Saturday, December 26, 2015

Family Tech: Here’s some tips on operating some holiday gifts - December 25, 2015

Think of this as a stocking stuffer column.

When 7-Eleven starts selling drones, you know it’s a hot holiday gift and perhaps you received one this year.

What now?

I do not have a drone, but I was listening to a podcast recently from a drone owner. One thing he strongly recommends is not to try learning to fly one outside, certainly not an expensive one. You will inevitably crash any drone you have.

You might be better off setting the expensive one aside for the time being and finding an inexpensive one in an after-Christmas sale or online for under $30.

Learn to fly that drone safely before trying to fly your more expensive one.

And, at first, fly both kinds inside as you learn how to maneuver them. If it gets away from you, it cannot go far and won’t end up in a pond. Air currents wreak havoc with flying these lightweight aircraft so learning in a benign environment is a better idea.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently decided to require many drones to be registered. Drones weighing more than .55 pounds must be registered. It can be done online and only costs $5. If you do it by Jan. 20, the registration fee is waived.

Read the rest at www.FamilyTechOnline.com

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The First Website went up 25 years ago today

Interesting note from Engadget.  It was 25 years ago today that Tim Berners-Lee put up the first website.

It wouldn't be public for a few months, but was the genesis of the World Wide Web.

That first site simply described the web and how to create your own pages on it.  You can still read it today.

I find these kind of anniversary's intriguing.  They remind us how fast we are moving.  And considering how change seems always to be speeding up, to ask ourselves, where will we be in 25 more years?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Family Tech: Don’t leave a digital roadmap when you leave for the holidays

Are you are going away for the holidays and do you plan to share your adventures via social media? There is a group who will pay rapt attention – and most importantly – when you will be home.


Burglars.

I’ve always found it unsettling how much information about being away from home

some share online. Recently, a young couple we know avidly documenting 
their cruise.

Another friend, who travels frequently on business, uses Tripit to manage his various

 itineraries. Tripit will share your travels to Facebook, if you choose. I always know
 when he is leaving, and I am alerted when he’s on his way home. I worry about the
 wife and teenage daughters when he leaves at home.

A recent Facebook post from county police confirmed the danger of sharing your

 travel information online. It points out posts mentioning travel or showing check-ins
 at airports or airline lounges can indicate travel – to bad guys.

Read the rest at www.FamilyTechOnline.com


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Family Tech: Psst, Santa: This is what geeks would like for Christmas

Dear Santa,

I realize I am a bit old to be writing to you but I thought perhaps you would like a few suggestions on what to give self-professed geeks like me. Apparently, we are not easy to shop for.

Not everything we covet is expensive. For example, Google Cardboards begin at $5. They are cardboard headsets – much like the old View Masters – that hold your phone. It lets you watch 360-degree videos. Youtube even has a special section for the videos so they are easy to find. Cardboard lets you experience something close to Virtual Reality for just a few dollars if you already have a smartphone.

Where it can get expensive is if you want to begin making your own videos or have 360-degree photos. Ricoh makes the Theta S, a small camera that does just that. It cost about $350.

If your records show anyone coming close to being naughty for cursing about the phone battery giving out too soon, you may want to consider giving them a spare battery and charger for their Android phone, if it has a removable battery.



Saturday, December 5, 2015

Family Tech: Make photo books to preserve digital photos in your phone - December 4, 2015

We are awash in photos. Once, families took a roll of 12 pictures on a week-long vacation. Today, some people take 12 photos before breakfast – mostly selfies and shots of their breakfast.

Yet, our children may have fewer pictures of us and their own childhoods then we do of our own parents and our childhoods.

The digital cameras in our phones are always with us. With no cost for film and the delay of processing, we are able to take multitudes of photos. Burst mode in many camera apps let us take a dozen photos of one single shot to get the one with the best look on the subject’s face or the right moment in an action shot.

We send the photos to Facebook to share with friends. The rest reside on our phone, until we replace the phone.

Perhaps you use an app such as Google Photos, Amazon, Facebook or others to back-up your photos to the cloud.

So how can I say few photographs will be available for the next generation to view?

Read the rest at FamilyTechOnline.com