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Tech Helpline Tips: Is It Time to Update or Replace Your Computer?
What year did you buy the computer you use most for your work? When is the last time you upgraded its operating system? Are you using the most current version of your web browser? If you can't easily recall the answers to any of these questions, there's a strong possibility that it is time to update or replace your computer. Here's a brief checklist to help determine if updating your computer's software is enough or if it's time to replace this vital technology that helps you do your job.
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Google Signal: Consumer Device Behavior Info from Your Website
Marketing, in general, is a tough business. There are so many tools to use and data to scrounge through; it is impressive that marketers have time to be creative. With Google Signal launched into beta last August, maybe marketers will have a little a bit more time on their hands. One feature Google Signal brings to the table is an insight into cross-device conversion with a website. This new feature exposes consumer conversion behavior from multiple devices. It's a metric that identifies consumers who view your ad on their mobile device and then, later in the day, submit a property inquiry form while on a laptop. When I discussed this feature with several of my marketing director and CMO friends, they were surprised to learn they could have this type of information.
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All Computers and Servers at Risk from Spectre and Meltdown
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Microsoft Takes on Apple with Hybrid Tablet/Laptop
Microsoft's Surface Book laptop and Surface Pro 4 tablet went on sale today, but you might have trouble finding the former. The 13-inch Surface Book sold out within five days during a pre-sale period earlier this month, and only limited quantities are available for today's retail launch. The Surface Book is Microsoft's first-ever laptop, and the company envisions it as a direct competitor to Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro. In fact, Microsoft called the Surface Book the fastest 13-inch laptop ever made during a live event earlier this month, and pitted it against the MacBook Pro in a speed test. The most notable difference between the two computers is the Surface Book's hybrid design. The Surface can function both as a laptop and a touch-screen tablet, a convenient combination for real estate professionals who use tablets for limited, on-the-go tasks and a separate laptop or desktop computer for more involved tasks. So how do the two machines really compare? We broke down the specs of each in the table below:   Surface Book 13-inch MacBook Pro Price Starting at $1499 Starting at $1299 Operating system Windows 10 Pro OS X El Capitan Screen size 13.5" PixelSense display 13.3" Retina display Resolution 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI) 2560 x 1600 (227 PPI) Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB options 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB options Processor Intel Core i5 or i7 Intel Core i5 or i7 RAM 8GB or 16GB 8GB, configurable to 16GB Weight 3.34 pounds 3.48 pounds Battery life Up to 12 hours Up to 10 hours Graphics Intel HD graphics; i5/i7: NVIDIA GeForce graphics Intel Iris Graphics 6100 Camera(s) 5.0MP front-facing camera, 8.0MP rear-facing camera with autofocus and 1080p HD video recording 720p FaceTime HD camera Audio Dual Microphones, front and rear facing; Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby audio Stereo speakers, Dual microphones USB ports Two USB 3.0, full-sized SD card reader Two USB 3.0 Other ports Surface Connect, Headset jack, Mini DisplayPort SDXC card slot, HDMI port, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, 3.5mm headphone jack Warranty 1-year limited 1-year limited
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The Surface Pro 3: The Tablet that Replaces the Desktop?
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Check Out the Upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6
Soon, Samsung will be coming out with the new Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge models that will keep many of the same great features of the previous models but still raise the bar. If you are already an Android user or thinking about getting one, here is an upcoming smartphone to look for, which is expected to be released this quarter. Better Camera This phone is expected to have the best camera Samsung has ever put on a smartphone. It comes with a 16MP back camera for incredible clarity and a 0.7 second activation for faster response. It also has a best-in-class 5MP front camera with a 120 degree wide angle lens, making wide-angle selfies, Auto HDR pictures, and 4k videos easier to take and better looking than ever. Better Display Inspired by the Samsung TV screens, the new 5.1 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display will now have a 2560 x 1440. It has the large screen to keep up with other modern competitors, but still has the great image quality to exceed expectations. New Operating System and Processor The Samsung Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge both come with a lightning fast, 64 bit Octa-Core processor. They are expected to come with the Lollipop OS since that's currently the latest version, but Samsung is currently working on their own Tizen operating system, which may be released shortly after their new model. Of course, this all depends on when Samsung decides to release the new models.
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Is It Time for a Backup Battery?
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Does your computer start very slowly? It could be your HDD.
Is it stressful when your computer initializes slowly? Do you feel like you are wasting essential time waiting for your computer to be ready for you? Are you asking yourself, Why does it take so long to start my computer? The Boot Time When you turn on the power switch of your computer, the internal computer program (boot loader) of your Hard Disk Drive (HDD) runs self-tests, locates devices, finds, loads and starts your operating system. This all needs to be completed before you can begin accessing your programs, devices and applications. The average boot time of a fast Hard Disk Drive (HDD) of 7200rpm is about 45 seconds to one minute. But most computers don't come with 7200rpm HDDs unless requested. Enter the Solid State Drives (SSD). These have revolutionized how quickly our computers read and write. The average boot time of a Solid State Drive (SDD) is about 8 seconds to 20 seconds. That's a whole lot faster! These drives have been out for years, so why do we choose to talk about it now? In the past, the cost efficiency for what you were getting was not good. During 2005-2007 the prices would average about $3/GB; a decent SSD of 250 GB was over $750. Why get a 250GB SDD for $750 when one could get a 3TB HDD, at that time, for about the same price? Today, SSDs are about $0.47-$0.50 per GB, so they are moderately cost-efficient for the performance you are gaining.
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iPad vs. Microsoft Surface Pro for Real Estate
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Simply Put, Technology Saves You Time!
We all want to complete more real estate transactions to earn more money. Since productivity is a direct correlation of hard work, it’s natural we should earn more for our time and energy. However, this isn’t necessarily the case because another critical aspect of this equation needs to be taken into consideration. The fact remains, we can work as hard as we want, but we’re always going to be constrained by time. One of the few things people can count on everyday is the number of hours that fill it. Therefore, time inevitability runs out each day, making it a greater determining factor than effort because it remains constant. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t work hard; rather, you need to work in a more efficient manner. Simply put, get more done in less time.  
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Trying to Stay Ahead? Consider a High-speed, Compact Scanner!
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Oh the Fun Things You Can Do With an iPad!
This Black Friday, many post-Thanksgiving shoppers will be off weeding through commercials and sales pitches in search of the right product.  Whether winter mittens or new digital cameras, there will be a lot of informercials and product demonstrations to wade through. Real estate technology is no different. But in honor of today's antics, this week's Friday Funny is dedicated to the creative sales pitch behind the renowned Blendtec. To prove the virility of this blender, the maker routinely documents the hearty technology products this food blender can reduce to mere ashes. This week's demonstration: the iPad. 
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The Wireless Headset
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Palm May Face Obsolescence
WAV Group has been following the story of Palm, Inc., the makers of the most popular handset among real estate professionals. Palm raised private equity last year from a group led by U2 singer Bono in an effort to launch their competitor to the iPhone, Google Android, and the popular Blackberry devices that have taken significant market share away from the smartphone handset pioneer. If you are considering a mobile phone today and a new two year contract, choosing a Palm may be a mistake.
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Digital SLR Cameras on a Shoestring
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Using Technology
The history of the Internet is a story of inverse proportion; as technology accelerates, the barriers to it—both monetary and technological—shrink. During one of my CRT presentations, I lead off by asking, “Who has been using email since 1971?” Only once has someone raised their hand. And while you may be wondering who would be naive enough to think that they could have been emailing since then, the lore of the Internet traces the first use of email back to the summer of 1971. So now, I ask you, "Why weren’t you using email back then, or even in 1991?" I lead off with that example because it clearly demonstrates what I’m discussing: technically, there was nothing to prevent people from sending email back in 1971. If you look at a timeline of the Internet, you can see that many of the services that we take for granted today and which we often perceive as only a couple of years old have actually been around for quite some time. Many times, a “new” technology merely refers to an old technology with a new label, a sign that it has reached the mainstream. But because technology takes some time to enter the mainstream, most people either aren’t aware of what’s possible or consider the cost too unreasonable.
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