Incandescent Time Wasters and HDTV Antennas

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Is Foursquare a waste of time? How do you secure a computer engineer position once you’ve landed the interview? Should you buy a tablet or an e-book reader this year?

Foursquare is a Waste of Time

What has Foursquare done for you lately? Sure, some businesses give discounts to customers checking in to their establishments via Foursquare or other location based services (LBS) — especially if they can nab that coveted “Mayor” (or Emperor or Sheriff or Baron or whatever other honorific is favored by the LBS in question). Unfortunately, the majority of businesses don’t; in such cases, what are you getting out of Foursquare (or other similar service) other than making it much easier for would-be stalkers to find out where you are (and for house burglars to find out where you’re not)? Chris Pirillo talks about why he thinks that Foursquare is a waste of time.

Crypteks USB Keeps Your Files Secure in Style

There are countless ways to keep your data safe — not all of them pretty. That being said, why not keep your data safe in style? Funded as a Kickstarter project, the Crypteks USB drive proves that you don’t have to sacrifice the maximum possible level of security for good looks — it’s got 14,348,907 possible password combinations, 256-bit AES encryption, and the ability to wipe the drive if too many incorrect attempts at a password are attempted by would-be data thieves. On top of that, it’s sleek-looking enough for any incarnation of James Bond to use with pride.

Insight into a Computer Engineering Job Interview

To get ahead in any career — especially one in the computer engineering field — it pays to know your stuff when you’ve secured a job interview. Being prepared well before sitting in that hot seat is in your best interest — but how do you know what to expect? Education is important, of course, but aside from chasing that college degree, what are some other ways to inform yourself and stay on top of the game? Eddie Ringle, himself an aspiring computer engineer, talks to a friend in the industry about how he’s managed to land positions in this very competitive business.

Tablet or E-book Reader: Which Should You Buy This Holiday Season?

Computer tablets and e-book readers have become very affordable — especially since the last holiday season. As such, it’s not hard to imagine that you might have a few people on your Christmas shopping list who would greatly appreciate a tablet or an e-book reader; how do you know which one will best suit their needs? Ron Schenone delves into what makes them different (aside from pure price point) so that your decision might be just a little easier this year. (As quickly as technology moves, next year may be a whole different ball game, entirely.)

Dead Men Solve No Puzzles

Sherman DeForest takes a break from blowing our minds with his usual decision theory missives and offers this interesting little puzzle. It involves buccaneers and loot and the suspenseful potential for mutiny! Holding your tongue and saying “I was born on a pirate ship” will likely make this whole thing a little easier to solve.

Incandescent Time Wasters and HDTV AntennasSay Goodbye to the 100 Watt Incandescent Light Bulb

Even though it’s easy to say that Congress is operating on a panel of very dim bulbs in many of its decisions, how do you feel about the one that says 100 watt incandescent lighting will soon be a thing of the past in favor of more energy efficient CFL and LED options? Ron Schenone plugs in with some facts and feelings on the matter.

Why is My Computer Getting Slow?

Is your computer really getting slow, or is it just a matter of perspective? Sure, over time it’s normal for your system to get bogged down with software that makes the height of its efficiency somewhat lacking, but is the fix easier than simply trashing the old hardware in favor of the newest shiny multi-core on the market? Sherman DeForest talks about how he determines whether an old computer is truly ready to be put out to pasture, or if it can be coaxed into fulfilling your needs for a few more years.

How to Build Your Own HDTV Antenna

The cable and satellite companies would hate for you to consider going back to having an old-fashioned antenna bolted to your roof for picking up local television channels. Ron Schenone found his friend’s claims of doing just that — for his HDTV, no less — a little dubious, so he went to see the results for himself. How easy and how effective is going the DIY (do it yourself) route for television reception nowadays? You might be as surprised as Ron was by this little experiment.