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Shop for a Cell Phone Under 100 Dollars

Wired - Sun, 02/20/2011 - 22:32

Summary: /* Free with two-year contract */

[[Image:100dollars.jpg|300px|thumb|right|One of these can get you connected. Photo by [http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenickster/ TheNickster]/[http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenickster/2205400666/ Flickr]/CC]]


There are plenty of smart phones out there with the specs and features to make power users and tech junkies swoon. But what about folks who are okay with keeping things simple and don’t want to spend hundreds on a phone only to then pay for an expensive monthly plan? Between free or discounted phones and stripped-down models, there are plenty of options for grabbing a cell phone—even a smart phone—for less than $100.

''This article is part of '''a wiki anyone can edit.''' If you're a thrifty phone shopper, please log in and contribute.''

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==Free with two-year contract==

It’s easy to find a free smart phone or camera phone if you don’t mind signing up for a two-year contract with one of the major carriers. When browsing for these free, or “penny” phones, keep in mind the monthly charges for calling, texting, and data - and make sure the carrier is the best for your region and the way you use your phone.

As for the phones themselves, some retailers like [http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Folstemplatemapper.jsp%3F_dyncharset%3DISO-8859-1%26id%3Dpcat17071%26type%3Dpage%26ks%3D960%26st%3DFree_Featured_Phones_20110213%26sc%3DGlobal%26cp%3D1%26sp%3D%26qp%3Dcrootcategoryid%252523%252523-1%252523%252523-1~~q467265655f46656174757265645f50686f6e65735f3230313130323133~~cabcat0800000%252523%2525231%252523%252523a~~cpcmcat190800050010%252523%2525231%252523%252523a~~cabcat0801000%252523%2525231%252523%252523a~~ncpcmcat209400050001%252523%2525230%252523%252523a%26list%3Dy%26usc%3DAll%2BCategories%26nrp%3D15%26iht%3Dn&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNEWG_4F14n3v_zE1snFKcL8Q9jzZw Best Buy] and [http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwireless.amazon.com%2Fb%2F684177011%2Fref%3Dbs_dp_ph_noresults&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNFYWqXVsxlyhoiMS8HApnPb_76dFw Amazon] have deals for smart phones that cost a penny but require a two-year contract. Both offer the HTC DROID Incredible with a two-year Verizon contract. It’s a highly rated smart phone with a 1GHz processor, 8-megapixel camera, and the Google Android 2.1 operating system. There are better phones out there, but most cost a lot more than a penny. Both retailers also offer smart phones from LG, Samsung, and others.

Perhaps the most overlooked option for North American cell users is far away...literally. Asian-based websites offer literally hundreds, if not thousands of cell phones, including smart phones, all unlocked and ready to use. Without recommending any specific one, a quick web search may turn up names like Pandawill, Light in the Box and dozens of others, most based in China. Many sellers ship free and the selection of quad-band cell phones usable anywhere in the world is mind boggling. Start with $35 basic phones that include most common functions like mp3 ringtone capability, simple cameras and a handful of games. From there, full-function smartphones with video, audio, FM and even TV functions are commonly available in our price range. Ebook and handwriting recognition, LED flash, dual cameras, front and back are commonplace in the sub hundred dollar range. Android 2.2-capable, capacitive touchscreen bar format phones, (read: IPhone-quality), are breaking toward the $100 range, although the falling dollar of late may keep that barrier elusive.

For geeky cell phone users on a budget, Asian smartphones almost universally come with JAVA, opening up a huge selection of applications, many of which are free, unlike IPhone.

The downside can be buggy code; check ratings. While most Asian-branded phones seem to be durable and offer competitive quality screens and hardware, operating systems are proprietary and certain functions may have hiccups, resetting your profile to factory defaults without warning. You may also find your Asian-branded phone has reset your ringtone without asking and the volume needs to be reset. Most of the time, de-and re-powering the phone reboots the OS and that solves it, but if you're not someone who is prepared to live with such niggling glitches, take a pass.

But if you're adventurous and don't mind throwing away a bad phone after you have used it for a year, you'll join cell users starting to realize that owning your phone outright gives you a huge sense of control over your tele-life. $100 worth of Asian-branded cell phone typically buys $400 worth of capability, and design and form factor aren't limited to the four models your cell service provider offers. Hang Peng offers a model that may appeal to women who don't want to walk around with a miniature computer, they offer a model with both touchscreens and keyboards that neatly fold around a universal swivel. Open it and use the querty keybord or fold it back and use the touchscreen. After your call, the phone folds into what looks like a stylish chrome-rimmed accessory case with interchangeable covers to coordinate with the day's fashion.

Asian sellers each typically offer more than a hundred styles and form factors, including, yes, wristwatch-based, touchscreen smartphones. Most of these phones provide dual SIMM slots, so more than one person can use the same phone without sharing phone numbers, and they work on any cell network that utilizes SIMM-based phones. Sadly, that does not yet include Verizon, although that company is reportedly considering a change to SIMM based phones.

You might also enjoy a sense of smug satisfaction; outside the US and Canada, the trend, worldwide among cell customers is to purchase a phone BEFORE shopping for cellular service providers. That, combined with a byzantine choice colors, styles and capability, make cell phones into more of a personalized identity statement for international buyers. Walking in to your neighborhood cell service provider, phone in hand, is also a great way to make a statement, to perhaps even spur more competition among western cell service providers.

Asian-branded phones usually ship free, but if not, shipping is not cost prohibitive. Qualms about about buying a cell phone from a Hong Kong website will fade when the phones arrive and work fine. Most are shipped with two batteries, sparing users of that dreaded early battery death syndrome.

Reliability: most Asian cell phone websites include extensive user comments and ratings, and honor warranties consistently; look for a website that has the best ratings, and you should be safe. On the other hand, remember you are dealing with sellers on the other side of the Pacific, so Google other buyers and purchase experiences to play it safe.

==Under $100 with two-year contract==

This is where you can spend a little more to get more phone, but will still need to buy into a contract. This could be the ticket for BlackBerry fans, with models like the [http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwireless.amazon.com%2FBlackBerry-Bold-9700-Phone-AT%2Fdp%2FB002XDQHWW%2Fref%3Dsh_br_ph_10&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGBvWe5brBBPSUBmkoOq9d62D2q1Q Bold 9700] available at Amazon for $99.99 with a two-year Sprint contract. For Apple fans who want to try an iPhone but not spend up to $300, Best Buy has the [http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2FApple%252526%252523174%25253B%2B-%2BiPhone%2B3GS%2Bwith%2B8GB%2BMemory%2B-%2BBlack%2B%252528AT%252526T%252529%2F1048998.p%3Bjsessionid%3DF430276048852C5D904C2AF93B946507.bbolsp-app04-11%3Fid%3D1218212859929%26skuId%3D1048998%26contract_desc%3D&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGWTSNEmYMqqXfCwAiR9Bc1iu4fQw 3GS for only $49.99] with a two-year AT&T contract. And there are plenty more options out there.

==Less than $100 with no contract==

For those who want a basic phone with a camera and don’t need a robust web browser, [http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2FNo-Contract%2BPhones%2FBasic-No-Contract-Phones%2Fpcmcat158400050071.c%3Fid%3Dpcmcat158400050071&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGXB22sTfF3RXetpwNfjtvEjS6hzA there are options] from Verizon, Virgin, AT&T, Sprint and others. With many of them, you can still access the Web and check your email, but doing so may feel like it’s 2005, not 2011. But for people who truly want or need a simple solution and would rather not buy into a contract, you can spend as little as $30 and have a small, efficient phone in your pocket in no time.

As for paying for pre-paid service, [http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuymobile.com%2Fmobile-phone-plans&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNE4zspP9vPXBH9ohPa8tddy6d_b6w it’s pretty simple]. You pay a certain amount, say $30, and you can only use that $30 worth of calls. After that, you won’t be able to make calls. But you can always re-up for whatever amount you like. This can be a great solution for travelers, parents who want to give a phone to their kids, or emergency phones. There are several carriers - large and small - that offer per-minute and per-text rates, usually ranging from $0.10 to $0.25 a minute or $0.10 to $0.20 per text. Popular retail websites can explain the options and set you up with pre-paid plans, or even monthly plans if you change your mind after buying the phone. Remember, over time a monthly plan will be cheaper than pre-paying. But if you only need the phone for a short period of time, pre-paid phones can be a great way to meet your needs.

Some carriers offer pre-paid plans with flat fee usage. For example, $50 for a new phone and $25/month will get you on Virgin Mobile USA with unlimited messaging and 300 anytime minutes. The same phone can have unlimited everything for $60/month. If you refer a new customer they will gladly give you and your referral free airtime.

This would not be a stripped down phone, you would have a camera, access to Facebook, etc. The monthly plans don't have a service commitment, since you bought the phone the carrier is not at risk due to subsidies.

Other pre-paid carriers allow you to round down minutes used, which can potentially save you money. Sprint and Walmart own such a carrier: commoncentsmobile.com. $10 for their simplest phone and 7 cents per minute. Imagine a 4.5 minute call, all carriers will round it to 5 minutes. Common Cents will charge you 4 minutes for the same call.

''Modified from an original article by Matt Bushlow for Wired.com.''


Wired - Sun, 02/20/2011 - 07:28




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Wired - Sun, 02/20/2011 - 07:22

Summary: New page: [[Image:l.jpg]] '''BUY ALL THE LATEST VIDEO ON ''' '''goo.gl/N5wUz'''


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Wired - Sun, 02/20/2011 - 07:07

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Wired - Sun, 02/20/2011 - 06:40

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Tablet Reviews: iPad vs Motorola Xoom --How to Rip DVD Movies to iPad/Xoom Tablet with DVD Ripper on Mac

Wired - Fri, 02/18/2011 - 09:07

Summary: New page: Motorola Xoom seems to be a strong rival to Apple iPad recently. It runs Android 3.0 with dual-core processor in 10.1-inch widescreen. Who will be the winner? It may be too early to tell. ...

Motorola Xoom seems to be a strong rival to Apple iPad recently. It runs Android 3.0 with dual-core processor in 10.1-inch widescreen. Who will be the winner? It may be too early to tell. The following is a review of iPad and Xoom tablet for your reference:


'''Rip & Watch DVD on iPad/Motorola Xoom on Mac'''

With the high display resolution of those two tablets, it must be a wonderful experience to watch movies on iPad or Xoom. So if you want to watch your favorite DVD movies on your iPad or Motorola Xoom, the first thing is to convert the [http://www.tune4mac.com/rip-dvd-on-mac/rip-dvd-to-ipad-xoom.html DVD to iPad/Xoom] with DVD to iPad or DVD to Xoom ripping software.

[http://www.tune4mac.com/mac-dvd-converter/index.html '''Tune4mac DVD Converter Pro'''] is specially designed to help mac users to rip DVD movies to MP4 format compatible with Tablets, such as Apple iPad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab easily.

'''Tutorial: How to Convert DVD to iPad/Xoom with Tune4mac DVD Converter'''

Step 1. Insert your DVD to your mac and launch Tune4mac DVD Converter.

Step 2. Click "Load DVD" button and check the DVD chapters you need to convert.

Step 3. Choose output format as "iPad" or "Customized MP4" for iPad and Xoom respectively.

Step 4. Click "Encode" button to start converting DVD to iPad/Xoom.

After the DVD to iPad/Xoom conversion is completed, you can enjoy your favorite DVD movies on your iPad or Xoom in no time.

'''Tips:''' [http://www.remove-drm-software.com/mac-itunes-video-converter-platinum/convert-inception-to-galaxy.html How to Remove DRM from iTunes M4V to Samsung Galaxy Tab]

How to Transfer iTunes M4V Videos to LG Optimus 2X Smartphone

Wired - Fri, 02/18/2011 - 07:30

Summary: LG Optimus 2X smartphone, which has a huge 4 inch display which has great clarity and color reproduction. The display runs on a 800x480 px resolution.

'''LG Optimus 2X'''

You will be much interested in this powerful smartphone, and eager to know about its features, as we know, it's the world’s first Dual Core phone powered by Nvidia Tegra2, world’s first camera phone to offer 1080p (1920x1080px) video recording, with a 480x800 Capacitive IPS Display, 8 MP Camera with LED Flash, 1.3 MP video calling camera, 1920x1080px Video playback, HDMI mirroring, DLNA, 8 GB memory , supports upto 32 GB microSD cards; based on Android 2.2.1 OS with update to 2.3 promised. Besides, with the Adobe Flash Player 10.1, you will browse the Internet much faster, etc.

This shocked smartphone has a huge 4 inch display which has great clarity and color reproduction. The display runs on a 800x480 px resolution. It's a good video player, you will specially feel it when you have a travel. Viewing videos is a pleasure on the LG Optimus 2x. The phone sports a 4″ LCD screen with 800x480 pixels (WVGA) Resolution. The video player supports a wide variety of formats including mp4, 3gp, DivX, XviD etc.

'''How to play iTunes M4V videos on your LG Optimus 2X?'''

The M4V video format is used by Apple's iTunes application and is very close to MP4 format. Apple uses M4V files to encode TV episodes, movies, and music videos in the iTunes Store. To play a protected M4V file, the computer needs to be authorized (using iTunes) with the account that was used to purchase the video. However, unprotected M4V files without AC3 audio may be recognized and played by other video players by changing the file extension from '''.m4v to .mp4.''' So you see, you can not play m4v iTunes videos on LG Optimus 2X.

'''Convert m4v iTunes videos to LG Optimus 2X with Noteburner [http://www.noteburner.com/noteburner-m4v-converter.html m4v to LG Optimus 2X converter].'''

Noteburner m4v converter is a special [http://www.noteburner.com '''DRM removal software'''] and a converter at the same time, it can firstly remove the DRM protection in a fast and legal way, at the same time convert the .M4V format to Plain MP4, MOV, 3GP, AVI and FLV etc. foramts, Most of which can be supported by LG Optimus 2X. Then you can play the m4v iTunes videos on LG Optimus 2X freely at anytime and anyplace.

'''Step 1.''' Download Noteburner m4v converter and install it
Note: The free trial version has 3-minute limitation with the converting.

'''Step 2.''' Import M4V videos from iTunes library
Click "Add" button, you will get a popup window listing all files in iTunes library. You can search M4V videos according name in iTunes, then select the videos, click OK button.


'''Step 3.''' Set output path and output format
Select output format as the format supported by LG Optimus 2X, such as mp4 format:

Note: If you don't set to custom output path, the output files will be saved in the default folder.

'''Step 4.''' Customize video and audio options on the right settings panel.

You can customize the output video codec, bitrate, Ratio and audio codec, bitrate, channel for the output vidoes.

'''Step 5.''' Click "Convert" button to remove DRM protection for iTunes M4V videos


There's also [http://www.noteburner.com/mac-m4v-converter.html '''Mac Noteburner M4V to LG Opitmus 2X converter'''].

How to Play Videos and Movies in Full Screen on Droid X with High Quality

Wired - Fri, 02/18/2011 - 01:21

Summary: New page: The [http://www.foxreal.com/droidx/ '''''Motorola Droid X'''''] 's 4.3-inch display is larger than the Apple iPhone 4s 3.5-incher with 854 by 480 pixels, which provides the perfect way to ...

The [http://www.foxreal.com/droidx/ '''''Motorola Droid X'''''] 's 4.3-inch display is larger than the Apple iPhone 4s 3.5-incher with 854 by 480 pixels, which provides the perfect way to access and watch your favorite TV shows and movies on the go. With HDMI and wireless HD connection via DLNA, you can also enjoy Droid videos and movies on your HDTV, PS3, Xbox and more. However, how to play videos on Droid X in full screen with high resolution 845*480? Do not worry. The article will mainly share with you the best method of playing movies on Droid X in full screen easily.

To start, please make sure the movies or videos you want to transfer and play on Droid X are in the video format '''H.264''', '''H.263''', '''MPEG-4'''. If you plan to put and play video files like TiVo, MKV, WMV, MKV, MOV, AVI, ,MTS, M2TS, VOB, or other Droid X unsupported videos on Droid X, the first thing you need to do is to convert video to Droid X compatible format H.264/MPEG-4 MP4.

'''Foxreal Video Converter for Mac''' (For Windows Users: [http://www.foxreal.com/video-converter/ http://www.foxreal.com/theme/foxreal/images/get-windows-version.jpg] )


Convert movies/videos/TV shows to '''Final Cut Pro''' and '''QuickTime Movie''' Format.
Play TiVo, AVCHD and '''1080p/1080i/720p HD''' videos on iPad/iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4, Droid X/HTC Droid Incredible/Nexus S/Galaxy S/Galaxy Tab/HTC EVO 4G and more.
Stream media files in perfect '''video/audio sync technology''' without quality loss.
Compress and transcode HD/SD videos at '''super fast conversion speed'''.

'''How to convert and play movies in full screen on Droid X?'''

'''(1)''' Free Download '''[http://www.foxreal.com/video-converter-mac/ ''Droid X Converter for Mac'']'''

'''(2)''' Click "Add" icon to load video files you want to convert after launching the Droid X video converter program on your computer.

'''(3)''' Choose the output video format for Droid X via clicking the Format option and selecting Android - > Motorola Droid (X) H.264 Video (*.mp4) for Droid X. And the default resolution of the output profile Motorola Droid (X) H.264 Video (*.mp4) is 854*480, which can keep the converted video/movie files in full screen on the Droid X.

Which is the best video format for Droid X? '''Video H.264 (*.mp4) at 1500 bitrate 23.97 frame rate with 854*480''' is recommended here. (If you need, just click the Settings to adjust/get the parameters for the best Droid X video format.)

'''(4)''' Convert video to MP4 for Droid X.
Once all the necessary settings are done, you are able to start video to Droid X conversion by clicking “Convert” button on the main interface of the ''' Foxreal [http://www.foxreal.com/video-converter-mac/''Mac Droid X Converter'']'''.

How to Convert iTunes M4V TV Rentals to DVD for Your Children

Wired - Thu, 02/17/2011 - 07:44

Summary: This artilce is a simple guide to teach you how to convert iTunes TV rentals to DVD, so that your kids can watch them on your DVD player.

[http://www.apple.com/itunes/charts/tv-shows/ iTunes Store] is one of the largest online stores for music and movies in the world. iTunes users can rent wan iTunes TV show with only $0.99. Many parents like to rent iTunes TV shows for their kids to watch. So here we are talking about converting iTunes TV rentals to DVD, so that you can play them on your DVD player for your children to enjoy.

But we know iTunes TV shows are DRM-protected M4V files, which means you can only play them on Apple devices. If you want to play iTunes TV rentals on DVD player, you have to remove the DRM protection from those M4V TV shows and convert the M4V files to DVD formats before buring them to DVD with DVD burning software you have. In this case, you need a M4V DRM removal software to help you convert iTunes TV rentals to DVD.

[http://www.tune4mac.com/mac-itunes-video-converter-platinum/index.html '''Tune4mac M4V Converter Plus'''] is a powerful yet easy-to-use M4V DRM removal tool to help mac users to convert DRM-protected iTunes M4V purchased and rentals to DVD compatible formats with excellent quality. Besides, it also converts M4V rentals to MOV, M4V to MP4, M4V to AVI, M4V to MPEG formats supported by iPhone, iPod, iPad, Sony PSP, PS3, Zune, BlackBerry, etc.

'''Tutorial: Remove DRM and Convert iTunes TV Rentals to DVD'''

Step 1. Launch [http://www.tune4mac.com/download/mac-itunes-video-converter-platinum.dmg Tune4mac M4V Converter Plus].

Step 2. Add M4V TV rentals to M4V Converter.

Step 3. Select output format as ".MP4", "DVD PAL", "DVD NTSC" you desired.

Step 4. Click "Convert" to start converting M4V rentals to DVD.

Step 5. Burn the converted movie to DVD with DVD burning tool you own.

'''Tips: DVD Backup--[http://www.remove-drm-software.com/any-dvd-cloner/copy-toy-story-3-to-dvd.html Copy DVD Movies to DVD with Any DVD Cloner]'''

'''Top Kids iTunes TV Rentals'''

Bob's Burgers

American Dad

The Cleveland Show

Family Guy

The Simpsons

Raising Hope

How to convert iTunes M4V movies to FLV format

Wired - Thu, 02/17/2011 - 03:52

Summary: Would you like to convert your personal M4V videos to FLV flash video format for uploading to Youtube, myspace or personal blogs.

'''Why we need to convert M4V to FLV?'''

Flash Video is a container file format used to deliver video over the Internet using Adobe Flash Player. As a Flash video format, FLV is also very popular on the web. You can always see the videos on the website like YouTube, Google Video, MySpace TV. After you download the video from YouTube, you will find the downloaded video's file extension is .flv, which means it is the FLV video. It is also in a small size and can be loaded on the web easily.

For most web surfers, they may be desired to know how to convert their personal videos to FLV flash video format for uploading to '''Youtube''', myspace or their personal blogs. In this article, we will guide you '''how to convert iTunes purchased or rental movies to FLV formats on Mac & Windows'''.

'''Convert M4V movies to FLV formats with Noteburner [http://www.noteburner.com/noteburner-m4v-converter.html '''M4V to FLV Converter'''] for Windows'''.

'''Step 1.''' Download Noteburner M4V to FLV Converter, and install it on your computer, download [http://www.noteburner.com/noteburner-m4v-converter.exe free trial version]

'''Step 2.''' Import M4V movies from iTunes library

Click "Add" button, you will get a popup window listing all files in iTunes library. You can search M4V videos according name, then select the videos, click OK button.

'''Step 3.''' Set output path and output format

You can select output format as Flash Video FLV and output path

Note: If you don't set to custom output path, the output files will be saved in the default folder.

'''Step 4.''' Customize video and audio options on the right settings panel.

You can customize the output video codec, bitrate, Ratio and audio codec, bitrate, channel for the output vidoes.

'''Step 5.''' Click "Convert" button to switch iTunes M4V videos to FLV with NoteBurner M4V Converter for Windows.

Need a Mac version for your Mac OS? Please click Mac M4V FLV Converter, and go to the Mac version page to learn more about converting [http://www.noteburner.com/mac-m4v-converter.html '''M4V to FLV on Mac'''].
If you need to convert the Rental m4v videos, please refer to [http://www.noteburner.com/mac-m4v-converter-plus.html'''Noteburner m4v converter plus'''] .

How to Rip DVD movies/videos to your Nook Color

Wired - Thu, 02/17/2011 - 02:46

Summary: New page: '''Nook Color''' is a fully capable Android tablet. Nook Color’s library section is organized by books, magazines, and newspapers, but also gives options for creating your own sets of co...

'''Nook Color''' is a fully capable Android tablet. Nook Color’s library section is organized by books, magazines, and newspapers, but also gives options for creating your own sets of content (“my shelves”), working with PDFs and other docs, music, images, and video (MP4/M4V only) in “my files,” and allows you to dive into the company’s much-touted lending program.


So we couldn’t get anything besides MP4/M4V to play, and even then we had trouble with some DVD Videos.

Don’t worry. The following guide to learn how to put DVD movies on your NOOKcolor quickly and easily.

The things you need:

(1) NOOKcolor

(2) A Movie or a TV Show DVD

(3) The charger cable that came with your NOOKcolor

(4) '''Foxreal [http://www.foxreal.com/blu-ray-ripper/ ''Blu-ray Ripper'']''' ('''DVD to NOOKcolor Ripper''').

'''Tip:''' If you are Mac user, you can select '''Foxreal [http://www.foxreal.com/blu-ray-ripper-mac/ ''Blu-ray Ripper for Mac'']'''.

'''Step 1:''' Free Download Foxreal Blu-ray Ripper and installing and running it on your computer. For Mac Users, you need to Download Mac version.

'''Step 2:''' Connecting the NOOkcolor to your computer.
After DVD to NOOKcolor Converter installed on your computer, the next step is connect the cable that came with your NOOKcolor to its connection at the bottom of the Nook.

'''Tips:''' When you connect your NOOKcolor to your computer, your NOOK should display a big message on-screen regarding USB Mode. If your Nook was in standby when you connected, slide your finger across the screen to unlock it after you connected it. After a while, it will turn off its screen, but as long as you did see the USB Mode message, things should be good.

'''Step 3:''' Select MP4 as output format for NOOKcolor. As I know, NOOKcolor only can play MP4 video format. You can choose other formats(MPEG 4) to try it.

'''Step 4:''' Starting DVD to MP4 conversion. Only click “Convert” button to convert DVD to MP4 format.

Once the conversion is done, you can '''[http://www.blurayvideotips.com/dvd-to-nookcolor-converterplay-dvd-movies-on-your-nookcolor/ ''enjoy your DVD movies on NOOKcolor'']'''.

Determine Which Cell Phone Is Right for You

Wired - Wed, 02/16/2011 - 23:14

Summary: New page: [[Image:Smartphones.jpg|630px|thumb|left|Decisions decisions... Photo by [http://www.flickr.com/photos/athomeinscottsdale/ Dru Bloomfield]/[http://www.flickr.com/photos/athomeinscottsdale/...

[[Image:Smartphones.jpg|630px|thumb|left|Decisions decisions... Photo by [http://www.flickr.com/photos/athomeinscottsdale/ Dru Bloomfield]/[http://www.flickr.com/photos/athomeinscottsdale/5171125430/ Flickr]/CC]]

When picking out a serious phone for yourself, smart is the only way to go. It may seem overwhelming, as the smartphone industry is a veritable melee of specs, software, and form factors. But fear not: Here are a few tips to help you find your next feature-filled handset.

'This article is part of '''a wiki anyone can edit.''' If you have ever used the term or been referred to as "biphonal," please log in and contribute.''

==Consider Your Carrier==
If you’re already chained to a carrier via contract/blood oath, this step should be fairly straight-forward: Size up your carrier’s smartphone selection, weed out the obvious duds, and move on to Step 2.

For everyone else, the world is your oyster. Each carrier has its own strengths, weaknesses, and coverage quirks, so be sure to find the right fit for your needs.

'''PRO TIP:''' Our advice? When sizing up carriers, rank data coverage highest, followed by voice coverage, and then consider pricing and network speed. After all, a smartphone without connectivity isn’t really smart at all. Likewise, prohibitively slow or expensive service can be hefty dealbreakers too. Try to strike a balance.

==Whittle Down Your OS Choices==
The smartphones of yesteryear were defined almost entirely by their form factors. In today’s software-centric market, the focus is now on operating systems. Though their core feature sets are largely the same (email, web, text, apps, etc.), each approaches tasks in a different fashion:

The lifeblood of the iPhone (and iPad) excels at providing rich apps, gaming, and multimedia playback.

As a Google-backed OS, it’s the go-to for device customization and cloud services.

===Windows Phone 7===
Though slowly growing in prominence, WP7 is surprisingly polished and offers solid productivity and multimedia support.

The industry’s dark horse is great for multitasking and offers an innovative approach to contact management.

'''PRO TIP:''' No matter how good an OS sounds on paper, it’s always worthwhile to tinker with it before making a buying decision. An easy way to do this is to think about your ideal top three smartphone tasks (eg: emailing, texting, and web), and then trek out to a demo-rich environment like an electronics store. After tackling these mission-critical tasks with the demo phones, you should have a general idea of which OS is best suited for your everyday use.

==Shop for Muscle (And Looks)==
With your carrier and OS chosen, it’s time to delve under the hood. Processor speed is quickly becoming a key metric for manufacturers, and it’s worth your attention as well--at least, if longevity and consistent speed is a concern.

The strategy here is to explore phones with a processors that are fast enough to smoothly execute the important tasks, while also leaving a little horsepower to grow into. For simplicity’s sake, we suggest starting at the 1 GHz benchmark, while also being mindful of the future. After all, the next generation of dual core smartphones are slated to hit the market later this year.

'''PRO TIP:''' Okay, so looks are important too. Once you’ve decided on an ‘engine’ for your new smartphone, consider what form factor works best for your usage patterns. Are you a power texter? Then a device with a slide-out keyboard is probably for you. Like gaming and video on the go? A larger handset with a slate-like setup is probably more your speed.

==Don’t Panic==
Moore’s Law (and Murphy’s Law) pretty much ensures that a newer, more powerful competitor to your phone will pop up not too long after your purchase. DO NOT PANIC.

If you’ve followed our advice by choosing a well-suited (if slightly overpowered) smartphone, then you’ll ultimately be fine. The goal is to find a handset that works in concert with your digital lifestyle for the duration of your contract.

Of course, if you still have doubts...

'''PRO TIP:''' Each carrier sports its own return policy. So, if you’re particularly antsy about making decisions you can almost always escape your new handset/carrier within the return window.. At best, this will allow you to ease some fears and take everything for a test drive. At worst, you’re out a modest restock fee and a pro-rated bill. Either way, it’s better than being stuck with a sub-optimal device for two years.

''Modified from an original post by Terrence Russell.''

Indian Slap bass

Wired - Wed, 02/16/2011 - 14:27

Summary: [[Indian Slap bass]] moved to [[Play an Indian Slap bass]]

'''Slap Bass'''

Slapping the bass is considered to have begun in the 1920s on the Double Bass. On double bass it refers to the technique which is a more vigorous version of pizzicato, where the strings are plucked so hard that when released it bounces off the finger board, making a distinctive sound. A percussive sound is also made by smacking the strings with all four fingers of the right hand.

'''On electric bass guitar'''

“Slap bass” is referred to percussive playing technique in electric bass as well, that the style sounds and looks percussive rather than the usual fingering of notes. Slap bass is more technically called “slaps” and “pops”. In the slaps, the bassist uses the bone of the thumb joint to strike the lower strings near the base of the guitar’s neck. In the pops, the bassist uses the index and middle fingers of the plucking hand to snap the higher-pitched strings away from the body of the bass, causing them to bounce off the fret board; this produces a prominent buzzing tone with a sharp attack and more high-frequency vibrations than in plucked bass.


Double Bass player, Bill Johnson is considered by many as the father of slap bass. The methods developed by Larry Graham followed by Louis Johnson are nowadays practiced by a majority of electric bass players around the globe. Some bassists use fingers instead of the thumb to do slapping. Abraham Laboriel, Sr. developed a technique of using the thumb to pop the strings while his other four fingers slap the strings. Bassist Victor Wooten uses a double thumb technique, where he slaps the string when the thumb goes downward and pops when it goes upward. This gives him extra speed to play to sound it like a drum roll on the bass guitar. Tony Levin created a similar drumming sound by using a hard surface on the fingers to strike the strings which was named Funk Fingers. Funk Fingers are kind of small drum sticks strapped to fingers. Doug Wimbish also plays slaps with his fingers other than thumb. Left handed bass players like Stan Sargeant who do not reverse the strings usually avoid thumb to play the slap. To get a metal slap tone, some bassists use their nails to hit the strings.

Some of the double and electric bass players who are notable in slapping the bass are Bill Johnson, Pops Foster, Wellman Braud, Chester Zardis. Milt Hinton, Kim Nekroman, Scott Owen, Alcide Pavageau, Lee Rocker, Amy LaVere, Bootsy Collins, Stanley Clarke, Jonas Hellborg, Marcus Miller, Stuart Hamn, Les Claypool, Mark King, Kai Eckhardt, Mike Gordon, Flea, Fieldy, Juan Nelson, Alain Caron, Brian Bromberg, Gustavo Dal Farra and the list goes on and on. A close watch of these bass players reveals that each and everyone has very distinctive styles. Similarly, every musician whether he is professional or amateur has his distinctive methods and techniques hidden inside. What matters is to develop it with proper training and self motivation.


Since the acceptance of electric bass guitar in Jazz Music and subsequent revised applications of the technique since 1940′s, slap bass has been increasingly attracting music lovers all over the World. When funk music became more popular, slap bass has been subjected to various experimental playing techniques. Slapping is applied in most of the music genres since the 1960’s especially in funk, disco, jazz, pop and world music fusion

During the changes in the music of the West, fusion music was silently having its own innovations. One of the inevitable instruments of India for fusion music has been Tabla. Bass players succeeded in blending the slap bass with Indian percussion instruments due to the similarity in the slap tones and sound of tabla. Jonas Hellborg and Kai Eckhardt adapted a different approach to the slap to blend it with Indian Classical music.

'''Tabla style finger slap technique'''

Jayen Varma is the Innovator of Indian Slap Bass. Because of his knowledge in the Indian percussion instrument Mridangam, he started applying the percussive technique on the bass in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, when he could not get a slap tone due to inefficient pick ups and guitars available at that time, he used hard plastic pipe pieces on the fore finger and middle finger to get the slap tone while playing like a tabla. For his innovative method, in the 2000s he was encouraged by some of the greatest names in the bass world like Bootsy Collins, Jeff Berlin, Victor Wooten, Stuvart Hamn, James LoMenzo, Marcus Miller, Michael Henderson, Regi Wooten, David Pastorius, Kai Eckhardt, Phil Powell and many known and unknown bass players.

'''How to play'''

“Indian Slap Bass” is playing the Bass Guitar just like the Indian classical percussion instruments Tabla, Mridangam or Kanjira. This is a very simple method because strings are hit like two drum sticks: The index finger acts like one stick and the middle and ring fingers held close together form the other stick. The exercise to begin is hitting the last string with fore finger (F) first and then with the other two fingers, middle and ring (MR). To be precise, the right hand fingering is F-MR-F-MR | F-MR-F-MR for 1-2-3-4 | 1-2-3-4. Later the playing is reversed to MR-F-MR-F | MR-F-MR-F. Subsequently it is practiced on other strings. The same exercise is also practiced on more than one string by slapping alternately. The player can choose his/her convenient position of left hand fingers on the fretboard. In the beginning it is always better to hold the strings half muted with left hand fingers. The sound created when the string is hit with MR fingers is slightly different from the sound created by F finger. The strings which are not aimed to hit may also ring in the beginning. But when it is practiced for few months, the hitting will be controlled. It is therefore better to begin this on a four string bass, because the gap between the strings is higher than other bass guitars having more strings. Many different methods/exercises can be worked out to get playability and to avoid the problems caused by crossing the strings, fingers and notes.

'''The Future'''

Indian Slap Bass blends perfectly not only with funk, jazz or rock, but with many other genres including heavy metal. Since the right hand fingers can distinctly produce clear 16th notes on the same string, it goes well with metal music. It can also be blended beautifully with Indian classical music. The next generation of musicians will find the potential in its application in future music to come.

Jayen has been experimenting and promoting this method single handedly for years. It has many fans across the World now and many bassists are playing this.

Courtesy: Jayen Varma @ http://www.jayenvarma.net

Everyday Is Valentine's Day

Wired - Wed, 02/16/2011 - 06:52

Summary: Living Everyday like Valentine's Day


'''Valentine's Day'''

The sweet Valentine's Day of 2011 has past though, there's a Valentine's day every month, right? Or everyday is Valentine's day for the lovers. Valentine's day, which is the most beautiful and wort of memorying for lovers. Buy a special gift will give a surprise to your her or him, and may let her or him become yours just because your particular gift. You can make a music box with her or him favorite songs in it by yourself, send her or him an MP3 or mp4 to her or him with the favorite songs and Valentine's movies. Or just buy this music and movies DRM removal tool, and enjoy it with your her or him, and more...

You can live everyday like a Valentine's day by sending a little gift for your her or him, give her or him a little surprise, and just like two little naive kids, living in the music and movies word... And Noteburner will make your everyday like a Valentine's day.

'''Big Discount for your Valentine's Day'''

For this special and sweet Valentine's Day, Noteburner music and movies [http://www.noteburner.com '''DRM removal tool'''] will have 40%off, which will last for one month, amaizing?

'''Noteburner m4v converter for Windows''', which is a professional [http://www.noteburner.com/noteburner-m4v-converter.html '''DRM M4V Converter'''] for Windows OS to remove DRM protection of purchased iTunes M4V movies, music videos and TV shows, and convert to common video formats, namely no DRM, which can be played back by different non-Apple portable devices, such as MP4 players, Tablets, samrtphones.

Buy this powerful videos converter, you will get a new key for '''Noteburner audio converter''' for Windows for free, this audio converter introduces a smart virtual CD-RW burner, which simulates CD burning and CD ripping process, it is easy to convert iTunes DRM protected M4P, M4B, AA, RA, OMA, WMA to any unprotected formats such as MP3 and AAC etc.

'''Noteburner m4v converter plus for Mac''', which was recommended by '''Lifehacker''', is an ultimate [http://www.noteburner.com/mac-m4v-converter-plus.html '''Mac DRM M4V Converter'''] which helps you to remove DRM protection of both purchased and rental M4V movies from iTunes Store and convert to unprotected video formats for all kinds of portable media players and cell phones.

Buy this excellent program, and only add $10, you will get a key for '''Noteburner audio converter for Mac''', which is a powerful M4P to MP3 music converting tool for Mac OS X. It can convert DRM protected M4A, M4B, M4P, AAC, WMA to plain MP3, WMA, WAV formats for playing iTunes musics on various kinds of players including iPod, iPhone, PSP, Zune, Creative Zen, Walkman, Xbox, Cellphones, Blackberry, Nokia etc.

You can get this [http://www.noteburner.com/noteburner-bundle-christmas.html '''m4p and m4v converter'''] bundle.

Act now, it's very better off!

Soundproof an Air Conditioner

Wired - Tue, 02/15/2011 - 20:34

Summary: Soundproofing an outdoor air conditioning unit

A noisy outdoor air conditioner can be a nuisance and a headache. As air conditioning units get older, they often begin to rattle, hum and vibrate years before they are due for replacement. Fortunately, controlling the noise generated by a bothersome air conditioning unit is a fairly simple yet highly effective soundproofing endeavor. Implementing a partial enclosure sound reduction treatment can help control the noise produced by your air conditioner, creating a more peaceful environment inside and outside your home.

Controlling the noise generated by an outdoor air conditioning unit involves enclosing the unit within a frame and affixing outdoor sound blankets designed to prevent airborne noise from bleeding through. The frame may be constructed using a number of materials, including wood, steel or iron, as long as the structure is capable of supporting the heavyweight sound blankets that will be affixed to it. Ideally, the frame should protrude two to three feet above the height of the unit for maximum effectiveness. It is important to note that sound reduction for air conditioning units requires taking into consideration the functionality of the air conditioning equipment. Since the units need ventilation, construction of the frame must allow for 18 to 24 inches of open space around the unit. A slanted roof applied angling away from the area to be protected will increase the effectiveness of this treatment.

Once the frame has been constructed, outdoor sound blankets can be customized in the size you need to cover the appropriate sides of the frame. A reputable soundproofing company will offer the service of custom cutting noise control blankets to fit your frame and will provide the necessary hardware to attach them. Sound blankets should be applied to the sides of the frame that separate the sound source from the area that is to be protected from the noise. For instance, if you are treating the unit to reduce the sound audible from inside your home, treat only the sides of the frame which face in the direction of your home, leaving other sides exposed to ensure proper ventilation.

Since air conditioning units cannot be completely enclosed, sound reduction treatments will not result in a 100% deadening of the noise. However, such partial enclosure treatments are extremely effective at preventing transmission of a majority of the noise produced by an air conditioning unit. Results will vary depending upon the extent of the enclosure, but such treatments can affect an average 10-12 dB reduction in noise transmission caused by a loud air conditioner. It is important to contact an experienced soundproofing supplier prior to attempting any sound reduction treatment to ensure that all variables affecting the outcome of your project are considered.

The perfect way to play videos on Nook Color

Wired - Tue, 02/15/2011 - 08:27

Summary: New page: After spending a week experimenting with different video conversion programs, I’ve finally found a solution that works well on the [http://icamcorder.net/the-perfect-way-to-play-videos-o...

After spending a week experimenting with different video conversion programs, I’ve finally found a solution that works well on the [http://icamcorder.net/the-perfect-way-to-play-videos-on-nook-color/ '''Nook Color'''](NC)! Hopefully the time and effort will benefit others.

The steps that I outline here were developed to help me deal with a particular situation, which was to convert HD-video (720p) into a format that plays well on the Nook Color. Of course you can starting with a different video source (e.g., a DVD, Blu-ray rip ), and your options.


'''Download Links'''
[http://www.foxreal.com/video-converter/ '''Video to Nook Color Converter''']: Play video on iPad, Nook Color, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 4, Droid X, Galaxy S, Nexus S, HTC phones. Support rich video formats like TiVo, VP6, MXF, MTS, M2TS, MOD, etc. Perfect audio and video sync technology and [http://www.foxreal.com/nvidia-cuda/ NVIDIA CUDA] technology. If you are Mac User, you Click [http://www.foxreal.com/video-converter-mac/ Nook Color Converter for mac] to Get Mac Vesion
[http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ '''VLC''']: If you want the option to preview video before converting, download VLC, a versatile and easy-to-use video player: VideoLAN – VLC media player – Open Source Multimedia Framework and Player You can also use Quicktime.

(1) Download and install Video to [http://www.foxreal.com/video-converter/ '''Nook Color Converter''']
(2) Drag/Drop video file(s) into the Nook Color Converter program
From the drop-down list “Format”, you are able to select your desired output video/audio format with ease. Even you can choose the output format according to your device’s name, like iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone 4, Apple TV, etc. You can choose Common Video —> H.264 Video(*.mp4), click “Settings” you can set video Codec, Size(pix), Bitrate(kbps), Frame rate(fps) to optimize video quality. set audio Codec, Sample rate(hz), Bitrate(bps), channels to optimize audio quality.
(3) Convert video to Nook Color
After all the settings, you can click “Convert” to start video to Nook Color conversion. For its perfect video and audio sync technology, it will never meet video/audio sync problems.

And its NVIDIA CUDA technology allows you to get the videos within a short time. Then, you can transfer and play videos on Nook Color anywhere anytime.

Want to play Blu-ray/DVD movies on Nook Color, you can try [http://www.foxreal.com/blu-ray-ripper/ '''Blu-ray/DVD to Nook Color Ripper''']

DVD to Xoom--How to Rip DVD Movies to Motorola Xoom for Watching

Wired - Tue, 02/15/2011 - 07:21

Summary: This article is a guide to teach you how to rip your favorite DVD movies to Motorola Xoom for watching in no time.


Owning a super-fast dual-core processor and Android 3.0, the Motorola Xoom becomes a powerful rival to Apple iPad and HP TouchPad. Xoom features both front and rear-facing cameras, a camcorder and Adobe Flash Player in 10.1-inch widescreen with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution.

Since Xoom tablet supports 1080P HD video playback, it will bring us the exciting watching experience for movies. Here we are talking about converting your favorite DVD movies to Xoom supported video formats for playback using a DVD to Xoom converter software.

One of the best DVD to Xoom converter is called [http://www.tune4mac.com/mac-dvd-converter/index.html '''Tune4mac DVD Converter Pro'''], which is a powerful yet easy-to-use DVD ripper software which is professional in ripping DVD to MP4 compatible with Motorola Xoom. The following is a step-by-step tutorial of how to convert DVD movies to Xoom by using Tune4mac DVD Converter Pro.

'''How to Rip DVD Movies to Xoom'''

Tools Required:

* DVD Movies

* Tune4mac DVD Converter

Step 1. Launch Tune4mac DVD to Xoom Converter and click "Load DVD" button.


Step 2. Select output format for Xoom.

Choose profile as "Customized MP4" format for Xoom. You can also adjust your video and audio parameters to customize your video settings for Xoom.

Step 3. Start to rip DVD to Xoom by clicking "Encode" button.

Once the conversion is finished, you can mount your Xoom onto your computer via USB and copy the converted MP4 movie file to your Xoom to enjoy it with high resolution.

'''Tips:''' Any DVD Cloner--[http://www.remove-drm-software.com/any-dvd-cloner/copy-twilight-saga-to-dvd.html '''How to Copy DVD Movies to DVD for Backup''']

'''Free Code Offer!'''

We offer free register code for users who wrote related reviews or articles about any program of ours. You can visit our website: http://www.tune4mac.com or [http://www.tune4win.com http://www.tune4win.com] to get more information of those programs. Please remember to send us the article's url if you are interested. We will check it and send you a free life-long code asap. Contact email: support@tune4mac.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Flip Converter Mac VS Flip Video Converter

Wired - Tue, 02/15/2011 - 03:37

Summary: software,video

[http://www.flipconvertermac.com Flip Converter Mac]


Flip Converter Mac is a great mac flip converte mac and is often used on mac os x. This flip converter for mac is a newly-designed for Flip uses to convert flip video on mac os and convert flip hd video to mainstream video and audio formats supported by various portable players on mac. Therefore, it is a qualified flip hd video converter mac.

[http://www.flipvideoconverter.org/ Flip Video Converter]


Flip Video Converter is definitely the best choice for you to convert Flip video to other formats and edit the video as you like. The output formats it can support are like, 3GP, AVI, DV, FLV, MKV, MPG, MOV, RM, RMVB, SWF, WMV, etc. So you can use this advanced Flip Video Converter to convert your recorded video to many popular players, including, Apple TV, BlackBerry, Creative Zen, Gphone, Mobile Phone, PSP, Zune, iPhone, iPod, and iRiver.

How to Make Cheesy Tator Tot Hot Dish

Wired - Tue, 02/15/2011 - 02:47

Summary: /* Fifth */

'''== This is how you make Cheesy Tator Tot Hot Dish =='''

There are different steps that I will Take you through in order to make Cheesy Tator Tot Hot Dish.

== Things you need: ==


1 Pound of 80/20 Ground beef

2 cups of cheddar cheese

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup chopped unions

2 tsp of salt

2 tsp of pepper

1 bag of tator tots

Glass cooking dish

== First==

The first thing you want to do is preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

== Second ==

The second thing you will want to do is have your one pound of ground beef thawed. After it is thawed cook it in a pan until the meat in completely cooked. After the meat is cook drain the grease.

== Third ==

Take a bowl and put the meat into the bowl. Add the one can of cream of chicken, the tsp of salt and pepper, 1/4 cup of onions, and 2 cups of cheese and mix it together.


== Fourth ==

After everything is mixed together put it all into the glass pan. Spread it evenly. Once spread, take the tator tots and put them on top of the mixture in lines. Tator tots should be frozen.


== Fifth ==

After you have every thing ready, put the dish in the oven and set the timer for 45 minutes. Take tator tot hot dish out of the oven and let it set for 5-10 minutes. Use a spatula to dish it on to your plate and ENJOY the '''Cheese tator tot hot dish'''


How to asldkfjlksdjf

Wired - Mon, 02/14/2011 - 21:08

Summary: New page: sadfsafsdf


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