Boost Mobile: Reboost

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boost Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

Being a student, staying in touch is important. I don’t mean writing to my pen pal from Czechoslovakia. I mean staying up to date with all the crazy stuff on twitter, facebook, myspace, and whatever other networks you belong to. In this day and age, that means owning an expensive phone, which also means spending a crapton on a plan. Usually. Again, being a student, I can’t afford such luxuries as… er, money. In otherwords, I’m in dire need of a phone.

Enter Boost Mobile, a pre-paid service offered by Sprint. They offer no-contract phones with incredibly cheap options. You can get unlimited calling, txting, data, IM, Email, and “Walkie-talkie” (think Nextel) for as low as $50 a month, or $2 a day, depending on your usage. If you get a Blackberry and would like a subscription to BlackBerry’s network and services, a mere $10 a month is required. The plans are also highly flexible, allowing you to customize how much data, how many minutes, or how many txts you want on your plan.

Payment is also incredibly easy. With their Re-Boost system, you can pay online, over the phone, or in person at a variety of Boost Mobile resellers (from BestBuy to RadioShack). To make payments even easier, they accept both credit and debit, and automatic payments can be set up (to keep you from accidentally ending your service).

The phones themselves are largely designed to be “social phones;” in other words, they aim to make it easy to stay in touch with social networks and services like twitter, facebook, and myspace, for one price per month. Of course, this access is unlimited; you never have to worry about exceeding data limits or sending too many messages. That’s what makes Boost Mobile so simple.

Apart from their typical lineup of “data-phones,” (more powerful than normal phones and less powerful than smart phones) and their Blackberry 8330, they have this new Motorola i1, a fully-featured Android phone. That’s right; an ANDROID phone with an UNLIMITED plan for only $50 a month. How ridiculous is that?

There are downfalls to having a no-contract phone; phones are completely unsubsidized. This means that you’ll rarely see a phone that’s $20 or $30. All phones are full market value. However, you only have to pay for the phone once, so this is a small price to pay. The other downfall is that the phones use Sprint’s network; if you’re in an area that isn’t covered by Sprint, you’re out of luck on this one. Granted, Sprint has a very wide-spread network, so most people should be fine.

Overall, BoostMobile is definitely something to check out. With their insanely cheap plans and full-featured phones, they make an offer that’s very hard to beat.

Visit my sponsor: Reboost

True HD Streaming with FaceVsion’s N1 Webcam

Socialspark_productimage

How sexy-looking is this? I mean, really.

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of faceVsion Technology USA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Visit my sponsor: faceVsion TouchCam N1 HD Video Streaming Webcam

Alright, you know what I hate most about Skype? Getting an image so bad that it looks like the person on the other end was built out of lego blocks. I imagine that I look even worse on their end, but there isn’t much I can do about that, right? Wrong. Apparently there’s a new, sexy-looking webcam on the market by a company called faceVsion, called the “N1,” with the purpose of making fantastic-looking video streaming possible.

A solution to a problem

Here’s the trouble with today’s “HD” videostreaming platform: while there are plenty of cameras that advertise “HD” quality, these cameras often times only allow for HD quality locally. This means that while you can record HD video to upload to, say, Youtube or Vimeo, you can’t make HD video calls. The FV touchcam N1 has a built-in H.264 hardware encoder, allowing it to truly process HD video at a rapid pace, the key to the online HD streaming. It is the first webcam of its kind to make HD streaming over Skype possible.

Here’s a video with actual footage recorded from the webcam. The guy’s a bit energetic, but bear with him. He’s good.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vgdorsUFEI

To be technical, the camera streams in 720p HD, and has a best-in-class wide-angle lens (78 degrees) to allow for a fantastic widescreen picture. Additionally, the camera sports two high-quality microphones to record your voice in stereo, giving great video AND audio quality all around. It mounts nicely to almost any kind of computer. FaceVsion realizes that it is a bit large, so they did make a mini mobile HD video streaming solution, called the FV ExpressCombo. It’s small, quick, easy, plug-and-play, and, of course, streams in true 720 HD.

Being able to stream in HD adds a level of professionalism to your videos and video calls. Imagine carrying on digital meetings. You wouldn’t want to limit yourself with a grainy, blippy image of yourself trying to market a new product, bringing up an important point, or even asking for a raise.

So, what are you waiting for? Go get one! The webcam is a bit pricy at $120 USD, but with the quality I’ve seen, I believe it to be worth every cent.

FaceVsion’s Website

FV Touchcam N1 Homepage

FV ExpressCombo Homepage

faceVision on line store


SocialSpark: Sponsored Conversations

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
Visit my sponsor: I Signed Up for SocialSpark!

Recently, I decided to try and monetize my blog by replacing some of my static ads with adsense ads. I’d noticed a few other blogs I read use a site called “socialspark.com” to facilitate their advertisements and to write a few sponsored posts. I figured that it’d be worth a shot to try out and see how I could benefit from their services. Here’s what happened.

Getting Started

Signing up was stupidly easy. All you need to sign up is a blog and an email address. They don’t ask for payment information immediately, so you can start blogging or posting ads and cash in later. As soon as you finish the registration process (which involves adding a snippet of code to your blog to verify that you do, in fact, own it), you are presented with a list of “opportunities” to connect with businesses and companies.

Connecting with Companies

Every opportunity can be placed into a variety of different categories, from “posts,” in which you write a sponsored post, to “affiliate,” in which you make a commission every time someone clicks on your ad and purchases the product. I selected a few affiliate ads to place on the side of my blog, and then opted to write this post. I figured that, in writing this post, my readers would not only understand the changes going on with my blog, but would also show what I chose as a means for advertising.

Some Cons

Nothing is perfect, and if I’m going to be writing honest reviews, I need to make sure my readers know everything there is about a product or service. This being said, SocialSpark has a few things that I don’t like. For one, there is no way to group opportunities apart from what kind of action they require of you (blog post, ad, etc.). I can’t review all “technology” offers, for example.

Secondly, there’s a bit of a learning curve. When I first saw my “opportunities,” I had know idea that “aff” was short for “Affiliate.” In that sense, SocialSpark kinda pushes you into its community, hands you a to-do list, and tells you “Go get ‘em,” leaving you somewhat high and dry.

Conclusion

After you get over its learning curve, SocialSpark can quickly become a very valuable blogging resource. It’s definitely worth a shot, if only to see what kind of opportunities there are for you in the world of collaborative blogging. Bloggers, give it a shot. Readers, CLICK MY ADS! Only kidding.

SocialSpark

Code of Ethics

Sign up for SocialSpark

Outer Spaces: DopplerPad in action

A while back, I did a review of some iPhone software called DopplerPad. The app allowed for some really interesting and manipulative 2-channel sound creation. It was essentially two synthesizers and a mixer, which was fairly interesting.

Now, a small mini-album has been released, entitled “Outer Spaces,” containing four songs made either entirely with DopplerPad, or at least in part with the software. And they aren’t bad. I was impressed that such simple software could create such interesting music.

Here, take a listen:
Outer Spaces by retronyms

The album is totally free, so you can download it here if you’d like. Hell, I even put it on my iPod. It’s worth listening to if you have a spare 20 minutes or so.

Visit the “Outer Spaces” homepage

Download the album for free

Immunet 2.0: Antivirus just keeps getting better.

Awhile ago, I did a write-up of this interesting, cloud-based antivirus software called Immunet. It was fascinating to me because, unlike other antivirus software I had seen, it did all it’s authentication and scanning in the cloud. Ooooh. That means that instead of taking up all that processing power on YOUR computer, it sends file properties to a cloud, where they are processed, examined, and spit back to your computer with a pass or a fail. But…

It just got better.

THAT’S RIGHT. Immunet 2.0 is out, public, and fantastic with a new community feature, making fighting virii even more fun.

How it works

Alright, this is kinda neat. Like most antivirus programs, it works by running two kernel drivers. One driver monitors files, while the other monitors the program itself to make sure it’s still working. Additionally, it saves space, time, and speed by only monitoring disk activity, like program installations and executions. But the majority of the scanning takes place online, which

By default, the program will block programs after they’ve been executed or files after they’ve been moved, but you can set the program to check everything before it takes any action which, according to Immunet, will only take 200 ms per check. That’s damn fast.Any new virii detected on your computer are added to the cloud, so the more people that use Immunet, the better each individual person is protected. The idea is that as viruses get more and more advanced, the Immunet network will adapt to match them, all-the-while providing light and responsive client software to its users.

On top of that, Immunet has added this neat community feature, allowing you to track how many viruses you’ve stopped. You can add friends to your “network” to increase protection between your computers. You even get a score based on how many threats your computer has stopped and how many people are connected to “your network.” If you want, grab a copy of Immunet, drop me a comment and I’ll add you to my network.

Speed

Speaking of fast, the program runs two different kinds of scans. One is a typical file scan, which works well. The other is a “flash scan,” which scans only active files and processes to see if your computer is actively being influenced/impacted by a viral process. It’s super fast. They’ve ranged from a minute to three minutes.

It only takes 200 milliseconds (1/5 a second) to send a request to the cloud, process it, and have it sent back to your computer. Just saying.

Compatibility and cost

The software will run on ANYTHING with a screen and a keyboard, I swear to God. You pretty much need a computer that will run your operating system: If you have Windows XP, the minimum processor speed is 300 Mhz. I haven’t seen a computer that slow since… well, never. It only needs a quarter of a gig of ram, and it takes up 10 MB of hard-drive space. Seriously. If your computer turns on, it will run Immunet. You do need a dedicated internet connection to connect to the cloud, though, and part of the software’s display is powered by Internet Explorer 7, so you do need to have at least IE 7 installed. The software displays how much processing power and memory it’s using on the side of it’s panel, so you always know how efficiently it’s performing.

Better yet, Immunet will run with virtually any other antivirus program without causing any sort of interference. I have it running with a copy of Norton 360, and it hasn’t conflicted at all. However, Immunet itself does in fact function very well as a stand-alone antivirus program. It can run full-system tests, and it monitors computer activity, just like a normal antivirus program would.

There is a paid version of Immunet, which I’d highly recommend buying. It allows for offline scans and rootkit removal, making it more of a stand-alone antivirus program. It also scans and protects your emails, IM’s, and archived files. It’s $20 for a 1 year subscription for 1 computer, but if you add on years or computers, the cost per computer per year goes down pretty sharply.  To protect 3 computers for the next 2 years, I’d only have to pay $40. That’s a pretty good deal.

Conclusion

Alright, my only critique about the software is that while it’s incredible, it doesn’t have a ton of users (compared to other antivirus companies). That’s where you can help. Download Immunet for FREE and start really protecting your computer.

Get Immunet

Microsoft launches Office 2010 to consumers!

Ok, folks. Lets face it. Microsoft hasn’t been doing especially well recently. Steve Balmer admits that Microsoft has “missed a whole cycle” with regards to Smartphones, and while Sony and Nintendo unveiled 3D capabilities for the PS3 and the Nintendo DS respectively at the E3 convention, Microsoft has announced an Xbox 360 with *gasp* a bigger hard drive and Wifi! How innovative.

However, they have managed to do something well repetitively, namely their productivity software. That’s right, folks, Microsoft Office 2010 is now public, final, and official.

What you’re missing out on.

Office is VERY nice looking this time around. They like that whole ribbon-thing they’ve been doing; they group commands that you’d typically see in your “File,” “Edit,” “View,” etc. menus and stick them in a tabbed set of buttons, making things nice and big and easy to access.

Additionally, a lot of their programs have free, watered-down, online versions that you can use. For FREE. Try them out here. They’re not bad, and they’re better than Google Docs when it comes to formatting (although Google Docs beats it on most other fronts).

Try it (Free trial)

Buy it ($150-$500)