Well just when we thought that iPods couldn't get any better, any more innovative, any more anything, they hit us with this: The iPod nano 4G and the iPod Touch 2G. How much better can they really be though? What really lies beyond the new flashy colors and sleek(er) designs? And why should I waste my time updating iTunes? In this special iPanik 3-product review, we'll seek to uncover the truth, look inside the case, and discover what the new iPods are all about.

Upon visiting apple.com today, It was brought to my attention that not only has Apple gone "nano-chromatic" but also that "The funnest iPod ever" was apperently available and that they were "Introducing iTunes 8". As soon as I got my iTunes updater running, it was off to see the triumphant return of the crazy-colored iPod nano as well as said "funnest" iPod ever. What I saw instantly caught my attention.

The New iPod nano
It's color-ific!!

All those colors...

Okay well maybe that's not exactly a very, um, masculine description, but it more or less describes the fact that the new nanos come in 9 colors, as compared with the six of the 3Gs and the 2Gs, and the two color options of the original nanos. If this isn't enough to entice you, however, there is brawn behind the beauty in this story.

Style and function?

The new nano not only sports a fresh coat of metallic, iPod Classic-style paint, but also a sleek new design a la the second gen nanos. A bit more round, the new nano throws back to the upright design that I personally didn't miss in the 3rd gen, but we can all live with it. It seems to be sleeker and more comfortable, and the design looks a bit nicer as well.

But it can't be all visual, can it?
Of course not! The new nano sports all kinds of new features, most notably the accelerometer. "Now why would I need to know how fast my iPod's going?," I hear you say. Well imagine being able to turn your nano on it's side and go straight to cover flow just like it was an iPhone. Well now, you can. With the accelerometer, any time you turn your iPod on it's side while listening to music, it takes you striaght to cover flow, a rather convenient upgrade from the masses of menus to get to cover flow in the 3Gs. Also, when you do the same while watching a movie or viewing your photos, the 'pod once again takes on touch-like traits and shows them in wide- and full-screen. Also, If you're sick and tired (or just too lazy) to set your list to shuffle, or if just want to go to one random song but not actually shuffle, give the 'pod a little shake and you're off. Pretty nice if you ask me.

"Why that thing's genious!" you may say. Well not really, but this is: Apple's latest and greatest innovation: the Genius feature. While listening to music, just head over to your menu and hit "Start Genious >". And some comes genious, an amazing bit of innovation that will actually select similar songs in your library and queue them as a playlist, just like a DJ might. Though we don't really know the technology behind Genious just yet (does it use ID3 tags or does it actually analyze the sound?) we do know this: It must be great, because it can be found in both the new iPods, but also the new version of iTunes. More on that later.

Other neat features include a built in loudspeaker, full 3D gaming and more. For more information, check out the official features page.

Yeah, yeah, so what's the damage?
Surprisingly, this new technology does NOT come at a steep price. Actually, over night the price of an iPod nano went from 8Gb being $199 to $150. But don't worry! If you're a big spender, you can plunk down those two hundreds you've been saving for over three days now and get the 16Gb model, the biggest-capacity nano to date.

Well is it worth it?
I guess that's up to you to decide, but I say sure, if you still have a nano 2G, if you don't have an iPod, love to watch videos on your current 3G nano, really need another 8 gigs on your 'pod, or if you love to spend money/have to have the latest thing. Then go for. But say you never watch videos on your nano and don't really need any more space. You may still consider it just for the new GUI and the Genious feature. But seriously dude, learn to use the video....

More Info:
The Features
More Pictures and Videos
Which iPod are you?

Want more? We'll get touchy-feely with the new iPod touch only in the next part of this three part iPanik special. Stay tuned!

NOTE: We at iPanik have no claim to the pictures shown in this blog post. ALL pictures © 2008 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.


The internet has long been the ultimate place to find "get rich quick schemes" and "be a billionaire, now no work!" type of offers. Is the internet a good place to make money? Is there such thing as something for nothing? Is their truth amongst the scams and lies? In this article, we will attempt to sift through the tangles of links in this crazy World Wide Web and sort the fact from the crap about making money online.

To begin with, you need to know one thing: There are only to basic ways to make money on the internet, advertising and sales. Wait! You mean to tell me that the get rich quick scheme I saw the other day wasn't...no. It wasn't true or legit or real or [insert synonym for legitimate here]. If it said you didn't have to do anything, and didn't need any knowledge of the internet, it was a lie. Seriously, it was. There are only two ways to make money on the 'net, as I said before, advertising and sales. Each one of these methods has advantages and disadvantages, but they both make honest, real money.

These two methods, sales and advertising, could be laid out like this:

1. Sales
  • Product Sales (eBay, Amazon, etc.)
  • Service Sales (Financial Advice, Web Design, etc.)
2. Advertising
  • Advertising Services on your website (AdSense)
  • Affiliate Programs on your website (Amazon)

Note that two of these require you to have your own website or blog. The advertising route is not for those with low technical and web skills! If you do not know very much about the web or HTML, I recommend sales for online money making.

If you DO have a blog or website, then you are at the biggest advantage in the game so far.
If you have a blog or website with readers, you could be making up to hundreds a day.
I'm not joking. I've seen the evidence! I don't even use this method (yet), but I'm promoting it! That's because I know it works. I'm not being paid to write this, nor do I have any incentives towards advertising this service, but it's good. The secret to advertising is Google AdSense. Yes, it's true, a FREE advertising program that absolutely makes the most money. It's easy, it's free, and it only requires you to have a website or blog with appropriate content. That's IT. I've known people to make hundreds a day, just by having a small AdSense block on their personal blog. But, there's always a catch. "Okay", I hear you say, "I knew it would come to this, what is it?". The catch is, no visitors = no clicks on ads. No clicks on ads = no money. So basically, If you have a blog but have no readers, you get no money. But usually you will have some readers, so It may still be worth it. I definitely recommend AdSense as a method, no, the BEST method for making money online.

"Well Michael, that's all good and well except IT TOOK ME A YEAR JUST TO LEARN TO GET ON THE INTERNET!," you may be saying. Well, I have good news. Even the novice internet user can make money here. Are you going to make the hundreds a day that the bloggers and web site owners make through their little advertising scheme? It depends, do you have the right stuff? That's right, the next method I'm going to talk about is eBay.

Now if you haven't been living under a rock for the past five years or so, you've probably heard about eBay, the online auction site. eBay is a great place to make money, but you have to have stuff to sell. Older people with lots of antiques out the wazoo (and, coincidentally, are usually the more novice internet users) tend to make a fortune selling their stuff on eBay. Most younger people don't have many antiques, but have the skills to have an advertising blog or web site, so anyone can make money online.

Now that about covers the truth, but what about the lies, scams, and other drama mentioned in the title? Well, let me tell you a bit about online get-rich-quick scams, mainly The Rich Jerk. The Rich Jerk offers you advice on how to make loads of cash on the net, for absolutely no money out of pocket, minus the $9.95 for the e-book download. Let me tell you something: The Rich Jerk WORKS. Wait, what?!? I thought you said this was bogus, man! It's not really, but it is. The reason The Rich Jerk works is because it uses (as far as I've heard from online reviews and in the FAQ on the site) the same methods that I mentioned above: eBay, Advertising, and Affiliates. That's why it works. But others DON'T. Period. If you don't believe me, go for it. Buy their product and waste your time, only to get ripped off and make no money. But if you're okay with that, okay. It's your life, and I don't want to tell you how to live it...

Money, get away. Get a good job with good pay and youre okay. Money, its a gas. Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
-"Money" by Pink Floyd


Today has been declared "Firefox Download Day" in honor of the release of Mozilla Firefox 3 and to set a world record for the most downloads in 24 hours. You may be as ecstatic as I am, and you may not care at all, but you definitely should. Why? Well I guess I'll show you why Firefox 3 is the BEST internet browser available to date. Hold on tight, and welcome to the future.

Mozilla Firefox 3 sets a new standard in the world of internet browsers. This standard is commonly known as "customization". Firefox has always been renowned for it's incredible customization abilities, but if you haven't used Firefox 3, you haven't seen anything yet. Now with a database of over 5,000 add-ons, you can't help but surf the web exactly how you want to. Some of the best new features pre-installed with Firefox 3 are:

Free Zoom. This handy new tool (actually previously found in Internet Explorer 7) allows users to zoom into certain areas of a web page. This is similar to changing the text size in previous versions of Firefox, only instead of just changing the text, images, videos, and everything else on the page are enlarged as well. This is useful for examining photographs, watching videos with no full screen option, and for those who are visually impaired.

One-click Bookmarking. Next to your address bar every time you visit a page is a small star icon. Upon clicking this icon, the site you are viewing is instantly bookmark for you to edit and organize later. Once bookmarked, a click on this icon gives you the option to remove the bookmark, organize the bookmark, or add tags to the bookmark (see the next paragraph). This feature is quite handy for those who bookmark frequently, or can't ever seem to remember all those darn websites.

Reopen Closed Tabs. If you accidentally close a tab without meaning to, you can always find your most recently closed tabs by going to History>Recently Closed Tabs. This is super useful for all of us butterfingers and clicker-happy people out there.

Smart Location Bar. This is by far the most innovative address bar we at iPanik have ever seen in any web browser. Not only does it include the Instant Bookmarking feature (see above) but also features favicons for all the pages in your history plus it's page title and full URL. A simple click on the favicon displays encryption and identity information for secure sites like PayPal. This feature is awesome for anyone and everyone.

Plus tons more! There are tons of other cool new features waiting to be found in Firefox 3! For more information on new features, you can check out the full list, but the best way to discover Firefox is to download it yourself! I highly recommend this to any existing user of Firefox (it's a great upgrade, definitely worth it) or to anyone looking for the best web browsing experience available.

All Pictures © http://www.mozilla.com, 2008


...When Buying a New Desktop and Fixing Your Old One.
Welcome to a new mini-series of blog posts I've decided to start writing. To begin with, let me tell you why I'm doing this. I'm doing this because so many people don't know enough about computers. Even I have tons of questions to be asked, and almost all the people I know are completely clueless! The other problem is that most people that don't know the answer can just go down to their local CompUSA, Circuit City, Best Buy, etc. and the "friendly sales people" will give them all the answers they need, right? WRONG! That just about brings us to tip number one:

1. Sales people, IT Guys, and Computer Technicians only want your money. This may seem kind of wrong, but the vast majority (not all) of the people listed above only want as much money as they can sucker out of you. I see it all the time. Most of these tips will inform you on the dangers of Sales People and their sinister ways, but let me just tell you this: Most of the ITs and Computer Techs I've talked to, I usually have question. Hard questions. Most of the time all I get is a stupid look on their face. All they know how to do is say, "Well, we have a wide variety of memory over here..." When you say your computer is running slow. They can't answers questions like, "If I have a 2.5Ghz Core 2 Duo E7200, do you think I could over clock it enough...". You get the point, right? They basically just want your money.

2. A faster processor/CPU doesn't ALWAYS make your computer run faster. I hear it all the time in Computer Stores. "My computer is runnin' slow. What's it need?". Rather than responding with a, "It may need some more memory, but it could also be spy ware and unused programs. I'd be happy to help If you bring it in...", you get a, "Well we just got some brand new Core 2 Duos in overstock. If you want we can get you one for only $204.00 with a brand new motherboard to fit it!." This is the OLDEST computer scam in history. When your computer is running slow, you mean, "My programs take forever to open up and respond." Correct? Then what you need is new or more memory. Or maybe less programs open. At the max you should have Word, Internet Explorer, and Outlook (email) open at the same time. Maybe your music program as well. Try not to have a million programs at once, okay? Also, you could have viruses and malware on your PC. Try getting that checked out, it could help.

3. Salesmen KNOW who to go after; women, rednecks, and the elderly. It's true. They will sucker you out of every penny you've got, because they expect you don't know any better. Instead of saying "My computer's runnin' slow...", say, "My computer's been acting a little funny lately, but I'm not sure what the matter is. It seems to be [opening applications slower/booting up slower/etc.] Can you help?". This brings a whole other level of respect to the deal, and most of the time the salesman will respond accordingly. Just try it, it always works for me.

4. Big time retailers aren't always the best places to go first. In my experiences, the best place to go when buying a new computer is smaller "Maw n' Paw" computer stores. They are usually friendlier, and can almost always get you a better deal. They may not always have everything you need, but I always start here. Look around! There's almost always one or two in you city or neighborhood.

5. Know their lingo, because they know yours. Here are a few phrases and terms you may need to know if you're buying a new computer, but don't know much about them:

  • RAM/Memory - Most people confuse "Memory" with "Hard Drive Capacity/Size". Your memory is not how much data you can store on your computer, but determines how fast it can open applications, files, start up, etc. It is the same thing as RAM. Most computers now- a-days need about 1 Gigabyte (or Gb) of RAM. Anything more than that is almost superfluous for Internet/Photos/E-Mail/etc.
  • Operating System/OS - You operating system is basically the desktop on which your computer runs. Most people have a Windows operating system, usually Windows XP. If you have a DELL, Gateway, HP, IBM, Acer, eMachines computer, etc., you have a Windows based PC.
  • Vista - Windows Vista is the newest operating system from Windows. BE FOREWARNED: Just because it's new does NOT mean it's better. While it does offer some nice new features not found in other versions of Windows, Windows Vista has been experience both software and hardware issues and I do NOT recommend it for anyone with little experience. Instead, stick with....
  • XP - Windows XP is an oldy but a goody. This is the most tried and true operating system available in my opinion. If you get the option between it and Vista, take XP. Just trust me on that one

Well that's about all the tips I can give you, but I will probably do some more "Tech Tips for the Uninformed and Elderly" posts in the near future, on different subjects. Until that time comes, Michael, out.

"The most overlooked advantage of owning a computer is that if they foul up there's no law against whacking them around a bit."
-Eric Porterfield.