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Hire Me! Hire me for your writing assignment or event. I'm reasonable and reliable. Also looking for additional writing gigs. Email me at rclimpert003@yahoo.com

Each week, Rick joins his buddy Sully to talk tech on the Limpert Tech "SullyCast on Radio 105.7, formerly TalkRadio 640 WGST

Friday
Aug152014

My Appearance on WGST's "The Sully Show" 8/14/14 Talking Green Bay

Rick makes a special appearance on "The Sully Show" today to talk about Green Bay and the Packers from Green Bay.

Thursday
Aug072014

My Appearance on WGST's "The Sully Show" 8/8/14 Talking the Tech Topics of the Week

Rick and Sully talk the tech topics of the week.


Sprint Gets New CEO and Deal with T-Mobile won't happen

Sprint Corporation on Wednesday confirmed that its CEO, Dan Hesse, is leaving and will be replaced by Marcelo Claure, founder/CEO of mobile hardware distributor Brightstar. Sprint Corporation’s stock opened 17% down today amidst rumors that is withdrawing its bid to acquire T-Mobile US Inc on account of regulatory opposition. Investors fear that Sprint Corporation will continue to lose market share to bigger rivals like Verizon Communications Inc.

Claure, 43, is already a member of Sprint's board. He'll be resigning from Brightstar, and SoftBank will acquire his remaining interest in the company. Bloomberg states Hesse may receive a $40M+ severance package.

What does this mean for customers?

Hotel Chain Plans Phone-Based Check-in and Room Access

Forbes reports that Hilton Worldwide, international hotel operator, is rolling out smartphone-based guest tools allowing self-service check-in, access to a virtual floorplan to select a room, and (in 2015) actual door access once checked in. The author states the drive for this technology is the growing influence of the swelling ranks of Millennials, who "[...] have a very strong inclination toward automated and self-service customer service." But are there security risks?
 

FBI Studied How Much Drones Impact Your Privacy -- Then Marked It Secret

When federal agencies adopt new technology, they're required by law to do Privacy Impact Assessments, which is exactly what the FBI did regarding its secretive drone program. The PIAs are created to help the public and federal government assess what they're risking through the adoption of new technology. That part is a little trickier, since the FBI is refusing to release any of the PIA on its drone project, stating it needs to be kept, er, private to protect national security.



Rick has the new Amazon Fire smartphone... what does he think?

1. It's an AT&T only phone and Android.
2.  Affordability - At $199 with a contract, or $650 at full price, the Fire Phone goes toe-to-toe with the best phones on the market in price. The price clearly reflects a lot of R&D that Amazon hopes to recoup
3. Design - Ok design, battery life isn't great.  The center hardware button is handy as it helps you quickly get back to the home screen and switch views. But it's also easy to turn the thing on when it is in your pocket, etc.
4.  Great for shopping - Capture bar codes and pictures of devices and you get options to buy them on Amazon.
5. Amazon also includes one year of Amazon Prime, a $99 value. If you are a current Amazon Prime member, then you will get your next year renewed for free. Free, unlimited photo storage on Amazon Cloud Storage is also provided. 1,000 Amazon Coins, a $10 value, will appear in your account so you can try out a few paid apps, books, or movies.


 

And one for Sully......

BlackBerry Launches Redesigned BBM for Windows Phone

BBM for Windows Phone was designed to be consistent with Microsoft's mobile design, reflecting a change in thinking at the updated BlackBerry.
A first release of BBM for Windows Phone is now available for download, BlackBerry announced July 31. The version, which follows a limited Beta release, is compatible with devices running Windows Phone 8 and 8.1.

A longtime favorite of BlackBerry users, the messaging app includes all the expected features—the ability to chat with up to 50 contacts at once, and to share photo albums, voice notes, location information, contacts and more within a chat. Plus, BlackBerry has promised to quickly add new features, such as "stickers, BBM Voice, BBM Channels" and Glympse location sharing, in the months ahead, Jeff Gadway, BlackBerry's head of brand marketing, said in a blog post.

But the app's most notable feature may be its appearance, which is very in line with the Windows Phone aesthetic.

Friday
Aug012014

My Appearance on WGST's "The Sully Show" 8/1/14 Talking 'Back to School'

Rick and Sully talk BACK TO SCHOOL this week

Back to School gadgets and tech this week...

Summer is coming to a halt for those in the Metro Atlanta area as schools are getting ready to start.
Some have started this week and some go back next week or soon after.
We look at some cool back to school gadgets and items this week...

Have a listen:



- I'm asked all the time about the best cases for tablets

1. - Kensington's Throwback Composition Book and Trapper Keeper Cases

Kensington has released some new iPad/tablet cases that look like the old Mead products from the day. - Composition Books and Trapper Keepers

 

2.  Tech21 Cases

Protective iPad Air cases which refrain from concealing the tablet's original look and feel. Whether you're relaxing at home, working or travelling, rest assured that your tablet is impact protected. Enhance your iPad with a splash of colour, or choose our clear case for optical minimalism.
 
3.  Kensington Pro Wireless Mouse   $24.99

The Kensington Pro Fit® Mid-Size Wireless Mouse provides users with clutter-free productivity for an office environment. It compliments mobile laptop usage for travel with a storable nano receiver. The ergonomic, right-handed design with a high-definition optical sensor offers precise and responsive control. The Pro Fit® Mid-Size Wireless Mouse is built to last with a limited lifetime warranty.
Reliable Plug & Play operation with USB connection for Windows® and Chrome OS™
 


4. RCA HDTV Ultra Thin Indoor antenna - for those who want to "cut the cord"

RCA, the original pioneer of color television and antenna technologies, as well as the #1 selling brand of antenna on the market, is pleased to announce the availability of their Ultra-Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna. RCA’s new Ultra-Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna receives free local news, sports, weather and popular TV show broadcasts in both UHF and VHF frequencies in up to 1080i.  About $50  at Radio Shack.

“With the new RCA Ultra-Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna, you can enjoy all your favorite local HD and digital broadcasts without a cable or satellite subscription,” said David Geise, president of Voxx Accessories. “You can watch programs from networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, The CW, PBS, ION, Telemundo, Univision and numerous other stations when you have an antenna. In fact, the broadcast HD channels you receive by antenna have the highest quality definition available. Everyone, including pay TV subscribers and streamers, should have this product.”
The RCA Ultra-Thin HDTV Indoor Antenna is designed to receive broadcast signals in both the UHF and VHF frequencies unlike other companies that only offer UHF reception
 

5. Redbubble.com - An online marketplace for those wanting to buy and see "back to school" items

A very cool website.

From elementary school to college, every kid knows how important it is to head back to class in style. Whether you’re looking for dorm room décor or that first day outfit, Redbubble has a range of products for back-to-school.

Redbubble is an online marketplace for artists to sell their original art on a variety of items – from wall art to cell phone cases, throw pillows to apparel.  With more than 11 million unique designs, you’re sure to find a piece of art that represents your individuality on a product you’ll love to show off. And coming soon, Redbubble will be launching duvet covers, the perfect artistic centerpiece for a dorm room.


 
Livescribe  8 GB Sky Wifi Smartpen

This pen records everything you hear, say, write and draw. It wirelessly syncs notes and audio to your Evernote account. It can replay, organize, search and share your notes on almost any computer or device. The Smartpen holds up to 800 hours of audio and thousands of pages of notes. Includes one-year subscription to Evernote Premium (a $45 value) and a Smartpen Portfolio (a $24.95 value) to carry A5 notebooks, your smartpen and other handy items ($249.95) at Livescribe.com.
 

Saturday
Jul262014

My Appearance on WGST's "The Sully Show" 7/25/14 Talking Tech and BB&T Atlanta Open

Current tech topics  -  

Rick is working the BB&T Atlanta Open tennis tourney at Atlantic Station this week.. featuring some of the best men's tennis players in the world.

Have a listen:



Apple iPad Sales are a little Shaky

Apple sold only 13.2 million new tablets, down from 14.6 million a year earlier. This comes on the heels of a disappointing quarter this spring. “IPad sales met our expectations, but we realize they didn’t meet many of yours,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook told investors, blaming inventory issues and softness in the U.S. and European markets. He said that the most important thing to Apple was that iPad users were enjoying them and using them a lot.

In the call with investors, Cook focused on the enterprise market. Apple has a big proportion of that market, but Apple isn’t satisfied with how many businesses are adopting tablets. He says that a recent deal with IBM to create better enterprise apps will help speed that process up. “I just think we have to do some more things to get the business side of it moving in a faster trajectory,” he said. “I think we’re now onto something that can really do that.”

The overall tablet market has been shaky, and many people think it’s because smartphones with more powerful processors and bigger, better screens make them seem less necessary. Whenever Apple does release its new iPhones, they will likely be both bigger and more powerful than the iPhone 5S. That’s likely to be good news for Apple as it tries to claw market share back from Samsung. It could also be bad news for the iPad, as it tries to sell iPads to people with big phones in their pockets. But Apple has never been shy of cannibalizing its own products, so the iPad’s loss could be the company’s gain.

With a Apple smartwatch potentially coming, what does that mean for Apple and Apple fanboys?

Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

How do you like going to a website and then you have to watch a 25 second video before you can read the article?

Everyone gets that advertising is what powers the internet, and that our favorite sites wouldn't exist without it," writes longtime ad guy Ken Segall in The Relentless (and annoying) Pursuit of Eyeballs.

"Unfortunately, for some this is simply license to abuse. Let's call it what it is: advertising pollution."

CNN's in-your-face, your-video-will-play-in-00:25-seconds approach, once unthinkable, has become the norm. "Google," Segall adds, "is a leader in advertising pollution, with YouTube being a showcase for intrusive advertising. Many YouTube videos start with a mandatory ad, others start with an ad that can be dismissed only after the first 10 seconds. Even more annoying are the ad overlays that actually appear on top of the video you're trying to watch. It won't go away until you click the X. If you want to see the entire video unobstructed, you must drag the playhead back to start over. Annoying. And disrespectful, but they find it effective.

Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

One of the barriers to entry for those looking to get a more eco-friendly car is price.

Would you be more willing to get a eco-friendly car if you were able to take advantage of a subsidy.
Toyota is on track to launch the first consumer fuel-cell car in Japan next year, and the country's Prime Minister says the government wants to assist the new alternative to gas-driven vehicles. Shinzo Abe announced that Japan will offer subsidies of almost $20,000 for fuel cell cars, which will decrease the Toyota model's cost by about 28%. He said, "This is the car of a new era because it doesn't emit any carbon dioxide and it's environmentally friendly. The government needs to support this. Honda is also planning to release a fuel-cell car next year.

Australian Website Waits Three Years To Inform Customers of Data Breach

Companies should be forced to tell consumers when their is a data breach.


Australian daily deals website "Catch of the Day" waited three years to tell its customers their email addresses, delivery addresses, hashed passwords, and some credit card details had been stolen. Its systems were breached in April 2011 and the company told police, banks and credit cards issuers, but didn't tell the Privacy Commissioner or customers until July 18th.

Pricetag on the new 105-inch Samsung TV - $120,000

An Ultra-HD TV

If you do buy this set, you'll get the white-glove treatment from a Samsung field engineer, who'll come to your home, explain the TV's features, help you optimize it for your viewing environment, and, presumably, whip up the first batch of popcorn.

Other than its ginormous size, the TV has a few unique features, including a curved screen with a 21x9 aspect ratio and 5120x2160 resolution to accommodate the extra screen width. These 21:9 TVs are likely to appeal to movie buffs, as they let you watch the many Blu-ray movies that are shot in the wider 2.35:1 or 2.39:1 aspect ratios without "letterboxing"—having black bars appear above and below the image.

That also means that regular 16:9 high-def programs, such as those from cable or satellite TV service providers, appear as "pillar boxed" images, with black bars appearing on either side. But thanks to Samsung’s Quad Screen Multi-Link feature, you can divide the screen into four quadrants so you can watch live TV, stream video and access the Web, all at once.
 

Sunday
Jul202014

My Appearance on WGST's "The Sully Show" 7/18/14 Wintergreen Resort and Tech

Rick joins Sully this week from Wintergreen Resort in Virginia to talk about what a great family, golf and ski resort this is, right in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They also discuss the tech issues of the week.

You can find out more about Wintergreen Resort at www.wintergreenresort.com.

Have a listen and you can read the show notes below:

Android Data Wipe Leaves Personal Data   - be careful when wiping data off smartphone

Factory reset tool on Android smartphones does not remove all photos, emails, chats, and other personal data, says security firm.

When Android users choose to reset their smartphones, they generally believe their personal data is deleted. But Avast Software, which makes and markets device-side security apps, says that's not necessarily the case. The company was able to recover vast stores of personal data from wiped smartphones using off-the-shelf software. Time to rethink your selfies?

Avast purchased 20 different Android smartphones from eBay, which typically has tens of thousands of such devices for sale at any given time. The previous owners performed a factory reset, deleting all the content from the phones, before selling them. The factory reset option is buried in the settings menu, but it claims to erase everything from the phone and memory card.

"The amount of personal data we retrieved from the phones was astounding. We found everything from a filled-out loan form [to] selfies of what appear to be the previous owner,” said Avast's Jude McColgan.

Avast restored 40,000 photos -- including 1,500 of children, 750 of women in various stages of undress, and 250 male nudes -- from just 20 phones. Avast also recovered 1,000 Google searches, 750 emails and text messages, and 250 contact names and email addresses. Amazingly, Avast managed to identify only four of the 20 previous owners, but an identity ratio of one-in-five should be alarming to most smartphone users.

So how do you protect yourself? Obviously Avast wants you to download and install its Android app, which overwrites everything on the device and then deletes it. Avast's app is free. There are innumerable other options in the Play Store that provide similar services, including apps from Trend Micro, Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky, BitDefender, and LookOut Mobile. Another option is to encrypt the device. All Android smartphones support encryption, which must be enabled by the user.



Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is coming....  already?

Seems like we just got the Galaxy Note 3

Fans of the niche device series have been throwing out concept images of the new phone for months. Rumor and speculation continue to fly as fans eagerly await announcements from Samsung detailing the ins and outs of their plans at the Internationale Funkausstellung, or IFA, in Berlin, Germany. Directly translated, the title means International Radio Exhibition Berlin (sometimes called the Berlin Radio Show), which has been a springboard for the newest technologies for years, and this year, on September 5th through the 10th, some companies will jump farther than ever.

The history of the IFA in Germany is very rich, indeed. 2014 marks the 54th IFA conference since the first conference held in 1924. Some 180,000 people attended the inaugural conference, then called the “Great German Radio Exhibition,” to seek out the newest technology of the day -vacuum tube  and early detector radio receivers. In 1930, Albert Einstein gave the keynote speech, emphasizing the importance of such events. The peak attendance of the IFA occurred in 1991 with just over 500,000 people coming to see technology presented by approximately 1,000 exhibitors.


IT Salaries Going Up

Looking for a good salary that keeps going up and job stability?

Look for a career in IT

For many positions, 2014 IT salaries are up a robust 5 percent over last year. Paychecks for Project Managers have risen an impressive 6 percent. Even better: Network Architects are up 6.8 percent, Developer/Programmer Analysts have jumped 7.1 percent, mobile app developers are getting 7.8 percent more. This in a period when core inflation is tame (or so the government numbers tell us).
Even Technical Writers are seeing a 3.2 percent boost.

For IT salaries, companies now need to compete for tech talent. My favorite part of this year’s Robert Half Salary Guide – the source for these IT salary numbers – is the section advising companies on how to hire tech talent. The tone is decidedly aggressive.

Retaining top tech talent is just as serious about being supportive toward IT staff. It lists seven perks that firms use to keep tech pros on board. The list includes some standards, like professional development and family leave; it goes up a few notches with on-site health services and fresh food. And then – incredibly – notes that some employers offer housecleaning and a stipend for vacation travel.
Free housecleaning? Cash for vacation trips? Tech talent, are you feeling loved yet? Suffice it to say, these terms of endearment were nowhere to be found in the dark days of 2008-2009.


Apple Patent Hints The 'iPhone 6' Will Be Made Of Indestructible Glass

Good news for those of you that keep dropping your iPhones

A new Apple patent gives more weight to rumors that the next iPhone will be made of a nearly indestructible type of glass.

Apple won a patent this week for “fused glass device housings," a new method of fusing together pieces of glass, which could be used to make casings for devices like the iPhone and iPad, Apple Insider reports.

The patent award comes amid rumors that the front panel of Apple's next phone, which may or may not be called the "iPhone 6," will be built with a super-durable substance known as sapphire glass.

 

The Comcast Cable Canceling Fiasco

A tech writer in San Francisco tried to cancel his cable service last week, but spent almost 20 minutes onthe line trying to make headway.  He taped the call.

Rick had a similar experience.

Comcast says it’s "embarrassed" by the recording of a customer service rep desperately refusing to cancel a subscriber’s account that had the entire Internet gawking in horror yesterday. However, the company would like to assure us all that this was simply a case of a single, misguided employee leaping over the edge.