Twitter Chat and Text Messaging Abbreviations Tuesday, May 26 2015 

This is good resource for all those pesky abbreviations that make a post totally unintelligible for the elder generation (who still hunt woolly mammoth for dinner)

NGS Picture ID:122644though it shortens considerably the time it takes to create a post.


Find a Tech Definition Friday, May 22 2015 

What is an excellent website with many definitions for people with all levels of tech knowledge, from rank beginners to teenagers.

Tesla Powerwall Friday, May 22 2015 

Tesla Powerwall is a wall-mounted battery system for storing energy generated by solar power panels and wind turbines. Powerwall is a product of Tesla Energy, a business division of Tesla Motors.

Tesla PowerwallPowerwall, which is aimed at the residential market, is designed to store power generated at peak solar time for use during power outages and out-of-peak solar time, including night. The system’s slim, modular design is adapted from the technology used in those for Tesla’s electric cars and can hold up to 7 kilowatt-hours of energy, which is enough energy to power a typical home in the United States for about 7 hours. A similar product, TeslaPowerpack, is aimed at the business and utility market. Both products are based on lithium ion battery technology.

Powerwall will be available in a 7 kilowatt hour (kW) model, designed for daily use applications, and a 10kwh model, designed for backup power. The units weigh about 220 lbs. Total capacity can be upgraded by modular connection of up to nine additional units. Tesla expects to start shipping Powerwall sometime during the summer of 2015.

Tesla provides the following specifications for Powerwall:

  • Mounting: Wall Mounted Indoor/Outdoor
  • Inverter: Pairs with growing list of inverters
  • Energy: 7 kWh or 10 kWh
  • Continuous Power: 2 kW
  • Peak Power: 3.3 kW
  • Round Trip Efficiency: 92%
  • Operating Temperature Range: -20C (-4F) to 43C (110F)
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Dimensions: H: 1300mm W: 860mm D:180mm

Watch a video introduction to Powerwall:

This was last updated in May 2015
Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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ASK QUESTION owner buys WooCommerce plugin to power ecommerce Wednesday, May 20 2015 

ChristinaWarren_1 (1)

Christina Warren is Mashable’s Senior Tech Correspondent,

Automattic, the company behind, announced Tuesday that it is acquiring the team and company behind the popular WooCommerce WordPress plugin.

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that lets site owners turn their self-hosted WordPress website into a bonafide online store. Launched in 2011 by WooThemes, WooCommerce has become a force in the ecommerce space.


Not only it is hugely popular in the WordPress community, WooCommerce is huge when it comes to the online store space, powering at least 650,000 online stores.

The entire 55-person Woo team will join Automattic. According to a blog post by CEO and cofounder Matt Mullenweg, this will bring Automattic’s total headcount to 370 people, distributed across 43 countries.

I spoke to Mullenweg about the acquisition and what adding the Woo team means for the future of WordPress and Automattic. He wouldn’t offer up the price of the acquisition, except to say that it is Automattic’s biggest ever and that it is six times as much as any other acquisition.

Automattic raised $160 million in funding last year, bringing it into unicorn club with a valuation of $1.16 billion. WordPress (either hosted or self-hosted) now powers 23% of the web and has become a core framework for publishing.

With the acquisition of WooCommerce, Mullenweg said that this is another step that will help WordPress accomplish its goal of powering even more of the web.

The ultimate goal, he said, is to make it as easy to create your own storefront as it currently is to create your own website or blog with WordPress.

WooCommerce is easy to use — especially in the realm of ecommerce solutions — but it still requires some hand-holding during the setup process. Mullenweg said that one of the goals moving forward will be to make it easier to setup WooCommerce. He also hinted at 1-click install solutions as being on the horizon.

WooCommerce is big business

Mullenweg also made a point to say that WooCommerce is an extremely profitable company. The core WooCommerce plugin is free but the company makes money selling plugin extensions, storefront themes and support. Sources close to the company said that WooCommerce’s revenues are in the eight figures.

That’s serious money and this is just with four years of development. Anecdotally, I’ve met a number of different web developers over the years who have increasingly added WooCommerce to their repertoire or focus on integration areas for their own services.

Easy-to-build shopping solutions is increasingly a selling point for web solutions. competitors such as Squarespace have storefront modules and there are also hosted solutions from companies such as Shopify, Big Cartel and Bigcommerce.

Mullenweg things that WooCommerce has a unique role in the larger ecommerce space, in part because of its open source nature and its broad community of users and developers, but also because it fills a hole for a a solution that can be wholly controlled an run by the user.

That same type of “community content domain” is an area WordPress has excelled at in publishing for over a decade and Mullenweg thinks this will be important to the future.

Automattic turns ten years old next month and Mullenweg told me that he’s never been more excited about the future and potential of the web than he is right now.

What happens now

Mullenweg said that starting now, the WooCommerce team will have full access to Automattic’s broader resources of tech and people.

In the short term, not a lot will change — the extensions, themes and add-ons for WooCommerce will continue as usual. Mullenweg said to stay tuned for some plans in the next few months, especially when it comes to making WooCommerce easier to use.

As for when users can expect to find WooCommerce options on, Mullenweg said that won’t happen until next year. The focus for now will be on making it easier to install and integrate.

Mullenweg will also be hosting a Q&A on his blog regarding the acquisition, so users and developers can ask questions about what this means for them.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Samsung introduces its version of Apple’s Continuity with Flow app Wednesday, May 20 2015 

Karissa Bell

by Karissa Bell Mashable’s Apps Reporter and covers apps and software from Mashable’s San Francisco office very well.

Almost exactly a year after Apple first introduced its new Continuity features with iOS 8, Samsung is unveiling its own version of the features with a new app that makes it easier to switch between multiple devices.


The Korea-based smartphone manufacturer just released Flow, a new Android app that allows people with certain Samsung devices to switch between the same apps on their tablets and smartphone. The app is still in beta, but eventually Samsung says it will bring the capability to other devices like televisions and smartwatches.

Once the app (available now, in Google Play) is installed on at least two devices, you can transfer or defer tasks to another supported device. If you’re watching a YouTube video on your smartphone, for example, you can pause the video and resume it on your tablet or opt to finish it later.

The app uses Android’s built-in sharing menu so it already works with thousands of apps, according to Samsung, though developers who want to take advantage of the feature can bake a Flow button directly into their apps. Flow relies on bluetooth and Wi-Fi — not a cloud service — so both devices also need to be physically close to each other or on the same Wi-Fi network in order for it to work.


Samsung says it will also add notifications, mirroring, multitasking and other features in future versions. The app is U.S-only for now and only supports the company’s most recent flagships: the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the Galaxy S5, the Note 4 and Note Edge, Galaxy Alpha and the Galaxy Tab S tablet, but the company says it plans to add the app’s capabilities to its smartwatches, televisions and other devices in the future.

This video provides a closer look at how the app may work with other types of devices once Samsung expands the feature.

A short repost of wise words Monday, May 18 2015 

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“Spam is a waste of the receivers’ time, and a waste of the sender’s optimism.”

Mokokoma Mokhonoana, The Confessions of a Misfit


Read more quotes from Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Top 10 search engines in the World (A repost) Friday, May 15 2015 

Which are the 10 best and most popular search engines in the World? Besides Google and Bing there are other search engines that many not be so well known but still serve millions of search queries per day.

Alex Smith

Authored by
Alex Smith

It may be a shocking surprise for many people but Google is not the only search engine available today on the Internet! In fact there are a number of search engines that try to remove Google from its throne but none of them is ready (yet) to even pose a threat. Nevertheless, there are search engines that are worth considering and the top 10 are presented below.

  1. Google – No need for further introductions. The search engine giant holds the first place in search with a stunning difference of 45% from second in place Bing. According to the latest comscore report (October 2012) 69.5% of searches were powered by Google and 25% by Bing. Google is also dominating the mobile/tablet search engine market share with 89%!
  2. Bing – Bing is Microsoft’s attempt to challenge Google in the area of search but despite their efforts they still did not manage to convince users that their search engine can produce better results than Google.
  3. Yahoo – Since October 2011 Yahoo search is powered by Bing. Yahoo is still the most popular email provider and according to reports holds the third place in search.
  4. com – Formerly known as Ask Jeeves, receives approximately 3% of the search share. ASK is based on a question/answer format where most questions are answered by other users or are in the form of polls. It also has the general search functionality but the results returned lack quality compared to Google or even Bing and Yahoo.
  5. – According to netmarketshare the old time famous AOL is still in the top 10 search engines with a market share that is close to 0.6%. The AOL network includes many popular web sites like, and the
  6. – com was developed by ex-Googlers and they present themselves as the “spam free search engine”.  It is better suited for webmasters and SEO’s who need more data for SEO purposes rather than normal users.
  7. Wolframalpha – wolframalpha is different that all the other search engines. They market it as a Computational Knowledge Engine which can give you facts and data for a number of topics. It can do all sorts of calculations, for example if you enter  “mortgage 2000” as input it will calculate your loan amount, interest paid etc. based on a number of assumptions.  social-media-roi
  8. DuckDuckGo – Has a number of advantages over the other search engines. It has a clean interface, it does not track users, it is not fully loaded with ads and has a number of very nice features (only one page of results, you can search directly other web sites etc). I am sure that some of the features of duckduckgo will be used by other search engines and with some proper funding duckduckgo can get a decent search engine market share.
  9. WayBackMachineorgis the internet archive search engine. You can use it to find out how a web site looked since 1996. It is very useful tool if you want to trace the history of a domain and examine how it has changed over the years.
  10. com – According to alexa is the 8th most popular search engine with a ranking position of 297 in the US. It is similar to where users can ask or answer a particular question. They also have a number of quizzes that can help you decide on a number of topics. It’s not bad at all and the answers are precise and to the point. For example if you search “What is the best search engine?” you will get an answer that Google is the best and most popular search engine and Yahoo is on the second place.

These are the 10 best and most popular search engines on the Internet today. The list is by no means complete and for sure many more will be created in the future but as far as the first places are concerned, Google and Bing will hold the lead positions for years to come.

Alex Smith

Authored by
Alex Smith

Top 10 search engines in the World by Alex Chris

17 Desk Stretches That’ll (Almost) Replace Going to the Gym Thursday, May 14 2015 

I live on the web, so I’m not unfamiliar with all the studies on the “sitting disease.” Nor am I unfamiliar with the the slightly horrifying graphics that show its health hazards—including sore necks, muscle degeneration, and foggy brains. And yet, when it comes to telling myself to step away from my desk and go to the gym, I simply can’t do it.

That’s why I’m excited to have stumbled upon these 17 desk stretches from Officevibe, a company committed to giving organizations the tools they need to become amazing workplaces. These stretches will in no way have the same effect as going to the gym a few times a week, but doing a few every day is much better than sitting hunched over at your desk for hours-long periods. From the “One Arm Hug” to the “Proposal” to the “Ballerina” to the “Knee-Jerk,” there are more than enough stretches to add to your routine.

You know what they say: A few desk stretches a day keeps the doctor (farther) away.

By Kat Moon


With Windows 10, The Operating System Becomes A Service Instead Of A Series Of Major Releases Thursday, May 14 2015 

With Windows 10, The Operating System Becomes A Service Instead Of A Series Of Major Releases

Windows 10 is planned to launch this summer, hopefully by the end of July.

Updates to Windows after the windows 10 release is planned to follow an incremental path, with a monthly charge, that would lead to ongoing improvements instead of splashy, more occasional numbered launches.

Microsoft’s decision to fully embrace releasing continuous updates marks a big change in the way it conceives, markets and sells its desktop Operating System.

Microsoft has, especially under new CEO Satya Nadella, made the move to become much more of a services company. Putting Windows into a bundle of services would be a strong move towards increasing the overall value of Microsoft products. Moving to a more gradually iterative model would probably have benefits in terms of engineering resource allocation and keeping pace with the increasingly rapid adoption of new tech.

Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for eligible devices for the first year after 10’s official launch; however, it’ll still be looking to acquire revenue from sales of this Operating System.   Maybe Windows 10 will become part of a larger services bundle that expands on what Office 365 currently provides.


Little by little, Microsoft is revealing additional information about Microsoft Edge, it’s upcoming browser replacement for Internet Explorer.

Not only does Microsoft Edge have a new look and feel and a new rendering engine — it also has a new take on security, web standards and legacy code.

The biggest change for developers coming with Microsoft Edge is that it will get rid of legacy browser technologies including ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects (BHO).

Just because ActiveX is going away doesn’t mean Flash is dead. No, Microsoft will be building Flash into the browser — much as Chrome does now. Microsoft Edge will also support native PDF rendering.

Microsoft is still going to offer a way for developers to build extensions — following a similar HTML/JavaScript model that has been adopted by Mozilla, Google, Apple and Opera. Microsoft says it will enable that model later this summer so that developers can build their add-ons for the new browser.

Microsoft says it has removed 220,000 unique lines of code (LoC).

At the same time, it is adding a ton of stuff to the new browser. More than 300,000 LoC have been added, as well as 49 new major features and 4200 browser interoperability features.

Microsoft is also getting rid of vendor prefixes for Edge. This means that in order for developers to take advantage of special HTML5 or CSS features, they won’t have to use a specific Edge prefix. Instead, they can just code to web standards.

This is a move in the right direction for Microsoft and it mirrors some of the recent hires the company has made in the area of open web evangelism and web standards.

Microsoft lays out how it is building its new browser to better be able to stand up to web threats, as well as how its updated model will be better than before.

Getting rid of ActiveX and BHOs will actually make the browser more secure. For years, third parties have exploited the binary aspect of ActiveX to execute nasty code that can take down the browser or the underlying operating system.


By shifting to HTML/JavaScript-based extensions, Microsoft is limiting the access extensions will have, as well as some of the control they could potentially take the system down.

The biggest feature for security, however, might just be in how Microsoft is treating Edge.

Microsoft Edge is being released as a Universal Windows App. This means that it will live in a sandboxed world. Microsoft says this means “every Internet page that Microsoft Edge visits will be rendered inside an app container, the latest and most secure client-side app sandbox in Windows.”

It also means that as a Universal Windows App, users can get updates from the Microsoft Store — as opposed to updates being tied to Windows Update.

Decoupling browser updates from the rest of the operating system is great, especially for keeping stuff up-to-date. It also opens up the door for Microsoft to do the kind of automatic updates that Chrome and Firefox do now.

Microsoft Edge will debut alongside Windows 10 when it launches later this summer.

Hopefully, Microsoft won’t require the purchaser to buy something that the buyer doesn’t want in order to get what they do want.


Posted May 11, 2015 by Darrell Etherington (@etherington)


Some comments on these posts:

Aleksey Kramer · University of Washington

I would never pay monthly fees to use an operating system. This goes beyond the idea of paying fees for the programs ran on top of Windows OS. Basically, paying one more set of fees is a bit much….

Reply · Like · 10 · Follow Post · May 11 at 10:32am


James Boelter · Follow ·  Top Commenter

This is exactly what I am afraid of. An Internet only based operating system with fees for different levels of services. Just give me a local based OS not requiring Internet 24/7.

Reply · Like · 8 · May 11 at 10:57am

Scott Bradley · Murphy, Texas

I didn’t see anyone say anything about a monthly fee…

Reply · Like · 4 · May 11 at 12:14pm

James Boelter · Follow ·  Top Commenter

Scott Bradley They compared it to Adobe’s new structure. Which, is monthly fee based and offers different service levels. They also stated that Windows X will be free for the first year. That is clue enough. Mind you, none of this is confirmed either way, but I am seeing a volatile pattern here that waivers from Windows being truly “free” and Microsoft’s greed kicking in.

Reply · Like · 5 · Edited · May 11 at 2:17pm


Posted May 11, 2015 by Darrell Etherington (@etherington)

By Christina Warren


GE announces LED lighting with Apple HomeKit and Siri integration Wednesday, May 6 2015 

General Electric (GE) has announced plans to produce an LED light compatible with Apple’s HomeKit software.

The integration will include the ability to control the GE lights via Siri, Apple’s voice-interface digital assistant.

Using GE’s Align technology, the HomeKit-enabled bulbs will allow users to align their lighting with their sleep cycles – bluer tones in the morning hours and more amber-colored lighting in the evening.

by Adario Strange

Those familiar with the app called f.lux are already aware of the benefits of using blue lighting in the daytime (to suppress the output of melatonin) and amber lighting at night (allowing for an easier transition from wakefulness to sleep) as a way to keep the body’s circadian rhythm intact.


Lighting is how many first experiment with the idea of a smart home, and our insights show that consumers want the ability to control lighting from anywhere, automate lighting and pair lighting with other devices—like sensors, thermostats and door locks,” said Beth Comstock, the CEO of GE Business Innovations, in a statement on the company’s website.

The HomeKit integration will give users the ability to control several LED units simultaneously, as well as the option to pair the LEDs with any iOS device (iPad, iPhone or iPod touch).

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the announcement is the ability to control the lighting using Siri on your iOS device. Harnessing a voice interface many mobile users are already familiar with within a smart home set up could be the key to getting users interested in GE’s smart LED system.

Voice controlled appliances, another technology first by Star Trek more than 40 years ago!

“We’re excited to announce our support for HomeKit,” said Comstock, “as it will bring a seamless, intuitive user experience using Siri…”

The HomeKit-enabled lighting system will be offered commercially later this year.

I want at least one of these!

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