Favoring Google Plus over Facebook

While Twitter remain my social network of choice, I've struggled over the years with Facebook. For me personally, there is something about Facebook that has rubbed me the wrong way. Facebook's user interface has always felt "cluttered" to me and the addition of "social advertisement" this past year hasn't helped win me over either. More importantly, the seemingly never ending changes to both Facebook's privacy policy and privacy tools has left me very uncomfortable. These days, I'm only on Facebook because my closest friends are on Facebook. In short, with Facebook I feel like I'm a hostage as it may be the only way I keep close ties with friends unwilling to try Twitter or Google+.

I purchased the Google Nexus 7 tablet

If you follow me on Google+ or Twitter, you likely already know that I am not a tablet fan. I know the statement is contradictory when coming from a techy person like me. I have a hard time seeing the benefit of a tablet in my day to day life. I already own a great smartphone (the Android-based Droid Razr) and I prefer the ease of a physical keyboard on my computer and notebooks when writing content is crucial. Overall, I'm just not convinced that a tablet will allow me to do anything more than what my current devices already do. Perhaps this is a sign of my age, but I lost my "wow" some time ago for new technology.

Technology Break 2012: Utilizing my new Jayco CMS

Long time readers of CMS Report may recall that each summer I plan a number of small vacations intended to reduce my technology usage as much as possible. I have a real need to unplug from my Internet connection, step away from the blogging of content management systems, and leave the computer screen behind. I don't always succeed at this endeavor so this year I'm deploying some new tools to assist me in making this year's Technology Break a success. I now introduce to you, the Jayco CMS.

Who really invented the tablet?

The 1994 Knight-Ridder video I attached at the bottom of this post  is a fantastic reminder that the tablet predates the iPad and Android tablet by many decades. During the "hypermedia" era of the late 1980's, I can recall taking a "tech of the future" class where my professor discussed in similar detail what a tablet might look like in the future. He described a day where students would be sitting under trees reading not from paper books but utilizing exactly what we know today as the digital tablet. 

 Believe it or not though, the origins of the tablet computer date back to the 19th century.

How YouTube and the Social Web Saved Winter

My back hurts. As with the rest of the United States, my neck of the woods has received more snow and cold weather than one could possibly want for the winter season. Due to the constant snowfall, I have spent a number of my days clearing my driveway from snow with the help of my 15 year old snow blower. Several days ago, the snow blower's auger died on me leaving me with a useless rusting piece of machinery.

Auger Belts

1. Remove the plastic belt cover on the front of the engine by removing two self-tapping screws. See figure 23.

2. Drain the gasoline from the snow thrower or place a piece of plastic under the gas cap.

I do not like the word Smart

I was reading an article this morning regarding the use of ARM-based chips in a number of devices including "smartbooks". It appears the industry would like you to now call those smaller and less powerful laptop computers a smartbook instead of netbook.

To describe these devices as a smartbook is idiotic marketing for two reasons. First, "netbook" is a term that has been around for two years and most people today recognize the term being applied to smaller sized notebooks. When you hear the question, "What is a smartbook?" it seems very natural to just answer by replying, "a smartbook is a netbook". Secondly, I have to say it's very moronic (worse than ironic) to call a dumbed-down notebook a smartbook. At least when you say "smartphone" it is in reference to increased functionality over the traditional mobile phone and not less functionality.

I do not like the word "smart" being attached to devices and applications that are far from actually being intelligent on their own. Is marketing that insecure in the devices they're selling that they need to attach the word "smart" to cover up their own lack of intelligence? I have a theory that any time we attach the word "smart" to software or devices it is inviting doom into our lives.

Dell releasing the Mini 12 netbook this week?

Last year, I started looking for a linux laptop and ended up just migrating my old Windows laptop over to Ubuntu Linux.  Since my personal preference is for smaller sized laptops, I have also been keeping an eye on the new low-cost netbooks.  Currently, I'm leaning toward the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 with Ubuntu already installed.  However, my personal sweet spot for a laptop seems to be in the 10 to 12 inch range.

Today, at Dell.com I came across reference to a yet to be released Inspiron Mini 12 (1210)!  While there have been rumors circulating on the Web that Dell will be introducing a 12.1 inch Mini netbook or (and) E Slim, I don't think anyone has reported seeing actual references of the Inspiron Mini 12 at Dell.com.  Until now!  Perhaps we'll be seeing the Inspiron Mini 12 released this week or possibly next week?  If the price is reasonable and Ubuntu is available, this Mini 12 will be my next notebook.

The iTouch Alternative: Nokia's N800

Rich Hoeg, eContent, purchased himself the Nokia N800. The N800 is a linux based handheld Internet tablet with functions similar to those of Apple's iTouch. I'm not sure either device is for me, but I've been in a little bit of an anti-Apple and anti-Windows funk lately...that I felt it worth mentioning here. Rich Hoeg has this to say about the N800:

I've created a short screencast
which demonstrates many of the features found upon the Nokia N800. However, here are a few of the reasons I chose the Nokia over the iPod Touch: