Like many free applications, The Hat from Harmony Hollow Software uses software to do something usually done "the hard way." In this case, it's drawing names from a hat, the time-honored method for randomly selecting individual entries from a group. The app can randomize a list of names so no one can complain about who goes first and who goes last. It can also draw individual names or pairs of names for raffles, sweepstakes, and ongoing contests. It does this all without requiring you to actually write down names, cut up the list, and throw it all … Read more
Links from Tuesday's episode of Loaded:
Microsoft is expected to show off new tablet computers at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show
Dell is acquiring Compellent Technologies to focus more on cloud storage
Google launches TeachParents.org to help you give the n00bs in your life simple computer tutorials
A new study shows that Americans spend as much time online as they do watching TV
Another study shows that sales of physical disc media will fall by $4.6 billion by the year 2014
The R2-D2 headphones are the perfect gift for the Star Wars geek in your life
In what must have been some charitably-minded Googler's ambitious side project, the sprawling technology company has launched a sort of digital cheat sheet to solve the apparently ubiquitous problem of being asked to fix all variety of PC- and Web-related problems when visiting parents for the holidays.
The site, called TeachParentsTech, lets frustrated "kids" fill out a form that puts together a "virtual care package" to send to parents that will include links to Google video tutorials for all manner of basic tech support issues. In a post on the official Google blog, Googler Jason … Read more
This week, as we gear up for holiday travel, we have a special show on preparing to help out your less-than-geeky parents, brothers, sisters, in-laws, and assorted relatives. You know they're going to ask you for tech support. How do you talk to them? Do you fix their computer? With what tools? We're joined today by special guest Seth Rosenblatt of CNET.com, who can fill us in.
If you have a tech question for CNET to the Rescue, e-mail email@example.com or call us to get on the next show: 877-438-6688. No question is too basic.Episode 28: How to tweak your relatives' computers
If you are a parent and you want your teen to be able to use Facebook without either of you having to worry that your child is sharing too much personal information, there's a new resource that can help.
A "Parents' Guide to Facebook," being unveiled today, offers hands-on, step-by-step instructions and illustrations, as well as information on safety, privacy, and reputation protection; and it covers the use of Facebook on computers and cell phones. It also offers specific recommendations for configuring privacy settings, noting that the default Facebook settings are not as privacy protective as they … Read more
The big news this morning is Apple's invitation to a Mac OS X event next week that came with an accompanying image of a lion peeking out of the Apple logo to tease the next iteration of the Mac OS X operating system.
We're letting the CNET experts handle the predictions for what the event will unveil, so instead we're taking bets on the feline-inspired nomenclature for the update: Mac OS X: Tiger Woods; Mac OS X: Pussy Cat; and Mac OS X: Liger are being thrown around, but we're guessing Apple might just go with Mac OS X: Lion.
CNET's social-networking reporter Caroline McCarthy comes on the show today to tell us why she literally ran away from our meetup. Caroline will be running the New York Marathon on November 7 to benefit Camp Interactive, a year-round program that introduces inner-city youth to technology through the inspiration of the outdoors. There are only a few weeks left to donate to her team, so head over to the Crowdrise Web site and help out if you can!
Speaking of protecting children, Apple just filed a patent application for "systems, devices, and methods" that will allow parents to block adult content from text messaging. In other words, no more sexting. The application will take into account the child's age or grade level to determine what words or content should be censored from messages, and the system will even notify the user and administrator when the dirtiness pops up onscreen.
So now that the Facebook movie "The Social Network" has been out in theaters for a few weeks, we can finally talk to Caroline about the validity of its content in relation to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and Ben Mezrich, author of "The Accidental Billionaires." If you haven't seen the movie yet, this is your warning that this segment features serious spoilers!
Tune in to find out if Mark Zuckerberg is really as much of a jerk as his onscreen counterpart, if Napster co-founder Sean Parker really got busted for cocaine at a Stanford party, and if there's any truth to that scene with the flaming bed. Big thanks to Caroline for joining us on the show, and don't forget to donate what you can to help Camp Interactive!Episode 686 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Whether you believe in a kid-oriented laptop probably depends on whether you have kids, and whether you like the idea of them fiddling with your own computer when you're out of the room. Accordingly, your reaction to the Satellite L635 will probably vary.
Toshiba's Best Buy-exclusive Satellite L635 feels at first glance like a larger-scale version of the education-oriented Netbooks we've seen from Intel and others. A ruggedized look, bright colors, and a easy-to-clean keyboard create that impression most of all, but in reality this is a full 13.3-inch-screen laptop that isn't much different under the hood from the low-end doorbusters you might see in retail circulars. We got to check one out recently, and it seemed pretty much like many entry-level Toshiba Satellites we've used before, except for its rubberized keyboard.
Besides size and capability, another key difference lies in its target audience: this is meant for home use, whereas many of the educational Netbooks we've seen, such as the Intel Classmate and HP Mini 100e are institutionally targeted, many of them never even seeing the light of a retail store. The Satellite L635 will be at Best Buy starting September 26. … Read more
Molly Wood is back in New York for a new Web show on CBS called Eye on Parenting, so of course we invite her on the show to chat with us about Gmail voice calling, the new Digg layout, and an ironic Twitter post from Gizmodo's Brian Lam that segues into a live in-person Molly rant!
Google just announced that it's adding the ability to place real live phone calls and send text messages straight from your Gmail window. Internet calling isn't new by any means, but where you formerly had to arrange a specific time to … Read more
The Internet is a wonderful thing, but not all of the content available online is appropriate for every user. This fact can be particularly anxiety-inducing for parents who want to give their kids access to the fun and educational aspects of the Internet but are wary of adult content, online predators, and other dangers. Integard Home is an extremely powerful and customizable program that prevents all kinds of problematic content from being viewed.
We've seen programs like Integard Home before, but none of them have been quite so comprehensive. The program offers six preconfigured profiles--young child, young teenager, late … Read more
I have barely come to terms with the idea that someone at a school thought it appropriate, wise, or even sane to spy on kids via Webcams on school-issued laptops. Has technology really taken over human thought processes quite so much?
So I temporarily lost the ability to spell my own name when I was confronted with the rather heartening news that a school principal has asked parents to get their kids away from Facebook and any other social-networking site.