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Author: christy

Top 5 Android OS Smartphones

Top 5 Android OS Smartphones


In the smartphone market consumers have four main options in terms of OS, Android, BlackBerry, Apple, and Palm. With smartphones becoming more advanced with every new release, Android based phones are prime choices for tech junkies and anyone looking for a mobile computing device. Our writer looked at the top Android phones on each major carrier (AT&T;, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile) and complied this list based on the very based Android OS phones available. Each phone will receive a brief overview as to why it made our list and to which carrier it is sold on.

1. Sprint HTC EVO 4G (Sprint)

According to the Sprint website the HTC EVO 4G is set for release on June 4, 2010 and will feature some of the most advanced features yet on a smartphone. The EVO made our list due to its incredible internet speeds (think mobile broadband) on the 4G network, thus making it the fastest smartphone available. The 4.3″ touch screen is perfect for large viewing capabilities and features quick key buttons on the bottom of the phone, but are small enough not to obstruct the touch screen area. Other notable features include an 8.0 mega-pixel digital camera, Android 2.1 OS, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, microSD slot (up to 32GB), and access to the Android apps store. Skype users will enjoy the front facing 1.3MP digital camera for chatting on the go. This device is practically a netbook, but much smaller and convenient.

2. DROID INCREDIBLE by HTC (Verizon)

When the original DROID was released, I was stunned by how easy it was to use, the touch screen was incredibly accurate, and the available apps blew me away. Think of the DROID INCREDIBLE as a supped up version of the DROID, with many new features and sleeker build. The INCREDIBLE has many attractive features for any mobile professional and internet user, such as, 1 Ghz Snapdragon processor with 8GB internet memory (can be expanded with microSD cards), Android 2.1 OS, 3.7″ 480×800 touch screen, 8MP digital camera with video capture, and access to the Android marketplace.

3. DROID (Verizon)

My first impression when using the DROID for the first time was how easy it was to grasp for a beginner to Android based phones. The touch screen is very responsive and accurate, and the slide our QWERTY keyboard makes sending messages and internet searching very easy. My favorite features include the bright 3.7″ touch screen with a 480×854 display, 5MP digital camera, upgradeable OS, and overall ease of use. The only feature that is lacking is the digital camera as newer phones are starting to feature phones with 8+MP camera, but the 5MP camera on this phone is adequate for high quality photos and video capture.

4. Motorola CLIQ XT (T-Mobile)

The Motorola CLIQ XT with MOTOBLUR is arguably the best Android phone on the T-Mobile network. The MOTOBLUR feature is excellent; it allows all your favorite social networking sites to update instantaneously from the home …

Diagnosing and Repairing Alternators in Automobiles

Diagnosing and Repairing Alternators in Automobiles


Many people stumble upon issues with their automobile. When you have an automobile, it is very important that you learn as much as you possibly can about it. Many people simply rely on the fact that they know the make and model, what color the vehicle is, and how to drive it. However, if you have an automobile, it is extremely important to know a lot more than the basics. One of the many issues that may arise with your automobile is an alternator that goes bad. Dealing with a faulty alternator can be extremely frustrating, and challenging. However, this is one of the easiest parts to work with when it comes to automobile maintenance. In this article, we will take a closer look at diagnosing and repairing alternators in automobiles.

If you are looking to understand how one may go about diagnosing and repairing alternators in automobiles, it is first important to understand what an alternator is. Basically, an alternator is a way that an automobile powers various electrical components. An alternator takes the power from the battery and converts it into a compatible form of electricity in order to ensure that your automobile functions properly. If it were not for an alternator in your automobile, you would not be able to power on the lights, the radio, and many other electrical components. Additionally, an automobile will be unable to start if an alternator is faulty.

Now that you understand the basics of an alternator in an automobile, we can discuss how one can diagnose and repair alternator in an automobile. The first step is to ensure that the alternator is the issue at hand. The first thing that you should do is to review your electrical system carefully. You should check for loose wires, connections, and any type of corrosion. Once you have completed the visual inspection, you may consider moving the wires around a little while the vehicle is running. If you do this, and something cuts out, you may be facing an issue with wiring.

The next thing that you can look for when you are diagnosing and repairing an alternator in a vehicle is to inspect the belt that latches on to the alternator. Over time, alternator belts can wear out and possibly even break. If this is the case, the alternator in the automobile will not function properly. The next step you can take when diagnosing and repairing an alternator in an automobile is to test and visually inspect your battery. It is important that all of the cables are secure and have no visible signs of corrosion. If the battery is not maintenance free, you should also make sure that there is plenty of water in the battery. If everything appears to be fine in the visible inspection of the battery, you should try to charge the battery. If the battery charges, but dies as soon as you take the jumper cables off, chances are that you …

New Oregon Law: Cell Phone Use While Driving

New Oregon Law: Cell Phone Use While Driving


Oregon has passed a new law regarding cell phone use while driving. Oregon drivers will now be limited to hands free communication while driving. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2010. Those under 18 are barred from use of cell phones even with the hands free devices.

All drivers are banned from using their cell phones to text message. In Oregon, using your cell phone while driving is considered a primary offense. This means you can be pulled over just for talking on your phone or texting. The fine for driving while using a cell phone will be up to $90.

There are a few exceptions to the cell phone law. If you need to call 911, and there isn’t a passenger capable of making the call, you are allowed to use your cell phone while driving without a hands free device. Safety workers and emergency personnel are also exempt from the new law.

A hands free device can be anything that allows you to use your cell phone while keeping both hands on the wheel. It could be a wired headset, a Bluetooth, or a mounted device in your car. You can find accessories for a variety of cell phones in many online websites or visit your local cell phone supplier store. One online store that I have purchased my Bluetooth wireless headset from is here. They have a great variety of products for most cell phones on the market and the prices were great for me. Depending on your phone, you may be able to purchase a decent Bluetooth for as little as $20. Before buying a Bluetooth product for your phone, make sure and check to see if your phone has Bluetooth capability.

It will be interesting to see how many people stop using their cell phone while driving in Oregon. In Washington, where a similar law was passed in 2008, there doesn’t appear to this driver to have been a large impact. The main difference in the laws between Washington and Oregon is that in Washington, talking on your cell phone while driving is considered a secondary offense. Officers in Washington won’t pull you over specifically for cell phone use.

Does having a hands free device mean it’s safe to drive and chat? According to some sources, it isn’t safer. Talking on a cell phone takes your attention away from the road. Having two hands on the wheel isn’t going to help you avoid an accident if you don’t notice the car in front of you suddenly stopping. I feel it would be best not to talk unless necessary, and to always use your hands free device.

Sources:

Governors Highway Safety Association http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html

Driving Laws http://www.drivinglaws.org/oregon.php

Read the bill here http://www.leg.state.or.us/09reg/measpdf/hb2300.dir/hb2377.a.pdf…

Sharing Files Between Linux and Windows

Sharing Files Between Linux and Windows


Most Linux users did not abandon Microsoft Windows immediately. They instead evolved gradually while alternating between the two operating systems. While learning to use Linux, you can share many of its files with Windows. For example, while running Linux, you can use LIbreOffice Writer to edit files that you had created through Microsoft Word running under Windows.

You can either install LInux and Windows on separate PCs, or dual-boot them on a single PC.

Sharing Linux and Windows Files on Separate PCs – You can share files either through your home network or through the cloud (Internet). Sharing files through your home network requires setting up Samba shares, which can be tricky. Sharing files through the cloud requires only an online-storage service, such as Google Drive or Ubuntu One.

Sharing Linux and Windows Files in a Dual-Boot PC – In a dual-boot LInux and Windows PC, Linux lets you access the files and folders in the Windows partition. Therefore, while running Linux, you can:

  • Copy files and folders in the Windows partition, and then paste them into the LInux partion. 
  • Copy files and folders in the Linux partition, and then paste them into the Windows partition. 

Notes:

  • Although Windows does not let you access files and folders in the Linux partition, Linux lets you share files and folders to and from both partitions. 
  • This document applies to dual-booting Linux only with Windows 7 (or earlier) because Windows 8 Will Block Dual-Booting Linux. 
  • The examples below specifically apply to the Ubuntu distribution of the Linux operating system, and generally apply to all distributions of the Linux operating system. 

Setting Up Sample Folders and Files – To experiment with sharing files and folders between Ubuntu and Windows in a dual boot PC, you can set up sample folders and files. For example, you might do the following:

  1. Boot Windows, and then create a Windows_Humor folder on your Windows desktop. 
  2. Create a Stooges folder within your Windows_Humor folder. 
  3. Use Microsoft word to create a file for each of the Three Stooges, and then place those files in your Stooges folder. 
  4. Boot Ubuntu, and then create an Ubuntu_Humor folder on your Ubuntu desktop. 
  5. Create a Brothers folder within your Ubuntu_Humor folder. 
  6. Use LibreOffice Writer to create a file for each of the Marx Brothers, and then place those files in your Brothers folder. 

Dual-Boot File Sharing Example – To experiment with sharing files between Linux and Windows in a dual-boot PC, do the following:

  1. Create sample folders and files similar to those in the section above. 
  2. As shown in the first image above, boot Ubuntu, open your Home folder, find the Filesystem partition that contains your windows operating system, and then double-click “Documents and Settings.” 
  3. Double click the folder with your name, such as “dave,” double-click “Desktop,” double-click “Windows_Humor” and then double-click “Stooges” to display its contents as shown in the second image above. 
  4. Select all three Word files, press “Ctrl + C” to copy them, select your

Linux Declares Victory Over Microsoft

Linux Declares Victory Over Microsoft


Linux has been battling against Microsoft for almost two decades now. When Linux made its debut in 1991, very few thought it would ever be more than a vain attempt at a free operating system. Most computer users were dedicated Microsoft users. As Linux developed and popularity grew, Microsoft began to sit up and take notice.

Linux has declared victory over Microsoft after their long battle. In fact, with the exception of the desktop, Linux sees itself as beating everything Microsoft has to offer in other categories. Many of the servers throughout the world are Linux based. A decade ago, many businesses chose to use Microsoft servers, but the cost and maintenance was more than businesses wanted to handle if they could avoid it. Linux provided a more stable, extremely cheaper alternative.

Though “geeks” were the first to dive on board the Linux wagon, many home users decided to give Linux a try. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen by installing a free operating system and free software? Taking a chance on Linux just involved a learning curve and a little time to install. When Live CDs made their appearance, there was no reason not to try Linux. No installation required. You could boot straight from a CD without modifying your hard drive or losing your Windows operating system.

Unlike Microsoft, Linux is open source, meaning the source code is freely available to build upon. This has resulted in custom Linux operating systems geared towards specific groups of users. Microsoft works to appeal to the masses. Linux works to appeal to everyone, from the home user to the most advanced users. How many users can say they were able to tweak any Microsoft source code to better fit their needs?

If users didn’t want to give up Windows, Linux was absolutely fine with this. Unlike many Microsoft and even Apple applications, Linux gave users software that was compatible on almost any platform. Not only is the software compatible, but it’s free. With software costs seeming to skyrocket everytime something new is released, free alternatives are going to make a huge dent competitors’ profits.

Linux now powers many of the most popular consumer electronics as well, such as the Amazon Kindle. Though experts don’t exactly believe Linux has completely beaten Microsoft, there is no denying that some version of the Linux operating system or software is almost everywhere now. Linux is a force to be reckoned with as they believe in customization, full user control and compatibility. Microsoft has never been able to compete with those ideas. In the end, Linux and Microsoft both have their place. For most users, a combination of the two works best, making both successful in their own way.…

Great Cell Phones for Seniors

Great Cell Phones for Seniors


As adults, senior citizens depend on us everyday to be there for them whenever they need something. But you still want to stay in touch with them, and make sure your senior citizen stays safe, and if an emergency happens, that they can easily call for help. The perfect gadget for a senior is a cell phone.

However, if you mention something to your senior about getting a cell phone, they will most likely refuse, saying that a cell phone is so complicated, they won’t know how to use it. And to tell you the truth, most cell phones on the market today are not senior-friendly.

But not all cell phones on today’s market are complicated. Some creative minds have designed cell phones aimed at senior citizens which feature things like large buttons, hearing aid compatibility, large text and a button for easily dialing 911.

Below are some phones designed for seniors.

1. UTStarcom Coupe (Verizon Wireless, $39.99 with 2 year contract) 
The UTStarcom Coupe is Verizon’s “senior phone” which features a 911 button, three buttons that can help connect you or first responders to three different ICE (In Case of Emergency) contacts that you specify, large buttons and a large text menu that is easily navigable.

2. Samsung Jitterbug ($147, Jitterbug.com, with plans that start at $10 a month) 
No, I’m not kidding. This phone really costs $147! But some say the price tag is really worth it. This phone is designed for seniors, and seniors only. It features a loud speaker with cushion, a Yes/No interface, instant access to an operator who can help you out with your phone, and a phone book. Plans for this phone start as low as $10 a month for a 911 only plan, and as high as $80 a month for an 800 minute plans. There are also plans in between the two at reasonable prices. Note, however, when you call a Jitterbug operator for help with your phone, 5 minutes of your monthly airtime are deducted. And if your senior needs a lot of help with his or her phone, and you have a plan that doesn’t include that many minutes, your senior’s airtime may be drained just by calling a Jitterbug operator for help. People also complain about the phone itself being too bulky, and the phone plans being too expensive.

3. Motorola F3 (TigerDirect.com, Unlocked, $34.99) 
The Motorola F3, originally designed for people in developing countries, is a phone that is very easy to use. Its greatest function is making and receiving calls. It also has a basic phone book, selectable ring tones, basic tools, and that’s it. The interface is so simple, a senior could probably learn how to use the phone all by themselves. Plus, this phone is unlocked, meaning that you can use it with any GSM carrier, which includes AT&T;, Alltel, T-Mobile, Consumer Cellular and more (see list of all GSM carriers at http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_us.shtml).

4. Nokia 1100 (http://www.crayeon3.com/c3/pc-1012-150-.aspx, Unlocked, $45.70) …

Drivel – A Multi-system Blog Client for Linux

Drivel – A Multi-system Blog Client for Linux


Today I’ll review a neat piece of software called Drivel. Drivel, which to be honest is a bit intentionally demeaning, is a desktop client for Linux to allow users to post their thoughts and feelings (drivel?), to any number of different blogs. Designed for the Gnome Linux desktop environment, I’ve found Drivel to be a simple, easy-to-use client that has a lot of features that I would want in a blog application, plus some I’d never use but other people definitely would.

First of all, is Drivel for you? If you post to an Advogato, Atom (Blogger 2.0), Blogger 1.0, LiveJournal or Movable Type blog, then the answer is ‘yes!’ Drivel supports all those blog types out of the box. In addition, any blog systems based on one of these will work as well, such as WordPress and Drupal, although they may need a bit of tweaking to work correctly.

If you have a couple different blogs, or are sharing your computer with someone who has a blog as well, you can both use Drivel. Just set up both accounts, then when one of you wants to post, log into the correct one. Or, if you’re the only person who’ll be using Drivel, and you only have one blog, you can set it up to remember your password and automatically log in whenever you start up the program.

Once you’ve logged in, Drivel presents you with a completely empty blog window, with the name of your blog at the top. By default, you will be able to write the post, edit the subject line, and determine whether or not the post is public, private, or friends-only. If you click the little triangle at the bottom of the window, you’ll reveal even more options, such as spots where you can input your mood, the music you’re listening to, and more. You can turn off commenting for a particular post, tell Drivel NOT to auto-format your text, and select a different picture. You can also back-date a post.

Like any good 21st century client, Drivel allows for certain html formatting, such as bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, superscript and subscript, and also can create lists. You can indent text to set off a quote, and can also insert a link, picture and (assuming your account permits it), a poll as well.

When you’re ready to post, simply hit the Post button at the bottom of the window, and your post will be sent off and within seconds, your thoughts will be posted for all to see. Or, if you don’t think the world is quite ready for your latest tome on Britney’s underwear, or lack of, or the latest gossip about Hollywood celebrities, athletes in trouble with the law or the big movie busts of the summer, Drivel can simply save your post as a draft until you’re ready to unleash your thoughts on an unsuspecting public.

Drivel does more than just post to your …