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Tag Archives: Problem solving

Easy Access to US, UK Streaming Services From Anywhere

I love being from Canada — but due to licensing issues and the imaginary line I live on the wrong side of, I’m blocked from or limited in using streaming media services that my global neighbours rave about. Fortunately for those of us so geographically challenged (or those of you travelling outside the US or UK and missing your favourite music and video streams), there are services out there that try to solve this problem.

The best one I’ve come across so far, in terms of ease of use and quality of delivery, is UnoDNS.

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Still Haven’t Filled Out Your March Madness Bracket? Let PickMyBracket.com Do It For You!

Today is the deadline for most NCAA March Madness brackets – the first game of the second round. If you’ve been invited to participate in a pool or some other sort of friendly competition, you need to get your college basketball stats together in a hurry. It’s a bit of a bear of a project though, isn’t it? Especially if you’re busy, don’t follow basketball like it’s your religion, or statistics make your eyes roll into the back of your head.

Not to worry , though… PickMyBracket.com has come to your rescue! It’s bracket generator algorithm will create a full bracket for you in seconds — and you might even win a “Brand New iPad,” to boot.

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Bye Bye Instapaper, iReader, Readability… Hello Clearly, From Evernote

Today, I discovered the Evernote Clearly extension. Today, my life changed. If you’re a fan of saving articles for later — or just of reading them in an uncluttered, easy on the eyes format — your life might change too. Clearly brings all of the minimalist beauty of iReader and Readability, does it better, and then sweetens the pot with the ability to send a nicely formatted copy of the article to Evernote with a single click.

It’s awesome. You must try it!

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App of the Week: Easily Find What’s Hogging Space on Your Hard Drive with Space Sniffer [Windows]

Every once in a while you try to download or install something, only to be told by your impertinent machine that you don’t have enough space. You try and try to resolve the issue, but, for the life of you, can’t find the files that are hogging up your hard drive. Everything seems accounted for. You’ve even emptied your Recycle Bin and cleared your temp folder, but all you get from your computer is some digitized, maniacal laughter — or maybe that’s just me.

Potential crazy aside, there is an easy and very handy free tool that you can use to smack some sense into your Windows PC. It’s called SpaceSniffer, and it will help you find and destroy what’s eating your computer’s storage space. You’ll probably be surprised by what you find.

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My Daughter Ate My Stylus — So I Learned How to Make a New (and Even Better) One

My little girl is three. Three-and-a-half, to be exact — and before now, we never had to worry about her putting things in her mouth. I’m not sure what changed, really, but now we have to watch her like a hawk. And we do — but, unfortunately, it was already too late for my iPad stylus. For both of them…

The first one, she chewed on. It was pretty much a write-off. The second one, she decided it would be fun to see what the business end tasted like. Now I’m down two pens. They were the cheap kind, thank the tech gods, but that’s still about $40 down the drain! So I decided: the next stylus will be one of my own making. One that will cost me nothing to make, and that I can easily repair. And thanks to the wonders of the internet, making that happen was easy peasy.

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App of the Week: Use JavaRa to Update Java and Get Rid of Old Versions

Java is a bit tricky. A lot of applications use it, and many of them come bundled with their own version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) — which they happily and oh-so-helpfully install on your system. This leads to multiple and redundant installs of Java on your computer, each of which may contain potential security threats, and may well leave you scratching your head as to whether you can or should delete them. Wonder no more… JavaRa is a free, light-weight utility that will clean up the redundant versions of the Java runtime, as well as update you to the latest version — and it has a few other tricks up its sleeves, besides.

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Three Low-Cost, DIY Ways to Use Your Smartphone While Wearing Gloves

So I’m in Winnipeg now. Winnipeg, affectionately referred to as Winterpeg, and thought by some (possibly me) to be a window into the truth behind the colloquialism “when Hell freezes over.” Okay, so I’m being a bit dramatic — but it can get freaking cold here in the depths of winter, man! Minus 75 degrees Celsius in the wind isn’t uncommon here. I have no idea what that is in Fahrenheit, but I’m sure you Americans will agree that anything north of Fargo has got to be cold.

In any case, my new location has me continuing my investigation into how to use my tech while freezing my butt off. Previously, I talked about winterizing smartphones, tablets, and laptops. My latest quest has been how to use my capacitive touch screen devices without having to take my gloves off just to answer the phone. And we all know I’m into doing things on the cheap, so we can squash any thoughts about buying those fancy-schmancy touchscreen gloves. It’s DIY or die, baby! This is what I found:

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Winterizing Your Portable Tech

I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time in the soon to be frozen hell that is central North America. This has led me to consider things that, heretofore, I had no inkling about while hanging out on the often wet but nearly always mild Northwest coast. Things like: how to touch my smartphone or iPad screen in the freezing cold weather, should I even bring the damned things out in the freezing cold weather and, oh, what about my tech and the, you know, freezing cold weather? So I did a bit of looking around, and here are the best tips that I found…

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LapGuard Protects Your Tender Parts From Harmful Heat And WiFi Radiation

Contrary to the current arc of techno-loving crazy flying about the internet, the laptop is not dead, and tablets — though awesome — have not yet taken over the world. In fact, millions of people are using laptops right now. They’ve got them sitting on (surprise!) their laps, whirring away, blasting their tender parts with heat and WiFi radiation. Apparently, recent reports are saying that’s a bad thing; that it can mess with your baby-having potential. Having just had another cute little baby, I can’t really speak to that — but I have been following reports that WiFi radiation can be harmful, and it’s well-documented that heat is no friend to the business of making tiny humans.

Whether you believe in the dangers of WiFi radiation or not, I think we can all agree that comfort is a good thing. That’s one of the reasons the lap-desk was invented, and — heat and WiFi blocking powers notwithstanding — Digital Innovations’ LapGuard is one of the best I’ve come across.

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Kickass Undelete: Portable Recovery Awesome for Permanently Deleted Files [Windows]

Computers are a constant source of fun and potential ulcer-creating stress. This is especially true — at least in the latter respect — when we find ourselves needing that oh-so-important file that we just deleted from the Recycle Bin. Or lost in a crash. Or from any other of the number of creative ways Windows can eat your work. There are several data recovery tools out there, and they come in varying degrees of complication and quality. If you are looking for something simple, though — something that you can take with you, and even use on a flash drive — check out Kickass Undelete.

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