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Pre-Order the Amazon Echo Dot without a Fire TV or Echo and $5 less [Deals]

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Amazon just recently announced the Echo Dot, a smaller version of the Amazon Echo, a personal voice assistant device that can answer questions, control your smart home devices, etc. However, Amazon has made it difficult to pre-order it, limiting it to users who own the original Amazon Echo or a Fire TV to order via a voice command. You won’t be able to order it the traditional way through the Amazon.com website, but there is a workaround for it and it requires just your phone and for $5 less than the original price of $89.99

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How to Buy and Sell Bitcoins in Canada [Guide]

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There has been a lot of mainstream media coverage on Bitcoins in recent days that has caused a frenzy of buyers in the market place. If you’re not familiar, Bitcoin is a form of internet currency that is decentralized and not controlled by a central bank. Instead, it relies on a peer-to-peer network to process and validate transactions. Support for the currency has grown immensely and many online places such as Reddit and 4Chan now accepting Bitcoins. Even places Western Union has taken notice and are thinking about supporting it.

For Canadians however, its been a little more difficult to buy/sell Bitcoins as there are few options compared to places like the United States. If you’re still interested in investing Bitcoins or just want to know what the hoopla is all about, I’ve compiled a list of links that should help fellow Canadians.

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How to Format Your USB Drive to Work on Mac OSX and Windows

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As a Apple user, I found it really frustrating that I couldn’t use my Windows formatted USB keys on my Mac. Macs simply do not like drives formatted in FAT32 or NTFS. There are ways however to get around this by using specialized drivers (Seagate in mind has a NTFS compatibility application) but performance seems to be hit or miss. Fortunately there is an alternative in the form of exFAT.

Pros

  • Individual files can exceed 4GB
  • Transfer files without any special drivers

Cons

  • Computer must be running at least Mac OSX 10.6.5 (Snow Leopard) or Windows XP or greater

So if you have a modern computer, this shouldn’t be an issue. Instructions after the break.

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EvasiOn Untethered Jailbreak Now Available for All iOS 6.x Apple Devices

Jail breakers rejoice, if you own a iPad, iPhone, or iPod. The evasiOn team have released a jailbreak solution that works with the latest version of iOS (6.1.2 as of this post).  This will allow you to have full control of your iDevice and thus enable you to install an application called Cydia which serves as a gateway to install apps that are not typically found in the official Apple apps store. Installation is a breeze and is available on Windows, Mac OS, and even Linux.

I suspect this will help boost Apple sales. Beware doing so will void your warranty. Note however that jailbreak is not compatible with the Apple TV (yet). Link after the break.

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The Best Part of the 2013 Oscars

The most memorable part of the night for sure.

 

Crossover 27Q 27-inch 2560×1440 HD Monitor [Review]


I was in the market for a new monitor to replace my 5-year old Dell LCD and while visiting forums on Overclock.net (link) and RedFlagDeals.com (link), I discovered a really long thread on 27″ IPS displays from eBay sellers based out of South Korea. This naturally intrigued me, why would anybody buy a display from an unknown brand overseas? Turns out, the reason why is because these displays use the same LG-manufactured panel found in the Apple Cinema line of monitors but housed in a different case. But the real selling point is the price, these monitors can range from $300-$400, much less than the ~$1000 the Apple-branded one usually demands (link).

There are many different manufacturers to choose from with the big players being Achieva, Catleap, and Crossover. After some careful consideration, I decided to take the risk and ordered the Crossover 27Q off eBay.

So is the risk of buying these monitors worth it? My quick impressions after the break.

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How to Download Files from Usenet Newsgroups [Guide]

One thing that I’m regularly asked is what are newsgroups, why are they relevant, and how to use it. Well in a nutshell, newsgroups predate the internet where users would post messages on public boards from a range of different topics. With the explosion of the internet, newsgroups fell out of favor to almost obscurity until it was re-purposed into something else and that thing is to store files.

Imagine newsgroups as a really, really big hard drive where you can find almost anything you want. Inversely, you can also upload and share files to anybody. And you can do this at really high speeds, most likely maxing you your internet connection. And most importantly, doing so is very simple.

Still interested? Full guide after the break!

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Classic NES Covers – Darkwing Duck

One NES game that I played to death at was Darkwing Duck. Based on the Disney cartoon, your goal was to take down the evil F.O.W.L. organization by beating each of the game’s 6 bosses leading up to a final encounter with the mastermind, Steelbeak.

It was very polished for an 8-bit game and Capcom did for the most part, justice with the license. Even though it was intended for kids, the game was very unforgiving and difficult as you had to memorize every move similar to the Mega Man. Lets get dangerous and watch a speed-run after the break.

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Moshi iGlaze Hard Shell Case for Apple Macbook Air 11″ [Quick Impressions]


One of the first items I wanted to review for 2013 is an item that I bought a bit back. I purchased an Apple Macbook Air 11″ (mid-2012) and wanted something to fully-protect it whenever I took it to on the road without adding much bulk. I discovered these snap cases which are simply two pieces of plastic which simply snap onto the top and bottom of your Macbook. Simple enough. I researched different brands but decided to go with the Moshi iGlaze. This isn’t a in-depth review, but merely a quick impression of what I think about it. Impressions and gallery after the break.

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Hey I’m on Instagram Now

If you’re not familiar with Instagram, its a iOS/Android app where you take and share photos. You can then view them on your phone, tablet, or computer. The service emphasizes exploration so you can leave comments on photos and follow certain users just like Twitter. The service has provided widely successful that it collected all that Facebook monies. I’ve decided to give the service a try and its quite fun to use (except for the crappy filters). I plan to use it post dumb pictures not classy enough for this blog. It’s available on both iOS/Android now and while you’re at it, be sure to Follow my Instagram Account here. I’ll gladly follow back everybody who does.