How To Watch Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ Event

event-header-springforwardapple

We’re less than 24 hours away from the official launch of the new Apple Watch. Apple’s event kicks off at 10am Pacific Daylight Time at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco on March 9th 2015.

The Watch was unveiled in September 2014 but Apple has given very limited details about it’s features, release date, battery life, and pricing. In addition, many unconfirmed rumors lead us to believe Apple may have more than just a Watch to show off tomorrow.

Watch

Photo 2015-03-09, 10 08 11 AM

Apple will be streaming the event on Apple.com, for all of their customers to watch. Live streaming video requires one of the following devices:

  • Mac with OS X 10.6.8 (Safari 5.1.10) or later
  • iOS device with iOS 6.0 or later
  • Apple TV (second or third generation) with software version 6.2 or later

Often, you’ll be able to find online sources rebroadcasting the stream for users who do not have access to an Apple device.

Follow Along

If you’re unable to watch the live video stream on Monday, there’s many other ways you can follow along! For a real-time live blog, we recommend checking out the front page of MacRumors.com.

On Twitter, @MacRumorsLive provides very accurate information and updates from the live event. You can also follow @TechZany for occasional updates, as well as the very-active hashtag #AppleLive.

Time Zones:

  • 10:00 am Pacific (Vancouver, BC)
  • 11:00 am Mountain (Calgary, AB)
  • 12:00 pm Central (Winnipeg, MB)
  • 1:00 pm Eastern (Toronto, ON)
  • 2:00 pm Atlantic (Halifax, NS)
  • 2:30 pm Newfoundland (St John’s, NL)

Reminder: California, and most of North America, observes Daylight-Saving time.

iPhone 6 – What To Expect

[Guest Post by Marisa Yin]

There are plenty of rumors flying around the web about the anxiously awaited iPhone 6. You may be wondering what you can expect to find in Apple’s latest smartphone? There is only one thing for certain, as always; we can anticipate the overall user experience and features of iOS 8. Despite all of the leaks, Apple has still not confirmed anything hardware related.

Most sources agree that the iPhone 6 will be available in two sizes: a 4.7” and a 5.5” model, although the 5.5” model is not expected to debut until later in the year, or potentially into 2015.

iPhone 6 Dummy Models - 5.5" and 4.7"

iPhone 6 Dummy Models – 5.5″ and 4.7″

Based on information and demonstrations of iOS 8 released at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 2nd, some of the changes found include tools to allow for seamless task transitions between Apple’s mobile and desktop devices, a larger screen and a better camera for greater photo detail. Health monitoring applications have been a substantial focus of Apple’s in iOS 8, and this could lead to further hardware which allows interfacing with a user’s body; through use of in-ear sensors or wrist-watch style devices. New software features displays show improved notification handling, photo editing, support for third party keyboards and upgrades to the auto correct function, called QuickType. This is one of my favourite features. The technology learns each users habits and language to better adapt to the context of what they’re writing and provide suggestions, allowing you to send a message quicker than you could even type it out in full.

In terms of software, it’s expected Apple will take many cues from Android OS, such as widgets and interactive notifications, which we’ve seen introduced into iOS 8. Now the question is whether they’ll follow common Android hardware features. The operating systems share more and more similarities with every update, even if they still differ in look and behaviour.

There are also rumors that the iPhone 6 will be equipped with the following hardware features, though only a few have been confirmed by our sources:

  • Wireless charging capability (details unknown)
  • Larger battery providing up to 50% more power
  • Increased resolution Retina display
  • Sapphire crystal display
  • 10 megapixel rear-facing camera
  • A8 processor (5.5” model)
  • NFC technology as part of a mobile payment solution
  • Two size versions (Confirmed by TechZany and multiple sources)
  • Support for the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard

Continue reading

F.lux Promises To Help You Sleep

According to research done by the American Medical Association, exposure to excessive light at night, including extended use of electronic media, can disrupt sleeping and intensify sleep disorders. F.lux makes the colour of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, specifically dawn and dusk. The warm colours at night can help your eyes adapt and diminish strain. When it’s time to sleep, it will become a much more comfortable transition into a darker environment.

Night-time exposure to blue light keeps people up late. F.lux adjusts colours in a way that reduces the stimulating effect of blue light and the developers have documented the science to prove it!

The science that explains why blue light keeps you up was begun many years ago in the study of bird migration, and it continued in humans with the discovery of a new photoreceptor in the eye, called Melanopsin. Many are familiar with the “rods and cones” that provide our visual capabilities, but it was only about 15 years ago that retinal ganglion cells containing melanopsin, which are sensitive to a narrow band of blue light in the 460-480nm range, were discovered, and their unique effect on sleep was investigated.

https://justgetflux.com/research.html

Version 30.1 of F.lux preferences - latest version

Version 30.1 of F.lux preferences – latest version

When the sun sets, F.lux makes your computer look like your indoor lights and in the morning, it switches back to sunlight again. The options are fully customizable, and you get to choose a strength that works for you. Depending on the amount of windows in your room and type of lightbulbs, your settings could be different than mine.

I’ve been using F.lux for the past six months and now I can’t live without it. I don’t generally have trouble sleeping, but I still feel much more comfortable staying up late, in front of a computer screen. It’s an easy transition from sitting in front of 3+ displays, to laying in bed. Continue reading

How to Find the Best Internet Service Provider

[Guest Post by Carmen]

Taking the time to choose a good internet provider can often save you a lot of time and frustration in your internet travels. Many providers take steps to appear as the best option to potential customers, such as aggressive marketing, “one time” offers that are often too good to be true, and social engineering. Knowing the common terminology and spending time going over potential options can help you make a much more informed decision before signing up with an ISP (internet service provider).

Before I can go into the details of negotiating tips and telltale signs of questionable practices, going over the types of Internet connections (the technology that your internet provider uses to deliver service to your house) is vital. In most countries, three prominent technologies are usually used by providers to deliver an internet connection to your home or office.

A digital subscriber line (DSL) is one of the most common types of connection worldwide.  DSL is usually offered by the same company which offers landline telephone service in your area; however, other secondary companies may offer DSL service as well. Under the right conditions, DSL can reach fairly high speeds (50 Mbps+); however, speeds may vary depending on distance from the provider’s node (where the internet is converted to a signal that is capable of reaching your home).  DSL providers often advertise speeds higher than what you are capable of actually receiving. The best way to know if you are truly able to get the maximum speeds would be to ask neighbours.

Cable internet comes in at a close second to DSL, in terms of availability. Cable internet is usually offered by your local cable television company and ran over the same infrastructure as cable TV. This type of connection can reach very high speeds (100+ Mbps); however, the speeds offered by cable internet providers can vary based on the standard used (DOCSIS 3 is the latest cable internet standard, offering theoretical speeds of 300+ Mbps) or back end network capacity. With cable internet, reaching the maximum speeds is usually possible at least at some points in the day. Unlike DSL, network congestion can be a problem with cable. As providers upgrade their networks to meet the demand, this is less of a problem.

Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is another viable option and alternative to the two other major options. FTTH uses light over a glass wire to transmit internet. Once reaching the home, there is equipment to convert that fiber signal in something that your devices can understand. With current technology, fiber can reach the highest speeds of all the major methods listed above (1000+ Mbps). Fiber internet can often be expensive however, this is not always the case.

These are the three major technologies currently used for internet service worldwide however there are many other technologies available such as Satellite and Antenna (3G) internet that are in use as well.
Continue reading

Downgrading From OS X Mavericks to Mountain Lion

Apple.com/osx

Apple released OS X Mavericks in October 2013, the tenth major release of “The world’s most advanced operating system”. Hours after the release, I quickly upgraded the OS on my primary system, a late-2012 27″ iMac.

OS X 10.9 introduced several new features but, as expected, it also introduced several major bugs and removed features without good reason. After being frustrated with Mavericks, as many have, I decided to downgrade to 10.8.5 (OS X Mountain Lion).

A brief and condensed list of bugs and issues I found in OS X Mavericks:

  • There are a few incompatible applications that users were accustomed to using in Mountain Lion which no longer functioned, or caused some instability. RoaringApps.com is a trustworthy crowdsourced website for checking OS compatibility.
  • You lose control of scrolling with a Magic Trackpad, at random times through the day. A full system restart is required. Many users reported this on the Apple Support forum, and it’s still not resolved.
  • I love the new Multi-monitor features advertised in Mavericks and this was one of the reasons I upgraded so quickly. My main workstation is composed of 3 displays so it’s extremely important Apple handles this with care. Once again, they failed.
  • Shared network drives, screen sharing with other Macs on your network, AirDrop? Forget it. Not going to work if you’re using Mountain Lion on any of your other networked Macs. Theoretically it will … but implementation was subpar and obviously rushed.

I left Mountain Lion installed on a small 150GB partition before upgrading to Mavericks. The idea was that I could launch Mountain Lion at any time, just in case I didn’t find the new OS to work for my needs. Unfortunately, that caused more trouble than it was worth. With only 6GB left on the Mountain Lion partition, it quickly filled up and I needed more space. I tried deleting the Mavericks partition and allocating the free space to Mountain Lion, but it’s not that easy. (even while running Disk Utility from an external drive). Long story short, I ended up formatting the entire SSD (including the Mountain Lion recovery partition, yikes!)

Of course I kept a backup of all my data, thanks to Apple’s Time Machine (Which I no longer recommend using, by the way). This was not the concern. The next real challenge was finding, and installing, Mountain Lion. Why does Apple make this so complicated? And why do these bugs even exist? Short answer – OS X developers at Apple don’t support or think in the mind of the minority; most users would never notice the bugs and complications in Mavericks that we geeks (ahem, power users) do.

A persistent banner ad seen in the Mac App Store. Apple is encouraging all users to upgrade to Mavericks as soon as possible.

A persistent banner ad seen in the Mac App Store. Apple is encouraging all users to upgrade to Mavericks as soon as possible.

Rushing to download and install Mavericks back in October, I copied the installer onto the same SD card that Mountain Lion was on, replacing and deleting 10.8 forever. Installing via SD card was out of the question.  :-(

No problem, I can just download Mountain Lion from the App Store like I did last year? Wrong again – it’s not longer available in the Mac App Store and shows an error when attempting to download. At this point, I’m quite frustrated.

After a vast amount of searching, I found a clean copy of Mountain Lion on a popular torrent website. 1.5 hours and 4.5 gigabytes later, I inspected the installer package to notice it was completely mangled so I don’t recommend trying this. I ended up purchasing an Apple Mac Developer account, solely for the purpose of downloading an old OS. Apple provides many past versions of OS X and iOS to developers who want to test their app for previous generation products. Continue reading

Budget Gadgets Review

BudgetGadgets has been in the online retail/wholesale business since 2003. They sell exactly what it sounds like, gadgets and electronics, at a very low price. There are many great looking products on their website and I must say, I’ve been very impressed with the products I’ve purchased and received to review.


Budget Gadgets
Website

First I’ll begin by telling you about their great website. There are many categories for different types of electronics, gadgets, and you can also look through their product listings by searching in price categories.

$0 – $1.99, $2 – $4.99, $5 – $9.99, $10 – $14.99, $15 – $19.99, $20 or more

Their website has a very simple and easy to navigate website. There are links on the main page to daily deals, Facebook page, Twitter, and much more.

Shipping

Shipping for any quantity of items to any location in the world is free. For most of the packages BudgetGadgets uses Airmail service by HongKong Post or Singapore Post, which usually takes 7-16 working days to arrive to most of countries.

I live in Ontario, Canada, that’s more then 12,000km away from where BudgetGadgets is in Shenzen, China. I receive my order in 10 days or sooner. Shipping is great and what more can you expect for free?

For orders over 200USD they use EMS or DHL with an online tracking number. There’s no extra charge for express shipping and they usually arrive in 3 – 5 working days.

DropShipping is also available. For more information, visit their information page. http://www.budgetgadgets.com/info.php?sub=DropShipping

Packaging

Every product I have received is packaged very well. Nothing ever gets damaged during shipping. It’s obvious that BudgetGadgets puts a lot of work into packaging. All products, including cables, manuals, and disks are wrapped very neatly. What’s worse then having a damaged product show up at your home?

Products

BudgetGadgets is always releasing new products for sale. Currently, they have everything from toy games to $300 Android tablets. The selection is amazing and there is something for everyone. BudgetGadgets is a great place to purchase gifts and seasonal items also.

Affiliates

BudgetGadgets affiliate program allows you to generate revenue for every purchase made that comes from your business or non-business channels.

You can add links to your site and access reports online so you can see how well you’re doing. This program is free to join. You earn 5% commission for any sales you make. If you refer someone and they don’t make a purchase right away, then when they revisit and purchase an item, you will automatically be credited with the sale, as long as it occurs within 180 days of the original visit.

I have been using the affiliate program since it was created and I am very happy. I have had a positive expierence with BudgetGadgets Affiliate program. My referral link: http://www.budgetgadgets.com/index.php?ref=247

Coupon

You can save 5% by using the coupon code: techzany at http://BudgetGadgets.com. Save 5% on anything and everything you buy from their online store.

Giveaway! 

A $20 coupon code for BudgetGadgets.com will be  given away to one of you on November 14th.  

How to Enter:

 – Follow @TechZany and @BudgetGadgets

 -Tweet this: ”  I just entered the @TechZany @BudgetGadgets $20 coupon #giveaway #TZBG20 bit.ly/bgtzgive “

 – One entry per person 

On November 14th, I’ll do a search for #TZBG20 on Twitter and see who entered. Then I’ll use a number generator to randomly choose one, if you followed all rules, you will be notified through Twitter to e-mail me.

Thanks to BudgetGadgets for doing this giveaway! Good Luck!

Conclusions

BudgetGadgets sells great products at an amazing low price with free shipping. All products are packaged nicely and are delivered to your home / store within about 2 weeks. BG also has a one year warranty on most products and a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Save 5% by using the coupon code techzany when checking out. If you have any other questions on replacements, warranty, etc, you should be able to find your answers on their FAQ page or you can e-mail them.

BudgetGadgets is not a scam website and is very trustworthy.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to BudgetGadgets.com now and purchase yourself some new gadgets.

 

All giveaway details are subject to change without notice. You must follow all rules 
to be eligible to enter. One winner will be randomly choosen on or around November
14th. $20 coupon is a discount for the online web store and has no cash value.