5 Things - Week Ending 6/21/13

This is the 47th 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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Do you tweet? Have you tweeted? Did you read my tweet? Is tweet even a word?

If it wasn’t before it is now both a noun and verb according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which recognized the term and the act associated with posting the 140-character updates to the micro-blog/social network Twitter.

Here is something you can talk about when you get together with people on the 4th of July. Tweet is now officially a word in the Oxford English Dictionary. I always find it interesting how they decide what words get added to the dictionary.


How mobile phones are making cash obsolete in Africa

Geoffrey York:

When he rolls into a gas station to fill his tank, Barkhad Dahir doesn’t get out of his car. He punches a few buttons on his cellphone and within seconds he has paid for the fuel.

With the same quick keystrokes on his phone, he pays for virtually everything he needs: groceries at the supermarket, a few oranges from a market stall, a shoeshine on the street, a cup of sweet milky tea from a café, and even, if he wants, an afternoon’s worth of khat, a mild drug favoured by many Somalis.

A fascinating look at how technology has changed the way one country's citizens pay for goods and services.

When I went to Tanzania in 2009, I was shocked at how many people had cell phones, but lacked so many other things. It was explained to me that it was their primary way of communicating (computers & internet were sparse), and that it was much more cost effective to put up cell towers throughout the country than build traditional phone lines.

There has been talk that one day in the United States we will pay with everything with our phones. I am not sure if we will get there in the near future because of the ingrained culture that exists. Many of my clients still pay with cash or check.


MacBook Air review (13-inch, 2013)

Nilay Patel:

We’ve been recommending the MacBook Air for three years straight now, so this is pretty simple: if you’re a normal person shopping for a laptop, you should buy a MacBook Air. It does all the things you want a laptop to do, it does them well, and now it does them for 12 hours at a clip. At $1,099 for the base model, $100 less than last year, it’s even a solid value compared to its best competition from Sony, Toshiba, and others

I purchased an 11-inch MacBook Air last fall and fell in love with it. Its' small form factor, light weight, speedy performance, and full size keyboard was everything this tech guy needed in a computer. The only thing that I wished the MacBook Air had was better battery life (the 11-inch model that I purchased had a five hour battery life).

When I heard that Apple came out with new MacBook Airs that offered signficantly better battery life, I immediatley purchased one. The MacBook Air is the perfect computer for someone like myself. It is crazy fast, offers "all-day" battery life, and is super light thus easy to take with you. Since I have purchased the new MacBook Air, I have not once brought the power charger with me. I can charge it at night and have plenty of juice to get through an entire work day.

The 13-inch MacBook Air has even better battery life than it's smaller sibling. If you would appreciate a slightly bigger screen, the 13-inch MacBook Air is the computer I would recommend for you!


Qwiki for iPhone review: Turn your iPhone photos into stunning, shareable slideshows in seconds

Allyson Kazmucha:

Qwiki is probably one of the best slideshow creation apps I’ve used and considering your friends don’t have to download the app in order to view them, this makes it an even better overall option. Creation is easy, fun, and quick which means you will probably be more inclined to actually use it to share photos.

If you’re looking for something that removes the complicated parts of sharing groups of photos, Qwiki is it.

This app is really cool! It is an iPhone app, but it does work on the iPad as well. It is free and can be downloaded from the App Store.


Buying the new MacBook Air

Most salespeople would have sold the more expensive computer, but this guy took the time to explain why I didn’t really need it, and convinced me to spend much less.

This article discusses a recent trip to the Apple Store to purchase a new MacBook Air. The customer thought he needed the "maxed out" model with all the bells and whistles. The salesperson asked some questions and helped the customer save $750 by recommending a less expensive computer that would still meet his needs.

I did this all the time during my years working at the Apple Store and I want to help you save money on your next technology purchase. If you are planning on purchasing something, just shoot me an email or give me a call and I will do my best to help you buy the right product while saving you as much money as I can!


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