All posts by Alan

How to disable and re-enble some Chromebook Touchpads



Do you have a Chromebook? They’ve beccome popular, especially in schools and businesses. The simplicity and pricing make them appealing. They do work a bit differently, though. There are some tricks to get used to and we have one for you today,

On a Windows computer there’s frequently a button that turns the trouchpad off and on. Quite often it’s an F Key in conjunction with ALT. However, Chromebooks can be unique in this case as they work in different ways.

Why would you want to do this? Personally, I did it because my wrists brushed the pad while typing and the cursor would jump into places that were done. I’d find myself typing a sentence in the middle of a previous one.

One common method for disabling the touchpad is by use of a software-hardware combo. Start via software  you”ll need to First, you need to enable an experimental flag named “Debugging keyboard shortcuts” at chrome://flags/#ash-debug-shortcuts.

Now we’ll move onto hardware. This is also a quick and easy step. Simply hold down Shift+Search+P and the touchpad will go off. Reverse the key press to turn it back on. It’s a simple process once the flag is done, and that’s a one-time deal the first time.

It’s that simple and you’re on your way to working on $150 laptop. Talk about saving some money.


Want a movie? Redbox is teaming with Amazon Alexa



Are you a movie fan? There’s been a few good ones this year and more on the way right now. If you can’t get to the theater or don’t want to pay the ridiculous prices they now charge then there are plenty of other options, both online and physical.

One popular physical option is Redbox. You’ve likely seen the little kiosiks both inside and outside of stores. They have permeated the United States.

Well, Redbox has now teamed with Amazon Echo – better known as Alexa. You can now enable the skill and begin using it and  right away

Ask a question like Alexa open Redbox, Alexa what’s new at Redbox or Alexa find my nearest kiosk.
“The Redbox Alexa skill allows you discover what new release movies and games are available at your local Redbox kiosk. You can ask about specific titles, or what is new this week. You can also learn about the plot, the rating, and who stars in a movie” Amazon claims

You can enable the skill here. It’s free for everyone, but Redbox will cost you.


PlayOn Cloud comes to Android



If you aren’t familiar with PlayOn, It is a portal to over 100 streaming websites, allowing you watch multiple shows. And the Cloud acts as a DVR, allowing you to download shows and then watch, even offline.

Now that Cloud capability comes to the Android platform. This includes shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Yahoo View, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, HBO NOW, PBS, The CW, and YouTube.

The company announces “We have officially launched PlayOn Cloud for Android. Now you can record and download any show or movie from top streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO and more, with a simple touch of a button on your Android device.

There is more good news. Thanks to new optimizations and processing improvements that are designed to bring down the cost for all of this. The company claims it will now be $0.20 per recording. You’ll have to buy credits from the website.

If you have severed your ties with cable and satellite TV then PlayOn may be something you want to look at. That said, there are plenty of others as well.


Samsung announces Galaxy Book powered by Windows 10



If you are looking for a portable workspace and require Windows then you have a growing number of options beyond the Surface. These include many easily portable laptops and tablets. Now Samsung is looking to give everyone another alternative.

The company is unveiling its latest offering at Mobile World Congress. The big event takes place annually in Barcelona, Spain.

“Samsung announced an expanded strategic partnership with Microsoft that will help professionals use digital technology to work anywhere, with the release of the Samsung Galaxy Book powered by Windows 10 and improvements to Samsung Flow”, announces Microsoft.

The Samsung Galaxy Book is a new premium 2-in-1 that is designed for the enterprise. It’s a 12 inch with full Microsoft Office desktop integration. It “enables you to easily use Windows Ink or markup and draw on websites in Microsoft Edge, and the S Pen is equipped with the tilt SDK for Windows Ink, providing artists with advanced shading and brushstrokes”.

“Samsung improved Samsung Flow with Microsoft on the Galaxy Book. Samsung Flow allows customers to sync their Galaxy smartphone with the Galaxy Book for convenient login and Wi-Fi connection through the smartphone’s mobile hotspot when a data connection is not available, and the Samsung Flow app will display notifications from your smartphone”.

Pricing and availability are not yet available.


A new unique way for people to take selfies



coke-selfie

When it comes to selfies mobile phones created a phenomenon. People even began buying accessories for the job such as the selfie stick which allows the phone to be extended out and apps were created for the job.

But you have never seen a method for getting that picture quite like this one. Coca Cola has created what is probably the world’s first selfie bottle. Yes, you heard that right, a soda bottle that snaps an image of you each time you take a sip of your drink.

It’s a fairly normal looking Coke bottle, except for the camera attached to the bottom. The image was created by an advertising firm in Israel and will be spread via social media. The company hopes that people also spread images of themselves drinking a Coke.

There is no word on if the bottles will be available worldwide or of the price. They may catch on, but it seems more likely a novelty item.


Japan man arrested for selling unlocked iPhones



iPhone 5c

Most people are probably familiar with the term jailbreaking when used in conjunction with Apple’s iPhone. If not then it is essentially where you exploit bugs in Apple’s software to remove the restrictions imposed on your device by the operating system itself.

It can be a scary prospect for users who don’t know precisely what they are doing. But what if you could spend a few dollars more to get one that has already been jailbroken for you? That’s precisely what an enterprising Japanese man thought.

A recent report from Toyama, a city in the central part of Japan, says that a 24-year-old man named Daisuke Ikeda was recently arrested for selling five pre-jailbroken iPhones online. These apparently also included a copy of game called Monster Strike which is popular in the nation.

According to the Japan Times, Ikeda had sold 200 iPhones before his arrest, “raking in an estimated ¥5,000,000 [about $50k] in sales”.

This has mostly been a grey area, and many people jailbreak their own phones, though probably not for selling them. It’s going to raise some interesting legal questions.


Microsoft begins rolling out an update to Windows 7 and 8, removes the get Windows 10 message



getwindows10Despite seemingly endless complaints from customers, it still isn’t gone even though the free period has passed. Now the company is finally relenting and removing the nagware from both Windows 7 and 8.x.

Let’s face it, you’re either already on Windows 10 or you’re sticking with version 7. people never saw much middle ground with 8.x. Now those sticking with any older version will no longer need to periodically curse and close that window., and it only took until two months after the offer ended.

Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article 3184143 can be checked for more information. If you choose to ignore the update then it’s still possible to get the free upgrade if you’ve had a change of heart.

Complaints about the “feature” have trailed off in recent times, though some people are likey nagged by it. A response received by Mary Jo Foley read simply:

“The Get Windows 10 (GWX) application was designed to make the Windows 10 upgrade process easy for existing Windows 7 and 8.1 customers for the one year free upgrade offer which ended July 29th. Beginning on September 20th, the Get Windows 10 app and all other updates related to the Windows 10 free upgrade offer will be removed from Windows 7 and 8.1 customer’s devices. Beyond the statement above, the company has nothing more to share.”