Tag Archive: applications


Angry Birds/Star Wars

(Credit; Rovio)

Yes, Star Wars fans, it has come to this.  Angry Birds is so popular it is now eligible to become a Star Wars spoofer.

Techsnoop for one is happy.  Star Wars is a favorite franchise and the Angry Birds games have become a favorite also.  The blending can only mean good, clean family smack-down fun.

In the world of mobile gaming, Rovio has hit another home run.  This game will use the physics of Angry Birds Space to provide the mindless mayhem the franchise is famous for.

According to TechCrunch, the birds play Jedi and the pigs play the evil Empire to no real surprise.  In addition, there will be board games, plush characters and costumes.

The actual game does not come out until November 8, but the toys and costumes will debut today at Toys R’ Us.

TechsnoopToday’s post is from one of my favorites, iGameMom who keeps up with the latest in electronic learning for the height-challened, super tech generation.  If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, of a kid up to grade 12, check out these apps and her blog.

It is hard to believe the school is starting soon.  Are you ready for the kids going back to school?  Are the kids ready?   I hope these back-to-school apps will help the kids to achieve straight A’s and stay happy!

First, here are some apps that will help the kids transition into the learning mood from a relaxed summer:

Brain Quest (free): curriculum based trivia games for grade1 to 5.  Each grade has 80 questions.  With In-App purchase ($2.99 for each grade), you can buy the whole pack, which has over 600 questions for each grade.  Kids learn while playing games.

BrainPop Featured Movie (free): Kids get to see a new animated documentary every day. The range of topics is amazingly broad: science, history, Engineering & technology, Social Studies, English, Arts & Music, and Health subjects.

TeachMe ($1.99 for each grade level): An app series covers Toddler, Kindergarten, Grade1, and Grade2. Each grade has spelling and basic math.

Khan Academy (free): Free classes on various subjects.  The topics include: K-12 math, science (such as biology, chemistry, and physics), finance, history, test prep (GMAT, CAHSEE, SAT math, etc). The level of the courses ranges from elementary school to college.  Any student will be able to find something

After they get into the learning mood, here are some apps that can help them get A’s on the specific subjects

Stack the States ($0.99): Learn US states via interactive games

Stack the Countries ($1.99): Learn world geography while playing games

NOVA Elements (free): Learn periodic table with multi-media materials, such as short videos, pictures, 3D models, and games.

SplashMath ($9.99): comprehensive math app that is linked to US standard curriculum.

Mathemagics – Mental math tricks ($0.99): teaches little tricks on how to do math quickly

Mindsnacks Spanish (initial download is free with one level, $4.99 for the whole package with 50 levels): Learn Spanish with fun.

Now Some Good Reads:

Ice is Nice – Cat in the Hat Learning Library ($5.99): Learn animals and geography of North and South Poles. It is for kids aged 5-10.

ABCmouse.com: Grand Canyon (free): Kids 4 and up will learn everything about Grand Canyon, following ABCmouse.

Horton Hatches the Egg ($4.99): Another Dr.Seuss’s book app designed for pre-school and kindergarteners.

Biography Comics (free for the first 3 books, $29.99 for all 29 books): 29 biographies in comics, including Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Steven Spielberg, Warren Buffett, … It is for kids 8 and older.

Cool to be Clever (free): kids 6 and up who can read chapter-books will learn the story of Edson Hendricks and how he invented “connectionless” network design that is used in today’s Internet.

Brush of Truth ($1.99): A book app written for children age 8-12.  It is a book app that the readers get to decide how the story unfolds… NOTE: will be $0.99 on Aug.17!

While at school, there will be issues about bullies and interactions between peers, these apps will help:

FeelElectric (free): designed for kids 6 and older, this app teaches kids recognize different emotions and express emotions with words

Be Confident in Who You Are ($2.99): a graphic novel targeted at kids 8-14 years old. It addresses topics such as self-consciousness, stress, bullying, fitting in, body image, and sticky issues in friendships. All these issues are presented in an age appropriate manner.

Enjoy a new school year with these cool apps!

So, your business is on a tight marketing budget and you want to leverage Social Media.  Know going in that it is comparable to entering the bear cave with a club and flashlight.  Neither will help, you need better tools.

Where to start?  Well, that actually depends on your goals and strategy.  Techsnoop is here to tell you where not to start.  Don’t buy Twitter followers or Facebook Likes.  These are bogus accounts set up by spammers with automated tools and they do not give you credibility.  The entire point of social media is to establish yourself as reliable and trustworthy in your field.  Having spammers on your accounts opens up your followers and fans to spammers as they now can access them.

Building a quality following is a task that takes time.  Humans have to monitor and track progress and interaction.  Quality content has to be shared both ways for it to be meaningful.  Otherwise, it’s not social media but tech media.

Once it is known that you host spammers, you will lose much of the traction provided by social media.  So what can you do?  If you are unable to hire a Social Media Strategist, do it yourself or get an intern.  If you get an intern, make sure you give them a specific list of guidelines on who to follow and who to block from your pages.  This prevents embarrassing mistakes caused by technology and generation gaps.

People with no profile picture need to be reviewed.  If they have no pic and no bio, they may be a spam account.  Look at the web addresses on the bios, if there are suspect terms like “getfollowers” it is probably a spam account.  Either report the account as spam, or if you are unsure, just block them.

To help you out, use tech tools like Fakers that will quickly let you know what percentage of your followers might be fake.  You can then go through your followers list and prune accordingly.

Who.Unfollowed.Me will help you keep up with those who follow then unfollow you in a short time span.  Another trick of spammers.  They have to keep dropping people to move on to the next target due to Twitter limits.

Let us know in the comments if these two tools have helped you to tame the social media beast.

In the ever more crowded tablet market, Samsung has shoved another offering, the Galaxy Note 10.1.  Why, you may ask is this news?  Because they have added a split screen app to view content and take notes at the same time.  It also has an option to watch video and use apps at once.

Epic.  The ultimate work and play device.

Face it, other than entertainment, the purpuse of a tablet is to gather information on the go for later review or use.  The new note taking, and look-at capability makes the tablet into the Star Trek road warrior tool we have been waiting for.

CNET says this tablet will be available soon with a date to be announced in the next week.  While Samsung is aiming this tablet at the education market, the business users may want to take notice of the multitasking possibilities.

Let us know in the comments if this is the tablet you have been waiting for.

There is no argument that Adobe stepped up their game with CS6 release of design tools.  InDesign, in particular has received some great updates and tweaks.  With Liquid Layout, you can quickly change the size of a current design to fit a new device or layout type.

Adaptive Design helps you link content and create alternate layouts from the start of a design.  It allows the designer to adapt for any contingency up front and save design time later.  Both of these tools can save pain and time when working to meet publishing deadlines in the graphic design world.  And working quickly and painlessly is one of Techsnoop’s favorite things.

Grab a Coke or coffee cup and take a quick look.

Happy Thursday!  Techsnoop doesn’t want you to get rusty so we have gathered up some great tutorials to help you in moving to responsive site building and creating mobile apps.  And, if you need an extra hand, here is a great tutorial on creating a clone of yourself!

Making Responsive CSS for your sites.

Creating Mobile Apps with Adobe CS6

Make Your Own Clone

If you watched Avengers, you had to notice all the cool tech available to Tony Stark and SHIELD.  Glass slab computers and holographic interfaces responding to gestures were all over the place.

Now technology brings us one step closer to this being a reality with David Holz, creator of Leap Motion a motion sensing controller for all PCs and Macs.  Business Week’s profile describes Mr. Holz as a genius level inventor with impressive credentials for someone only According to CNET, the device will retail for about $70.

Let me know what you think.  See you in the Future!

Several options for importing files in Adobe Premier Pro CS5

Working with Green Screens.  This is for more advanced users.

This video on making a rough cut is on the Adobe TV site and shows how to efficiently create a rough of your video.

Premiere Pro rough cut tutorial

For more in depth instructions, use the resources at Adobe Support and Adobe TV.

Please post links to your work in the comments if these resources help you.  And keep learning!

AlertAlert! A new virus is out which can circumvent your anti-virus program.  It comes from phishing websites urls and can take over your computer.  If you get a message to update Adobe Flash player and cannot shut it down, you have been infected.  Another symptom is clicking on links on websites and being given a download message instead of going to the link action.  Also, if you cannot open folders on your hard drive, you may be infected.  I was infected visiting a site I have gone to in the past.  It was not infected then, but is now a victim of phishing.  This can happen to anyone.

If you suspect you have this virus, seek help immediately.  It can be cleaned off by going to a system restore point that is known to be clear of the virus.  If you are not setting system restore points and backing up your files on a regular basis, DO IT NOW.

FYI, I have a superior anti-virus program which is updated twice a day.  My computer is scanned every day.  When I scanned my computer, the program did not recognize the virus so it may be a keylogger.  If you are infected, change all of your passwords, uninstall Flash player and Java and reinstall them from the developer sites.  I have taken all of these steps and it was a pain.  But it would have been much worse if I had not had my files backed up and my system restore points.  Have a happy Holiday season and enjoy shopping online safely.

As posted here previously, I love my HTC EVO.  This is arguably one of the 5 best phones ever released.  However, I am quite exhausted with the sporadic service from Sprint.

For the past two months or so, many services I use have had a high “fail out” rate. Sometimes they work fine, sometimes they work poorly, and sometimes they didn’t work at all.

I at first thought my phone might be having problems.  But after talking to some other Sprint users, I found there was a high incidence of issues from call dropping to non-working features.  So, I contacted Sprint customer service to see what could be done.  The rep was very nice and had me run some firmware updates on my phone.  She then began to explain that some of the services I was trying to use were only available for 4G.  I then told her I had been using these services on 3G just fine until recently.  She was unable to explain this and referred me to go into a repair center.

Prior to going to the repair center, I did some digging around and found out that Sprint is currently converting some cell towers in the area from 3G to 4G.  The work is causing some connectivity issues and bandwith narrowing.  It should be resolved within the month.

Now, I’m all for updating equipment, especially since it will provide me with a feature I have been paying for nearly a year without having the actual feature.  However, why couldn’t Sprint simply announced the coming changes and apologized in advance for any inconveniences?  A little upfront transparency can go a long way in customer satisfaction.

Instead, like so many companies, Sprint choose the ostrich method.  Stick your head in the sand and hope most people won’t notice the issues.

Come on, Sprint, don’t go back to your previous last place in customer satisfaction.  Your customer policies are what put you behind your competition. After all, your phones and packages are very highly rated.  Make the 4G leap of customer care and put yourself ahead of the pack.