Questions in the Technology category.
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November 25

Moving Past the Samsung S7

I'm going to need a new phone probably sooner rather than later. I had a Samsung S4 that I loved. I currently have a Samsung S7 that I love but not as much as the S4. What should my next phone be? [more inside]
posted by zizzle at 11:36 AM - 10 answers

Buying a Kobo Libra

Will Kobo e-readers, and specifically the Kobo Libra be discounted on Black Friday in the US? Alternately, if it'll be used almost exclusively for library books, is there any good reason to consider a Kindle Oasis (just in case it sees significant discounts), now that you can access Overdrive directly on Kobo devices? [more inside]
posted by tapir-whorf at 10:35 AM - 6 answers

November 24

Another question about telephones in 1991

The character in my novel is calling the telephone of someone whose house has just burned down. This is in the immediate aftermath of the massive 1991 Oakland/Berkeley fire. Would she just get endless ringing? Or would she get some other sort of message? I'm actually hoping for the former, so unless that's patently wrong, it's what I want to go with.
posted by swheatie at 4:45 PM - 17 answers

Margins of error, multiple variables, and probably overthinking stats

I need to compute a margin of error for the result of f(x,y), where x and y are variables, with known errors, provided by sensors. This is something that would go on a spec sheet, so it should be applicable to any equation f(x,y) no matter the inputs. I guess? An example and possibly a better explanation of the wall I'm hitting behind the cut. [more inside]
posted by kalimac at 3:01 PM - 7 answers

The Only 3D Blu Ray I Really Want to Watch

My favorite film of the last decade is Bi Gan's "Long Day's Journey Into Night", and it's about to release on 3D Blu Ray. Part of the film is mandatorily in 3D. Being completely uninterested in 3D format, I've invested in a nice OLED that doesn't do 3D...but, alas, I really want to be able to watch this film a couple times per year. [more inside]
posted by Quisp Lover at 1:04 PM - 10 answers

Mirroring an iPad Pro on a windows PC

I have a new iPad Pro that I use for drawing. I'm wondering if there's a way to mirror it to my Windows laptop so that I can draw on the iPad while looking at the laptop screen, therefore reducing neck pain. [more inside]
posted by whistle pig at 7:39 AM - 5 answers

November 23

How to video-monitor my farm, on demand, on battery, on cell-data

I'm looking for help finding the right remote camera system to see what's happening at my farm (far from my home) without having to drive there. There isn't electricity or internet out there yet, so I need a battery powered system. All I can find are "trail cams" for hunters, chock full of expensive features I don't need. Any tips? [more inside]
posted by the_arbiter at 2:07 PM - 6 answers

I actually DO want Big Brother to monitor me...

I'd like to ask Santa for a watch that will also track my heart rate. I do not want to ask Santa to spend $199. What should I ask for? Review sites seem to spit out the same questionable Top 10 lists, and I've never heard of some of the best rated ones on Amazon. [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri at 7:34 AM - 13 answers

November 22

Smart home...but not too smart

We'd like to get a device or system that allows smarter control of lights in our house (i.e., turning lights on and off on a schedule, possibly being controllable remotely). We're not interested in a more holistic system to control of things like HVAC and camera/monitoring. My husband doesn't like the idea of the house being vulnerable to hacking and we don't really need these features, so I'm not interested in paying for them. We just want a more programmable system for the lights and maybe some outlets (i.e., for the Xmas tree). Do you have a system that meets this need, is cost-effective, and is secure? [more inside]
posted by Tandem Affinity at 6:41 AM - 9 answers

November 21

Do you mix personal data and freelance work files in same computer?

Rather a weird question towards freelancers... I recently got a new heavyweight desktop for doing freelance work at home. Though I already have a middleweight one that I worked, and still, play games, and watch videos on in my bedroom. Originally, I want to separate personal and work but then don't feel like to have both computers on switching myself around, or even get distracted by one another so keeping only one was the solution. However, I need to bring my work computer to work from time to time so it's not a good idea to have my personal files, games, and videos in it either. Ended up, I have two desktops and both are on the whole time.... I would like to know how you guys do. [more inside]
posted by lanhan at 10:59 PM - 14 answers

Moving from a support job to network admin

My career has been pretty much Desktop/Tech support as a title, but I've done Jr Network Admin work, despite lacking the certificates - I have a chance to take some time to get certificates and classes - but I have no idea what's valuable! What's good to get? What's the best bang for my buck?
posted by FritoKAL at 8:23 PM - 4 answers

Why does a new account on Wire have people listed under Contacts?

I created an account on the Wire messaging app using a burner email address that should be untraceable to my real identity. When I opened Wire, it showed me "Contacts" with a list of six people? Is it supposed to do that? [more inside]
posted by davidstandaford at 2:00 PM - 2 answers

November 20

How can I stop forgetting to take off my mic?

I need to wear a FM mic in my classroom that is hooked up to an amplifier. The problem is that the new system will pick up the mic even at a great distance (i.e. including the Men's room down the hall). It is only a matter of time before I forget to take off or turn off the mic when I leave the room and broadcast something that I don't intend to. [more inside]
posted by robverb at 5:29 PM - 15 answers

Software to extract files from encrypted itunes / iphone backup

For some reason my phone refuses to install the most current backup and I was forced to use one from several months ago. This means I no longer have all the photos I've taken on my phone over the last few months. Has anyone used any of the software that says it can decrypt iphone backups? I'm seeing a lot of products for a pretty wide range of prices.
posted by Julnyes at 1:21 PM - 2 answers

Understanding file/music storage on Android phone

I dragged a bunch of mp3s from an external drive to the Music folder on my Note 8 using Google Files app. However, no music app, including Google Play Music, sees them. I see no other appropriate folder to drag them into. What am I not understanding?
posted by dobbs at 12:10 PM - 7 answers

Best App or Website to Share Medical Updates

My mother-in-law is currently in hospital (and might be for a while), and various family and friends are carpet-bombing my wife with requests for updates on her status and treatment. Is there an app (iOS and Android) or website where my wife could periodically post updates that could be accessed by approved contacts? Thanks!
posted by joelhunt at 12:06 PM - 9 answers

Amazon Renewed

Does anyone have any experience purchasing Amazon Renewed, specifically a Dell laptop?
posted by trbrts at 10:22 AM - 5 answers

Cheapest/simplest way to play local media files on a TV?

Is there a standalone device that I can leave perpetually plugged in to my TV for the sole purpose of playing media stored on an external USB hard drive? [more inside]
posted by ToddBurson at 9:19 AM - 15 answers

Can I buy a physical button I can push to trigger Find My Phone?

I misplace my phone a lot. I leave my phone on vibrate at all times. Find My Device when accessed from my laptop lets me find my phone easily, but my laptop is in my bag packed up when I'm ready to walk out the door. Is there some sort of physical button I can buy that makes my android phone do Find My Device? [more inside]
posted by cmm at 7:06 AM - 16 answers

November 19

Any tips or tricks to help effectively build a fake profile on Facebook?

Does anyone have advice on creating a fake Facebook account, without being caught by their fraud detection, or noticed by other people? [more inside]
posted by crocodiletsunami at 1:00 PM - 18 answers

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