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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

How to get the most out of your old gadgets

Did you give in a buy a new cell phone and now you have an old gadget you want to get rid of? Here are some tips from Business Today on how to sell your old phone at best bargain prices.

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Roundup: Hackers gathering, parental control apps, phone safety tips, more

Hackers haven: Thousands of hackers -- from computer security researchers and government recruiters to cyberpunks -- gathered last week in Las Vegas for the annual hacker convention hosted by Black Hat and Defcon organizations. The event is known for computer pranks, but actually has a serious purpose: to understand and expose problems in computer security. NPR

Not so lucky hacker: But not all was well for a Defcon attendee. His cell phone battery -- for a Droid Bionic smartphone -- spontaneously caught fire and burned a whole in his back pants pocket as well as the chair and floor after it fell.  CNET

Protect your kids with parental control apps: Keep your kids from getting access to offensive material such as porn, gambling sites and scams on the smartphone with low-cost parental control apps that can block these offensive content as well as monitor your child's activities.

Phone safety tips:
Do you how to protect your data and privacy if your phone is lost or stolen? There are ways to back up data in the Cloud, or lock your phone remotely to prevent access. Here are some tips. San Jose Mercury News …

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All my exes live ... online? What to do with digital remnants.

Breaking up is hard to do, but even harder with contant reminders of the failed relationship on Facebook, Twitter and other social media services: photos, texts, emails, etc. Gizmodo has some tips on what to do with digital remains of your ex.

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Facebook working with HTC on new smartphone

Facebook is teaming up with HTC to create their new smartphone, which is scheduled to be released in mid 2013. The phone was originally rumored for a release as early as the end of this year, but Facebook pushed back the date to give HTC more time to work on the device. 

But in a statement the following day, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said building a whole phone doesn't make sense for the company.



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The Daily Drivers: Scion iQ is small, but not necessarily in price


With a name that playfully tweaks a tiny rival, Scion's micro subcompact iQ will turn heads for its contemporary styling and its size — or the lack thereof. The two-door hatchback resembles a Pixar Cars character, but what about its character as a car?

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A look at the new Mac OS X Mountain Lion

By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK - I didn't need to spend a lot of time with the new Mac operating system to see that phones and tablet computers have won out over personal computers at Apple.

Mobile devices are already responsible for the bulk of Apple's sales and profits. Now, Apple is making the new Mac system even more like the iOS software that powers its iPhones and iPads. It's also casually dropping the "Mac" name from the Mac OS X operating software, though computers will still be called Macs, not "Super-sized iPads."

The new system, formally OS X 10.8 and dubbed Mountain Lion, went on sale Wednesday as a $19.99 download from Apple's App Store. It builds on the previous system, Lion, which came out last July.

Mountain Lion is made for a world where your computer is just one of your computing devices, along with your iPhone and your iPad. Apple wants to make it easier to switch from one to the other, several times a day. …

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OSX Mountain Lion launches today

Apple's Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said on Tuesday that OS X 10.8, also known as Mountain Lion, releases today (July 25). This upgrade to Lion has more than 200 features, including all new messages app, notification center, systemwide sharing, and Facebook integration.


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Follow the 2012 summer Olympics wherever you are

london2012logo.gifThe 2012 summer Olympics will begin with the opening ceremonies July 27 in London. If you're a fan and would like to keep track of your favorite athletes and teams, there are apps to help you immerse yourself in the Games experience with maps, videos, stats, results and more.

On top of the list are free official mobile apps of the London 2012 games:

Join In is a planning tool for spectators, including schedule of events, both sports and community celebrations in London. It's available for Android, iOS and Blackberry.

The Results app provides live updates, details of the event, medal tables, athlete profiles, schedules, results and latest news. It's available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7.

If you like games, the Official London 2012 mobile game lets you play nine Olympic games, including Archery, 110 Hurdles, and Swimming.

For more apps, check out the list put together by the Los Angeles Times.

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Roundup: Apps to report pot holes, top apps for Smart TVs, fender bender apps, more

Pothole alert: Wish we could have this in the Tampa Bay area. Boston is testing an app where a driver can report the location of a pothole they just ran through -- automatically. Street Bump reports road hazards to the city when the smartphone on the dash or cupholder detects a "thud." GPS records the location and reports it.  Los Angeles Times   (In the meantime, DOT, please fix huge divot on I-275 Northbound at Dale Mabry exit!)

Office workaround: Office Apps for iPad users? Microsoft doesn't officially support the iPad for its Office Web Apps, but you can still use it with Google's Chrome browser for iOS. In the meantime, Office 2013 for iOS is expected to be released early next year. PCWorld

In a car accident? Properly documenting what happened in a fender bender can make insurance claims and investigations easier. And these apps can help. Consumer Reports News

Top apps for Smart TVs: Not surprisingly, top apps for Internet-connected televisions are the steaming video apps Netflix and YouTube. Facebook, Amazon Instant Video and Pandora are also in the top 5. Los Angeles Times …

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Don't let the summer heat cook your mobile devices


It's easy to forget your smartphone and other gadgets in the car, but in this summer heat, that could mean a death sentence for the device. Keep yourself and your mobile phones safe this summer with some tips and ideas from AT&T:

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Use technology to help you reach your fitness goal

With the help of technology, getting in shape can be easier than ever. Consider integrating technology into your workout to spice up a stale routine or start a new one. Here are some ideas from Geek Squad to enhance your workout and shed some pounds. Get moving!

Living room workout revamped

Personal trainer in your pocket

Hit the pavement

A Geek Squad Agent can help you set things up, but unfortunately can’t do the workout for you.For help, call toll-free 1-800-GEEK-SQUAD to set up an onsite consultation, find a location near you at, or visit Best Buy to speak with an agent directly.


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The Daily Drivers: Porsche Cayman is performance bargain


The Cayman slots in the middle of Porsche's sports car lineup, coming between the newly redesigned Boxter convertible and the venerable 911. The Cayman may be Porsche's entry-level coupe, but we think it has an important advantage: a mid-engine chassis compared with the 911 family's rear-engine design.

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Screen cleaners eliminate smudges, bring back the "new" look

Touchscreens on smartphones and tablets are constantly victims of smudges: from fingers, makeup, perspiration and maybe splatters from your morning coffee. But you don't want to clean them with just anything. If you use a cloth, or maybe even your T-shirt, there might be some embedded grit which will scratch the surface. Tissue or paper towels is still coarse and won't do much to clean the glass well. A screen wipe it the way to go.

I tested out a couple -- the iEraser and Cloth Addiction -- that did the job well. Best parts: no chemical sprays or cleaning agents needed. And no lint!



The iEraser looks a bit like a whiteboard eraser and is made for tablets and screens. A specially treated microfiber pad, which is attached to a rigid backing, it's easy to grasp and glide across the glass surface. Just a couple of swipes "erase" fingerprints, smudges and dust, and leaves the screen with a brand-new glossy finish. It's good to use on the iPad, tablets, laptops, netbooks, desktop monitors, flat screen TV, touchscreens, LCD screen, and other glossy glass screen surface. On its website: Full Story

Happy birthday to one of the best gadgets of all time

As you sit in your nice cool comforts of home, let's all say "happy birthday" to ... AIR CONDITIONING! Without engineer Willis Carrier's invention 110 years ago today (7/17), we'd all be ... well, probably not living in Florida. So crank down the thermostat a couple of degrees, and say thanks to A/C!

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'Halo' web series 'Forward Unto Dawn' trailer unveiled

Folks at San Diego Comic Con got a chance to preview the new Forward Unto Dawn web series over the weekend, leading into the fall release of Halo 4. This series wil be collected into a feature-length movie, so let's hope Microsoft doesn't screw it up. Filling it with kids isn't the best start -- it's all a little too Ender's Game for my taste.

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