Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Handheld Device

Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Handheld DeviceThere’s a handheld device out there that can specifically cater to your needs. All you need to do to find it is to be aware of your needs and wants and look hard enough. Even if you do buy the best or the cheapest device on the market, you might not be getting what you need as price is not an indicator when addressing such needs.

So before you go off to the electronics store and start looking at machines in a display case, the first step to buying your device starts here. The Internet has a wealth of information about mobile phones and tablets that may interest you, as you can find a myriad of reviews for each and every device on the market.

To help you narrow down your search, here are some questions that you should ask yourself even before you begin searching:

  • Do I want a phone, a tablet, or both?
  • Do I want a telephone solution or a tiny computer?
  • What kind of interface do I prefer? Touchscreen, numeric keypad, or QWERTY?
  • What brand am I leaning towards? Do I have any particular loyalty to a specific brand I use or do I want to try something completely new?
  • How much am I willing to spend, roughly?
  • How soon do I need this device?

These questions are a great way to start your quest to find your handheld device. To help you even further, here are some tips:

  • Look at specs online and videos of user experience. Video reviews can show you just what kind of experience you can expect when you buy the device and how it looks in comparison to a human hand. There are a lot of third-party websites that do independent, specs-based reviews on every gadget out there. Make sure you go through more than one to see if the information matches up.
  • An Apple device is always more expensive because of the brand, how it looks, and the user experience. This is not to say that an iPhone or an iPad isn’t a great gadget, but you can always expect it to be more expensive than devices that can roughly do the same thing but with a different operating system. There are apps that are exclusive on one particular OS, while some apps like RingCentral, MS OneNote, and Temple Run still have versions for both iOS and Android.
  • An Android device is always very customizable, but a little complicated. The Android version the device uses can be different from a lot of other devices and compatibility with anything is always a big issue. If you’re ready to go through the open source travails of an Android device, then you can get great rewards.

Aside from these questions to ask before you buy a handheld device, do you have any that you stand by before making similarly large purchases? Please feel free to leave a comment and share!

Image: Veronica Veronese With Her iPad, after Rossetti by Mike Licht,

How Many Fake Quotations Have You Passed Along?

Yesterday on my Facebook page I also received what supposedly was a quote from the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The posting stated:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

I made an assumption that the quote was in reference to the death of Osama bin Laden who had previously been killed by U.S. Navy Seals. On the night that it was announced that this terrorist had in fact been killed, it was hard not to feel a tinge of relief knowing that bin Laden was in fact dead. But when reading the alleged words from Martin Luther King, Jr., it did give one pause for reflection as to our affliction of hatred.

After checking the alleged quotation, we come to find out that this is a fake quote. The last three sentences are found in a previous Martin Luther King, Jr. speech, but someone added the first sentence. However this is just one quote of many that we have all received and I know I am as guilty as the next person for having forwarded it on to others.

So are the people who post these alleged quotations trying to deceive us? I seriously doubt that is the purpose. It is a simple case of something that gets posted and is either misquoted or even misunderstood by those who repeat the posting. It is easy to see how this can happen as this quotation is copied and pasted over and over again. A word here, a word there gets left off or in the worst case scenario, someone adds something to the original quotation.

The Internet is a great tool and I believe that it is one of the most valuable resources that we have. Unfortunately it can also be a source of misinformation that detracts from the overall experience. Even though the quotation above might not have been 100% accurate, one can see how it received credibility since it does sound like something Martin Luther King, Jr. could have said.

Which does lead me to think, even though the quotation was not 100% accurate, was any real harm done? Just my two cents. I am sure others will have a different opinion. Changing Search Niches

Finally, we see Ask taking a stance that in my estimation, will be vastly more profitable for the search company in the long haul. has opted to return home to its roots, back with the idea of questions getting answers. It’s about time!

Frankly I am excited to see how things play out for with the switch back to its roots as I believe this is where they’ll find their best bet. Fact is, by centering their indexing to sites that deal specifically with questions and answers, Ask sets themselves up to be something different that all of the others search engines out there.

Does this mean that it’s going to turn into Yahoo answers or WiseGeek? Not at all. Rather than trying to house all of that magic in-house, Ask is looking to make finding answers, easier. This makes a heck of a lot more sense than Ask trying to compete against the major players like Google.


Have you ever been out and about and needed an answer to a question? If you have a mobile device nearby, you could try to do a search and find the answer from all of the results that are delivered to you, but that can take some time. Even if you’re at home near a computer, you still may not feel like researching the subject. What can you do? Try ChaCha.

No, not the dance. This ChaCha is a mobile service that you use to get answers to whatever questions you may have. By simply calling in or texting your question to ChaCha, the service will route your question to a real person who is knowledgeable about the topic. They will then find the answer for you, which will be delivered to your phone as a text message. If everything works right, you should have your answer within a few minutes. ChaCha doesn’t charge a fee on their side for this service, but they do deliver ads with your answers, which actually isn’t a big deal. Isn’t it nice to have someone else do the work for you?


We’re all connected in more ways today than we’ve ever been before. Our friends and followers can contact us in many different ways through many different services. Thanks to these direct lines of communication, it’s pretty easy for us to learn more about what a person is really like, and this is one of the reasons why people love to follow celebrities on Twitter. The process of getting to know someone has even spurred the development of services that exist for the purpose of enabling people to ask someone a question and have them answer it. Plank is one of those services.

It’s a simple idea, and you could do this type of thing on other services, but having a dedicated place where people can learn more about you is interesting. Visitors can ask you questions using text or video, and you can reply to them using text or video. The ability to use video adds that personal touch that you just can’t get with text. Questions can also be voted up and down, so you’ll know what people want you to answer. It’s time to share yourself with the world.

An Easy Course On How To Be A TV Reporter

This morning as I roamed through the different TV stations it jogged my memory on what it takes to be a TV reporter. Below are some examples of how easy it is to be a TV reporter.

Example #1 ask stupid questions. I remember back the day after 9-11 when Mayor Giuliani had to promote a Deputy Chief to Chief because the Chief had been killed in one of the towers. A reporter asked the new Chief  ‘How do you feel about your promotion?’  How does he feel???? Are you dumb or what?

Example #2 stand knee high in flood waters. You see, you need to show the viewers how deep the water is because we can’t figure it out for ourselves. Just because the water covers the wheels of a standard passenger car, without you standing in the water wadding around for us, how are we to know how deep the water really is?

Example #3 you must stand outside during a hurricane to show us how fast the wind is really blowing. We can’t tell how fast the winds is blowing when the trees are leaning at a 90 degree angle unless you stand outside for us. Also, make sure you show us a piece of metal siding laying on the ground for added affect. Without seeing this, we would not have a clue as to what is going on.

Example #4 is my all time favorite. When I was living on California our local TV station was in Sacramento. When the first snow arrived, which happened every winter like clock work, they would send a reporter up to Blue Canyon to stand in the snow. The report was basically the same year after year. The reporter would go down where a chain installer was and ask the person, ‘cold enough for you?’  Next they would interview a Highway Patrol officer who would be taking an accident report for some idiot that was driving to fast and ask ‘what happened?’ Duh! Next they would interview the family from San Jose, Ca. who were standing by the side of the road in shorts and t-shirts, not knowing it was going to snow. Duh! I always wondered if these people ever watched or listened to the weather reports.

So there you have it. Simple ways to be a TV reporter. LOL


You may assume that you know what people are thinking, but in all honesty, you have no idea. Because of this, it can be interesting to actually ask for people’s opinions to truly find out what they’re thinking. I’ve always enjoyed looking at poll questions and results because anyone can participate in them and they provide a nice snapshot of how the public views certain matters. Creating your own poll with Urtak is no problem at all, and all you’ll have to do is encourage people to get involved.

Not only can you create unlimited free polls, but you can also embed them anywhere you’d like and analyze the results in real time in a really nice way. For the longest time, creating and publishing a poll has meant getting people to provide answers, but the interesting thing about Urtak is that participants can also pose their own questions. This means that communication is two-way instead of one-way. Now, in addition to finding out what people are thinking, you’ll also find out what they’re curious about.


Are you listening to what the visitors to your Web site have to say? You may think you are, but are you really? The truth is that many people who use the Internet feel disconnected from the sites that they visit. They may be able to get information from them, but they may not be able to share what they have to say and feel like they’re actually being heard. If you run a Web site, then that Web site exists to serve the visitors, so it’s important to try and get their feedback not only about your content but also about your entire site overall. Sometimes it may sting a little bit, but it has to be done. Monyta gives your site a feedback tab that gets visitors talking.

Once you create an account and personalize the settings you then install the widget script and open your site up to feedback right away. Whether visitors are contributing feedback, bug info, or questions, they can easily do so through the Monyta widget. Ideas that are submitted publicly are also listed and can be voted on by other users, so there’s no doubt about what the community has to say. It’s just up to you to make things happen.

Gmail Blog – Choosing A Smart Password

The art of choosing a smart password has been lost for many who use the Internet. Some newbies assume that using their middle name, numbers from their home address, birth date, or other easy to remember password is enough to keep them safe. On the flip side we have those who use a complicated formula that is so complicated they can’t remember what the password is! Either way can be frustrating for the user when they attempt to access a web site or their own data.

The Google blog states:

Creating a new password is often one of the first recommendations you hear when trouble occurs. Even a great password can’t keep you from being scammed, but setting one that’s memorable for you and that’s hard for others to guess is a smart security practice since weak passwords can be easily guessed. Below are a few common problems we’ve seen in the past and suggestions for making your passwords stronger.

Problem 1: Re-using passwords across websites
With a constantly growing list of services that require a password (email, online banking, social networking, and shopping websites — just to name a few), it’s no wonder that many people simply use the same password across a variety of accounts. This is risky: if someone figures out your password for one service, that person could potentially gain access to your private email, address information, and even your money.

Solution 1: Use unique passwords
It’s a good idea to use unique passwords for your accounts, expecially important accounts like email and online banking. When you create a password for a site, you might think of a phrase you associate with the site and use an abbreviation or variation of that phrase as your password — just don’t use the actual words of the site. If it’s a long phrase, you can take the first letter of each word. To make this word or phrase more secure, try making some letters uppercase, and swap out some letters with numbers or symbols. As an example, the phrase for your banking website could be “How much money do I have?” and the password could be “#m$d1H4ve?” (Note: since we’re using them here, please don’t adopt any of the example passwords in this post for yourself.)

Problem 2: Using common passwords or words found in the dictionary
Common passwords include simple words or phrases like “password” or “letmein,” keyboard patterns such as “qwerty” or “qazwsx,” or sequential patterns such as “abcd1234.” Using a simple password or any word you can find in the dictionary makes it easier for a would-be hijacker to gain access to your personal information.

Solution 2: Use a password with a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols
There are only 26^8 possible permutations for an 8-character password that uses just lowercase letters, while there are 94^8 possible permutations for an 8-character password that uses a combination of mixed-case letters, numbers, and symbols. That’s over 6 quadrillion more possible variations for a mixed password, which makes it that much harder for anyone to guess or crack.

Problem 3: Using passwords based on personal data
We all share information about ourselves with our friends and coworkers. The names of your spouse, children, or pets aren’t usually all that secret, so it doesn’t make sense to use them as your passwords. You should also stay away from birth dates, phone numbers, or addresses.

Solution 3: Create a password that’s hard for others to guess
Choose a combination of letters, numbers, or symbols to create a unique password that’s unrelated to your personal information. Or, select a random word or phrase, and insert letters and numbers into the beginning, middle, and end to make it extra difficult to guess (such as “[email protected]”).

Problem 4: Writing down your password and storing it in an unsecured place
Some of us have enough online accounts that we may need to write our passwords down somewhere, at least until we’ve learned them well.

Solution 4: Keep your password reminders in a secret place that isn’t easily visible
Don’t leave notes with your passwords to various sites on your computer or desk. People who walk by can easily steal this information and use it to compromise your account. Also, if you decide to save your passwords in a file on your computer, create a unique name for the file so people don’t know what’s inside. Avoid naming the file “my passwords” or something else obvious.

Problem 5: Recalling your password
When choosing smart passwords like these, it can often be more difficult to remember your password when you try to sign in to a site you haven’t visited in a while. To get around this problem, many websites will offer you the option to either send a password-reset link to your email address or answer a security question.

Solution 5: Make sure your password recovery options are up-to-date and secure
You should always make sure you have an up-to-date email address on file for each account you have, so that if you need to send a password reset email it goes to the right place.

Many websites will ask you to choose a question to verify your identity if you ever forget your password. If you’re able to create your own question, try to come up with a question that has an answer only you would know. The answer shouldn’t be something that someone can guess by scanning information you’ve posted online in social networking profiles, blogs, and other places.

If you’re asked to choose a question from a list of options, such as the city where you were born, you should be aware that these questions are likely to be less secure. Try to find a way to make your answer unique — you can do this by using some of the tips above, or by creating a convention where you always add a symbol after the 2nd character in the answer (e.g. [email protected]) — so that even if someone guesses the answer, they won’t know how to enter it properly.

What secret formula do you to produce a password that you believe is secure? Share your thoughts with us.

Comments welcome.

Google blog source

Google – FAQs About Chrome Operating System

When Google announced that it would be introducing its Chrome Operating System next year, it was only a matter of time before questions arose. The Google Chrome Blog team immediately set out to answer some of the most popular questions.

Here are the FAQs as answered by the Google Chrome Team:

Is Google Chrome OS free?
Yes – Google Chrome OS is an open source project and will be available to use at no cost.
What companies is Google working with to support Google Chrome OS?

The Google Chrome OS team is currently working with a number of technology companies to design and build devices that deliver an extraordinary end user experience. Among others, these companies include: Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments.

I’m a developer – how can I work with you?

Thanks for your interest. Later this year, the Google Chrome OS code will be open source. We’re looking forward to working with the open source community and making our own small contributions to the great work being done out there. Please stay tuned.
Also on its website are links for those who are interested in joining Google as a software engineer.
But while  visiting the Google Chrome Blog brought up another thought. I find it interesting that Google chose the same name for its browser as it did for its upcoming operating system. Could this mean that its browser will actually be the operating system?

What do you think?

Comments welcome.



These days, many of us are using a wide variety of social networks and have amassed large numbers of friends (I use that term loosely) on these networks. Just having these friends is one thing, but how do you use them? Despite what you’ve been told, social networks aren’t just some sort of popularity contest. If used correctly, they can prove to be truly useful. For instance, let’s say that you would like to ask your contacts a question in order to get their feedback. This can easily be done, but it’s not always organized and you’re not guaranteed to get quality answers from everyone. Aardvark works in the middle to ensure that you’re able to use your network effectively.

Aardvark serves as another one of your contacts over IM or e-mail, and when you have a question, you send it to Aardvark which then routes your question to the right people who are qualified to answer that specific question within your existing social networks. In addition to your direct friends, their friends can also be a great source of information. With a solid network, you can get answers quickly, and although Aardvark isn’t open to everyone right now, feel free to sign up to be notified when you can give it a try.


The Clozing – Real Estate Blog

If you are interested in real estate you may wish to drop by The Clozing. This real estate site attempts to gather information from the major news agencies such as the AP, and categorize the information in an attempt to make the information more readily available. The authors state that their site is currently in beta testing so be patient as they put together the information.

The authors also state that their site is:

What is theClozing

TheClozing is a new real estate and business news aggregator. We gather and organize real estate and business news from major U.S. newspapers, magazines and publications with related articles from Social Media. All links are to the original sources. News is updated hourly to provide continuously fresh content.

The Big Idea

It all began when we read a news study by the Associated Press, A New Model for News. We thought we should take a shot at creating it.

According to the AP findings, folks get news headlines from many different sources throughout the day. But there is something they don’t get easily, something which is harder to find – the backstory. The backstory is the interpretation of the news– what does this news mean to me?

Journalists, trained to be objective, focus on the facts and leave out, for the most part, the subjective interpretation of those facts – that was left to the editorial department and the letters to the editor. But that left many unsatisfied. The slack was picked up by bloggers who’d grab the news and interpret it for their readers. And rather than sending a letter to the editor, readers could more easily comment to the blogger. This allowed for news stories to be filled in, made richer. Soon social media became the new news kid on the block, providing the missing backstory and expanding the social commentary.

What was needed was a marriage of mainstream media headline news with social media backstorytellers. We performed the ceremony. We’ll see how the marriage works out.

How New is Clozed

We gather real estate and business news feeds from the top newspapers and magazines in the country and combine them with feeds from the major real estate blogs. All links are to the original news sources and blogs. The blend of newspapers and blogs will change, depending on the results. We expect we’ll have to do some filtering and tweaking along the way (heck, you can’t trust computers to be perfect), so bear with us.

Having just refinanced my home I believe that this site may help others in finding a loan with the lowest possible interest rate. The site also lists the top 10 lenders for real estate loans as well as answering questions about the new $8,000 credit for first time home buyers.

Comments welcome.

The Clozing web site is here.


Sometimes we may think we know everything, but usually when that happens, a random event is triggered to prove that we’re just as clueless as everyone else. We may know a lot about certain things and even be considered as an expert in a specific field, but there will be other areas of life where we’ll have to rely on the knowledge of others to give us the information that we need. A lot of the time we rely on our personal network of friends to help us out, but if used in the right way, the Internet is a very beneficial tool that can connect us with people from all over the world who can be of assistance. Fluther helps make these connections possible.

Simply put, people ask questions, and other people answer them. Sometimes the questions involve requests for advice, but in other situations users just want to find out what people think. As a member, you can organize your own group of interesting people, and when you create your account you’ll be able to specify what your interests are and what topics you know a lot about. This helps you to uncover questions where you can help out.


Vista Won’t Start – Reader Needs Assistance

For the past week or so I have received several comments from a reader named Mario in which he has described his problems with Vista won’t starting. Here are the conversations:

Dear Ron Schenone
I need advice. I got problem when Vista is loading at the start. It get freeze there. When I’m going to shut down or restart it, I can boot only in Last Known Good Configuration, but not always.
Actually my Vista is clean new copy week ago installed, and I haven’t got any viruses or something. My drivers are up to date. I haven’t much programes. Also my hardware is new, and I am using oem motherboard. Could be some hardware error, my ram memory is ok because I tested it. My software is new so what should I do? Please I need help, I tried with ps2 tastature I found out something here, but still it freezes :(((

To Which I responded:

Hello Mario,
There are numerous reasons why Vista or any version of Windows won’t start properly.

If you have two sticks of RAM, remove one stick and reboot. Do the same with the other stick. Remove it and reboot. Is there any difference or does the system still hang?

Try using CCleaner to clean out any gunk hiding on the system.

Do a disk defrag.

Let us know what happens.

Mr Ron Schenone,

I tried everything… Actually first I defrag my disks and I used CCLeaner but nothing happens. Vista can’t start…
Even I formated and installed it on another partition but same problem I can’t start :(((((
Today I remove one of my ram memory stick, also second one but still system hang :((((((
I have drivers only for my wireless stick and graphic card.
Please help me, I dont know what to do anymore…
My configuration is,
Motherboard: Intel Foxconn P965 965X7AA
CPU: Intel Core2Duo E6600 2.4 GhZ
2GB Ram memory
Graphic Card: GeForce 9800 GT 1GB.
I got two hdd one is 300GB the other one 500GB
Could be some hdd error?Thank You Mr.

So what do you think? Mobo problem?

Share your thoughts.


I read a lot of blogs, and I’m constantly searching for new blogs to add to my list. I have to say, one of the most frustrating things for me is when I find a great blogger that I want to interact with who has all but eliminated the means for me to do so. Sure, you may be able to comment on blog posts, but for certain forms of contact, I’d rather have an e-mail address or at least a contact form that I can use. Is that too much to ask? With that said, I do understand why some bloggers may want to maintain their privacy, and in these situations, Askablogr could be a great solution.

Askablogr is a free Q&A widget that can be placed on your blog, and it enables your readers to contact you with questions or statements that you can respond to without giving up your contact details. The service keeps track of this correspondence and posts it to your blog, so it’s great for public Q&A sessions. Your readers want to talk to you, so it’s important to provide the means for them to do that, even if it’s just something like Askablogr.