Sparkly Barkstarter Infobahn

Wicket kicked off today’s TLDR thanks to my Beam-a-Bark technology (patent pending via Barkstarter) that allowed him to speak to — and be understood by — our mostly human audience without anything being lost in translation. The viewership got a kick out of it, and I’m finally able to get him earning his keep around here (the free kibble train is over, my furry friend)!

Is it a good idea to give our canine companions the gift of speech, though? Did we learn nothing from that Charlton Heston movie about the gun-toting simians on horseback rounding up loincloth-clad humans in some nightmare, topsy-turvy world? Could Earth become a planet where YouTube broadcasting dogs evolve from geeks? Will I someday say these words to Wicket?:

“Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty dog!”

Nah, I’m sure that he and his sister will treat us with kindness when they take over the world. He even thanked the Gnomies for their support today, so I’m sure they’re safe, too. But the rest of you? I can’t guarantee anything. Canine clemency only goes so far when the treats run out, so there’s your fair warning.

But it wasn’t all barks and tailwagging at LockerGnome World Headquarters today. Here are some of the things on and in our live YouTube stream that we chatted about.

How To Use Your iPhone to Find Cheaper Gas

Anyone who drives a car in the United States is experiencing more than a little anxiety over the dramatic rise in gas prices over even the past month. Your grandparents, your parents, and some of you elders of the LockerGnome community can probably remember the days of filling up the car’s tank with spare change and thinking nothing of driving a car that was the size of a house and only got about two miles to the gallon. Petroleum seemed to be a never-ending resource back then (but, to be fair, dinosaurs still walked the planet, so it was still being made). Now, most of us can’t afford to be so nonchalant about our habits of conspicuous consumption. If you simply have no alternative to driving, you may want to learn how to use your iPhone to find cheaper gas.

Top 10 Sports iPhone Apps

I make no secret of the fact that I’m not really a sports fan, but don’t mistake that as meaning that I have anything against those of you who are! While I may not be able to share in the bonding trivia and anecdotes of people who really dig the heck out of athletic competitions, I’m lucky enough to have people on LockerGnome staff who can. Here, Craighton Miller goes over his top 10 favorite sports iPhone apps.

GFI Backup Reviewed

Backing up your data regularly is important — you don’t need me to tell you this (though I have plenty of times over the last decade or so). Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do so, and many of them are free. Here, Ron Schenone gives freeware GFI Backup a try and gives you his two cents’ worth.

Branding is Everything

Have you thought about starting a business, but don’t know how to compete against all the others that are doing what you want to do? Want to stand out from the crowd? Need to be noticed? From becoming a stand-out — to becoming an overnight sensation — branding is where it all starts. What is branding? What is your brand? How can Gnomies help you brand yourself? We are going to explore branding in this Gnomies-only webinar.

Why You Should Consider Buying a Toyota Prius

I drive a Prius, and it never did me any harm! It saves me cash on gas — which, as Kelly Clay’s article above indicates, is something we’re all thinking about as prices have soared to half-a-tenspot per gallon with no end to escalation in sight. It contributes a great deal less pollution to the air of my fair city than a typical vehicle. It’s got nifty features that any geek with an eye on tech would love. And you know what? I think it’s plenty stylish — naysayers be darned! Matt Ryan got on board with giving the Prius a try (in spite of what the haters almost had him believing) and wound up really enjoying the experience. Here’s why you should consider buying a Toyota Prius.

Back Link of the Day

Thanks to Shawn Rainey of Online Video Magazine for linking to LockerGnome in a discussion about Windows 8’s projected popularity (or lack, thereof)! 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!

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