Hulu Plus Comes To Apple TV & Microsoft Launches New Email Service And Will Do Away With Hotmail

Hulu Plus Comes To Apple TV: Apple TV owners will find a pleasant surprise today. Apple has added Hulu Plus access to it Apple TV service. This is probably because the recent upgrade of Mac OS software by Apple has enabled Mac and Apple TV owners to stream Hulu content from the Internet directly to their HDTVs without having to purchase a $7.99 per month subscription to Hulu Plus. Granted streaming the content requires a few extra steps but it is free. And all Apple TV owners who don’t wish to bother with the extra steps – they can now easily subscribe to Hulu Plus from the Apple TV menu.

Here’s a link to a CNET article on the subject, titled Hulu Plus not showing up on your Apple TV? Restart it, which obviously advises Apple TV owners that don’t immediately see the Hulu Plus app on their Apple TV menus to re-start their Apple TV boxes:

Microsoft Launches New Email Service And Will Do Away With Hotmail: Today Microsoft launched a new e-mail service called Outlook. This new email service is being seen as a complement to its business email software of the same name. The new email service will eventually replace Microsoft’s Hotmail email service and Hotmail users are being encouraged to transfer their accounts over to the new Outlook service. You can find the new Outlook site at:

And here’s a link to a New York Times Bits article, titled Microsoft Reboots E-Mail Efforts With a Familiar Name, that offers more information on the subject:

Linda R.

Afternoon Update: New Library E-Books In Digital Catalog Today & Map App For Nooks Available Today

Hi everyone, just a quick library e-book and Nook update for this afternoon!

New Library E-Books In Digital Catalog Today: For all those e-book fans out there – you may want to check our Digital Catalog for new e-book titles this evening as according to our Digital Catalog administrator a “ton of e-content” has just been ordered for the system-wide Digital Catalog! And that ton of items includes the Southeast Steuben County Library digital content order for August which includes e-books and a smattering of videos including several fitness/how-to-get-in-shape videos.

And it usually takes about 6 hours for new digital content to appear in the Digital Catalog so you may want to check the Catalog around 9:30 tonight or tomorrow morning to see the ton of new titles! (And remember new titles appear first in the entire listing of titles so you may want to click on the “View all eBooks” link found under Collections – located on the left hand side of the Digital Catalog homepage).

And if you’re not familiar with it, the STLS Digital Catalog* (which is the collective Digital Catalog for all the libraries in the Southern Tier Library System) may be accessed by going to the Library’s homepage found at: SSCLIBRARY.ORG and then clicking on the STLS Digital Catalog link.

Map App For Nooks Available Today: And on the Nook news front, Barnes & Noble has beat Amazon in the race to get a map app on its color e-readers. Barnes & Noble has collaborated with a Berlin company called Skobbler to produce the app. And the app, which is called Skobbler’s ForeverMap 2 app, is available in both a free and paid ($4.99) version via the Barnes & Noble app store today.

Here’s a link a PaidContent article on the subject and of course the B&N app store can be accessed directly from your Nook Tablet or Color Nook:

Enjoy the rest of your afternoon and evening!

Linda R.

*If you have an Apple or Android tablet or smart phone – there is an app that will allow you to download free library e-books to your respective device – it is called OverDrive Media Console and can be found in both the Android and Apple app stores. And if you have an e-reader, there isn’t an app for e-books but you can still download library e-books and put them on your e-reader! If you have a Kindle just find a Kindle e-book in the Digital Catalog, click on the Add to Cart link for the e-book and follow the prompts. If you have a Nook I recommend that you either stop by the library and ask the staff about the check-out procedure, we have free handouts that offer an overview!, or, click on the link for the Library’s YouTube page found on our homepage and access our video Nook tutorial as the process for getting free library e-books onto a Nook requires multiple steps – and of course you can always ask the staff! Call the library at: 607-936-3713

Apple Fans Put September 12 On Their Calendars & Machine To Machine Communication

Apple Fans Put September 12 On Their Calendars: CNET is reporting what they describe as a credible rumor that Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 and an iPad Mini on September 12. This same report indicates that Apple may also unveil a new iPod Touch on September 12 and that the iPhone 5 will go on sale on September 21.

The article, titled Apple Reported to Unveil iPhone 5, iPad Mini on September 12 can be accessed by clicking on this link:

Machine To Machine Communication: In our high tech age machines have begun to talk to each other in earnest via the Internet. Machines have been communicating with each other in a minor way for two decades; however, we are at the cusp of a revolution that will make the process of machines talking to each other and reporting that information to other machines a ubiquitous one.

Current examples of this technology include digital utility meters which transmit meter readings to computers at utility companies and the refrigeration trucks of commercial food sellers who deliver their products to consumer’s homes – the company can ensure the temperature of the food is kept at a constant temperature because the computer system in the trucks relays temperature information to the computer system in the home office thus ensuring that adjustments are made, if necessary, to keep the food in the truck chilled to the appropriate temperature. However, refrigeration trucks and utility meters are only the tip of the ice burg. Within ten years it is expected that most automobiles produced will have built in machine activated communication technology so if you’re in a car accident the computer system in your car will communication will the computer system at the local police, hospital and ambulance offices to send you assistance in the same minute the accident occurs. And in the future it is expected that this technology will branch out and control things like opening and closing the windows of a building based upon the temperature, humidity and time of day – so machine to machine communication is indeed likely to make a huge impact in our lives in the near future. The New York Times offers an article today on just this subject, it is titled Talk to Me, One Machine Said to the Other and if offers a more in-depth analysis of this expanding communication technology – here’s the link:

Linda R.

GM Developing Safer Wi-Fi Cars, New York City Phone Booths Turned Into Wi-Fi Hotspots, Should You Upgrade to Mountain Lion & The Benefits of Seeking Knowledge Simply To Satisfy Your Curiosity

GM Developing Safer Wi-Fi Cars: GM is developing Internet based vehicle to pedestrian or cyclist communication which will allow cars equipped with this technology to sense pedestrians or cyclists carrying Wi-Fi devices and alert drivers to their presence as means towards keeping those cyclists and pedestrians safer; because of course, knowing where pedestrians and cyclists are on or near the road is a great tool for drivers to use to avoid hitting those pedestrians and/or cyclists!

Gizmag has a short article on the subject titled GM Working on Wi-Fi Direct-equipped Cars to Detect Pedestrians and Cyclists ­– here’s the link:

New York City Phone Booths Turned Into Wi-Fi Hotspots: The City of New York is experimenting with turning phone booths into Wi-Fi hot spots – they are calling this new plan The Payphone Project. And the idea is to turn old, and in the high tech cell phone era mostly unused, public pay phone booths into Wi-Fi hot spots so city residents can access the Internet for free while they are out and about in New York. The equipment to turn the phone booths into Wi-Fi hot spots is already there in the form of electricity and cables running underneath the phone booths so the transition to making them hot spots isn’t difficult; the City is just trying to find a way to make offering free Wi-Fi hot spots profitable.

NPR has an interesting article and podcast on the subject titled Want Free Wi-Fi In New York? Get Near A Pay Phone – here’s the link:

Should You Upgrade To Mountain Lion: Apple released its latest OS (operating system) upgrade for its Macs this week. The software costs $19. 99 from the Mac App Store and the New York Times tech guru David Pogue discusses whether or not you should upgrade. The short answer is yes! And if you’d like the long answer, which answer the question “why?” you can check out his latest column titled The Payout in an Apple Upgrade– here’s the link:

The Benefits of Seeking Knowledge Simply To Satisfy Your Curiosity: This particular subject has little to do with technology per se except for the fact that members of western society as a whole are increasingly reading and searching for information online. However, I found a super cool article on this subject and wanted to share it! It is from the aptly named Brain Pickings website and discusses the benefits of reading and searching for knowledge not to fulfill a simple task or to find information as a means towards getting somewhere; but instead, from a creative, serendipity perspective to read to encounter new ideas and new facts simply for the sake of learning more. This humanist tinged ideology of searching for knowledge simply for its own sake could be described as offering people a blank road map to lead them to discovering new and interesting things – rather like giving a kid a box of Crayola Crayons and blank newsprint to draw upon which allows the child to be more creative by creating something to color as compared to giving the same child coloring books, which already have pictures in them, so he or she can color in-between the lines. The article is called The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge and can be found via this link:

Linda R.


Google’s New Super Fast Internet Service & Mountain Lion Mirroring

Google’s New Internet Service: Google introduced its new super fast Internet service in Kansas City, Missouri today. The new Internet service is part of Google’s Fiber project and the Kansas City residents enthusiastically volleyed to be chosen as the first city to receive this new Internet service.  The service is said to be 100 times fast that standard broadband Internet service and costs $70 per month for standalone Internet and $120 for Internet plus TV.

For more information, here’s a link to a New York Times Bits blog article on the subject titled Google Unveils Superfast Internet in Kansas City, Mo.:

And here’s a link to the official Google Fiber project page:

Mountain Lion Mirroring: The new and just released Apple OS Mountain Lion has offers a neat mirroring feature that allows Mac and Apple TV* owners the ability to easily stream any video content they can access on their Macs and send that video content directly to their television sets. So for example, if you bring up TV shows through Hulu, ABC, NBC or CBS on your Mac you’ll be able to stream it to you TV without having to have a standard TV cable connection or a Hulu Plus subscription.

Here’s are two links to articles that offer more in-depth information on the subject!

The first is from Wired and is called Why Mountain Lion Just Became the Ultimate                  Cord-Cutting OS – here’s the link:

And the second, titled AirPlay mirroring hands-on: Free Hulu on your Apple TV

 is from the CNET review of the new Mountain Lion OS – here’s the link:

Linda R.


*Despite the name the Apple TV isn’t a television! Instead it is an Internet streaming device that is about the size of three slices of bread and connects to your television. It costs $99.

Mountain Lion Roars & The New York Times Pulls Its BlackBerry App

Mountain Lion Roars: Sorry for the title folks but I’ll admit it; I couldn’t resist! Apple released its latest OS upgrade today and it is, of course, called Mountain Lion! The new OS, which can be purchased from the Mac App Store for $19.99, has some neat features including a new Notifications Center, the integrated option for dictation instead of typing and the ability to mirror content from a Mac to a TV via an Apple TV box.

The New York Times Bits Blog has a nice summary of the new features in an article titled Critics Consensus Apples Mountain Lion is Worth the Upgrade – here’s the link:

The New York Times Pulls Its BlackBerry App: And for New York Times fans who are also BlackBerry owners it is a black day (minor humor intended) as the Times has discontinued its BlackBerry app. RIM (aka Research in Motion) the company that makes BlackBerries* has been going through a difficult time and in essence is having trouble keeping up with the tech race and has not upgraded software in more than a year nor found a way to make many more apps available on its devices – so profits are way, way down. And the decreasing profits, of course, also translate into decreasing sales; which may be why the Times decided to stop supporting its BlackBerry app. Reuters has an article on the subject simply titled: New York Times drops BlackBerry app – here’s the link:

Linda R.

*BlackBerries (aka BlackBerry for singular devices) are gadgets! They include smart phones and a tablet all made by the RIM (Research in Motion Company) and they are not edible in the least!

4” iPod Touch, iPad Mini & DOJ Rejects Apple’s Criticism of E-Book Anti-Trust Suit

4” iPod Touch: According PC Magazine an Asian tech manufacturer has said that Apple will be unveiling not just a new iPhone with a 4” screen in September but also will upgrade the iPod Touch which too shall have a 4” screen.

So those of us who have been waiting to upgrade our iPod Touches can plan on finally doing so this September. Here’s the link to the PG Magazine article tilted Rumor Points to 4-Inch iPod Touch Display:,2817,2407543,00.asp

iPad Mini: CNET is reporting that Apple is indeed getting ready to debut a 7” mini iPad in September. September is the month Apple usually releases iPhone and iPod Touch upgrades so September does seem like a good bet for this new product to be unveiled!

Here’s the link to the CNET article titled iPad Mini to debut in September, says analyst:

DOJ Rejects Apple & Publishers Criticism of E-Book Anti-Trust Suit: The U.S. Department of Justice has rejected criticism from Apple and seven of the largest publishers in the U.S. that argues that its E-Book anti-trust suit against Apple and those seven publishers: Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Macmillan & Pearson, is unfair and benefits the e-book seller Apple and the seven publishers have argued that prior to 2010 Amazon had a monopoly in e-book sales and they state they did not collude to raise e-book prices via the so-called “Agency Model” of selling books. The DOJ rejects the criticism and counters that Apple and seven of the largest publishers in the U.S. did indeed colluded to raise e-book prices – as just after those eight companies adopted the Agency Model in 2010 e-book prices rose dramatically – seemingly overnight.

Here’s a link to a Wall Street Journal article on the subject titled U.S. Defends E-Book Antitrust Case Against Apple, Others

Linda R. 

Off Tech Topic — Harry Hole Mystery Series

Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole Mystery Series: This is one of those completely off the tech topic postings! If you like mysteries and aren’t familiar with Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series you may want to check it out. Author and musician Nesbo has created a multi-faceted character in Harry Hole.  The mysteries are set in and around Oslo, Norway, are a bit gritty in tone and always interesting both in the unfolding of the-who-done-it-ness of the mystery itself and in the character development, i.e. finding out what-is-going-to-happen-to-Harry next.

And NPR has a nice article and seven minute podcast on their website about the author and the series titled Jo Nesbo’s Fiction Explores Oslo’s Jagged Edge.

Here’s the link:

And should you wish to request one of the Harry Hole mysteries here’s a link to StarCat!

Linda R. 

Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet Is Hot & iPods Benefit Nursing Home Residents

Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet Is Hot: Google’s new tablet, the Nexus 7, which was just introduced this month, is selling like proverbial hot cakes! There are two versions of the tablet an 8 GB ($199) version and a 16 GB ($249) version, and it is the 16 GB version that is sold out.

CNET reviewer Eric Franklin gave the 7” tablet high praise noting in his review that “With a beautiful screen, fast performance, a comfortable design, and overall great media options, the Nexus 7 is easily the best 7-inch tablet available and one of the top tablets on the market” and tech fans seem to agree as they have thus far snapped up so many of the 16 GB version of the tablet that there is now a waiting list for it!

Here are links to two news stories on the subject:

The first is to a CNET article, with a link to the Eric Franklin review, titled Nexus 7 16 GB Tablet Out Of Stock At Google Play Store:;txt

And the second article is from The Guardian and is titled Google halts new orders for 16GB Nexus 7, surprised by demand; here’s the link:

iPods Benefit Nursing Home Residents: The technological revolution has put an iPod in almost everyone’s pocket it seems. However, social worker Dan Cohen realized that there is one place within our society were technology hasn’t really permeated and that local consists of the approximately 18,000 nursing homes in North America – and in those nursing homes there are no computers or iPods or Wi-Fi; so in essence, the high tech revolution has passed the residents of those nursing homes by. And Mr. Cohen wondered if nursing home residents would benefit from being given their own iPods with pre-installed music of the era in which those residents were young. So Mr. Cohen introduced iPods to a nursing home and found that not only did nursing home residents respond to the music but that for many residents the music brought them out of themselves and had them interacting with the world again! Residents who hadn’t spoken in a long time were found to speak and even to sing after having music played to them on their iPods for a regular period of time. Mr. Cohen’s findings were backed up by a study done by The Atlantic Institute of Aging of New Brunswick, Canada and with studies done by neurologists like Oliver Sacks who famously recorded his work in the best selling book Musicophilia.

Here’s a link to a Venturebeat article titled iPods for seniors: viral hit “Alive Inside” still needs your help on Kickstarter that offers more information on the subject:

Linda R.


Apple TV Really Isn’t A Hobby, E-Books Are Gaining in Popularity, The High Tech Future of Buying Things & A Cool Star Wars Mug

Apple TV: Really Isn’t A Hobby:  Apple has said over the last few years that the Apple TV box, which really isn’t a TV but instead a small Media Streaming player about the size of three slices of bread, is a hobby for them. However, if you’ve ever used one of these cool media streaming devices* you’ll know that it is a really cool gadget and that Apple has put enough time and effort into the device to make it that cool – so it really isn’t a hobby for them no matter what they say!

And if you’re not familiar with it,  the Apple TV does two major things: 1. It allows you to access television shows, movies and music from iTunes and play them on your TV (or hopefully through the sound system in your living room) and 2. If you also own an iPhone or  iPad it allows you to mirror what is on your screen– and that means that you can send what is on your iPhone or iPad screen through the Apple TV to your television. So you can show off the photos you took on your iPhone on vacation by easily streaming them to your television, you can stream a presentation you’ve created on your iPad or you can stream media content via apps.

And as far as streaming media content via apps goes let me give you two examples! 1) There is an iPad app for the Brian Williams news show Rock Center and 2) there is a PBS app. So I can bring up the entire Rock Center show from this week on my iPad — any time I want — and send it to my 42” HDTV and watch it on that much larger than an iPad screen! Likewise, if I missed the last Inspector Lewis episode or the last Story of England episode on PBS this past week – I can open the PBS app on my iPad, access those two videos and send them through my Apple TV to my television to watch them! I caught up with Michael Wood’s The Story of England last night and will catch up with the Inspector Lewis series tonight by watching the episode that aired on TV last weekend. So in essence, the Apple TV allows you to access an increasing amount of video content on-demand and then stream it (aka send it) from your iPhone or iPad to your TV.

And here’s a related link to a Tech Radar article titled Why Apple TV Is More Than A Hobby that gives you even more information (and some nice photos) regarding the Apple TV and what it can do for you:

E-Books Are Gaining In Popularity: This point is probably fairly obvious to anyone who reads or watches the news on a regular basis — but e-books are indeed gaining in popularity. This is, as you would expect, a big topic of discussion in the library world and also in the publishing and business world. And the New York Times offers a brief blog article on this subject titled Survey Shows Growing Strength of E-Books which offers some stats on this trend – foremost of which is the stat that, to quote the article “Publishers’ net revenue from sales of e-books more than doubled last year, reaching $2.07 billion, up from $869 million in 2010” and that they now account for “15.5 percent of publishers’ revenue” – and that is big gain considering that the first Kindle only came out five years ago. Here’s the link:

And in relation, here’s another link to a cool article from The Guardian titled Flying off the eBook shelf: Readers want the cheapest read – and eBooks are winning:

The High Tech Future of Buying Things: The Wall Street Journal features a cool essay today titled The Customer as a God; which they describe as being about the fact that “Businesses today tend to herd customers as if they were cattle, but a revolution in personal empowerment is under way – and buying will never be the same again.”

The article starts out by giving us a scenario. It is 2022 and all the items we purchase, including clothes and coffee makers, have smart tags in them that allow us to find out via our hand held device (think a more advanced iPhone than we have today) when we last wore the clothes we are considering wearing, what shirt we wore our favorite pair of cargo khakis and what type of coffee maker or ice cream maker we own – just in case we need a replacement.

So say I am going to have family and friends over for a barbeque on a summer Saturday evening in 2022 and I haven’t been able to get that pizza sauce induced stain out of my favorite pair of summer cargo kakis; and worse luck my fancy ice cream maker bit the dust with that cone I made last night…

Well, nuts! What am I going to do?  I have many little details to take care of just to get ready for the barbeque and I don’t have time to order an ice cream machine and go shopping for a new set of khakis! And fortunately, I don’t have to! My ice cream machine and my khaki pants both have smart tags contained within them and all I have to do is talk to my hand held device and tell it I need a new pair khakis and a new ice cream maker; and my hand held will connect to the Internet and order those two items, the same style and size pair of khakis and the same model of ice cream machine, and arraign for them to be delivered this afternoon! Which will leave me time to take care of the final details for the party. Sounds cool, right? Well it is coming! The scenario the WSJ uses deals with a coffee maker that bit the dust – but as it is summer time I figured I’d go with an ice cream maker for my upcoming party – in 10 years!

Here’s the link to the Wall Street Journal article with their coffee maker scenario and their insight on both the online purchasing privacy options relating to the new technology (they can be made very private) and how this new technology will be both empowering for consumers and very, very convenient for them too!

A Cool Star Wars Mug:  And on a final note, for Star Wars fans here’s a link to a new product that I think is just plain fun! It is an R2D2 coffee mug with removable lid!

 Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Linda R.


*Media streaming means the device connects to the Internet to stream content to your television.