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Ken Walker, Online News Editor

Ken Walker

Ken Walker came to the Times in 1998, first as a copy editor and later as a news page designer. Today he helps edit the tampabay.com home page and writes for the Gadgets & Gizmos blog.

E-mail: walker@tampabay.com

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  1. IT'S APPLE WATCH DAY, YOU GUYS!

    Blog

    OMG, OMG, IT'S FINALLY HERE! IT'S … (ahem) uh, today's the day Apple begins accepting online preorders and try-on appointments(!) for the Apple Watch — exciting news for people with empty wrists around the world. The Associated Press is updating a live blog with bulletins from all over the globe....

  2. What everybody thinks about the Apple Watch in one big chart

    Blog

    You can't buy an Apple Watch yet — you can't even preorder one until tomorrow — but yesterday was the first day Apple would allow reviewers to post their Apple Watch reviews if they wanted to be among the first ones to take one on a test drive. So yesterday was the day tons of reviews hit the Web.

    It was almost too much to digest. Fortunately, Mashable compiled about 20 reviews in one big table, with a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down for each (and links to the full review in case you wanted to read more)....

  3. Do you need to know what Meerkat and Periscope are? (Spoiler: Probably not yet)

    Blog

    There's been a lot of buzz recently surrounding live video streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat, and you might be wondering what they do and whether they're another thing you'll have to learn about if you want to be able to understand what your kids are talking about today. Here's what the AP had to say about it yesterday:

    "Download Periscope, Twitter's just-launched live video-streaming app, and you'll find people broadcasting all sorts of mundane stuff: waiting for AT&T to fix their wiring, getting out of bed in Silicon Valley, looking outside their office window in Chicago....

  4. Why Yahoo's latest take on passwords could be a step down in security

    Blog

    Yahoo recently announced it would offer an alternative to the passwords its users have always used to log into their accounts: temporary codes sent to your phone via text message every time you want to log in.

    That sounds a lot like the two-factor authentication you might know and trust from your bank or even from Facebook, but there's an important difference.

    Two-factor authentication is popular with services who want to show their concern about security. The two factors used to prove you are who you say you are are usually that 1) You know your password, and 2) you are the one holding your phone. Since Yahoo isn't asking for a password, they're back down to one-factor authentication — and that one factor belongs to whomever's holding your phone....

  5. So, should you order an Apple Watch? (w/video)

    Blog

    Apple hosted their big shindig on Monday to announce new Apple Watch details, new MacBook laptops and more. The folks at MacRumors have some excellent roundups, if you're interested in the nitty gritty. The highlights:

    Apple Watch

    —Pricing starts at $349 for an alumninum Sport model and goes all the way up to $17,000 for the 18K gold Edition. Prices vary by material (aluminum, stainless steel and gold) and size (42mm and 38mm). Buyers can choose bands ranging in price from $49 to $449....

    New Retina MacBook models include a gold and Space Gray option. The solitary USB-C connector can be seen on the gold model at left; the port visible on the Space Gray model at right is a headphone jack.
  6. Apple releases iOS 8.1.3, which is no big deal — except …

    Blog

    … that it addresses two of the very small, very irritating things about iOS 8:

    1) It addresses an issue that caused Spotlight to stop displaying app results. Spotlight is that search tool that appears when you put your finger in the middle of your iPhone's (or iPad's) home screen and drag it downward. If you've got enough apps on your iThing that you get tired of swiping through several home screens to find the one you're looking for (or if you've forgotten what folder you stashed it in), it's the quickest way to find and launch an app. Except when it failed to find any apps at all. Glad to see that fixed....

  7. I want this

    Blog

    A Bluetooth keyboard that snaps apart to slip in your pocket? Yes, please!

    I've never tried one, but if it works as well as they make it look … well, I might have to put together $100 and buy one. Find out more at waytools.com. (Tip o' the hat to MacRumors.com.)...

  8. Ever played Monopoly? You might have played the worst game ever made

    Games

    Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight.com crunches numbers on a variety of topics, from politics and the economy to sports and, well, life in general.

    So it's not too surprising to find contributor Oliver Roeder using ratings on BoardGameGeek.com last week to examine that website's decision to name something called Twilight Struggle the best board game on the planet. ...

  9. Laying out the problems with Apple's Family Sharing

    Blog

    I think I've written before about Family Sharing, Apple's solution for families that want to be able to share the stuff they buy in Apple's iTunes Store.

    The idea is that family members shouldn't have to buy a song, movie, etc., if someone else in the household has already bought it. In the past, most families accomplished this by sharing one iTunes Store account — everyone in a family could access the same stuff, because everyone was buying stuff under the same name....

  10. Apps that help you avoid sleeping at the airport

    Blog

    Even if you're staying home this holiday season, there's a good chance you're going to be asked to pick someone up at the airport. And there's a good chance that's not going to be as simple as it sounds.

    With that in mind, Macworld put together a nifty list of the best flight-tracking apps for your iPhone or iPad. They got pretty hardcore, too, listing about seven criteria they considered, and breaking the results down by recommendations for frequent flyers, for airport pickup duties and for … well, people who just enjoy tracking flights, I guess....

    Just Landed's design is elegant both on your iPhone screen and under the hood.
  11. Four ways Mac owners should keep them safe

    Blog

    So, here's another in what seems to have become a series of links aimed at fellow Apple users: MacUser has a great article up today titled, "The four Mac security options everyone should know."

    From how to enable your firewall (and what it does for you), to how to enable FileVault (and what that is), to how your Mac can automatically make (and remember) secure passwords for you, to how to securely your Mac so you can log into it remotely while keeping the bad guys out, this is totally advice I'd give my mother....

  12. How owners of older Macs can get iWork for free

    Blog

    I mentioned yesterday that most of the gadgets I've bought for myself (and my family) have been Apple products. As it turns out, I'm also a longtime subscriber to their online services, starting back when iTools was completely free. Remember iTools? It was what iCloud was before it was MobileMe before that was .Mac — we're talking 14 years ago, now.

    That goes for their software, too. I can tell you all about iLife — I'm even pretty sure there's a copy of iDVD installed on my Yosemite-driven iMac at home....

  13. How to help a stranger restore your faith in humanity

    Blog

    MacWorld has some good advice today for anyone who owns an iPhone, iPad or a MacBook — any easily lost Apple device.

    (I know I'm always writing about Apple stuff here. For one thing, that's mostly what I own myself and it's what I know best. I don't feel comfortable offering you advice based on a week or two with a free loaner. For another thing, it's what my mom and dad own, and a lot of the tips I relate here are advice I'd offer them.)...

  14. On this day in 1968, a man stood on stage and predicted what your desk would look like today

    Blog

    Computers in 1968 were big, clunky, expensive and rare. If your work day was typical, you probably never encountered one.

    And yet on Dec. 9, 1968, Doug Engelbart stepped onto a stage in San Francisco and started a 90-minute presentation that imagined something that sounded a lot like 2014. Eerily like 2014, in fact.

    ...

    SRI International (2005)
  15. I guess you can now hack your lawn, or something

    Blog

    Rachio, the company that markets a smartphone-enabled lawn sprinkler controller called the Iro, announced today that they've made updates that can cut your water use by up to 30 percent. Now get a load of tuaw.com's description:

    "Version 1.7 of the free Rachio app uses enhanced evapotranspiration (ET) algorithms to move even closer to calculating the absolute minimum amount of watering required to keep a lawn or garden nice and green....