Sunday, June 26, 2011

Netflix:Two months since cutting our TV cable


When we moved into our new apartment, my wife and I opted to receive cable services through Time Warner. It was the premium package that offered countless of channels. It was a sweet deal, and we thought we were getting our moneys worth. However, after a month and a half, we noticed something, we weren’t using our cable package as much as we should’ve. We were barely watching any of the channels. To make matters worst, my wife was either glued to the Netflix App on the iPad or Netflix on the Apple TV. It seems that we were paying a substantial amount for a service that we were not using. We were barely watching the any channels, and it appears that our cable was useless.

Upon mutual agreement we decided to cut our cable, and replace it with just watching online content. We decided to use Netflix primarily for watching movies, along with other websites that offer free movies. I have not been inclined to use Hulu Plus, because it has no interest to me.

So what has it been like since cutting our cable?

Well, to be honest, our watching TV has increased. Netflix’s online ‘instant watch’ is a great service for only $8 a month. This service offers a wide range of Movies and TV series. If you don’t mind older movie titles and TV series then it is a great service. With recent reports of Netflix shifting it’s business model from renting DVDs to streaming online content, the company looks to grow both it’s online content and subscribers within the next two years. According to a report from Tech Crunch published earlier this year,
        Netflix added 7.7 million net new subscribers total last year, up from 2.9 million in 2009. The growing appeal of streaming should keep driving that number up. And Netflix is         spending less to attract new customers. While new subscribers grew 63 percent, Netflix spent 10 percent less on marketing. Its average cost to acquire anew subscriber fell to         $11.13 in the quarter, from $19.81 during the September quarter before pure streaming was an option. Also, a lot more people are taking advantage of Netflix’s free one month         trial to see if streaming is for them. Nearly 9 percent of subscribers were in free trials during the quarter, up from about 6 percent the quarter before (and 3 percent a year ago).                                                                
                                                                                                 Photo from Tech Crunch
Overall we have been extremely happy with Netflix. As mentioned earlier our time spent consuming online media has increase because of the wide selection of watching TV series. For example, all six seasons of Lost (one of my favorite TV shows of all time), Prison Break, 24, and many popular tv series can occupy hours of your time. My wife is currently watching Torchwood series (meh).

Apple TV vs. iPad Vs. Desktop

The User Interface for Netflix on the Apple TV 2 is superb. Searching through the various content is smooth and user friendly. Combined with the remote app from Apple, browsing through your media is great. On top of Netflix, Apple TV offers you the ability to rent movies and also tv shows from iTunes catalog, stream online music, access your media on your desktop, search youtube, and stream movies from your iOS devices. With iOS 5 releasing this fall, airplay will have a great use with iPad 2 users through the mirroring feature.I wish it was the same with Netflix iPad app.
                                                                                                 Netflix on the iPad

The iPad app is horrible, and makes it quite cumbersome to browse through the different selections, even with the most recent update. However, the ability to watch a movie in bed far surpasses the experience one would have when watching with a laptop. The iPad just seems natural, and the battery life last up to nine hours (literally).

There is also an iPod App, but I have not used it. I don’t enjoy squinting my eyes on a small screen.

Watching it on the desktop is also enjoyable, as most of the time I have something else running while watching the movie. Next to the iPad the desktop would be the way to watch Netflix.
                                                                                                 Netflix on 2nd Gen Apple TV

So do I regret cutting my cable?                                        

No. The only thing I regret is having access to local news. Other than that small inconvenience the positive outcome far outweighs it. Because today the options to watch online content is numerous and also for a low cost of subscription, the decision has been great. Are you planning on cutting your cable?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blogsy iPad App: First impression

Blogsy for ipad

I have three blogs that I'm working on. I decided to look for the perfect iPad app that would make it easy for me to blog on the go. I have tried wordpress app and that was a disaster. I then used blogpress, which works well but the formatting is quite horrible when my posts are published. So I decided to buy Blogsy. So here are my first impressions about the app.

Setting it up

I did have problems setting up my blog accounts with Blogsy, however after visiting their FAQ page I was able to resolve them in no time. Their are multiple services that blogsy support: blogger, wordpress, flickr, and YouTube. I will go more into detail with my full review.

The UI is gorgeous and simple. This is a welcome plus. Formatting settings above make it easy to edit and format texts within your post.

So far this app looks quite promising. I will do a full review after I have put this app to use. Thanks for the stopping by, and don't forget to follow. Mahalo.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Computer Networking 101: What is an Access Point?

Now that I'm officially done with college, I plan to continue my education through personal study. I want to learn more about Computer Network, so every now and then I will post new articles titled Computer Networking 101. For those of us who are new to computer network, I will go ahead and share with you some of the things I learned during my study.

So what is an Access Point (AP)?

Basically and access point is your home or work routers. Routers are known as Nodes. Their main function  is to provide an access point in which wireless signal can be converted to digital signal. These devices are normally small and have an adapter, antenna, and radio transmitter. Access Points can be used for one computer or many computers as shown in the picture below.
Example of a Single Point of FailureImage via Wikipedia
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Thanks for reading. Don't forget to follow for future articles. Thanks.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The best college note taking app on iPad: Noteshelf

Sine the first iPad was released a year ago, I have used it mostly for my classes. I replaced my laptop with the iPad when attending classes because of its portability. While I have tried over 30 paid iPad apps, I have come across one app that truly fits my need. That is the Noteshelf App. This app is designed for those that prefer to handwrite their notes. I have always been faster at writing my notes with a pen and paper versus using the iPad touch screen. This is where the Noteshelf is superior in writing versus other popular apps such as Penultimate.

Smooth Ink Technology

The ink on this app mimics the actual ink of a real pen. If I speed up the motion of strokes, the ink thins automatically, and if I write slow the ink thickness increases. The ink does a great job in keeping up with your pen strokes even when you are writing really fast.

                                               Video Review of Noteshelf

Add photos to Notes

With the new iPad 2 that has a camera, adding photos inside your notebook becomes a plus. During my first year with the iPad in school, I used my 4th gen iPod Touch to snap photos and send it to my iPad. I would then add these photos into my note notebook, and still have the ability to mark these photos. So how does this help?

In one of my classes, my professor love handing out worksheet that had keywords and concepts. Instead of keeping them, I would snap photos of these apps then upload it to the iPad. Then these worksheets were in my notebook and I am able to write notes on it. Therefore keeping both virtual notes and scanned copies of the document in the iPad. I was able to throw away the original copy, and if I needed another one, it has the option to print it.

Exporting Options

Should you wish to export your notes, Noteshelf gives you a great options. Not only can you print and email your notes, Noteshelf supports the popular cloud services of Dropbox, and Evernote. Don't forget the basic iTunes exporting options.

Organize Notes into Notebooks

Noteshelf offers users the option to organize their notes into different notebooks. One notebook for one class. Not only can you organize your notes, but it has multiple page templates to choose from. Overall this is by far the superior writing app. Though it lacks options to record lectures, or type, these are minor compared to the ability to write with it. Please feel free to share with me some of the best note taking apps you use. If you want me to do an iPad app review for you just leave a comment below. Don't forget to follow my blog, it helps. Thanks.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Should I smile to an acquaintance even if it's awkward?

Have you ever walked by a person you know as an acquaintance, and as you approach them you begin debating among yourself if you should smile and say hi? Or when you pass this person both of you walk pass as if you never met before? Only to regret it after you passed them. Well today was one of those days with the experience. However, instead of walking pass this individual and ignoring them, I forced a big smile on my face and said hi. I even called the person by name.

iShare my Voice

The best part was their reaction. It was as if they had seen a ghost or someone holding a gun to their head. (Did I brush my teeth?) Their eyes wide open, with the jaw slightly dropped. They were stunned, so was I with their reaction. Eventually my greeting was returned with a smile and a friendly hi. As we both continued to our different destination, a thought came to my mind;

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.  ~Quoted by H. Jackson Brown, J
Well next time you see that person you don't know walking pass you, take the time to say hi.
I know I will :)

Happy Swinger 3Image by frompandora via Flickr

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What is Digital Citizenship?

University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni Sch...Image via Wikipedia
As I am researching my next article topic, I came across an interesting term. This term is called Digital Citizenship. So what is it? Well, after a quick search online, I came across a definition that I suppose would best define the term. It is a concept that helps parents, teachers, and technology leaders educate young children/student on how use technology appropriately. According to Digital Citizen Blog,

"Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology."

Well, it's great to know that there are programs, and concerned folks teaching the young ones how to behave online. Do we take time out of our busy day to teach our children the right way to use the internet?

Check out my Podcast about Digital Citizenship, or hear my voice

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sony Letter issued letter of PSN Data Compromised

Valued PlayStation(R)Network/Qriocity Customer:

We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011,
certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account
information was compromised in connection with an illegal and
unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this
intrusion, we have:

1) Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;

2) Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full
and complete investigation into what happened; and

3) Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our
network infrastructure by rebuilding our system to provide you
with greater protection of your personal information.

We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill
as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and
efficiently as practicable.

Although we are still investigating the details of this incident,
we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following
information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country,
email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login,
and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data,
including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip),
and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may
have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your
dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have
been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit
card data
 was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have
provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity,
out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit
card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have
been obtained.

For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email,
telephone and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive
information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email,
asking for your credit card number, social security number or other
personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information,
you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation
 and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that
you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation
Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or
accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them as well.

To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we
encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and
to monitor your credit reports. We are providing the following information
for those who wish to consider it:   
- U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually
from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report,
visit or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.

- We have also provided names and contact information for the three major U.S.
credit bureaus below.  At no charge, U.S. residents can have these credit bureaus
place a "fraud alert" on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps
to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This service can
make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name. Note, however,
that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you,
it also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your
identity.  As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others
are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a
fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report,
please contact any one of the agencies listed below:; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241; Fraud Victim Assistance Division,
P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

- You may wish to visit the website of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at or reach the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or 600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 for further information about how to protect
yourself from identity theft. Your state Attorney General may also have advice
on preventing identity theft, and you should report instances of known or
suspected identity theft to law enforcement, your State Attorney General,
and the FTC. For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be
contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; telephone
(877) 566-7226; or For Maryland residents, the Attorney
 can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202;
telephone: (888) 743-0023; or

We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this
incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the
clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes
information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that
additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information.
Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is
our utmost priority. Please contact us at 1-800-345-7669 should you have any
additional questions.


Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment


"PlayStation" and the "PS" Family logo are registered
 and "PS3" and "PlayStation Network" are
trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
(C) 2011 Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC.

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC
919 E. Hillsdale Blvd., Foster City, CA 94404