Weather Websites and Apps for Traveling

The winter holiday’s are coming up and lots of folks will be on the road.  I thought this would be a good time to revisit my list of favorite weather websites and smartphone applications.

NOAA –  When you enter your city and state into the “Local Forecast” box, you can see just what is in store for your area.  In addition, if there is a big storm coming, you’ll see a “Hazardous Weather Conditions” box across the top.  I like the NOAA forecast because it is generally right on target.  NOAA also has radar and satellite maps.  By the way, NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is located right here in Boulder, Colorado!Weather Websites - Spring Snowstorm

Weather Underground  – My favorite of all the weather websites is Weather Underground.  I like it because I have several different weather stations to choose from in my town. In addition to the forecast, WU tells me what’s happening right now.  When you click on the information from a particular station, you can also see if they have a webcam set up.  Then you can see the snow and wind for yourself!  Those webcams are especially helpful if you’d like to see the weather in a place where you are traveling to.  You can also save favorite locations, so it’s easy to see what’s going on at Grandma’s house before you get there!

The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel has all the same information the other websites have.  Because they consider themselves a news site, they’ve also got, what I can only call Weather Entertainment.  Big Floods! Amazing Ancient Ruins!  20 Places Overrun by Animals!  And More!!  My favorite feature on the Weather Channel is their travel map found here.  When you enter your starting place and destination, and the date you will be departing, the map calculates your route AND the expected weather.

NEXRAD – “Nexrad (Next-Generation Radar) is a network of 158 high-resolution Doppler weather radars operated by the National Weather Service” This website shows the radar for the whole US, or just your state.

WeatherTalk –  is a Facebook page.  Colorado Weather Analyst Greg Berman gained recognition when he accurately forecasted the extent of the rains and subsequent Front Range floods in September 2013.  If you’re on Facebook, I’d highly recommend this page to “Like” and bookmark.  His forecasts include most of the Colorado Springs and other Front Range areas.

Aurora Alerts – And if you’re looking to see if there may be an Aurora in your neighborhood, check out the NOAA sun activity page.

What is your favorite of all the Weather Websites? Share in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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4 Top Sports Smartphone App’s

For those of you who know me well, you know that if there is one sport I follow, it’s baseball. I like hockey too, but don’t follow the games and teams as closely as baseball.  I really L O V E baseball!  I love attending the Rockies games at Coors Field, with the smells, sounds, and excitement.  But when it’s time for the World Series, well, I’ll be glued to a TV, or, one of the Sports Smartphone App’s on my iPhone to keep track of the scores!  After baseball season was over this year, I started wondering how people who follow other sports get their info.  As per usual, any question I have involving technology, however peripherally, gets explored here!

There are a bunch of Sports Smartphone app’s recommended by folks in-the-know.  I’ve checked them out and found these four to be easy to use and very easy to customize so that your favorite teams are listed right up front.Sports smartphone app's

  • Bleacher Report for Android or iPhone – iMore really likes the Bleacher Report.  Here’s what they have to say: “If you pefer something with a bit more of a modern interface, then check out the Bleacher Report. Rather than providing its own coverage, the Bleacher Report curates all the best sources on the web so that you get all the news you can about your favorite teams and players.  You can open a stream to get scores, stories, videos, and photos from local and national newspapers, blogs, Twitter, and more.”
  • ESPN for Android or iPhone – Tom’s Guide says: “The ESPN app brings users the latest and greatest sporting news and information worldwide. Whether you’re looking for updated scoring information, breaking news for various teams and leagues, or professional analysis, the ESPN app has got your back.”
  • theScore for iPhone –  iMore rates theScore as their #1 choice.  Here’s what they have to say: “theScore is the sports app. It’s simply the best. You can follow tons of professional leagues (even including NASCAR) and receive updates on scores and news from any and all teams you’d like to follow.  You can even follow individual players, and you can customize alerts so that you only get pinged for what you want to know. theScore has a great-looking interface and setup is simple — just pick your leagues, pick your teams, and away you go.”
  • Yahoo!Sports for Android and iPhone – AppOlicious says: “Plenty of sports apps will give you the latest scores. Only a few will keep you up-to-date on every single play of the game. And even fewer will do all of that plus let you pick games, chat with other sports fans and set alerts for numerous game scenarios. Yahoo Sports continued to operate in a special stratosphere in 2017, making it a continued must-download for the sports fan who wants everything under one app.”

Which is your favorite sports smartphone app to track your favorite teams?  Share in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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My 7 Favorite Weather Websites and Apps

With all the snow in the forecast, I thought it was time to revisit my list of favorite weather websites and smartphone applications.

NOAA –  When you enter your city and state into the “Local Forecast” box, you can see just what is in store for your area.  In addition, if there is a big storm coming, you’ll see a “Hazardous Weather Conditions” box across the top.  I like the NOAA forecast because it is generally right on target.  NOAA also has radar and satellite maps.  By the way, NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is located right here in Boulder, Colorado!

Spring Snowstorm

Weather Underground  – I like Weather Underground because I have several different weather stations to choose from in my town. In addition to the forecast, WU tells me what’s happening right now.  When you click on the information from a particular station, you can also see if they have a webcam set up.  Then you can see the snow and wind for yourself!  Those webcams are especially helpful if you’d like to see the weather in a place where you are traveling to.

The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel has all the same information the other websites have.  Because they consider themselves a news site, they’ve also got, what I can only call Weather Entertainment.  Big Floods! Amazing Ancient Ruins!  20 Places Overrun by Animals!  And More!!  My favorite feature on the Weather Channel is their travel map found here.  When you enter your starting place and destination, and the date you will be departing, the map calculates your route AND the expected weather.

NEXRAD – “Nexrad (Next-Generation Radar) is a network of 158 high-resolution Doppler weather radars operated by the National Weather Service” This website shows the radar for the whole US, or just your state.

WeatherTalk –  is a Facebook page I’ve recently found.  Colorado Weather Analyst Greg Berman gained recognition when he accurately forecasted the extent of the rains and subsequent Front Range floods in September 2013.  If you’re on Facebook, I’d highly recommend this page to “Like” and bookmark.  His forecasts include most of the Ft. Collins / Denver / Colorado Springs / Front Range area.

Storm Shield Weather Radio will send severe weather alerts to your smartphone.

Aurora Alerts – And if you’re looking to see if there may be an Aurora in your neighborhood, check out the NOAA sun activity page.

Do you have a favorite website for weather forecasts? Share in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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Where To Turn, When You Don’t Know Where To Turn

I received some bad news yesterday about a friend who lost his battle with depression.  Whenever this happens, and it has happened too frequently in my lifetime, I wonder if there was something I could have done differently.  In most case I know though, that people tend to hide their demons behind a happy face.  They don’t want to burden their friends and family with their struggles.

That got me wondering:  Are there apps or other online resources that a person could go to anonymously for support and guidance?

I did a little bit of research, and the answer is Yes, and No.  Sure there are apps, but research is finding that those apps aren’t as helpful as actually talking to a trained counselor.

One app that is sponsored by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is MY3.  MY3 lets you name three people you can contact in a crisis.  You set this up ahead of time, and contact them when needed.  These three people could be your therapist, your religious leader, a family member, a close friend, or even a neighbor.

My3 App Suicide Prevention

If you know you have suicidal tendencies, by all means, get into counseling now.  Many times the cost will be free, or on a sliding scale, so don’t let finances be a factor to not seeking help.  You can find a competent therapist by contacting your County or State Department of Human Services or by calling the Suicide Prevention Hotline – 800-273-8255.

If you are wondering what some of the warning signs are so that you might be able to help a friend or family member, check out the list here.   Some of the warning signs include:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.

Our society has two demographics that are particularly susceptible to depression and suicide: Teens/Young Adults and Veterans.

Teens, especially, have many resources.  One message board that I found allows teens to “chat” with other teens about a variety of subjects from Gender Issues to Child Abuse to Eating Disorders, Suicide, and other topics.    Remember that if you do join a Message Board to head over to gmail first and create a new anonymous email address.

I’ve recently become aware that an average of 22 Veterans are killed by suicide every day.  Head to either one of these two websites for more info and assistance: Veteran Crisis Line or 22Kill.

Many of the websites I looked at this morning cite suicide as one of the leading causes of death in the US.  Keep your eyes and ears open.  If you see a friend showing any of the above signs, gently talk to them, and provide them with some of these resources.

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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Olympics!

Will you be following the Olympics?  More and more people I know don’t have cable or satellite TV service anymore and are wondering how to keep up. Here are some suggestions:

2016 olympic logo

  • If you do still have a TV with an antenna, tune your set to NBC.  If you are near a large city that still broadcasts, you should be able to pick it up.  (Unless you’re in Colorado’s Foothills!)
  • Your second option is to view it via NBC’s live stream:  Note that I had to reload the page a few times before it would start playing.  I’m guessing their servers are busy!
  • You can also try Sling.com.  They have a one week free trial.  Remember to cancel before the free trial ends though, or get ready to pay $25 per month.
  • You can also download the Olympic app on your phone:  Note that it’s not very intuitive and takes a while to figure out how to navigate it.  If you’re just looking for results, though, this is a good place to start.You can also get information about the upcoming Olympics in PyeongChang, Tokyo, and Beijing.

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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5 Good Things to Know about Pokemon Go

Have you downloaded the new Pokemon Go App yet?  Are you playing it?  It seems to be taking the nation by storm! You can find out all about it at the Pokemon website: http://www.pokemongo.com and you can download it from the iTunes store or, for the Android from Google Play.

If you are playing, make sure you appropriately manage your security settings. (In fact you should always be careful with how much you share from your phone with game developers.)

pokemon_go_logo

Pokemon sure has been getting some bad press though. Consider some of these stories:

  • Veteran Memorial overrun by Pokemon players
  • Pokemon Go players go mad.
  • Falling, tripping, and other mishaps.

The Good News:

But it’s not all bad news.  There have been several good things to come out of this new craze.  For example, people with anxiety, autism and Asperger’s are finding the Pokemon Go helps them get out and be more social.  According to this article in Inverse:

 “… the game is reportedly helping people overcome anxiety and other mental health issues, bringing an array of players together under one common passion. Such has been the case for a few parents of autistic children, who have been sharing stories about the game easing their children into incredible social interactions.”

 Pokemon has helped people find things:

According to one story, two women found a toddler: “Looking for new Pokemon Friday night, as they’d done before, the two stumbled upon a little girl who looked to be no older than 2, crossing a busy street by herself.”

 Another teen found a missing man who had recently died.

Businesses have realized they can use Pokemon to their advantage.  In fact, this Forbes article is full of ideas that businesses can use to lure in more Pokemon players – and potential buyers!

“Instead, take a cue from this local indie clothing store, which got into the spirit of the game by saying, “come get your PokéBalls and previously rocked threads. Gotta catch ‘em all in style!” That’s bound to leave a positive impression, get people talking and, with the overwhelming media attention this game is getting, potentially get your local business some exposure in the press.”

And players are accidentally getting more exercise!  One friend posted this on her Facebook a few days ago:

“I’ve walked 26 miles this week playing Pokemon GO. This is the weight loss plan I’ve been waiting for my entire life.”

In fact there’s even a guide for people who want to do interval training!

“Interval training … is a workout where you push yourself as hard as you can in short bursts, rest, then repeat. … This kind of stop and go activity is perfectly suited for the walk-and-stop play of Pokémon Go, and knowing that you get to play while you exercise can be a huge motivator. You’ll collect items at PokéStops (like eggs that only hatch if you walk or run), hatch said eggs with the massive number of steps you rack up, wear down rival gyms so you can take over, find wild pokémon to catch, and get fit all at the same time.”

Is it all just a mad scheme?  How long do you thing this craze will last?

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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Q&A with Chris Eddy (iMac’s, PDF’s and Windows 10)

Question:

I’m currently running window 7 professional on my work laptop.  Windows 10 want to upgrade computer software.  I have office 2003 and ms project software  2010 and I’m wondering if windows 10 compatible with these programs?  Also since I’ve been rejecting windows 10 computer seems to constantly upgrade software (daily) and is running slow.  Any way that not upgrading to 10 can be causing this?

Answer:

I think you should decline the W10 upgrade because W7 works fine for you, I don’t think that W10 has enough new and different and better stuff that you should run right out now (metaphorically) and get it.  Also, I’m seeing occasional strangeness with W10 becoming unresponsive or very disk intensive for long periods of time, and have seen occasional filesystem corruption after things like a graceless shutdown which causes the machine to require serious startup repair (not the automated one), but W7 would have recovered from that in stride.

Question:

An associate recommended PDFMerge as a great program to take individual pdf pages and be able to combine them into a document. I went to the website www.pdfmerge.com and downloaded it. …. Well now every pdf on my laptop is a soda pdf. This was not what I intended – will this cause me problems since they are no longer adobe pdf’s? Should I have you change it all back? Worried about this change. Recommendations?

Answer:

This is an easy thing to change.  Go to the file using Windows Explorer, right click on the file name, go down to “Open With”, select the Adobe Acrobat Reader program, and make sure you put a check in the box to use this program for this file type in the future.

Question:

Do you have an opinion on the iMac all in one?  The 21.5 ” most suitable for my space and I’d like to connect it to a TV and be able to watch TV at same time as using computer – is that possible or a pipe dream?

21.5" iMac

Answer:

In general, I like the iMac.  And, in a nutshell, yes.  But you’ll need an “Apple TV” device, which is a white hockey puck sized thing that connects to the house network and to the TV.  More here: http://store.apple.com/us/question/answers/appletv/can-i-use-apple-tv-to-mirror-my-imac-on-my-tv/QCFJP9Y472HAJP9YP

Do you have a quick question about your Mac or PC?  Send us an email to support@geekforhireinc.com

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted! Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Windows 10 – Once more

It’s almost like it’s Groundhog Day. Again.  (The movie, not the holiday.)  Yes, we are still getting calls from customers who have upgraded to Windows 10 and immediately began to experience issues with their machine.

What are some of the issues?  Here’s a sampling of some of the questions we’ve received:

  • I can’t find any of my files! They all seem to have disappeared!
  • I can find my files, but my computer won’t let me open any of them
  • My applications don’t seem to work properly anymore
  • My computer can’t find my printer, or the network
  • I’ve got the dreaded black screen (or blue screen)
  • My computer won’t boot

The problems go on and on.  I am guessing that there are plenty of times that someone upgrades to Windows 10 with zero problems.  Those are not the people who call us!

We still have the same advice that we did in February:   http://geekforhireinc.com/windows-10-update/

  • If you have a Windows 7 machine, don’t upgrade unless you have a serious business need.
  • If you have a Windows 8 or 8.1 machine, you should be okay to upgrade, although you may still experience some issues
  • If you have a Windows XP or earlier machine, don’t (DO NOT!) upgrade.  Consider purchasing a new machine with Windows 8 or 10 already installed.

If you’re planning to upgrade do this first:

  • Back up your data.  Use an external Hard Drive if you have one, or upload to the Cloud
  • Make sure you have a list of all the programs and applications that you use.
  • Make sure you know what all of your passwords are, especially if you have asked your computer to remember them for you.
  • Make sure you know what your WiFi Router password is.

Please let us know if you experience any issues with your upgrade.  Call with any questions!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted! Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Review of the Word Flow keyboard for iPhones

Smartphone Keyboard

Last week Chris introduced me to a new keyboard app for the iOS. He thought it might help me have less.carpel tunnel symptoms while typing.  I’m trying it out by typing this blog with it. It is called Word Flow and was developed by Microsoft.
 
Mostly it is doing okay. It has good predictive skills, though not all that much better or different than the standard predictive text that comes with the standard iPhone.  It only has four punctuation marks available; period, comma, exclamation point, and question mark. (But, really, how often do you use a semi-colon?!)
 
One issue that I am experiencing is that when it thinks I’m done with a sentence, it will randomly throw in a period! Another issue is that it doesn’t “know” the shortcuts I’ve programmed into the phone to get a jumpstart on the predictive text.  For example, when I type “bou”, the iPhone will complete the word “Boulder.  Word Flow doesn’t do that.
Here’s an example of what the keyboard looks like and the predictive text errors:
Word Flow

Word Flow

 I think that for people who are one handed typers or thumb typers , this will be a great product.  For people like me who are used to typing with both hands and more than two thumbs, there aren’t a lot of benefits. 

As a person who is very much concerned with security and privacy, I did take exception to allowing Word Flow access to my data.  Take a look at the verbiage for the “permissions screen”.Word Flow Full Access Disclosure

“Full access allows the developer of this keyboard to transmit anything you type, including things you have previously typed with this keyboard.  This could include secretive information such as your credit card number or street address.”

Ummmm, no.  I think that is part of why the shortcuts I’ve programmed into my iPhone aren’t working with this app.

If you think this might be right for you, take a look at this, more positive review.

What keyboard are you using with your smartphone?  Is it the standard one that came with, or another app that you’ve installed?  Let us know what you are using, which phone you have, and how the keyboard is working!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted! Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

 

 

11 Ways To Save On Your Entertainment Budget

When we decided to get rid of DirecTV, we were paying over $100 every month. Lots of times we would flip through hundreds of channels and find nothing interesting to watch. We talked about it for months and eventually, of course, we cancelled DirecTV right before the Rockies were in the World Series, but who would have thought they’d get that far?!

Since then, we’ve found that there are a number of different websites and applications that allow you to watch movies, news shows, and weekly or nightly TV shows without having to subscribe to a cable or satellite service.  All of these services come with a free trial.

Netflix – Starts at $7.99 for one viewer/ $9.99 for 2 / $11.99 for 4 viewers – Netflix is what we primarily use at our house and we’re pretty happy with it. Downsides?  There are times when it “thinks” and we watch the little red circle spin round and round for minutes on end. They also don’t seem to like when you watch two many movies back-to-back-to-back.

Amazon Prime – $99 per year – Not just movies, Amazon Prime includes free two day shipping, streamed music, Kindle books, etc.

Hulu – $7.99/month, $11.99/month without commercials – You can watch current episodes and entire seasons of TV shows. The fine print says that some of the more popular shows still have commercials, but they are limited to the beginning and end of the show as opposed to interrupting the show two or three times with commercials.

YouTube has always been free, but there is the time hassle of finding what you want. Increasingly, there are commercials either before or during the video. Commercial shows are generally not available on YouTube.

HBO Now – $14.99/month – You no longer need to subscribe to a cable or satellite service to get Home Box Office!

Acorn TV – $4.99/month with first month free – For folks who like British shows. A friend of mine has been streaming Acorn for quite a while now. She and her husband really like it.

A lot of news and comedy shows are available online the day after they’ve been broadcast live. Shows like:

Some news stations provide taped videos and  live streaming of their news programs. Some of these include:

  • ABC News
  • CNN – you can watch various videos.  Live CNN news is only available to cable or satellite subscribers.
  • MSNBC – has a number of regular programs that you can watch the day after they have been aired.  Like CNN, you can only watch MSNBC Live as a subscriber to cable/satellite.
  • CBC -Canadian news
  • BBC -British news

And finally….

Roku – works with your existing TV to stream whatever apps you’ve signed up for.  In this case the cost is for the hardware – $50 – $130 plus the cost of streaming apps.  Roku works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, PBS, Acorn TV, and many others.

Apple TV – Works like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV, where it needs an internet network connection to retrieve content, and has an HDMI jack which contains video and audio which outputs to an HDMI-input port on your television.  It has a small and narrow shaver-like remote control, and can display video from apps such as Netflix and Hulu.  The differentiator of the Apple TV is that it can be used to remotely display the content of your Apple computer.  But the computer must be within about 10-15 feet of your high end WiFi router, or else the video artifacts will make the display look very blocky.

Which of these services do you use? Are there others that you use that I didn’t include? Let me know your favorites in the comments below!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.