Windows XP is an old friend to quite a few of us. For some, it is the first way we saw computers, and learned to use them whether it was browsing the internet, playing video games, or doing word processing and spreadsheets for our employers. Microsoft has decided as of April 8, 2014, they will stop “support” for Windows XP. Unfortunately, if there is a Windows XP PC or laptop that you’re using, you may want to start budgeting for a new machine. On the bright side however, the machine will continue to work. We’ve seen some here-say that the machines will just cease to function, or not power up or boot up at all. This is not the case, but we do recommend looking into upgrading or replacing, dependent upon the hardware which is currently running Windows XP. For those of us who dislike change, we may have to struggle a bit learning a new operating system, but it’s for the better, so we can take advantage of all the new features and usefulness of current generation hardware and software!
Keeping passwords secure is almost a daily task these days. E-mail passwords, log-on passwords, debit card PINs, numerous utility account passwords (cellular service, energy, cable, phone, etc). However, keeping these passwords secure is the best way to help ensure that your accounts don’t become easily-compromised by a malicious attempt to “crack” or learn your password by methods that are unethical in order to exploit your account or steal money or services. Changing passwords every few months also helps greatly, since it keeps the “evil-doers” guessing. Almost every day millions of people have their account compromised simply from someone guessing their password or trying different combinations of simple to remember passwords. We always recommend using capital letters, as well as numbers in the password, along with sometimes a special character to keep them extra secure. Nothing is every 100% safe, but we can always try to make it as tricky as possible!
We brought you Evernote, now we are introducing Evernote Food to your list of favorite apps. Evernote Food is available for free through iTunes and the Google Play Store.
Evernote Food lets you document all of your food experiences whether it is saving a new recipe or finding a new recipe. Evernote Food lets you explore recipes from across the web and save them for later. Find restaurants near you or anywhere in the world and add it to the list of places you would like to experience. Add photos, notes, and locations to remember your food and experience. Evernote Food has three great features to help divide what you are interested in. “My Cookbook” is a feature that lets you save recipes you want to try. “Restaurants” is a location based feature that lists and maps out restaurants near you and save restaurants you want to try in the future. “My Meals” is a visual look into your past meal experiences.
We thought Evernote was great, but by creating Evernote Food they managed to become even better!
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.evernote.food
With last week’s “thunder-snow”, we are reminded that Spring is coming soon (can’t get here fast enough for some of us). Springtime means warmer weather, along with rain showers and thunderstorms. Lightning from those thunderstorms can knock our power out, and render our favorite technology useless in some instances. It’s always a good idea to keep a good battery backup or uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in place where you plug in your most used and important devices to protect them as much as possible from power damage. We’ve touched on this in the past, but with what we all know to be upcoming spring weather, it’s always a good reminder. Typically, a UPS with multiple outlets and a good amount of wattage (depending on how much is plugged into it) is relatively easy to track down, as well as install and use properly. A UPS with the proper wattage should allow your devices to be gracefully shutdown as to not damage them from the power being out. Also, it will protect in the event of “brown-out” situations where power fluctuates and is not consistent. Electronics can vary as to how sensitive they are, even between same-model devices. Let’s look forward to warmer temps and sunshine!
There are a ton of music apps out there; all of which have their pros and cons. However, this week’s App of the Week might just be the best one yet. Spotify is a free app that is available through iTunes and the Google Play Store.
Spotify is a music app that gives you access to millions of songs and albums. Create your own playlists of your favorite songs you have searched for or listen to ones created by others. Spotify does come with a few ads, but they also offer a paid version, Spotify Premium, where you get a lot of the same features with the additional ability to listen to your music offline and with no ads. Spotify is also compatible with our SONOS equipment, so you can stream your personal playlists throughout your entire house.
Spotify is a great app that may possibly meet all the music needs you have been looking for!
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spotify.mobile.android.ui
Google Play has a lot to offer in the form of apps, well, add another to the list. Google Play Movies & TV allows you to watch movies and TV shows you have purchased or rented through Google Play on your devices. Google Play Movies & TV is available for free through iTunes and Google Play Store.
Google Play Movies & TV only allows you to stream your movies or shows over WiFi connections. Currently, you cannot make any purchases of new movies or shows inside of the app, for that, you will have to access your computer. Google Play has yet again provided you with another source of portable entertainment. Enjoy!
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.videos
Have you seen the video compilations of pictures that your social media friends have been posting lately? Well, we have and we decided to investigate. Flipagram is an app that is available for free through iTunes and the Google Play Store.
Flipagram allows you to create short videos of your photos from Facebook, Instagram, and your phones picture gallery. Edit your videos by adding music and narration or personalize it by tagging people and places. You can choose the timing of you videos, access your music library, and preview videos to make any changes before you save or share it. Flipagram lets you share your videos via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Create cool video picture compilations from trips you have taken, events you have attended, and anything in between.
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cheerfulinc.flipagram
There seems to be an app for everything anymore, including getting in to shape. This weeks’ App of the Week will help you do just that. 7 Minute Workout is available for free through iTunes and the Google Play Store.
7 Minute Workout is exactly what it sounds like. Complete 12 various exercises that last for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest between each exercise. 7 Minute Workout is completely voice prompted so you don’t need to keep checking your device to see when you need to begin the next exercise. 7 Minute Workout outlines all the exercises in the workout. See video and text descriptions of each exercise. 7 Minute Workout also has an upgraded version that offers some different features. 7 Minute Workout Pro (iTunes $1.99) and Scientific 7 Minute Workout (Google Play Store $0.99) offer randomization of exercises, adjust the number of sets, see your workout log, and unlock additional exercises.
7 Minute Workout was created to make it easier for individuals with a busy schedule to carve out time to get a workout in. Whether you have a busy schedule or just want a supplemental workout, 7 Minute Workout is the app you have been waiting for.
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.minhphan.android.seven
Everyone at Facet Technologies and Nerds on Call would like to take a moment to congratulate Matt Dutton. Matt recently passed a series of tests and is now a Microsoft MCSE for Server 2012. Along with this accomplishment, Matt also holds certifications for MCPS, MCNPS, MCITP,MCTS, SA and MCSA. Because of Matt’s achievements, skill, and hard work put in over his 7 years here, we are proud to say he is Facet’s newest Network Engineer. Facet is proud to have an individual like Matt on our team and congratulate him in all his success!!
New Technology coming this year! The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) has passed, and a lot of the hype is slowly, slowly dwindling, however we will be seeing some new shiny gadgets and revisions to current gadgets on the market this spring and summer! Curved cell phone screens, 4K TV (much higher resolution than hi-def tvs now), more apps for smart-watches (Galaxy Gear, Pebble, etc). Google glass is also becoming more and more available to the public. 2014 should shape up to be a pretty exciting time in more mobility and better longevity and integration into our daily lives. As consumers, we can start searching and doing our research early, so that our dollars go to the device which will be the most fun, as well as useful to our daily adventures!