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Weekend of February 6th, 2015 – Hour 2

Tech News & Commentary

Here’s a link to the story Dave mentioned about techies taking to the skies.

Calvin in Durham, North Carolina listens via the App asked us: “My wife has a 1520 Window phone. The problem is that when she uses it it gets very very hot. Is there anyway we could fix that or should we get another type of phone. She has had the phone for a little while and it’s a good phone, I guess. She could stay on the phone for 15-20 minutes and then its gets hot and turns off. Is Windows phone a good phone to use or should we invest in another phone.”

Calvin, The 1520 is known to overheat sometimes. Whatever the flaw with the phone is, some owners have had it replaced several times and have ended up with the same problem. Some users also report that their phones didn’t just turn off, but that they stayed off and had to be replaced under warranty.

intotomorrow_logoFrankly, if you want a large screen phone, you’d like do better with any large screen Android or iPhone. The Windows Phone OS itself  is far, far behind the other two (especially internally), and an overheating phone is not something you want to deal with if you need to make a call or get some work done.

Just to give an idea about how this phone compares to others, TechRadar published an article entitled “The Lumia 1520 is nothing more than a glorified hand warmer” when the phone originally came out… that’s probably not the greatest endorsement a phone has ever received.

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

 “This Week in Tech History” Weekly Feature with Chris Graveline

Robert in Tennessee listening on WTN 99.7 asked us: “What is your favorite distribution of linux? I prefer Linux mint because it is more Windows XP like.”

Robert, Any of the major distributions is probably worthy of a mention, but there are so many that we’d need to add that fourth hour of this show, that people have been asking for. Mint is pretty great in that it’s based on Ubuntu and it has the stability and all the features that have made Ubuntu really popular, but just like you said, the figured out that people like having a Start menu and they added one… we can only assume that people at Microsoft don’t like this particular flavor of Linux.

Ubuntu is definitely worth a mention, deep down it’s Debian-based, and it generally feels like you’re using commercial, paid software. They release new versions every 6 months, they have bug reporting and good documentation. It’s a very professionally-produced free Linux distribution.

Debian is awesome for serious tasks, they don’t release too many updates (maybe one every couple of years), but Debian works with tons of different processors, and it is super stable. If you’re looking for something that will take some work to set up but will run beautifully after that, Debian may be it. It has great quality control and, though it’s not very flashy, it’s very stable.

To illustrate that, Debian has 3 levels of stability: unstable (the one called “sid”), testing, and stable. The unstable one is stable enough that it’s what Ubuntu and Mint use in the background. It’s stable enough to be released with other operating systems that are labeled as “stable.”

If you like the Windows-look you have plenty of options that should appeal to you, CentOS, PCLinuxOS (which has a taskbar that is basically lifted out of Windows 7), ArchLinux, and others, but they’re probably not updated as often as Mint.

Any of the older distributions like Fedora (formerly RedHat) and OpenSuse should work pretty well by now.

There are also plenty of special distributions for specific hardware or specific purposes. So, if you want to take your computer with you, Damn Small Linux (DSL) or Ubuntu Live may work for you, if you’re building a media player OpenElec and XMBC are Linux-based and will do a nice job. In the Linux world, it all depends on what you need.

For general use Mint or Ubuntu with will probably keep you pretty happy… unless you want to watch Netflix, of course. There are workarounds but Netflix and Linux don’t play nice with each other.

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

Tom in Ohio listens via the Kindle App asked us: “If you mostly use your digital camera for things like family and vacation photos, developed into a typical size like 5×7 or shown on a computer, does it really matter if the camera is 12 megapixel or 20?”

Tom, Easy answer…absolutely not. It is hard to find a camera or phone in todays market that has less than 5 or 6 megapixels, which is all you need to produce a crisp 12×18 photo.Sharpness of the photo depends more on your photography skills than the amount of megapixels. We’ve have seen beautifully shot photos blown up to 30 inches from a 5 Megapixel camera.

Photography is more about composition and lighting than it is equipment. More megapixels, or in Apple’s case bigger pixels, doesn’t always equate to a better picture. Image stabilization and low light compensation are cool features, but they tend to make pictures that are “softer” in appearance. If you’re looking for bright, bold, vivid pictures that look almost 3D, then you need plenty of light.

If you’re shooting family and vacation photos outside, you will likely be satisfied with the results. Sunlight is awesome for photos. It’s those indoor shots where your equipment will be tested.

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

 Guest Segment:

Damian Giannunzio, iolo labs head of research – iolo technologies
selling computer tuning software System Mechanic

CEA Update:

The new Congress is now at work in Washington. And that has tech enthusiasts urging action on issues that support innovation and create jobs. The Consumer Electronics Association’s Bronwyn Flores explains how you can get involved – in this week’s CEA Update.

Jeff in Carey, North Carolina listening on Stitcher asked us: “I am seeking an improved email experience for my wife, as she continually gets frustrated with the PC and all the associated scans and upgrades that always happen when she is trying to access her email. I’m considering an alternative to the usual PC, that of a Chromebook or maybe a Chromebox. Ideally I would like to have a Chromebook that is a high definition screen, 4gb RAM, and something more than 16GB storage. Is there a Chromebook that you would recommend, and would you recommend a Chromebox in lieu of a Chromebook?”

Jeff, You’re probably looking for something like the Acer Chromebook 13, it has a 1080p screen, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of SSD storage. However, be careful, Acer makes a lot of Chromebook 13s, and specs vary. The only one that will meet your requirements is probably the top of the line $370 model.

ASUS makes a similar model, high definition screen, 32GB of storage space, gigabit WiFi, but it’ll save you some money at $270. Any new Chromebook you buy right now will come with 100GB of online storage on Google Drive for free for 2 years. Keeping that storage after that, would cost you $1.99 a month right now, prices may change within the next two years.

About a Chromebox, there are not many around, we know of an ASUS, an HP and a Samsung model, and if you wanted to get one, it would probably work just fine for you, but they cost the same as Chromebooks, and they don’t really offer any extra functionality.

They mostly seem to be geared towards businesses that want to take advantage of Google’s offer to take care of all support work for $250 a year. Since you’re not going to need that for a home computer, the big advantage for you would be able to able to connect it to a big TV if you wanted to use it for Netflix, for example, but you can do that with a Chromebook anyway, and you can also use it on the go, so what’s the point?

As a Chromebook user myself, let me say that you are spot on with your assessment of the environment it will create for her. Assuming that she’s using a web based email account like Gmail, she will find that using a Chromebook instead of a Windows computer removes ALL of the frustration with scans, updates, and virus checks. The new generation of slightly larger Chromebooks with 13” 1080p resolution screens are nicer from the usability point, but I like the extreme portability of my Acer Chromebook 720 with it’s 11” screen, and the $199 price tag is pretty nifty as well. But for any web-centered uses, and remember that means no Windows apps PERIOD, you absolutely cannot go wrong with a Chromebook.

For more information tune in to Hour 2 of our podcast.

Joan in Santamaria, California asked us: “I’m trying to figure out how to use my ACER model zeiv4 iconia w3-810 using just the battery. I was part of a settlement and received a refurbished model but I have no instruction guide in how to use the unit without having it plugged into an AC adapter.”

Joan, You probably have a bad unit. You really shouldn’t need to do anything at all to get the tablet to run on battery, just unplug it and go.

If it’s turning off when you unplug it, there’s probably something wrong with it and you should probably be able to get a replacement.

Does the battery icon flash when the tablet is plugged in? That’s their code to let you know that something’s wrong with the battery.

If it is, check for firmware upgrades, that may be the cause of the trouble, and if there are none, or if that doesn’t help, you definitely want to take it in and see if they’ll exchange it for a working one.

There are no instructions because there’s not much to say, all you should really need to do is pull the plug and keep using it.

For more information tune in to Hour 2 of our podcast.

 This Week’s Prizes for Our Listeners

Brother: A bunch of Tape Measures and Cleaning Cloths for your computer screens

Happy Plugs: A variety of their Happy EarBuds, Charging Cables and iPad Cases

HD Radio: “Into Tomorrow” branded Portable AM/FM/HD Radios

OkiDokeys: Complete SmartPhone Operated Smart Lock for your home – including wristband & key FOBS

G-Technology: Several 500GB 7200 RPM Touro S High performance portable Hard drives with easy & local Cloud Backup and in a variety of colors!

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!

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Written by 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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