Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Protect yourself online | via Phoenix Focus | September 2011


Don’t fall prey to hackers and computer viruses.

By Joe Hutsko

With identity theft rampant, it is more important than ever to know how to protect your online information. From your PC at home to the smartphone you carry with you 24/7, implementing security protection tools and familiarizing yourself with (and practicing) a number of common safer online practices can help ward off nasty computer viruses or intrusive hacker attacks intent on hijacking your personal identity and digital information such as banking logons, photos, private email and messaging conversations, and even your Facebook or Twitter social networking profiles.

via Protect yourself online | September 2011.


Getting Green With Gadgets | Gravy | volume 1, issue 2 | Summer 2011

Getting Green With Gadgets
By Joe Hutsko

Some tips on minimizing your impact on the planet while maximizing the green that stays in your wallet in your wallet.

Turn to pages 104 & 105 in Gravy | volume 1, issue 2 | Summer 2011


View the two-page PDF here: Getting Green With Gadgets | Joe Hutsko | Gravy | Summer 2011.


Ten Green Gadget Money Savings Tips | Green Gadgets For Dummies

Ten Green Gadget Money Savings Tips

From Green Gadgets For Dummies, by Joe Hutsko

Some quick tips that can help you save money by using gadgets the green way:


  1. Replace single-use disposable batteries in your gadgets with rechargeable ones – then properly dispose of all of those dead single-use cells at your local grocery, hardware or office supplies store
  2. Turn down your TVs brightness and contrast settings to the lowest comfortable level; new TVs leave the factory with all of their picture-related settings cranked to the max to standout on the showroom floor, so adjust yours when you bring it home
  3. Unplug cell phone, MP3 player, and other gadget chargers after the battery is charged, as well as other “energy vampire” devices that go into standby mode when they’re turned off to stop them from sipping power; or plug them all into power strips so you can instantly turn them off all at once
  4. Disable your computer’s screensaver and adjust its power savings settings to turn off the display when you’re not using it for more than five minutes, then switch the computer to standby or sleep mode after ten minutes, then switch to “hibernate” mode after thirty minutes (if the feature is available)
  5. Turn off any energy wasting features and settings you’re not using on cell phones, computers and other gadgets, including wireless (Wi-Fi) networking and Bluetooth, and GPS; also, reduce the screen’s brightness and activate auto-lock or screen dimming and shutoff options on gadgets that offer these options
  6. Read and review documents on the screen instead of printing them on paper – if you must print, reduce your printer’s quality setting to 300 dots-per-inch, print on both sides of the page, print in color only when necessary, and refill inkjet and toner cartridges rather than buy new ones
  7. Reduce fuel consumption and auto emissions by shopping and banking online, and renting or buying downloadable and streaming movies and TV shows instead of renting DVDs at the local video store, or Netflix’s rent-by-mail; instead, choose Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” movies and watch on your computer, TiVo-equipped TV, or other streaming gadget
  8. If your thermostat isn’t programmable get one, then set so it’s only heating or cooling when you’re actually in the house; even inexpensive models can accommodate workweek and weekend turn ons and turn offs based on your schedule
  9. When purchasing new gadgets, look the most energy efficient models by visiting,, and the green gadget-aware websites below to stay up on the latest news, reviews, trends and feature stories that can help you make the eco-friendliest choices possible – the longer term benefit can shave more than a little green off your utility bill
  10. If donating your mobile phone, MP3 player, or computer isn’t an option when you need to replace it, consider selling it locally on Craigslist, or trading it in for cash or credit toward a new, more efficient model by visiting the gadget trading website

Kindle Lighted Leather Cover sheds a few grams; non-lit cover causing crashes, discontinued

How much does the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover weigh? Depends on which revision you consider, as I discovered when I spotted two weight specs at Best Buy just after the holiday season.

The back of the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover box with an illuminated Kindle illustration on the front reads “Weighs less than 225g” (or about 8 oz; first pic below) while the back the Kindled Lighted Cover box with a closed cover illustration on the front reads “Weighs only 7.8 oz (221) grams” (second pic below).

While the difference is negligible, the ever so slightly lighter weight of the 221 gram model suggests a revision that may pack other overall design changes and/or improvements over the 225 model – of which I found only three boxes mingled with the dozen or more boxes of the 221 model on the display racks.

Buying online? Can’t help you there. Because the product barcode number is the same on the back of both boxes, it’s unclear how you’d go about ensuring a Kindle Lighted Leather Cover you order from Amazon is the newer, slightly lighter model, though considering the Kindle’s steller sales of late it’s my bet buying the lighted cover today would get you the very latest revision. (If anyone discovers an identifier to help online buyers choose the newer model, please post a comment.)

For whatever it’s worth: A search on Kindle Lighted Leather Cover turned up weights of 240 grams (8.5 oz), which suggests the 221 gram model model may be a third or possibly later revision of the original model. As for the Kindle Leather Cover (without light), a search turned up a weight of 170 grams (6 oz).

Also of note: Amazon has stopped selling the standard Kindle Leather Cover because it seems that model’s locking metal latch system was causing the Kindle to short out, then freeze, or crash and reboot – which is exactly what mine was doing, as others have also reported:

On December 16th, in the 302nd post to this board (near the bottom of page 12), someone from the Kindle Support team responded with this message:

  “There have been some forum discussions regarding the non-lighted Kindle cover, and our engineering team is looking into this. Regardless, if anyone is having any problem with an Amazon-manufactured Kindle cover, please call us at 877-453-4512 or 206-922-0844. We will be pleased to replace it for free with a different cover or accept a return for a full refund, no matter when the cover was purchased.”

When I called Amazon to ask for a replacement they offered to send me the lighted cover at no extra cost, but wouldn’t replace the non-lit cover with the same product. When I said I didn’t want the lighted cover, they said they’d refund the full price of the standard leather cover and also credit my account with $25 to apply toward my next purchase. In other words, it’s lights out for the standard Kindle leather cover for the latest-generation model (Kindle 3), as far as purchasing directly from Amazon. You can still find one listed as “used” from Amazon sellers, and from what I can tell, the standard leather cover is still available as a new item from Amazon for the second-generation Kindle (Kindle 2).

225 grams = about 8 ounces

221 grams = 7.8 ounces


GreenCitizen: Independent publishers ask – how green are e-books?

When Joe Hutsko of the New York Times tried to learn more about the Kindle, he reported, “Phone calls and e-mail messages to Amazon inquiring about the materials in the popular Kindle device have thus far gone unanswered.”

via GreenCitizen: Independent publishers ask-how green are e-books?.


Forceful Prediction: Apple Sunlight-Friendly Displays Would Scare The Daylights Out Of Competition

My first story for TechCrunch is up:

Forceful Prediction: Apple Sunlight-Friendly Displays Would Scare The Daylights Out Of Competition

With nary a peep on the possibility of Apple baking a seeable-in-sunlight transflective display into the rumored 11.6” MacBook Air that’s expected to come floating up from the Pulpit of Jobs at Apple’s “Back to the Mac” next week, I’d like to make a pretty safe prediction (read: offer unasked-for advice): An Apple-anything with such a display would make mobile-warriors’ and tree-huggers’ hearts flutter, and competitors’ hearts shudder…

Read the full story: TechCrunch | Forceful Prediction: Apple Sunlight-Friendly Displays Would Scare The Daylights Out Of Competition


One Minute Review: Verso Clip-On Reading Light

When it comes to reading in bed at night, I’d typically rest a Petzl LED headlamp on my chest and aim it at my Kindle or book to provide excellent illumination for comfortable reading in the dark. Designed mainly for cycling and other outdoor in-the-dark uses, the Petzl served me well as a faithful bedtime companion for many years.

However I’ve recently kicked the Petzl out of my bed in favor of another reading light: The Verso Clip-On Reading Light. It’s small and lightweight, has a single bright LED light, and its padded clip attaches easily and firmly to my Kindle 3′s leather case.

Some users have complained there’s only one brightness setting on/off), while other book lights offer two settings. The single setting works fine for me.

Two small quibbles:

  1. Although light spreads a nice and even swath of light on the Kindle screen without creating a glaring “hotspot” in the display itself, the “amazonkindle” logo does reflect some glare that’s a bit distracting to the point of I find myself holding my Kindle with my thumb over the logo to block the glare.
  2. Amazon sells the light in white, red or turquoise ($19.99), however I bought the black model ($14.99) to match my graphite Kindle 3 at a nearby Borders store rather than purchase the light from Amazon.

Neither gripe has anything to do with the light itself, which makes it easy for me to recommend the Verso Clip-On Reading Light for bedtime book reading of every shape and size and format (including good ol’ fashioned real books, too). Verso Clip-On Reading Light for Kindle.


Netflix for iPhone and iPod touch streams the big screen to the small screen

Last night my friend (and Flip Video For Dummies co-author) Drew and I crashed out in front around my iPad to watch John Cassavettes’ brilliant film “Husbands” (1970). Both of us were fading to black before reaching The End so we opted to pause and finish watching another night.

Drew this morning was saying how it would be cool if the Netflix app was available for the iPhone too so he could finish watching on the train, and low and behold, that feature (plus iPhone touch streaming) was added to the app today.

Key features of the Netflix app include:

  • Watch as often as you want
  • Resume watching where you left off on your TV, computer, iPad or wherever you last watched
  • Browse movies and manage your Instant Queue right from your iPhone or iPod touch (or iPad)

Download the Netflix app from the iTunes App Store here: Netflix.


Checking in: 2010 Neuroscience Boot Camp @ University of Penn

Attending the 2010 Neuroscience Boot Camp at University of Penn here in sunny Philadelphia (August 1 through 11). Stay tuned for the occasional “brainy” dispatch.

    Neuroscience is increasingly relevant to a number of professions and academic disciplines beyond its traditional medical applications. Lawyers, educators, economists and businesspeople, as well as scholars of sociology, philosophy, applied ethics and policy, are incorporating the concepts and methods of neuroscience into their work. Indeed, for any field in which it is important to understand, predict or influence human behavior, neuroscience will play an increasing role. The Penn Neuroscience Boot Camp is designed to give participants a basic foundation in cognitive and affective neuroscience and to equip them to be informed consumers of neuroscience research.

    Penn’s Neuroscience Boot Camp has been endorsed by the Neuroethics Society as a way for non-neuroscientists to gain a better understanding of the science behind the proliferation of new “neurofields” including neuroethics.


Electronic House Interview: Green Gadgets Author’s Fave Green Tools

Green Gadgets Author’s Fave Green Tools


We need more sexy green products, says writer Joe Hutsko.

Apr. 14, 2010 - by Steven Castle

Joe Hutsko is a technology writer and the author of Green Gadgets for Dummies, which covers green and sustainable technologies from mobile gadgets to energy-efficient home systems. He is a veteran of Apple during the John Sculley reign, and is the author of the novel, The Deal, based on Steve Jobs-Sculley corporate fracas. We recently caught up with Hutsko and posed a few very jealous questions.

Read the full interview: Electronic House | Green Gadgets Author’s Fave Green Tools.

Green Gadgets Author’s Fave Green ToolsG


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