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The Technovore: Setting out on an exploration into the wide world of technology

By: Andrew DiLuccia
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How many times have you checked your Facebook account before picking up this newspaper? Are you glancing over at your phone to see if you have any new text messages? Or, are you reading us on your laptop or tablet computer? The world of personal technology is woven into our everyday lives. And for many of us, being without it, at least in The Technovore’s case, is akin to being without one’s shoes, unable to explore the world. I remember the moment I purchased my first personal computer in the early 1990s — I was so excited. It was fast, it had a whopping Intel 486 processor in it — boy could it scream. It came with Windows 3.1 and most importantly, a modem that made this awful sound as it connected me to the World Wide Web via my phone line. And never was I happier than when I heard that joyous message — “You’ve got Mail.” We’ve come along way since then. Now, some of us get so much junk email that we have a secondary account just for that, while most phones — and who knows, maybe even some digital watches — are faster than that old computer I first bought. And for many, that dial-up sound is a thing of the past — however, AOL still has 3.5 million dial-up users logging on to the Web thanks to their trusty 56K modems. Today we are flooded with personal technology, and each day it changes. Just when you think you have the best iPhone, the iPhone 4s comes out. When you think you have the fastest computer chip, a speedier one emerges a week later. Social media is another beast that has entered our lives and connected us in ways we couldn’t have imagined — including changing political establishments throughout the world. The Technovore’s job will be to inform you monthly on what’s going on in the world of technology and how it relates to you. From the advent of smartphones that have applications (apps) that can give you your bank balance, to tablet computers that are replacing netbooks and laptops at a fairly fast clip, to examining ways parents raise their children in this technology age, The Technovore hopes to enlighten you and share local experiences about how this technology is being used. By no means does The Technovore pretend to be the end-all, be-all of technology news. Instead, the goal is be a guidepost in this ever-changing techno world, and explain how you can use it to improve your life. Apps that appeal Each month we’ll let you know about apps and other technology goodies that The Technovore or fellow staff members are using that you might like to try yourself. This month The Technovore shares three apps he has on his smartphone — they cover news, sports and weather. Here’s a peak: Pulse: This news reader program has been a staple on The Technovore’s phone for some time. Pick your favorite news-based websites and the put them into Pulse and you will get updates from each of these sites throughout the day — even the Auburn Journal. You can focus on all types of news — business, tech, general, arts, politics and much more. You can also get your Facebook updates on it and you can access your Pulse content on other devices. You can easily swipe through each news sources’ stories, and each story has a little photo with it, making for a neat mosaic of images. Best part? It’s free and it’s available for iPhone, iPad and Android. The Weather Channel: It’s time for unstable weather, be prepared. The Technovore looks at this xyaizcyp every morning to help decide what to wear. There’s a ton of weather information here. A personal favorite is the hour-by-hour weather breakdown, but you can get a 36-hour breakdown, and up to 10 days. You can add several areas to monitor weather and you have access to weather satellite images and even user-posted images of weather events. This is another freebie that is available for most smartphones and the iPad. ESPN Score Center: Need to get the 49ers score, or someday soon hopefully, a Sacramento Kings score? The ESPN Score Center is a nice app for this as it lets you pick all your favorite teams and breaks things down by sport and league. There’s a homepage with the top sports scores of the day and you can also get standings and top sports headlines by ESPN. This app is another freebie available on most smartphones. Have an app you want to share? Email The Technovore at andrewd@goldcountrymedia.com or tweet us at twitter.com/TheTechnovore. ------------ Talk Tech with us Want to comment, share your experiences, or tell us something about a technology The Technovore might not know? Drop us an email at andrewd@goldcountrymedia.com, or tweet us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheTechnovore. We’ll also be leaving you little tech tidbits, news, and asking you questions and opinions at twitter.com/TheTechnovore. ------------ Tweetin’ techno The Technovore is offering tech tidbits, news and more and getting your opinions about it. We’ll let you know how the world of personal technology is affecting your life, and how to best use it to your advantage. Follow us at twitter.com/TheTechnovore