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Never Replace Your Phone Again - A New Generation of Modular Phones May Be at Hand Soon, Thanks to Phonebloks and Motorola

Never Replace Your Phone Again - A New Generation of Modular Phones May Be at Hand Soon, Thanks to Phonebloks and Motorola"Electronics are not built to last," says founder of Phonebloks Dave Hakkens in his first promotional video.

And it's true.  This has been the way of the technology world - out with the old model, and in with the new - once every year or so.  This is great for us, but bad for the environment, as electronic waste is one of the #1 growing waste streams in the world. 

The necessity of the "latest and greatest" is particularly pronounced when it comes to cell phones, as these are updated extremely frequently.  Chances are, if your phone model is more than 2 years old, you're getting looks.  (More than 5 years old, you're getting "living in the stone age" comments.)  So, you upgrade to the newest phone model to stay with the times, and chuck our old phone in your heaping box of technology.

This, however, may no longer be necessary.

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A New 12.9 inch iPad is in the Works

A New 12.9 inch iPad is in the WorksThe current iPad is 9.8 inches, but expect things to get a little bigger next year with Apple's new 12.9-inch iPad.

This new iPad is expected to complement the 9.8-inch iPad Air and 7.9-inch iPad Mini.

This expectation remains cohesive from a previously released Wall Street Journal report, which stated that the next iPad was expected to be “slightly less than 13 inches.”

In addition to having a bigger screen, the new iPad should also have a sharper image quality.  According to an interviews Apple supplier interviewed in The Korea Report,

"As the Apple partner intends to boost its lineup for displays that have almost ultra high-definition (UHD) quality, the upcoming iPad will provide very clear quality similar to that of UHD.”

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13 Ways to Save Your Battery with iOS7

13 Ways to Save Your IOS 7 BatteryiPhone users everywhere are excited about the new iOS7... that is, until it starts rapidly depleting battery supply. Users on older model phones in particular (iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, we're looking at you):

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Turn your IPad into a Cash Register

Square Stand, housing iPad with credit card reader at the base

These days, if an entrepreneur is is looking to get their new business off the ground, they have to consider the traditional items - product, location, cost of inventory.  As it relates to marketing, hey must consider a lot of the "modern" marketing questions as well - how do I build a website?  Do I need a Facebook page?  Twitter account?  But when it comes to taking cash at checkout, they tend to go with the old school cash register.  Paper in, coins out.  Credit card receipts and big bills go under the drawer...

That's all about to change.

Old School Cash RegisterYou've probably already heard of Square, a merchant sales company that is pioneering mobile payments via smartphone technology.  They have just announced their modern day answer to the cash register - the Square Stand.  Modernizing small businesses, this new piece of hardware features an all-in-one Point of Sale (POS) system to be integrated directly with an iPad. 

Features include a credit card reader (accepting cash, credit, and Square Wallet payments), a rotating base so customers can sign with their finger, and a customizable checkout flow where you can add names, photos, and order modifiers for a more personalized check-out experience. 

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No iPhone 5 Yet; iPhone 4S Looks Pretty Nice

iPhone 4GS

Geeks the world over have been hotly anticipating today's Apple Keynote at their headquarters in Cupertino, CA.  We tuned in to hear more details of iOS 5, check out how the line of devices (computers, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, oh my) might be changing, but mostly, we tuned in to learn the future of iPhone.  That future, as of this moment, comes in the form of the iPhone 4S, but not yet an iPhone 5.  

This Friday, October 7, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, yes Sprint, customers will be able to pre-order the new iPhone 4S, in 16, 32, and 64GB sizes ($199, $299, $399, respectively), for delivery beginning next Friday, October 14.  

The device, while appearing nearly identical on its exterior, contains all new parts - an A5 processor, new camera sensor and lenses, faster data speeds, and improved antenna, CDMA capability, and new software, iOS 5, which will also be available on (many, but not all) earlier generation devices. 

The Apple website and store have been up and down all day.  

The folks over at Engadget did a LiveBlog during the Apple event, which is where we got most of our up to date news.  Thanks Engadget!

Engadget has a ton of coverage related to the news - iOS5 and iPhone 4S news mostly.  

So, we Android-overs over here at Geek | Chicago have some decisions to make.  Do we get the iPhone 4S?  The HTC Amaze 4G (with many comparable specs, and available next week on T-Mo), or wait for the iPhone 5, which we're guessing will be announced in the spring?

How to Prioritize Features Versus Cost When Buying Technology

Here's a good read from the New York Times, featured on the Yahoo! Finance section about making cost-effective decisions when considering trade-offs in technology purchases.

Here's an excerpt:

PAY FOR TV SIZE, NOT REFRESH RATE As Matt Buchanan pointed out in a still-useful post on Gizmodo.com a year and a half ago, every television manufacturer has a sweet spot when it comes to price and size. Going to 50 inches from 42, Mr. Buchanan explains, may cost you $200, but going 54 inches from 50 could cost $400 more, so 50 inches is where you would get the most for your dollar. Every manufacturer has its own sweet spot, so it pays to look at the lineup and see where it is.

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).