Congressional Pirates Stole My Light Bulbs! Down with SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA!

It can be hoped that, a year from now when people are wondering why we chose to broadcast from a dark studio today, SOPA [Stop Online Piracy Act], PIPA [Protect IP Act], and ACTA [Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement] will be distant memories of poorly thought out legislation that never came to pass. But today is a dark day for more than those of us in the LockerGnome / Gnomie / Chris Pirillo community. Sites across the Internet — from Google to Wikipedia — are reminding us why a free Internet (warts and all) is worth preserving. Is online piracy a bad thing? Of course it is. Should we all be punished for the misdeeds of the relatively small percentage of the population that chooses to partake in online piracy at the behest of corporations that pull powerful (and financially motivated) strings on Capitol Hill? Hell, no!

Write a letter to your congresspeople and show them how distasteful you find their support of further diminishing our ever-shrinking liberties in the Digital Age. Google makes it pretty darned easy to oppose SOPA and PIPA. Click on that link and make your mark! I double dog dare you (and two dogs live in my house, so you can consider me more than qualified to present such a challenge).

And if you’re still wondering what this thing is that we keep talking about, you should go read our laundry list of what you get for helping support our ongoing efforts to bring you fresh tech content every single weekday. As Gnomie David Banther recently wrote to tell us:

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ for making this group. I love that is much more than a paid fan club, but a group of like-minded people that can help each other. I offered on Facebook-Gnomies to help David Thompson with the accounting side of his new tech business; we are already emailing back and forth. This is awesome, Chris!”

No, David. You are awesome. Thank you!

If you’re reading this and you’re not already signed up, become a Gnomie today!

Anyway, here’s what we were harping on at and in our live YouTube stream today.

How Not to Upgrade from 32-bit Windows 7 to 64-bit Windows 7

Even a veteran Windows user can live a long and happy life without making a so-called upgrade from Windows 7 32-bit to Windows 7 64-bit, but sometimes there’s no way around it. Take, for example, when a new computer is purchased and the OS that happens to come pre-installed on the system is the 64-bit version of Windows 7. But what happens when you have to make the upgrade from 32-bit Windows 7 to 64-bit Windows 7 on your own? Here are some things you might want to avoid when making the change if you want to continue that long and happy life with Windows.

How to Save Money on Your Water Bill

While most of us in the western world see water as an infinite resource and take it for granted, people in other parts of the world who have to travel miles every day for this life-granting necessity will tell us that we don’t know how good we have it. Being conscious of how fresh water really is a limited, valuable resource may someday be more than posturing by the eco-friendly among us, but a necessary reaction to shrinking supplies worldwide. If you’re a homeowner, you’re probably more than aware of the costs involved with keeping the water flowing. If you want to keep overhead water supply costs from flooding your budget, you might be surprised to learn that there are plenty of geeky ways to save money on your water bill!

How to Use Your iPhone as a Remote Control

The iPhone has become much more than a fancy gadget for talking to people in faraway places; some people rely on it — as Kelly Clay says, “to send emails, manage calendar[s], check budget[s], transfer money, play games, read blogs, write blogs, take pictures, send pictures, and just about anything else [they] need to do on a daily basis.” But here’s an interesting use for your iPhone that you may not have considered: as a remote control! Whether you need to record something on your DVR remotely, open your garage door, or change channels on your television, there actually is an app for that. No foolin’!

How to Save Money on Vacations Using Social Media

You don’t have to be a hoity-toity schmoozing machine to get a few bucks knocked off your travel expenses if you know how to work the social media system. And it’s not a scam, either: building relationships with companies that are in a position to give you discounts for blogging and tweeting honest appraisals of their services can be a win/win for everyone involved. Here are some ways that you can save money on vacations by using social media.

Why You Should Google Yourself

Whether you’re looking for a job or preparing for a hot date, you can be pretty sure that the other party involved is going to Google your name to see what kind of dirt might be dug up. It’s to your benefit to find out what kinds of results happen when such a search is made and be prepared to explain yourself! Better yet, monitoring the way you show up in a Google search helps you control the situation and put your best face forward by strengthening your online presence with positive results over the negative. Here are some ways you can distinguish yourself among Google results when your name is searched. (Also remember that if your moniker happens to be something like Charles Manson or Adolf Hitler, legally changing your name is always an option…)

Back Link of the Day

There should be an image here!Thanks to Don Wiggins for his blog post, in which he writes:

“Chris just posted this six-minute video and I think it’s worth watching twice; the points I really liked were just after four minutes in. Chris does a great job in explaining the value that Twitter has for businesses.”

Glad to be of help, Don! If you’d like to be mentioned as a Back Link of the Day, link to one of our posts on from your site and — this is the important part — tell us about it!

Gnomie of the Day

The Gnomie of the Day is a wonderful person named Lisa. She came across our videos in a Chrome OS search, instantly clicked with the content, and decided to support us through joining If that’s not proof that we’re doing something right, I don’t know what is! Thank you, Gnomie Lisa! Welcome aboard!

Feel bad because you missed out on today’s live TLDR? Don’t despair! Join us live tomorrow at 3:00 PM Pacific for the next edition of The LockerGnome Daily Report!