Announcement: Review: Time Warner Cable TV iPad App

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Being a Time Warner Cable TV subscriber, I naturally snagged the new TWC iPad app to try out immediately on release. As someone considering cutting the cord at some point, I wanted to see what my cable company might have up its sleeve to entice me to stay on board.

Installing the app was, not surprisingly, a snap, as is usually the case with iPad apps from the Apple app store. Once installed, I had to go to a web site and register as a Time Warner Cable subscriber. The darned thing wanted my account number, which was a pain, because I am enrolled in auto-payment, so I haven’t seen an actual bill in over three years. I had no idea what my account number might be. So, off to the local TWC web site and a quick chat session with a rep, who quickly and easily provided that info.

Time Warner Cable iPad app logo

A sharp looking Time Warner Cable logo in the iPad app.

Once registered, I simply logged in with the app and was presented with a very sharp looking TWC logo and then the picture from a channel with a channel overlay covering the left side of the screen. Continue reading

Announcement: Review: Jabra Extreme Bluetooth Headset

By Richard V. Burckhardt

First, I just have to say that this bluetooth was a life saver for me, so I guess you know what kind of review I’m giving it!

The Jabra Extreme Bluetooth Headset for PC’s with Skype Certificationis a two-piece set including the ear piece and a USB adapter that plugs into your Windows XP/Vista/7 PC. It is Skype Certified and includes up to two hours of SkypeOut talk time (depending on where you call), which is a nice bonus.

Set up was a breeze. After charging the headset for a bit, I plugged in the USB adapter into my laptop, pushed a button on the adapter, turned the headset on and, boom, automatically paired. Continue reading

Announcement: Blogging with Google in Mind

By Michael Cash

Are you ready for your business to join the 21st Century? Before you answer this question, let me ask you another one: Are you ready to start a blog for your business? For many, the prospect of learning how to properly start, maintain, and optimize a blog for search engines is a monumental task that simply never gets done. But don’t let the enormity of the task stop you from doing it! You could be missing out on thousands of customers simply because your business has not joined the blogosphere. Setting up your business’s blog for search engine optimization (SEO) is the topic of this writing. The benefits of SEO far outweigh the labor it takes to set it up for your blog.

Basically, SEO is the foundation your blog needs to be ranked highly by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. It contains two parts: On-Page and Off-Page SEO. On-Page SEO are the things that you control about your blog, such as content, domain name, and plug-ins. Off-Page SEO are things outside of your control, such as links to your site from other blogs. Since On-Page SEO is directly affected by what you do, we will focus on that here.

Here are the things you can do to optimize your blog for search engines: Continue reading

Announcement: Web TV: Roku XD/S, Boxee Client & LG BD590 Blu-ray

By Richard V. Burckhardt

OK, had a chance to play with the Roku XD/S player, the Boxee client software and the LG BD590 Blu-ray Disc player with Netcast net apps for quite a while and here are some observations about my Internet TV viewing experiences with all three.

Roku XD/S menu

The Roku XD/S menu scrolls left to right and includes banner ads.

Roku XD/S

The Roku XDS Streaming Playeris the current top of the line Roku box and includes 1080 HD, enhanced remote, wireless, component video and a USB port for playing media. It’s a tiny, hardly noticeable box that is easy to hook up and use.

The remote is as simple as it gets – extremely small with very few buttons.

As with most streaming options these days, Netflix is among the first and foremost on the list of available services.

When you open the Netflix app, you are presented with your Watch Instantly queue. You also have the option to search the Netflix library, but it is a painful process with the tiny remote and on-screen keyboard, not QWERTY, but an alphabet to click on. Agony! Better to pull out the PC and make choices from there. Continue reading

Announcement: A Blogger’s Absolute Essentials

By Michael Cash

A blog is a great way for you to express yourself; writing about anything you want and seeing it published the minute you finish. If you wish to start a blog, or are having trouble getting into the “blogging spirit,” I have some suggestions of blogging essentials sure to put you on the path to blogging greatness.

The first and most obvious blogging essential, is a laptop computer. NOT a desktop, as a laptop can be used while you lounge on your couch or recliner; perfect blogging comes from a place of comfort, not a static immovable desktop station. Ensure that your laptop has wireless capability, as it is a huge pain in the buttock to constantly connect your laptop to a landline every time you wish to update your blog. If you do not have wireless internet service, get it. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did and can take pride that you have finally joined the 21st century. Continue reading

Announcement: What’s Going to be Big for SEO in 2011?

By Wayne Barker

What will the new year bring for your SEO?

What will the new year bring for your SEO?

I know we are only at the start of December but 2011 is looming and if this month passes as fast as the previous 11 it will be on us before we realise. On reflection 2010 has been a pretty big year for Google – we have had Caffeine and the May Day update, changes to local search and Google Page Previews…and if you try and stay up to date with all the tweaks to Google Maps, Earth, Gmail, YouTube and the million other Google products, I tip my hat.

So what is going to be big for SEO in 2011? In my opinion two of the biggest changes that have occurred this year were the changes to Google Places and the Google Page Previews. If you are unaware of what these are then I suggest you continue to read. If you are already familiar with the changes you need to make sure you are one step ahead of the crowd and get your thinking caps on. Continue reading

Announcement: When Syfy isn’t Enough Sci-Fi, Go Online

By Richard V. Burckhardt

I remember when The Sci-Fi Channel was announced in 1991. I was in geek heaven at the thought of a channel devoted completely to science fiction. My excitement was dashed somewhat when I was informed that the local cable company in Houston, where I lived at the time, wasn’t going to pick it up when it launched.

I’m stubborn and decided that I would find a way to get my sci-fi fix, regardless of the idiots at the cable company. At that time, the only satellite service available was through a huge 10-foot dish, which I purchased and installed in my backyard where neighbors wouldn’t complain. I locked into the channel weeks before it launched when they just had some weird graphics displaying and no programming.

One of the things I absolutely loved about the satellite TV service at the time was the ability to buy channels a la carte. I bought a basic package and could add individual channels as I desired. It was fantastic, not like the garbage I pay a fortune for in bulk these days in a cable package with no options and 90% channels that I have no interest in. But, this rant is for another post. 😉

When The Sci-Fi Channel launched, I was in absolute ecstasy. The channel lineup was mostly classic shows like Lost in Space, Dark Shadows, Dr. Who and the original Battlestar Galactica, along with old movies in the sci-fi and horror genres, but it absolutely filled the bill for this sci-fi geek. Continue reading