New Data Input Methods Are 2012 Technology Trends

Among the top technology trends for 2012, new ways to input data or communicate with your smartphone, computer, or internet-enabled television will dominate what is coming onto the market. Instead of pointing and clicking with a mouse, users will have the option to use touch, voice, and gestures to interact with their computing devices.

Touch Control

Most people likely are most familiar with the touch control. Phones, laptops, and even desktop computers have a growing number of touch screens available. Instead of using an external device or keyboard to input data, more people will begin to touch the screen to click links, send emails, and make purchases online. The touch screen market is expected to be worth around $5 billion in 2012 as more people move toward this model.

Voice-Activated Controls

When Siri came out in 2011, the idea of having a computerized “personal assistant” moved from the realm of quirky, futuristic movies to real and handheld. Siri is the voice-controlled assistant on the iPhone 4S. Users can ask her questions, such as where to find a wine bar or how close the nearest public parking is, and they will receive an answer from a female voice. While initial reports suggest that the concept still needs some work to understand questions, the idea is generally a popular one.

Android users also can use voice control to search Google or use the Google Navigation application. Voice-activated controls have progressed rapidly from “talk-type” programs that were error-prone. Instead these technologies will begin to expand as companies devise better ways to send text messages, make to do lists, and even change the channel on the television using only voice commands.

Gestural Control

The 2002 movie Minority Report presented this technology to the general public, and the idea may become popularized a decade later. The idea behind gestural control is that people should be able to use hand movements and facial gestures to interact with technological devices. The Xbox Kinect uses this technology by allowing users to play games using a wireless signal between the users and the console. In 2012, expect to see more spatial gesture technologies that will aloe people to “wave” their commands at a screen.

About the Author:
Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate “superfoods”, she recently finished research on culinary schools in nj and culinary schools in north carolina.

Merged my personal mobile phone with my work mobile using Google Voice!

When I started this job a few years ago, the department admin handed me a phone which would be my work mobile, and it had already been activated. So I now had two cell phones to carry around. Most of the time, I felt as if I really had to carry both of them, because for different reasons, I didn’t want to miss a call or text aimed at either phone!

I got Google Voice as soon as it came out, because I love all things Google, but that was a third number entirely, so aside from a new number to give to new contacts, it didn’t solve the problem of all the people who had my personal cell phone number and might try to reach me on it someday. Sure, I’d try to give people the Google Voice number and ask them to make a note of the change, but when it’s a business like a doctor we go to just once a year or my kid’s school, I could be sure that some data field somewhere would retain the old number and not get changed.  I’d had that personal cell phone for years and really couldn’t remember what all I’d used the number for.  So I continued to pay for the phone each month and carry it around everywhere I went, just in case.

Yesterday I finally made a move that will give me the best of all worlds. I ported my personal cell phone number to Google Voice. The process was really easy. Note – I was on a month-to-month basis with Verizon on my personal account by then. If you do this before your contract is up, then you’ll end up having to pay all the early cancellation fees to your cell phone provider.

I logged into Google voice and began the process of the port. To get it finished up, I needed to have the personal cell phone with me and turned on, because Google would call it and give me a short code I’d need to type in when asked, during the online process in Google Voice. The other thing I needed was my Verizon account number. At first it was rejected by Google Voice, but I just needed to remove the hyphen and we were in good shape.  Google charges a one-time fee of $20 to port your own mobile number to Google Voice, and I gladly did so.

Once I gave them all the information, Google indicated that the number would be ported in 24 hours and that text messages might not be working for three days.  Of course I started checking obsessively, but it really was around 24 hours after I initiated the port that I finally got the email I’d been looking for.

The email mentions how if you want to use that particular mobile phone, now you’ll have to get a new number for that phone, but I already have a cell phone, thank you – and can now just carry the ONE cell phone.  Also, Google Voice will keep your old GV number alive for a few months anyway, to give you time to alert your friends and family, but if you want to pay another one-time $20, you can keep that number too. You can’t call out “from” that old GV number, but you can sure give it to people and situations when you really don’t want to give out your “real” number but must give them a temporary way to reach you! Then you can use Google Voice to control when and who can call it!

Now anyone calling my personal cell number can be answered by my work cell phone, my home phone, or whatever phone I select.  I’m not receiving texts to it (yet) of course, but that’s no problem at all.  Thanks to Google, we’re getting into a situation where losing or breaking a physical device doesn’t mean we’re unreachable at a number we’re relying on, and we can add yet another layer of protection for our precious privacy and convenience.

Can Your iPad Replace Your Laptop?

The iPad and other tablets have been touted as the next wave of computing technology, and their many uses are being extolled to replace or enhance functionality previously offered by a laptop. Just like with the iPod Touch, the iPad has “an app for that” and allows you to make calls, take photos, check e-mail, play games, surf the Internet, watch movies, and much more. With the hefty price tag of the iPad and the various uses it offers, the question begs to be asked: Can your iPad replace your laptop? Well, it depends. Here’s why:


If you want the full functionality of a laptop or PC on your tablet, you are going to have to invest in some peripherals. Basic pieces include a wireless keyboard and mouse. Sure, you can type on your touch screen, but if you have bulk word processing to do, you’ll spend twice as long doing it with one-finger pecking. (Or you’ll have to become adept at typing on a smaller glass screen.) Depending on your needs, you may also want to connect to a printer or use graphics tools.


The iPad and most other tablets do not come with the standard operating system of a PC (such as Windows or OSX) and do not come with traditional software. In particular, many users will find the lack of an Office suite to be inconvenient, especially for bulk word processing or the creation of spread sheets. However, applications available through the iTunes store offer compatible capabilities, and the documents created through these applications can later be opened in the Office suite. Each application has to be purchased separately. Depending on your needs, you may find that add-ons like these are not available for the type of software you were used to using in the past on your laptop or PC.


Laptops and PCs have significantly more storage available than do tablets. Even high-end tablets typically only have about 64GB of space, whereas a PC or laptop can have hundreds of gigabytes. If you are interested in a laptop or tablet for simple usage and do not need to use high-end programs or store a lot of data, then you can use an iPad or tablet. If you want to store a lot of music, graphics, or video on your tablet, you might want to opt for a laptop or PC.


Tablets have some limited functionality when compared to a laptop or PC. For example, bloggers cannot access a full WordPress interface on an iPad. Advanced graphics programs won’t run on the tablet. Video cannot be downloaded to the tablet, only streamed. Carefully consider the needs you will have for a laptop or tablet before deciding on which to purchase. Simple tasks can be achieved on a tablet, but more advanced data manipulation or creation will typically require a laptop or PC.

Have any of you decided to replace your laptop with an iPad or other tablet? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!


Born and raised in North Carolina, Heather Green has worked as a fashion and beauty consultant as well as freelancing for various wedding, fashion, and health publications. She currently acts as the resident blogger for Online Nursing Degrees where she’s been researching online bsn programs as well as msn programs.

How to find the Report Data tab in SSRS after closing it

Today I was rocking along in SSRS 2008R2 and then absent mindedly closed the Report Data tab by clicking the x at the top corner!  When I go to the View menu, I do NOT have the choice of Report Data.

no Report Data

Never fear. I’ve found a few ways to get it back. 

One way is to use the key combination Ctrl-Alt-D    But that may not do anything unless you first either double click on the name of the report ([reportname].rdl) in Solution Explorer or simply click on the Design surface where you’re creating the report. 

report in progress

In fact, clicking on the report in progress itself may bring Report Data back to the old View menu immediately!

report data

If all else fails and you can’t seem to get Report Data to reappear, you can always reset your windows to the way Nature intended them.

reset windows

Join me on Google Plus!

I love Google+! Well, I really can’t think of anything Google’s done that I don’t absolutely love, and it’s getting better all the time. You can finally separate all kinds of people into separate circles and follow them or mutually follow and talk to them, and it’s really great to be able to talk to pro bloggers in one circle and your mom in another! I love to jump in several times a day and just see what’s going on, sometimes offering a comment or a silly picture.

If you’re on Google+, please add me to one of your circles so we can talk about fun geekery.

One or more parameters required to run the report has not been specified

I wrote a report in SSRS 2008 R2 last week and published it to a reports library on SharePoint 2010 (SharePoint-integrated Reporting Services).  The report worked well, but then the users decided they didn’t want a couple of the parameters.   I got back into BIDS and removed the two parameters from every place they occurred, then I tested the report.  It worked fine.  It worked fine locally, that is, but once I deployed it to SharePoint I found it would not work on the server.   The error message was, “One or more parameters required to run the report has not been specified.”  The things I did next, I thought I’d list for you, because they might just take care of the problem if this happens to you. 

1. Go to the report in BIDS, right-click,  and select View Code. There, searching for the word parameter, you may see a left-over reference to the parameters you removed.  You can also go to the place you store your SSRS project and inspect the XML for the .rdl and .rsd (dataset) files by opening them in WordPad.

2. Making sure you have the .rdl file safely on your own machine and in your BIDS, go to the SharePoint server and delete the report from the report library before deploying it from BIDS again.  I did that, but it did no good at all.

3. FINALLY I tried deploying the report and its datasources and datasets to a new test site on the SharePoint server and the report worked fine.  So then I went back to my original site and deleted the datasets that went with this report (they were not needed for other reports, just this one).  Then I re-deployed them along with the report and it worked fine on the server. 


What was my problem then?  The problem was the one or more of my datasets must have had references to the deleted parameters, although I really didn’t think they’d ever used the parameters.  I did have the properties of that project in BIDS set so that Overwrite Datasets is True, but I guess since all I did was deploy the report itself the datasets weren’t overwritten because I didn’t specify that they be re-deployed.  Moral of the story – redeploy your datasets as well as the report itself if you do some major surgery in SSRS!

Wii Error Code: 51330 Unable to connect to your wireless network

Q: We got Netflix lately, and I wanted to set the Wii up to stream movies and TV shows but I keep getting the error code 51330 on the Wii. According to their support site, that means there’s something wrong with the password for our WPA wireless connection, but I know for sure I’m entering the correct password! What else can I try?

A: If your password is less than 10 characters, the Wii may reject it anyway. I’ve heard that iPads will do the same thing. Go back into your router’s wireless security setup and make that password at least 10 characters long. Remember to wait for a good time to do this – because you’ll also have to update the setting on all the PCs, phones, and any other devices you have on your wireless network!

StudyBlue + Evernote: Making Studying Easy

This is a guest post written by Jennifer, the Student Relations Intern with, an online community of students dedicated who believe in efficient and effective studying for all (and for free).

Over the past few years, new technologies have allowed students to study more efficiently and effectively. Many services have emerged that provide students with new learning platforms, such as StudyBlue is one of the largest online study groups for college and high school students, as well as educators who embrace technology.

By using StudyBlue, students are able to upload class notes, create online flashcards, study on their mobile phones and set reminders for when to study key concepts. If that weren’t enough, StudyBlue has partnered with Evernote, a useful storage system that allows students to access notes, files and scanned handouts from any device at any time.

This integration lets students sync their Evernote and StudyBlue accounts. That means notes taken on Evernote can be easily converted to online flashcards on StudyBlue.

Check out the video below to find out how easy it is to create online flashcards from your notes. Be sure to check out the Evernote blog for more information.


Create A Digital Backpack

This is a guest post written by Jennifer, the Student Relations Intern with, an online community of students dedicated who believe in efficient and effective studying for all (and for free).

As Student Relations Intern for – an online community of students who believe in efficient and effective studying for all (and for free) – I am excited to contribute to student successes on Quick Study Tips by spreading the word about how to create a digital backpack.

StudyBlue takes studying to a whole new level. All class notes are saved online and can be converted into tools like online flashcards, which lets you transport your notes with ease. Through StudyBlue’s online community, you can share and compare your class notes with notes and flashcards from people who are currently in the same class, have taken the class in the past, or are studying the same subject in other schools.

StudyBlue has also created mobile study apps for Android and iPhone that will allow you to carry your digital backpack in your pocket. Now you can review for tests, such as Biology, while waiting in line for coffee or while riding the bus to class. When you’re done studying, you can set a reminder to study again in the near future.

Ditch the old-school index cards and trade up to online flashcards. Not only will it keep your backpack light and organized but it will also help you review anywhere and everywhere.

Check out free SharePoint webinars for expert help on specific topics

I get a lot of emails from vendors urging me to register for various upcoming SharePoint webinars, but much of the time those webinars are created to highlight the 3rd party vendor’s product that they believe will enhance my use of SharePoint. I’m sure many of those products and webinars are real treasures, but for the purposes of SharePoint training I’ll try to select webinars that will illustrate best practices for SharePoint itself. This post will start with just a couple of links for you, but I’ll continue to add to it as I find good sources.

Tech·Ed North America 2011 SharePoint sessions. What could be a better resource than SharePoint training sessions fresh from last week’s Tech·Ed North America?! Even if your company didn’t send you to Tech·Ed, you can benefit from these Microsoft experts without spending a penny. Just click to watch any video, no registration required.

The free section from has a lot of pre-recorded webcasts that you can click to watch without having to register. Of course you will have links on the site you can click to subscribe in order to get their premium content, but there are plenty of free videos on a variety of SharePoint training topics, including comments.