How smart is your house?

Last week’s episode of Apprentice featured some innovations from LG Electronics. The celebrities had to come up with commercials for their smart appliances. It starts with the LG Intuition: part cell phone, part tablet, part e-reader. Through this you can control your kitchen. The refrigerator can keep track of the food you have, expiration dates, help with grocery lists, and even give you recipes with the ingredients you have on hand. You can also keep track of the timing on your laundry, oven temperatures etc. This is worth looking into!
~ Jody Victor

Ever wonder what the very first website was?

Well, Jody, according to, CERN – the people responsible for web standards has found a 1992 copy of their site. You can view it at its original URL. They are trying to find an earlier version from their very first site in 1991. In April 1993, they made the WWW technology available royalty-free.

Other beginnings:
See an article by Business Insider showing what 14 popular websites looked like when they first launched in comparison to now.

Happy Earth Day, Jody Victor!

Since today is Earth Day, below are some “green” tips.

Recycle your old smartphone:

Ideas for utilizing tech and staying green:

See how companies are being green or making it easier for you to be green

New news in tech this week

So here are some links to some articles and items new in tech this week:

Microsoft has new 2-step verification process for Microsoft accounts (formerly Windows Live ID), including SkyDrive,, and Messenger.

Google Glass Explorer editions will be rolling out in early May. They should be available by the end of the year for under $1,500.

CGI iPhones video

Roku 3 came last month. Here is a new review.

So what’s so different about a Facebook phone?

Well, Jody, we found this article that explains it. It’s not really a “phone”. It’s not really an “os”. It’s not even really an “app”. It is more of a homepage to your phone. Right now when you unlock your phone, you are faced with maybe a clock, a widget, some apps, maybe all on wallpaper. With Facebook Home, you will see a Facebook interface with your friend feeds, some photos, or chat bubbles. Facebook Home replaces the lock screen and homescreen of your phone.

Facebook Home becomes available as a download through Google’s Play Store April 12. As of now, Facebook Home is exclusively for Android users. Sorry Windows and iOS users.

Past and Present April Fool’s technology pranks:

This year’s Google joke:
Google Nose Beta
YouTube shuts down

Past jokes From Google:
Google 8-bit Maps
Chrome Multitask Mode
Google NASCAR Racing
Google self-driving cars in NASCAR
Gmail Tap
Google Street Roo
The YouTube Collection
Go Ro
Google Fiber (bar)
Google Voice for Pets
Interplanetary Reporting on Google Analytics
Google’s Canine Hiring Process

Past pranks from other places:
Warby Barker – Glasses for Dogs
Redfin 2-click House Purchase
ThinkGeek Examples:

~ Jody Victor

New App from Google: Google Keep

If you’re on the run and you need a quick note to yourself, then you can use Google Keep. Your notes are stored on your Google Drive and synced to all your devices. You can even speak your notes and they will be transcribed automatically. There a search to find what you’re looking for. You can delete the note when you are finished with it. Google Keep works with Android 4.0 and above.

~ Jody Victor

What is the Difference between Windows RT and Windows 8?

Some people have bought the Microsoft Surface tablet thinking they were getting Windows 8 when they really got Windows RT. So what’s the difference? Windows 8 is a full OS like you would have on any laptop or desktop. Windows RT is a mobile OS that works with apps rather than programs. If you want a full Office Suite on your tablet, then you want Windows 8, but if you can settle for an app, you can use Windows RT. Some other differences are price, size, weight, thickness, connectivity. You can find a full comparison chart here.

So depending on what you want to use a Surface tablet for, you can find the correct one to purchase.

~ Jody Victor

Do you use eBooks?

Here are some sites with tips of how to organize your eBook collection:

These are just several of the ideas out there for organizing your eBooks. Hope this helps.

~ Jody Victor

Here are some interesting websites

  • – what is interesting is they have sections called GeekDad and GeekMom. Within those sections you will find bulletin boards, latest games, projects you can do with your kids, and much more. Check it out.
  • ThinkGeek – This site sells “stuff for the smart masses.”
  • Awsome Geek Stuff – This site is an “online geek catalogue.”
  • How-to Geek – This site is a source of how-to articles easy enough for beginners but useful also for geeks.
  • Mashable – “a leading source for news, information & resources for the Connected Generation.”

~ Jody Victor

Read about CNN Tech’s favorite Rules of the Internet

I was telling Jody about this article I ran across the other day on the internet called “Meet the Rules of the Internet“. They chose some of their favorites from different places (most are tongue-in-cheek.) They are as follows:

  • Nothing is Sacred. No exceptions
  • Anything you post will eventually become public.
  • Anything you post can and will be used against you.
  • If you post something epically stupid it will go viral.
  • Whatever viral thing you love today you will come to hate tomorrow.
  • However bizarre or obscure your interests, someone shares them.
  • There are facts on the internet if you know where to look.
  • Everything on the internet is free or will be soon.
  • Post pictures or it didn’t happen. (Photoshop is an amazing tool.)
  • If it exists, there is porn of it.
  • Anything can be made better by adding cats … or babies.

Jody Victor® Found Gift Ideas for Your Valentine Techie

With Valentine’s Day just 3 days away, Jody was wondering what kind of gifts were out there for techies and geeks. There are some lists but this one was the nicest. Here is a sampling:

What does “Cloud” mean in computing?

Jody Victor®: Cloud computing to put it simply is having a repository for your data that you can access through all your devices, anytime, anywhere. Instead of saving to your computer, you save to a “cloud server”. There are many companies out there offering specialized clouds. They usually consist of a group of computers so there is load balancing of all the data.

There are clouds where you can store your music but they are tied to certain players and apps. Amazon and Apple iTunes are examples of these. There are also cloud players such as Pandora or Songza where you can play whatever genre music you want without actually owning it. You can play these through their website on your computer and/or download their app for your mobile device.

File cloud servers are places you can store all your documents and access through any of your devices anytime. You can search the internet for these – there are so many to choose from at different price points depending on the size you need.

What’s for Dinner?

That’s an age-old question, Jody. Here are some apps that may quench your appetite!

Don’t know where to eat? Want to meet new people? This is the app for you! Spontaneously join a group in your area. Purchase a fixed-price dinner which includes your first drink, tax, and tip.

You take pictures of your food? Yeah you know you do. Upload them to FoodSpotting. Don’t know what you’re in the mood for? Then look at the food uploaded by other foodies like you. FoodSpotting is a visual guide to food in your area.

This app allows you to upload your food pictures and you can rate the restaurants. (Think Yelp meets FoodSpotting.)

Hey Jody, What were the top tech stories for 2012?

Jody Victor® found out what CNN Tech picked for the top tech stories of 2012:

  1. Microsoft Windows 8 – a complete overhaul of how Windows works.
  2. SOPA backlash – (Stop Online Privacy Act) bills that would have restricted access to sites with pirated content and anyone associated with them including search engines, ads etc.
  3. Live-tweeting war – Israeli military tweeted updates in a conflict with Palestinian forces in Gaza.
  4. iPhone 5 and the Apple Maps debaucle – Apple developed their own map app while dropping the Google Maps app.
  5. Apple vs. Samsung – Apple accused Samsung of infringing on their patents which ended in a trial. The jury decided in Apple’s favor.
  6. Facebook’s IPO – The most anticipated IPO fell flat when it’s initial price was $38 (too high). The stock hit a low of $17.55 September 4.
  7. Instagram – Started out as an app, but when usage skyrocketed, Facebook bought it for $1 billion in cash and shares (later dropping to $735 million as Facebook shares dropped.
  8. Megaupload and Kim Dotcom – Kim Dotcom founder of Megaupload, a file-sharing company, had his various sites shut down by the F.B.I. for piracy.
  9. Mid-sized tables become popular – Apple’s iPad Mini, and similar-sized devices from Google and Amazon.
  10. Nintendo offers Wii U – Wii U has a touchscreen tablet controller called a GamePad that communicates with the main console.
  11. Yahoo hires Marissa Mayer – The day she was hired, she announced her pregnancy. Stock has risen $4 a share since her hiring was announced.
  12. Tech and the presidential election – President Obama used Google Plus and Reddit to respond with voters.

Thanks for finding this, Jody.

Jody Victor® finds out some interesting info from CES 2013

Jody found out the CES 2013 (International Consumer Electronics Show) was held last week (Jan 8-11) in Las Vegas, NV. This article tells how your smartphone will be a crucial element to connectivity in your home. Many newer gadgets and electronics are already capable of being run by an app on your smartphone.

PC World Magazine’s website also had an article on their site about the best of CES 2013. Jody: “Check it out.”

Jody Victor® finds out what to do with old devices.

Jody wondered what to do with old devices or gadgets that are no longer in use when you get the latest next best thing?
Jody found there are a few sites that offer trade-ins and or recycling of old devices will buy Apple® products (Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod). How it works: Find your device or gadget, answer some simple questions. You will be sent a box with a shipping label if your item is worth at least $30. You choose how you want to be paid: Check, PayPal or gift card. After they receive it, they will check it out and pay you or revise the payment if it’s not in the condition you said it was. will buy iPhones, iPads, iPods, cell phones, cameras (point & shoot or DSLR), tablets, e-readers, GPS, laptops, calculators, tv series in Blu-Ray or DVD, video games, game consoles. How it works: Find your item. Print the pre-paid shipping label, pack the item, apply the label and give it to UPS. Once they receive the item, they make sure it is in the condition described and ask to allow up to 10 business days for inspection and payment initiation. Payment options are money transfer to your PayPal account, check or Target gift card. Trade-in center. Best Buy will take video consoles, mobile phones, computers, monitors, laptops, tablets, e-readers, mp3 players, cameras, camcorders, receivers, GPS, multimedia projectors, DVD or Blu-Ray players, movies, music, video games, and musical instruments. You can trade you item in online or take it to your local Best Buy store. You will receive a Best Buy gift card as payment. If your has no value, they will recycle it for free.

Jody hopes you found this helpful and will dispose of old electronic equipment properly.

Jody Victor® finds tools to simplify your life

Jody found a site with some great tools to make your time on your computer more productive.

Here are the highlights:

Jody hopes you will the time to read this article from LifeHacker.

Jody Victor® wonders about e-paper

Jody wonders: What is e-paper?
It is also known as electronic paper or electronic ink. They are designed to look more like ink on paper to enhance your reading experience from an electronic device. They have wider viewing angles and better contrast ratios than a regular tablet. They are not backlit like computers or other mobile devices so you are less likely to get eye-fatigue as you are reading.

There are several e-paper readers on the market now.
The Amazon Kindle line offers the Paperwhite available in wifi or free 3G versions. It can be read in bright sunlight without glare. The matte screen reflects light like ordinary paper. It can also be read easily at night as it illuminates the screen, not the room.

LG Display has flexible e-paper. You can bend the 1024 x 768 device up to 40 degree angles.

The LIBRE|PRO ebook reader allows you to listen to music while reading.

Barnes & Noble has an e-paper reader called NOOK Simple Touch™. If you read just half an hour a day, the battery will last over 2 months.

Hope this helps, Jody!

Jody Victor® Shares about privacy when posting to Facebook

Jody has more to share about Facebook privacy:

Control Your Posts:

Each time you post, you can choose who sees your posts by clicking on the sharing icon. The icon of the “globe” is to make something Public. The “people” icon is to share with friends and the “gear” icon is to customize who views or hide from specific people.

If you tag someone, or you approve someone else’s tag on your post, that person and their friends will see it no matter what audience you choose.

Think before you post. Information you share can be copied or shared by others who see it. Here are some points to remember:

  • Choose who you share with. If you hide your birthday, for example, no one will see it on your timeline but if your friends say “happy birthday” on your timeline, your secret is out!
  • When you write on some someone else’s page, story, or timeline, that person selects the audience. If you intended it for a particular audience and that person changes who can see it, what you wrote will change along with it.
  • You can control who sees the “liked” Facebook pages on your timeline by clicking on the “Likes” box and clicking “Edit”.
  • Assume if you do not see a “sharing” icon, the information will be public.

Control Your Timeline:

Control who sees what on your timeline by clicking the “sharing” icon. The icons for the audiences are the same as above.

Even though you may control which friends are visible on your timeline, the full list is available for games, applications and websites you use. Your friends may also be visible on your friends timelines and in searches. If you have your friend list set to “only me” and your friend’s list is “public”, anyone will see your connection on your friend’s timeline.

Your gender will only hide on your timeline if you hide it.

When someone tags you in a story or photo, you can hide or show it on your timeline.

Points to remember:

  • You can hide items on your timeline but they may still be found elsewhere.
  • People may be able to see mutual friends but not your list of friends.
  • Your name, profile pictures, and cover photos will not have sharing icons because they are always public.
  • Once again, if you so not see a “sharing” icon, assume the information is public.

Jody reminds everyone to think before you post.

Jody Victor® shares more about Facebook Privacy

Jody has some more to share about Facebook’s privacy policy.

When you make your information “public”, it is open to everyone to see. This means all your information, timeline, photos, user id, username, profile pictures, etc. are open to the public. It can show up if someone does a search on Facebook or with a search engine on the Internet. This information is also accessible to games integrated with Facebook, applications and website you or your friends use. Others can share your information when they choose to make information public.

Information that is always publicly available:

  • Name
  • Profile Pictures and Cover Photos
  • Network
  • Gender
  • Username and User ID

Facebook uses your information in connection with the services and features they provide. They may be used to bring you advertisements relevant to you, use location features to tell you or your friends when there may be an event near by, data analysis for service improvement etc.

Facebook will not share your information unless they have your permission, have given you notice, or removed your name so you won’t be identified.

Data is stored as long as necessary to provide products and services.

You can deactivate your account and put it on hold. Others will not see your timeline anymore but your information is not deleted in case you want to reactivate your account. Your friends will still see you listed in their friends list while your account is deactivated.

When you delete your account, it is permanantly deleted. It takes about one month to delete an acoount but some information may be in backup logs for up to 90 days. Some of your posts to a group or messages to a friend remains even after you delete your account.

Jody suggests you use Facebook prudently.

Jody Victor® wonders about Facebook’s privacy policy

Jody Victor suggests you look at Facebook’s privacy policy to find out what is and isn’t actually private.

Part I:
Information they receive and how they use it.

When you sign up, they ask for your name, email address, birthday and gender.

Information you choose to share: when you post a status update, upload a photo or comment on a friend’s story/photo, add a friend, “like” a page or website, add a place to your story, find friends using their importers, or say you are in a relationship. Your name, photos, gender, username, and networks are treated as public. Your birthday allows them to target your age group for advertisements and content.

Facebook also receives information about you from your friends when you are tagged, upload your contact info, post your photos, location, etc. Facebook may store this information about you.

Facebook also received data about you when you look at a friend’s timeline, send or receive a message, search for a friend or page, click on or interact with those items, use your mobile app or purchase through Facebook. They also receive data from your photos such as time, date, location.

Other data:

  • Computer mobile phone or other device (IP address, internet service, location, browser, pages visit, GPS)
  • When you visit a game, app or website that uses Facebook Platform (IP address, browser, operating system, if you’re logged in they receiver your userid
  • Advertising partners, customers, third parties that help them deliver ads

Next week, Jody will explore more about Facebook’s privacy policies.

Jody Victor® finds out about Cyber Monday

Jody was curious about the origins of Cyber Monday. This is what he found out:

  • Cyber Monday is a term first used by in November 2005. It has since become one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. The name grew from the observation that people were returning from their Thanksgiving break to their high-speed Internet and buying what they liked on Monday at work.
  • Cyber Monday Online sales went from $610M in 2006 to $1,251M in 2011. This year is projected to be $1.5B and up to as much as $2B.
  • Many employers had to fire employees or restrict/block employees from accessing certain websites.
  • In 2006, set up a new website,, where you can see many deals all at once.

Some pointers:
Don’t shop at work.
Don’t shop while driving.
Sites like allow you to comparison shop.

Jody asks, “Do you shop online for Christmas?”