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Mike Vogt

Google Glass Review: Not What You Would Expect

December 17th, 2013 at 12:07PM I receive an email from Google. “Congratulations! You have been chosen to purchase Google Glass!” Franticly I whip out my credit card and continue to purchase the $1500 experimental headwear with no second thought. I could have not entered the 16 digit code fast enough, I was so excited to get a pair of the revolutionary Google Glass’!

Google Glass Confirmation

Google Glass Confirmation

9:00AM the next morning a UPS van pulls into my driveway carrying a box the size of a large dictionary. Excitement caused me to jump up and down while pacing around my kitchen until the driver reached my door. He handed me the package with a smile, and I smiled back. Only my smile must’ve looked as wide as the Joker’s. I signed off for the package and rushed down stairs to put the Glass’ shipping box on my desk. Then with all the self-control I had in my being I walked away and proceeded to go to class.

All day I was thinking about what joys would lie behind the small half inch screen. Researching on my phone all of the neat things Glass could do, as well as how to install custom applications other developers had been working on. Then finally I came home and ran back to my desk. Opened the brown shipping box to find an elegant white box, similar to an iPhone box. The top slid off, just as an iPhone box would. It reminded me so much of something Apple would’ve designed I think Steve would have sued if he was still with us today ( RIP Mr. Jobs).

Inside the Apple copy infringement box lied the object I had been waiting a mere 19 hours for, thank God for Google’s high shipping expectations; I don’t think I could have waited any longer. The box included Glass, active wear shades, a charging cable and adapter, a carrying case, and a single USB ear-bud.

Something that I think should’ve been thought of sooner, the charging cable. It is black and white, while one side being white, and the other side being black. This makes it easier to differentiate which way the USB faces while being plugged in.

Glass front view.

Glass front view.

Glass box

Glass box.

Glass contents

Glass contents.

I had to first charge the device, since it had came dead. It took about 2 and a half hours for Glass to fully charge, quite long for such a little battery. Then I pressed the power button which is located on the inside of the device, quite a strange place for a power button since the device is to be worn on your head. This makes it awkward when trying to turn off the device while wearing it. However, no big deal just a small design hiccup. The moment I had been waiting months for finally occurred, the Glass logo appeared in the center of the screen. Loading… loading… updating… then finally it prompted me to connect Glass to my smartphone via Bluetooth.

I have an iPhone 5S, which you may already know if you follow my blog. The device does not have all the features it would have access to if you have an android smartphone, this must be to encourage us to buy Android; what a clever marketing trick. I connected Glass to my phone and started to activate some of the basic apps, such as search, weather, and social networking.

I quickly learned that the applications that came preloaded onto Glass get boring after a while. That is when I started downloading developers applications such as a battery level notifier, helicopter game, recipe lookup, and a Wolfgram Compute Engine application. I found the Wolfgram Compute Engine to be more intelligent than the actual Google search feature, so I ended up using that instead of Google ironically.

Glass is great for taking pictures and videos if you want to capture something that YOU see. It is really cool how Glass can capture EXACTLY what you see, not just something from a camera’s perspective. The only downside to this is the battery life dies extremely fast while you’re taking pictures, or recording an HD video. I recommend you only use this feature if you absolutely need to, or you know you are able to charge your device soon.

Glass was not what I expected, I feel like it is a complete waste of money to spend $1500 on a device which can do a fraction of which my smartphone can do. The concept behind Glass is very interesting, however the functionality for natural human interaction is just not there, yet. Glass is a neat toy to experiment with, but I would not call it the future of portable computers. Sorry Google, Steve’s iPhone is still #1 in my book.

Pros

  • Hands-free
  • POV Pictures
  • Anything you want to know is right in front of you
  • Faster to update my Twitter

Cons

  • Battery life (3 hours moderate use)
  • Limited applications
  • Expensive
  • Make’s you look awkward in public

Guide: How To Anonymously & Safely Download Torrents

NOTE: THIS IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT THAT YOU DOWNLOAD VIA P2P NETWORKING.

Anonymity has been a hot topic ever since the whole NSA situation occurred. The truth is, you are always being tracked online; no matter what you do. However, we can use various tools and practices to block who has access to our computers and who does not.

Download Transmission

My favorite Bittorent client is Transmission, it is a simple lightweight client with all the features you would ever need. Go ahead and download and install Transmission.

Transmission bittorent client

Transmission Mac Client

Configure Transmission

Go to Transmission’s preferences.

Transmission preferences

Transmission preferences.

Go to the Peers tab.

Transmission peers settings

Transmission peers settings.

Now under the blacklist section check the “Prevent peers in blacklist from connecting” option.

Then enter this URL into the box that says “URL:”

Congratulations! You are now blocking all known anti-P2P companies and affiliates!

Death of Hosting Is Near…

Google Fiber recently announced they were going to boost their network speeds to 10Gbps, rather than sticking with their already mind-numbing speed of 1Gbps. Yes, that is ten gigabits per SECOND! Let us put this into consideration…

The average HD movie is about 1.5-2GBs, keep in mind that is bytes not bits. My internet speed is about 30Mbps, however I pay a whopping $90 a month to the worst cable company in existence; Time Warner Cable. Google Fiber originally was going to offer 1Gbps to their customers, which is still 15x faster. Now they are upsetting the entire internet service provider industry by increasing their own record breaking speed by 10x!

Downlading a 2GB Movie

  • Google Fiber 10Gbps: 1 second
  • Highspeed DSL: 9 minutes
  • Google Fiber 1Gbps: 16 seconds

You may ask, “Why for the immense push for faster internet speeds?” It’s simple, as humans we all pursue the need to grow and become better; that is exactly what Google is doing. Also, the push for faster internet speeds by the government to help boost the economy through learning is a pretty big motivator.

Hosting Companies Beware

In our capitalist economy internet is the same as any other good or service., the higher availability of a product drives down the cost. This means current cable companies that only provide 15Mbps will be left far behind in the race for faster internet. So they need to get on board with the current state of the information age, or go out of business.

As for the hosting companies, they will start losing a lot of business as well. This is because majority of the geeks like you and I have the ability to host our own website, we just don’t have the access to the amount of speed that is necessary to host one. However if I had a 10Gbps line running to my house, I would be hosting all of my websites and my clients websites in a heartbeat!

I applaud Google for leading the way in the effort towards connecting our world one piece of glass at a time.

Review: A Week With an iPhone 5S

Well, they got me. The evil Apple empire has me hooked on their mobile devices. It’s over, the open-source community will never look at me the same… Just kidding. This device is amazing. I always have been very anti-Apple due to their ridiculously high prices, as well as the image and perspective upon technology their generic following has. However, I am in love with this device. After going from an old Android device to this device it seems like I have caught up with modern mobile computing. The battery life, speed, user friendliness, multi-tasking ability, and everything else inside this 4 inch masterpiece is perfect for everyone. No matter if you use your phone for heavy-duty business and multi-tasking, or you’re the classic rich white girl who needs to check their Twitter every 5 minutes, as well as Instagram your food every single  meal; this device is simply for everyone.

Hardware

Sorry Ubuntu! Apple was the first to implement a mobile device equipped with a 64-bit processor. As of now, we are waiting on the app developers to take hold of the 64-bit computing power to make something amazing.

The device has another 8MP iSight camera, which takes amazing photos. However, the G2 takes even better photos with the optical image stabilization feature. So for no means buy the iPhone 5S if the camera is a huge factor in your phone buying decision. The front facing camera is 1.2MP, a standard quality for FaceTime.

The speakers sound great, however the speaker located closest to my headphone jack has already blown. So, the durability of the speaker’s are low, they do not last very long if you listen to music through them frequently. Although, this could just be a problem with my phone alone, it has happened to two of my friend’s phones as well.

Battery life is better than the iPhone 5. Something I’ve noticed about the charge-times, the longest time duration spent charging the battery is the last 20%. So, you can plug in you iPhone for 20-40 minutes and get a decent charge out of it. Another thing people have been complaining about iOS 7 is the battery drainage. This is because it has apps in the background constantly running and connecting to the internet, even when the device is in standby. Here is how to turn this feature off and make your device last longer. Go into ‘Settings>General>Background App Refresh’ then turn this feature off. This will save you bandwidth as well as battery life.

An interesting choice by Apple I noticed was for the fingerprint scanner and the Rear facing camera, they placed a sheet of sapphire over them rather than their standard Corning Gorilla Glass. This was a great idea, since everyone knows sapphire is a highly scratch resistant rock. Now scratches won’t get in the way of your camera, or the fingerprint scanner reading your fingerprint. Kudos to Apple on this decision.

Retina display is equipped with 1136×640 display at 326 pixels per inch. The retina display is perfect, you can see your screen no matter what the natural lighting conditions are in.

The feel the iPhone 5S gives is luxurious. Weighing just under 4 ounces it doesn’t weigh down your hand and make it uncomfortable during use. The edges of the iPhone are curved, which makes it fit nicely within the palm, when tapping the top-left of the screen while using the device with one hand it rolls with your hand motion smoothly.

Key Features

The fingerprint scanner is just ingenious. At first I thought it was just a cool marketing gimmick to get people to buy the device by making them feel like they were entering into the matrix of their phone. However, I was wrong again. The fingerprint scanner is more than convenient. I want to know why it took so long to think of this when fingerprint scanners have been out for years. An old 2008 Dell even has one! All you do is hit the home button with your thumb and BAM! No need to enter a passcode, you can then use the device freely.

This feature goes along with iOS 7, however it does come with the iPhone 5S so it is somewhat relevant. The option menu you see when you slide your thumb up is extremely useful. It has a flashlight, calculator, stopwatch, and camera. You can also turn on-and-off your wifi and bluetooth. You can even put the device into airplane mode, or the new ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature when you don’t want your phone bothering you.

Camera quality is great, takes amazing photos. I will leave it at that.

Siri is extremely useful when you’re driving and can’t constantly look at your phone. However, Siri does require an active internet connection, which can drain your battery. I have only had problems accessing websites while using Siri, the program cannot identify some words that are not actual words that URLs contain. Replying to text messages is extremely easy too. Something you might not know, Siri is actually Iris backwards, who is a Greek Goddess. Iris is a messenger for the other Greek Gods, basically she is their servant.

FaceTime I found to become a new way of communicating for me. Rather than making a phone call I will FaceTime someone instead because it is always nice to see a face that matches the voice. It makes conversations more inviting and modern.

The ability to multi-task by letting apps run in the background then just click the home button twice to see the list of currently running apps makes business life a bliss. I will be emailing one person, then when I need to bring up a website or document for a reference or information I simply just hit the home button twice. This works the same for when I am on the phone or FaceTiming someone.

Conclusion

The iPhone 5S is the perfect device for everyone. It is packed with features that you won’t even think are useful until you experience them firsthand. Social networking, business, and media are what this device was built for. In the world we live in today where the mobile device you have impacts your life on such a drastic scale, it is worth it to make the right purchase. With the iPhone 5S you can’t go wrong, unless you simply love Android, then I suggest purchasing the LG G2. However, if you don’t care which OS your mobile device uses, go with an iPhone 5S. If you don’t even know what a mobile OS is, go with an iPhone 5S. The device for everyone is the iPhone 5S.

Review: Beolab 14 By Bang & Olufsen

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bang & Olufsen for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

 photo pic17_zpsc2efd61e.jpg

Perfect combination of ellegance and sound quality, the BeoLab 14 by Bang & Olufsen. These beautifully crafted speakers will take your television experience to the next level; and beyond! If Buzz Lightyear wasn’t an animated character, nor was he a toy, he would buy these speakers. Just something for the Toy Story fans. In all seriousness, Kresten Krab Johansen has developed the most visually stunning and audio experience ever.

Part of our TV experience is hearing what the people on the quickly moving pictures are saying. With all these TVs coming out with Full HD, and even 4K displays, all I have to say is, “what about the sound?” Well, Bang & Olufsen apparently heard my cry for help. These speakers are just what our audio craving heads need.

Not only do these speakers offer amazing sound quality, they also look amazing. I mean, our speakers should look amazing. Since they are pieces of furniture within the living room!

The speakers come in three sets:

  • 2.1 Stereo Sound BeoLab 14′s stylish, plug and play speakers add stunning stereo sound to any TV or sound system regardless of the brand. Unleash instant, mind-blowing performance from even the flattest of TV’s with easy connection to the sleek, powerful subwoofer.
  • 4.1 Surround Sound Pair BeoLab 14 with any of Bang & Olufsen’s newest TVs with built-in surround sound module to experience the ultimate synergy of Bang & Olufsen audio and video. A simple addition, with unlimited joy.
  • 5.1 Surround Sound BeoLab 14 unleashes pure Bang & Olufsen surround sound through any existing TV and AV receiver, regardless of what brand you own.  It’s instant, unforgettable audio for your home entertainment.

The subwoofer includes an awesome feature to adjust the variation of sound output through wave direction by selecting where you have it within your room. Presets include Wall, Free, and Corner. This idea was genius, because in the past many subwoofers had to be placed in one spot, and that spot only. Now, you can place the subwoofer wherever you like. Creating even more flexibility for your design needs.

The Beolab 14 is definetely the next generation of audio entertainment hardware. You have just got to experience the sound quality. Great sound with an excellent design, what more could you ask for from B&O?

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GetResponse: Easy & Smart E-mail Marketing

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of GetResponse Email Marketing. All opinions are 100% mine.

GetResponse is the future of E-mail marketing. Enough said. With their new E-mail creator, responsive deisgns, and heavy arsenal of features, they beat everyone else; hands down. With GetResponse you can easily turn your customers into friends.

2013, the age of mobile technology, so why not adapt too? With GetResponse and their highly responsive themes, they can help you reach your customers just as their friend would. That is, by “hitting them up on their celli.”

Features

Auto-Responder

Get in control with email marketing automation. Send follow-up cycles, birthday emails, 1-to-1 communications, customized offers and more. Refine your relevancy, timing and accuracy with simple, yet powerful, new time-based and action-based messages that respond perfectly to your subscribers’ needs and interests. Perfect for making your customers feel welcomed.

E-mail Creator

Experience the creative power  with the new drag-and-drop editor. This revolutionary E-mail Creator will make all your visions possible with multiple email templates and limitless editing options: add and edit photos, change colors and fonts, add social sharing buttons and so much more; all with just a click.

Landingpage Creator

Creating fully customized, stunning landing pages is now easier than ever. With their new Landing Page Creator you can create and publish your promo landing pages within minutes. They will host them for you on a dedicated URL address then integrate them with your e-commerce and social media platforms. All for an extremely low price of $15 per month.

Social Sharing

Want to maximize the social power of your newsletters? The Social Sharing buttons let readers share your newsletters instantly.  All the social reactions are tracked in the Social Share Analytics with at-a-glance reports that identify high-impact networks and the most engaged audiences; automatically.

Form Builder

Collect new subscribers with pre-coded sign-up forms embedded on your website, blog, and Facebook fan page. Choose a design that’s appropriate for your business from 500+ great-looking templates. Customize the size and add input fields, graphics, checkboxes, and more. No coding required, so you don’t have to be a geek.

Inbox Preview

Take a look into your recipients’ mailboxes to make sure all the elements of your email render correctly. Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Mail 5.0, Opera and more… now you can check your designs in popular email clients with a single click. Make sure your newsletters always look perfect on your subscribers’ screens. Nothing makes a company look anymore unprofessional than an unproper advertising unit.

GetResponse is the internet’s only TRUE responsive E-mail marketing company. Helping you stick your foot into the door of the mobile world. Try GetResponse FREE for your first month. Looking professional has never been so easy.

Links:

responsive email design GetResponse Email Marketing features email marketing automation newsletter design

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IZEA: Native Ad Exchange, The Best

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of IZEA for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Izea is my personal favorite monetizing company. I have been using their incredible blog monetization website, SocialSpark for a couple months now. They are honestly the best there is. Everything about them helps make your blogging experience far better.

I started using Izea’s SocialSpark monetization platform around July. I recieved my first offer for $50, and was quite skeptical at first. I did not think you could actually make money for publicizing your opinion on a product. However I turned out to be wrong. I recieved my payment on-time with no problems at all. Since then I have had 4 more offers, all went just as smooth. However if you do experience problems, you can always contact their GREAT support. They are truly amazing.

Now I know SocialSpark is not the new Izea platform, although it is owned by Izea, they are different monetization platforms. The new Izea.com is going to be the mecca for internet monetization. You will be able to earn money from everything that involves social media and the internet. Whether it be a blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterst, and many more.

Here are the details taken exactly from their website.

Campaign Creation

They work with our advertising partners to develop a campaign strategy. This will include a creative brief that is used to target and inform potential Influencers of your brand and your objectives.

Selective Syndication™

They utilize their proprietary platforms to selectively distribute the creative brief  to a targeted group of influencers.

Influencer Matching

Influencers review your  creative brief to determine if your campaign is the right fit for their audience. If it is they opt into a relationship with your brand.

Content Creation

Campaign participants create unique content to promote your brand that can include links, images, video and other widgets. Once the content is created it is submitted back through their system for review before it goes live to the public.

Social Distribution & Tracking

Upon approval of the content, it is distributed to the appropriate social channel. IZEA tracks the performance and sharing of the content throughout the web.

Izea is a highly trusted company, you can take my word for it, or check out the list of celebrity publishers. They include Kim Kardashian, P Diddy, Nick Cannon, and many others.

If you’re interested in making money online with a variety of platforms from videos to websites, then join Izea today. Get your #PurpleTicket today to get into their exclusive new program, Izea.com!

IZEA

 

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Review: LG G2, Making Your Life Great

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of LG. All opinions are 100% mine.

Caught up in all the Apple vs. Samsung hype? Let’s take a look at what the other guys are doing behind the curtain.

LG has created an engineering marvel, this phone is just amazing. Honestly, LG should change their name from Life’s Good, to Life’s Great; because that is just what this phone will do. In today’s world our cell phone is a piece of who we are, it impacts our lives greatly. With infinite amounts of knowledge along with instant communication in the palm of our hand, this technology has become a need.

LG’s G2 should be what everyone is talking about, rather than the new cheap iPhone. Let’s take a look at what makes the LG G2 a life changing device.

Hardware

The G2 has a whopping screen size of 5.2″. I think this is the perfect size, not too big, not too small. A 5.2″ with a 1920×1080 Full HD IPS screen. The exact definition of “tech eye candy” with its 423 pixels-per-inch resolution. Perfect for watching your latest Vines, movies, and music videos with a 16:9 ratio.

The latest in mobile processing technology, the G2 has the Snapdragon 800 by Qualcomm with 2.26GHz.of processing power. Along side this beast of a processor are 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Wow, this smartphone has more computing power than the laptop I am typing this from. This phone is exactly like having the power of a laptop within your pocket.

 

In today’s world having a camera in your pocket wherever you go has become a pleasure, and to make it even more pleasurable, LG has taken it one step further. A 13MP camera slapped right onto the back of this thing is amazing. The camera has the latest in stabilization technology, with OIS. Perfect for shooting quick on the go videos, taking breath-taking photos, and of course keeping your social networking friends up to date on your life with stunning visuals.

Need your phone all day? Don’t have time to charge it? No problem, the G2 has a 3000mAh lithium ion battery, enough to last you all day with constant communication. Also, the G2 has a new GRAM chipset that helps save about 10% of battery usage compared to the older model.

Features

What everybody loves, all the bells and whistles of the device. The G2 has this new feature to make it more PC like. On our home computer’s shared by family members we often have different accounts, on the G2 you can do the same. You can set a guest-mode account for your friends or little-ones to use your phone without changing your settings, or going through your information.

Another interesting feature that stood out to me was their knock-on feature. It allows you to view your lock-screen and notifications by simply knocking on the front of your phone.

I am amazed by the technology that was put into this device. It should be what the media is talking about, it completely meets all the expectation’s of any user. If you haven’t bought this device, do it, do it now. (As Arnold would say.) Do you think the LG G2 will take over the industry?

LG G2

video

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Review: Opinion Outpost Survey Rewards

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Opinion Outpost. All opinions are 100% mine.

The computer you’re using, the chair you’re sitting at, or even the coffee you’re drinking right now is an example of a product you have purchased from a manufacturer. You already use these common household manufactured goods on a daily basis, why not tell them how to make it better?

Well, that is just what Opinion Outpost is, a bridge for connecting the manufacturer and the consumer. With Opinion Outpost you tell the manufacturer how to make their products even better, and they even give compesation for taking the time out of your day to give them valuable information. You can earn cash, gift cards, and other great offers.

When I signed up I thought that Opinion Outpost was going to be a joke, however I did a complete 180. It is actually interesting finding out what the manufacturer wants to know about the consumer. Stuff I would of never even thought they took into consideration. For example, I had a survey regarding coffee. Mmm, yum. Anyway, they wanted to know what color scheme was more attractive than the others listed for their nutritional facts. Weird, but I guess to the marketing department it matters!

Opinion Outpost is a fun way to earn some cash and have a good time answering some questions. I highly reccomend you to join, honestly. It is really interesting answering the questions. You even get paid for it as well. Also, when you sign-up now, you’re automatically entered into a $10k quarterly giveaway. That is just another great reason why you should head over to Opinion Outpost, and start answering some interesting and fun questions while being rewarded.
Check out Opinion Outpost.

Opinion Outpost

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Guide: Setup Google as your DNS on Ubuntu & Elementary OS

Google logo.

Google logo.

Google, the God of the internet has their own nameservers and you want to utilize them? Of course, if it has anything to do with Google, it is obviously the best of the best. First, what is a name server? A name server, or DNS, is a system/program that translates an IP address into a domain, and vice versa. For example, when you type in “google.com”, you’re actually going to the computer with the IP “161.58.104.2″.

Open Terminal

To open terminal on Ubuntu you can either press Ctrl+Alt+T, or search for it within your applications. On Elementary OS, click “Applications” in the top left corner, go through your applications until you find your terminal. You will see this:

Terminal.

Login as Root

Now that you have your terminal opened you need to login as the root user. To do so type this command:

Then terminal will ask for your password, type it in. You’re now logged in as a root user.

Change the DNS File

The DNS file, or name server file, is the file that resolves the domains.

First open the file.

Now replace all the lines that say “nameserver”, with these two lines.

Now save the file using Ctrl+X.

Then press “Y” to select “Yes”.

Then enter again to save the file.

Reset Networking Processes

Now, you have to reset the networking processes. In order for it to recognize the new settings.

Type this into your terminal:

You should then see:

 

Check Your Configuration

Now, in your terminal type:

It will show you your network information. Check to see if your nameservers are properly set to Google’s.

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