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Justin Stravarius

I am an Internet Junkie who loves technology and computers more than anything. In whatever little time I can squeeze between my movie and TV show marathons, I write. You can follow me at @stravarius for nerdy outbursts and rants.

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I’m a movie and TV show fanatic. I could sit on my couch all day long and watch one show after another. In fact, I do that whenever I get a chance. For a couch potato, the problem these days isn’t the availability of content, on the contrary, there’s an abundance of scripted and original material. The problem arises when I try to find a new show or movie to watch. Discoverability is so broken, that valuable time is wasted searching for new content. Recommendations are confined to lists, which are very Web 1.0 and don’t take into account my personal taste and interests.

Enter GetGlue who have been hard at work for a few years now, trying to recommend entertainment based on what users already like and dislike. After doing a commendable job with their web and iOS apps, GetGlue brought their expertise in suggestions and check-ins to Android users.

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The number of online file storage solutions is on a meteoric rise. That’s a good thing in two ways: first, the buzz they generate is creating a lot of awareness about the importance of backing up files before the disaster strikes; second, they make secure and redundant storage space available at throwaway prices.

Dropbox is the crowd favorite, but is pricey if you try to add more storage. Equally good competing apps are available in the market at affordable prices and Box is a pioneering dark horse. Box lets you store all of your content online, so you can access, manage and share it from anywhere. Let’s see how best it can be put to use while on the go!

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I don’t want to be cheesy, but families are like boats on top of an ocean. Just when you think all is fine and dandy and start enjoying the sunrises, sunsets and the sea breeze, they tend to rock like crazy for no significant reason. No doubt, it’s highly annoying, but without those boats, many would have sunk a long time ago.

Beyond a couple of generations, it might get tougher to keep track of who our relatives were or are and how exactly they fit into our family picture. So, it is a good thing to start charting out all our family members from both the past and the present to preserve our family legacy. Ancestry.com is a pioneer in helping build family trees online.

You never know where or when you’ll make a new discovery. That’s why they have an app to carry with you all the time. After the break, let us check out how to create a family tree using their companion Android app.

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Android mobile devices are portable powerhouses with a lot of power under the hood. The screen sizes can be huge, with top notch resolutions, making them perfect for watching high resolution video and listening to high fidelity audio. Yet despite the built in storage space and the extendable memory card slots, encoding and carrying around audio and video files is such a pain.

How awesome would it be to stream the media stored in your house to your mobile screens via WiFi or mobile broadband? Skifta is an easy way to control, play and enjoy your music, videos and photos at home and on the move. In this article, we’ll see how best to set it up for enjoying media files on the go.

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Windows is a great operating system. It is user friendly, affordable and supports legacy hardware and software fabulously. But it is prone to virus, malware and spyware attacks, often. Without an antivirus and firewall software, your safety isn’t assured at all. This one drawback has tarnished the Windows brand for decades and eventually gave way to the rise of Mac and to some extent desktop Linux.

Now I’m seeing a similar trend with the Android ecosystem. I knew antivirus software existed for Android, but only after researching for our recent roundup did I discover how many of them are available for download in the market. All security biggies from Norton to ESET have set shop. The funny thing is that we are yet to witness mass malware attacks of scale in our green robot community. But that’s a discussion for another time; for today, let us take McAfee Mobile Security for a spin. (more…)

The smartphone industry is evolving at a breakneck pace with Android leading the way. We have come to a point where Apple is cloning a few features that are part and parcel of the green robot.

As a neutral observer and critic, I notice that iOS apps tend to be really gorgeous. Some are beyond gorgeous and it’s just way too much eye candy for a 3.5 inch canvas. But when it comes to apps from every possible domain one can imagine, unrestricted by the walled garden of an API, Android wins the contest hands down.

After the break we have compiled a list of apps that are unique to our Android ecosystem. They all work out of the box, without the need for rooting. Do read on! (more…)

Google does a lot of great things. But they aren’t good at paying attention to detail, at least when it comes to Android. That’s totally opposite to what Apple does, focusing and polishing the little things. Android Market and iOS App Store are great examples of this conundrum. Google’s shortcomings with the Android Market and the exponential increase in Android adoption has attracted some key players to launch their own app stores. Now, it’s the turn of the crowd favorite GetJar.

GetJar is the world’s largest free app store with over two billion downloads to date. The company distributes more than 150,000 mobile applications across a variety of operating systems including Blackberry, Java, Symbian, Mobile Web and now, Android. Interested to know how great the new app store actually is?
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Tumblr hardly needs an introduction. It isn’t WordPress, but that’s exactly the point. Because of it, a lot of youngsters from Gen X and Y are attracted to at least some sort of long-form writing. Long before Twitter, Tumblr was the pioneer in getting microposts and media (particularly images) in front of those who didn’t have the time or inclination to read hundreds of words per post.

The success of Tumblr is due to the sheer ease with which even a technical novice can start publishing online. That – alongside the awesome community that fosters conversations and reblogs content for quicker discovery – is the reason they have grown from one billion to ten billion posts in just a year. Recently, Tumblr completely revamped their Android, and it’s now time for us take the app for a spin and see how cool it is compared to the web app.
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Instant messengers are a dime a dozen in all mobile platforms. When it comes to Android, you don’t even have to download and install one to begin with.

So why bother getting another? Well, there might not be much of a difference between the popular chat protocols like MSN, Yahoo, GTalk etc, but it isn’t uncommon to have multiple accounts for business and personal uses. Moreover, our friends tend to have accounts on various platforms or social networks too. The best way to stay in touch with all of them at the same time is to have a chat client that can handle multiple chat accounts and protocols. BeejiveIM is a well known chat client and is available for almost all leading smartphone platforms, including Android.

Come, let us see how BeejiveIM helps you stay connected to all your instant messaging buddies, everywhere you go! (more…)

Invented by the brilliant Bram Cohen, BitTorrent is one of the ground breaking technological advancements of this century. The Nobel Prize does not include computer science as a category, otherwise BitTorrent would surely have been awarded one. Sadly, it is forever linked to piracy as many among us overlook the other possibilities for a protocol which distributes large files with such ease.

For one reason or another, lots of us use a BitTorrent client to download and distribute files online. Now that mobile phones (particularly Android powered ones) are rivalling computers with their processing power, it’s only natural to carry a P2P client in your pocket. tTorrent is one such torrent client, but how does it stack up? (more…)

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