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Archive for the 'tech' Category

Uninstalling Outlook App from Android Device

If you have Outlook on your Android device and decide you want to uninstall for some reason (maybe you need a clean install or, in my case, I was switching versions for testing and didn’t want the production version running in tandem), you may notice that the uninstall option is greyed out for Outlook and there is no trashcan icon when you try to drag to remove. Here is how you can remove the app:

Head into the following menu items on your Android:
•Lock screen and security
•Other security settings
•Device administrators

And in Device administrators section, unselect Outlook. Once you’ve done this, you can remove Outlook from your device as usual.

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Cutting Cable and Still Watching TV

After hearing all about people cutting cable and watching tv, I decided to give it a try. In short, I love it.

If you’re trying to do the same, here are my tips.

Making the transition:
Before you go all out and cancel your cable, feel free to try the all internet route for a few weeks and see how you like it. Most of the internet services I will recommend have free trials you can use before committing.

Wait… Transition to what?
Transition to the services that will allow you to watch your shows!

My favorite services are Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and Netflix.

Amazon Prime: My favorite choice. Not only do they have 40,000 titles available, including portions of the HBO library, but the service also let’s you get free two-day shipping on amazon orders and allows you to borrow kindle books for free. Essentially you get to watch a random collection of movies, HBO shows that are not currently in season, BBC shows, Downton Abbey, The Americans, etc. No real currently airing shows, but a good library regardless. 30-day free trial, then $99/year.

Netflix: I signed up for this purely to watch Orange is the New Black. Not kidding. Besides OITNB and House of Cards, their original series, they have a solid streaming library of existing and some currently airing shows. Also, a decent movie library. Free month trial, then $7.99 a month for streaming.

Hulu Plus: My last favorite service is Hulu Plus. The perk of this service over the others is that Hulu Plus allows you to watch current seasons of shows. Great replacement for everyday show watching. You can get the first two weeks free, then $7.99 a month. Also, the base service on is free; however, it will only allow you to watch 5 episodes of some shows, and only on your PC, not devices.

When you get bored… You can also install redbox instant for an occasional movie rental when the other choices don’t suffice.

Sports: if you’re primary concern are sports, you can sign up for services through each of the sports leagues (NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL) to watch live sports. Some of them have odd blackout policies. Or… You can walk to a local spots bar and watch with friends 😉

How to watch using these services?
You can generally watch programming using these services by accessing their website on your laptop, installing and using their app on your phone or tablet/iPad (App store, Android Play store), or on your Smart TV. Personally, I like the Samsung smart TV platform, but Sony and a few others have the apps as well. If you don’t own a Smart TV, you can still watch with these services on your TV. You can either connect your laptop to your TV via an HDMI cable, or you can purchase a peripheral device such as a Roku 3, an Apple TV, or the Amazon Fire TV.

Happy watching. Feel free to comment any questions or tips.

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Air travel and technology, we can do better

As many of you are aware due to the media coverage, two days ago Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur and about 50 minutes later the Boeing 777-200 went missing. Now they are searching for the wreckage, unsuccessfully, to find the black boxes so they can figure out what happened.

I’ve posted previously about my frustrations with air travel and the way it really has not improved or changed much since the 70s. We mostly fly in planes designed then and at speeds even slower to maintain fuel efficiency. (I won’t even get into my rant about how we should be flying faster, at least at concord speeds, by now). Lately, there have been a few improvements… we can now watch satellite TV and surf the internet. I’m not trying to discount these awesome upgrades in entertainment and productivity options, but this accident or disappearance reminds me again of how the air travel industry just refuses to change with the times.

Why are we relying on these black boxes that are so hard to recover when planes mysteriously crash or disappear? We have the technology and ability to communicate with the airplanes, get them internet and satellite TV. Why is the aircraft flight data not being uploaded real time onto remote servers? Doesn’t that seem like a better way to figure out what happened, considering we can’t find the plane? I suppose some would say that some flights lose communication before crashing. Sure, but we could still have data up until communication is lost. And a remote upload system could be redundant with an on board black box system…

Just a late night rant addressing an issue I feel could be better handled. Is it just me?

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Recovering from a wordpress update error – “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.”

I just experienced my first WordPress update error. I have to say, I was a little freaked out.
I tried to auto update 5 of my plugins. The update page came back and said there was an error, when I tried to navigate to the updates page to try it again the page went blank and I got this lovely message:
“Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute.”

This message appeared on any page associated with the admin/dashboard area. I believe some refer to this as the website being stuck in maintenance mode. Luckily the front end of my blog/website was still running fine.

Here is how I fixed it:

  1. Logged into my blogs root folder via ftp
  2. Opened my wp-content folder which houses the plugins folder. 
  3. Renamed plugins to plugins.old
  4. Made a new folder called plugin

Tada! Everything works again. Now you can either reinstall all your plugins or do what I did. I deleted the plugins directory, renamed plugins.old to plugins and tried that. I was able to get back into my admin area and just had to manually update those plugins that were not updated and probably caused the error to begin with.

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What do you mean I can’t view this on my mobile device

Have you ever been browsing on your phone and you come across the warning/error message “This content is not available on mobile devices”? It might be a picture, a website, a file, or a youtube video.
This annoys me. You have provided the content on the internet, what do you care what device I’m using to view it? This is equivalent to telling me I can only read my newspaper in my kitchen, not my bedroom, and definitely not in the office. That would be absurd right? Because once you have te newspaper you should be able to read it anywhere, right?
Well, this is absurd. Content on the internet should not be censored this way. I thought it was the information highway, free exchange of information, etc. If this was the case, let me view what you have already made available online using any web capable electronic I own.
Internet content providers should not be able to block phones, googleTV, netbooks, laptops, tablets, or whatever else may be invented in the future.
I understand that some content providers are trying to protect their content for misuse, however, a different way of implementing that has to be found. A better method.

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Social Bookmarking Plugin

I upgraded my social bookmarking plugin from Sociable to Share This! I think it looks sleeker and should be easier to use. At least I hope.

I was really hoping they had the google+ button already but it looks like you need to do that manually. You can see the instructions here.

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Looking to game on your Windows phone?

For those of you who have Windows based phones, check out this game:


The game play is conceptually similar to angry birds in that it’s a gravity-based puzzle-game. This current version is free to play and free to download, and you will see absolutely no ads.

Word is there will be releasing a second version with downloadable content allowing users the ability to edit and share levels they create and can directly download their levels into the game (or download other user creations). The website where users will be able to do this is I believe the level designer is live now!
Look out for several new game-play elements adding a layer of depth to gameplay that would make this game a true-puzzler such as worm-holes and resource management.

Don’t believe me about needing to have this game? Gizmodo called it an App Everyone Should Have.

Iphone users feeling a bit jealous? Don’t worry. They are currently working with an iPhone development company to port it over the iPhone which we expect we will have done soon!

Play on!

Playing SataLaunch

Playing SataLaunch

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I just want to see everything in detailed view

When I am looking for a file, whether it is a document or a folder where a document may be… I want to see everything in detailed view. This way, with a single click I can organize things in date order or by name or size… Anyway, the possibilities are endless, you get what I’m saying. I had this all set up o my PC until a few weeks ago where it just decided that everything would be arranged by icons. This makes it really hard to browse alphabetically for files, skipping from column to column. BOO. I had to fix it.

To do this in Vista:

  • Open a folder you want to view in this manner.
  • Set it to the view you prefer.
  • Next, click Organize in the toolbar, and then click Folder and Search Options.
  • In Folder Options, click the View tab, and then click Apply to Folders.

For those of you who are particular about how you view things while browsing for files, do that. Also take a look at this page on the Microsoft website which outlines other customizations you may want to make (like opening every folder in it’s own folder).

Enjoy seeing everything as you want it to be seen!

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I want a tablet

So, last week I got it in my head that I want a tablet. Why? I don’t know. What will I do with it? I don’t know. Ever since I decided this I’ve been trying to figure out what to buy. Do I get the Motorola Xoom
? Do I get the Ipad? Wait Ipad 1 or Ipad 2? Do I wait for more Android 3 tablets to come out? Should I look at a Kindle
So far my choices are expensive ones, the Xoom and Ipad don’t run cheap. I just sat down and tried to figure out what it is that I exactly need on my tablet device. You know what it boiled down to? Can I play Angry Birds. Yeah, seriously. That’s my only qualification. Based on that, I think an Ipod touch is in my future. It has wifi. I can play music. I can take pictures. Best of all, I CAN PLAY ANGRY BIRDS.

Sound logic right? Maybe I should take a day or two to think about this before I go out and get my ipod touch? hmmm.

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Yay for my new pocket knife

So I posted a while back that I had “lost” my trusty pocket knife and wanted a new one. I just want to thank Armen V. for making that happen.

It is on my key chain and making me happy.

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