Archives

May
27

A Vision Of The Future

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I was having a conversation with some friends this weekend and we were talking about the new Star Trek movie that has come out recently. We were talking about our favorite characters from all of the shows and I mentioned Geordi La Forge as one of my favorites of all time. Someone looked at me, albeit a little weirdly, and said, “You know they have glasses like that now!” My unbelief was evident on my face, but he insisted that Apple had created a product where you could watch movies and play video games with virtual glasses on.

I was stunned! So I went looking and found them. The Vuzix iWear AV920 Video Glasses are the new wave of the future. These glasses have an advanced optical display with twin, high-resolution 640×480 LCD displays deliver a virtual theatre equivalent to a 62” screen, viewed from 9 feet away, and can be worn with or without prescription glasses, while built in over-ear speakers deliver stunning stereo sound. Custom fit for your comfort, the headstrap and AccuTilt viewer allow you to pivot the display up to 15 degrees for the best viewing angle. What’s more, the soft, hypoallergenic nosepiece means that you won’t suffer during extended use.

The glasses are most compatible with iPods and iPhones, but seem to work decently with any type of audio/visual device. Have any of you tried these glasses? What did you think?

May
26

Mac Rentals Needed at Sports Events!

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This weekend I was in Seattle with a group of friends for a Seattle Mariners baseball game. I always look forward to going to a game and enjoying the atmosphere and a good $7 hot dog. What surprised me, on Saturday however, was the amount of kids at the ball park. Normally this wouldn’t catch me off guard. It was Memorial Day weekend, a great chance to take your kid to the park, and it was a beautiful day. But what surprised me was the amount of kids I saw with Nintendo DS players in the hands at the game. I thought to myself, “Man, Seattle must really have a market for Nintendo DS game systems, its probably because of all the rain”. But as we were leaving the stadium, I walked by a kiosk where all of these kids and their parents were checking these Nintendo DS back in. Apparently, they had rented these game systems for during the game to keep their kids occupied, and then they returned them after the game was over. It was too crowded to stop and ask how much they were going for, but it sparked an idea in me.

Put aside the fact that bringing your kids to the ball park should be entertainment enough, but if you had a child or are someone yourself that just has to have extra stimulus all around you during the day, Apple ought to capitalize on the chance and RENT MacBooks and other Apple products DURING these sporting events. iPods, iPhones and other products could be rented for the duration of sporting events, giving your kids (or you) a chance to stay connected to the world while enjoying the sporting event.

Maybe the idea would never catch on, maybe the insurance would be so through the roof that no one would rent the products, but its worth the time of a think tank group mulling it over. What do you think?

May
25

Happy Memorial Day

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From all of us here at HackALife, we want to wish you a Happy Memorial Day. We hope that each of you are enjoying the day off with family and friends, whether its a day at home doing nothing or a weekend full of travel and excitement at the lake or the beach. We hope you will also each take a moment to reflect on and remember those who have given their lives in service to our country. They deserve our respect and remembrance.

The country that we live in, the technology that we enjoy and the opportunity to share TweakOSX with you is because of the men and women that have put their lives and energies on the line so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have.

So whether its a barbecue or boating, family or friends, enjoy the day off and join us in welcoming the Summer of 2009!

May
22

Memorial Day Check List

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Ever wonder how Memorial Day came to be? Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays)

According to AAA, an estimated 32.4 million people — roughly 11 percent of the U.S. population — will take some kind of trip over the holiday, most of them on the road. That’s an increase of 1.5 percent from last year’s dismal travel season, when pump prices rose above $4 a gallon and millions of people stayed put.

So if you’re traveling this weekend, here are some technology tips to remember.

Make sure to sync your phone with Facebook Mobile and Twitter so that you can stay in communication with your friends and family during your trip.

Make sure you bring extra batteries/chargers for your camera. If you don’t have a camera, pick up a Flip Mini HD

Bring a fully charged iPod and make sure you have a connector for the iPod.

If you’re traveling long distances, consider bringing or renting a portable DVD player for the kids in the backseat (it keeps them from asking “Are we there yet?” every five minutes.

Leave a comment below if you have any other Technology Trip Tips.

May
20

Teaching Techonology for Toddlers

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My wife and I recently found out that we are expecting. Excited, a little panicked, but mostly thrilled about the idea of adding another member to our family, I began thinking about how much our everyday lives are going to be changed by this new arrival. I thought about how much work and time I spend doing things on my MacBook.

I then began to wonder what kind of impression that would make on a ‘little one’, to see their father staring at this weird looking, square shaped apparatus all day long. My thoughts then drifted into wondering what kinds of products are available on the Mac for young children to begin learning different skills on the computer. I came across some of these interesting products:

KidsMouse for Mac
License: Shareware ($10.00) Version 1.6
For: Mac OS 9.x/X/ 10.1-10.4 Size: 1,620 KB
Program’s Home Page Publisher: WhiteRoom-Web

“Education software suitable for infant learning with mouse operation. This software collects eight kinds of learning games such as ABC Puzzle, The space recognition, Paint, Memory, Number, Color Ball, Easy Puzzle, Crayon, Seesaw, Number Puzzle, and Shape Puzzle. All games can only be operated by a clicking and drag-and-drop of mouse in a simple, intuitive way. Children may play alone, or against parents, siblings, or friends.”

MyABCD
License: 14-Day Trial Version 2.9.4
For: Mac OS 8.x/9.x/X 10.1 Size: 3,970 KB
Program’s Home Page Publisher: Paxton Cat Software

“Your 2 to 6 year old will learn the alphabet, numbers up to twenty, the names and sounds of musical instruments, and simple mouse skills. Letters are displayed in upper and lower case in with amusing animations. The 18 exciting games and the 10 musical instruments are played by mouse-over. You can choose the level of difficulty for mouse-over, the phonics, and the volume for the background music Version 2.9.4 includes additional mouse over games.”

AlphaBaby
License: Freeware Version 1.4
For: Mac OS X 10.1+ Size: 378 K
Program’s Home Page Publisher: Laura Dickey

“My kids love to play with the computer. Unfortunately, they also have the habit of renaming my hard drive to “axlfkaj”. So, I wrote AlphaBaby so they could safely use the Mac without inflicting too much damage! AlphaBaby lets even infants and toddlers have fun playing with the computer. Every time a key is pressed or the mouse is clicked, a letter or shape is drawn. Sounds can be played every time something is drawn. Your own sounds and pictures can also be used. AlphaBaby helps kids to learn letters, plus provides a safe environment for kids to have fun “typing” on the keyboard! Both an application and screen saver version of AlphaBaby are provided.”

Baby Safe
License: 5-Day Trial Version 1.05
For: Mac OS X Size: 7,060 K
Program’s Home Page Publisher: Ricardo Batista

“Baby Safe provides a safe, interactive environment for your baby to play with the computer, while at the same time preventing your baby from causing chaos on your computer. Most screen savers ask for your password once you move the mouse or touch a key, which is not fun when you have a baby eager to play with the computer. With Baby Safe your toddler can have some fun and learn the numbers and the alphabet while your work is protected. Once a special word such as byebye, quit, adios or exit is typed, the screen saver can exit. You may need to use your password to get back to the computer as it was before the screen saver was activated.”

May
19

iPhone the Gaming Technology of the Future

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With all the talk about a new iPhone coming out, all the other possibilities that the iPhone might bring are limitless. With its downloadable apps, iPhone has continued to provide applications and tools that are innovative in the phone world. Not only are apps being developed that are revolutionary for use and management of everyday life, but games are becoming a big focus of the iPhone’s function.

Sources are confirming new possibilities of innovative new games for the iPhone. Some of these games include the spy game Agency Wars, a Mafia title, and virtual-pet software called iFluff Friends according to BusinessWeek. Also, an as-yet-untitled game in development. This one puts the iPhone user in the cockpit of a fighter jet. You control the plane and shoot down bad guys by tilting your phone, using the accelerometers inside Apple’s (AAPL) handset. Here’s the kicker: The enemy planes might be piloted by another iPhone gamer.

This new game could open up incredible gaming opportunities for iPhone users. Imagine sitting in a meeting or somewhere else and you receive a message from your squadron that you’re needed in battle! These new iPhone games could revolutionize the way we play networked games and make them portable and exciting.

What are some games you’d hope to see on the new iPhone?

May
15

The Bilderberg Conspiracy-Are They Behind The Political and Financial Structures of Our Day?

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Every year, a group of movers and shakers in the world meet in Greece ‘in secret’ to discuss the world and its issues. This group of elite political and business leaders has met every year since 1954. The group is made up of approximately 150 members from around the world.

Those reportedly in attendance at last year’s conference in Virginia include former U.S. senator Tom Daschle; Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and his predecessor Henry M. Paulson; former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice; Microsoft executive Craig Mundie; senior Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot; World Bank President Robert Zoellick and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Are these the people that are really behind the political changes and moves in our world. Is this the secret society that the world’s elite longs to be a part of. Does this group of 150 people decide the fate of kings and nations?

Its hard to say for sure, but it makes you wonder about what goes on behind the doors in those meetings. What kind of schemes and ideas are hatched and which and how many of those ideas are the accepted realities of our world?

If you’re intrigued by this, check out Haaretz for more.

May
14

New iPhone On The Way?

iphoneWord on the mac street is that Apple is rolling out a new iPhone 3.0 sometime this summer. Sources have confirmed that the new phone will have at least 100 new features, “including a copy, cut and paste feature, MMS support, file sharing, peer to peer Blu-tooth support and advanced SDK features.”

Yet one of the biggest rumors mentioned has not been confirmed by Apple; video capabilities. The ability of an iPhone to take video would be a HUGE new addition to the revolutionary product. It would allow new apps to be created and editing software on the spot to be able to post to youtube, vimeo and other sights. It could integrate photo and video together and further the iPhone as the quintessential culmination of technology. It would also keep them on track to compete with other companies and phones that are attempting to bring video capabilities to their lines, but somehow, Apple will figure out a way to do it better.

The new iPhone could potentially be introduced this summer at the Developers Conference in June. Anticipation will continue to raise over what Apple might be cooking up behind closed doors. Whatever it is, you and I both know it’ll be creative and exciting!

What are you hoping might be featured in the new iPhone? Leave a comment above!

May
13

Keeping Your MacBook Clean

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I remember the day that I bought my MacBook. It shone as bright as the sun and I swear I heard angels singing. The white cover glistened and sparkled and the screen was spotless.

Fast forward two years later and the MacBook is less than shiny. There are some scuff marks on the once glistening cover, dust and oil give the keypad a dusty brown look and the screen is covered in blotches and marks.

Is there hope for my MacBook to glisten like it once did? Is your computer in the same condition?

Here are a few tips and tricks to keeping your MacBook clean and beautiful:

1. Try Glass Plus Wipes for your entire MacBook. While it will definitely work on your screen, many have found that it helps your entire MacBook to shine.

2. According to Lifehacker, you can rub toothpaste, say Arm and Hammer with baking soda, on the stains on your Macbook, and clear away with a moist cloth.

3. Wash your hands before using your MacBook. This might sound simple, but the oil and dirt in your hands is often what gets your keyboard and MacBook dirty the fastest. Avoiding coffee spills and cheeto spots is also important

4. Buy the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. You’ll want to get the plain white ones, not the new foaming kind. You can find these at many supermarkets or grocery stores in the cleaning supplies section. A two-pack of these will run you around US$3.

5. Others have had luck cleaning  with good old soap and water, and a bit of elbow grease. Some have even used non-acetone nail polish.

So there’s a few various tips and things to try on cleaning your MacBooks. Let us know if you have any other methods or how these ones work!

May
12

Simply Ways to Stay Connected

connected

Since I don’t have the money for an iPhone, there are other ways that I try and stay connected to the world. We live in a generation and era where everyone wants to be connected in some way. There are myriads of opportunities to connect with old friends and stay current with others. Ways to network and do business, advertise and sell products. So what is this new phenomena and desire to be connected and where does it come from?

As a human race, we’ve always been curious about other people. Now, in an age where the world is shrinking, we have a chance to experience the world like no generation before us ever has. Furthermore, we are learning how to communicate in different ways and be linked with those people and friends no matter where they might be.

Here are  just a few ways you could begin getting connected if you are new to the whole technology thing. And even if you’re not, remember these basic ideas and networks to keep you connected.

Facebook-is probably the most integrated and widespread way of connected with friends and others. You can post photos and videos and display your information about where you are and what you’re doing. You can join groups and networks and even chat with other friends that are online. Facebook is diligent in keeping the interface safe for its users while giving you freedom to express who you are.

Twitter-is a spin off of the Facebook ‘status’ section which allows simply to tell others ‘what you are doing’ or link to a website or blog article that you enjoy reading. You can send messages to friends and ‘follow’ others to stay up with what they are doing.

AOL Instant Message-Old and becoming outdated, this is still one of the best ways to instantly chat with friends. It is a simple program that takes up little space and gives you a chance to quickly keep in contact with friends.

So if you’re new to this technology thing or wondering how you can get ‘plugged in’ to the world in a new and different way, try one of these great technologies. Of course you can always go for trying text messaging and other interfaces, but those listed above are some of the basics.

Know some other great ‘beginner’s’ interface? let us know in the comments section.