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The Computer Guys and Gals (The Kojo Nnamdi Show 1st Half Year of 2013)

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The Computer Guys & Gal 04/02/2013 :

Computer Guys And Gal Picks

The Computer Guys and Gal pick the best gadgets for spring, offer suggestions to make sure you don’t fall for April Fool’s Day pranks and discuss the latest in gaming news.

Allison Druin

  1. Should you spring out of those mobile phone habits?

  2. Tablet computers springing up in more classrooms

  3. Thousands of Amazon S3 data stores left unsecured due to misconfiguration

  4. In the thick of social media, you can get fired — so don’t be foolish!

  5. Spring into action with the pint-sized ‘fuel’ phone charger

John Gilroy

  1. When all the plugs are taken at the Starbucks, there’s now a game-changing product

  2. It’s a slam dunk: How Apple can compete with Google

  3. It can cost $10,000 to get the name behind an IP address (your stalker). Who does the law protect?

  4. Last month’s lament: death of desktop. This month’s lament: mobile hardware will disappear?

  5. Burning your bridges: Facebook turns off website internally to force mobile development

Bill Harlow

  1. Is the Oculus Rift head mounted display a virtual reality game changer?

  2. According to an Ars Technica report, password cracking can be shockingly easy

  3. Shovel Knight is a classic, 8-bit style, side-scrolling action game coming to the PC, and possibly Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. It’s lovingly old school, with pitch perfect music, color, choices, animation and, of course, game play.

  4. Don’t drink in Virtual Reality

  5. Quadrilateral Cowboy. You’re an 80s hacker, with the best tools (for the 80s) in the business.

Teen millionaire Nick D’Aloisio plans more startups after Yahoo(Bloomberg)

The Computer Guys & Gal 03/12/2013 :

New person-to-person data encryption can make your cell phone or tablet more secure. New Google features could help you buy your next car. And new apps help you manage your brackets as March Madness begins. The Computer Guys and Gal share their wisdom on all things tech.


Allison Druin - WAMU Computer Gal; ADVANCE Professor of the STEM Senior Women's Council & Co-Director of the Future of Information Alliance, University of Maryland
Bill Harlow - WAMU Computer Guy; and Hardware & Software Technician for MACs & PCs at Mid-Atlantic Consulting, Inc.
John Gilroy - WAMU Computer Guy; and Director of Business Development, Armature Corporation

Computer Guys And Gal Picks

John Gilroy

Allison Druin

-March Madness- what tech issues make me mad?



    The company will no longer offer a test environment for developers and its
    developer portal is already set to be read-only. The company says these
    changes, are designed to allow NetFlix to focus on supporting the products
    and features used most by our members. Its developer program, Netflix
    argues, has shifted over the past few years and is now more about
    supporting all of the devices that are used by its 33 million members to
    stream shows and movies. The move is reminiscent of recent changes by
    Twitter, where as each company has grown it's decided having control over
    the user experience through its own official apps outweighs allowing the
    community to build and extend access as it sees fit.

    Given the mass popularity of the SimCity series and the glowing praise the
    game received ahead of release from press, it was no surprise that the
    sheer number of customers trying to snag the game -- and subsequently,
    play it -- overwhelmed EA's servers. It didn't help that the new SimCity
    requires a constant connection to EA's servers. The result? Days of choppy
    play, or, more often, an inability to access the game at all. Worse yet,
    EA's started shutting off parts of the game in hopes of lowering server
    loads across the board, which (understandably) angered many players.

    A new documentary, ³Downloaded,² will have its world premiere at the South
    by Southwest Film Conference and Festival. This film documents Napster
    with the participation of Napster co-founders Shawn Fanning and Sean
    Parker. ³Downloaded² charts the rise and fall of the music file-sharing
    service, which had 25 million users before shutting down in 2001, and
    presaged the explosion of Internet communities and the widespread piracy
    of media on the Web.

-March Madness- what tech helps you march?


    In the San Francisco Bay Area, certain car-related Google searches won¹t
    just turn up links to car makers and dealers.Clicking the link to an
    individual car will show on the right, the dealer¹s address and phone
    number, as well as a big red ³get quote² button. Right now, clicking ³get
    quote² will only send a dealer your first name and a proxy phone number
    and email address. Google will only forward dealers¹ calls and emails to
    you a limited number of times before cutting them off to keep
    them from pestering you forever.³Google couldn¹t officially sell the car,²
    Pasch says, ³but they could really facilitate the entire transaction.²
    The Boy Scouts of America will be introducing a new "Game Design" Merit
    Badge later this year. The Boy Scouts reportedly spent two years designing
    the new badge's
    requirements with input from individuals working in the games industry.To
    earn the badge, a Scout will take a look at different types of games,
    analyze them for their content and themes, and demonstrate an
    understanding of intellectual property. He will then keep a notebook
    charting the design of his own theoretical game project, from concept, to
    design, to testing at official Scout functions, and incorporating
    that feedback into the game. Once that has been approved, the Scout will
    design an actual prototype of his game, and just about any medium is
    acceptable. Note that this badge is different than the already existing
    "video game" badge where boy scouts have to demonstrate knowledge of the
    video game rating system, creating a
    schedule balancing gaming with schoolwork and chores, and learning to
    play any new video game that is approved by a parent, guardian or

    Microsoft on Tuesday demonstrated added hand gesture functionality for its
    Kinect technology, which is being adapted to let users not only wave
    their hands, but clench their fists and pinch their fingers to pan and
    scroll through an on-screen app. The company showed the latest version of
    Kinect during its annual TechFest conference, which highlights
    developmental projects underway at Microsoft Research. The Kinect contains
    a camera, audio sensors and motion-sensing technology that tracks 48
    points of movement on the human body. It can reportedly perform
    full-motion tracking of the human body at 30 frames per second.

-March Madness- what tech can you use to think about basketball?


    The PocketBracket iPhone/iPad app (Pure Concepts LLC , $0.99) lets
    you create unlimited March Madness brackets and share them with your
    friends on Facebook, Twitter, or email. You can also organize private or
    public tournament pools. Once the NCAA tournament starts, your bracket is
    automatically updated. Not sure
    which team to pick in what game? Use the app's SmartPick feature for a

    ESPN ScoreCenter offers a free Android App for checking news and standings
    from sports leagues around the world. The new Android ESPN app makes it
    easy to follow favorite teams, latest scores with personalized scoreboards
    and alerts.

    NCAA OnDemand is home to hundreds of the best clips from years of the
    In addition to various clips from the NCAA, there¹s also a bunch of
    playlists, including buzzer beaters, Final Four highlights, great
    upsets, and the best dunks. All clips and playlists have been tagged to
    make them easy to find and share with others. NCAA will ask users to
    determine the most memorable players, teams, and moments, through an
    online poll.

Bill Harlow


  1. Sandy Hook Arcade: Healing Through Gaming:
  2. In addition to EA's Sim City debacle, they're also showing how to ruin freemium gaming with Real Racing 3:
    You could spend a fortune repairing your virtual car. As Eurogamer puts it, they're accurately simulating that auto racing is a rich man's game.
  3. PlayStation 4 finally revealed (release at the end of the year):
    It looks to resemble a gaming PC in several ways. From an experience standpoint, Sony hopes make gaming a lot more seamless, minimizing installation and update waits and offering full-system hibernation. Is console gaming long for this world though?
  4. On the low end, Ouya is launching soon!
    Kickstarter backers are seeing it at the end of the month. It should be available to the public in June. It's a very low cost Android based game console. $99 could get you a LOT of entertainment.


  1. Kickstarted movies at the Oscars:
  2. And Inocente won!:
  3. And a movie partially filmed with an iPhone app won an Oscar:
    Malik Bendjelloul, director of "Searching for Sugar Man", ran out of money and couldn't continue shooting on Super 8 film. He got the same look using the 8mm Vintage Camera app and was able to finish his documentary.

Spring (email) Cleaning!

  1. Sanebox (service for a variety of mail providers):
    Automatic filtering to present only what's really important right now.
  2. Mailbox app and service for iPhone:
    More manual intervention, but allows you to quickly defer mail and keep your inbox lean. Reservation required.


  1. Google publishes what it (legally) can regarding FBI's requests of Google customer info:
    They're required to not be too specific, so they discuss requests in time and quantity ranges.
  2. Google Glass, pot-to-kettle edition:
    A traditional big screen smartphone is emasculating, but Borg smart glasses on your face are cool, according to Sergei Bryn. (There's already a NSFW epithet for it!) I do think it's fascinating tech though.
  3. Save even more on refurb Macs? Apple quietly selling refurbs on ebay:
    Apple doesn't make the cheapest stuff, so every discount helps. And I've been happy with their refurb products in the past.
  4. And speaking of saving money, how much of a scam is printer ink?:
    Answer: It looks like it's a huge scam. Cartridges keep getting smaller and smaller, and yet prices haven't gone down with capacity. And now you know why an all-in-one scanner/fax/copier/printer can sell for under $100.

The Computer Guys & Gal 02/05/2013 :

A trio of major newspapers made news last week after hackers in China allegedly attacked their systems, possibly in retaliation for their reporting on Chinese leaders. BlackBerry unveiled two new smart phones, but some say it's too little too late for the mobile phone pioneer. And the FCC wants to build free nationwide Wi-Fi networks, which could mean free cell phone calls via the Internet. The Computers Guys and Gal are back to explore these tech stories and more.


Allison Druin - WAMU Computer Gal; ADVANCE Professor of the STEM Senior Women's Council & Co-Director of the Future of Information Alliance, University of Maryland
John Gilroy - WAMU Computer Guy; and Director of Business Development, Armature Corporation
Bill Harlow - WAMU Computer Guy; and Hardware & Software Technician for MACs & PCs at Mid-Atlantic Consulting, Inc.

Related Links

Computer Guys And Gal Picks

The Computer Guys and Gal select the best Valentine's Day gifts for the techie in your life and ways to observe National American Heart Month. Plus, the gadget headlines that are breaking and making our hearts this month.

Allison Druin

  1. A must-have for the commuter or road tripper, the inverter can power three devices at once

  2. Design-A-Skin for cell phones, laptops and more

  3. Bluetooth Wireless Mobile Speaker

  4. ILuv Ref Headphones: Plug these headphones into your smartphone to enjoy hands-free conversation, or play your favorite track.

  5. GPS FOR THE SOUL: Free iPhone app

  6. Heart Rate Monitor by Azumio Free, named the best Health & Fitness app on Mobile Premier Awards.

  7. Have a Heart Swarovski USB key necklace

  8. Is China hacking our websites?

  9. Your Twitter account may be hacked

  10. Amazon last week experienced an outage of its main homepage that lasted for nearly one hour

  11. Facebook privacy in the news with facial recognition. To opt out of this feature, follow these steps:

a. Click the wrench icon at the top right of Facebook, select Account Settings, and then click on click Timeline and Tagging.
b. At the bottom, locate the setting that says "Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded?" and click Edit on the far right.
c. Select your preference from the drop-down menu: Friends or No One.
d. If at step three you do not see an Edit Settings option, you will likely see "(this is not yet available to you)." This simply means Facebook has yet to roll out the feature to your account, and you'll need to wait for it to do so before you can change your privacy settings for it.

John Gilroy

  1. Kojo to organize a field trip to the Smithsonian to view a desktop computer: Tyrannosaurus Rex

  2. Google declares “war” on the password

  3. Teens say Apple has jumped the shark
  4. Blackberry attempts to make it cool in the enterprise
  5. Vint Cerf makes sartorial statement, “Your shirt shouldn’t have Internet access.”

  6. STEM, Capitol Hill and Allison Druin, Director of the Future

  7. Will Skynet start in China?

  8. Facebook Graph from a security perspective

  9. Squeeze play: Apple & Google have 90 percent of the smart phone market

Bill Harlow

  1. The year of the snake? The New York Times was the target of Chinese cyber attacks over a four month period. The Wall Street Journal was also attacked... As was the Washington Post.

  2. Erich Schmidt's new book discusses the potential threat that is modern China, pointing out how it's in a position to play more fast-and-loose with its digital espionage.

  3. What will happen to the software that helped with Obama's reelection?

  4. The new Blackberry! Does it matter?

  5. Robohand: Is the future open source prosthetics?

  6. Netbooks were supposed to be all the rage a few years ago. Incredibly cheap, small, portable, anyone could afford a laptop. The reality, of course, is that netbooks were often too underpowered to do most things well

The Computer Guys & Gal 01/08/2013 :

A new year is underway, and it's time to take stock of which tech-related resolutions we're most likely to break. Is this the year that social media companies up their game on privacy issues? Is it the year you "cut the cord" from your cable company to consume all your video content over the Internet? The Computer Guys & Gal are back in the studio to ponder what's likely to change and what's likely to stay the same in 2013.


Allison Druin - WAMU Computer Gal; ADVANCE Professor of the STEM Senior Women's Council & Co-Director of the Future of Information Alliance, University of Maryland
John Gilroy - WAMU Computer Guy; and Director of Business Development, Armature Corporation
Bill Harlow - WAMU Computer Guy; and Hardware & Software Technician for MACs & PCs at Mid-Atlantic Consulting, Inc.

Computer Guys And Gal Picks

Technology issues and gadgets that will be making news in 2013, a nod to the best headlines of 2012 and tech resolutions for the new year.

John Gilroy

  1. Best Headline Award 2012: “Nefarious Apps Easily Slip Past Jelly Bean Security”

  2. Second Best Headline Award 2012: “Is that a phone in your pants or are you glad to see me?”

  3. Who knew? At the end of 2012, English is the language of 26 percent of Internet users. It will soon be overtaken by Chinese (already 24 percent).

  4. Microsoft, fallen hero? Windows8 slower to adopt than Vista, really?

  5. Microsoft, bold innovator? Touch screens.

  6. The changing world of browsers: Chrome dominates (85 percent to 15 percent). Maxthon from China?

  7. Kojo’s part time job for 2013: Ransomware

  8. The forgotten vote: Power play >> U.N. shouldn’t control the Internet

  9. It’s all about the rage: Droid rage vs. Windows rage

  10. Twitter: do people still think it's just a fad?

  11. Let’s repeat one more time: If the product is free, you are the product. See: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.

Alison Druin

Top tech stories to follow in 2013:

  1. MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses -- Are they coming of age with Edx/Coursera/Udacity?

  2. Tablets and e-reader devices are now owned by one-third of the U.S. population 16 and older, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

  3. The saga of Google Maps!

Tech stories that shouldn't be kept private:

  1. Instagram is Instant Scary! This crisis of privacy is only after: Instagram announced in mid-December its decision to amend its advertising policy to allow advertisers to use data and content from its users for ads.

  2. Canadian government lost 5,000 people's data

  3. Facebook Pokes are more than just that

The Computer Gal's tech resolutions for 2013:

  1. Walk while you work on a standing desk treadmill

  2. Properly archive your notes

  3. Break out of my tech indecision and make some decisions. My tech is getting up there in years: my laptop is 3-years-old and starting to have hiccups, my iPhone isn't what it used to be and while I love my iPad3 to read with, I wonder if an iPad mini is easier for nighttime reading. So my new year's resolution is to make some tech decisions! Get the iPhone 5? Or wait 'til the Spring for the newest?. Keep the iPad 3? Or go to iPad Mini? MacBook Air? Or go to the Retina Macbook Pro?



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