High Tech

Sayonara Proscan PLT1044 Tablet, It Was Nice Knowing You

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A couple of years ago I obtained a Proscan 10.1 inch tablet and wrote instructions on how to install Google Marketplace. It served its purpose at the time. However, at this point I think it’s time to kiss it goodbye.

Why? Simple: the Lithium Ion battery pretty much exploded, causing irreversible damage to the tablet and screen, popping it open among other things. Here are some screenshots of the wreckage.

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For me, it served its purpose. Now that it’s gone it’s time to put it to rest. Goodbye, sweet sorrow 🙁

Cute Comic: When Adults Don’t “Get” Cloud Computing

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Link

Top 10 Tech Mergers

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For technology to evolve, change needs to be done. All rival tech companies need at some point of other to set aside their differences and merge in order to built the next top product that makes each side more money. I’ve compiled a top 10 list on the highest-profile tech mergers.

Successful Business Meeting

1. IBM and Apple

This shocker most recently happened. By “shocker” I mean that Apple’s public enemy #1 in the 1980’s was IBM. Time must heal all wounds after all.

2. Apple and Microsoft

Going to point #1, Apple and Microsoft had been rivals until Apple placed itself, in Steve Jobs’ absence, on the brink of bankruptcy. Steve Jobs received an injection of $150 Million from Bill Gates in exchange for a partnership, along with Apple being required to have Internet Explorer on their operating system for quite some time. Steve Jobs rationalized the merger to his audience in that now, they cover 100% of the market.

3. Skype Microsoft

Microsoft bought Skype in May 2011 for $8.56 Billion. Incredibly, this was the second time Skype was bought out, the first time by eBay in 2003 for $3.1 Billion, only to sell their shares at a later time. This was important as Skype is arguably the largest internet-chat service in the world. This was strategic in that now, one can import their contacts from Facebook, and Microsoft powers internet search results on Facebook’s (as well as Yahoo’s) search engine. As a result Microsoft/Bing can serve paid ads to a wider array of people.

4. Microsoft and Facebook

Microsoft partnered with Facebook in 2012/2013 in order to serve search results where their Ads would show. In reality the partnership lasted since 2007 when Microsoft injected $240 million of cash into the continued development of the social network.

5. Microsoft and Yahoo

Microsoft partnered with Yahoo in July 2009, at a time when Yahoo was floundering and selling away the farm. This was some time before Marissa Mayer took the helm and started to steer Yahoo in the right direction. This was interesting as Yahoo was first known as a search engine and and internet portal second. How times have changed.

6. Google and YouTube

Google bought YouTube for $1.6 billion and it was considered by many to be a bust. As hindsight is 20/20 it’s clear that Google didn’t buy YouTube for existing sales, but because they figured they could leverage the most widely used video sharing program worldwide to serve ads and integrate into their ecosystem, which now centers around Google Plus. Google initially tried competing with them with Google Video, but wisely decided to buy out a more robust solution. The rest is history.

7. Google and Waze

In May/June 2013 Google bought Waze, an Israel-based mapping service for $1.3 Billion. Waze is unique in that it’s a more social type of mapping service, allowing users to report accidents, police presence, speed cameras and blocked roads, all things that Google Maps did not have.

Waze originally was due to reach a deal with Facebook for $1 Billion, however, Waze’s founders would have had to leave Israel and move to Palo Alto, California. Waze’s founders preferred to stay in Israel and for that main reason reached a deal with Google, allowing them to operate remotely from Israel and double their employee base, slightly improving the Israeli economy in terms of creating more jobs.

8. Yahoo and Tumblr

Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion, and in her typical geeky manner, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer promised “not to screw it up.” What makes the merger interesting is that it partially allows Yahoo to compete with Google in the Social race. Tumblr is a blogging platform that allows one to socially follow other Tumblr blogs. The criticism was that Tumblr had a strong follower base but little revenue. We will see how that translates later on, as social networks have proven to be power Ad platforms to serve Ads.

9. Google and Yahoo Regarding Delicious

Not many people remember this, but Google/YouTube snatched Delicious from Yahoo. This was in light of Yahoo not seeing Delicious, a social bookmarking site, as a good fit for them. Lots of Delicious users were surprised, as well as disappointed in losing all their precious bookmarked links when finding out that, after they needed to create a new Google account, that their old Yahoo account disappeared. Today one can create a Delicious account using a Facebook, Google or Twitter account, but not Yahoo. Very interesting.

10. Facebook and Instagram

Facebook bought Instagram, a photo uploading/sharing social site, for $1 billion in 2012. Many users criticized this move as Instagram had at most 100 million users whereas Facebook had close to 1 billion. Facebook must have seen the potential for it to grow as one can make edits, share photos to a few channels like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, and build an instagram-only network of followers/following.

So that’s my top 10 list on tech mergers. Comments are always welcome in terms of others that come to mind.

Linus Torvalds’ Guided Tour of His Home Office

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Who wants to see Linus Torvalds‘s office? Mr. Torvalds was the founder of Linux, an open-source operating system widely used in many capacities. It’s popularly used for website hosting, but has gained a following among desktop and mobile users as well.

Anyway, we now have the unique opportunity to see the workspace of a genius always coming out with newer, better things while balancing that with family time.

Space Pinball on Windows 7, 8, 10, and beyond

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Yup, it’s real. One of my favourite games of Windows XP can be had on Windows Vista, 7, 8 and higher.

Here’s the download link I used: Techspot

Worst-case, here’s a more direct download link: 3d_pinball_for_windows_space_cadet

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Apparently there’s a way to install it on Macs.

Apple iPhone 5 Cable Not Working? Try Removing Dust from Charger Slot With Screwdriver

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iPhone 5. Photo courtesy of http://computer-help-please.blogspot.ca/

iPhone 5. Photo courtesy of http://computer-help-please.blogspot.ca/

I have an iPhone 5 by Apple, and have used iPhones for the last few years. I recently had a problem where my iPhone 5 wasn’t charging using my cables. I immediately dismissed those cables as old and faulty, and looked for knock-off versions.

Imagine to my chagrin that I still received an error that “This cable or accessory is not certified and may not work reliably with this iPhone.” Aargh!

After looking high and low for a solution that would work, a friend of mine tried something so primitive that it worked. He took a small screwdriver and cleaned the small space on the bottom where the charger cable goes into. There was a surprisingly large amount of dust inside, preventing a proper charge from happening. After 15-20 seconds of cleaning the space out of dust, my phone was able to charge with any cable once again.

WHM – How to Log in as Root in SSH

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wheel group usersSSH is a very powerful technology, though not very user friendly. Sometimes things need to be done at the “root” level. However, for security purposes a regular user cannot simply log in as root using “su -” if not granted access.

How do you add a user to this access? Simple: in WHM when you log in, go to Security Center, then Manage Wheel Group Users. Over there you can add users to this “Wheel Group” to get in as root.

Hope this helps!

Excel – How to Remove Multiple Hyperlinks by Using a Macro

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excel_logoI’ve seen many other places on the internet where an item doesn’t show up, requires a plugin, or that the version of Microsoft Office isn’t compatible. This macro solution actually works.

Step 1. Press Alt + F11 to start the Visual Basic Editor.

Step 2. Double click the workbook you are using on the Project Explorer and type the following code:

Sub RemoveHyperlinks() 
ActiveSheet.Hyperlinks.Delete 
End Sub

Step 3. Save your work. Note: if you’re using Excel 2007 or higher it may ask you to save the workbook as .xlsm. If this is only a one-time thing you should just save your workbook “as is.”

Step 4. Run the macro by pressing Alt + F8 or using the menu by View > Macros

Step 5. Select the macro you have made, it should have the name ‘RemoveHyperlinks’.

Google Chrome Browser – How to Change New Bing Tab Page

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One thing that has been bothering me recently has been the Bing tab I’ve been getting in Chrome when hitting “New Tab.” Why I can’t modify what’s shown when hitting “new tab” defies my logic. I installed Chrome because I did not want to install Bing!

However, I recently found the answer.  Apparently, when installing a program, I mistakenly allowed Conduit to install on my machine and hijack my browser’s search bars, home page and New Tab page. When I uninstalled “Conduit,” I forgot one detail: Under Programs and Features (or Add/Remove Programs) in the Control Panel there is a program called “Search Protect.” Uninstall that and when the option to “revert to original browser settings” appears, just select that. That should do it.

Remember, Conduit is most likely doing this. The little bugger comes in all shapes and forms 🙂

IT Jobs with the Highest Pay and Fastest Growth – Infographic

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If you are thinking about switching jobs, especially jobs in IT, this infographic is for you. According to staff.com’s research, IT jobs have been fueling the economy worldwide. And it will continue to do so in decades to come.

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