Monthly Archives: May 2011

RackSpace Cloud Servers Review

I recently switched a few non heavily-used services and utilities that I had previously been hosting with a large VPS company over to RackSpace Cloud Servers. In the past I’ve heard wonderful things about RackSpace’s ethical and down-to-earth business practices and I myself was personally lured in because of their fair pricing. And of course, because I’ve been using Cloud Files for a while now it seemed like a no-brainer for me to go with the same company.

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Should Google Seek to Buy PayPal?

In the industry that is information technology it’s not uncommon at all to see large and established companies such as Microsoft and Google swallow up startups that they see as a potential asset to their overall operations.  This “if you can’t beat them, but them” approach is not only beneficial for the buyers who gain what are often times already established products and services, but also gives the purchased startups the ability to leech onto the resource of the larger entity in order to expand at levels they wouldn’t have previously been able to fathom before without big wallets backing them up.

But these acquisitions don’t always stop with small buys.  Sometimes it makes sense for businesses to acquire large companies that they see as competition or a threat to their business.  Recently Microsoft dropped $8.5 billion to buy VOIP service Skype, and Google earned a bit of publicity earlier this year when they offered $6 billion to purchase Groupon only to be turned down.

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Mac OS X Lion Free? I Wouldn’t Be Surprised.

WWDC starts on June 6th and Apple is expected to either release or announce a release date for the next version of Mac OS X. The next version of course being OS X Lion. But one question that a lot of people are asking is how much will OS X Lion cost to upgrade to from Snow Leopard? If you remember, the upgrade from Leopard to Snow Leopard was a mere $29. Will Apple be able to match that $29 price point again with Lion?

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Google Wallet Promises to Change the Way You Pay

As previously discussed, the increased traction of the mobile market has opened many doors in terms of potential innovation down the road; not only in mobile-specific industries, but in industries that stand to benefit from continued mobile growth as well.  Because “smartphones” such as the Apple iPhone and the wide range of Android-based devices have become fixtures for many individuals it only makes sense that industries of all spectrums should (and indeed are) conforming to mobile users by developing products and services that are specifically focused around mobile devices.  Recently the Internet has seen quite a buzz of speculation relating to RFID technology that if developed and marketed correctly could very easily make mobile phones a standard method of payment; leaving plastic banking cards (and even paper cash) in the dust.

Personally, I had up until yesterday developed the opinion that Apple would be the first company to bring mobile payment platforms into the mainstream for millions of uses to take advantage of.   However it seems that Google has been actively working to develop and refine their own mobile payment transaction system, which they announced yesterday and will be testing in the New York and San Francisco regions later this summer.

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Colorware Brings Some Color to Your Gadgets

First, let me just say, Colorware is an awesome company.  What they do is very cool.  So what is it that they do exactly?  Well, as you can see for yourself in the video above, they colorize your favorite gadgets.  You can either send them the gadget you want colored (provided they support it) or you can have them purchase the gadget and color it.  Of course, if you have them purchase it the cost of the product is factored in to the final price.

Colorware can custom color your iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, MacBook Pro/Air, AudioEngine A2’s, XBOX, and much more.  Sounds awesome, right?  It is.  However, it’s not cheap.  The Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse I ordered cost approximately $330 and that’s on the low-end of the scale in terms of their prices.

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IRCCloud Review

If there’s one thing I hate, it hands-down has to be missing out on things.  Really, it’s a common thing for me to rewind the security camera tapes at work to see what happens when I’m not there.  Some people call this “creepy”; and to an extent I’d probably have to agree myself.  And needless to say, this same trait is very obvious in just about every element of my day-to-day lifestyle.

Being very active on IRC (particularly the WyldRyde IRC Network) I personally like to be able to read backlogs for things that happen while I’m away.  When I had my desktop set up at home, it was always a simple matter of leaving an IRC client connected and scrolling back when I awoke in the morning or returned from being out and about.  But when I purchased my MacBook Pro earlier this year, my desktop landed itself in a box in my closet.

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Make Awesome Website Even More Awesome? Challenge Accepted.

I’m not one who likes to rest on their laurels which is why I’m constantly looking for ways to improve everything I do. Of course, that includes BestTechie. So I’ve contracted an excellent web developer to make some awesome revisions to BestTechie. Now, I like the current (overall) design of the site, I think it fits and works well, but that’s not to say certain things couldn’t be improved.

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Review: Fluid App Turns Websites Into Mac Apps

Fluid is an application that allows users to create what is more or less a mini web browser configured to display a specific webpage or web application. What sets Fluid aside from features such as Google Chrome’s “application shortcuts” is the fact that it creates an actual Mac application to wrap the website frame in. This means that it can be pinned to the OS X dock for quick and easy access any time, making it a must-have for those of us who would normally keep a tab open in our web browsers.

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Should Children Under 13 Be Allowed on Facebook?

If Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook gets his way, the COPPA could quite possibly be a thing of the past; or at very least Facebook could get exemption from the act. While we haven’t seen anyone step up to support Zuck’s desires thus far, this news makes it very apparent that the social networking website is looking to expand upon a larger and younger audience. Why? Zuck has recently been put on the record arguing that doing so would benefit education by implementing better peer-based collaboration systems.

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How To: Monitor and Control Your Linux Server Bandwidth

For a while now I have been using a large and well-known host for a personal VPS (virtual private server) that I ran a few Linux-based daemons (BitlBee, ZNC, a light web server for PHP, etc.) on.  While I never had a single issue with my host, I recently came to the realization that for what I was actually using in terms of memory and bandwidth my VPS was indeed overkill.  With this in mind, I looked at a few VPS hosts and couldn’t find anyone (reputable) that offered a package for what I actually used.

Then it hit me.  I had already been using RackSpace Cloud Files to host screenshots, so I opted to try the sister “Cloud Servers” product.  I was happy to learn that their servers had several levels that fit my needs and budget.  However, unlike my previous host, RackSpace bills based on bandwidth utilization on top of computing usage.  For many this type of scalability is useful, but I began to worry about the potential of incurring high costs in the event that my server experienced some sort of denial-of-service (DoS) attack.

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5 Awesome Screencast Applications

Screencasting has become a very popular form of sharing information and knowledge. Many people are now using them for How To’s and other types of tutorials. They’re probably one of the most common types of videos you will find on video upload sites such as YouTube and for good reason. Not only are there several great applications that make screencasting easy, some of them are even free.

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Does The LinkedIn IPO Prove That Social Media Is Profitable?

Sometimes it can be easy for us as members of a modern society to realize that social networking portals such as MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook are only a (relatively) new concept in the world in which we live. And the fact of the matter is that as consumers and end-users we rarely ever really ponder the fact that while social networking is built to allow users to keep in touch with one another, the social networks themselves are indeed large and profitable enterprises that have their own profit-driven goals in mind.

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Should Apple Kill the iPod Classic?

Even though Apple is a successful and growing company right now, there is no denying that the business went through a rough patch a while back; before the iPhone, iPad, and even Macintosh computer became popular fixtures in our modern society.  Sure, Apple was wildly successful when it was first formed, but there was definitely a period of time where the company’s future looked dim at best.  But this all started to change in 2001 when Apple unveiled the iPod, a hard-drive based music player that allowed users to transport and listen to a library of music from an entirely digital device.  The Walkman of its day, if you will, the iPod caught on pretty quickly with consumers and became a flagship product for Apple.  And arguably the success of the iPod was both directly and indirectly responsible for Apple’s success today by not only funding the company but by opening the eyes of consumers to Apple’s other products (predominantly the Macintosh) as well.

Having been on the market for nearly ten years now, the iPod has progressed quite a bit.  First we saw Apple create different iPod products for a wider array of users when they branched into the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle lines, and more recently we have seen a huge take-off with the iPod Touch which uses the same technology that is in the Apple iPhone to give users what used to be an unheard of entertainment experience.  With all of the attention that the iPod Touch (and its lesser expensive iPod Nano) get, it has become quite evident over the last few years that the iPod Classic – the 160GB block-shaped music player – isn’t a huge priority for Apple.  After all, the firmware hasn’t been updated since late 2009.  Looking at this, the inevitable question comes to mind.  Should Apple discontinue the iPod Classic?

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