Technology that helps us… Technology that Wows us!

Archive for May, 2006

How to use Podcasts

Posted by kbaggs on May 27, 2006

I’m surprised by the number of people I know with iPods that are not using, or have heard of, podcasts. What is a Podcast? Basically it is a sound file, just like an MP3, or in Apple’s case, AAC. But the file type is really irrelevant. It is a recording of a broadcast, or interview or someone simply talking about their favourite topic. The beauty of iTunes is that is makes adding podcasts to your iPod easier than downloading music. You simply go to the podcast section. Scroll through the various topics and select subscribe. [note, watch out for whether it is a podcast or video podcast. If you don’t have a video iPod, you will not want a video podcast]. That’s it. You can also go into your iPod options and select the automatic podcast update setting, and tell it how many old podcasts to keep. Now each time you start iTunes it will download the podcasts you subscribed to. The next time you connect your iPod to your computer. It will add these to your iPod. There is a tremendous wealth of topics for podcast. Most of the ones listed on iTunes fall into 2 categories; Business and Technology. Some of my favourites are from Leo Laporte and his crew [This Week in Tech]. I have Giz Wiz with Dick Dibartolo, TWIT with a cast of characters and Inside the Net with Amber MacArthur. But whatever your interest, there is a podcast available. iTunes is also not the exclusive directory of podcasts. Check out Podzinger


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FREE Long Distance Phone Calls from Skype

Posted by kbaggs on May 17, 2006

No this is not some spam that I recently received. This is not some bait and switch tactic to get you to sign some multi-year contract with an ISP or cell phone provider. This is the real deal. Out of the blue on Monday, Skype announced they would allow FREE SkypeOut calls to any phone number in North America. SkypeOut is a service where you buy credits, and it allows you to call a land line phone number for about 2 cents a minute. Well now that service is FREE until the end of the year. After that Skype isn’t saying. I can tell you from experience over the last 2 days, that is words fine. I called family in B.C. and it was crystal clear. So what are you waiting for. Download Skype and start making your free calls.

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Online Video

Posted by kbaggs on May 14, 2006

There is a trend happening on the internet. Podcasts started a new way of listening and broadcasting information to the masses. iTunes made it easy to obtain these snippits of daily or weekly broadcasts. Then Apple introduced the Video iPod and at the same time online video was growing fast. The two most talked about services are YouTube and Rocket Boom. YouTube is a website that allows anyone to post any video up to 10 minutes in length. Anything you can think of is there. The amount of bandwidth and downloads is on the edge of comprehension. They have talked about 100’s of thousands of downloads a day and 100’s of Terabytes (that’s 1000 Gigabytes) of information daily. Rocket Boom is a short news feature by Amanda Congan. She satires many of the daily news that is mainly on technology. There are a lot of questions surrounding online video. First the question of bandwidth. Right now, the quality is just barely enough to watch. In this era of HDTV growth, one has to wonder why online video is becoming so popular. The other question is copyright. When Apple started selling TV shows, it was a very short time before the networks started testing downloading they prime time shows. ABC recently announced that they would allow the viewing of their prime time shows, such as Lost, Desperate housewives, etc. for free. This is a test for 2 months. Is this another trend starting? (unfortunately, only available in the US). It is clear that the future includes watching video via the Internet. But the big question is always there. How can you make money at it. Ad dollars are the vehicle to make it happen. But when you look at the numbers from YouTube, it will take more than ad dollars. Technology will have to make some leaps before high resolution via the internet becomes as common as surfing the net.

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Get my Post via email

Posted by kbaggs on May 11, 2006

Not that I mind you checking back every day to see if I have a new post. I have a new feature that will email you the new posts as they are created. See the Subcribe Me button in the sidebar to the right. Add your email and you will be the posts each time they are added.

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Translate your Blog

Posted by kbaggs on May 7, 2006

See the flags above. These are not there for decoration. Each one will translate this blog into that flag’s language. Choose from French, German, Italian, Portugese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean or Chinese. This makes it simple for anyone in the world to be able to read your blog.

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Free Photo Software

Posted by kbaggs on May 7, 2006

As the switch to digital continues. 2 of the steps that are usually missed is organizing and touching up those digital photos. Now there are several packages out there. From Adobe Photoshop at the high end to Adobe Elements at the low end. There is one package that is consistenly highly rated for its ease of use. Not to mention, it is free. This is Picasa software. Google bought the company and now offers the software for free. Just click on the button in my Links section to get this software for free. It will help you keep those photos backed up, organized and looking their best.

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Never WRITE another To Do List

Posted by kbaggs on May 3, 2006

How many Post-It notes or scraps of paper do you have in your wallet or purse? How many different lists do you have floating around? No More! Now you can have one list, or one list per category. But no more transporting information around to try and consolidate it. As an added bonus, and for those of us with signifigant others. You can share your list. So whether it is a grocery list, or a “honey-do” list or goals. You can have it all in one place.

A few posts back during one of my Web 2.0 discussions I talked about a company called 37 Signals. One of their products is called TaDa lists. It allows you to create lists online. So if you’re at work and something comes to mind, you simply add it to the list. When I get home, I simply call up the list and review. I have added the web site to my links folder in my favorites. So it gives me a button on my browser.

I have created several lists. Personal To Do’s, Work at home and Blog topics. Now I can go to my Blog topics list and check off “Never WRITE another To Do List!” If you would like to have input on my Blog Topics, drop me an email, and I can share the list with you.

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