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How to configure your Amazon Echo or Dot (even outside the US)

Posted by on Dec 24, 2016 in Guides & Help | 0 comments

On this Christmas you might receive an Amazon Echo or Dot as a present (lucky you!) ūüôā ¬†If this is the case and you happen to live outside the US, then you might scratch your head a bit to understand how to set it up, as the mobile “Amazon Alexa” app is not available on most App stores outside the US.

The Amazon Echo and Dot devices can work independently from each other and there is no need to have either of them first to be able to have the other. The main differences between them are:

Amazon Echo: Has a bigger speaker (thats why the size), but it lacks the possibility to get connected to another speaker through the 3.5mm jack.

Amazon Dot (2nd Gen): Its smaller, has a smaller speaker (the first gen didn’t have a speaker of its own), and has the possibility to connect to another speaker over the 3.5mm jack or Bluetooth.

Tip: While the Dot has volume controls on top as buttons, on the Echo you can control the volume by rotating the top part of the device, like a big dial. Of course both support the control of volume by saying “Alexa, volume 1 to 10”.

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Meet Apple, the old Microsoft

Posted by on Oct 29, 2016 in Reviews, Desktops & Laptops, Apple, Opinion & Ideas, Strategy | Comments Off on Meet Apple, the old Microsoft

So, the Apple October 27th event is now in the recent past and a lot of us were really waiting to have the first look at our potential next laptop.
The event was focused mainly on the Touch Bar a new touch screen above the keyboard of the new MacBook Pro line that occupies the spot where once the old function keys (F1, F2, etc.) slept for so many years.  The touch bar implementation is genius, it really looks great and Apple taking most of the time of the event just on this feature, showed us how proud they felt about it or that this was all the innovation we were going to see on the event. They also added the long waited Touch ID sensor to the MacBook, which for me should have already been there at least a generation back.

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File Sync services, quick speed comparison

Posted by on Sep 3, 2016 in Reviews, Cloud & Online Services | Comments Off on File Sync services, quick speed comparison

Today, I wanted to check the sync speed of the main online file storage providers.

I synced the same file of around 800 MB on each platform (one at a time) with their respective Windows Syncronization application with no other specific internet traffic. I then captured the print screen of the Windows 10 Task Manager to see how much network traffic each of the Syncing applications was generating. Below you can see print screens with the results, you will also see how much RAM each Sync app was consuming. 

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The failed search for my MacBook Pro replacement

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in Desktops & Laptops, Apple | 1 comment

Some time back, I decided to sell my Retina MacBook Pro 15″ (late 2013) for reasons I explained on this post, so I started a crusade to find the best possible Windows laptop I could buy as a replacement, but it had to meet my requirements:

  • Under 2 Kg of weight.
  • Ideally with a dedicated graphics card in case I wanted to do graphic intensive stuff or some eventual gaming.
  • A lot of RAM and Processor power so I could run multiple tabs, apps and virtual machines.
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Dell recalls TB15 thunderbolt docking station

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in Desktops & Laptops | 3 comments

I have ordered a Dell XPS 15 9550 notebook some weeks back, together with it I have also purchased a TB15 dock to plug my Ethernet cable, external screen, mouse and keyboard.

For some reason although Dell sold me and charged for the dock and was supposed to ship it together with my notebook, the Dock was never shipped. When I contacted my sales contact in Germany she told me I will get a refund because the dock has been recalled.

I have also pinged @DellCares over twitter and they have confirmed the same.

Update with further comments from @DellCares:

The Dell TB15 is a USB Type-C connector Thunderbolt Dock which apparently has been having several issues according to this Reddit.

It is not completely clear¬†at this stage if the recall is related only to the “unsold” items in stock or also to the ones the customers already purchased. The recall page at Dell¬†¬†doesn’t¬†mention the TB15 recall, but also seems to have been updated in 2006 the last time :(.

Know anything else about this topic? Please comment below.

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4 VPN and DNS Providers through you can still watch Netflix from outside USA

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in Reviews | 3 comments

As you may have heard, Netflix started to block the usage of VPN and Proxy servers to be able to watch the USA Netflix (which has more content) from another country.

Unfortunately there are still a lot of licensing issues for Netflix to allow them to have the same content at a global scale. They are aware of the problem and they are working on a solution, but this will take years.

I have been testing different VPN & DNS Services that would allow you to not only protect your privacy by using a VPN to connect to the Internet, but would also work for watching USA Netflix wherever you are.

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Baby Powder Test: ThinCharge battery case vs Apple silicone case

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Mobile & Tablets | Comments Off on Baby Powder Test: ThinCharge battery case vs Apple silicone case

Some time back I supported the Indiegogo project of ThinCase, a product which looked very promising, claiming to deliver a battery case for your iPhone in a very small form factor. I supported the project because I really wanted to see something like this.

Some weeks back, I received the case and started using it for a while to test how it would work. To be honest although the quality was not great, it was ok. Until one day I noticed that the screen seemed to be exposed to scratches if I would lay down my phone on a flat surface (something we all do at some point).

Just to be sure, I checked how the guys at ChargeTech were promoting the case. They are offering a “raised protective lip” as they called it, but this is not working as it should at all.

To demonstrate this, I have made a test between the ThinCharge case and the Apple Silicone Case, check the video bellow:

I contacted them to check if the product was defected, they answered that the product “is designed like that”. To be honest, their support level was not very good as I had to contact them again because they didn’t reply to my first email (to a Gmail account by the way).

What a pity that such a promising product failed on something so basic as protecting the screen.

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My first 2 not so happy years with a Retina MacBook Pro

Posted by on Apr 2, 2016 in Desktops & Laptops, Apple, Opinion & Ideas | Comments Off on My first 2 not so happy years with a Retina MacBook Pro

I consider myself a relatively new Apple Mac OS X user. I am a technology freak, I love everything around it and I am the point of reference of most of my family and friends when it comes to computers and tech stuff. I write about technology, love to do research and work in IT Service Management in a big company.

At work, I use a Windows 7 computer and at home I use a Retina MacBook Pro¬†Late 2013 15″ notebook. I had to have the experience that everybody was talking about: “Mac is great”, “I love my Mac”, “Everything is so stable”. So when I decided to buy it, I went for the best model available. The extra graphics card, the 16 GB of RAM, the 512 SSD, everything, spending a wooping almost USD 3.000. It was a lot of money and it still is.
Since then, I am trying to feel happy with my investment and with the new experience of “The Mac” and to be honest I still can’t find any joy besides looking at the thing.

I guess working at the office with a Windows computer and arriving home trying to use the Mac, doesn’t help either. I did install BootCamp and Parallels with a virtual machine running Windows, but I forced myself to use OS X since around November¬†2013 until today (March 2016) for most of the things I do.

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Yout: The easiest way to download a YouTube audio or video, yet.

Posted by on Feb 21, 2016 in Websites & Fun | Comments Off on Yout: The easiest way to download a YouTube audio or video, yet.

We found out this cool website: Yout.com that offers you the possibility to download a YouTube audio or video to your computer in very simple steps. To be honest, it cannot get any easier than this. Check the animated GIF below as they explain it on their own website.

Although you can paste the whole URL directly on the Yout.com page, I think the easiest is to do it directly form the YouTube page, just trimp the domain YouTube.com… to YouT.com and press enter (leave the rest of the original YouTube URL) and you will see the buttons to download in MP3 or MP4 format.

How you can use the MP3’s or MP4’s you download probably is ruled by the rights each media has so you might want to check on the YouTube description area of the file you download.

Enjoy!

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Ever wondered how progress bars work?

Posted by on Jan 31, 2016 in Fun | Comments Off on Ever wondered how progress bars work?

Today, I came across a nice explanation of how might progress bars work ūüôā

What do you think?

ProgressBar

Source: Tumblr.

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