Fri | Jun 18, 2021


Published:Monday | June 23, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Written and compiled by Kareem LaTouche and Stephanie Lyew

Tech Question of the Week

Latesha Rhoden: The Internet contributes to the flow of information and the effective sharing of lessons, but it also exploits information that could be easily taught and passed down through generations. There is a breakdown in the lines of communication between generations because individuals rely greatly on the acquisition of information through the Internet and online encyclopedias. So even though the Internet does strengthen the knowledge or the transfer of knowledge, it also results in possible miscommunication.

Tech Problem of the Week

No sound coming from computer speakers

Why you need to know

Occasionally, plugging in a headphone or external sound device into a computer may interfere with the internal sound settings or memory. This is evident when you see a presenter's lips moving on video or media-player applications continue working, but no sound is delivered from the speakers, even when the volume is adjusted. As soon as the headphone or external speakers are plugged in, it begins to work again. In some instances, the sound does not return. This could mean the software drivers have been corrupted or require an update or the sound card is damaged, loose or needs a driver update.

What you will need

The computer

Internet connection

External speaker or headphone service

What to do

1 Restart the computer before attempting to check the driver settings. Allow the computer to load settings then open the media-player application and see if sound has returned.

2 If sound has returned, it could mean the computer 'forgot' the settings due to the continuous insertion and removal of the external cable for the headphone or speaker device. Nevertheless, still check for possible driver updates.

3 Go to 'Control Panel' and click the 'Systems' icon access 'Device Manager'.

4 In 'Systems' of a Windows 7 PC you will see 'Hardware' under which you find 'Device Manager', but Windows 8 PCs will take you directly to the manager tab.

5 In 'Device Manager' all hardware is listed. Select the arrow or '+' beside the 'Sound, Video and Game controllers' to see the sound or USB devices plugged into the computer.

6 Normally, 'High Definition Audio Device' is under the 'Sound, video and game controllers' options. Double-click on 'High Definition Audio Device' to see the status i.e. working or not working properly.

7 Other options include 'Driver', 'Details' from product description to security, and 'Events' that show the previous updates or product installation information. The 'Driver' tab will show any available updates and explain the download process. But ensure that you have the computer model number as well as the audio device information to carry out the necessary updates.

8 After the driver or sound card update is installed, restart the computer. The speakers should be working properly now.

Helpful link

Apps of the Week (for Android, Apple and Blackberry)

CaribWatch for Android - On June 3, Hill 60 Bump Limited hosted the digital launch of its new smartphone application, CaribWatch. CaribWatch is a system for sharing emergency and disaster alerts that capitalises on the effective media updates via social media. Android users can download the app from Google Play, and receive push alerts, weather or disaster updates, disaster preparedness checklists and much more collaborated by CaribWatch and partners such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, Red Cross and Salvation Army. Traditionally, individuals look to radio and television broadcasts but more recently rely on Internet and broadcasts through social media before, during and after a disaster; CaribWatch proposes to provide information in real-time manner. It is also available across other mobile platforms.

Life360 for Apple (iPhone): Families will benefit from the Life360 application; the app allows groups of persons to create private networks that makes it easier for any individual to locate someone within their private network. Users within a Life360 network can share their location with who they want to, when they want to by using the check-in options. Then other persons within the network can request directions and on-screen (mapped) driving directions to any of the locations shared. With the panic-button option, users can notify persons within their private circles in case of an emergency through the app by sending out a message, automatic voicemail or email and app notification to request assistance.

Disaster Alert for BlackBerry: The Disaster Alert application for BlackBerry is over five years old and was the gold-prize winner at the BlackBerry Developer Challenge is 2009. However, the app has proven to be of assistance throughout the earthquake season worldwide and between the months of June 1-November 30 when storms and hurricanes are prevalent. The Disaster Alert service provides recent and up-to-date information on weather changes including earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, floods and volcano eruptions worldwide. It synchronises with BlackBerry Maps to show colour-coded images for disaster categorisation, as well as gives BlackBerry users location and distance estimation from the disaster areas.

Do you think the Internet builds on and contributes to the traditional lessons, information on the history and knowledge of countries or its people?