Let’s face it. Trying to write a document or long email on a tablet or smartphone can be a real pain. The small virtual keyboards that often are missing special characters unless you page through to another keyboard screen can really slow down someone trying to be as efficient as possible. As mobile processing power gets better, there is the possibility that users can write on their screen with a stylus instead of typing on a virtual keyboard. But is this necessarily more efficient? I decided to try and put things to a test by comparing several different methods for trying to write lots of text on small mobile devices. Let’s see which method is the best… Continue reading
Practically every consumer electronic device seems to come with one these days. Your TV, DVD or Blu-ray, cable receiver, AV receiver, media streaming box and even your computer probably came with a remote. More than likely you have a drawer full of them somewhere in your house. It can make trying to get even simple tasks like switching the TV to the right input, adjusting volume and changing the channel difficult without requiring three different remotes. Some of these remotes may tout universal features by programming in codes for your other devices but beyond simple tasks the buttons on the one universal generally fail to control everything you need.
Smart remotes go beyond just having the ability to control multiple devices. They often provide a single button action to control multiple devices for simple task. They also have the ability to adjust as newer devices get added to your home theater setup something the universal remote functions that come with individual devices rarely can. Logitech’s Harmony remotes are some of the most popular smart remotes available but what exactly can they do and why should you consider getting one? Continue reading
Telephoto zoom lenses are very popular with consumers as it allows them to use a single camera for just about any situation. Need a wide angle lens to fit in a group of people into a portrait? That is the wide angle portion. Need to zoom in a ton on that animal across a field to get a closer image? That is the telephoto end. Many compact cameras feature telephoto lenses with many different ranges of zoom. Zoom refers to the focal distance between the widest and narrowest portions of the lens. Thus a 30mm-300mm would be a 10x zoom.
Nikon announced their featuring an amazing 83x zoom. That is a range that is almost unheard of. The problem is that most telephoto zoom lenses have some significant drawbacks that make such an extreme range not that useful to consumers. So what are some of the reasons you might want to consider a standard zoom over a super zoom lens? Continue reading
My wife and I cut ourselves off satellite TV over a decade ago. It was a very interesting move for us as that made the only source for our TV usage either DVDs we purchased or our subscription to Netflix. With the rise of more streaming services, a greater number of people are turning to streaming only services instead of paying huge cable or satellite bills. The downside to this is that you must have some sort of device that can stream content. This is now a standard feature for most consumer Blu-ray players and HDTV’s. For those without such a feature, there is always the option of using a streaming device such as the Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire. But what if I were to tell you that you might be better off with a smaller PC to use in a home theater setup? Continue reading
The big news in TVs this year is likely going to be 4K resolutions but the manufacturers of the display had in mind something else, curved displays. The reason that this is not catching on much with consumers is that the curved feature is reserved for the higher end TVs. The costs of curving a screen is much more affordable though if you are looking at a small screen such as a PC display. A number of companies are now jumping into the curved PC monitor market. Is this enough of a feature though to make consumers pick it over traditional flat displays? Continue reading
Have you heard of the notion of razors and razor blades? It is an economic concept in which a company sells.the razor at a low cost because it sells the blade refills to the consumer for the life of the product. Computer printers follow the same principle. Most inkjet printers sell for around $100 or potentially less. Consumers quickly find out though that the cost of replacing the ink cartridges can cost as much as the printer itself. How can consumers reduce this overall cost? For some printers, there is the option of 3rd party ink from other companies than the printer manufacturer at generally at a much reduced cost. Sophia Global is one such company but how good is their ink? Continue reading
For those not familiar with the term, phishing is essentially a method that security hackers use to try and trick individuals to divulging information about themselves and their accounts through false websites designed to look legit. Millions of these emails are sent and received by users across the internet on a daily basis. They use a variety of different tactics but the primary goal is to get a victim worried enough that they will follow links provided without checking their validity and then giving up information. In essence, this is a form of social engineering that many con artists use.
While most of those phishing emails end up in junk folders or trash bins, users still end up clicking on those links from time to time. Google has been studying these scams for some time as they often get reports of fraudulent sites. Based on their data that have came up with some statistics about how effective they can be. Now they have shared results and stated that the most effective site has a 45% conversion rate of getting users that visit it to turn over information. Even the least successful ones still have a conversion rate of around 3% which is pretty good considering how many messages are sent.
The report goes even further than just the conversion rate that phishers have on their web pages to get information, but also how quickly that information could be used to compromise the persons information. They found that within the first hour, 20% of the accounts associated with information provided to such websites are compromised. So what can one do about this? Continue reading
Have you ever needed to find a tool to work on your PC or get a cable for that one device but had a hard time finding it among all the tech clutter? Let’s face it, I have a drawer full of various cables and tools. Most of them I don’t use very often but inevitably the one I need seems to be buried beneath a ton of ones that I don’t. There are plenty of ways that you can organize such things. I’ve taken to bagging some of my lesser used cables to get them out of the way or sorting them by type. Another solution is to try and keep frequently used items in an easy to access space. This is a solution that the Grid-It organizer is designed to tackle. Continue reading
If you have been reading the Tech For Anyone site over the past couple of years, you probably have noticed me mention some inexpensive Bluetooth headphones. The days of being attached to your device in order to listen to your music or videos are pretty much over. The ease and simplicity that Bluetooth headphones provide is just too much to pass up. Sure, they may lack a bit of fidelity of wired headphones but the quality has greatly improved. Many people are probably worried about the cost of wireless Bluetooth headphones but let me tell you that you don’t have to spend $100 or more for a decent pair of wireless headphones. Just take a look at the Kinivo BT240 that you can find for under $30. So just how good (or bad) or they? Continue reading
Ever been shopping for a camera or a smartphone and seen that the various ads and documents tout the number of megapixels that they can shoot? Back in the early days of digital photography, you were lucky to have a 1.2 megapixel camera. That same number of pixels can be found in just about every webcam for a laptop. A typical consumer DSLR features around 15 megapixels or more and the Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone has an unbelievable 41 megapixels in its tiny body. Does this mean that the Lumia is going to take better pictures than a DSLR camera? Obviously it won’t because of other factors but it is important to learn how a camera’s sensor and number of megapixels can impact your photos for better or worse. Continue reading