Archive for ‘Technology’

February 17, 2011

one device to rule them all

by colemauer

unconfirmed statistic:

8,284,671,582 smartphones have been released in the last year running android OS alone.

With that said, the actual percentage of wireless users who use a smartphone was 28% at the end of last year according to Nielsen.

With predictions that smartphone usage will eclipse that of non-smartphone usage in the coming year, it’s safe to assume that we’ll all be carrying around a 4 inch device capable of calling, texting, tweeting, checking in, blogging, microblogging, flikring, twitpicking, youtubing, digging, redditing, 4channing, commenting, liking, and upvoting pretty much anything we can get our eyes on. While the sheer number of smartphones available rises as quickly as the user base can keep up, it seems these hardware companies are having no trouble packing the latest processor, keyboard (or lack thereof), camera, internal memory, and screen output into a device as small or as large as is appropriate.

These capabilities, comprehensive as they are, lead me to one question that I pose to the makers of mp3 players, cameras, video recorders and gaming handhelds.

What now?

It’s a disheartening questions, because many of us, myself included, have several of these peripherals that could, at any moment, become obsolete. Now you may notice no shortage of iPod, NintendoDS, PSP, Flip HD, or heaven forbid, the latest appearance of @aplusk and his newest coolpix point and shoot, but now that the smartphone is beginning to catch up in the realm of hardware to not only still pictures but HD video, onboard storage, and now processing speed indicative of a gaming handheld, where to these secondary accessories turn to differentiate themselves from their multitasking brethren?

The truth is, as you’ll find out, I have a lot of questions and far fewer answers (at least in this post), but with the coming of the Nintendo 3DS and Sony’s new Playstation handheld on the way, we’re soon to find out. My guess is they’re sticking with the dedicated hardware route to stay ahead of the smartphone curve. With its 2 rear-facing cameras, Nintendo’s new model touts a 3D experience unlike any other handheld; and Sony’s new model is teasing enough processing ammunition to spec out at near PS3 speeds, surely keeping any smartphone’s antenna shaking in fear…for now.


But what what we have to ask ourselves (I know, again with the questions) is do we really want to continue paying $20-40 for new games on systems that are likely to be pricepointed between $300 to $400 that we’re really only going to pick up on a plane or a bus ride?

I’ll admit, my last gaming handheld was a Gameboy, the big one, no – not the one that came in pretty colors; so I may be a bit biased, or at least recently unversed in the ways of the current handhelds, but I just don’t see the market. I’m not going to shell out the cash for a low-res version of a game I have on my console at home just so I can be entertained on my flight to Atlanta when the free version of Angry birds (with free updates on android) awaits on my phone for hours (yes, hours) of enjoyment.

I guess my point is that I see smartphone gaming and app purchases on the rise, and gaming handhelds and cartridge play on the downslope. Nostalgia pulls at me, ’cause Mario and I had some great times playing golf in monochrome, but with my keys in my right pocket, It really comes down to me only wanting and needing one handheld, powered by Android (or Apple), indivisible, with HDMI out, and extended battery life for all.


February 9, 2010

New Macbook Pro, The 9 Apps I need … and why.

by John

The time, January 29, 2010. 1am.
The place, my house.
After an evening of importing and exporting quicktime.  My 3 year old Macbook pro kicked the bucket.  The logic board burned out on it and I either pay $1078 to fix an old machine or i buy a brand new one.  What do I do?

I buy a new one.

My hard drive on my old machine was fine but I wanted a clean install.  My music and pictures were safe from harm.  I restored those, but now what?  Well, I start with the browser…Firefox. Chrome. Safari.
I use all three,  I’ll be honest, firefox was my first download.  Then followed by Chrome.  They are both very speedy but there are still some pages that don’t work in chrome and I still enjoy many of my Firefox Add-ons.  I will go into more specifics about each browser in a future post.  Click above to try an alternate if you’d like.

Toast Titanium
I work with alot of video content, Quicktime files, DVDs, VHS, BETA, you name it!  Once of the things I need to do once a week or so is burn a DVD without menus.  Nothing is easier than toast.  Ripping, authoring, copying.  You name it.

I’ve been using Google docs recently but I still need Microsoft Office suite installed just in-cae something doesn’t work right in Google.

Mac OSX 10.6 (Snow leopard) ships with Quicktime X.  Quicktime X makes trimming and exporting to an iPhone or youtube really easy.  One thing I can’t do is convert video files to whatever format I need.  This is something I do alot of.  If you throw your Snow Leopard disc in your Mac and choose “Optinoal installs” you can install Quicktime 7 as an additional program.   It will be located in your utilities folder in Applications.

Adobe Photoshop, resizing images, converting formats, slight image tweaking.  I don’t only install  Photoshop.  I install the entire adobe line of software.  I never know what I’ll need and I want to be able to open anything.  I don’t do graphics composting and/or 3d effects but I have After Effects in-case I need to open a project.  Same goes with Illustrator.

Final Cut Studio.  I’m an Avid editor but when I cut footage at home I do it on Final Cut.  Not to mention sometimes I need to batch export a ton of Quicktimes.  Final Cut is, I think, the easiest the way to accomplish this.

PDAnet for Mac.  My android phone is great on the web but sometimes I need a laptop with full web browser to surf the net.  (How-To here) PDAnet works by tethering my Android device to my Macbook Pro via Bluetooth or USB.  Works great, check it out.

Tweetie –  Is a nice small and simple Twitter client.  It gives you everything you need in a basic Twitter program and it is a small window.

Lastly, DeskLickr.  This is an app that runs in the background and it sets nice hi-res images from Flickr as your desktop background.  You can see the source (or not).  It will load when you start up, if you tell it to.  And it has a history so you can always go back to that really nice looking Extreme close-up image of the snow melting.

Ok, I know I said nine applications and this is more than nine… sorry.

Questions? Comments? let me know.


January 14, 2010

How-To: Tether your Motorola Droid to your Mac

by John

If there’s one think I love about my Motorola Droid, it’s that the Droid is just a small computer.   I have my email, web browsing, games, documents, pictures, etc.  But there are still times when I need my notebook.  With everything in “the cloud” these days it’s tough using your computer without an Internet connection.  Good thing we can use the 3G from the Droid as our network connection.

Verizon’s data plan is not unlimited.
Tethering might breach your terms of service.
If you use too much bandwidth Verizon will charge you.
I am not responsible for anything you do with your own devices.
This is for information purposes only.

Verizon has not supported tethering via the Droid yet, but with a simple program install you’ll be tethered in less than an hour.

The Following instructions are specific to MacOSx but are probably similar on the PC.

Head over to download  PDAnet
Download the MAC USB Tether App

Then download the App from Android Market Place

The App is  free but apparently it blocks secured sites.
So be careful where you surf.

Install the app to your phone and install the app on your notebook.
After Rebooting your computer you will see a new icon on the top of your  MacOSx desktop.

Before we can properly make the phone communicate with the laptop we’ll need to activate “USB Debugging” in the phone.

In your droid click Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB Debugging.

Now open the app and tap “Enable USB Tether”

I haven’t been able to use Bluetooth correctly and I understand that it’s a battery killer.

Once PDA net is enabled on the phone, click on the menubar icon on your computer and select “Connect”

If you receive an error, restart both your phone and computer.

If you have any questions or comments, post them in the comments section

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