How to Back Up Your Android Phone Apr08

How to Back Up Your Android Phone

When it comes to backing up our phones we tend to get lazy. In fact, I recently got really lazy. But we’ll come back to that.       We think, yeah yeah, I’ll do it soon… and then, something happens to you, to me, the phone suddenly disappears, and you swear that you had it in your coat pocket. All of a sudden, everything starts to get ugly. You start thinking: why didn’t I back it up? What will I do?! I had my contacts, photos, videos of laughing cats and super-important messages in there! And…it’s gone. It’s all gone…. But wait a second! Let’s not get too dramatic. As long as you have a Gmail account active on your phone, all the contact information and numbers will be the safe. Thank you, Google! Although, all your photos, videos, messages and app data won’t be there. That’s why we need additional tools to keep them in a safe place. Preferably the cloud. So before you do anything with your new smartphone, ALWAYS ALWAYS have a backup strategy in place, or you will regret it sooner or later. Like me.      Now, you know how important a backup is. So how do we do it? There are two kinds of back ups: local backups and cloud-based backups. Local backups save info in your phone itself (normally in the SD card) while cloud-based backups do their thing up in the cloud. I highly recommend cloud backups. The good thing about the cloud-based backup is it’s near immortality. Let’s say that you drop your phone into the sea while on a cruise (I’ve actually met someone who did that) or it got stolen. You made a local backup, but since it’s inside the phone, your wonderful backup will either...

The New Macbook: The Perfect Everyday Laptop Mar12

The New Macbook: The Perfect Everyday Laptop

  The new Macbook is a beauty: lightweight, razor-thin, with a satin aluminum finish and an impressive retina display. Even better, the new Macbook will come in three different Colors: Silver, Space Gray and (drumroll, please!)…Gold.     Yes, gold. Which utterly destroys the simple harmony of the Macbook’s new design. But, for starters, this Macbook is not a computer that will blow your mind. Especially if you consider yourself a techie who always wants the best of the best. The new Macbook is all about your everyday, normal tasks. Want an ultra-thin machine with all the stuff necessary to do the average user’s tasks? Get this beautiful new laptop. But if you want to use image or video editors, game to your heart’s content, use data-intensive tools, give it a pass. When is this Macbook the right computer for you? If you only need a computer for surfing the internet, writing documents or watching movies. And it does those tasks perfectly.     So why is the new Macbook not as high performing as a Macbook Pro? Well, in order to make it so thin, Apple was obliged to using a fanless design, which meant using a processor that doesn’t need one. The solution? The Intel Core M. This processor doesn’t boast the performance of an Core i5 or i7, but it is a great processor that combines both mobility and performance. What are the drawbacks? Of course, by attempting to mix just enough performance with a fanless processor, what you get is a mixed processor that’s not the best in any category. It does it’s job, and admirably so, but we’re not talking the leader in processors here.     In summary, this processing balance combined with Apple’s fluid design make this $1299 laptop a very...

What is a drone? and why do you care Feb09

What is a drone? and why do you care

  What is really a drone? Dictionary.com says a drone is: a) an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight. b) (loosely) any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely. This is, of course, excluding any reference to that annoying voice in the office that keeps going on and on and on…. But really, the key word in these definitions is the word “autonomously”. Otherwise, a drone would be nothing more than a RC (remote-controlled) helicopter or plane. So what if you put a camera in a RC helicopter? Does that make a drone? Well, if that means that you can pilot it beyond your line of sight I guess that could qualify as a drone. But that’s not really why you should care about drones. And let me explain why. As I said before, the keyword is “autonomous”, this means that without any human intervention a drone should be able to do a task that is assigned to it. For example, if I tell my drone to send a package to a friend in Mars, it should pick up my package, fly to wherever my friend is, and deliver it, all without me intervening in the process. All I should have to do is say that I wanted my package delivered. And this is where the revolution starts!     When you think of drones do you think of small quadcopters or the Amazon Prime drones delivering your recent purchases? Think bigger!! A drone could easily pilot a plane or a cargo ship with minimum supervision. How about trucks? There are already fully functional self-driving cars, that can drive safer than you or me! So soon enough you might not see too many truck drivers anymore, but...

Share files between Mac and Windows with exFAT Oct07

Share files between Mac and Windows with exFAT

Sharing your files between a Mac and Windows machine is not easy. In fact, just thinking about it gives me a headache. You can transfer a few photos or smaller files with a USB drive (usually formatted as FAT32). But if you want to have a shared hard drive to watch movies, a shared library with large amounts of data, a shared anything, FAT32 will definitely let you down. Why is that? One of the biggest limitations of FAT32 is that you can’t transfer files that are larger than 4GB (such as raw movie files). As a result of the format, if you want to transfer a larger file, you just can’t do it. Additionally, if you think you can format a hard drive in Windows as a FAT32 partition, the maximum size available will always be 32 GB. Thus where the 32 in FAT32 comes from. Which means you might end up making a hundred teeny partitions if you want to want to share any file that’s bigger. So what do you do? The answer is: exFAT. exFAT is a Microsoft proprietary file system that Windows and Mac can both read and write. It eliminates the 4GB limitation you have with FAT32, and with a maximum recommended capacity of 512 TB, you won’t have to worry about storage space anymore. Furthermore, it is extremely easy to format a hard drive using the Windows format tool.   How to:   In Windows 7, select your device (usually an external hard drive of some kind). Right click and select “Format…”, selecting exFAT from the file system drop-down menu. Click “Start”, wait until it does its thing, and you’re done!       Some words of caution, however. Nothing is perfect and exFAT is not perfect...

Expert Review: SoundMAGIC E10 Earphones Sep22

Expert Review: SoundMAGIC E10 Earphones

A few days ago, I lost my Urbeats earphones. One day I was energetically poppin’ out moves to my music, and the next…some awfully lucky guy in the metro was picking them up and bringing despair into my life. So I needed new ones. New earphones, that is. Preferably ones that cost less than $100, with a nice design and premium sound quality. Basically, I wanted new Urbeats but without the hefty price tag. Then I found the SoundMAGIC E10 earphones (or are they earbuds…?) The Design: My first impression was that they looked much more expensive than they actually cost. The actual earbuds are cased in metal, with a wire that is sturdy and tangle-free. Which, for those of us who like to abuse our earphones by stepping on, pulling and throwing them, is a great feature. Not only that, but for a low price, the design totally beats out the generic and plasticky look of your typical $20 earphones. I also appreciate that the manufacturer uses different colors in addition to R/L to differentiate between the right and left earbud. Inside the box, they ship with many different styles of rubber in-ear cups, to adjust the earbuds to anyone’s comfort level. And finally, they come with a neat case that is definitely handy for travel and storage. The Sound Quality No joke, but when I first put them on, I was amazed at the sound quality. Mind you, I’m no hard-core audiophile, but to me they sounded almost similar to some of the $100+ headphones that I previously used. Not quite as bassy as some, however the sound was very crisp and the noise isolation worked fantastically. These aren’t better in terms of pure sound quality than other high-end earbuds, but they...

Apple after the Apple Watch: innovation or luxury brand? Sep19

Apple after the Apple Watch: innovation or luxury brand?

It happens with all luxury goods, doesn’t matter if it’s Chanel, Mercedes or Rolex. Eventually, everyone wants one. Of course, part of it this phenomenon is due to the quality of the materials or the amazing design. But if you tell me that the brand had nothing to do with your decision to buy that really expensive watch…don’t kid yourself. A brand serves many important functions (not the least of which is a way for a company to differentiate itself from others in the market), but it’s the experience and emotions around the brand that truly make it worth something in your mind. Sometimes it’s the aspirational message of the product like for Axe, and sometimes it’s the feeling of exclusivity like with your local Lamborghini club. Imagine, if everyone in the world suddenly forgot what Coke stands for–happiness, friendship, family, cutesy polar bears and so on–would you still choose to drink it over the regular cola in the supermarket aisle? Now, take that concept and think: What about Apple? A few years ago, Apple stood for innovation, a technology pioneer in making products that were both disruptive and well crafted. Of course, it all started way back when with those big, squarish and gray Apple computers. Then it started all over again with the fresh and exciting combination of the iPod and iTunes, which sparked the later iPhone success, and led to the pinnacle of design and quality: the iMac and MacBook. These products were truly revolutionary, not only because of their intelligent meshing of convenience and ease of use, but also because of their refreshing combination of features. Yet, can we say the same about Apple post-Jobs? Apple still stands for quality, certainly, as well as cutting edge design and slightly ingenious...

4 Tips to Rescue your tired eyes from the evil computer screen Sep01

4 Tips to Rescue your tired eyes from the evil computer screen

When you’ve been staring at your computer screen too long, do you experience occasional blurriness and eye strain? If so, you’ve probably experienced CVS, otherwise known as Computer Vision Syndrome. In fact, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (couldn’t they shorten it a little?), CVS affects 90% of all people who spend 3 or more hours in front of a screen. So what is CVS anyways? In reality, it’s not one but a whole bunch of problems that your eyes suffer when staring at a digital screen after a certain period of time. These include: headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, eye redness, fatigue, eye strain, dry eyes, double vision, vertigo/dizziness, and difficulty refocusing your eyes. Much of this is caused by the stress your eyes undergo from having to constantly refocus on the changing images on the screen. Blinking, flickering, reflections–all these movements require far more effort from your eye muscles than reading a physical book or people-watching in the street. But how can you save your eyes from your screen? Well, the obvious solution is to stop looking at your screen all the time. However, if you’re like most people, avoiding your computer on a regular basis would probably end up getting you fired or worse. So here are some helpful tips:   Change your environment Is there enough lighting where you usually use your computer? How about glare on your screen? Make sure that there is always plenty of light around you and that there is no glare on your screen. If you can’t find a corner in your room or office that doesn’t cause the light to reflect off your screen, you can always buy an anti-glare filter. Another option is to position yourself about 20 to...

Sending an engaging Job Application Email Jul01

Sending an engaging Job Application Email

Let’s say you have the perfect CV and cover letter. And then you go ahead and send it to a recruiter or a HR email, hoping to get a job in the company you wanted. You might be the best candidate for the position they are looking for, but unfortunately your job application email will only show up as a name and subject in a long list of lots and lots of other emails. So how do you stand out from the crowd? To stand out from the other contenders, you have to show you’re special from the outset–and it’s all in the subject line.     These are our tips to writing an eye-catching one-liner:   Write your name (yes!): Make it so that your name is visible as soon as they receive it. It is also makes it easier for recruiters to search for your email afterwards. Don’t write something like: “Job Application” or ”Applying for…”   Capitalize some of the words: Make your subject line more visually pleasing. Capitalize the beginning of each word, except for prepositions. All the examples below are written in that format.   Keep it simple: Say with as few words as possible why you are special. It could be experience or education (or any other thing, really) that will make a recruiter open your email: “Rafa Collis, 10 Years of Experience in Online Marketing” or “John Doe, MBA, Senior Financial Analyst”   Make it easier (for the recruiters): If you are applying to something specific add a reference or the position that you are applying for. The easier you make it for recruiters to find you, the easier it will be for you to be hired: “Rafa Collis, MBA, Applying for Social Media Manager”   Get...

How to make your CV stand out (Visually) Jun07

How to make your CV stand out (Visually)

How long has it been since you last checked your CV? Months? Years? Almost all of us need a CV (at some point in time), so do you think that yours will really stand out from a crowd of 1,000 other resumes? Of course, if you have the perfect CV, the “appropriate amount” of work experience and graduated from an Ivy League school you might not need to make your CV extremely nice looking. But for the rest of the people world, having a nice, sharp resume will distinguish you from the crowd of other people with the same experience. Here are some examples of a standard, average-Joe CV: The best word for these resumes? BORING. Here are some resumes from cvparade.com:   Can you tell the difference? Let me tell you how to make CVs like these on your own computer. Just a word before I start, though. Not everyone needs a colorful, extremely creative CV. If you are a physician or you have a business background, you should focus on a clean design without any extra frills—focus on conveying respectability and modernity with clear lines and organization. On the other hand, are you a graphic designer? If you are, know that those employers are expecting that your CV looks creative (think of it as a preview sample of your work) and basically you should show off your designing skills. Now, if you are adventurous enough to design your own CV, I recommend Adobe InDesign. InDesign is a publishing application used to create everything from posters to magazine articles. It is pretty simple to use, and it lets you create different boxes with text that you can arrange freely around a document (as if you were a magazine editor). I found a pretty...

How job-hunting has changed in the last 20 years May30

How job-hunting has changed in the last 20 years

Looking for a job? How many applications have you sent so far? 5? 20? 493? Not so long ago–let’s say less than 20 years ago–it wasn’t uncommon to open up a newspaper and go straight to the jobs section, find a job and apply by phone or mail. Or even more common was to simply know someone important enough to get you an interview or a job without even applying.     Although you could still go buy a newspaper and try to look for jobs there, it’s not quite the smartest thing to do. Yes, there are job boards on newspaper websites, but it’s much more efficient to look elsewhere. But the second 90s job-hunting strategy is still very alive nowadays, under a different name: networking.     Yes, the ultimately cool NETWORKING. Networking is a cool-kids name that someone invented for a practice that’s existed since forever. The ancient Greeks had marketplaces called “agoras”, where people such as politicians, businessmen or philosophers got together, greeted friends and enjoyed casual business lunches. The influential French held salon meetings, where great philosophical discussions took place. You even “network” when you’re hanging out watching football and drinking a cold beer. The only difference is that, now, it’s much easier to network globally with tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even emails.     Though what is the price that we had to pay for such convenience? Nowadays you can send 20 applications in less than an hour (if they all use the same platform), and then you get to spent your time doing other, more interesting activities. But the price? The price we pay is employer “pickiness”. It is estimated that about 250 applications are received for every corporate job opening. If you want to work...

Zboard: The coolest way to move around your block Feb21

Zboard: The coolest way to move around your block

A few years ago, Segways were going to be the ultimate way of transportation. Of course I said “were” because you don’t see a whole bunch of people using them to commute to work every morning. In fact, you don’t see many of them, period.     What went wrong? Well, many things went wrong (not the least of which was an initial overhype about it), but main problem was its image. There’s no way to get around it: you look weird riding a Segway–to say the least. It makes you stand out (not in a good way) because of your increased height and the bulky wheels attached to it. But enough of Segway. The reason I mentioned them is because of the fundamental idea behind it: why not motorize a type of transportation that many people already use? And that’s where Zboard was born. From the outside, it looks just like a cool, slightly-oversized skateboard. But step on it. And once you get on, you feel totally justified when you cruise around your block or go to work–unless you wear a suit, in which case, you’re a hip, skateboarding, corporate exec…?     The board itself is very simple to use.You lean frontwards to go forward, and you lean backwards to stop, no remotes or anything else needed. In the more expensive SF Special version, the top speed is about 18 mph and boasts a range of 20 miles. The price is also a bit high compared to the regular (Classic) version, $1199 vs $649. Although I doubt that a normal user will need a 20 mile range on it. The main difference between these version is the battery capacity (the more expensive it is, the higher the range & speed). Once you...

Kevo, the Lock of the Future Feb06

Kevo, the Lock of the Future

Last week (although it wasn’t my first time), I left my keys inside the house and I (stupidly) decided to close the door. You could almost watch the door closing in slow motion while I wondered: where are my keys…? And, in the end, I had to wait for a friend to come with my spare set, making fun of me all the while. Yes, it happened again. And yes, I’m dumb. How can you avoid this situation? That’s the thought that plagued me for a good number of hours after my ordeal. How could I keep myself from locking myself out of the house?     After researching a bit, I found Kevo. From the outside it just looks like a regular lock, but here’s the kicker: you can unlock it with your iPhone. On top of that, when you do so, a circle of light around the lock lights up and gives off that high-tech accomplishment feeling. And, best of all, it can save you from bunch of embarrassing situations (use your imagination here).     This isn’t really a review–just a mention of a really cool gadget–but I’ll explain a little about how it works. You basically just install it as you would install any other deadbolt, and voila! The technology is wrapped up conveniently inside, so it looks and feels like your normal, everyday lock. To open, you touch the Kevo with your hand, and if you have an iOS device nearby with the correct e-key, the lock will display a spinning blue light and unlock. The lock comes with a free iOS app (which looks pretty nice) and can be bought in three different finishes as well.     The downside? It costs quite a bit more than a...