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Toolbelt for the Tech Savvy Teacher

Help! I need a toolbelt-like sling or sash that I can wear in my classroom, to hold a tablet, pens and pencils, and a remote or two. Preferably something that doesn't look ridiculous. [more inside]
posted by thelastpolarbear on Aug 21, 2014 - 10 answers

Creating a Great Art Gallery Archive in a Mediocre CMS

I am looking for a good solution for publicly archiving a large collection of pictures within a somewhat limiting CMS. [more inside]
posted by coreywilliam on Jul 15, 2014 - 3 answers

How to respond to Mars exploration vs feed the hungry?

Today, I was enthusing about a photograph from the surface of Mars, and a friend responded along the following lines: "I find it hard to get excited about it when there are so many starving people here on Earth. We should fix our own problems before exploring other planets." How could I have responded? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 13, 2014 - 39 answers

Tried to torrent a show, ended up with malware. Help!

Specifically, it's a mplayer virus. It has infected Google Chrome and Firefox, and is showing infuriating pop-up ads and frequently redirecting the browser to ad-like pages. Who knows what else it's doing/stealing/collecting. This may be what I deserve for trying to download some TV, but I need to get rid of it. Running Mac OSX 10.8.5. [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on May 18, 2014 - 5 answers

iPad and iTunes Question (Seperate Computers)

How do I set up/configure an iPad on a computer that won't be used as the main/regular computer? [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on May 15, 2014 - 13 answers

Help me Meta Kenobi.

Can you reassure me that majoring in computer science and trying to find a job in technology and software as a woman isn't going to be terrible? [more inside]
posted by trogdole on May 13, 2014 - 44 answers

40th birthday ideas for IT co-worker

IT-manager friend turns 40 later this year. How can we show our appreciation? [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas on Apr 2, 2014 - 7 answers

Should I buy a non-touch-screen laptop?

I've found a brand-new, well reviewed Dell laptop that I am confident will do the basic family things I need done (email, web browsing, streaming video, photo stuff, tracking finances, etc.). With my credit card points, I can get it for $268. My husband is worried that non-touch-screen laptops will be obsolete really soon, and thinks maybe we should pay more for a touch screen. I am seeing articles saying things like "in 2 years, 1/4 of all laptops will have touch screens," which makes me think mouse/touchpad and keyboard will still be viable even 5 years from now. What do you guys think?
posted by staggering termagant on Mar 12, 2014 - 26 answers

What were people paranoid about before modern technology?

Due to some personal motivations, I've been reading a lot about paranoia lately and most of the delusions I hear about involve modern technology, ie. wire taps, hidden cameras, etc. What are some examples of paranoid delusions before that technology existed?
posted by shesdeadimalive on Mar 1, 2014 - 34 answers

Is there a decent, cheaper alternative to Camtasia?

I'm working on a load of small projects for the education arm of a small charity. In order to make the training more interesting, I have been tasked with finding out what can be done in the realm of screencasts. As we don't have any kind of budget, I thought we might be able use something like Camtasia, which our web developer has on his machine. Problem is, I'm pretty sure we only have one licence and I'm even surer that it's going to be a struggle to get anyone to agree to pay for any new software right now. Looking at the tutorials, I was thinking of starting (relatively) simple and maybe using a mix of Powerpoint and animations to enhance an audio lecture. I therefore have multiple parts to this question: 1) Is there a free or really cheap alternative to Camtasia that I should be looking at? or 2) Is Camtasia worth fighting for? If it is, I am willing to learn how to do awesome things with it. 3) Am I even looking at the right kind of software to do this? Thanks very much!
posted by joboe on Jan 31, 2014 - 12 answers

Teaching low-income kids in the US how to program

What resources are there in the US that enable kids to take, say, a 3-6 month training course in programming, and then help with entry-level job placement after successful completion of the program? I used to live in Argentina and became familiar with http://program.ar/ which does this (very well) there, and want to find some similar programs in the United States.
posted by carlodio on Jan 30, 2014 - 6 answers

SoundFilter: Can I make passive bookshelf speakers wireless?

I have an aging stereo with decent speakers that I'd like to somehow convert so that I can stream music from my phone or computer. Is this possible? Details and pictures inside. [more inside]
posted by rensar on Jan 8, 2014 - 7 answers

Why don't we have HD video of Earth rotating in space?

Why don't we have HD video of Earth rotating in space? You know, relatively close-up, as if the Enterprise had just dropped out of warp and the planet was being majestically introduced to the cinema audience. An extended, multiple pass/rotation exposure, so that it could be watched by appreciative viewers wanting to get a bit of perspective/peace. I imagine I would sit and gaze at this for extended periods. What are the technical limitations which have prevented this?
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 1, 2014 - 23 answers

iPhone 4 versus iPhone 4s: antennas, maps, and iOS questions

I have a no-contract plan at Virgin Mobile USA, which I like because it is so cheap ($35/month for unlimited data and enough calling). The downside of cheap and no-contract is expensive phones. However, I just lost my Android phone and would like to switch back to iPhone. My options at Virgin are iPhone 4, for $200, iPhone 4s, for $314, or iPhone 5, for more than I want to pay really. How to decide? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Dec 27, 2013 - 13 answers

Where do you find the best online deals for all-things-electronic?

From a previous AskMefi post dated 2006, I've re-discovered Newegg, Slick Deals, Hot Deals, Woot, Tech Bargains, and Spendfish. It's been almost 8 years since the post, though, so I'm sure I'm out of the loop. Google is great for aggregating these sites, but I'm not sure about their quality (i.e. deal-awesomeness) from a simple search. Can you tell me what I'm missing? Thanks in advance!!
posted by onecircleaday on Dec 8, 2013 - 13 answers

Hacked Instagram account; can my friend get justice?

A fellow aspiring entrepreneur and friend of mine is in desperate need of help. Time is of the essence! Here's the story: Two years ago he created his own business that sells custom hand-made clothes and products. He owns a website and is on all of the normal social media. One of his most effective tools to connect with customers is through instagram. He's worked hard over the years to develop a fan base of over 27K followers. Mysteriously, last night this account was hacked. They changed the password, hacked the business email, and have taken control of the brand. This account is the business' main source of revenue and advertisement. Although he's trademarked the company and taken all the normal preventative measures, the admin. at instagram claims there's nothing they can do to help. Assuming this is true, what are his available options? Essentially, my friend's ship just got hijacked by some evil bastards and he's going to need a seal team to get it back. [more inside]
posted by intelligentfool on Dec 3, 2013 - 15 answers

Any audio equivalent of "extract a person or object using Photoshop"?

I have a sound recording that ideally I would like to remove the background sound from. My recording has unfortunately captured the unwanted sound of an episode of Doctor Who being played from a TV in the background. Is there a way to filter that out? [more inside]
posted by polymodus on Nov 19, 2013 - 12 answers

Question about Bluetooth security and speakers.

I am about to buy some bluetooth speakers to be used in conjunction with a Windows computer and Itunes. I have heard vague rumblings to the effect that bluetooth has security issues that regular wifi devices do not. Ordinarily, I would buy wifi speakers but the few I can find are awfully damned pricey. Would I be putting myself at risk of compromising my computer's security if I set up a pair or two of bluetooth speakers in my apartment? In general, are there any bluetooth security issues I should be aware of, as a new user of this technology? Many thanks for your time.
posted by jason's_planet on Oct 24, 2013 - 2 answers

Please explain the difference....

What is the difference between a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology vs. a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering? In job description, duties, salary, etc? [more inside]
posted by PrettyKnitty on Oct 21, 2013 - 7 answers

Seeking Recommendations for Reliable Automatic (or Human) Transcription

I am a medical writer working on a large project. Part of this project will involve posting videos of physicians along with a transcript of whatever the speaker is saying. The topic tends to be fairly technical - the physicians will be using Technical Medical Terms that could confuse the average layperson. Length of the videos varies from three to twenty minutes. [more inside]
posted by Schadenfreudian on Oct 9, 2013 - 6 answers

What things cannot be made by machine?

For example knitting can be duplicated by machine, but crocheted items can only be made by hand. I'm curious, are there other things that cannot be duplicated by machine?
posted by patheral on Oct 8, 2013 - 24 answers

What do you think will happen at the end of labor?

I like to hypothesize solutions to big problems. This one has me stumped. Is there a way to prevent total societal collapse as technology replaces workers? I've read several futuristic stories set after this shift where robots basically do all the work, but never anything during the process. [more inside]
posted by domo on Sep 17, 2013 - 19 answers

help me ID a documentary about a small town technology clash

I'm trying to find a documentary I watched sometime in the 90's, perhaps on HBO but at least on cable. It was set in a small town (New England?) where a burgeoning computer/IT company had just settled a large number of employees. the town's main industry previously had been a paper mill (or some similar industry) that hadn't been doing well, and coincidentally went out of business as the IT folks moved in. [more inside]
posted by camdan on Jul 28, 2013 - 4 answers

Hard drive having occasional problems with startup

Sometimes (often?) my external hard drive seems to stall while spinning up. But it's not broken. So what is it doing, and is there a way to fix it? [more inside]
posted by Zelos on Jul 3, 2013 - 6 answers

Dodging and burning effects in 1950s television?

Why do black-and-white shows from the 1960s, especially live ones, have what looks to be a burn (dark shadows) around bright objects (around Walt's signature and around people's heads) and dodging effects (white glowing) around dark objects (around the jet-black suit jackets of the announcer and dancers)? I originally thought it was some beleagured production assistant manually burning the What's My Line signatures so that they'd be more high-contrast and thus more readable, but now I'm seeing it everywhere!
posted by flibbertigibbet on Jun 2, 2013 - 10 answers

Is there a good site or app to monitor Canadian grocery flyers?

I'm hoping to start our food and sundries budget off on the right foot by shopping the sales as much as possible, but going through flyers and/or finding coupons on store at a time can be really tedious. There has to be a site or app for this, but I seem to be striking out.   Any recommendations from the hive mind? Bonus made-up points for anything that lets me set even basic alerts.   (The Canada factor is key--the initial few apps I've looked at have been US-only.)
posted by Decimask on May 29, 2013 - 6 answers

Past performance is no guarantee of future results

I've noticed that most of what I read about science and technology is universally optimistic about the pace of knowledge (if not necessary its use). From tech journalists to science fiction writers everyone seems to believe that the possibilities of technology are boundless and the pace of scientific discovery is, if anything, accelerating and always will be. My question is: Is anyone credibly arguing the opposite? [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on May 28, 2013 - 12 answers

What was academia like before different IT revolutions?

I've been working on putting together an annotated bibliography for my adviser over the past few days. I'm struck by how much work it is in terms of finding all of the articles, saving them, and then tracking backwards and forwards through citations to find related material. However as I've been doing this (and, in fact, each time I do any sort of review of the literature) I wonder what life was like before you had giant relational databases of material, not even counting things like writing up the report on a type writer. So, my question: if you've been in academia for a while, then what was life like before word processors / large relational databases of literature / instant collaboration and communication through email? And what sort of changes have you seen with the job as technology has advanced?
posted by codacorolla on May 24, 2013 - 20 answers

Options to add internet to a place that isn't wired for cable/broadband?

Are there options to add internet to a place that isn't wired for cable/broadband and doesn't have a phone line? The marina where I keep my sailboat does not have cable or telephone lines installed at the docks. I want to be able to use the internet while I am staying on my boat. Are there technology options available so that I can make this happen? What is the general connectivity speed of those options? Many thanks!
posted by matrushka on Apr 27, 2013 - 10 answers

What's the name of this paradox?

I have vague recollections of someone telling me of a paradox many moons ago, it went thusly: There's no point in launching a spaceship on a deep space mission, because as technology advances so rapidly (e.g. Moore's law) that any ship you build in the future will be faster/more efficient and hence overtake any craft that you launch now, inferring that one should always put off launching a deep space mission. The same person told me it was called 'Clarke's Paradox' (I think?) but I can't find any reference to it, save Clarke's Laws (i.e. "Any technology sufficiently advanced will be indistinguishable from magic" etc). Can anyone help put a name to this paradox?
posted by Rufus T. Firefly on Apr 26, 2013 - 11 answers

Help me understand this semiconductor product.

Hardware engineers / developers: can you help me understand Cypress Semiconductor's PSoC 4 platform? Who is it aimed at? What are the alternatives? [more inside]
posted by mullacc on Apr 18, 2013 - 10 answers

What's wrong? jacking mic and headphones for Frankenstein headset

I really want to combine my headphones with my microphone so that I can use it as a headset on my home phone. So I got a 3.5mm splitter and a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter so that I can plug the mic and headset together, then reduce it to 2.5mm so it can plug into my phone. It doesn't work. Why? More details inside... [more inside]
posted by cheesyburgercheese on Mar 8, 2013 - 15 answers

How do you abbreviate the word 'because' when typing or text messaging?

Whenever it comes up while I'm texting I come to an impasse. I know that I don't want to type the whole word because I have a dumbphone and I want to minimize thumb-wear. If I were writing a novel I would write it as 'cause, but I'm not so it's still too long. The phonetic cuz is clear and concise but somehow doesn't fit my personality or the tone of most of my communications. I started using cos but for some reason I associate that with UK English and I'm from the states and it doesn't quite feel right. What do you use and why, if there is a why.
posted by TheRedArmy on Feb 27, 2013 - 41 answers

Have you ever danced with the Kindle in the pale Moonlight?

I recently bought a Kindle Fire and want to use Silverlight on it (or some analogue, such as Moonlight). All my google searching indicates that there are a whole host of technical difficulties involved, and there is all sorts of unconfirmed speculation like "Well, maybe if you sideloaded Firefox and then installed Moonlight... that might work... possibly." I don't like messing around with new device software based on random people's hypotheses. Has anybody successfully managed some way to do this which you can personally confirm worked on your Kindle device?
posted by wolfdreams01 on Feb 26, 2013 - 6 answers

How to create a simple review/rating website?

I want to create an intra-company website for my co-workers to rate/review widgets. It will not be a commercial venture. Is there is a free or free-ish way to do this? [more inside]
posted by vidur on Feb 19, 2013 - 4 answers

Interesting blogs about weird technology?

I'm looking for blogs that cover old and/or niche technology, in the vein of Something Awful's "Obsolete technology" thread or JWZ' "retrocomputing" tag. Suggestions?
posted by GenericUser on Feb 12, 2013 - 6 answers

Help me figure out a job title for myself?

In my organization, we're not great at job titles. Mostly they aren't really needed. But for what I do it would be helpful, when contacting people both within and without the organization, to have a title to use that both speaks to what I do and gives folks an idea that I'm someone who is authorized to [get information/make changes to accounts and procedures/make decisions/spend money/whatever]. [more inside]
posted by attercoppe on Jan 23, 2013 - 8 answers

Need to find a store in the US to buy a netbook.

Where is the best brick and mortar store to buy a Windows netbook in the US? [more inside]
posted by jim.christian on Dec 26, 2012 - 8 answers

My New Smartphone Seems Less Smart

On my last smartphone, I could push a button, say "Find pizza" and the phone would bring up a map showing all the local pizzerias. Or "Find 300 Commonwealth Avenue" and it would show me a map with my destination and where I was. Now when I say "Find pizza" my phone instead does an internet search for pizza. If it is a more specific command, often the internet search will lead me to an option to find the selected item using Google Maps instead. But it's still a little annoying that I have to choose things with my finger instead of my voice. [more inside]
posted by wolfdreams01 on Dec 20, 2012 - 4 answers

History of pre-internet remote friendships?

I'm curious about the history of friendship - specifically examples - famous or otherwise - where very deep friendships are sustained only by remote means. Mail I think, but I suppose telegraph and telephone also meet this definition. Pre-electric examples slightly preferred, but I'm open to being corrected. Bonus points for examples of relationships where the individuals involved never physically met.
posted by artlung on Dec 4, 2012 - 14 answers

iRegretful?

Current Droid Charge user. Contemplating a move to my first-ever iPhone. Mistake? [more inside]
posted by julthumbscrew on Oct 19, 2012 - 20 answers

Do technophile jobs exist at large companies?

Does this job exist: new technology expert to help identify and implement cool stuff like bring your own device, cloud computing, virtualization at large organization. [more inside]
posted by Arbitrage1 on Oct 8, 2012 - 10 answers

How many AA batteries would it take to run a 3rd-gen iPad for one hour?

How many AA batteries would it take to run a 3rd-gen iPad for one hour?
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 5, 2012 - 7 answers

How to read Google eBooks on a Kindle?

No longer a Luddite! I've finally given into reading books electronically on my Droid phone, and am now hooked. Paper no more! I've amassed a nice collection of Overdrive library books, Kindle titles and Google eBooks (depending on whose prices were better) on my phone but it's too tiny for extended reading, and doesn't do well in sunshine, and the battery gets rapidly drained. [more inside]
posted by Neeuq Nus on Aug 25, 2012 - 14 answers

New or refurbished iPad "3"?

Is it better to buy a new or refurbished ipad "3"? Apple is selling a refurbished current generation iPad 16GB Wireless for $50 off the retail price. Comes with 1-yr warranty too. My husband thinks it's not a good enough deal and that I should go for a new one. I'm tempted to save the $50. What would you recommend?
posted by lirael2008 on Aug 24, 2012 - 18 answers

In-use terms with anachronistic referents

I'm looking for examples of terms that remain in common use, even though the technology that they originally described is obsolete or has changed. Also: does this phenomenon have a name? [more inside]
posted by condour75 on Jul 24, 2012 - 39 answers

Early examples of GPS-type things in movies/TV?

A researcher at my workplace has asked for help finding examples of his topic, early examples of "GIS (Geographic Information Systems) or GPS (Global Positioning Systems) technologies in film and TV", "examples of early precursors to map related technologies". I found someone else's Ask from earlier this year that hits on some likely ones, but he's on the lookout for older and more diverse instances if you can think of any. More details and examples below the fold! [more inside]
posted by theatro on Jul 23, 2012 - 9 answers

Real-time captioning software for webinars?

Asking on behalf of a friend: she runs a weekly GoToMeeting webinar that now needs to be captioned in real time. Is there a good software solution? [more inside]
posted by theatro on Jul 3, 2012 - 4 answers

My 4G has abandoned me!

My Samsung Galaxy S2 phone is brand new (I got it only 3 weeks ago) and loses 4g connectivity every time I visit MIT. Connectivity does not come back when I leave the premises, however. [more inside]
posted by wolfdreams01 on Jul 2, 2012 - 6 answers

Mac or PC for design work?

PC or Mac for would be web/multimedia designer? [more inside]
posted by gregjunior on Jun 29, 2012 - 12 answers

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