What to do About the Nook [Tall Drink of Nerd]

I was always the vocal luddite who advocated for paper books and damned the e-reader. Then, in June, my birthday came on the heels of a week spent traveling around Colorado, my shoulder bag loaded with three library books. I came home from Colorado with a pinched nerve in my neck, from carrying around three big library books in my shoulder bag. Two weeks later, my husband presented me with my birthday gift, a Nook! (He’s an excellent gift giver, noticing my subtle hints, such as “My neck hurts sooo bad from travelling with books. You should get me a Nook for my birthday.”) When I flew back to Colorado in August, the Nook took the place of all books. My carry-on felt about one thousand times lighter. I loved my Nook! I loaded it up with library books and a few purchases from the BN.com site. An availability of titles at our local library was the reason I chose a Nook over the Kindle, they didn’t have Kindle ready files (then, they do now.) I just wanted the simple e-reader, (not the ostentatious tablet) so that saved us the expense of possibly considering an iPad. The Nook rocked my reading life. It went everywhere with me, especially to bed. I loved it so much, I tossed the original packaging, just to show how committed we were to each other. Then, for Christmas, I got the surprise of the decade when I opened a present to discover an iPad2 (3G no less). “Are you Freaking KIDDING me?” I stammered about 8 times. Just so you get the full effect, the present came via delivery about 3 days prior to the holiday, while I was on a very contentious conference call for work. You know...

Why you should be an Apple Fan/Hater: Part 1, the Walled Garden [Gamer by Design]...

In the nerd and tech communities, we pretty much argue every day about why Apple is horrible or perfect. The one thing we all agree upon is that, just like politics, Apple is polarizing. Let’s gab about the very high level concepts of the debate. Walled Garden A few of the practices of Apple are referred to as the “walled garden.” I like the term ’cause the Secret Garden is one of my favorite musicals (Mandy Patinkin, he’s like butter!). But I digress. What the term means is that a lot of the elements are controlled tightly. For example, to publish an app on an iPhone, you must go through the Apple app approval process. On the contrary, Android has several app stores, and some of them have no strict approval process at all. In short: No apps (unless you have a hacked phone) run on iPhones unless Apple approves them. Hater: You are a tech guy and think that the “walled garden,” un-customizable vault of the app store hinders the ability of developers and individuals to write programs, install custom programs, and use the device for other purposes like teathering to laptops (giving a laptop internet through the phones connection) and shopping on other app stores. Also, if you have your music and other content on an Apple device, it can be hard to move it somewhere else, so you kind of become stuck. This is especially true of less tech savvy peeps. Most of these people have chosen Android for that reason. Android allows your phone to be your phone. If you are a rookie, you can follow the rules and keep it in somewhat factory condition. If you are super tech in nature, you can hack the crap out of it...

Rock to Your Favorite Radio Station – Any Time, Any Where!  [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Sep23

Rock to Your Favorite Radio Station – Any Time, Any Where! [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]...

Last year, I was far from Pittsburgh on vacation and wanted to hear the local broadcast of a live Steelers game. I had no internet access and was just chilling in my hotel room when I found the perfect solution that allows me to listen to radio stations from far away – the Iheartradio app! The free app was a simple download into my Android smart phone.  Within seconds I clicked on Pittsburgh and had the local broadcast, which was, thankfully, broadcasting the game.  Unlike satellite radio or television sports packages, you are getting the actual live broadcast, commercials and all.  The best part – it’s FREE! The Iheartradio app was created by Clear Channel Radio to allow more interactivity between their radio stations.  The app is most used on Android, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Windows 7 phones.  You can also listen for free and check out all the features on iheart.com. The app delivers instant access to over 800 local radio stations from across the US, exclusive digital-only channels, and rebroadcasts of popular national morning radio shows.  The app also allows for sharing of photos, video, and interacting with DJ’s. Downloading and using the app is quite easy, but it does count against your phone’s data usage plan.   Those on an unlimited plan will have no problem.  But, as phone carriers get cheap and begin to charge for excess bandwidth, you should monitor your data usage rate.  You will be able to listen for a good while without consuming too much data, but be forewarned – those overage fees can be painful! Iheartradio began as Iheartmusic.com and the website first launched in April 2008 giving listeners access to 750 Clear Channel Stations. In October of that year, the app was first released...