#TechTuesday – Social Apps Your Teens Use

Teens will always find ways to use technology to socialize. Once upon a time, it was party lines, then chat rooms, and now apps.

In this week’s #TechTuesday episode on WTAM 1100 Newsradio, Bill Wills and I discuss a recent New York Times article on the range of new social media apps teens are using, including video messaging and anonymous sharing networks.

For parents who are not sure where to start with online safe behavior, I recommend bookmarking SafeKids.com and ConnectSafely.org.

In particular, consider printing out family contracts for online safety as a way to discuss the topic with kids and teens and ensure everyone understands rules and boundaries for their online behavior.

Every parent will have different approaches to their kids, but it’s important that you have these discussions early so that you can keep an ongoing communication about topics like cyberbullying and other unsafe behavior or threads online.

WTAM 1100 – Protect Your Smartphone from Surf and Sand

WTAM 1100 – Geek Squad – July 2nd, 2012

Summertime at the beach or pool might be refreshing for you, but not so great for your smartphone. I spoke to WTAM1100 Newsradio in Cleveland about how to handle the surf and sand with your portable electronics.

How to Love and Care for Your Laptop Battery

One of the more common questions I hear is whether it is okay to leave your laptop plugged in all the time. Battery technology has changed over the years, resulting in some conflicting advice coming from friends and family around how to best charge that laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Most current portable devices have switched over to Lithium-ion batteries for power from older nickel-based battery technologies. One of the outdated tips given around the older NiCad batteries was to always fully discharge and recharge the batteries whenever possible. Partial charges, along with age and overcharging issues, meant shorter lives for NiCad batteries. The newer Lithium-ion battery technology has addressed many of these issues, so the advice around them has changed.

Continue reading “How to Love and Care for Your Laptop Battery”

iMovie and GarageBand on the iPad 2

When the current batch of tablet PCs came out last year, many in the tech community dismissed them as mere toys. They were labeled “consumption devices” because the conventional wisdom held that their lack of processing power and touch-based interface made content creation impossible.

With the release of the iPad 2, Apple has really made strides in proving this wrong with the iMovie and GarageBand apps available for $4.99 each. Using these two tools, I was able to both edit together some quick background music, as well as stitch together a series of photos into a video slideshow that could be edited and uploaded straight from the iPad to YouTube.


Unfortunately, you cannot currently import music created in Garageband directly into iMovie. However, once you have transferred the music to iTunes on your PC, then back onto the iPad’s iTunes, you can use it in your iMovie projects. Hopefully, Apple will add this functionality in a future update, or a 3rd party app will find a way to help.

There’s no doubt that the more involved professional multimedia creation process will still require dedicated computers for years to come, but it’s amazing to me how quickly tablet PCs are opening up the world of mobile content creation for the rest of us.