published Friday, January 6th, 2012

The Strip

THINGS I WISH MY KIDS WOULD ASK ME

Editor's note: Barry Courter has a 22-year-old son who recently graduated from college and an 18-year-old daughter who is a senior in high school.

Q: Dad, how do I fix (fill in the blank)?

A: I'm still surprised at the number of people who don't take advantage of Google. I've learned how to fix dryers, ovens, cars, computers, TVs and cellphones by watching videos found on either Google or YouTube. In most cases, somebody has done a video on the same model I have, and they've fixed the same problem I was having. At the very least, I've found forums or discussions on how to fix things, but the videos are best for me. Try to find several threads to gather as much information as possible.

-- By Barry Courter



TOP 10 GAMES

Game Informer Magazine ranks the top games for January.

  1. "Star Wars: The Old Republic," PC

  2. "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim," PS3, Xbox 360, PC

  3. "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword," Wii

  4. "Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception," PS3

  5. Battlefield 3," PS3, Xbox 360, PC

  6. "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," PS3, Xbox 360, PC

  7. "Trine 2," Xbox 360, PC

  8. "Saints Row: The Third," PS3, Xbox 360, PC

  9. "Rayman Origins," PS3, Xbox 360



SUPER BOWL NOW AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

The Super Bowl may not be hosted in your town this year, but at least you can catch the big game on your Verizon Apple iPhone, Android device or any Web-enabled device. For the first time the Super Bowl will be streamed online and to smartphones -- no TV necessary. Watch some or all of Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5 by visiting NFL.com or NBC.com. Or download the free NFL Mobile app at the Apple App store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nfl-mobile/id432015643) or Android Market (https://market.android.com/details?idcom.mobitv.client.nfl2010). Even if you have to make a beer-and-chips run to the supermarket, you won't be out of range of the game. Even better, the NFL and NBC also will stream presentations of Wild Card Saturday tomorrow and the Pro Bowl on Jan. 29.



CAR OF THE FUTURE

Google has been granted a U.S. patent for driverless car technology. That means the world's largest Web search-engine company may be one step closer to creating a car of the future, where computers do the driving with no human behind the wheel. The Google patent filing doesn't offer much detail, except that the technology may include "stopping a vehicle on a predefined landing strip and detecting a reference indicator," and "based on the reference indicator, the vehicle may be able to know its exact position" and "operate in autonomous mode." Suffice it to say, a Google automatic car may not be rolling on the road any time soon. But you have to admit, owning a car "Made by Google" would be geek chic.

-- McClatchy Newspapers

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