Category Archives: Media Blog

Will You Rent Electronics from Best Buy?


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A few week’s ago, Best Buy (and most recently, Apple) changed their policy and ended the infamous re-stocking fee policy. No more do you have to pay a 10-15% fee to return items that you no longer want or need.

However, this brings up an interesting question mentioned in the Consumerist: Will this tempt people to simply “rent” their electronics? If there isn’t a penalty for returning, couldn’t someone “buy” a 65″ TV for the Superbowl and return it the next day? What about a laptop/projector for a business meeting later in the week. This can definitely be abused, but I hope the bad apples don’t hurt consumers as a whole.

Lamarr asks an interesting question: Will you be abusing this policy and risk being labeled a “scumbag” by your local store, or will you only use it when needed?

YouTube Video Limits


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Someone asked recently what my thoughts are concerning the new limits that YouTube has placed upon content producers. They raised the length of video allowed to fifteen minutes for many of you. The problem is, though, that many of us don’t watch anything more than ONE minute.

Do you watch fifteen minute videos? Does anyone you know sit through clips that long on YouTube? I can understand the need to occasionally upload something longer than ten minutes – I’ve done so myself a few times. But realistically, I know that it’s very rare to have someone sit through the entire thing.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that YouTube did a good thing when they raised their upload limits?

Why Do You Use Google Chrome?


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Someone in our live community recently asked what I feel the advantages – and disadvantages – are for using Google Chrome. We are talking about the web browser in this instance, not the operating system. Google Chrome is built upon the Chromium foundation, as are Flock and RockMelt.

One advantage of Chrome is that they are constantly releasing new versions. It’s not going to disappear into obscurity. Google’s entire business model IS “the Web.” They are going to do their best to continue to try and build the best browser possible. There’s seemingly always a new beta version available, proving further that they are evolving on a regular basis.

I honestly can’t come up with a disadvantage, unless someone doesn’t want statistics sent back to Google. There are occasional crashes, as well, but yeah – EVERY browser has that problem at times. Is there anything you can think of?

What are YOUR thoughts? Is Chrome a good choice – or not?

Is the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool Necessary?


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Someone recently asked if I felt the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is actually necessary. It’s a good tool for what it’s designed to do and I don’t see why you would NOT have it on your Windows machines. It’s free, and it’s designed to help keep your computer – and information – safe.

My assistant Kat is a Microsoft MVP in Windows Security, and I’m pretty sure she’d agree with my assessment, as well. This tool checks computers for infections by specific, prevalent malicious software—including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom—and helps remove any infection found. When the detection and removal process is complete, the tool displays a report describing the outcome, including which, if any, malicious software was detected and removed.

You can grab the tool via your Windows Updates, or simply download it directly. The version of the tool delivered by Windows Update runs in the background and then reports if an infection is found. To run this tool more than once a month, use the direct download version linked to above.

What security measures do you employ on your various machines?

Which Programming Language Do You Prefer?


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Someone on our Lockergnome site recently asked which full programming language is “the best.” That is a good question – but impossible to answer, really.

Each language was developed for a specific purpose. What works for one type of application may not work for another. Therefore, you can’t really chose “the best.” It would be better to ask which was the best for what you are trying to DO at any given time.

Everything from WordPress to moveable type uses something different. It’s impossible, therefore, to try and figure out any one language to name as the be-all and end-all of language types. The most useful programming language, ultimately, is the one that will best serve your needs.

No one language will or can do everything. If you want to be a general programmer, you’re going to have to learn many different types. If you want to be specialized, then sure – focus on one or two that you will need in your career or hobby.

What do you think? I’m sure you have your favorite language… but do you truly believe any one is better or more important than everything else out there?

Organize Your Life With Quick Note


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This week, Marques is showing off one of his favorite Chrome Extensions: Quick Note. It’s such a simple way to organize yourself, remind yourself and keep yourself sane.

As of right now, you can only save notes locally to your own machine. However, the team behind the Extension is working to bring Cloud functionality into the swing of things. This will allow you to sync your Notes with services such as Diigo, Dropbox, box.net, Google docs, and Evernote.

Quick Note is simple to use. It loads instantly, as a notepad should. It boasts one-click access to all of your Notes, instant search to find what you need and the ability to add something new right within the app or via a right-click menu.

What note-taking/keeping program or app do you use?

What Would You Do With TechNet?


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Someone recently asked if it was worth spending money on a TechNet subscription from Microsoft. If you’re a developer, the answer is a definite yes. If you’re a student – you can get a pretty hefty discount. In any case, if you’re anyone who uses a lot of Microsoft software, then it’s definitely something you should look into.

Yes, it’s going to cost you money. But do you want to know as much as you can about their software, tools and development? If so, then yes, you totally want a subscription. It’s absolutely worth it. You have to ask yourself how important the knowledge you can gain is to you. How much is it worth to you?

Look at it this way. When you go to a job interview, you’re going to have to discuss what you know and how you know it. Being able to point to having an extreme amount of education when it comes to all of the various Microsoft platforms.

If you’re out of a job, you will definitely hesitate at spending the money for the subscription. But having that knowledge of Azure or .NET could put you head and shoulders above the competition. Even if you’re an Apple fan… you likely will need to use Microsoft software at some point in your life or career.

Weigh your options. How much is a foot in the door worth to you?

How To Have One Profile


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We have too many profiles on too many social networks. How do people new to our circle know where to find us? We can’t just spam them with all of our links at once. Matthew is taking a look at About.Me this week. The site is a great place to create ONE profile and link to the rest of the places you can be found online.

Your About profile is completely customizable. Add whatever links, feeds and information you choose. You can choose different fonts and colors for each separate section and make the background you feel fits you the best.

Add your email if you wish, move the description box to a better place on the page and even view your stats. The Dashboard will show you the average time spent on your profile, the total views and the number of new visitors. You’ll be able to see how many times your various links were clicked on.

One thing Matt suggests is to link to this new static page in your email signatures. Instead of listing your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, why not just give out one simple link to serve as a landing page?

Do you have an About.Me page yet?

Google TV Vs. Apple TV


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This is Google TV. I am more than grateful to the team at Google for sending this unit to me, and for showing me how I can help all of YOU win one for yourself. I have to tell you – this piece of hardware is simply stunning. The quality is far beyond what I had expected. Besides, what could be cooler than watching YouTube videos on a big screen television?

Google TV is a new platform for television that combines your normal TV programming with a full web browser, Android apps and a simple way to search through all of it. It’s even easy to switch between TV and the web without having to change inputs on your television set.

With Google Chrome and Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Google TV lets you access everything on the web. Watch your favorite web videos, view photos, play games, check fantasy scores, chat with friends, and do everything else you’re accustomed to doing online.

If you’re a video producer like I am, you’re going to love this. Google TV gives web video stars the change to be a TV star. Google TV users can even bookmark your YouTube channel onto their TV home screen. This makes your content appear one click away from whatever they are already watching.

Google TV will come pre-loaded with apps like Netflix, Twitter, CNBC, Pandora, Napster, NBA Game Time, Amazon Video On Demand and Gallery. Starting early next year, apps from Android Market will work on Google TV as well. As I already said in the video above, the quality and clarity of this Sony television is just – fantastic. I cannot imagine anything better to surf the web with, including my beloved Mac Pro and dual 30″ monitors. This TV set puts those to shame. Seriously.

I’m sure you are ready to know how you can win one of these for yourself, aren’t you? Google is graciously giving YOU the chance to win. The contest ends on December 22nd, so you’ll have to hurry. 100 people will win a 46″ Sony Google Internet TV on January 20th.

To enter, simply create a video describing why you’re excited about watching the Internet on TV. You can upload your entry as soon as you’re ready – and please make sure you’ve read the official contest rules. Your video cannot be longer than one minute, so be creative with your time – and good luck to everyone!

Thanks again to Google. This Sony in my office is now my new best friend. Why are YOU excited about Google TV?

What is the Next Big Little Thing?


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A giant orange crate from Reese’s showed up on my door step the other day. You’ll have to watch the video to see what’s inside. We can tell you it’s The Next Big, Little Thing. If you plan to be at CES 2010, be sure to stop by Reese’s booth in the Grand Lobby at Noon PST for a special announcement from Reese’s. I will be streaming live from the Grand Lobby on January 8 and 9.