SPOT GPS Tracker & Messenger

June 11th, 2010
Spot GPS Messenger

Haven’t blogged for a while but just had to tap some type on this great little device, called the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger unit.

My sister and her husband love to load up a jeep and head off to the center [outback] of Australia. They would normally have a Sat Phone with them, but for the best part of  a month they are invisible to the world. However, this trip, which started a few days ago they have friends with them who have this neat little device which they use in their helicopter. I have been able to log into the Spot site and track their location – automatically sent at regular intervals throughout the day…..its fun and its comforting to know they are okay.

If things turn pear-shaped, a single press of an alert button and the Australian Rescue Center is notified of their distress and their location. Its one step on from the basic personal GPS tracker.

According to the manufacturers pages it operates anywhere in the world, and has the following attributes

  • Weight: 5.2 ounces (147.4 grams)
  • Dimensions: 3.7″ x 2.6″ x 1″ (approx. 9.4cm x 6.6cm x 2.5cm)

That’s definitely a take anywhere device – and quite affordable at the price on Amazon.

Check it out HERE

Samsung LA40A750R1M – Great Style, Great Picture & So Much More

February 2nd, 2009

The newly released Series 7 Samsung_LA40A750R1M is top of the heap in both technology and style. It’s the near perfect picture that rival plasma television makers have feared would eventually happen.

This model is a marvel of integrated technology innovation, energy saving, slick sophisticated design and interactive content and connectivity to make other TV manufactures sit up and take notice.

Check out our latest review in the Home Entertainment section of

Top Cars for 2008 Revealed

January 26th, 2009

The car research authority,  Kelley Blue Book, has just released its Top 10 cars researched in 2008.

Surprisingly no cars from the big 3 are on the list.

9 out of the top 10 cars are the same as the 2007 list, but in a slightly different orgder. The new entrant to the list is Mazda’s Mazda3. This replaced the Honda Odyssey minivan at #10 spot.

  1. Honda Civic
  2. Honda Accord
  3. Toyota Camry
  4. Toyota Corolla
  5. Nissan Altima
  6. Honda CR-V
  7. Toyota Prius
  8. Toyota Highlander
  9. Toyota RAV4
  10. Mazda3

Blackberry Storm – More Than Just a Name!

December 5th, 2008

It seems RIM’s latest release the ‘Blackberry Storm’ has been well named, and is certainly living up to its reputation.

Reports from several sources indicate that buyers are not happy, with complaints ranging from being “frustrated, confused and bewildered by the device” to “absolute nightmare”

Whilst attempting to offer a similar user experience to the iPhone, Blackberry Storm users are finding the user interface difficult to use, and lag times frustrating. First indications are that the device is not living up to quality claims either in design or functionality.

  • User Interface – select an icon and it jumps over to navigate to the function linked to the next icon
  • Address Book – having to scroll through a whole letter section to get to a contact
  • Slow navigation, scrolling, selecting applications
  • Crashing – playing movies
  • Typing – not easy to use and keyboard takes too long to appear
  • Scrolling – insufficient vertical scroll

Not good news for those who have waited a year to upgrade to Storm from Treo…some suggest you go back to the BlackBerry 8330 instead.

But for those who have no need to do anything in a hurry and have small enough fingers to make inputs very precise – the Storm…well it’s just in a teacup and the device works fine.

The Blackberry has a long history of good products and an equally strong cult like following as Apple. It was not until the third quarter of 2008 that Apple took over the top spot as the world’s best-selling smartphone – 6.9 million to Blackberry’s 6.1 million. But the battle is not over yet. We must be wary of first reaction reviews and wait sufficient time for a wider range of users to provide feedback on the various funcitonality and features of the device.

In the meantime – I think I will just wait and see.


Will Native Email Support Boost iPhone Sales?

June 14th, 2008

Historically, RIM Blackberry has been preferred over Apple iPhone by business users largely due to the iPhone having no native support for corporate email systems such as Exchange Server, limiting its usefulness as a business tool.

Now that Exchange ActiveSync support will be built into iPhone 2.0 software, expect a change in the marketplace. Service providers are likely gearing up to help customers migrate to iPhone to access service cost advantages of the iPhone compared to BlackBerry.

However, RIM has also announced the BlackBerry Bold, a strong competitor featurewise to the iPhone.

The iPhone’s unique user interface and video capabilities provides an ideal platform for launching new business applications. Other support such as Google Maps could pave the way for new logistics applications and Objective C programming language is providing the ISV community with a platform to develop feature-rich applications that make use of iPhone’s unique capabilities.

The iPhones new capabilities will better position it against the popular Treo 600. The Palm Treo 600 combines personal digital assistant and phone, with a touch-screen interface gained rapid adoption in the mainstream business market, providing an opportunity for value-added resellers [VARs] to offer integrated email solutions .

Whilst the phone market is still changing, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile have settled as the dominant operating systems.

Preview of 3G Apple iPhone – Launching July 11

June 10th, 2008

The next generation iPhone is cheaper and faster than – in fact according to Steve Jobs who recently unveiled the new iPhone 3G at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco it “is twice as fast at half the price. It is also reported to be thinner.

The new version will roll out in 22 countries on July 11 and to 70 countries by end of 2008.

Mobile operators are ramping up great value data plans for when the new version is released. The original iPhone, built to run on slower, so-called 2.5G networks, with the new version upspec’d to 3G networks, accounting for its faster speed.

Currently Apple holds 20 percent share of the US smartphone market, and 5 per cent in the rest of the world.  Main competitors to the 3G iPhone are RIM BlackBerry and Nokia’s N95.

Expected Retail Price – US$199 for an 8-gigabyte model; $299 for a 16GB version. This compares very favorably to the first version which sold out $599 and was subsequently reduced to $399.

Color – a choice of black or white for the flagship version; the entry-level 8GB will only be available in black.

Other Special Features – The new iPhone also comes with built in GPS satellite navigation to support location-based services. The prior model used a combination of Wi-Fi and cell tower responses to determine a users’ location.

iPhone 3G has also resolved numerous issues with the original, adding a flush-mounted headphone jack and increased battery life.

A short video on some of the iphone features [poor sound-sorry]


iPhone Features
Good Things Come To Those Who Wait – I’m sure glad I have!

Clarifying Digital TV Conversion

May 14th, 2008

There is still a lot of confusion around digital television, and whether TV owners need to get a converter box or not.

To help clarify – for those currently connected to:

Cable or Satellite – or other paid services will not be affected by this change. However, as every cable company is different, contact your provider to confirm that you will not be affected.

Over-The-Air – using roof top antennas or rabbit-ears – you WILL be affected. Check your TV manual to see if your TV has a built-in digital tuner. If it does, you are okay. If not, you will need a digital [DTV] converter box.

Note – the converter boxes used for OTA are NOT the same as those that may be needed for Cable.

For a more detailed report on ‘The Real Deal on Digital TV Conversion’

Microsoft Following The Lead To Ditch HD-DVD

February 25th, 2008

Microsoft Corp has announced it will stop making HD DVD video players following Toshiba Corp pulling the plug on the high definition movie technology and following announcements by Warner Bros and Wal-Mart to exclusively back Sony Corp’s Blu-ray video technology.

Microsoft and Intel have been the biggest supporters of HD DVD to date, however, the market has spoken and Microsoft knows when the game is up. With bundling of movie players and video game consoles, Microsoft, like Sony recognise the devices as channels for delivering games, movies and Web content. 

Microsoft will continue product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD players already sold.

Is Toshiba Finally Laying Down The Sword on HD DVD?

February 18th, 2008

It seems Toshiba is close to bailing in the battle of BluRay and high-def DVD battle and give up on its HD DVD format. The competing Blu-ray technology, lead by Sony Corp, seems to be the final winner in the 3 year battle.

Sony [Blu-ray] and Toshiba [HD DVD] lead competing consortiums vying to set the standard for the next-generation DVD and compatible video equipment.

The end of the war will be welcomed by yet to purchase consumers, who have paitently waited for a winner to emerge, before investing in DVD players and game stations. With a single victor, the DVD industry is expected to pick up the pace of development in the high-definition DVD space.

The final strokes that cup Toshiba’s followers down included:

Recent announcement by United States retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc that it would abandon the HD DVD format and stock only Blu-ray movies.

Previous announcement by Warner Bros that it was supporting Blu-ray exclusively. Warner Bros. Entertainment will be releasing its high-definition titles “exclusively in the Blu-ray disc format beginning around June 2008. According to Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, the move is a “strategic decision focused on the long term and the most direct way to give consumers what they want…….the window of opportunity for high-definition DVD could be missed if format confusion continues to linger.”

Will this finally signal the exit of Toshiba from the next generation DVD business, with the company suffering losses likely to run to tens of billions of yen?

GPS Navigation Market Roundup

February 6th, 2008

TomTom, the market leader in satellite-navigation devices, made formal its offer to buy Tele Atlas, a maker of digital maps, after Garmin conceded defeat for its rival bid. TomTom amassed a 28% stake in Tele Atlas, its Dutch compatriot, during negotiations.