Over the past year, I’ve written a number of columns on quite a few different subjects, but writing about technology has a drawback: technology is always changing. This article will touch on a few of my past articles with updates on the technologies previously discussed, and for those who have missed them in the Lagniappe, I encourage you to check out Technology Bytes, my online blog, at https://bayoutech.wpengine.com.
One column I wrote in the beginning focused on remote capabilities so that you can use your computer from another. A couple of the utilities and services I mentioned in that article (https://bayoutech.wpengine.com/2009/05/24/want-to-save-on-gas-remote-into-your-work-pc/) have published new and improved versions, and with their updates come some neat new features. TeamViewer (https://www.teamviewer.com) has released version 5, which adds the ability to conference via audio and video through a webcam, adding an increased level of interaction with the people you help over the Internet. You can also present selected applications, so if you only want the person logged in to see a certain window, now you can. LogMeIn (https://www.logmein.com) has also released a new version of their Pro edition (Pro2) that offers some additional features and a new interface. The Free version has also received the facelift, so be sure and check them both out to gauge which version you might need for your particular situation.
Another column from last year (https://bayoutech.wpengine.com/2009/08/21/a-penny-saved-is-a-penny-earned/) delved into the myriad of online bargain websites you can visit to find extreme discounts on the items you can’t live without. I’ve found another great site, Fatwallet.com (https://www.fatwallet.com), which features “Top Deals” on a wide variety of items, and adds a section for coupons, which can certainly help to add to your savings. The online forum is another great source for finding deals, so be sure and explore thoroughly the next time you have some money burning a hole in your pocket. For travel discounts, my previous article (https://bayoutech.wpengine.com/2009/09/07/save-on-travel/) made mention of some wonderful resources for finding discounts on your next vacation. One site that I’ve discovered since that missive is Kayak (https://www.kayak.com). The neat thing about this site is it compares the results from hundreds of other travel sites like Expedia, Orbitz, and more. From this comparison, you can then find the best deal for your trip. They also offer mobile apps for your smartphone so you can use this service on the go.
Netflix (https://www.netflix.com) was the subject of another article (https://bayoutech.wpengine.com/2009/10/09/netflix-making-movies-easier-to-watch/) and since then, they’ve added another big participant to their streaming movie offerings. The Sony Playstation 3 is the latest device to allow Netflix content to stream to your television, leaving only one other platform without this capability, the Nintendo Wii. The crazy thing is that there are already rumors that Netflix will be offered on the Wii within the year, giving Netflix the trifecta of gaming platforms, and cementing them as the clear leader in streaming home entertainment. This will change the face of DVD rentals, and while they have the lead in that segment as well, this might be the nail in the coffin for the other companies. Another thing to note is their decision to cooperate with the movie studios in delaying the availability of new releases. Netflix has agreed to wait a month before releasing new films to give the studios a greater opportunity in DVD sales. Smaller players like Redbox aren’t cooperating, even going so far as to purchase the new releases from storefronts to make them available for their customers, but with the combined weight of Netflix and the Hollywood studio industry, we’ll see how long they last.
With the ever-changing advance of technology, there will never be a shortage of innovative ideas and gadgets that will merit inclusion in my column, so I’ll do my best to keep you up to date. If you have any sites that you think people should know about, don’t hesitate to share! You can leave feedback or comments on the blog site (https://bayoutech.wpengine.com) and I’ll be happy to review and include any questions and feedback in a later column. Thanks for reading!