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Archive for February, 2012

Buying a new Mac Mini

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 8:43 PM on February 27, 2012

Mac Mini After the holiday season I decided it was time to replace my Macbook. It is a 2.1 ghz, maxed out at 4GB of memory. It was running Lion but barely. The keyboard was broken, some keys were sticking and two were missing. The battery had also gone bad. I was using the Macbook connected to a 24 inch monitor with usb keyboard and a magic track pad as a desk top computer. I have to admit it was pretty Rueb Goldberg or ghetto, but it worked. I use my iPad as my computer when I travel or go to the local coffee shop, so I decided against another laptop. My choice was than down to the iMac or the Mac Mini. I did look at the iMac, but since I already had two 24 inch monitors, buying the 21 inch iMac didn’t make sense and I couldn’t afford the 27 inch version. I then took a look at the new Mac Mini. I have a working core-duo Mac Mini and I love the form factor, but its even older than the Macbook and is no longer upgradable.

After going back and forth between the various options I decided to go with the 2.5 ghz Mac Mini with the 500 GB hard drive. The Mac Mini comes with 4 GB of memory, but per the suggestions of most reviews, I brought 8 gb of memory from OWC, the same time I ordered the computer. The memory installation is extremely easy if you follow the instructions. I ordered through Amazon, under my prime membership with next day delivery. Before the computer came I went through my Macbook and got rid of all unnecessary files and applications and then did a full back up to Time Machine. Once I received the Mac Mini I connected to the network and then connected the new Mac Mini to the Macbook by Ethernet. I then started the Migration Assistant application. The one thing I would recommend is to start up migration on the from computer and fill in all the information on that first. I only have one “working” keyboard so I had to switch the keyboard back and forth between the two computers. Besides that glitch the migration went fine, although it did take a lot longer then I thought it would. If I remember correctly it took a little over 5 hours. Obviously this isn’t something you want to do at the last-minute.

A hdmi to dvi adapter comes with the Mac Mini, which I used to attach to my LG monitor. It was at that point I realized the only adapter I didn’t have was a mini-display to DVI adapter, so I had to order that. The other thing I had to order was 400 to 800 firewire adapter so that I could connect my Comcast Box to my computer and watch TV using AVC Browser through VLC. So my second recommendation would be to check to make sure you have all the adapter you need. Another recommendation is if you store your password on Dropbox or another secure drive make sure you have your password for that written down. I went to start-up 1password and realized I needed the password for Dropbox so I could import all the passwords. fortunately I had it on my phone. Finally make sure you know where all your licenses are for all your applications. If you have been thinking about buying a Mac and are looking for a desktop I would recommend looking at the Mac Mini. Especially if you are a switcher and already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

GNC-2012-02-27 #745 Live in DC

Posted by geeknews at 8:03 PM on February 27, 2012

Live from the Nations Capitol audio only show tonight, packed light so as to get a show on the street. I go old school hope you enjoy..

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Links to all the articles talked about in this Podcast are on the GNC Show Notes Page [Click Here]

Passing 10,000 Articles here at Geek News Central!

Posted by geeknews at 2:52 PM on February 26, 2012

Several weeks ago in the midst of posting all of the CES content we passed 10,000 articles at Geek News Central. Looking back, this site was launched in May of 2002 with a very small readership, and really stayed that way until September of 2004 when I launched the podcast. The readership, and listeners grew dramatically overnight the growth in fact was so fast that the site had to move to a dedicated server shortly thereafter.

The site has seen multiple design changes over the same period, we have been on this current design now a couple of years. I think it is simply remarkable that their has been over a 1,000 posts a year.  While I was the primary writer for the first 5-6 years, over the past 4 years we have had a great team of writers here that contribute nearly daily content. On average or writer budget runs about a $1000.00 a month with all of our writers getting paid on a per post basis in a no pressure atmosphere. I am largely hands off on what the team posts, with the exception of content like CES and some priority articles I feed them from press and company contacts.

Our goal is to educate and inform. I have always said we break tech news down for the common man. Our writers have all come from the readership or subscribers to our audio and video content. The team here looks forward to bringing you the next 10,000 articles. I would bet that we get the next 10,000 up much faster!

It should be noted, that without our sponsors we would not be able to do what we do. It is my hope that you will support our advertisers so that we can continue to move forward. While Geek News Central is not a huge blogging machine, churning out every tech story like some of the other blogs, but we hold our own, and our monthly site traffic has done nothing but increased each month.

Little would have I thought in 2002 that this site and show would be providing me a full time income.

Keep reading, watching and listening.

Aloha Todd Cochrane
Executive Editor/Producer

TMS #46 Foxconn Sweat Shops and more!

Posted by geeknews at 2:36 PM on February 26, 2012

This week I am joined by Rob GreenLee from Microsoft and Dr. Bill from In this episodes we cover the past weeks tech news stories of interest. We do an in depth look at a variety of topics including the sweat shops of Foxconn and the Pay for Review of their operation by Apple.

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iWatchLife IP camera Home Monitoring System

Posted by geeknews at 1:10 PM on February 26, 2012

Over the past year I have done a couple of Network Camera and associated monitoring site reviews, this is the first time I have been able to review a iWatchLife IP Camera which is designed for home or small business. IP based video surveillance has been around for a while, so often times the differentiating points between manufactures end up being the monitoring services features.

Several years ago I had professional installation of a multiple camera wired monitoring system that records areas outside my residence/business along with key areas inside. While my solution is fantastic it comes at a hefty monthly price and required an initial very large cash outlay. Most of us do not need a big fancy system like mine, most of us need a couple of cameras to monitor key areas.

The camera that came with the iWacthLife kit was an Axis IP Camera that retails for $279. Setup was pretty straight forward, within about 5 minutes I had the wireless camera setup and feeding the iWatchLife website video. Camera configuration was managed through the website.

What struck me about the Axis camera that was different from other IP cameras I have reviewed was that it had a microphone, so not only could I watch what was happening I could hear as well.  The cameras video quality was fine and it did fine in low light.  The camera also had a feature where I could turn on a light mounted on the camera from the iWatchLife website.

The website and feature set is what really sets this IP camera package apart from others. You could configure the monitoring website to send  email alerts and record specific actions. The list is extensive intrusion, network outages, major scene changes, dark to light, light to dark, motion and scheduled or on demand video recording.

You can configure multiple cameras and the cameras are tied by serial number to your account making them very secure. The iWatchLife dashboard allows you to see a live view, review security events, and of course manage the cameras.  Cameras are priced from $199 to $279 per year. The iWatchLife service is free but they do have enhanced services priced $59 or $79 per year which allows you to store 75/200 hours of video coverage.

The simple fact that you can grow this monitoring system as you need to is a big added plus. Overall I am very impressed by both the monitoring website and camera options.

GotoMyPC Review – Desktop to Desktop

Posted by geeknews at 12:50 PM on February 26, 2012

Accessing a remote PC or the one sitting on your desk while on travel is secure and as simple as clicking a mouse button. Watch me connect to a remote laptop within moments and manipulating the computer as if it was local.

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Stanton SCS.4DJ Digital DJ Mixstation

Posted by Andrew at 12:13 PM on February 26, 2012

SCS.4DJ MixstationIf you’re a DJ, you probably know the name Stanton, purveyors of DJ hardware. If you’re not a DJ, you probably still know the parent company, Gibson, of the guitar fame. Either way, we’re in good company here. Todd and Steve mix it up with Darrin “B-Side” Young from Stanton.

On show is Stanton’s SCS.4DJ Digital DJ Mixstation, a self-contained digital controller that has its own built-in computer and mixing software. The Mixstation is Linux-based with proprietary software that takes advantage of the unit’s features.

The music itself is all digital (.mp3, .wav, .aac) and USB storage can either be plugged in temporarily or else more permanently fitted on the underside in media bays.

Some of the cool toys include a 4″ hi-res colour LCD screen, display of the current track’s beat and wave form, media browser and automatic synchronisation between tracks (beat match). There’s also an auto DJ feature that takes a playlist and beat matches between the tracks. Nice.

Available now for $499 from over 500 retailers nationwide.

Interview by Todd “TC” Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network, and Steve “Surfer” Lee of Waves of Tech.

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Posted by KL Tech Muse at 12:12 PM on February 26, 2012

Gazelle If you have old gadgets lying around your house, there are a couple things you can do with them, keep them, throw them in the trash, try to sell them on Ebay or Craiglist or you could use Gazelle. Option one isn’t very practical. Option two is bad for the environment and is illegal in most states. Option three can be a hassle. The best option to me is option four, Gazelle. Whenever I have an old gadget I want to sell or get rid of I go to Gazelle. Currently I am waiting for the box to ship my iPad version 1 to them. I am going to get $140.00 for it, which will go toward the purchase of an iPad 3.

Gazelle has been around 2006. You can trade in your old gadgets for money or recycle those that aren’t worth anything. Around 95 percent of all items they receive are worth something, the other 3 percent they will recycle properly. They handle products in 23 different categories everything including cellphones, gaming consoles, laptops and mp3 players just to name a few. Gazelle takes data removal very seriously any data that is on the device is removed using the most secure method. Gazelle gets most of their business from people who wanted to get the latest and greatest and trade in their old device. Since the release of the iPhone 4s in Oct they have received over 150,000 iPhones in trade in. They are currently getting ready for the release of the iPad 3.

The thing I didn’t know about Gazelle is they have a store, where they sell the items they receive that are in good working order. So when the iPad 3 comes out you maybe able to pick up a iPad 2 for a good price. In fact many people will buy a device from the Gazelle store and then later sell the same device back to Gazelle to get some money. In case you haven’t noticed I am a big fan of Gazelle, so if you have old gadgets you are trying to get rid of you may want to check out Gazelle.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Steve Lee of Wave of Tech

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TVman Wireless DTV Tuner by Dediprog

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 12:07 PM on February 26, 2012

TVman Do you want to watch over the air TV on your laptop or tablet while traveling, then the TVman Wireless DTV Tuner by Dediprog maybe what you are looking for. It is a digital TV receiver that allows you to watch over the air TV. It transfers the signal to any computer or tablet by Wi-fi. So there are no extra wires to carry around. The cord is the antenna. Because it doesn’t depend on 3G connectivity you get a full high def signal. Unlike other options available now which depend on the 3G signal and are often compressed. Dediprog distributes the product themselves and also  through other vendors. They expect to sell it in the US for around $100.00. It is available now in Japan and South America. They hope to have it available in Europe within 3 months and the US by end of the year.

Dediprog also showed off a second item which combines the wireless DTV tuner with 3G. The device can be used as a mobile hotspot or a digital TV receiver. Dediprog is trying to build partnerships with various mobile service providers which would provide the 3G connectivity. They also need to get FCC approval for both devices.

Both products are small enough to fit into a man’s front pocket. You carry them with you and as long as there is an over the air signal available you can watch TV. Not sure how long the battery last or how far the wi-fi signal travels. I expect you need to be in the same room as the device, but that is an assumption on my part. Both products will works with Android, iOS and Windows. I would love to get a hold of the device to test it, to see what kind of signal it picks up

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central and Steve Lee of Wave of Tech

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Fulton Innovation’s Wireless Charging

Posted by Andrew at 12:02 PM on February 26, 2012

Fulton Innovation logoThe great thing about CES is that every now and then an unknown shows off something cool. I’d never heard of Fulton Innovation but they have smart products based around wireless power transmission. Todd learns more about eCoupled from Dave Baarman.

Fulton Innovation have developed an inductive coupling solution that scales from simply making a magazine cover light up as you walk past to being able to charge a whole bag of devices without taking them out of the bag. Electric cars could be recharged by parking in the right spot and not by plugging them in.

Not all of these products are ready for market just yet, but inductive charging efficiencies are on a par with plug-in chargers though economies of scale are needed to bring the prices down to a point where it’s built-in as standard. Palm’s Pre range of smartphones used inductive charging with the Touchstone and the Motorola Droid 4 has inductive charging as an option. As a Pre 3 owner, it’s brilliant not having to fiddle with cables and I hope more devices come to the market with inductive charging in 2012.

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network, and Dave Lee from Waves of Tech.

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