On{X} – Microsoft improving Android

Your Android experience, especially those of you who have experienced Google Now, is far and away superior to other Smart Phone OS’s. I’ll be the first to admit it, and I’m a Windows Phone user. For those not familiar, Google Now will use everything Google knows about you to make your life easier. Some people find it creepy, some people fin it useful – but a few examples of what it will do are things like notifying you that you need to leave right now in order to make an appointment. It will pop up useful information reminding you what Gate you need to walk to at an airport as you walk in to the airport, because it procured that information from your GMail. But Google allows you to do so much more with the platform and it can enhance your experience even more.

Microsoft’s On{X} app for Android, takes it a step further. You can sign up on their website and create recipes, something similar to IFTTT.com (If This Then That). IFTTT lets you cover multiple platforms together – an example being IF I publish an article on my website THEN post an update to Twitter and Facebook with the link. Taking that idea to your phone, On{X} is a beta program that detects certain events that your create recipes or rules for, and follows through with specific tasks. Example: when you leave work, you can text your spouse to tell them you’re on the way home.

Sure, at first this seems a bit silly, but this could lead to some brilliant family-friendly features for reminding your kids to check in with you, or having their phone send you a note when they arrive at home after school. There are even more features that I haven’t even begun to play with, but it uses Javascripting to interact with the Android OS in a way that you simply cannot do on iOS or Windows Phone. It’s clearly in beta and doesn’t seem to have anything jaw dropping, but it has promise, and I genuinely think it will fill in a few gaps people are hoping for from their Google Now experience. There are a lot of 1 star reviews, but they seem to be coming from quite a few people who hate the thought of Microsoft on Android (forgetting, entirely, that Microsoft is one of the biggest contributors to the Linux kernel).

See what it can do for yourself, download Microsoft’s On{X} for Android.

How to clean up viruses, 2013 (4th edition)

I first wrote an article about malware in 2009. It was for a government funded organization and spread across five counties in Pennsylvania. It has been updated annually since then with my best suggestions. The previous version is still available here, but this year I wanted to do something a little more direct. I have included the usual screenshots of fake programs you should look out for, but on top of that, I wanted to give you some additional programs that I like to use, including at least one I didn’t mention back when I talked about my IT Toolkit.

First, Shut your computer down. You heard me. Continue reading “How to clean up viruses, 2013 (4th edition)”

1985 – G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

Almost two years ago, I bought this giant box set of my childhood. It was the G.I. Joe A Real American Hero: Complete Collectors Set [The Complete Series]. GI Joe was “the toy” I played with in the days before video games. I watched the Ninja Turtles cartoon, and I was one of the few who may have liked GO-Bots more than Transformers – but when it came to having a ton of any one kind of toy? GI Joe was my weakness.

The GI Joe cartoon was an early morning addiction. I have a childhood memory of waking up in the middle of the night and going in to the living room, then turning on the TV. My parents came out of their bedroom and sent me back to bed. I just wanted to watch GI Joe, but it was only about 4:30 in the morning and not 7:30! Oh the days of being a child, without even having a clock in your room! I just lived for all-things GI Joe. I’ve handed my toys down to my cousin’s children, and when we talked about our memories, we came to found out we both bought the same mini-footlocker of DVDs to relive our childhood! These GI Joe episodes were so memorable, and I think I’m going to rip and digitize my collection in the near future. So I thought I would share and see if anybody else remembered the GI Joe series! If ever there was a promo for a must-have toy, GI Joe was it, and they had me hook, line, and sinker. I even had the game for my Commodore 64! The least you can do is relive the good ol’ days, with some nice bonus treats found in the G.I. Joe A Real American Hero: Complete Collectors Set [The Complete Series].