Tech-Related Discounts for Students

Student taking ID out of wallet

Credit: thebarrowboy at Flickr

In today’s class, one of my students informed us that Spotify Premium is available to students at 50% off the regular monthly price. This inspired me to look for a comprehensive list of tech-related discounts that are available for students. The article below lists discounts from Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, wireless carriers, and more. Let us know if you find any other deals that are not listed in this article.

The Best Tech Deals and Discounts for Students (

Posted in Internet

Ashley Madison’s User Data Exposed

Screen capture of Ashley Madison home page

Screen capture from

The famous “have an affair” website was hacked last month and the perpetrators threatened to release the private (and intimate) data of 30+ million users if the site was not shut down. Last night, the hackers followed through on their promise and released the information online. Because of the sensitive information and photos that were likely stolen, this hack will likely send shock waves through the Internet. Are users placing too much trust in online services that store information and personal photos?

Quick summary from The Verge

Details and quotes from Techcrunch

Posted in Internet

Will Google+ Be Around Much Longer?

Google+ LogoGoogle+ was originally an attempt to create a social network that integrated many of Google’s services (including YouTube). After years of falling way behind other social networks and angering some users in the process (many thought Google was “forcing” this service on them), it appears that Google is slowly giving up on their social network. This article explains exactly what is changing, including the new focus for Google+.

Google Weans Itself Off Of Google+ (TechCrunch)


Posted in Internet, Social Media

Hacking and Controlling a Car

Security researchers, working with a Wired writer, hacked and controlled a car from a remote location. Usually, a laptop connection to the car is needed in order to accomplish this hack. Not anymore, at least for this one system from Chrysler.

Hackers Remotely Hijack a Jeep, Crash it Into a Ditch

The “Internet of Things” brings a great deal of benefits and convenience, but there are security concerns that must be dealt with. Yesterday, two US senators introduced a bill that would require car manufacturers to build security standards into connected cars.

Senate Bill Aims To Lock Hackers Out Of Connected Cars


Posted in Internet of Things

Windows 10 Release Date / Upgrading

Windows 10 will be released on July 29, 2015. Upgrading is free if you are running Windows 7 or 8.1. The article below has all the upgrade and hardware requirement details, while the video is the official Windows 10 introduction from Microsoft.

Upgrading to Windows 10 – from VentureBeat

Microsoft Introduces Windows 10:

Posted in Windows

Google I/O 2015 Announcements

Google introduced Android “M”, unlimited cloud storage for your photos, and much more. Google Photos (free) is definitely worth checking out for its intelligent search feature and the automated videos, stories, and other cool things it does with your photos. Read more about these announcements below or watch the 10-minute video that summarizes the event.

Article from CNET

Video recap from The Verge:

Posted in Android, Cloud

Apps and Privacy

Some of this article’s content may not come as a surprise to many of you, especially if you use your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account to log into many apps (especially games). It is still a good read, as they explain how apps gather their data and how they can keep contacting your friends even after uninstalling them.

One of the best parts of this article is the mention of the PrivacyGrade website, run by Carnegie Mellon University. Definitely worth checking out the privacy grades of your favorite apps.

Posted in Privacy

Managing Photos Online

Taking pictures with smartphones

Credit: Dave Lawler (Flickr)

How do you manage years of photos that are scattered among various devices and social networks? Eight online services reviewed: (Courtesy of The Verge)

Posted in Internet

Microsoft Edge – The Browser That Is Replacing IE

Edge browser logo

Microsoft Edge logo, courtesy @kylealden

Microsoft has announced that Internet Explorer will be replaced by Microsoft Edge when Windows 10 is released. According to The Verge, “Microsoft Edge is designed to be basic and minimalist for the future, and early previews include new features like digital ink annotation, Cortana integration, and a built-in reading list.” For more information, including Microsoft’s promotional video, click the following link:

Posted in Windows

Cutting the Cord from Cable/Satellite TV

Scissors cutting a cable TV cord

Photo credit: Alyssa & Colin (Flickr)

I recently gave a presentation on this topic at the NCCIA Conference and I wanted to share some of the articles and product/service links that were part of my workshop. Giving up cable or satellite TV can save many individuals over $1000 per year, but it isn’t for everyone. Hopefully, these links will help you decide:

What is “Cutting the Cord” and is it worth it? – Their “Diary of a Cord Cutter in 2015” series is one of the most complete guides I have seen on the subject. Follow this multi-part series of a journalist that went through the process. She will discuss the pros and cons, describe the various streaming services, and compare streaming devices. I strongly recommend this. – An interactive calculator showing the various streaming services, how much they cost, and which channels they offer. – Another calculator that considers your cable/satellite bill and helps you determine how much (if anything) you will save.

Streaming Services

There are other services offered by individual channels, sports leagues, etc., that are aimed at a particular group of viewers.

Streaming Devices

Other devices are available and many Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and blu-ray players have apps for the streaming services built in.

HD Antennas

For individuals that want to watch over-the-air network broadcasts without a monthly fee, all you need is an HD antenna. Outdoor antennas typically work better than indoor ones. For advice on which direction your antenna should face and to see how far the network’s towers are from your home, visit and select the “Click Here to Start” button.

Posted in Streaming