Category Archives: Information

Geek News Central Seeking Writers

Geek News Central is seeking two additional contract paid tech writers. Our requirements are pretty simple. We do not accept writers that are contracted to do pay to play articles. All content on GNC is original with topics we feed the team to original pieces that the writers want to cover.

Applicants should submit 2 original tech article that they have written and certify in writing that they are not currently working for any pay per post agency or firm where they have been given topics to cover.

This is an opportunity to write original pieces on topics that are newsworthy or making the news. Drop an email to Todd @ for consideration.

Apple HomePod Thoughts #1258

I received the Apple Homepod and I have some thoughts on where this device stands. Detailed commentary about HomePod on the show. As all of you know I am flying out for my daughter’s wedding celebration on Thursday. Kirk the Executive Producer of the show will be standing in and being the guest host while I am out. Thursday’s show will be his first podcast so it should be an exciting episode.

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Intel Bug Consequences #1254

Well, big changes here in the studio and it may have been Intel’s fault. You should watch today’s video for the first 15 minutes or so as I take you on a tour of the studio, unlike anything you have ever seen here. Plus lots of great listener feedback from previous shows.

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Unicomp Offers New Classic Model M Keyboards of IBM Fame

During my recent annual Christmas vacation, I decided to finally tackle my office room closet. That closet had become stacked pretty much from floor to ceiling over the past 16 or so years with obsolete computer junk.

Most of the stuff was completely out-of-date. Lots of extra stuff that came packaged with long-gone computers. Manuals describing long-dead software procedures. Old USB and even Serial Port peripherals that do not work with modern operating systems. Lots of stuff that slowly lost any value it had as computer technology advanced over the years.

However, mixed in with what turned out to be about 15 large garbage bags of old computer junk, I found a gem that I forgot that I ever had – a classic “Model ‘M’” IBM PS/2 keyboard.

I had sort of forgotten how good classic IBM keyboards were to type on. In the intervening years of newer USB and later wireless keyboards, I began to think that my typing skills somehow weren’t what they once were. I just assumed that my typing skills had taken a sharp nosedive.

The IBM “Model M” is the holy grail of keyboards. Each Model M key uses what is called a “buckling spring” construction that gives every IBM Model M key its distinctive key travel and feel. The sculpted keys of the Model M eliminates the common mistake of hitting two keys at once on modern, style over substance keyboard designs. Modern keyboards often have very little key travel, and a very mushy feel with the keys jammed together. The Model M keyboard offers the best typing experience EVER, bar none.

So, I went on Amazon and bought an inexpensive PS/2 keyboard/mouse to USB “Y” adapter. I plugged the IBM keyboard into one of the USB ports into my Samsung DEX dock that I use with my Galaxy Note 8 smartphone along with a 24 inch curved 1080p Samsung monitor. The combination couldn’t work better. I’m typing this into Word right now using the Model M with my phone plugged into the DEX phone dock which turns the Note 8 into a real desktop experience.

I started researching the IBM Model M keyboards and discovered there is a very active market for them. IBM and later Lexmark (an IBM subsidiary) manufactured various versions of the Model M keyboard from sometime in 1984 until 1996. The employees of the IBM/Lexmark factory bought the patents and the factory equipment and continue to this day to manufacture versions of the Model M keyboard under the company name “Unicomp” using the same “buckling spring” key design. They offer both Mac and Windows versions of their keyboards, along with the original 101 classic IBM keyboard layout. Unicomp keyboards are priced from around $85 dollars to $105 dollars, depending on customizations.

No other keyboard offers the typing accuracy or sheer satisfaction of the original “buckling spring” key design. After finding out that Unicomp still sells new Model M keyboards, I ordered two of them for a couple of my computers.

Amazon – MSI Selling Refurbished Computers as New

My CIO at RawVoice / Blubrry ordered via our business account at Amazon a MSI MSI GS63 STEALTH-060 15.6 computer. When it arrived the packaging all appeared brand new with all stickers and shipping making it appear that this was a brand new computer But upon boot up, we could immediately tell this was a pre-owned machine. It booted straight to a login!

I am sure the company that owned it before us a professional photographers company in Florida called Codis will be happy to know this. I have reached out to them for comment and hope to update this article soon. Meanwhile, calls to MSI customer support were met with, “we will help you get the machines back to factory default”. Not an offer to replace the machine with a new machine. We purchased a brand new machine, not a factory refurbished unit. While I am sure the machine is nearly new, this raises real questions and while I will give them the benefit of the doubt but this is a pretty big deal! Someone really screwed up here and allowed this computer to get out the door as new instead of being marked as refurbished. How many computers is MSI selling that they are stating are new but actually refurbished machines.

Update: The Previous owner of the Laptop returned it for a defective trackpad in that it was loose around Thanksgiving making the turn around by MSI less than a month. They are a bit freaked out at the moment. Make sure you restore factory default before shipping.

We would have been none the wiser had they computer been factory reset. But this does raise a serious integrity issue with the folks at Amazon and MSI on the computers they are selling.

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Podcast Mirror: RSS Feed-Replicating Service

Blubrry podcast hosting company has launched Podcast Mirror a new feed replicating service that is a FeedBurner replacement for Podcasters. This is the first service of it’s kind that has launched specifically for podcasters since the introduction of FeedBurner so many years ago.

There are some significant differences in the service as Podcast Mirror does as it says mirrors the original podcast feed providing a host of features for podcasters. One of the biggest is 99.999% uptime on a high-performance network that guarantees incredibly fast feed load times.  Podcast Mirror meets all the requirements required for iTunes and other podcast applications such as: Apple’s official iOS app, Google Play Music, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more.

Podcast Mirror provides complete compatibility, security which allows podcasters who are looking to provide a better experience for their listeners by providing a formatted feed that does not present all of the XML code that often confuses a listener. All feeds are secure meaning they are served as https and future proofs the feed for changing times.

The best thing is podcasters retain their brand and drive subscriptions with the integrated subscribe tools. As in the image below you can see what is presented to a listener who may load a Podcast Mirror feed in their browser.


The holiday season in perspective [Infographic]

It’s that time of year. While thoughts should turn to things we are thankful for, they seem to more often turn towards what we lust for or want for our loved ones. It’s a bit petty, but it has been slowly ingrained in us over the years. Black Friday kicks everything off with near riots as those present fight for what they want – sometimes taking extreme measures.

But what does all of this mean for the retail business? Google took a look at it, mostly, as it could have been guessed, from an adsense perspective. In other words, not just what it means to consumers, but what it means to their bottom line.

The company expects staggering numbers with an 18 percent increase in spending over last year’s $21.6 billion. It then proceeds to lay out a plan for companies to get noticed.

It isn’t something the average consumer sees on a daily basis, but it provides some insight into what is behind the purchases made – the driving force that powers the wallet.

Beyerdynamic’s Aventho Wireless is a CES 2018 Innovation Award Honoree

Beyerdynamic has over 90 years of experience in developing audio electronics. They stand for innovative audio products with the highest sound quality and pioneering technology. Beyerdynamic has been named as a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree for its Aventho wireless headphones.

For the Aventho wireless, beyerdynamic uses Bluetooth 4.2 protocol with the aptX HD codec from Qualcomm. This way, the best possible sound is guaranteed, even without wires. Additionally, beyerdynamic is working together with Mimi Hearing Technologies to allow for a truly personalized sound experience.

Mimi’s sound personalization technology makes it possible to create a personal hearing profile. This profile is based on the soundcheck in the “Make it yours” (MIY) app and then uploaded directly to the Aventho wireless.

This new high-end model also offers innovative operation: the right side serves as a touch gesture control pad. All functions can be activated using simple touches and gestures: next track, louder, take a call, hang up, lower volume, pause… it’s never been so easy to control your headphones, smartphone and music player app.

Via the MIY app, the sensitivity of the touch control can be adjusted to suit your individual preferences. There is also a tracking option within the app to gan an insight into your listening habits and measure duration and intensity of your daily listening. Further customization options will be made available via updates.

The CES 2018 Innovation Awards nomination comes with many benefits. The Aventho wireless will be displayed proudly with the rest of the Honorees in the Innovation Showcase at CES 2018. Beginning January 9, 2018, the Aventho wireless will be on display in the Innovation Awards Showcase within the Venetian Ballroom at CES Tech West.

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.

Massive, Shiny New Headquarters Seem To Spell Doom. How Do Tech Companies Fare?

It seems that when companies construct and move in to massive new headquarters, more often than not the event ends up marking the beginning of their downfall.

Remember the Pan Am building in New York City? The downfall of Pan Am can be traced directly to 1963 when Pan Am moved into its brand new highly-visible headquarters. Pan Am is long since departed. For many years the building has been rebranded as the MetLife building.

18th February 1966: A helicopter landing on the roof of the Pan-Am building (now Met Life building), designed by Walter Gropius, in New York. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)

AT&T’s new building was completed in 1984 at the very same time that it had already been under an order to break up its telephone monopoly. Charles Brown decided to keep long distance and divest AT&T of the regional operating divisions that subsequently became known as the “Baby Bells.” Who remembers when long distance was actually a big thing?

Sears Tower opened in Chicago in 1973. About the same time, Sears stock began a decline from which it has never managed to recover to it’s former glory. Even before Sears Tower opened, there were already signs of trouble as they failed to recognize new competitors such as K-mart that were already eating into their business.

Tech companies seem to suffer the same curse of the new headquarters.

In 1999, Excite @ Home (remember that?) moved in to a shiny new headquarters across the street from it’s original location. Excite @ Home only had one profitable quarter. After the move to the new HQ, it entered a $35 billion dollar death spiral.

Remember when AOL merged with Time Warner? AOL Time Warner began building a new corporate headquarters in 2000. Between the time construction started until the building actually opened, AOL Time Warner stock had lost about 78% of it’s previous value.

Yahoo burned a bunch of money on new corporate headquarters a number of years ago. What ever became of Yahoo? Remember the jingle – “Yaa Hoo!!!”

So, when companies start talking about building that massive new headquarters, it is a safe bet to expect that their inevitable downfall has started in earnest.