Brian Fagioli

Are Dropbox users overreacting to Condoleezza Rice? The company responds


Condoleezza Rice is a beautiful, accomplished woman. However, her legacy in the eyes of many, is tainted by her association with the Bush Administration. While that administration was marred with controversial moments, it is debatable if Ms. Rice should be forever linked to it by detractors.

Nevertheless, her appointment to the Dropbox board of directors has sparked an outcry of disappointment from users of the cloud service. Users seem concerned that her government associations will taint the integrity of the company and its stance on security. But is the furor warranted? As stated in a new blog posting, Dropbox does not seem to think so.

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Google blows up the Easter Bunny


While Easter is technically a religious holiday, many people do not celebrate it as such. Instead of biblical stories, they speak of magical bunny rabbits that deliver chocolate, and that is OK. After all, people have the right to celebrate as they want.

One iconic Easter treat is Easter Bunny-shaped chocolate. Many children look forward to seeing this in their Easter basket every year. But did you know that there is a classic hare painting on which many of the confections are based? It's true and now Google is "blowing it up" by making it a gigapixel image.

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Want Google Glass? Become a 'Glasshole' on April 15th


Google Glass has yet to be officially released to the public, yet the product has already made a big impact on society. If you aren't familiar, it is a computer that you wear on your head, like glasses, with an integrated camera. The camera is what has ingrained the product into popular culture by way of controversy.  It should come as no surprise that people become uncomfortable when a camera is pointed at them. News reports started hitting the airwaves that wearers of the product were being assaulted, banned from businesses and issued traffic tickets.

However, the controversy and hatred towards the product has been minimized thanks to its relatively small footprint. You see, Google limited sales to what the company officially dubbed "Explorers" -- basically technology nerds that the company knew would like the product. Unofficially, people that dislike the product have started calling owners "Glassholes". Today, the company announces that starting on April 15th, all adults in the USA are welcomed to buy it -- but availability will be limited.

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Twitter introduces web notifications


Using social media services such as Twitter, Google+ and Facebook can be a dizzying affair. The more people that you follow or become friends with, the more "noisy" the experience. Quite frankly, it can become an impossibility to keep track of all the friend-requests and notifications.

Twitter can be particularly difficult for me, as I must keep the list of who I follow rather small, or else I cannot keep up. Luckily, the blue bird-logo company is aiming to make things more manageable for us web users with web notifications.

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AMD AM1 platform now available -- can it compete with Intel's Bay Trail-D?


As a system builder, I always keep my eyes open for new trends in PC hardware. My latest build is powered by an Intel processor, which is a first for me. Historically, I've always used AMD. The reason being was, at the time, AMD processors delivered both great performance and value. In other words, if you needed to save money, AMD was what you bought.

Unfortunately, AMD fell behind Intel quite a bit in recent years, making the value in its processors questionable. Today however, the company announces availability of its new platform, called AM1, which focuses directly on value and low cost. Will consumers shopping on the low-end choose it over Intel's Bay Trail-D SoC?

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Microsoft OneNote team creates Tony Award-worthy YouTube performance


As a Long Islander, I am only a short train ride from Manhattan. And so, I have been to my fair share of Broadway shows. After all, if you are going to live in New York, you might as well take advantage of it.

While musicals on Broadway are commonplace, it is odd to see them come from Redmond, Washington. However, that is exactly what has happened, as the Microsoft OneNote team delivers a Tony Award-worthy YouTube parody of the song "One Day More" from Les Misérables.

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Google stops the hemorrhaging -- patches OpenSSL Heartbleed bug


The Heartbleed bug is quite the devastating blow to computer security. The OpenSSL failure has the unfortunate effect of lowering computer users' confidence in SSL. However, the mistrust in SSL is misplaced, as it is only the OpenSSL implementation that is affected. No matter though, the damage is done and the flaw has been available for exploit since 2011.

When the news of the flaw was announced, many people's attention turned to Google. No, the company is not the cause of the bug, but since it controls such a huge part of the Internet, people hoped that its services were unaffected. Sorry people, Google was affected too. However, the company was also quick to patch, announcing the details of such today.

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Logitech announces HTPC-friendly Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830


Home-Theater PCs (HTPC) are a bit of a dying breed. While many people still build and use them, the rise of media boxes and dongles have rendered them a bit unnecessary. After all, something like a Roku takes up far less space, costs less and uses much less electricity than a full-fledged PC.

However, HTPCs still have their place in some homes. And so, high quality wireless pointing devices and keyboards are still desired by some consumers. Hell, I run XBMC on Raspberry Pi in my living room and have a need in that regard too. Today, Logitech announces a solution for these users, with the Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830.

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HTC One (M8): From quality comes Android greatness [Review]


Smartphones are very personal -- one device cannot fit all. Some people love the phablet craze, declaring enormous devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as the best. However, others will say it is too big. Even more will decry the fact that it runs Android and not their favorite mobile OS of choice, iOS or Windows Phone.

So, in reality, if a reviewer says something is the best, or perfect, it is the best or perfect for them. For you, maybe it would be a poor choice. But, if you do prefer Android, the nice thing is, those devices come in many shapes and sizes, so you can make your own choice. With all of that said, for me, the HTC One (M8) is the best Android phone available and it is damn-near perfect, save for a few minor gripes.

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Amazon Instant Video kicks the butt of both Apple and Hulu


For many people, streaming video is a top means of entertainment. It is easy to see why -- services like Netflix allow people to consume mass quantities of movies and television shows for a paltry amount of money. There is even a whole market now to sell dongles and boxes for connecting the services to your TV, such as Roku, Chromecast and Amazon's new Fire TV.

Speaking of Amazon, besides its new streaming media box, the company has been on fire lately (pun intended) when it comes to its Instant Video service. Today, the company announces that it has swiftly surpassed both Apple and Hulu.

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Microsoft and Google bring improved YouTube experience to Xbox One

Youtube television

Microsoft and Google are unlikely partners nowadays. After all, they are direct competitors on many fronts. There is Bing vs. Google Search, Windows vs. Chrome OS and Office vs Google Docs. Let us not forget that Google has been blocking Microsoft's YouTube app on Windows Phone. Heck, Google has essentially ruined Windows Phone for many, by not bringing its services to the platform.

Surprisingly, despite all the bad blood, Google has embraced Microsoft's Xbox One game console. Today, both companies announce that you can now upload Xbox One gameplay footage directly to YouTube or watch a YouTube video while simultaneously playing a game.

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Lenovo ThinkPad 8 -- the Rolls Royce of small Windows tablets [Review]


For many, small tablets are synonymous with low cost. This is thanks to Android tablets like the Nexus 7, which is great. While there is nothing wrong with being inexpensive, many of those Android tablets are also of poor quality -- the market is flooded with no-name variants. This has given small tablets a bad name. Small Windows tablets have been hit or miss. There have been duds such as the Acer Iconia W3 and good ones such as the Lenovo Miix 2 8. What has eluded the market thus far, is a great one.

The ThinkPad name is synonymous with business-class quality and durability. The laptops under this branding are known to be rugged, but elegant too.  Leonovo only designates this moniker to computers that meet a certain high standard. So when given the opportunity to review an 8.3 inch ThinkPad tablet, I was excited for a quality product. Is it the great tablet we have been waiting for?

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Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter adds wireless connectivity to old gear


Bluetooth audio is all the rage nowadays. It can be found in headphones, speakers, automobiles and more. However, this does not mean that non-Bluetooth audio gear is obsolete -- quite the contrary. In fact, there is a very good chance that your older equipment offers better sound and features. It is a shame to discard that tech for a lack of a wireless connection.

Luckily, you don't have to. You see, many manufacturers offer solutions to this dilemma, such as an analog to Bluetooth converter box. The problem is, many of them are unattractive and too large to truly blend in. After all, you do not need to see the thing; ideally you want it out of sight, yet easy to access. Don't worry, Logitech has you covered with the all-new Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter.

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Amazon Dash is a magic wand for your food-shopping


Magic is pretty awesome. When Harry Potter uses his magic wand to cast spells or fight evil, he is pretty much the coolest guy ever. However, Mr. Potter is just make believe. Still, it is fun to imagine having magical powers too. Imagine waving your wand, saying "hocus-pocus" and a gallon of milk or a bag of grapes appears on your counter. Well, that is no longer make-believe, it is reality.

Yes, Amazon has created a magic wand of sorts called the Dash, which enables you to order groceries to your home, through the Amazon Fresh program. Hopefully it is not available in Colorado, because if it is, the company may be overwhelmed by people ordering Doritos and Oreo cookies!

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The fat lady sings for Microsoft, thanks to Google Apps


The office suite battle is really starting to heat up. Last week, Microsoft released Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the iPad, signaling a sea change in the company's focus. However, Google is still pushing forward with its attempt to sway users with its web apps. While both are good, no one can deny that Microsoft's offers more features.

With that said, more features does not always equate to better. In other words, if Google's offering meets a user's or business' needs, then it may be more cost effective. Quite frankly, too many features can be seen as noise when unused. One such company, the Glyndebourne opera house, switched from Microsoft to Google with great results.

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