Monday, February 23, 2009

Busting Tech Myths on The Square Live @ 7 w/Stephanie Stricklen (KGW-TV) The Square Logo

Watch the video on

Megapixels matter. -- many consumers are falsely led to believe that "megapixels", a measure of image resolution recorded by a digital camera, are the most important aspect of a camera purchase. While one aspect of a camera's performance, often the megapixels are secondary to lens quality, a camera's speed, and other features.

You must buy software to keep your computer secure. -- while you certainly can buy anti-virus software and other online protection programs for your computer, some of the best tactics to keep your computer free from malicious virus and spyware don't cost anything at all. Free anti-virus software is in many cases just as good at the paid versions and keeping your computer safe frequently involves diligence, "cautious computing" and staying current with the latest software patches.

Online software is inadequate. -- Today's software no longer comes in boxes with large manuals. More often this software -- even the most elaborate professional applications -- is loaded electronically. Other types of applications, such as or Google Docs solutions. Many online web-based software packages do as much if not more than their traditional counterparts. Key advantages of using online apps: No need to update your local computer, access your programs (and often data) from any machine, often less expensive (free?).

Must upgrade your system every two years. -- This is even *less* true today. There as a time when computers were advancing quickly and became obsolete every few years... now, with more and more computing happening online, it's not uncommon for the older computers to perform just as well. Many users find completely whiping their hard drives and re-loading the operating system will give them that "showroom performance".

High-Definition TV requires subscription service. -- While it is true a large number of premium high-definition television channels are available only to those willing to pay for cable or satellite service-- most network channels are available free, over-the-air, using your existing antenna (or in some cases a low-cost upgrade). You will, of course, need a HDTV to watch the higer-quality broadcasts, but if you're looking for Heroes, my favorite 30 Rock, or want to see Live @7 in all it's stunning HDTV glory, consider over-the-air HDTV.

Online video is illegal. -- On the contrary! Most online video is very legal and supported by the very content providers that bring these shows to your television nightly. Look towards supported services such as Hulu, iTunes and the networks' own websites to stream first-run TV shows directly to your PC or mobile phone.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

BMW's Media Twitter List: "The Ocho" Invades Twitter -- New Usernames to follow

The Portland-area Twitterati know @KGWNewsChannel8, @TheSquare and @StephStricklen from local NBC-affiliate KGW Newschannel 8. Well get ready Twitter users, a flood of folks from "The Ocho" joined Twitter last night. Here's a rundown of the names I've (my Twitter name is @BMW, add me!) collected from KGW (and other Pacific Norhwest media), of course -- let me know who I've missed and I'll update this post:
  • @KGWNewschannel8 - general Twitter account for KGW (headlines, station news)
  • @TheSquare - producer account for Live at 7 show (show prep, notes, feedback)
  • @StephStricklen - anchor of KGW's Live at 7 (personal goings-ons, behind-the-scenes)
  • @Aweiss - mostly personal account of "Producer Aaron", freq. voice behind @TheSquare
  • @pdxpeacock - KGW anchor Joe Donlon
  • @lauralKGW - KGW anchor Laural Porter
  • @zaffino - KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino (get it " Zaffino"?)
  • @burton_scott - KGW "Night Team" reporter Scott Burton
If you use TweetDeck (or similar?) you can toss the following query into a search box to follow the KGW-related conversation in one handy column:
KGW OR TheSquare OR StephStricklen OR AWeiss OR pdxpeacock OR OR lporter2009 OR zaffino or "burton_scott"

Other Northwest Media Twitter accounts you might find interesting to follow:Fans (or professionals) of broadcast journalism may also want to follow:...of course there are HUNDREDS more. What media-related or local outlets are considered "must-follow"? Drop your own list in the comments (or Twitter me, I'm @BMW) and I'll update the list with your suggestions.

Twestival Comes to Portland, V-Day Viruses to Your PC

KXL Tech Expert Segment for 12 February 2009

It's called "Twestival" and it's coming to 175+ cities near you to benefit a worthy cause. A meetup of Twitter users, and others concerned about providing clean drinking water to regions of the world that would otherwise go without, the event happens today at The Goodfoot Pub on 2845 SE Stark Street. For more information, visit the Portland site or learn more about the global campaign.

It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without the annual reminder... be cautious about e-greeting cards! Those saying "I love you" this year via. email will join 2.5% of all spam -- some containing malicious spyware, nasty computer infections, or other dangerous software. Be skeptical when opening attachments, cautious when clicking links, and -- as always -- be sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date.

Thanks for listening and don't forget to check out my appearance today on KATU-TV's AM Northwest where we'll be checking out gadgets to make your life easier...

Listen to this segment, as broadcast on Newsradio 750 KXL on 12 February 2009.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ignite Portland and Other PDX Tech Events

UPDATE: Ignite Portland 5 tickets were gone in 5 min. 29 seconds! If you didn't get yours, add yourself to the waiting list here or show up (early!) to the Bagdad Theater on the 19th for "general admission".

Why should you play bridge? Have you ever wanted to learn the history of fonts? These topics and more are among the 18 slated for the fifth installment of Ignite Portland. Held a few times a year, the free event at the Bagdad Theater highlights inspiring talks, educational presentations, and a fun evening of networking -- all with McMenamin's-level hospitality (read: good beer!).

I'll be at Ignite Portland 5 coming up in two weeks and look forward to seeing as many listeners (and viewers!) there as I can! Get your tickets now or show up on the 19th.

The event takes place Thursday, February 19th at the Bagdad Theater at 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd from 7-10pm. If you have a ticket (free), you can take your seat as early as 5:15pm. Those without tickets (lots of seats held for non-ticketholders and there's even a "waitlist") line up early and enter at 6pm.

Get your tickets (FREE) starting at 10AM Thursday:

Other area tech events I'm attending where you can catch up with me (feel free to buy me a beer!) and say hello:

Thu 19 Feb 09 -- Ignite Portland 5 (free) at Bagdad Theater. Doors at 5:15pm w/tickets, Doors at 6:00pm for non-ticketholders.

Fri 20 Feb 09 -- Beer & Blog (weekly, free) at The Green Dragon. Weekly tech scene happy hour. Get help with your blog or just come mix and mingle with felow Portland techies.

Mon 23 Feb 09 -- Social Media Club PDX.

For more information on area tech events, be sure to visit:, Portland's Tech Calendar.

To hear this story, as broadcast on Newsradio 750 KXL on 5 February 2009, click here (MP3).