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Welcome to Storex Technologies

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Somehow I thought that the name “Storex Technologies” would be a cool domain name for a general technology blog. When I registered the blog and did some further digging I discovered it was previously the domain for a world renowned technology company in the area of CD storage. Although I’m no CD storage expert, a quick internet search leads me to believe that this company has even been featured on popular online publications like Engadget and much more.

Out of respect for the previous company owners, people I do not know by anyway, I decided to keep some of their old company information for anyone that might come looking for it here. I will also pin this page on the home page of my website for as long as possible. Please keep in mind that I am in no way affiliated to this Storex Technologies and do not represent them.

Here’s an excerpt from their old home page, telling you what the company originally was about:

Storex Technologies is a high-tech company involved in research, development, and design of a high capacity, removable optical data storage technology, named Hyper-CD with storage capacity over 1,000,000GB (1PB) and the development of novel materials dedicated to optical nanolithography (1-5 nm).

The company focuses its effort on developing optical volumetric solutions using fluorescent photosensitive glasses and fluorescent photosensitive glass-ceramics that will benefit from all markets through its intellectual property.

You can also read about Storex Technologies previous company history and the technology they developed.

The Geek’s Guide To Christmas, Gifting, Decorations & Everything in between

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Yesterday I got the idea to create a nerd’s guide to Christmas. It was late in the afternoon, and I realized that it was 100 days till Xmas. It sounded almost meant to be that I needed to write this post. A hundred days might not seem a lot, but I’ve realized as I got older that time flies by, especially if you have a hectic schedule.

For this guide, I thought I would spend the time to compile a list of Christmas goodies the everyday geek, nerd, or computer guy (someone who primarily works 9-5 in front of his computer – me) would appreciate. It might be a long list in the end, but for now, I’ll stick to the essentials: The story behind Christmas, a few important geek gifting ideas and decorations for those that never spend enough time decorating.

The story behind Christmas

No matter how the world spins it or however much you get caught up in the gifting, special deals, decorations and family gatherings that go with Xmas, Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus Christ. It's not about any other weird type of geek religion or just a time to get awesome presents. In the Bible, in the book of Luke, the age-old story of the birth of Jesus is told. It is beautiful and essential to understanding this time of the year. Although often, myself including, we forget the actual reason behind celebrating Christmas it’s good to take a moment to reflect and think what it all means. Reading the Bible story is essential to that. Now that the most important part of Xmas is mentioned let’s move on to decorations and gifts.

Gifting ideas for Geeks and regular people

Previous years were somewhat hard for me, at least from a financial perspective, and I didn’t have much money to spend on things like extravagant gifts. Although Christmas is not just about giving and receiving presents, I still want to be a blessing to my loved ones and family members, and I’m very thankful that this year it will be different. However, I’m often terrible at giving presents.

Since my family members like technology and gadgets almost just as much as me, maybe a bit more, they will fit nicely within the nerd gifting category. It is probably a little bit stupid, but getting everyone their very own ugly Christmas sweater is very fresh and festive. I wouldn’t wear it anywhere else or on any other day than 25 December, but on that day it’s all worth it.

Merchoid.com has an excellent list of ugly sweaters and many other goodies for you to consider. Here’s a sweater with a Captain America theme:

[caption id="attachment_94" align="alignnone" width="600"] Source: Merchoid.com[/caption]

Gifts you give on Xmas does not have to be Xmas themed if you get my drift? That being said, there is always some kind of new technology gadget that someone in the family would love to add to their collection. A few options come to mind: new iPhone covers, funky iPhone charging cables, Laptop accessories (this one is for me), smart watches and if you are in the mood to splurge a new laptop or gaming console like the PlayStation 4 would be an excellent choice.

Everyone knows that Amazon is perfect for these, but don’t forget about its slightly weird rival, eBay. I like eBay for its gadgets because it’s cheap and full of Chinese sellers. These Chinese guys are always on the latest trends, and sometimes you can find excellent gifts that you can’t find anywhere else. The cool thing about Ebay.com is that it does not have to be just gadgets, it can be home items, cooking, clothing, fashion and more. Thinkgeek.com is also a good alternative to eBay and Merchoid and might be an easier option if you don't want to search for hours.

Although like I mentioned, I’m often bad at giving presents, I think you should think hard and long whether a gift you are buying is something you like or your family member would like. There is nothing worse, okay maybe there is, than getting a gift that you know you don’t like/want/need and then having to pretend you like it. I agree that we all need to be thankful, but still...

Be giving, try to help and bless your family member or whoever you are buying the present for. Christmas only comes once a year, so make it a special one. If for some reason you don’t have enough money for a Xmas present, don’t sweat it. Give them the gift of love the special day, spend good quality family time with them, help them prepare a good meal, enjoy them and love them.

Whatever you choose, a present or none at all, make sure you give and mean what you give, and they will appreciate it. Just because you are a nerd or prone to technology is not to say you can’t show you affections toward one another.

Decorating tips for nerds and people who always think it’s not necessary

Many fond memories are created around Christmas time. That’s a fact. If you’ve previously neglected decorations during the holiday time I urge you to reconsider. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, and the best thing is, most decorating items stay in season for many years to come. Children especially enjoy Christmas a little bit more with some decorations like trees, baubles, lights, crackers or whatever particular item you add.

For me a Christmas tree essential. You have few options when it comes to trees. You can buy a real tree that took months or years to grow (I don’t know), an artificial tree which lasts forever and a ceramic Christmas tree.

I don’t usually buy a real tree, but it just looks the best and probably costs the most too. To get a real tree visit a local Christmas tree farm near you and book one for the holidays.

For an artificial tree, you can visit your local store or buy one online. This list from Good House Keeping is perfect for guys like us who have almost no sense of decorating. I’m referring to myself.

For Ceramic Christmas trees I had to dig a little deeper to find a good guide as there aren’t many of those around the internet and as a geek, I’m sure my readers can relate to a good web guide/review. The guys from Christmastreesource.com provided what I was looking for.

You can have a lot of fun with Christmas lighting as well, don't forget to add that to your to-do list.

Entertainment for the Xmas time

It’s nice to sit back and relax by watching a movie. Everyone knows that, and that’s why services like Netflix dominate the entertainment industry. Watching a few Xmas themed movies also helps to put you in the Christmas spirit. Here’s a guide from Nerdlocker.com especially for Nerds.

Before I close

There you have it, my short and precise guide to Xmas gifting, decorations, meaning and entertainment for geeks. You’ve got just under 100 days to go so be sure to make this year’s celebrations one that you not only thoroughly enjoy with those you love, but a time you will never forget. Nerds or not, we can still enjoy Xmas. In fact, Jesus came to save us all.

Google Gravity vs Space vs Sphere

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Google is currently the most universally used search engine in the world and has been for many years. In fact, I doubt that will ever change. It is instrumental when it comes to keeping people well informed and entertained. A lot of designers and programmers keep coming up with new and unique ways to keep people hooked on such popular web applications.

Google gravity focused

Mr. Doob is among popular programmers who have developed new and fun ways in which users can make use of the Google search tool. His experiments frequently involve manipulating the regular search page to perform various features that keep users hooked and entertained. His three favorite features are the Google Gravity, Google Space, and Google Sphere. Below is a brief look at those features and what they involve.

Google Gravity

Google Gravity is an innovative web feature whereby the page that has been open begins to perform some interesting and fun tricks. The contents of the internet page may seem as though they are falling or the web page itself might look as though it is turning upside down. Once you enter the page, it will display a standard Google home page with the search boxes and links that you would expect.

However, a second later or once some form of activity such as mouse movement is detected, all the contents of the page drop down as if gravity is pulling them down. You can then click and drag any of the links or content up or sideways and have them fall again or hold them in position by holding down the left mouse button.

If users want, they can type into the search box. However, clicking on the  'search function' and I'm feeling lucky' buttons will not achieve anything as they have not yet been implemented to work as they normally should. The other elements that have links work accordingly and will end up redirecting the user to the respective search page once clicked.

Google Space

Google Space is yet another innovative web feature whereby all the contents of the internet page circle around randomly as though they are in space. Once a user opens up the link, the page will first seem like a regular Google homepage, and just a second later, the elements of the page will begin hovering around the screen randomly just as any object would hover about in a zero gravity environment like space.

Users can also manipulate the positioning of the elements that float by left clicking on an object and holding the left click down and moving to any desired direction. While it is possible to type in the search box, the 'Google search' and the 'I'm feeling lucky' buttons have not yet been implemented to work as they normally should. The other elements that have links do work and will redirect you to the respective search page once clicked.

Google Sphere

Google Sphere is also another ingenious web feature whereby all the contents of the page form like a sphere. The company logo acts as a center of the sphere as the rest of the elements of the page revolve around it. Unlike Google Gravity and Google Space, Google Sphere uses old images for the company logo format for the elements and links that revolve around the page.

The rotation of the objects can also be controlled by pointing the mouse button to a particular direction in which the objects will rotate towards. The speed of the rotation can also be controlled as pointing the mouse button closer to the Google logo slows down the rotation while aiming it further speeds it up.

Just as the previous features, the search box can be typed into but hitting enter or clicking on the 'Search Images' button will not work as it normally should, but the other elements that contain links will work when clicked and redirects the user to the respective search page.

How to Extend Your USB Extension Cable 

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We all use these cables, so I thought why not create a straightforward and user-friendly guide on how to extend them. Here we go! A USB extension cable is a device used to expand the range of USB connected peripherals. Standard Universal Serial Bus cables regularly provide fast and secure data between different devices. However, they are usually designed to be short because these types of connections will lose its effectiveness when the distance between the connected devices gets too long. That is typically where USB extension cables come in handy, especially for users who have devices such as PCs, Smart TVs, and gaming consoles located somewhat further away from where they make use of them.

USB extension cables are usually helpful in expanding the reach of the following:

  • Peripherals such as a keyboard and mouse
  • Modem or wireless device to allow it to receive a stronger signal
  • Gaming controllers to enable players to continue playing while still charging the controller
  • Storage devices such as flash drives or external hard drives to allow easier connection and removal without discomfort

White USB extension cable

If the standard Universal Serial Bus cable that you use to connect your device is not long enough, there are several things you can do to help you extend its reach. Below are three ways to do so.

1. Passive USB Extension Cable

The simplest and cost effective solution would be to purchase a standard extension cable. They work just as you would expect them to. This cable normally has both a male and a female end that you can plug into the end of the cable you want to extend, and that's it. When going with this option, however, you need to be careful. USB standards require up to around 16 feet to allow a passive cable to transfer data reliably. Beyond 16 feet, you will probably need a different solution. Products for this option can easily and cheaply be found on Amazon, eBay, and most local computer stores.

2. Active USB Extension Cable

An active USB extension cable typically acts as a 1-port hub. They can buffer the signal that passes through a USB cable to provide a good signal quality. The result is that an active USB extension cable can allow you to connect to further distances than a passive one. However, an active USB extension cable is more expensive when compared to the passive one, especially if you require connecting multiple cables via a daisy chain or have various cables that need an extension. This is typically a good option for extending a single device's connection for up to 30 feet and can even reach up to 100 feet if required.

3. USB over Cat5

Another way to do an extension is to purchase a USB over Cat5 extender. These devices use Cat5e or Cat6 cables that allow users to extend Universal Serial Bus devices to very long distances of up to 200 feet. What makes these tools especially useful is that modern homes nowadays have Cat5e or Cat6 cables that run to almost all the rooms.
There are many varieties of Universal Serial Bus over Cat5 extension cables available in today's markets. The prices do vary a lot. However, there are mainly two types: those who are USB 1.1/2.0 compatible. The USB 1.1 versions are cheaper but provide a slower connection thereby making them a poor option for most devices in use today. The Universal Serial Bus 2.0 version is faster and will work well with most modern USB devices in use today such as external hard drives, cameras, printers, and many others.

Another important thing to take note of when buying a Universal Serial Bus over Cat5 extension cable is the power source. Most of the USB 1.1 versions do not have an external source of energy which is fine since it is frequently used when extending the range of a mouse or keyboard. However, the 2.0 version will typically require an external power source otherwise there would be a loss in voltage which may cause it not to work well with connected devices.

Find out how does Google work (Infographic)

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Basically, all of us are using the internet in some way or another. The majority seems to be using Google to find information on almost anything from buying movie tickets to selling products to checking the weather and much more. Other popular search engines include Microsoft's Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex. Have you ever stopped and wondered just exactly how Google or any other search engine does it? My previous encounter with Google got me thinking and I ended up finding this interactive infographic from Quick Sprout.
This is by far the most entertaining and probably easiest way ever to understand what Google does and how they are able to deliver search results to you and me in mere seconds. If you've ever wondered how they do it, this will answer most of your questions or at least make you curious enough to do more research.
How Google Works
Source: Quick Sprout
I think I like this infographic thing, I might post a few more of these...

Learning with Google’s I’m Feeling Curious

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It looks like I'm starting a series of blog posts about Google which brings me to my second installment regarding I'm feeling curious. Besides this post, you'll also see another interactive infographic [tomorrow] that will shed some light on how Google runs its search engine.

When I discovered the "Fidget Spinner" trick in Google and wrote an article about it a few days ago I thought it was a unique discovery. Out of curiosity I tried to find more of the same on Google and realized there was much more to play around with. That brought me to I'm feeling curious. These words together might not make sense, but in a while, I'm almost 100% confident that you'll realize what I'm trying to convey to you.

Steps to use I'm feeling curious

What I'm about to show you will open a whole new world of internet to you. To avoid any confusion, this isn't a piece of software; it's just a function that Google released who knows when almost like their Fidget Spinner trick. Some call it a trick, but actually, it's part of their Easter Egg tricks. Here's how to get the same results:

Here's how to get the same results:

Step 1: Go to Google.com and search for "I'm feeling curious." When I mean search, just type the words in your browser and hit enter. You can do this on your cell phone, tablet or laptop. Each should give you the same results.

Step 2: Enjoy and read up on the facts presented to you. That's right; this trick shows you facts about a whole list of things that would take me days to list. You can see a fact I got about peanuts below. It's very cool because I eat peanuts a lot and now know that they are in fact part of the legumes family. Okay, so this is probably a stupid example, but still, I think it's a cool addition to Google.

I'm feeling curious peanut fact

Step 3: Click on "Ask Another Question" to do just that. If you had the time or wanted to, you could sit 24/7 in front of your computer clicking this button and learning. I don't think you should, but now you know... You can probably wow I few friends with this I'm feeling curious trick.

How did I learn about I'm feeling curious

The answer is simple, but the whole story not so much. In short, I found out about it simply by searching and playing around the internet. I found the I'm Feeling Curious Blog which is a blog dedicated to this Google trick and many other web topics from Google so I might be copying a play from their book by creating this Google series. I'm sure they won't mind since at least I gave them ample credit! They also talk about another search trick called Google Gravity here that might be worth adding to this series.

Because it's easy and people, including myself, enjoy videos a lot here's a short screencast recording of I'm feeling curious being used.

 

8 Ways social media will change in the future

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The analytics of social media is constantly changing as we move towards the future. Many young people have been leaving popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for years and some don't even bother to join because it is something that is being used by their parents. In 2016, Facebook reported a 21 percent drop in original and personal updates as an increasing number of users communicate mostly in memes, shared articles or on public posts. Privacy concerns are also an issue as more and more people are aware of different ways to harvest data from unsuspecting users. Many people are predicting significant changes to social media as we move towards the post-election social media landscape. Below are 8 ways in social media is expected to change in the future.

Below are 8 ways in social media is expected to change in the future.

Focus on Relationships

Friendster was among the first and original social networks whose name implied making and maintaining friends. This was also what sites such as Facebook and MySpace originally intended. However, over the years, they have grown to become more about maintaining their personal brand. The CEO of Capsure, Jeanne Lewis, says that social platforms have become a broadcast tool for both individuals and companies and while this might be valuable when looking to share a broad announcement or looking to reach out to as many people as possible, they are no longer helpful when it comes to keeping in touch with your inner circle or sharing personal photos. To remedy this, social media is looking to bring back focus on relationships mainly by emphasizing on small personal posts, photographs, and intimate connections.

Diverse Personal Posts

Up until now, social media posts are limited to outside materials such as texts, videos, and pictures. In the near future, we expect to see more posting options that are diverse and intermingling video and audio components which aim to create more of an interesting experience for people who create and view posts. As technology advances, more and more people will be looking at different and interesting ways of sharing their experiences.

Users Will Have to Pay for a More Peaceful Experience

Premium services on social media are expected to be more dominant than ever. This probably sounds counter productive as paying for social media may be an absurd thought to most people as they have been enjoying the experience for free. Two main things are expected to happen that will change this kind of thinking. First, some people will want high-quality video, audio, and image files kept for posterity. Second, having somewhere where you could get away from all the ads that keep popping up is something that a lot of people would prefer and something that a social media premium service will be able to offer.

Different Group Types

This is something Google Plus tried to achieve, but with little success as it ended up spurring a lot of frustration by people who saw the wrong posts. However, social media is expected to bring back this function and make it work more effectively in the future. In the previous political movement, various relationships ended up being tested unwillingly when people felt that they were attacked by constant political talks. If you prefer not to know where your Uncle stands on controversial things such as gay marriages, you can simply place him in a non-political group. These group types will be vital when it comes to maintaining relationships.

Increased Privacy

Concerns about privacy have been looming around social media ever since it started and are only becoming more profound. In the coming years, social media sites are expected to include more advanced profile privacy and network features than ever.

Less Engaging

One of the main components when looking into social media is that it is highly addictive and sometimes even regarded as more addictive than drugs. Upcoming social media platforms are expected to gear towards a user's wellness in the long-term, a feature which will be implemented by removing the qualities that are addictive. They are also expected to lay more emphasis on the communal side of social media rather than offer fast outside content that is both gratifying and frustrating.

Mobile Native

A big benefit of having social media on newer platforms is that they will become omnipresent on smartphones. Both Twitter and Facebook started out before they could operate on mobile phones but future platforms are expected to be designed with smartphones taken into consideration from the start. Therefore, there will be no uncoordinated borrowing between phone platforms and web applications as there will be a seamless integration between the two.

More Experimentation

Major social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are slow and very reluctant to change and also uncoordinated when they do change. Future social media will see previous platforms try out various things to different levels of success and will also be open to experimentation. They will try out unique ways of organizing interface layouts, befriending people, and various ways of managing contacts. Facebook has retained most of its layout since it first started. Therefore, don't expect newer platforms to be the same.

What about you? How do you think will the social media landscape look within the next 5 years?

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/07/25/google-just-beat-twitter-facebook-and-every-other-social-network-in-customer-satisfaction-survey

Google and their ability to capitalize on almost any market trend

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While doing my daily Reddit scroll AKA time waste session I found a Reddit post about a user saying the following: “Google actually has their own fidget spinner”. It just made me realize, that even with things that to me seem completely irrelevant, Google has the power to capitalize on almost any market trend.

I’ve never been able to understand the fidget trend. However, just because I don’t understand it doesn’t mean that it’s not a crazy trend. Open your YouTube account and I can almost guarantee you’ll see a few videos on these spinning things and even with hundreds of thousands of video views. Some say these toys are made for stress relieving and others have indicated that some schools have even banned them. They seem like a big distraction if you ask me.

Here’s a demonstration of a fidget spinner from YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pufQtK3Q2lE

So to get back to the Google fidget spinner, like I said Google has insane power on the internet to market and communicated to the masses. They obviously noticed this to be a very big trend and created their own in-search fidget which looks like this:

It’s a block that has this spinning thing where you can choose between fidget and number. For fidget when you click on it, it just spins and goes faster the more you click on it. I can’t look at it too long before it starts hurting my eyes. The number option gives you a random number generator which I guess is another cool thing they added. It’s just strange that Google added it to this search.

Who knows how many thousands of people have clicked on this new search result trick Google has added. I might need to look into similar developments they have released over the years. I’ve already got one in mind I think you’re going to enjoy, but before I write about that I've got some news on social media.