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by Mike

Winner Announcement

April 19, 2013 in Website News/Info

Last weekend I drew names from all the entries and contacted the winners. After giving out the keys and speaking to them a bit I am happy to announce the winners of our first giveaway draw!

From the comments section: Justin (3 total entries)

From the Twitter section: Mark of Isolated Ground (11 total entries)

From the Facebook section: Steve of Television Warfare (18 total entries)

I’ve added some links so you can congratulate the winners or check out some of their work. Thanks to everyone that entered. Stay tuned for other draws and giveaways. We try to pump out good articles and help with any technical problems you may have. Special thanks again to romcheckfail.com for sponsoring this giveaway.
Thanks also to random.org for helping pick winners.

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by Mike

Skype and SkyDrive Free Giveaway!

March 21, 2013 in Website News/Info

skypeWe are happy to announce our first giveaway! We have 3 keys for a month of Skype Premium with unlimited US and Canada calling, and 3GB or extra SkyDrive storage for life! Since we have 3 keys we have come up with 3 ways to enter and 3 chances to win!**

Any or all of the following to enter:

The more you do the better your odds become!

Submitting a comment is easy and though we don’t require you to register it is the better option, If you do not register please make sure you get your email address correct in the comment. You can also register to stay in the loop on other NerveSocket news and events.
Facebook comments and twitter mentions do not count, but are always read and appreciated! Be sure to like the facebook page itself. Liking a status post will not qualify. Due to facebook privacy settings I am only able to track the shares from the link above so make sure your share says “shared a link via NerveSocket” and not your friends profile.

skydrive

We won’t remove any duplicate entries, so technically you have 5 chances to win if you comment, like, share, follow and retweet… That would be pretty passionate! If you have any questions you can always contact me directly. You can also sign up for our newsletter to keep in the loop – don’t worry, we really don’t email very much. Check out some of our past newsletters to get an idea.

**Winners will be chosen at random using computer software. Submissions are subject to dismissal without notice. Twitter and Facebook accounts must have been active prior to January 1st 2013 to qualify. Comment winner will be contacted via email. Email accounts determined to be fake or duplicated will not qualify. Dismissal is at our administrators discretion and is subject to appeal. Use the contact page if you feel your submission is irregular or falls under the above categories, but is however a valid entry. Contest closes Friday April 5th at 11:59pm and winners will be chosen shortly after. Sponsored by romcheckfail.com

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by Mike

BlackBerry Z10

February 12, 2013 in Kwappy Weviews

hero.png.originalOn February 5th I lined up out front of Rogers to get my new BlackBerry Z10 and have since been in love with this phone. I won’t be going too in depth about specs of features because I feel there have already been a lot of reviews of this kind posted. Instead my intention is to tell you what kind of person this phone will be for and where I think it will be in a few years. There are some good and some bad points I will touch on but I want to be as general as I can while touching on a few points everyone seems to ask about. Since I plan on talking about my personal experience with the device, I want to get this one bit of rumor out of the way. Yes, at the moment Skype is still unavailable but on Skypes website they claim they are actively working on it to make sure it is working as best as it possibly can.

Using this device does not at all feel like mid-grade specs. I have not once seen any lag or delay when trying to do things quickly. I don’t feel let down when playing games and find the screen size, brightness and sharpness, extremely satisfying. The app ecosystem is rich and sideloading Android ports is a painless process, though not every app is guaranteed to work. I have had a good experience with the Google Maps app side loaded. Phone calls sound great and connect quickly. The contacts are stored in a very different way, which is 80% automated but with some added effort can be phenomenal. Emails will come in almost right away, but works more like PlayBook email than BBOS email. For me, this has been a good thing but some are a little upset with this change, its something to look into if you are heavy in email. I have been impressed by the camera and find it takes great pictures, better than any phone I have owned, and the videos are crips, clear and sound great. Built in photo and video editing is impressive to say the least, but I was truly blown away with the ease of use and powerful tools included in the system.

Read the full article and find out what you need if you need to know and should expect when coming from other smartphones, and get my TLDR version of this.
Read the rest of this entry →

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by Mike

AeroFS

December 4, 2012 in Software

Quite some time ago I was invited to the beta of this Dropbox-like program. I wasn’t sure how they found my email and truthfully, wasn’t looking for a Dropbox alternative, i would check it out. It seemed more of my duty than anything. The idea seemed the same only there was no storage limit! The catch was that everything was P2P. Unlike where Dropbox or Google Drive keep your files in the cloud, AeroFS allows you to sync unlimited amounts of data using all your own resources. This means no public folder, no restoring old copies of files and no possible way to get the sync files should your computer crash. On the bright side, if you need to sync 150GB of files between two computers, you can!

Personally, I did not. As a result I uninstalled it without even sending out my two invite codes! To my amazement, a few weeks later a friend had asked if I knew of an alternative to Microsofts Live Mesh sync since it has now been replaced with SkyDrive. Their service used to offer the best of both worlds. Unlimited sync with the ability to store 5GB to the cloud. With this service kicking the bucket, and SkyDrive only offering cloud storage with no sync, he needed an alternative and AeroFS jumped immediately to mind.

I asked my friend to comment on his experience with the software. Out of ten: “11” was honest opinion. It handled the file sync very well and isn’t even out of beta yet! Installation is as fast and smooth as DropBox or G-Drive and is fairly light weight. Software updates happen seamlessly in the background (for beta updates at least. You are able to share sync folders with other AeroFS users just like Dropbox. Release update may require new download). P2P reduces file sync down time too! History of file activities are kept in a log. At the end of the day its a great tool for backup or sync of any size or volume.

If you’re interested in joining the beta, head on over to AeroFS.com

[ AeroFS ]

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by Mike

Out With the Old in With the New!

November 17, 2012 in Software

It has already been confirmed that Microsoft will be killing off MSN and finally embracing Skype. As of March 2013 they will be turning off the switch on the much beloved service,  but this isn’t really a big surprise. Over a year ago Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion and hasn’t really done much with it. Although Skype has still been working on things like their new Codec there hasn’t been an overwhelming presents of Microsoft – not that I’m complaining; I love Skype!

In 1999 we knew it best as Microsoft Network Messenger or MSN. Everyone I know and their mom used MSN. It was great, it was fun and there was extensive development to “hack” and tweak MSN. Countless viruses and fake links were also distributed this way, but it was great! You could play games with friends, chat and even do video or voice calls! I still think their implementation of sending voice clips was awesome! Reminds me of  the10-4 cell phones on Bell networks. As time wen’t on they changed the name to Windows Live Messenger, around the same time as Windows Vista came out. Everything was going “Live” and starting to move to the cloud. They also came out with the “Live Essentials” which was just a series of tools and programs commonly used – Live Mail, Messenger, Movie Maker (Finally updated!) and other stuff no one cared about. In 2009 they had released that they had 330 Million active users which represented more than double that of Skype and second only in popularity to Yahoo Messenger. The report also suggested that in the US there was a 48% drop in unique users and consequently the number of Skype grew.

When Microsoft released the previews for Windows 8 and Office 2013, there was a strong integration of Skype with Outlook and the whole OS. There is also now a preview of Skype available for Windows Phone 8. Last month Skype updated the desktop version to 6.0.0.120 in the US and recently Skype updated everywhere else to 6.0.0.126 which seems to bring integration with Outlook contacts. You can now sign in with your Microsoft or Facebook account.  You can IM your WLM friends with video calling coming in the near future. You can even merge your accounts to have an all in one experience! Version 6 also brought some bug fixes, and a slightly different look that has a similar feel to Windows 8

[ Get Skype ]

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by Mike

ASUS RT-N56U Revisited

November 1, 2012 in Kwappy Weviews

I wanted to revisit this review. Earlier I had basically said in summery that the router was great, but the UI had some shortcomings. I have since come across some amazing firmware. Don’t get me wrong I think Asus did a great job, but I was getting a little frustrated. Curiosity got the best of me.

PLEASE, if you have this router or are thinking of buying it, make sure you check out ASUS RT-N56U custom firmware website. I have donated to these guys because I truly feel they over came all of the routers UI shortcomings and turned this thing into a total beast. It still has the same great speed and performance but now has shorter reboot and apply times – Applying settings usually now takes less than 5 seconds and reboots are under a minute. Firmware still takes about 3 minutes to install. It offers VPN access, Guest WiFi zone, the same great built in FTP access and all those little nitpicking features I wanted. Easy drop downs to reserve IP addresses for one! HUGE for me.

Resource monitoring of CPU and RAM with BEAUTIFUL graphcs for both resource monitoring and network traffic stats.

 

IPV6 is still a bit of a work in progress and there is no QOS, but there are frequent updates to this custom firmware and the community usually can help if you need any support. Trust me when I say its worth your time to check this out. Feel free to drop any questions in the comments.

ASUS RT-N56U custom firmware ]

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by Mike

BlackBerry 10 Excites Me

October 31, 2012 in Hardware

The more I watch videos on how BB10 works, or what it can do the more I honestly can’t wait to update my BlackBerry. Already I’m sure you have realized I am a HUGE BlackBerry fan… Here’s the thing though, Apple keeps doing the same old crap and everyone knows it. Android has a nice niche but they don’t have the experience I would want from an all touch screen phone. I love my keyboard! The Bold 9900 is the best typing experience I have ever had. I used to love the idea of texting, but hate actually doing it. I know I’m not alone either or I wouldn’t see text messages with terrible bad spelling and grammar. Though there will be a BB 10 device that has a full keyboard, I think without the trackpad and other top buttons, I might as well go with the full touch and just adapt! The word prediction looks easy to use and helpful, not a hinder like some devices you see. The touch keyboard on BB 10 will learn how you type and learn from where you press buttons. If you tap the letter R a little bit low and to the right it will start anticipating it. That is the kind of all touch keyboard experience I want.

Some other things I’m excited for is the power that will come from their new QNX operating system. The PlayBook has been a great experience and I worried about how some apps would work but this will truly be a radical switch to anyone that currently has a BlackBerry. No more rebooting after installing apps. Apps will be able to run services in the background. The beauty and elegance of apps will get much better and no more crappy java memory leaks! Soon you will finally see BlackBerry devices with good specs. Java just couldn’t handle it, but QNX will be able to run dual-cores, quad-cores or what ever else the future brings for mobile phones. The way the operating system handles elements is somewhat interesting too. This video really caught my attention:

Though there isn’t a real practical application to this, the fact its possible its awesome! Everything looks snappy! It’s fresh. Apple is thinking the same “different” they were 5 years ago. Android excites me, but the phones all seem sluggish and the operating system is clunky with all the bells and whistles – not a good business phone. Windows Phone 8 looks promising but with the way Windows 8 looks, I’m worried about where Microsoft is going. RIM has something to prove here and they are doing it right. Apple released the iPhone 5 even though maps weren’t ready. With RIM doing everything to make sure this phone is flawless before its released I think everyone will have a great experience. I have 100% support for this phone and will definitively be doing a Kwappy Weview on it. Alright RIM, lets see you guys knock it out of the park!

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by Mike

Software on Steam

October 16, 2012 in Software

COPYRIGHT VALVE CORPORATION

I love Steam. I don’t think I would have started buying games if it didn’t exist. I love the community, the interface and how easy it is to use. Steam is my favorite! Now they have full blown started selling software.

It was rumored that they would start selling more than games and hats a long time ago, but now its finally happening! Though most of the software so far is either free, expensive or somewhat useless  it shows that there will be a good range of prices and include even very expensive production software. I am still curious where all this will go, what new products will launch, and how it will effect Microsoft Marketplace and Apple App Store.

With the Windows 8 Marketplace I don’t expect to see anything like Office in there any time soon, but this might be a good place for indie software developers to make their mark. Steam has, after all, helped so many indie game dev.’s get their games to a very large market. Speaking of indie, Humble Bundle has also started releasing more than just games and soundtracks – currently they are offering eBooks.

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by Mike

Windows 8 is a Bad Idea

September 27, 2012 in Software

There is no other explanation… When a developer still makes around $215,000 a day, 2 years after release from his game, logically he should want to be on as many platforms as possible. Turning down an open invite to certify their game for the Windows 8 Marketplace would be foolish, right?! I personally think there is more to it than that, and at this point in case you haven’t figured it out I’m referring to Markus Persson who tweeted this earlier, saying “I told [Microsoft] to stop trying to ruin the pc as an open platform” and has spoken out other times against Windows 8. He goes on to say “I’d rather have minecraft not run on win 8 at all than to play along.” and many would say that’s bad for business.

Having the income Notch has allows him to be slightly picky. If he wanted to he could be more aggressive and get Minecraft on every platform. He would likely have even more income. At this point I think he would rather take a stand and make a point. He has helped many indie game developers find a place in the market by supporting the Humble Bundle and many other projects, both financially and in marketing. This stand against the Windows 8 Market is one I can agree with. The PC stands out against Mac because it is an open platform. Users aren’t given a set of rules but instead allowed to think outside the box, and explore outside the box. To take that away from the PC would be a disaster. Either people will switch to Mac, or they will switch to Linux. Already Linux has overcome some of my personal issues in terms of compatibility and entertainment. Steam now runs many games on Linux and there are so many apps, its hard to not find one that does what you need.

Windows 8 is less than a month from launch, but Intel CEO Paul Otellini is quoted as saying Windows 8 still requires improvements to be made. They want to stick with their release deadline and feel that any imperfections can be fixed with an update later down the road. Even RIM has learned from making that mistake and pushed back the release of BB10 to make sure their product ships working ready to take on the world (and its looking REALLY good now). Just look at iOS6 Maps on the iPhone 5 to see how an incomplete element can impact the reputation of a successful company. Is Microsoft really that obtuse, or is it wrong to keep customers waiting? How do you feel about being sold a product that isn’t ready yet? There is nothing but a promise to comfort you that they will fix things later…

At the end of the day, I have to hand it to Microsoft for being bold, but they are playing with some very dangerous ideas. Already many people do not want to switch just because they don’t like the way it looks! If developers don’t feel they have the same control over their software they won’t make the switch. They need the respect and cooperation of developers otherwise they won’t get anywhere. Microsoft knew this 20 years ago, but have they forgotten this now? Only ti me will tell, and usually Microsoft puts out one risky release every other version of Windows. For now I won’t come near Windows 8 and I can’t think of a single person I would recommend it to.

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by Mike

Skype Changing to new ‘Opus’ audio codec

September 13, 2012 in Software

Anyone that uses an in game voice chat program like Vent, Mumble, Team Speak or even if you are using Skype, you should know by now the codec is everything. Any spike in latency can be frustrating and annoying and a good audio codec can make a huge difference. Mumble prides itself in a codec developed specifically for speech and promises low bandwidth with high quality!

Skype has been knocking this new Opus codec around since March 2009 intending to create a low bandwidth codec “designed for the internet.” This should mean full CD quality audio in full band stereo over Skype, regardless of internet connection. They are also bringing in new technologies to help with packet loss so your friends and family wont sound like some dubstep audio sample. Personally this makes me VERY hopeful to see Skype on the BlackBerry PlayBook.

There is no specific ETA but they expect it to become standard across all Skype platforms. Below is a video that likely has way more information than anyone would be interested in…

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