Author Archives: Ash

Affective Computing and Nevermind

To borrow a definition from MIT, affective computing is computing that relates to, arises from, or deliberately influences emotion or other affective phenomena. Anything that recognizes, analyzes, simulates, or interacts with human emotion generally falls under this term. Does it sound a little far-fetched for your computer to understand your emotions? Well, it may not be. There is already software that can understand emotion based on facial expression or voice intonation. In fact, a quick search should give you many, many different programs that do this. Continue reading

E-Waste

There are a lot of humans on our planet – over 7 billion humans, in fact. And with a lot of people, comes a lot of waste. The average “life expectancy” of an electronic device (computers, phones, tablets, TVs) is only about three years. Of course we throw away our devices when they break, but most of this e-waste is due to upgrades and replacements. Do we need to upgrade our phone every couple of years? Probably not. Do we upgrade it anyway? Of course.

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Listen to YouTube on iOS

YouTube has tons of uses – primarily video watching, but often podcasts and music can be found on the great video behemoth. While iOS 7 has plenty of music players, sometimes you want to listen to something you’ve found on YouTube without killing your battery by leaving the screen on. But when you want to listen (and not watch) a video on your iPhone, what do you do?
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iOS Apps: Comic Book Readers

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Reading comic books has been a cherished pastime since the 1900s, and comic strips  were even getting published as early as in the 1800s. As technology advances, the way we read comics changes – while some still buy physical comic books, many of us have opted to go digital. There are plenty of programs to use to read comics on your computer (check out this LifeHacker article for a few good recommendations), but what if you want to read comics on the go? There are a lot of options out there, but we’re going to go over a few that are widely considered to be the best iOS apps for reading comics.

If you’re an Android user, check out our article Android Apps: Comic Book Readers.
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A Brief and Abbreviated History of Gaming Storage

Ever since the era of XBox 360s, PS3s, and the new consoles just recently released, how we play games (and store them) has been revolutionized. The consoles of today have internal storage, usually hundreds of gigabytes, similar to how a computer handles storage.

By looking at a handful of the popular consoles, starting with the fourth generation, we’re going to see how technology has changed over the years – how we’ve built bigger and bigger pieces of software, and more and more efficient storage technologies.

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Reddit on the Go

Reddit is a popular online website that allows sharing of user created content as well as other material found online via articles, pictures, text based stories or comments, and videos. If you use it, you might want to access Reddit from your mobile device, as Reddit isn’t optimized for mobile browsers.

There are a lot of Reddit browsing apps available for mobile devices, and most of them are fantastic. But how do you choose which one to use? The easiest way to figure out which app works best for you is to try them, and here are a few free suggestions that might be worth checking out.

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Turkeybytes: Elementary OS

This week I’m thankful for Elementary OS!

Elementary OS is an open source Linux distribution that’s sure to hit home with anyone who loves minimalism and simplicity. With all the functionality of Ubuntu 13.04 and some design ideas similar to OSX, Elementary OS is lightweight and compatible with most Apple computers and PCs.

Elementary OS

The newest release, called Luna, is easy to use and free to download. Just like any other Linux distribution, Luna is highly customizable. Want to swap out your dock for something more OS 10.9-esque? No problem. You also already have all the functionality you need – there’s a software store, system settings, and some preloaded programs. If you’re comfortable with Ubuntu, you’ll have no problems navigating this interface.

Check out this site for more information, and to download Elementary OS for free. If you want a physical DVD sent to you instead, you can buy one at the store for $10.00.

Terminal Basics

In OS X or Linux, you can do a lot with Terminal. This is where you can enter in commands, and your computer will execute them. You can do anything from basic file management, to running programs, to even playing games. But in order to do all that, you have to start with the basics. Here are a few commands you’ll need to get a grip on first. Continue reading

Android Apps: Comic Book Readers

dcheroesWith the new superhero craze that’s sweeping across the nation, comic books are becoming ever more popular. You can buy comics, download them on your computer, and even get them on your phone or tablet. There’s a huge variety of file types you can end up with – .cbr, .cbz. .cb7, .cbt, .cba, and so on. But, with great variety comes great responsibility. If you want to read these comics on your phone (or tablet), you’ll need an app that can do it all. Continue reading

Folder Shortcuts in OSX

On a Mac, how do you make folder and file “shortcuts”? Say you have a folder somewhere, and you want a quick and easy way to access it from your desktop or another area. You probably want to make a “shortcut” on your desktop that, when clicking on it, will bring you to that folder. There are basically two ways you can make a “shortcut” on a Mac: symbolic links and aliases. But what are these, how do you use them, and what’s the difference? Continue reading

Go!

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UMass Amherst has a new portal for students to use, Go – All the information from UMass that you’d want in one, convenient location. Students can log on with their UMass netID and see the classes that they have in Moodle, athletic news, emergency phone numbers, and more. There are a few choice areas that students might find particularly helpful, all accessible from the Go homepage.

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