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Weekend of May 8th – Hour 3

 Tech News & Commentary

Scott in Howard, Pennsylvania listening on WRSC asked: “I was wondering about tablets. I wonder if a tablet can replace a laptop. Like for my daughter who is graduating high school and going to college. I’ve been looking at the Samsung and the iPad. Wondering if the Samsung is as good as the iPad and what you thought.”

Scott, Samsung has tablets that are roughly comparable to the iPad, however… you should not buy your college-bound daughter a tablet to replace a laptop.

intotomorrow_logoYour daughter will probably be doing a lot of work that would be very uncomfortable to do on a tablet, a laptop is much better suited for multitasking quickly, it’s much more able to produce and print documents easily, and laptops are just generally far more flexible devices.

If you end up buying her a tablet, odds are that she will be needing a laptop before the first semester is done anyway, you might as well just start her off with a laptop in the first place and skip and expensive step.

Simply put, Scott, a tablet is fabulous for consuming content but not so good for creating it. You can read War and Peace on a tablet, but writing it would be more difficult.

Tablets can have keyboards, of course, but then what you have is a tablet plus a keyboard for nearly the same cost as a laptop, and you’re still running a mobile operating system.

For someone with very simple needs, reading and sending a few emails, browsing some web pages, tablets are convenient and an excellent choice, but for a college student they are at best an excellent second device.

For more information, tune in to Hour 3 of our podcast. 

“Into Gaming Update” Weekly Feature with Mark Lautenschlager

Ron in Nashville, Tennessee listens via the App asked: “My car has an aux in jack, but no bluetooth. I’d rather not replace the car stereo just to add Bluetooth. I’m looking for an adapter that would go Bluetooth into the aux in jack. Is there a model you recommend? Do they work well? Or would you recommend that I change out the car stereo?”

Ron, You should definitely not change that car stereo– that would be a VERY extreme measure to take in order to add Bluetooth to your vehicle and way more costly than the solution we would suggest. The solution to your question is simple, all you need is a Bluetooth car adapter!

Online you can find several, and the prices of these devices are pretty low. We’re not sure what your price range is, and it’s completely up to you, but we could suggest a few in different price ranges and we’re sure you’ll be able to make your mind up on your own.

If you already have an aux-in jack, then you’re already one step ahead. You see, some of these adapters work as FM transmitters, and I’ve used many of them in the past and always advise against them, as the sound can sometimes be gritty and have a lot of interference — which isn’t very pleasant while you’re driving and trying to enjoy some music or listen to a call. You should certainly stick with an adapter that uses an aux jack.

On the cheaper side, there’s the “Mpow Portable Bluetooth 3.0 Audio Music Streaming Receiver Adapter”. This Mpow device is one of the most affordable options we could find, and it can also connect to up to 2 different Bluetooth capable devices at a time. It does need to be charged, which can be done in the car while it is connected or by whatever preferred method you choose. That’s pretty neat because some other adapters require you to charge them in the car only while simultaneously being used. The Mpow costs just under $17 on Amazon.

If your price range is a bit higher than that, then you might want to look into the “Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit”. In terms of design, its pretty nice. The Kinivo does need to be plugged into both the aux and charging port in your vehicle, but does not hog the entire charging port because it comes with a built-in USB port, that will also provide juice to your phone or music-player. One other cool design aspect of this adapter is that it will mount to whatever surface you choose, so it is most easily accessible for you. The Kinivo Bluetooth Hands-free Car Kit costs just under $35 on Amazon.

If you’re going to be feeding this from your smartphone, however, let us ask the obvious question: Why not use a direct cable from the smartphone’s headphone jack? In many cases, Bluetooth audio (depending on the specific Bluetooth revision and the devices involved) is compressed and causes a drop in audio quality. A cable from the headphone jack would not have this problem. And it’s less expensive, too!

For more information, tune in to Hour 3 of our podcast.

Leslie in Decatur, Illinois listening on News/Talk 1340 WSOY asked: “I have a smartphone and tablet, (Samsung Note 3) but a dumb TV. I plan to replace my TV soon. What kind of TV do I get so I can watch content from my phone on the TV. Do I need any special cords or adapters.”

Leslie, You can use special special adapters and cords, but if you’re going to replace your TV anyway, you might as well get one that let’s you view your content without needing them.

Any TV (smart or not) that is DLNA compatible should be able to play content straight from your other DLNA devices. Your Samsung devices will call DLNA “AllShare” it’s the same thing, they just gave it a different name, you’ll need to set up AllShare on your phone, but any DLNA device will be able to talk  to it.

If you want to go even cheaper than a TV that supports DLNA, you can always just get a cheap device like a Chromecast to watch your content that way, at $35 it won’t make a huge difference in the prize of a TV and it will give you plenty of streaming sources beyond what’s already saved to your phone.

The Chromecast might even be the best option, because it will work with ANY device running an up-to-date version of Android, and not just your phone. So if you buy a tablet, or a friend comes over and wants to play something off THEIR phone, Chromecast will get it done without requiring that it be DLNA compatible.

Apple users, you have the same option using Apple TV. Being Apple, of course, it’s $69 to the Chromecast’s $35, but we should all be used to that by now.

For more information, tune in to Hour 3 of our podcast.

Guest Segment:

Itai Ben-Gal, CEO – On Controls
control based system with cloud based file storage & cloud based programming.

IFA History Feature

“IFA History Feature” brought to you by Messe-Berlin

TV sets were black and white in the beginning of course, but already in 1902 Otto von Bronk, a German engineer, received a patent for the first color television technology. NTSC, developed by General Sarnoff and his team in the US several decades later, is based on this early concept. The first TV sets were as tiny as a postage stamp and showed only very unclear pictures with ugly stripes, first shown at the German radio show, today known as IFA. Picture capturing and reception was done mechanically, transmission done by radio waves.

Carolyn in the US Virgin Islands listening on WOSO out of San Juan, PR asked: “During power outages what is the best compact solar system I could buy that could charge my technology which includes cell phones, tablets, mosquito bats and assorted battery sizes?”

Carolyn, You’re gonna have a hard time charging everything you want to charge on solar only. There are devices that can technically handle fairly high capacity batteries, but they take a very, very long time to charge under the sun.

For example, the PowerAdd Apollo Pro has a built in 23,000 mAh battery with a DC output capable for charging a laptop, however, a Droid Razr Maxx has a 3,300 mAh battery, an iPad Air has a 8,800 mAh battery, that already puts you at over 12,000 mAh, which means most of your charge is gone, and you haven’t plugged in a second phone, or second tablet, that mosquito bat or any of the other batteries.

Now to reach the full 23,000 mAh charge they claim that “it will never take less than 38 hours to get a full charge.” Which means that you will have to keep this thing charging 24/7 to ensure that when you do need the power, it will be available.

Since that’s the case, you may benefit from looking at a regular battery that doesn’t use the sun to charge, but that may be able to charge more of your devices, for example, you could buy a 42,500 mAh battery from BixPower that takes 4 to 6 hours to charge. That would give you considerably more power if you want to charge all of those electronics.

However, how long are these blackouts? because if they’re long enough for you to have to worry about charging so many different devices, maybe you’d benefit from looking at a generator instead. A basic one may actually cost you less than a high capacity battery (obviously, that’s not true for the more powerful ones), and you’d get power when you need it without having to worry about the current charge of the battery.

For more information, tune in to Hour 3 of our podcast.

Joan in Santamaria, California asked: “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.

Now, if the battery icon flashes 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 3 of our podcast.

If you have any questions about any of this week’s show info, please email us here.

This Week’s Prizes for Our Listeners

OWC: Dual USB Flash Drives – The amazingly small flash drive with both a Micro USB and a regular USB interface all-in-one.

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!

PhoneSoap: Several Antibacterial – All Natural Touch Screen Polish (Ad lib: sorta like Cap Stick for your Phones & Tablets)

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!

iLuv: A pair of ReFashionOlogy Canvas Exterior, Collapsible Headphones with a Titanium Diaphragm

Westinghouse: Unplug Wireless Bluetooth Sound System

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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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