As promised, here is my hands on review of the Nest Thermostat. Visit www.nest.com for more information!
And here is a promotional video…
As we approach Valentine’s Day, they say, “love is in the air.” Which brings me to my topics for this month: Slacker Radio and the Nest Learning Thermostat.
First up is Slacker Radio – www.slacker.com
This is a free-to-use online radio service. Many of you have probably heard of Pandora. Well, this is similar to Pandora, but better (in my opinion). Just like Pandora, you can search for an artist and listen to songs that are based on that artist. However, the best part about Slacker is the variety. I can have a rock station with pop hits, 90s country and non-vocal jazz if I want it! I’m a music lover at heart (see, there’s the Valentine reference) – so I enjoy a wide variety of music. Slacker fits those needs wonderfully. Even better – they just updated their website, be sure to take a look!
Slacker also has an amazing feature to its subscribers. For a couple dollars a month, you are able to have an ad-free experience, unlimited skips AND you can cache stations on your cell phone or iPod! This is an amazing feature. I no longer listen to the radio in my car. I just hook up my phone to my car’s stereo and listen to hours and hours of my favorite music. No worries about listening to a song I don’t like – I can just ‘ban’ it. No worries about reception because the stations are stored ON the device. It’s a simple but awesome concept. My music, my way, my rules. For example, I can’t stand the band U2. Well, with Slacker, I never have to listen to them again! (sorry to any U2 lovers).
I encourage you to check out Slacker Radio for your music needs. You will see the power and hear it as well if you give it a try. It’s free! They do have paid plans if you want to get rid of advertisements or put entire music stations on your device.
Slacker Radio also features ABC and ESPN broadcasts. You can put these into your radio stations as well! For example, when I’m in the middle of listening to music, every hour I get an ESPN radio update. It is the perfect way to go through your work day.
I could talk about Slacker all day, but I want to give you a little ‘teaser’ to my next blog entry. The Nest Learning Thermostat. I know what you’re thinking… a thermostat?? really?? Well, I just bought and installed one for my home and I’m loving it. It saves me money and it’s pretty cool to come home to a warm house every day from work. Learn more here, www.nest.com and I’ll post about it in my next entry… Stay tuned!
Love is in the air – you just need to know where to find it.
Happy New Year! With a new year comes new technology. You may have heard of ‘CES’ on the news lately, because it is going on this month in Las Vegas. What is CES?
CES is the Consumer Electronics Show. According to Gizmodo, CES is one of the biggest trade shows in the world where big technology news is announced. Keep your eye on tech sites throughout the next few weeks (Engadget, CNET, Gizmodo, etc) for the latest news and buzz around technology.
It’s always fun to learn about the new latest and greatest thing. However, I feel lately we have leveled off a bit with technology. Ever since the iPad and tablet PC revolution, there hasn’t been a huge WOW around technology. Sure, there have been some great things happening, but nothing really groundbreaking. High-definition TVs exploded onto the scene in the past decade, and 3-D TVs along with Blu-Ray players are commonly referred to as ‘revolutionary.’ However, with items like 3-D TVs, I just am not seeing them take off. Not much content is available in 3-D yet, and it is far from perfect. Sure, it’s ‘cool’ but not overly practical. Most sets require goofy glasses to watch. After hours of watching programming and movies in 3-D I just do not feel the same “WOW” that I felt when I saw sports or movies in high definition about ten years ago.
So, what is the next “WOW” in technology? Only time will tell. A lot of great innovations are found every day, and I thank the creative minds that come up with new innovative ideas. It should be an exciting year for technology – Windows 8 will continue to advance, Apple will no-doubt come out with a new version of their operating system and iPhone/iPads and Microsoft and Sony should be releasing their new gaming systems (Xbox & PlayStation). Let’s hope for a great year with a lot of “WOW” in technology and in your lives. Thanks for reading!
Check ‘em out in this vlog!
Here are my favorite Android Apps:
All Apps I’ve posted here are FREE*
-Google Maps (free turn-by-turn navigation!)
-Google+ (Video chat hangout with up to 10 people at once!)
-Dropbox (Your own personal cloud storage – try it on PC/Mac/Tablet and Phone!)
-Slacker Radio (Personalized radio that you can take with you – try it today!)
-Google Drive (FREE cloud storage – integrates with GoogleDocs)
-Evernote (Keep track of your life with lists and other “snips” of your life. Try it on PC/Mac/Tablet and Phone!)
-Amazon AppStore (A FREE paid application every day! Download from Amazon.com)
-Doodle Jump (Fun tilt-based game)
-TuneIn Radio (Listen to MANY real radio stations on your phone! *for 99 cents, you can record stations to your device)
-TeamViewer (Remote to your phone from your computer, or remote to a computer from your phone! You’ll love this app!)
-Flipboard (Your own personal magazine – even better on a tablet!)
Welcome back to UIU! And an official welcome to UIU for all of the new students. It has been an exciting and busy time to be a peacock! Just a quick update on what I’ve been up to…
First, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our newest UIU center – located in Mesa, Arizona! They currently reside in a temporary office and our network administrator, Paul went down to make sure their network was ready to go. I’m looking forward to visiting in the spring when they move into their permanent location. I also hope to meet up with my roommate from freshman year at Upper Iowa, who lives in Phoenix with his wife and new baby girl. It will be a great trip!
Next, I am teaching a Wellness class this fall for incoming freshmen. It’s my second year doing it and it is a lot of fun. Between faculty work, studying for my Master of Higher Education Administration and regular I.T. work, things have been really busy! On top of that, I am starting to broadcast local high school football games on the radio! I got my first taste of that last weekend, as Starmont beat North Butler with only 22 seconds left in the game. It was a very exciting game!
Since I’ve been MIA, I will post again soon with a look at some of my favorite apps on my new Samsung Galaxy SIII phone. Stay tuned and GO PEACOCKS!
Here is a hands-on preview of Windows 8! Enjoy!
Last night, Microsoft announced Surface – a potential iPad competitor. This tablet will run Windows 8 and features a really creative way to implement a keyboard.
Check out Surface.com for more information.
Curious about Windows 8? I will have a hands-on preview for you in my next post. Stay cool!
Apple’s back-to-school deal is now live!
Here are the details:
Visit this site if you are interested – http://store.apple.com/us-hed/browse/campaigns/back_to_school?aid=AIC-AOS-NAUS-EDU-BTS-June2012-Homepage-banner
One question I get quite frequently this time of year is ‘what type of computer should I buy for school?’ During OAR days students and their parents are always curious about this as well. Of course, I’m here to help!
At Upper Iowa, we do not have requirements of what type of computer to use. You are more than welcome to purchase a Mac or a PC, and they will work with our various systems (Peacocks email, myUIU, Pearson Learning Studio). For our on-campus students, FREE wireless also works on a PC or Mac with a compatible wireless card. My only reccomendation is actually software that you put on your computer. You will want to purchase a copy of Microsoft Office, as your professors will be using the same software, and Office is a standard suite in many businesses as well after you graduate.
So, what are the deals right now?
First, if you’ve been on an Upper Iowa campus, you know that we predominantly use Dell computers. If you are a student, faculty or staff member of UIU, you can check out www.dell.com/uiu for discounted prices on new computers!
This summer, retailers are running a promotion to get a FREE Xbox 360 with the purchase of select Windows PCs. This is a fantastic deal! Details are located here: http://www.geek.com/articles/games/microsoft-offers-students-free-xbox-360-with-a-new-pc-20120521/
For the Mac lovers, check out Apple’s education store at www.apple.com . You may want to wait a bit before purchasing a Mac though. They are expected to announce some new models soon! Also, Apple typically runs a promotion over the summer and they give away gift cards or iPods with computers purchased for school. Keep an eye on that, and I’ll make sure to post to the blog if I hear anything.
How about some software for your new computer? Check out www.theultimatesteal.com if you are a student and purchase the Office 2010 (or 2011 for Mac) suite for only $99. There are other deals on that site for upgrades to Windows 7 as well. UIU Faculty and staff should contact the help desk directly if you would like to purchase Office for a discounted rate.
And finally, if you are looking for great prices on pretty much ANY electronic, check out my favorite place to shop online: www.newegg.com
Hope that points you in the right direction. Now… go spend some money! Have a great summer!
Looking for a place to store your files online for FREE? In today’s world, we can never have enough space for our files. Music, movies, pictures and even documents take up a lot of space after awhile! This push for more space has lead to companies offering space in the cloud to house your files. In a previous blog, I’ve talked about DropBox, which is a wonderful resource for people seeking cloud storage. Read about it here –> http://upperiowauniversityblogs.org/blog8/?p=88
Another great service has just launched, and it is called Google Drive! Google Drive offers you space to upload 5GB of information. One thing that is very convienient about Google Drive is that it integrates with your Google account. So, if you have Gmail, or use any of Google’s many services, you can use Drive! In fact, the GoogleDocs service is housed inside of GoogleDrive. But no worries, your files from Docs are automatically transfered into your GoogleDrive.
Have I lost you yet? If I have, just look at it this way… GoogleDrive and Dropbox act as your own personal jump drive – your own folder – that is accessable from anywhere in the world. You upload your files at www.drive.google.com and then you can navigate to that webpage from any computer, anywhere, and your files will be there. This is incredibly handy if you travel a lot, or want to share files with friends. There are also mobile apps for Google Drive, although at the moment only the Android app is functional. The iOS version for the iPad and iPhone will be out soon according to Google.
Give it a try today, and check out this video for more information!
Finally… a big congratulations to the Class of 2012! I am excited because next year I will be a part of the class of 2013 as I receive my Masters in Higher Education Administration. Best of luck!