The Future of WebOS, Ringtone Revenue, Multiple Skype Accounts, Chrome gets the Metro UI, Microsoft Touch Mouse, and Google does a Barrel Roll – HT051


Jim and Andrew are joined this week by John Zajdler and Gordon Schmidt for this weeks’ installment of the Home Tech Podcast.

The guys start off the show discussing the recent news that HP is retaining the Personal Systems Group, and if HP will keep WebOS, and where HP could use WebOS in their existing product lines, such as the possibility of integrating a WebOS control panel into the enterprise level multifunction devices, or even the home printer, with the possibility of being able to edit photos without using a PC before printing. At this time, as reported by Business Insider, HP do not have any plan for WebOS.

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The guys discuss their use of printing these days, with most using their multifunction devices primarily as a scanner, rather than a printer, before discussing the penetration of email into peoples lives.

The guys move on to discuss the online revenue generated by music downloads, with 34.3% of the market being downloaded ringtones, with a total revenue of $2,172.8 million dollars, subscription services accounting for 8.4%, and the remainder being other download services, at 57.3%.  Read more over at All Things D

The guys talk about the merits of downloading a ringtone vs creating your own from music you currently own.  The guys go on to discuss some of the features of modern smart phones, and the ease of migrating to a new phone.

Multiple Skype Instances on one ComputerAndrew talks about running multiple instances of Skype on the one computer, with the purpose of using one account for dialing free-call numbers, and using another as a regular Skype account, with a credit balance on the Skype account.








To launch two Skype accounts, simply allow your regular account to start as normal, open a command prompt, and type in:

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe” /secondary if you are using a 64-bit version of Windows, or

“C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe” /secondary if you are using a 32-bit version of Windows, and login to your second account using the login screen.

Starting Skype like this can be run multiple times, allowing you to log into Skype as a different user each time.

Multiple Skype Instances on one ComputerEach time you start Skype like this it will add another Skype icon to your task bar, which can be controlled individually.

The guys discuss the benefits of using Voice Over IP (VOIP) either via using Skype, or a third-party provider, and “cutting the cord” by disconnecting your landline telephone service.

Andrew tells us about the latest “Easter Egg” at Google, known as “The Barrel Roll”.  To check this out, open Google Chrome, or Firefox, and in the Google Search Box, type in “Do a Barrel Roll”, and watch the page spin around!  An older Google Easter Egg is to type in TILT in the Search Box, and the entire page tilts to the right.

imageFor those of you that love the Metro UI on the Windows 8 Developer Preview, and Windows Phone 7, but also love using Google Chrome, the Metro UI has come to the Chrome Browser, in the form of Awesome New Tab Page.

The guys spend some time on the ongoing discussion that impacts most folks, around smart phone updates, and choice of device, given the ever changing technology, and how it may fit in with their lives.

imageGordon talks about the new Microsoft Touch Mouse he has recently purchased, which “makes navigating Windows 7 a breeze”.  The Touch Mouse is a touch enabled device, that lets you use gestures on the surface of the mouse to improve transitions between various open windows and sessions with Windows 7 – Gordon tells us how he uses it to improve his Windows experience, especially when using multiple monitors.

Be sure to check out the Microsoft Touch Mouse over at Microsoft Hardware.

Gordon also talks about how he uses apps from within the Google Chrome Web Store (Chrome Web Apps) to keep track of the sites he visits regularly, and how it allows him to click on an icon to open the web application he wants to visit.

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