, uses Fn+F4. So be sure and check your owner’s manual if you can’t figure out the pictures on your keyboard.

Thank you, Brandon!

For more information tune in to Hour 1 of our podcast.

Patti asked: “My Mother just told me about your site and thought you may be able to help us. My Brother passed away several months ago and he had a laptop computer that requires fingerprint Bio Id. We don’t have his fingerprints and there is no documentation of passwords to gain access either. We don’t know of anyone that is trustworthy and knowledgeable enough to work on the computer. What do I need to do in order to gain access and not lose any of his files. My Mother has been in severe depression and treasures every interest he had. I would love to be able to open my Brother’s computer and let her see what was important enough for him to save on the computer. Of course I would make adjustments so there wasn’t anything that a Mother shouldn’t see. If you can help us or direct us to someone trustworthy and knowledgeable we would appreciate it immensely.”

Patti, First of all, please accept our condolences on the loss of your brother. The good news for you is that Windows passwords are not typically that hard to get around.

There’s a tool called Offline Password Editor that will do what you need. Basically, you’d need to ask a techie friend to boot into it from a USB drive. From there, it’s possible to get a list of users and overwrite a password with whatever other one you’d like to have instead. After that you should just be able to run Windows and log in with the new password.

The process is a little technical, here’s a page that explains how to do it, just come by this week’s show notes. It is also possible to just access the contents of the drive from a free live Linux distribution running from a USB drive or a DVD, but it may be an awkward interface for you if you’re used to Windows, and you may not be able to open every file from there easily.

Replacing the Windows password would also allow you to start the computer and run it any time without having to launch live Linux USB every time, and to see things the way he was seeing them if that’s important for your mom (for example, his wallpaper).

For more information tune in to Hour 1 of our podcast.

This Week’s Prizes for Our Listeners

Burg: Burg 16A Smartwatch – connects with iOS and Android phones, offering handsfree calling, text and e-mail notifications and more!

Education.Com: Several “Brainzy” 12-month codes for online early-learning programs for math and reading. If you’ve got Kids … you WANT one of these!

HD Radio: “Into Tomorrow” branded Portable AM/FM/HD Radios – these are in high demand and give you more FREE radio — the way it should be!

LG: An LG ‘G’ Vista Smartphone with an extra large display and good battery life.

NanoTech: Several UltraFlix Gift Cards for 4K Content, like movies and a ton of other cool stuff. Let us know if you have a 4K Ultra HD TV!

NovaPhotos: A couple of their cool Bluetooth off-camera FLASH units for iPhone (that we featured in a recent ITTV piece). Perfect for Selfies. They have 40 LEDs!

 

Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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