The Radar

Helping You Zero in on New and Exciting Technologies

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

May-5-2012

Google Drive

google drive logo

If you have a Gmail account you may have recently received a notification that your “Drive” is ready. That means your Google Drive is now available to use.

Google Drive is a place where you can “Keep Everything. Share Anything.” There are three key components of  Drive: Google Docs, cloud-based file storage with offline access, and third-party apps integration. What sets Google Drive apart from other cloud-based storage options is the ease with which you can collaborate on everything from a spreadsheet to editing video. You could already easily collaborate on spreadsheets, documents, and presentations in Google Docs. The addition of collaborative third-party apps that can help you do everything from create flowcharts to edit photos really makes Google Drive something worth checking out.

YouTube Preview Image Posted under Mobile, Technology
May-4-2012

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage, online storage, online web storage or online space storage are all synonymous for the purpose of this subject.  Basically it is a website that you can use to store or save your digital pictures, documents, music and videos online like you would on your computer hard drive. The advantage is that you can access these files almost anywhere via an internet connection, and it frees up some of your hard drive disk space by saving your files in the cloud storage as oppose to your hard drive.  You can also use online storage to backup your existing files.

Some of the popular free online storage sites are Dropbox, Box.net, ADrive.  They have their own distinctive features.  Google Drive just came out, it features an app that you can access your files from your mobile Android phone, and desktop file sync folder.  Similarly, SkyDrive by Windows offers file retrieval from smart phones as well as from online access, compatible with both PC and Mac.  With iCloud (Apple), you can sync up your cloud storage with the new iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac.

Posted under Mobile, Technology
Apr-29-2012

Floss Teeth, Get 3 Points

Yes, really. With the clever incentive site, DailyFeats, you can take steps toward becoming a healthier, happier, better you. By shifting your goal focus to small, everyday “feats”,  DailyFeats can help you to achieve your larger goals.

What is a feat?

A feat is a small, positive step that you take toward your ultimate goal. DailyFeats has a collection of feats for a variety of goal topics (Health Goal, Money Goal, Community Goal, Learning Goal, etc.). Let’s say one of your goals it to improve your health. Some sample feat choices for this goal include: Eat Organic, Take the Stairs, Running, Antioxidants, and Healthy Fats. Every time you complete one of these feats (i.e. Eat Organic, Take the Stairs), you can click the “Did It” link on DailyFeats and earn points. Feats that are more difficult or meaningful generally net more points than simpler feats.

Points

Once you’ve earned some points, you can redeem them for coupons at online retailers. After you have accumulated a larger amount of points, you can use them to purchase gift cards to a variety of stores. You can also convert your points into a monetary donation to a charity.

Why is this site unique?

The thinking behind this kind of approach toward goal achievement is that small, repetitive steps can lead to lasting behavior change. And, by partitioning a goal into smaller manageable chunks, it can appear less daunting. You can read more about the DailyFeats philosophy here.

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of this approach. Am I really going to be more likely to eat a meat-free meal or do the dishes right now because I’m getting points for it? I thought no, but so far, I’ve been pretty psyched to complete feats and claim my points.

Try the site out and let me know if you feel the same.

Posted under Technology, Websites
Apr-28-2012

Kickstarter

 

Kickstarter is an amazing website that crowd funds creative projects. Projects come from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, publishing and more. 

The way that crowd funding works is that an interested person decides to financially support an idea and pledges a certain amount of money towards it. The project creator doesn’t get paid unless the entire deal is funded within a certain amount of time.

As of April 2009 20,000 projects have been successfully funded! To learn more about this popular website go to http://www.kickstarter.com

 

 

 

 

Posted under Technology, Websites
Apr-23-2012

Let’s Do Lunch

Here’s an interesting new app for networking. The Lunchmeet app makes it easier to find people to network with over coffee or lunch. Working through your Linkedin account, you sign in and set a date and place and the app will search your for people with compatible schedules. You can also announce your availability to meet through your Linkedin account (you have created a Linkedin account, right?).

Lunchmeet will certainly appeal to those of us who prefer a face to face social encounter rather than messaging through Facebook or Twitter.  As of this posting the app is only available on apple’s iOS, but the folks at Lunchmeet have said that an Android compatible version is high on their list of priorities.

Posted under Mobile, Technology
Apr-16-2012

New Guides for Music Equipment and Editing Software

We’ve added multiple new instructions for our various musical instruments and editing software to the Digital Media Lab website.

Stop by the site for help with:

If you’d like some hands on assistance with setting up any of these instruments or programs, fill out this form to request a one to one appointment.

 

Posted under Digital Media Lab, Equipment, Featured, Music, Technology
Apr-13-2012

Get Ready for USB 3.0!

 

 

 

The super speedy Universal Serial Bus Three (USB 3) may be coming to a computer near you!

Already found on some external backup hardisks, smart phone and tablet devices will soon be sporting the 10-times-faster USB 3 ports, which are also possibly destined for new laptops, netbooks, and Windows 8 machines. Other mobile devices may also implement USB 3, but manufacturers want to make the port smaller first.

USB 3.0 is Coming

Posted under Design, Digital Media Lab, Technology
Mar-31-2012

What is that thing??

A few people had asked, “What is that thing?”

 

You’ve probably seen it here in the library, and you may had seen it somewhere else also on magazines, business cards, advertisements, etc.

OK, so what is it?

It is a QR Code.  It is something like a smart barcode.   QR stands for Quick Response.   In this case you use your smart phone equipped with a camera to read/scan the QR Code.   Upon scanning the QR code, it transmits data information to your cell phone.  The data can contain information such as web links to a website or videos, contact information, ISBN, coupons, phone numbers, or other text information.

To scan the QR Code from you phone, you will need to download a QR Code reader (To download a free QR reader, visit the i-nigma website on your Web-enabled phone, or search for a free QR reader that you like.)   Once you downloaded and installed the QR Code reader on your phone, launch the program and simply scan the code and the information will be sent to your phone.

In the above QR Code sample shown, when you scan the code with your phone, it will quickly provide you the link to our DML webpage (http://skokielibrary.info/s_about/How/Tech_Resources/DML.asp).

You can also easily create your own QR Code for free, do a search for “QR Code generator” and you will find a few choices you can use.

 

 

Posted under Mobile, Technology
Mar-31-2012

The Facebook Help Center

facebook logo

 

At the computer lab desk we often get questions about Facebook. How to sign up, respond to a message, upload photos, etc. Almost any question can be answered by visiting the rather extensive Facebook Help Center.

The Facebook Help Center can get you started with the most basic of information, such as how to sign up or what Facebook is all about. It also provides more advanced information such as setting up your Timeline, uploading photos, or managing privacy settings.

The Facebook Help Center is a great place to get started, answer questions, or gain more in depth knowledge about Facebook. For video tutorials about Facebook check out Atomic Training.

 

Posted under Technology
Mar-27-2012

Ringtones for iPhones

Now you can make your own iPhone ringtone in the Skokie Public Library’s Digital Media Lab! This process is both easy and fun using the program GarageBand and a little creativity.

Take a song from your iTunes library and drag it onto the GarageBand screen.  Click the cycle button (looks like a repeat song icon from iTunes) to produce a yellow cycle bar.You can then move this bar around to find a portion of your song, choosing how long you want your ringtone to be.

Once you have decided on your clip save the project with the name you want for your ringtone. Go to the Share menu within GarageBand and send the ringtone to iTunes.

The last step is to sync the ringtone in iTunes to your iPhone. You do this by making sure iTunes sees your iPhone either by plugging it in or using WiFi syncing. Look for tones on your iPhone screen and check the box to sync your tone.

Enjoy your new ringtones !

Posted under Digital Media Lab, Featured, Music, Technology