Tech Support Blog

Tech Support Blog

Making Yieldbot Work: Soren Macbeth!

There are a number of ways to try to make money off the Internet.  However, the study of analytics is becoming a big business for those who want to generate revenue from their websites.  Analytics is a study of both website content and visitor traffic patterns.  The big analytic programs, like Google analytics and Gnip, rely upon vast amounts of data and trends to provide the content providers of websites with the tools they need to monetize their site most effectively.  One of the emerging analytics sites on the Internet is Yieldbot.  The daunting task of creating their analytical tools falls to Soren Macbeth.

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DragonBot

Every generation hopes the future will be better for their children than it was for them.  Even with that hope, the first generation that was banking on the flying car ended up with the personal computer and the second generation raised to think the flying car was coming developed the Internet.  As two generations lament the lack of flying cars, the future is looking a little brighter for the next generation.  The hope that robots might make life easier and better for the next generation is becoming more of a real possibility because of the DragonBot.

The DragonBot is a robot, though some have diminished it by simply referring to it as a toy.  The researchers at MIT, Northeastern and Harvard who worked together to design and manufacture the DragonBot have called it an educational tool.  With a $1000 price tag, those who are likely to buy the DragonBot would probably prefer to consider it an educational tool as opposed to a toy as well!  While there have been several robotic toys or educational tools on the market in recent years, none is quite like the DragonBot.

The DragonBot is a furry, feathery robot that is over a foot tall.  It looks like a cross between an owl and a cocker spaniel.  The DragonBot is a robot that has two arms, two legs and a tail that has a limited range of motion.  In published tests so far, the DragonBot is able to move up and down and flail its arms.  So far, the little robot is also able to shake its torso.

One of the distinctive aspects of the DragonBot is that it does not have a face.  While initially this might seem horrible, the designers of the DragonBot seemed to think it was time Android lived up to its name and they designed the DragonBot to use an Android-powered smartphone as a controller.  Your Android-smartphone utilizes a special graphics program when you install the DragonBot app.   By activating the app and plugging it into the DragonBot’s head, your smartphone becomes the DragonBot’s face!  The faceplate is fully animated, so when your DragonBot emotes with eye movements or speaks, the face graphic moves!

What is most remarkable about the DragonBot is that it learns from the experience it has and from the experience of every other operating DragonBot.  The DragonBot runs using a Cloud-based program through the Android network.  As a result, when one DragonBot learns not to smack a dog in the eye, every DragonBot everywhere learns the exact same lesson!  While this might have vastly different results – one need only consider the neighbor child in Toy Story to posit that an entire generation of DragonBots might be raised to rightly fear children – the idea is a very cool one.

For those who love expensive gadgets, toys that learn and their Android smartphones, the DragonBot provides a must-have toy for children and adults alike!

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit http://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


Art.net: Art Is Alive On The Internet!

The Internet is home to innumerable cool websites, most of which are free to use.  As the computer pervades almost every aspect of life in the United States, few off-line pursuits have been as threatened as the lifestyle of a visual artist.  Artists face an escalating threat from the Internet in that the rise of the computer has developed and propagated new forms of visual art, threatening to make traditional visual art obsolete.  While there are many websites for visual artists, including art-themed social networks, no site works as hard to present and develop art careers of contemporary artists like Art.net.

Art.net is a gallery for professional artists and it is entirely free to visit.  As a virtual gallery, Art.net has a distinctly anti-commercial feel to it.  The site won a lawsuit against the state of New York over freedom of speech issues in part because as a non-commercial website, it did not have a way to authenticate visitors’ ages!  The purpose of Art.net is not to sell artwork; it is to display artwork and provide a common platform for artists to share ideas as they improve their proficiency in their medium of choice.

Currently, there are over 450 artists who have virtual galleries on Art.net and just as humor is subjective, so too is art.  While many of the artists on Art.net have embraced some form of digital art, most use their virtual gallery space to present images of physical projects that exist in the real world.  Art.net is a great site to spend hours carefully combing through the works of artists that you might not have a chance to see elsewhere.  While many of the artists do have galleries or studios, most of the artists on Art.net do not have standing showings in the real world like they do on this site.  Browsing through the virtual galleries can open your mind and expose you to some great new artists.

Art.net is not preoccupied with any form of ecommerce, which sets it apart from sites like DeviantArt.  What Art.net offers art enthusiasts is incredible access to the artists you see when you visit the site.  Art.net provides each artist with a mailbox and most every artist’s gallery includes a direct link to e-mail them through the site.  Art.net in no way restricts its users from contacting artists to make offers on any pieces an artist has presented.

If you are on the other side of the creative process, Art.net offers a decent level of exposure to artists at a very reasonable price.  Because the site is entirely nonprofit, a $60/year membership fee is charged to keep the servers running.  In exchange, you get seemingly unending storage space for your art and a platform that has been running since 1994!

There are many individual artists’ websites, but there is no multi-artist platform on the Internet so concerned with the pure creation and presentation of art as Art.net.  That commitment makes Art.net exceptionally cool.

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit http://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


Internet Music Phenomenon Worth Recalling.

The Internet has many redeeming qualities when it comes to the spread of information, news and cultural phenomenon.  It also is the repository of so much data, videos and music that it has a way of bringing out the dark side of human nature.  Joseph Conrad called that instinct the “fascination with the abomination” and that phenomenon is alive and well on the Internet.  In fact, with the way music spreads virally over the Internet, music fads represent some of the greatest modern examples of “fascination with the abomination.”

The Internet is an important tool for the music industry.  But while the music industry works hard to promote talent, underground communities with an affinity for music and the esoteric have made the Internet a place where some of the strangest music ever can become a phenomenon.  Just as William Hung managed to score a recording contract by getting a cult following after a terrible American Idol audition, so too do others find a strange success in being terrible when their music is presented online.  Here are some of the most notable:

One of the earliest weird musical Internet breakouts was the Buckwheat Boyz.  Long after the band itself disbanded, the Buckwheat Boyz became an Internet phenomenon when their song “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” (which mostly consists of those four words repeated over and over again to music) appeared as accompaniment in a Flash video with a dancing banana.  The phenomenon became an allusion on Family Guy!  There have been two toys based upon Brian in his banana costume, one of which is one of the most sought-after Family Guy action figures!

Sometimes, the weird phenomenons propagate themselves, like the Hampster Dance.  The Hampster Dance started as a single website page that featured animated hamsters and other rodents dancing to music.  It became so popular that the phenomenon generated not one, but six album releases!

Arguably the most significant Internet phenomenon related to music is still developing.  Rebecca Black, a thirteen year old girl, recorded the song “Friday” which certainly garnered most of its attention by those who are fascinated with the exceptions to the rule.  Critically regarded as one of the worst-written songs of all time and performed using so much post-production equipment as to almost completely obscure Black’s actual voice, “Friday” is a musical travesty.  And yet, when Black uploaded the song and video to the Internet, it garnered a huge amount of buzz.  The video for “Friday” had over thirty million hits on YouTube and the digital download of the song has sold over one hundred thousand downloads.  Black’s music career may have started as the object of Internet mockery, but between her sales numbers for the single and a Glee-cover version of the song, Rebecca Black has good reason to be happy.

Quality does not guarantee success, but the Internet has sprouted a whole subculture that makes successful music of poor quality.

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit http://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


Merit Software’s Reading Skill Builder

One of the greatest aspects of the United States is that the United States allows its citizens unrestricted social mobility.  There is no caste system in the United States and potential exists for every person in the United States to develop their talents and lives as they see fit.  However, because of the vast disparities in economic conditions, some citizens are born into circumstances where they cannot easily reach their potential.  In the poorest parts of the United States, Americans remain impoverished due to their poor education, especially when they have an inability to read.  Fortunately, computers may now help combat illiteracy, which is one of the leading challenges in adult education.  Merit Software is a leader in computerized literacy programs and their Reading Skill Builder is a program designed to aid adults who want to learn how to read.

The Reading Skill Builder is a web-based program for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, making it ideal for any educational institution or home.  Merit Software created an easy-to-monitor curriculum for adult education and continues to refine it with the Reading Skill Builder.

It might seem odd to teach people to read using a computer; after all, if the student can type or read on a computer monitor, they should be able to read a book, right?  Part of the theory behind the Reading Skill Builder is that most adults, by simple virtue of having lived in the world for a few decades, will have a basic knowledge of English characters.  Because most adults will recognize most letters and numbers, the graphic interface on the Reading Skill Builder focuses on combining the letters into words.  In addition to teaching basic reading skills, the Reading Skill Builder strengthens vocabulary through easy word exercises.

The Reading Skill Builder prioritizes reading comprehension.  Because the focus of this literacy program is teaching adults to read, it comes with a very stark interface.  Unlike literacy programs that promote reading for children, the Reading Skill Builder is not cluttered with a lot of imagery.  The stories the Reading Skill Builder presents are not computer-based picture books.  As a result, students must focus on the words and what they mean, as opposed to simply recognizing or inferring based on pictures associated with the story.

For teachers working with adult students, the Reading Skill Builder provides a number of tools for monitoring your students’ progress.  The Reading Skill Builder easily informs you of what your students’ problem areas are, which allows you to adapt your lessons to better educate them.  All of the tests and tools are part of the basic Reading Skill Builder.

Educators who want to use computers to help their students overcome basic literacy deficiencies will find the Reading Skill Builder invaluable.  The Reading Skill Builder from Merit Software educates adults with a mature interface that respects their dignity and desire to learn.

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit http://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


The Internet And The Rise Of The Humorous Image!

The photograph has a power over us that we seldom reflect on.  Iconic photographs have taken on such profound meaning in the collective conscience from the U.S. sailor kissing a nurse at the end of World War II to the photograph of Martin Luther King Jr.’s peers pointing in the direction his shooter fled.  With the proliferation of digital cameras, online stock imagery and vast repositories of digital images online, modern photography has stopped meaning quite as much.  As a result, the Internet has pioneered the phenomenon of photo manipulation for humor.

The current generation of computer users does not seem content with the photograph and the implicit thousand words it is supposedly worth.  As a result, users have created entire communities centered on humorous manipulations of photographs where users add words to an image as a punch line of sorts.

The evolution of the humorous photo manipulation started with lolcats.  Lolcats – derived from the texting abbreviation for “Laughing Out Loud” and the common name for felines – became an underground subculture creation in 2005.  At that time, stock images of cats were shared between friends with humorous or supportive text added to them.  In 2006 when 4chan.org and Something Awful began promoting images of lolcats.  Since then, the lolcat has crossed into the mainstream.  Thousands of individuals shared pictures with grammatically incorrect but funny phrases that either refer to the cat’s actions in the photograph or represent dialogue the cat might speak.  I Can Has Cheezburger? is a site that remains active today with daily, fresh lolcats.  As a phenomenon, lolcats remains one of the most enduring.

But lolcats has evolved as the market for cat-based humor moves toward exhaustion.  The lolcats have given rise to the Internet meme phenomenon.  Internet memes are like lolcats in that they feature photographs with humorous text.  Internet memes differ in that their subjects are more than just cats.  Instead, pop culture imagery both present (like Rebecca Black) and past (Richard Nixon) is combined with text to make jokes.  These photo manipulation “strips” range from one-panel jokes to several panel strips with a punch line.  Because geek culture dominates the Internet meme phenomenon, many use more obscure references than the mainstream lolcats.  So, for example, Admiral Ackbar and his catchphrase “It’s a trap!” is the subject of many Internet memes.  Those who have not seen Return Of The Jedi many, many times are unlikely to get the full weight of the reference when it arrives as the punch line to many an Internet meme.

Internet meme’s and other photo manipulation forms of humor are seeing growth on the Internet.  The communities preoccupied with Internet memes are interested in creating and sharing humor, so they remain free sites.  If you have had a joke, but lack the artistic talent to draw well, Internet memes offer a possible avenue for you to creatively express yourself!

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit http://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


Samsung HDMI Adapter For Galaxy Tab Android Tablet.

Android has been dominating the handheld smartphone and tablet OS market for some time now.  Because it is such a popular operating system, manufacturers like Samsung have been quick to accessorize their tablets to accommodate the apps that Android supports.  With Cloud-based media applications on the rise, Samsung Galaxy Tab owners have been eagerly awaiting a connector that will allow them to connect their portable device with their home theater.  Galaxy Tab owners have enjoyed the convenience of Cloud streaming, but not the ability to interface with their home HDMI theater.  All of that changes with Samsung’s HDTV Adapter for the Galaxy Tab Android Tablet.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab HDMI Adapter is an easy-to-use device that allows users to transfer their Android-accessed Cloud-based library to any high-definition television, monitor or projector.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab HDMI Adapter features a male port designed to interface with the docking port on the Galaxy Tab.  Samsung created its own port configuration for its tablet computers like the Galaxy Tab and that port is what allows the Galaxy Tab to dock with other Samsung equipment.  Samsung’s Galaxy Tab HDMI Adapter includes a male connector that slides easily into the female docking port on the Galaxy Tab.  Like other Samsung connectors that connect to the docking port, the HDMI Adapter for Galaxy Tab clicks to lock into the port to assure connectivity.

What the connector does, then, is translate the signal coming out of the Galaxy Tab into an HDMI signal.  The connector at one end of the adapter is connected to a small converter box at the other end of the adapter.  That box has a female HDMI port.  Like many such adapters, like the equivalent adapter for Apple products, the HDMI Adapter for Galaxy Tab lacks the HDMI cable needed to connect the Adapter to a high-definition device.  In most cases, users of the Samsung HDMI Adapter for Galaxy Tab will not even need to purchase an HDMI cable to connect the adapter to your HDMI device.  If you already have a Blu-Ray player, DVD player or gaming console connected to your HDTV through the HDMI port, you already have the HDMI cable.  By simply unplugging your HDMI-connected device at the player, you have access to the connector that is still connected to the HDTV.  Simply plug your Samsung HDMI Adapter for Galaxy Tab into the HDMI cable you unplugged from the existing player or gaming console and your Android-powered device may now stream directly to your high-definition television!

It is that easy.  The Samsung HDMI Adapter for Galaxy Tab allows you to combine the convenience of streaming, Cloud-based technology with the home theater you already own!

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit http://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


The World Computer Exchange Is Working To Better The World, One Computer At A Time!

There are a lot of charities that deal with helping those who have the greatest need get technology like computers.  Of course, the very existence of such charities implies that the problem persists, but as the holidays wane and you look forward to your tax refund, perhaps you are thinking of the less fortunate.  One of the charities that are working hard to make a difference is the World Computer Exchange.

The World Computer Exchange is a charity that seeks to deliver computers to impoverished countries.  Their Computers for Girls initiative is one of the charity’s biggest endeavors.  Computers for Girls is, as its name implies, an effort to provide girls in other countries with computers.  In addition to providing computers, Computers for Girls works with girls and young women in foreign countries to teach them how to use the computers.  Computers for Girls has recently teamed with the Peace Corps to help provide the education component of their mission.  So, while the World Computer Exchange has only been operating since 2000, the Peace Corps is hardly a fly-by-night organization!

The need for computer education and computer hardware for girls is very real.  The gender gap is even more severe in nations like Pakistan, the Philippines and Panama.  Liberia, which is still recovering from its last civil war, has made women’s rights issues a very low priority on its national agenda.  So, the need for an organization like the World Computer Exchange is unfortunately very real.  The Computers for Girls initiative provides real educational opportunities to girls in thirteen of the most impoverished or oppressive counties on Earth.

The World Computer Exchange is a very reputable charity and meets most of the Better Business Bureau’s qualifications to be an accredited charity.  In fact, with 86% of every donation being used to provide the services and materials of the charity, the World Computer Exchange has a more efficient operation than the March Of Dimes (75%) or the Make-A-Wish Foundation (also 75%).  It is worth noting that the element the WCE failed to meet to get its accreditation actually helps the charity run more efficiently.  The WCE’s Board Of Directors is required to meet multiple times a year to get accredited.  Because the WCE is an international effort, their Board meetings include members who have a virtual presence at each meeting.  Using computers and telecommunications devices, those board members participate in the meetings without being physically present; the BBB does not consider that acceptable.  In some ways, it is reassuring to see a charity where the leaders are so dedicated to their cause that they will not make an international trip and abandon that cause!

The Computers for Girls initiative is putting real computers in front of girls who might otherwise receive no formal education or training.  Supporting the World Computer Exchange’s Computers for Girls program is worthwhile.

About RESCUECOM:

RESCUECOM provides computer repair and computer support, 24/7: Meeting every tech support need including data recovery, virus removal, networking, wireless services, and computer support for all brands of hardware and software. For computer support or information on products, services, or computer repair, visit http://www.rescuecom.com or call 1-800-RESCUE-PC.

For More Information, Contact:

David Milman, CEO

315-882-1100

david@rescuecom.com


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