iPad has landed - Apple defines a new Category
Posted: January 27, 2010
It's finally out in the open. Months of hype culminated in a 90-minute product introduction lesson performed by the Master [company]. A reality check for the PR groups of companies like HP and Microsoft.
So what is it?
On the hardware side - blend simplicity with a good portion of existing infrastructure (App store, iTunes, iPhoto) and you almost accomplish magic. Add an established content eco-system and we see something "unbeatable".
While iPad can run all existing iPhone Apps right of the box, count on many of them being available to utilize the additional screen space allowing new functions. And there will be totally new applications introduced in April and the following months that will fully take advantage of the capabilities of the iPad Appliance *. We expect some amazing eye-openers.
Launch is in two months for the WiFi-only version. Lift-off will start at $499 for 16 GB - impressive and surprising everybody! Add $100 for the 32 GB and 200 for 64 GB. 30 days later we'll see a GSM cell phone radio option (+$130).
See all the details and watch the Intro Keynote on Apple's web site - or an actual hands-on product review by AppleInsider.
*) Appliance? 10 years ago we had one> See the Kerbango below. Then we called it an "Internet Appliance".
IP Radio turns 10 - First out was the
Posted: January 12, 2010
Introduced at the Demo 2000 venture event the Kerbango Internet Radio became an "unknown" legend and we categorized it as an Internet Appliance. Stand-alone web access without a PC. Developed by a small group of people in Cupertino, CA, some of whom had come from Apple - just down the street, the cute retro-style radio made its debut onto the show circuit only to get bought up by 3Com in 2001 - Wow - and then ... >> Read more
Apple's new Weapon(s) slated for late January Intro
Posted: December 15, 2009
That's our latest take on all those rumors. We can almost feel it here in Cupertino - by the numbers of cars on and around Infinite Drive on weekends. Take all the other signs (read up on postings at the AppleInsider) and apply simple logic. At the end - everything is pointing to a date after CES in Las Vegas. So nothing from Apple at CES but all so much more from other manufacturers. It's called pre-emptive strikes...So - late January - the introduction of Apple's tablet computer. And the new 2010 iPhone, AppleTV. Then again - we could be totally wrong - not with the tablet though. >> Read more
Powermat lays out the Future - Review
Posted: November 19, 2009
Do you sometimes find your phone's battery empty in the morning because you didn't plug it in the evening before? Do you run "out of juice" in the afternoon? Has charging become a chore? Additional chargers might help - placed in strategic locations around the house, office and car giving us more chances to "juice up", but we still have to plug in!
How about this? Lets lose the cords. No cables, no plugs anymore. Pure wireless. Convenience is back. >> Read more
It's all about the Mouse - From Mighty to Magic
Posted: November 4, 2009
We had them all over the years. The "Puck" Mouse that came with the first iMac, the oval [compromise] Mouse - still with just one button, making Apple's insistence on a one-button mouse a running joke within the group of Mac users. Then came the Mighty. Finally - we had not just 2 but 4 buttons. It still had to look like a one-button mouse, though.
We guess it was the advent of "multi-touch" that may finally satisfy everybody - from the largest to the smallest "mouse"holder.
Just like magic - and it almost is.
Enter the Magic Mouse for a Test Drive. >> Read more
Today's Challenge: Batteries or Fuel Cells for Cars
Green Tech: Posted:
October 28, 2009
"Top Gear" - a British TV Show that mainly reviews automotive technologies and test drives cars put two of them to the test. It's a comparison of technologies: battery vs. fuel cell and a comparison of car types: sports car vs. family sedan. Not really a fair compare, but hey, it's pretty good to provide for some good edu-tainment. >> Read more
What if your Phone is always charged?
Mobile Tech - Posted:
October 25, 2009
I always had a certain problem with my cell phones. Too many times I did not plug them in in the evening, with the result of an almost empty phone in the morning! The iPhone helped a lot - we plug it in anyway to sync our music, contacts, data - right? Well - not always. Not every day. Buying additional chargers made it easier. Now I had a charger for the car, one for the office, one for the kitchen and one in the bedroom. It did make it easier to keep it charged - as long as I plugged it in. And that was the problem!
About a week ago it all changed. I was able to "retire" some of my chargers. I'm charging wirelessly now. I'm using a Powermat. And I'm not running on empty anymore.
Stay tuned for updates on how it changed my charging MO. We will have a full review. In the meantime, to find out what Powermat is click here "Powermat is rolling out the Mat".
Finally - a real Competitor for the iPhone
Mobile Tech - Posted:
October 22, 2009
Is this just a repeat of the 2007 rumor: the Google phone? Well - so far just the rumor is back. Here is what we know: an Android-powered, Google-designed phone sold unlocked through retailers like Best Buy. No Carriers involved! Remember, those are the guys that cripple the devices they get from manufacturers, limit Bluetooth capabilities, disable WiFi, won't allow certain applications to run.
Google will allow us, the user, to define the feature set. We wonder though how easy it will be to find an excepting carrier and at what monthly cost. The price of the phone itself will probably be subsidized by Google with "advertisement"?
Rumor has it that Google is talking at least with one carrier (AT&T) to negotiate a "data only" $20 a month contract for their "phone". Google Voice will be the Phone App on it. (GV turns the phone into an IP-phone - very much the same as what the Vonage modem is doing). This is going to be interesting - if it's not a rumor...
This entire story plays out against a background for the Motorola Droid phone coming up in November. Running on Android and sold and promoted by Verizon as an "iPhone killer" (again). Tells us that Verizon doesn't need a CDMA iPhone next year. We are not surprised - they are just lucky that Motorola - wait, didn't they quit making phones after the Razr - had a new design just in time - with Android 2.0 software! We will see how this will all play out in 2010.
More short term - it will be released the day after Halloween - or some. Is it trick or treat? The next 2 months will be interesting to watch. The really iPhone needs competition. We will keep you updated.
Apple to become one of the biggest digital Camera Makers
Personal Tech - Posted:
October 21, 2009
Surprise, surprise? Not really. Just by looking at the sold numbers of iPhones (30 million by September 09) and the projected numbers of future iPhone's sales gives a pretty good hint. The total sales number for digital cameras in 2008 was about 100 million units. But the biggest roll-out has just started with the addition of a camera to the iPod Nano last month. Adding a camera to the iPod Touch in its next revision will tip the scale. And we see the same camera - if not better (see specs here) we find in the iPhone 3Gs being "inserted" into the iPod Touch.
Apple is shipping about 40 million of these little marvels a year. What can Sony, Olympus and Canon do? For the past few years their race is driven by adding bigger chips with higher resolution into their entry-level point-and-shot cameras. Eight to ten mega-pixels are standard; so are photo editing and YouTube uploading features.
As it turns out a 3-megapixel camera with an Internet connection is just fine for 95% of the shots. The good-enough factor kicks in and is amplified with an even more important fact: this camera is always with you - it's in the cell phone that we "lug" around with us anyway. A feature none of the [incumbent] camera manufacturers can beat.
So it looks like Apple did not just re-invent the phone when it introduced the iPhone in 2007; in its wake we see a sea change in digital camera world as well. How about gaming platforms? We heard even Microsoft is shaking in its [X-Box] boots. What's next? Mapping? In the works already. TV sets? Ha - another sector ripe for innovation. (Anybody who has checked the user interfaces of the latest HDTVs knows what I mean.)
Summing it up: I seem to "forget" my DSLR camera more and more. On short trips and vacations I have my multi-purpose device in my pocket. And with Photoshop.com now on my iPhone - that's all I seem to need.
See an interesting article about the "run-away" success of the iPhone at Techcrunch.com.
The New TV Visions of the Future: the Roku
Media Tech - Posted:
October 14, 2009
We can almost call it a crowded field already. The delivery of movies to your home HD-Television set has been pioneered by Netflix. Subscribe to the service and depending on your commitment you either get one or up to three DVD's delivered to your house. About a year ago Netflix started experimenting with streaming movies directly to customer's, skipping the snail-mail delivery and the silver disc. Today the company has about 15,000 movies available for "instant" watching - and has affluent competitors in Amazon's On-Demand service and the one that started it all (in the US) - iTunes. All you need is an Internet broadband connection and a "box". >> Read more
Powermat is rolling out the Mat
Mobile Tech - Posted:
October 5, 2009
Update 10/20/09: Wait for a full review of the product coming on-line by Oct. 30
If you are looking for the ultimate convenience this new Gadget should be on your desk at home. It's a wireless charging solution for your cell phones, iPods and even Bluetooth headset. We have talked about wireless charging for quite a while. With 10 years of cell phone use on my belt (or in my pocket), nobody had to convince me that the concept is a brilliant idea. Many times I found my phone in the morning next to the charger. Almost empty battery - I did not plug it in when I came home the day before!
As of right now - check out the company website. Maybe you find your usage profile in one of their demo videos.
You can get the Mat at most Targets. $99 for the mat and $40 for the case. Cases are available for the iPhone, iPod, and most popular Blackberrys.
Dell is Back with a Latitude
Mobile Tech - Posted:
October 1, 2009
Innovation is always associated with being first, being a leader, winning. Last year Dell found this out in a hard way. By definition Dell came out as a follower in an attempt to draw even with Apple's MacBook Air. It created the Adamo. A nice machine but from the start it was compared to the Mac Air - considered a 2nd best and a wane-be. Dell learned a valuable lesson. Making things smaller and lighter is not a substitute for innovation, it just shows you have good engineers. Being first with the utilization of new technologies makes one a leader - and that's what happened in the ongoing feud between Apple and Dell.
The later is back with an amazing technology treat - a fully wireless and diskless Latitude Z Laptop. Way out there - taking the lead. >> Read more
My Memories Just Got Better
Media Tech - posted:
September 22, 2009
Digital Archiving & Online Sharing - YesVideo upgrades its Service
There is a brisk business out there. It's all about preserving and protecting our memories. Memories from our last vacation 6 weeks ago or the memories our grand parents collected on their trip through Europe in 60 years ago - they all sooner or later start to fade and they are all irreplaceable.
We always did it - taking pictures and shooting film or video. Every decade we adjusted to new technologies and "recording" became easier, lighter, and smaller every year. Now we are documenting our lives like never before - in digital quality. But whether it's a video clip from a digital camera or the celluloid footage from a Kodak 16 mm film camera - the question always remains the same - what are we doing to keep those memories crisp and accessible?
>> Read more
This is My One Number - for now or forever ?
Media Tech - posted: September 6, 2009
A closer Look at Google Voice
A few weeks ago I got a new phone number. It's going to be My One Number. The number I will put on my business card - the one and only number to reach me. It's a Google Voice number! Great concept of a virtual personal assistant that manages your incoming phone calls.
I had a service just like it 8 years ago. Unfortunately the company did not make. It did cost $20 per month on top of your standard phone bill. This time it is FREE and people put their names on a waiting list. Will it last this time ? Will Google be able to make the Economics of Free work for us?
In case you wonder,
I already have three phone numbers: my home, the office, and a cell phone number! Why another? One without a real phone attached to it.
Let's take a look at what it is, what it does, what it doesn't, and whether it would work for you. >> Read more
How to Add Storage when your Disk is Full
Mac Tech - posted: August 29, 2009 - updated: 09-03-09
Location: Cupertino, CA
Ever run into this message on your Mac ?
Or ever replaced the startup disk on your Mac or PC because you needed more disk space? Read more >>
The "Next Best Thing" from Apple
Mobile & Home Tech - posted: August 25, 2009 - updated: 09-03-09
Location: Cupertino, CA
It's not what you might think: SnowLeopard - which will be let out of its cage at Infinite Loop in Cupertino later this week. The evolutionary OS upgrade that focuses not on different looks but significant performance increases, is released to stores August 28. It's real!
We want to point toward the "next best thing" that will finally kill the netbook market, start an entire new category of computing devices, expand the touchscreen GUI from small to large, from touch to multi-touch, end the recession! Well - it could all happen - IF - the rumors turn out to be real - that Apple, Inc. [would] release a multi-touch touch pad - an iPad.
Nothing is real - photoshopping is a commonly used verb now - see above image from GizModo, but the rumor mill goes on and on. We take a slightly different approach. Is there a market? You have to put things into perspective. We will do just right after the "break". More >>
What does Europe do so differently?
Posted: August 12, 2009
How can countries in Europe manage to come out of the recession sooner than the United States? With an average Gasoline Price of $7.50 a gallon ?
Is it true that the U.S. Economy would collapse if the Federal Government would increase the gasoline tax by just a dollar per gallon?
What if the taxes would push the price per gallon up to a casual $6.00 ?
That's about the price drivers in England, Germany and Italy had to pay on average 15 years ago. Read on >>
Reducing Electronic Waste - one Charger at a Time
Green Tech - posted: August 21, 2009
Well - it's actually many and the time will be 2010. Location: Europe
How many little cell phone chargers you have floating around the house? One for every mobile device you have. How many different ones. How many old phone chargers do you have hidden in the garage? To answer the last question: we are doing the right thing with our old phones. They are given to a school that then hands them over to a charity to raise money. But until that happens don't we all want one of these contraptions?
At one time the little charger plugs all reach their end of life. Ready to get recycled? Not so fast. More >>
A not so trivial Charge - Look Mom, no Wires !
Mobile Tech - posted: August 21, 2009
We are all used doing things a certain way. Some turn into habits over time and others we do because there is no better way. Until we find it. Here is an example and ultimate gadget of the sixties: the TV remote. Another is probably the DVD (over video tape) and then the DVR obsoleting the VCR. We improve our living space step by step. It's the repetitiveness of trivial tasks that drives us to innovate. Though we still wait for the automatic door opener at home, we reached the convenience of having our car unlocked for us and starting the engine by pushing just a button.
What's bugging us? Or better - what's begging for re-inventing? More >>
The Pope Cannot Be Wrong
Green Tech Solar - posted: August 12, 2009
Location: Vatican, Rome, Italy
It is believed that the Vatican always had and has a good connection to the divine powers. Did it just get even better with the new Pope? - Pardon the segue way but is there a better way to herald the city-state's intend to harness the power of the sun for the better of their citizens? The pope has ambitious plans. Germany-born Benedict XVI wants to build Europe's largest Solar Power Plant and Germany-based SolarWorld AG will deliver it:
Check this - 100 Megawatts for about $660 Million by 2014. And they don't have to sell the St. Peter's Cathedral name to Fiat.
The installation will generate enough electricity that the surplus will be sold to the surrounding community, the city of Rome in this case, and making the Vatican more than compliant with the Kyoto treaty. And - as a side-effect - electricity will essentially become free. More >>
The People Cannot Be Wrong
Green Tech Solar - posted: August 13, 2009
Location: Cupertino, CA, USA
A small [educational] enclave in the middle of Silicon Valley got a message from their citizens at a critical time this year: spend our money wisely.
The money in question had been raised for the Fremont Union High School District through a school bond measure over the last year and by law, bond money can not be spent on personnel and salaries, only for facilities and equipment. In times of budget cuts this is a challenging limitation, so the district came up with a creative solution.
Inspiration must have hit hard. Lots of examples around in the Silicon Valley. The school district decided to invest the money into a set of large solar panel array installations at three of its high school locations - Cupertino High, Homestead High (Steve Jobs got his edu here), and Lynnbrook High School.
The three solar power plants have a total capacity of 3.6 MegaWatts and will save the district a projected total of $1,000,000 in the first year and more in the following years considering the ever-increasing electricity costs.
About 5.5 million KWh per year will be generated, reducing the district's carbon footprint by by about 3 million pounds of CO2. The saved money is then being used on an ongoing basis for teacher salaries and educational programs! Smart and creative.
Google's 2007 installation of a (now meager sounding) 1.6 MW array of solar panels at its headquarter in Mountain View, just a few miles away, was heralded as a pioneering step and set an example. Look who took first place in the San Francisco Bay Area now. More >>
21 : 9 Aspect Ratio TV in the Out
TV Tech - posted: August 12, 2009
Updated: January 12, 2010
So you got your 16:9 HDTV. 1080p, surround sound and all. You wanted it and you needed it. Amazingly enough - even the old DVDs were all worth watching again. So for some time you just ignored those black bars on top and bottom of the screen. Then you started to play with zoom and picture size and realized you'd lose resolution or part of the image just to fill the screen!? Finally you gave up and try to ignore it again. Get ready - Philips introduced a new TV format - at a time when the "old" one had just become a commodity.
And now at the 2010 CES in Las Vegas Vizio stepped up and introduced their 58 inch 21 x 9 Cinema display.
Read more >>
Alternative Fuels in Cars
Green Tech - posted: August 11, 2009
A variety of alternative fuels is now available for our cars: ethanol, methanol, butanol, Bio diesel, natural gas, hydrogen, and electricity in the shape of fuel cells and batteries. The cleanest energy for powering a car these days seems to be electricity chemically stored in batteries. As energy source fuel cells are an alternative to batteries but they are not really ready to be installed in cars for another 15 to 20 years. Let's see what the latest generation of batteries can do to get us from A to B in style and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time. More >>
A better Way of Watching Your Home Videos
Media Tech - posted: July 4, 2009
I gave up my old Sony HandyCam a few years ago. All the hustling with tapes (can I use this one?) and batteries (always needed charging) and the camera's shear size kept me from using it. Even re-playing the tapes had become a pure inconvenience since the camcorder was also the "projector" - the replay device. Over the years my "usage profile" - the way we do things - had changed. Inconvenience was not an option anymore.
What to do with the old Video Tapes
I was concerned about the tapes, though? The memories that we had captured over the years were irreplaceable. They had started to collect dust and worse - they got older. That's bad for magnetic media! While our home videos over time became more important the images on the tapes will start to fade and could become unplayable.
A few years ago I fixed that when I started to converted all my Video8 tapes to DVD using the YesVideo Tape to DVD service. Now I have a library of home video DVDs on the shelf and a copy of each DVD with the grand parents. And I can find a scene from 15 years back in just a few seconds. How? >> Read more
The New Way of Shooting Your Home Videos - in Hi-Def
Media Tech - posted: July 4, 2009
As mentioned above I gave up my old Sony HandyCam a few years ago. I found something new.
A New Type of CamCorder - HD, Pocket-size, and No Tape
For a few years my focus was mainly on digital photography. The little bit of video I shot, was recorded with my Canon S3IS. However, the arrival of a HD television changed all that. Widescreen - 16 x 9 aspect ratio was the new target for home video and I wanted it easy, simple, no tape - convenient.
I found it in the MinoHD from PureDigital. It is small enough to lose it in your pocket - well - mistake it for your cell phone - which is another key element in its appeal: - you can always have it with you.
The picture above shows the Mino with its USB connector flipped out for charging the internal battery and to upload your video clips to your PC or Mac - with the Mac straight into iPhoto.
One hour of video clips that play back on your TV at 720p resolution - if you have the proper equipment (more on this later.) Otherwise - the MinoHD comes with a composite video cable - used for a quick review of your shots on almost any TV with such an input.
I know - it's a point-and-shoot, but the concept of simplicity is driving its success: - being small, easy to use by everybody, and delivering high quality video. Here is an in depth review of it. Find out:
- About how to get the video off the MinoHD and onto a DVD without a computer, and
- How you can watch its HD clips on your HDTV. More >>
Your Computer - and more?
Bluetooth Bits and Pieces - There are many ways to protect your data and your privacy
on your PC. It all depends on the level of protection you
are looking for. The good, old password protected screen saver
doesn't hold water anymore. Biometric devices are "in
vogue" - if you are willing to deal with another cabled
device hooked up to your desktop system. There are a few laptops
that have the sensor integrated and we will see better and
more implementations in the future.
One thing's to say about
technology and its users - variety and different approaches
are important as they spur competition. New ideas lead to
progress and solutions that increase user convenience - and
only that leads to fast adaptation in the market place. Point
made - here may be an idea that employs this approach: what if your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone acts like a key to your PC...house, car?
Anybody interested in making these devices for the house and car? Email us.
Saving Energy at Home - How?
Green Tech - posted: July 1, 2009
By knowing what you currently are consuming - measuring it wirelessly and displaying it conveniently in your living room.
Everybody who studied Edward Deming and his Continuous Quality Improvement principles knows that you can only improve your processes if you are able to measure them.
Difficult to do with your energy usage at home, when you get a bill once a month. Wouldn't it be nice to see the watts your new wide-screen LCD TV is using when you turn it on.
We let you keep guessing even with the image below.
But user's in the UK are very happy to get real-time usage information of their electricity consumption. >> Read more
Where 'Bigger is Better' and 'Small is Beautiful' meet.
Topic: Wind Energy - Location: Germany & Denmark
Green Tech - posted: July 1, 2009
When you thought the Airbus 380 was it - there are other areas the Europeans think big - really big as well. All seemingly driven by high oil prices... Remember 2008 - while we in the U.S. "enjoyed" prices at around $4.50 per gallon at its peak, Europeans had to dig deeper into their pockets: $7.50 to $8 per gallon. By the Way - that ratio between them and us hasn't changed, a gallon of super still costs $7.30 (8/01/09). They buy at the same price we buy and the difference is all going toward taxes (!) - not the puny 40 cents we contribute to our country's well being.
So what does that money buy them? The ability to improve their infrastructure and the environment by producing electricity without burning fossil fuels - on a massive scale (see picture after the break).
to protect your Digital Life?
PC Tech - posted: June 28, 2009
It becomes more and more important. We talked about it years
ago when the "digital photo revolution" and then the mp3 files
were taking over more and more space on our hard drives. In the years before we could use CDs and then DVD's to protect our files from the unavoidable demise of our disk drives. But with gigabytes to backup many of us gave up and started to use hope and prayers. On the other hand the value of our pictures increased exponentially. They are our lifetime memories. In the "good old days"we had our prints and negatives. Today's negatives are our hard drives - pun intended. Those disks will fail. It's not IF but when - and it's always at the most inconvenient time. So get going. Backup,
backup, backup. Inconvenient?? I'm doing it tomorrow. Those days are over. Here is an easy way out. More >>