5 Things - Week Ending 5/17/13

This is the 45th post in a series called 5 Things. Each week I will share a combination of technology articles and apps that I have discovered and liked in the past week. Anything highlighted in blue is a link to an article, an app, or another section of my website.

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So your trusty laptop is starting to show its age. No one can blame you for wanting a new one, but we’ve got just one piece of advice: WAIT. This is a horrible, horrible time to get a new rig. If you can hold out for just a few months, you’re going to do a whole lot better for yourself.

The biggest reason to WAIT to purchase a new laptop is that Intel is coming out with new processors that will offer significantly better battery life than what is currently available.

If you wouldn't benefit from having extended battery life, it's still a good idea to wait to make your purchase


Microsoft prepares rethink on Windows 8 flagship software

Richard Waters:

Microsoft is preparing to reverse course over key elements of its Windows 8 operating system, marking one of the most prominent admissions of failure for a new mass-market consumer product since Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco nearly 30 years ago.

I have heard mixed reactions from people about Windows 8. Some people seem to really love it and others have disliked it so much that they returned the computer.

The biggest challenge facing consumers with Windows 8 is getting used to the user interface. You have to learn a new way of doing things and many people have gotten used to doing things a certain way for the past decade or longer.

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft reverses course with the next version of Windows.


More U.S. Teens Killed Texting While Driving Than Drinking

Stuart Miles:

Texting while driving has now replaced drunk driving as the number one cause of teenage deaths on the road in the U.S., new research has found.

This doesn't surprise me. I spend a ton of time on the road and I am shocked at how many people I observe texting and looking at their phone while they drive. I am always afraid that someone is going to run into me because they were paying attention to their phone and not the road.

If you have teens in your life please talk to them about the dangers of texting and driving!


In the Programmable World, All Our Objects Will Act as One

Bill Wasik:

This is the language of the future: tiny, intelligent things all around us, coordinating their activities. Coffeepots that talk to alarm clocks. Thermostats that talk to motion sensors. Factory machines that talk to the power grid and to boxes of raw material. A decade after Wi-Fi put all our computers on a wireless network—and half a decade after the smartphone revolution put a series of pocket-size devices on that network—we are seeing the dawn of an era when the most mundane items in our lives can talk wirelessly among themselves, performing tasks on command, giving us data we’ve never had before.

Imagine a factory where every machine, every room, feeds back information to solve problems on the production line. Imagine a hotel room (like the ones at the Aria in Las Vegas) where the lights, the stereo, and the window shade are not just controlled from a central station but adjust to your preferences before you even walk in. Think of a gym where the machines know your workout as soon as you arrive, or a medical device that can point toward the closest defibrillator when you have a heart attack. Consider a hybrid car—like the new Ford Fusion—that can maximize energy efficiency by drawing down the battery as it nears a charging station.

This is one of the best tech articles that I have read in 2013. It describes the future where everything will be "connected". I would highly recommend checking it out. The article contains a few graphics that show really good examples of this "connected" future.


Circa News App | News, Re-imagined

I discoverd this app a couple weeks ago and it is now my go to app for news. I love how it sums up the news and I can "follow" stories and receive push notifications when there is a new development.

It currently is available as an iPhone app. It sounds like they plan on making an iPad app in the future.


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