Questions in the Technology category.
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November 19

What's my best upgrade option for a teetering iPhone 4?

My wee, sturdy iPhone 4 is reaching the end of its unnatural lifespan. I plan to get a new phone in January and cannot decide from these options: 5s, 6, and [unknown Android capable of seducing me]. Difficulty level: Canadian; have a decent month-to-month phone plan now and don't want to settle for less; smallish hands. [more inside]
posted by maudlin at 6:09 PM - 18 answers

Should I buy the OnePlus One X? I'm in the US.

I just got an invite for the new OnePlus One X phone, and I have three days to decide. Per this article, the phone uses AT&T's HSPA network, which results in slower downloads and uploads than LTE. However, I use Cricket Wireless which is slow anyway. Would I notice the difference?
posted by onecircleaday at 11:24 AM - 11 answers

Is there some Facebook tradecraft I need to learn?

For the sake of relationship harmony I've created a Facebook profile. How can I use Facebook without having it become an intrustive and hateful thing in my life? [more inside]
posted by six sided sock at 4:27 AM - 30 answers

November 17

Gmail Chat History - WHERE IS IT

A federal agency uses gmail as their email service provider. I use this federal version of gmail as part of my job and need to be able to find and reproduce gchat/gtalk/hangouts exchanges I've had with colleagues. Why is this so hard? Why. [more inside]
posted by skrozidile at 7:41 AM - 5 answers

November 16

Why don't they charge small batteries in parallel?

I'm sure this is a stupid question, but I wondered. Why don't cell phones and other chargeable electronics charge multiple small batteries in parallel? The analogy is like this: * I have one cell phone with a large battery that takes 3 hours to charge. * I have three cell phones with small batteries that take 1 hour to charge. Why can't cell phones just have 3 smaller batteries and charge them all at the same time, and therefore make the charging faster?
posted by jonclegg at 10:06 PM - 8 answers

How do I forward messages from my US Verizon number?

I have an US Verizon number and want to forward them to me in Sydney. [more inside]
posted by pando11 at 10:04 PM - 2 answers

Help my friend hear her mom!

Outdated-tech-filter: need help possibly restoring two micro cassette tapes. It sounds like there's just nothing on them... are they degraded? Demagnetized? Is that even a thing, and can it be fixed? [more inside]
posted by custard heart at 6:18 PM - 4 answers

Wifi repeatedly stalls, how do I even start troubleshooting this?

My laptop (and only my laptop) keeps randomly losing its internet connection after 20 minutes. Disconnecting and reconnecting to my wifi fixes this temporarily, but I haven't got a clue how to even approach fixing this. [more inside]
posted by jamincan at 1:09 PM - 10 answers

Smartphone voice mail unusable when out of minutes. How to get around?

I have a cheap pre-paid 100-minute unlimited data + text plan from T-mobile. I use wifi calling at home, but the minutes fly by even though I don't talk much when I'm out. When I am out of minutes, people get a "you cannot call at this time" message with no opportunity to leave a voice mail. Is there a way for me to set up voice messages through data or otherwise? Do I have any other options besides changing my plan? [more inside]
posted by BuddyBoo at 12:51 PM - 11 answers

Seeking simple album-oriented music player for my iPhone and iPad

I like to listen to albums and playlists from my music collection on my iPhone. I don't need a streaming service, or radio, or recommendations, or social networks. I just want a simple user interface that lets me pick out an album (or maybe a playlist) and listen to it. Does such a thing exist for iOS? The built-in music app has gotten way too complicated, and does not work well for me or my family. [more inside]
posted by alms at 11:16 AM - 6 answers

Dictation App for iPhone?

I've been doing a lot of hands-on failure analysis and inspection for my work, and I need a good way to dictate inspection notes using my iphone. You know in TV when the coroner describes the autopsy as he's doing it? Like that. I'd really prefer it to be an iOS app, but some kind of laptop app would be vaguely acceptable. Specific Required features inside. [more inside]
posted by nickhb at 7:49 AM - 5 answers

November 15

Are you a science blogger?

I'm a young professor working in an interesting but crowded field. The main reason I got into academia is that I love communicating ideas. I also tend to have a stream of side projects, some of which are too small or vague to merit a research paper. And I like writing. So I was thinking of starting a blog of sorts... [more inside]
posted by redlines at 7:25 PM - 7 answers

November 14

Looking to digitize my book library, but worried about corrupted PDFs

I have a rather extensive (read: physically burdensome) library of books I'd collected over the years that I'd like to digitize to take with me as I move on to my next adventure. I'm wondering what the best (most efficient, reliable, and economically efficient) way is to digitally preserve a large library of books as PDFs. I'm especially concerned to prevent files from becoming corrupted over time. [more inside]
posted by scriptible at 9:50 PM - 13 answers

Can anyone suggest a great ear-bud headset for an android phone?

Can anyone suggest a great ear-bud headset for an android phone that has a high quality mic for phone conversations?
posted by tangyraspberry at 9:31 PM - 2 answers

"Replace Drum" Brother Laser Fax

Hi Hive: Our "Brother" laser Fax (Intelifax 2840) is giving us a "replace drum" message but fax quality is still quite good. Can we wait until the quality diminishes before we replace the drum, or will we harm the machine by waiting (which is what Office Depot told us). Thanks!
posted by Lylo at 5:04 PM - 6 answers

How to find the charting methods I don't know about?

I have been a big fan of mind mapping for almost 20 years now, and within the last 5 years started drawing flowcharts for use in my business planning processes. Recently I've taken to using gantt charts, too. I choose to hand-draw all three most of the time, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. So what are some other types of charts out there that I don't know about, that could be useful? Is there a catalog of visual language out there that I should know about, where all these different kinds of charts are listed?
posted by circular at 10:38 AM - 4 answers

November 13

I just want an HD radio

My car (2010 vintage) is pre-HD radio. I want to get an HD radio for said car. I do not want a radio with all other kinds of stuff and HD. But, all of the HD radios come with full on radios and other bells and whistles. I have a perfectly nice radio, I just want the HD channels! Is this possible?
posted by tafetta, darling! at 7:42 PM - 4 answers

Know any good tools to help with sequencing photographs?

Looking for a good way to work with my own photos in jpeg form, narrowing down and sequencing sets of photos for exhibitions, galleries, submissions, books, and what have you. Are there any good apps or programs that might help with this? [more inside]
posted by wats at 12:20 PM - 8 answers

Major hardware upgrade with Windows 7

I'm considering doing a major computer upgrade - CPU, mainboard, and video card. Is Windows going to completely shit the bed after I do this? [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 11:52 AM - 16 answers

Using solar power to charge a large battery

We have a small cabin out in the middle of nowheresville, USA that is probably five miles from the nearest human being. No electricity, no indoor plumbing, wood stove for heat, that type of thing. We recently decided to use a big ol' marine battery to power some electric lights because the lp gas lantern lights really just don't cut it anymore. To charge those batteries (we have two), we are currently using a generator, but we would like to use solar instead. What are we looking at for equipment and cost?
posted by NoMich at 7:26 AM - 21 answers

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