Posts by Joe Levi

Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.

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    When it comes to smartphones, LG is one of the underdogs. I've personally liked LG since back in the days when I built custom computers for a living. When given the choice, we'd go with an LG optical drive when we needed something good, but the name brand wasn't of paramount importance. Later, I ran the Returns Department for that company. It was my job to take defective products and get them repaired or replaced by whoever made them. LG had a very low return rate, and it was easier than most others when something needed to be replaced. I always kept my eye on LG as it started making ...

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    We live in a day and age where electronic devices are an integral part of our daily routine. What's inside them that gives them the power to do so many amazing things? On today's episode of Pocketnow Power User we're going to talk about the brain that powers your device: the CPU. The Central Processing Unit, or CPU for short, has been around for quite some time, but has changed significantly over the years. Traditionally the CPU has been the "traffic-cop", the component that handles and routes all the commands flowing through the system to the place where they need to go. It's backed up by ...

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    Everyone loves "free", and everyone loves wireless Internet access. Combining the two, what could possibly go wrong? When talking about broadband Internet, we often hear about the cursed "last mile" thrown around. Though it's not necessarily a true mile, the term represents the wiring that connects an individual subscriber to the closest "central office" (or CO). The CO is a facility that takes all the incoming residential, business, and government lines, and connects them to a much faster network, capable of handling significantly more data at much higher speeds. Upgrading the connection ...

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    The Nokia X is a great little device, although it's a bit under-powered compared to what we've become accustomed to recently. It also has a very interesting launcher, and by "interesting" we mean "weird". What would happen if we could put a Google experience onto the Nokia X? Today we're going to do just that! To get started you'll need to root your little Nokia which brings with it a certain amount of risk. If you're the type who is down with that, go ahead and proceed. If you're one of those who values things like a "warranty", perhaps this is all just academic and something you might ...

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    A couple weeks ago we heard the news that Google's Vic Gundotra was leaving the company. Gundotra, one of the key figures behind Google+, brought all kinds of new benefits and features to Google's social network. When word was received of his departure, speculation ran wild. Some going as far as presuming that the sudden departure was due to plans to axe Google+. Since this rumor surfaced there have been other rumors arguably supporting each side. Some debunk the rumor, some tend support to it. The future is always unwritten, but we can speculate and look into the "what-ifs". So let's ask ...

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    We live in a day and age where our phones, tablets, and wearables are an integral part of our regular routine. Metal versus plastic, megapixels, screen size, battery capacity, CPU cores, RAM, storage capacity, and more all get thrown around by marketers when trying to convince us their product is somehow superior to that of their competitor. Sure, all those all important, but what do all the numbers really mean? How does each item on the spec sheet translate into value for your dollar? If you're interested in the nuts and bolts, the hardware that powers your devices, you're probably lost ...

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    Regardless of which OS we run or who makes it, we all love our smartphones. The reasons you opted for the phone that you're carrying are as unique as you are. You have done your research and have come up with the solution that best fits you. Whatever your decision, it's the best fit for you -- regardless of what anyone else says. Alas, the same logic holds true for the person across from you who picked an entirely different phone, for entirely different reasons. Each platform, each OS, each manufacturer, and each model all have their own unique set of advantages that appeal differently to ...

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    Pebble and other small companies are already major players in the wearables niche. Google is prepping for an imminent launch of watches powered by Android Wear. Even Samsung has its Gear lineup. Through all this, Apple has been conspicuously absent. We've suspected for some time now that Apple is getting ready to enter the smartwatch game. Now, thanks to some leaked information, we're starting to piece together a timeline for availability, but more importantly, we could be seeing a shift away from Printed Circuit Boards to a System in Package approach. PCBs and SoCs Printed circuit boards ...

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    Most of you already know that I began my digital life as a Newton guy. To this day my MessagePad 2000U could do things that even the latest smartphones running the most customized ROM still can't do. When it was later rolled back into Apple then killed off, I switched to Pocket PC. It was hobbled together and didn't come close to how well integrated Newton was. Not until Voice Command came along. Instead of a feature, MS Voice Command was a purchased app that you could install on your PDA. This had advantages and disadvantages, but brought with it a whole new way of interacting with your ...

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    There was a time not too long ago when we were directed to turn our smartphones, tablets, and other personal electronic devices off as soon as we got on a plane and the cabin door was closed. The theory was that turning a page on your Nook, playing Space Invaders on a portable gaming system, or listening to your Walkman would somehow interfere with the guidance system and cause everyone onboard to plummet to their death. Though that may not have been the official reason, plenty of airline employees repeated the concern until it was eventually accepted as gospel. Luckily, manufactures began ...

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    We live in a day and age where our phones are an integral part of our regular routine. We wake up to alarms on them. We receive text messages, emails, pictures, chats, and phone calls with them. They help us keep track of our schedules so we don't miss important events. We are able to keep up on local, national, and even international news -- and in many cases they enable us to report on that news ourselves. They provide us with entertainment in the form of books, television shows, movies, and even games. Saying these devices are "important" is a grotesque understatement. Given the central ...

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    Mobile devices used to be primarily portable email boxes with integrated calendar and contacts. In the early days, some of them may have included web browsers, but they were very primitive. Back then the Web was very complex, and designed for screens with resolutions of 800 by 600 and higher. To accommodate phones and PDAs a "new" web was invented, one that used a completely different protocol to address the concerns of much smaller screens, slower processors, and mobile data plans. None of which were anywhere close to what we have today. WAP & WML This "new" web was based on something ...

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    A "kill switch" is often referred to as an "emergency stop switch", and is typically a safety mechanism used to shut something off in case of an emergency. When talking about machinery or even fuel pumps at your local gas station, a "kill switch" is a singular button or lever that will shut down everything. It doesn't matter which pump is spewing out gasoline or which machine your co-worker may be stuck in, this one button will shut everything down -- letting you sort out the specifics later. It's a great idea, the kill switch, when used properly. It brings with it significant and ...

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    Some things in life should be exclusive, like the people who are allowed to drive my car or eventually date my daughter. Other things, however, should be open to the general public. Parks, roads, drinking fountains, and the front seats of busses come to mind. Unfortunately, that's not the way things work over here in the States, at least not when we're talking about cellular phones. Carrier exclusives are still very much a thing -- although they should not be, not any more anyway. "Exclusives" are just like they sound, "restricted or limited to the person, group, or area concerned". When ...

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    Printers from yesteryear used parallel ports. Modems used serials ports -- which were available in either 9- or 25-pin varieties. High-speed devices like scanners and external drives used to connect via any number of SCSI connections. A company I used to work for even made products that let you daisy-chain two together via parallel port, and even came out with a drive that you could plug into either a parallel port or a 25-pin SCSI port. Even common devices like keyboards and mice connected through a PS/2 or other style connector. Put another way, there were just far too many kinds of ...

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