Category Archives: Internet

Google Helps People Vote TODAY! 2012

Google has made a big effort to help people find information about the 2012 Elections in the United States, this includes there YouTube page that has had lots of live video events along with video from major news networks on the Elections. But one of the things that I found interesting is how not only are they providing information on who you can vote for, but helping people find out where they can vote. On Google+ they reported that voter information data has been accessed over 16 million times.

While they do have some problems with the YouTube page today, I was able to load it up but live video and normal YouTube clips did not load in the page they would load on the standard page for that video. It also seems as the comment feed on the election page was stuck at over an hour old.

I was able to use the Google voting location tool to fine where I needed to go vote and also find more info on things I would have to vote on. At the voting location there was a line at 8:45 AM MST, and only took 10 minutes to get in. Then waited to have my address updated and went to the electronic voting systems. They used some kind of combination of paper print outs, a block that had some kind of near field wireless data transfer and a touch screen that was not as good as a phone or tablet touch screen. After you voted on each person it would print a log that showed up next to the screen, and then when you did finish voting it would show it and real that paper into the back of the voting device. I was of course almost more interested in the technology then the voting going on. Then when you were done a person would take that block with what seemed to store the data back to another system to unload the data and clear it for the next use.

Either way you vote its cool to see that you can get more information online than ever, it was surprising when looking at things I would vote on who many of the people didn’t have good websites or any at all. Get out and vote and if you can comment on your experience with electronic voting or if you are one that doesn’t like the idea of it.

The new Google / Samsung Chromebook for $249

Google has updated the line of Chromebook laptops with a new Chromebook that will only cost $249. This is the point where these computers start to look like a good deal. They run Chrome OS, which is a Linux distribution that is focused on only running the Chrome Web Browser. It makes it secure and keeps the system always up-to-date because you are expected to be working online all the time with this system. Lots of people have said this is a great system for their parents so they can get online to check email, Facebook, and get info on the Internet but not have to worry about the system getting messed up. But by having a limited system they have made a lot of changes to the OS to make it more like a traditional OS. Also with the new price drop this makes the system seem like a good deal now.

The main difference with this new Chromebook is the change from an Intel processor to an ARM process that would account for the main reason why the price is so low now, along with reduced RAM down to 2GB from the 4GB of older devices. You also get 100GB of Google Drive storage along with the built in 16GB SSD that most of the storage would be used by the OS giving a smaller than expected storage area on the computer, Google expects you to be storing everything in the Cloud so you could just login on any Chrome OS device and it seems like you were always there.

The full specs are listed below, but this is only an 11.6 inch screen, gets 6.5 hours of battery, and runs on a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Processor. Also check out the full gallery of what things look like.

Processor ARM Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Processor
RAM 2GB
Screen 11.6 inch (1366×768)
Battery 6.5 hours
Size and Weight 0.8 inch thick, 2.5 lbs
Storage 16 GB SSD with 100GB Google Drive for 2 years
Wireless Dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
Camera VGA
Ports 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, HDMI

FreedomPop Free 4G Data

FreedomPop is a company using Sprint WiMax 4G service to give users 500MB of free data usage a month. They also plan on updating the service later on to use Sprints 4G LTE network for wider coverage. While you get 500MB of data free they also offer reasonable rates for extra data, such as the “Casual 2GB Data Plan” is $17.99 a month. To get the service you also have to put down a security deposit for the MiFi or USB Stick, and depending on the one you get the price.

After looking at their coverage map it shows that the WiMax is the real problem, it’s only in major cities. For me the closest cities are Salt Lake or Denver that have coverage. If this worked on Sprint’s entire network I would be down for spending the $20.98 for the 2GB and the “Speed Plus” that is said to give a 50% boost in speeds whatever that means. The change to LTE is expected to happen sometime in 2013.

They also have an iPhone and iPod sleeve being made that works like a MiFi but also adds 6 hours of battery life to the iPhone case. With one of these you could turn an iPod into a real mobile device without an expansive contract. Both sleeves are only pre-order right now and will cost $99.

Check out the charts below for more details.

Device Deposit
Freedom Sleeve for iPod Touch $99
Freedom Sleeve for iPhone 4/4S $99
Freedom Spot – Photon $89
Freedom Stick – Bolt $49

The iPhone and iPod sleeves are said to come in a few weeks if you pre-order them.

Name Data per Month Price per Month
Free 500MB 500MB + $0.02 per 1MB after Free
Casual 2GB 2GB + $0.01 per 1MB after $17.99
Premiere 4GB 4GB + $0.01 per 1MB after $28.99

All plans can add FreedomPop Speed Plus for $2.99 per month for “50% faster speeds”.

For now if you have service in your area this could be a nice way to add data to a Tablet, Laptop, or other device if you want some free data that you would use from time to time, but otherwise hold off for a while until they change over to LTE. But it is good to see companies taking some risks in the mobile data field trying to come up with new ways to get people data service, also Sprint should be thought of as they seem to be the one network that is open to other companies trying new things using their equipment.

Facebook Gifts

A few months ago Facebook acquired a company that shipped gifts and today has released its functionally today. With Facebook gifts you can chose one of your friend on Facebook and give them a gift for things like Birthdays or just because. Right now they only have around 100 gifts, such as cupcakes, stuffed animals, digital gift cards, and say they are going to add more soon. They also have links for businesses that may want to sell their products on Facebook gifts to contact them.

When I went to https://www.facebook.com/gifts the page still showed that it was “Coming Soon: Gifts” so they may not have it turned on for all of Facebook’s users yet. But when you can give gifts you will chose a gift, fill out a message that shows up in a card, pay for the gift or they have some kind of pay later option, and then it notifies your friend that you have given them a gift. For the recipient they enter there address so the sender doesn’t have to have that information, and other options like size or color. Then the gift is shipped, shipping fees seem to be included in the price of the gift.

This seems like an interesting way to give people gifts and as long as they get there selection large enough that most people will be happy with what they get it will probably be used a lot. As for Facebook it will also get people to add a credit card to their account and will help them sell more things though the site easer. They have a video showing the process that makes it look super simple, will see how good they do on delivering the products to people’s houses in a reasonable time.

T-Mobile Releases Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data

Starting September 5th 2012 T-Mobile will be offering unlimited 4G data with no data caps, speed caps and no unknown bills. Both new and existing customers can upgrade to the new plan, new customers can also get a 4G device that T-Mobile sells. The plan also works on the normal phone plans and the “Value” plans or monthly plans they have.

It costs $20 when added to a Value plan, and $30 when added to Classic plans. And will be available though T-Mobile stores, on their website, and select dealers.

For example, a single line Value plan with unlimited talk and text combined with unlimited nationwide 4G data will cost $69.99 or a single line Classic plan with unlimited talk, unlimited text and unlimited nationwide 4G data will cost $89.99.

This sounds good, but there was no info on if you don’t have a 4G device or in an area that they say is 4G and are on 3G if it is still unlimited, I would guess it’s all unlimited. May have to look over this and see if I can get a low cost value plan and add the data to my old Nexus One and make it a hotspot and backup phone for when I’m out working. I’ll keep an eye on this.

Tek4.ME My New Technology Blog

A few weeks ago I quit my normal crummy job that wasn’t helping me with my goal of working with computers, technology, or the internet. I had gotten my degree as an Information System Administrator but the job market for IT workers is very hard because there aren’t that many jobs where I live, but I had a few ideas on how I can still have an income.

First I have done some service calls for a company installing Internet, and those pay good for the work, I also have some friends that has been offering to get me doing the service calls they do but in my area. Because these calls aren’t consistent I plan to do some other stuff with my time when I’m not just taking care of my kids.

So my plan is to write on my Technology and Gadget blog Tek4.ME as much as I can. It will have topics such as news about upcoming Apple, Microsoft, Google, and other Companies new products and services. The blog will also have tips and tricks for best using your technology and online services. Some of the articles already up include my Hands on Review of the Nexus 7, information on why YouTube won’t be part of iOS 6, and what’s new in Windows Essentials 2012.

Finally I would also like to start building a few websites a month; this would be things like setting up and building a site using WordPress or Drupal for any type of business or organization. If interested check out more information at Grand Junction Computers web site.

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Google IO 2012 Live!

Check out the Google IO 2012 Live Video and my G+ stream.

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