Tag Archive: radio

Netflix has officially raised the monthly price of membership for new members, who will now have to fork over $9 a month. That’s a dollar more than the $8 price point the company has charged for several years. If you’re an existing Netflix subscriber, you don’t have to worry; the company has promised your monthly fee won’t go up for two years. Netflix says the price increase was needed to continue adding more movies and TV shows and delivering a great streaming experience. The move comes shortly after Netflix signed expensive deals with Comcast and Verizon to provide faster and more reliable access for its customers. While the improved speeds were a costly move for Netflix, the effects can already be seen. Since signing the deal with Comcast at the end of February, Netflix’s streaming speeds on Comcast have improved by 60 percent. No one likes price increases, but existing Netflix subscribers don’t have to worry yet – they can rest comfortably for the next two years and still enjoy a better streaming experience.

If you’re still using Windows XP, it may soon be time to upgrade. Microsoft recently announced that it will no longer patch the twelve-year-old operating system come next April. This means that any hacker who wishes to exploit Windows XP will be able to do so without having Microsoft patch the issue. Currently, any new vulnerabilities are investigated by Microsoft, which then releases a patch to users after figuring a way to combat them. But come next April, Microsoft will no longer release patches for Windows XP, meaning the operating system will be open to any hacker with a newly-discovered exploit. This means it will be open season for the hacker black market, and a rough time for anyone still using Windows XP. So what should you do to prepare? Most Windows computers purchased in the last several years have Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 installed. If you’re running a computer that pre-dates Vista, it’s probably a good time to upgrade your rig.

Instagram recently unveiled Instagram Direct: a new feature that lets you privately share your photos and videos in chat-like messages. But what happens if you sent someone the wrong photo… or a photo to the wrong person? Don’t worry – there’s a way to take back that direct photo message you didn’t mean to send, but you have to think fast. If you want to take back a photo or video you sent someone, click the ellipses next to the box where you can add comments. That tap pops up a prompt to take back the message. Click “Delete this post,” then click “Delete” again to confirm you want to get rid of it. After doing this, the photo will disappear from your outbox, but it will still stay on your phone. You can take back a message as long as the recipient hasn’t opened it yet. If you see a green check mark on the photo, that means they saw the message – and it’s too late to do anything.

If you’ve been waiting for a price drop to buy a Microsoft Surface tablet, your time is now. Microsoft recently announced a significant price cut in its entry-level Surface RT tablets. These are the less powerful Surface tablets on the market, and don’t run the full version of Windows 8. However, the Surface RTs are decent in their own right, and are now $150 cheaper. A 32 gig model now runs $349, and doubling the storage to 64 gigs will cost $100 more at $449. The price cut was likely the result of a few factors, including poor sales numbers and new models likely to hit store shelves later this year. The line of Surface tablets has yet to truly take off, but Microsoft is rumored to be debuting new accessories for the Surface soon, including a battery-equipped keyboard cover. If you’re looking to try out a lite version of Windows 8 or are just looking for a mid-range tablet option, the Surface RT is now available at $349, its lowest price ever.

If you’ve ever wanted to take massively-sized photographs without lugging around a DSLR camera, I’ve got a smartphone for you. Last week, Nokia unveiled the Windows 8-powered Lumia 1020, complete with a 41-megapixel PureView camera and Carl Zeiss optics. Yep, you heard me right – 41 megapixels. The massive 41-megapixel images are processed by new Pro Camera and Smart Camera software, which are also hitting other Lumias soon. Since a 41-megapixel image is far too big for a mobile upload, the Lumia 1020 actually saves two versions of each photo you take: the full 41-megapixel image as well as a 5-megapixel version, which is far more conducive to sharing on Facebook. The rest of the Lumia 1020’s specs are good, not great: it features a 4.5-inch AMOLED display, a dual-core processor and 32 gigs of storage. If you’ve absolutely got to own the phone with the best built-in camera on the market, the Nokia Lumia 1020 will hit AT&T store shelves exclusively on July 26 for $299 with a new two-year contract.

T-Mobile made waves in the mobile market recently when it ended cell phone contracts and changed the way you bought new phones: no more subsidies, but rather a down payment and small monthly installments. Its new program, ‘Jump,’ takes that strategy to the next level and gives you the option to get a new smartphone twice a year. While T-Mobile customers could already buy a new phone whenever they want, they’d be on the hook for the rest of the payments on their old device. Jump waives all future payments on your old phone and lets you start fresh with a new device. For ten bucks a month – plus a trade-in of your old device – Jump lets you get a shiny new phone twice a year. The new program won’t save you much – if any – money, and you can’t gift your old phones to family or friends once you upgrade. But if you want to make sure you always have the best phone on the market, hey, you might as well Jump.

Corning, the maker of Gorilla Glass, has routinely made your smartphone’s screen better and more damage-resistant, but the company is about to take things to a whole other level. Taking the stage at the MIT Mobile Technology Summit, Corning showed off new display technology that goes far beyond screen protection. Its new Gorilla Glass will feature anti-microbial coating, which will kill virtually all microbes on the screen’s surface over two hours. It’s not an instant clean, but it’s better than carrying around a filthy phone in your pocket all day. The new Gorilla Glass will also make your phone’s screen way more transparent, which means checking your phone in broad daylight is going to be much, much easier. We’ve all tried to read an e-mail on our phone in a parking lot on a bright summer day – it just doesn’t work. Thanks to Corning, borrowing a phone from a friend in the future will not only be a far better – and less icky – experience.

Once T-Mobile unveiled Jump, its program that gives you access to a phone upgrade every six months, AT&T and Verizon answered by announcing their own early upgrade plans. Verizon Edge lets you get a shiny new smartphone every six months, while AT&T Next gives you a new phone once a year. Like T-Mobile Jump, both programs require a trade-in of your old device when you upgrade, but unlike Jump, neither program requires a separate monthly fee. And you’re not eligible to upgrade to a new device until you’ve paid off half the cost of your phone. But that’s not the whole story. T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon build the cost of phone subsidies into their monthly service fees, so with all these plans you’re actually paying for the phone twice. Once, built into your monthly phone bill and again in the installment plan. Next and Edge won’t save you money, so go pick the phone with the features you want, and get another new one for free in two years.

We’re right in the middle of award season, where the best movies, albums and TV shows are honored. Netflix wanted in on the action, which is why it announced the Flixies. Rather than stick to boring categories like Best Picture or Best Director, Netflix had a little fun. Got a little one who likes to stomp around the house and make a lot of noise? Honor The Lorax with Best Tantrum Tamer. Had a little bit too much fun at the bar last night? Give the TV series Archer your vote for Best Hangover Cure. Voting is open to Netflix members and non-members alike. We can all vote on our favorite movies and TV shows from Netflix’s catalog at TheFlixies.com until March 10. Netflix is also looking for category ideas for future Flixy awards. The top three winners in each category will be announced next Monday, March 11. I know I’ll check them out and probably add some new flicks to my queue.

Android is already in our phones and tablets, but what about cars? French Parrot unveiled a car stereo system powered by Google’s mobile OS last year – ASTEROID. Now Clarion is entering the same market with a similar product called Mirage. It’s a 6.5-inch system with a built-in GPS, radio, SD card slot, USB port, Bluetooth and a number of preloaded apps like Facebook and Angry Birds. Needless to say, Clarion doesn’t suggest playing any game or checking your friends on Facebook while driving, but it’s a cool thing to be able to do so while waiting for someone in a car. Or to allow other people in the vehicle to entertain themselves while you drive.

Unfortunately you can’t get the Clarion Mirage in a local store. The company is pitching the new product towards car makers which – if everything goes as planned – will integrate it into their vehicles and additionally make it sing along vehicle telematics and readouts, reverse camera, steering wheel controls, a DVD player or changer…

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