Archive for the ‘New Technology’ Category

SPOT GPS Tracker & Messenger

Friday, 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

Blackberry Storm – More Than Just a Name!

Friday, 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.


Clarifying Digital TV Conversion

Wednesday, 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’

Will Kindle Ignite The Passion of Readers?

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Amazon Kindle Book ReaderAmazons launched its electronic-book reader, Kindle, this week. Analysts are mixed as to its likely success, with some reminding up of the launch of the iPod in 2001 attracting adverse comments as to its likelihood to fly, especially with such a “silly name”.

The book reader is not the first product of this type, but are its additional, unexpected features enough to drive its adoption.

Books for use with the reader cost just $10 and can be bought from Amazons online store via a built-in free cellular connection. This means there is no need for a PC.

Users can also pay to subscribe to newspaper and magazine articles and blog feeds.

Of the device itself, critics are calling it “clunky” and say its capability to carry hundreds of books at one fails to solve a universal problem. The 4.9 inch x 7.7 inch x 0.7 inch book reader device comes equipped with a 6-inch 800 x 600 display, 256MB internal storage [not a lot], small two-thumb keyboard cursor bar [could be difficult for large thumbs], scroll wheel, standard mini USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack, SD slot, and an EV-DO data connection.

However, for commuters, travellers, and those who like to live in minimalism, the device could hold some value.

A sample of the content Kindle will have access to includes:

  • More than 88,000 books available, including most best sellers.
  • Free book samples – download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.
  • Top U.S. and International newspapers – delivered automatically
  • Top magazines – TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes
  • International newspapers – France, Germany, and Ireland; Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and The Irish Times
  • Over 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics

Like any other new gadget, only time will tell…although early indications are that it is going to surprise a few skeptics. The device is already sold out, but you can get find out more about Kindle and get your order in line for the next delivery here


Apple iPhone “Invention of the Year” ….yeah right!!

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Apple iPhone ” has been dubbed by Time Magazine as the Invention of the Year” sparking all sorts of hot debate between lovers and haters of the device. The main debate is more around whether Apple ‘invented’ the cellphone component or just built it into their form factor. The only outcome to date on this debate is confusion…..sure, Apple has improved on the concept of the cell phone and as such may the title would more aptly be innvative technology of the year.

One poll at consumer technology review site CNET cites the following user debates:

  • Not an invention
  • iPhone, an invetion. You can’t be serious!
  • Who cares and what difference does it make.
  • Iphone? Invention? AHAHAHHAHA
  • did blackberry’s treo’s get this title?
  • (NT) Nope, doesnt count
  • Not for the working person
  • It is an invention, in all definitions of the word
  • Not an invention New!
  • Give me a break . . .
  • The term is Re-Invent
  • are you crazy
  • Excuse Me, However Its Only Time Magazine New!
  • It’s a joke, that iThing
  • did blackberry’s treo’s get this title?
  • I love my iPhone, but “Invetion of the Year”?

For the most part it seems that Time is under scrutiny for its short-sightedness in viewing the iPhone as an invention, rather than a crtique on the phone itself….. maybe it indicates that we are reaching a plateau in inventiveness and instead, innovative extension and repackaging of existing invention is where most of todays hot products are evolving. As they say….as true entrepreneur is not a developer, rather someone who takes something existing and makes it better and/or more attractive to the market.


iPods Power Depends Upon Haircut

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Never worry about batteries again…..just plug your ipod and cellphone into your jacket. Well, that’s the idea behind a recent entry into an Italian fashion show this week.

Solar Powered JacketZegna debuted their solar powered jacket, made with conductive textiles and a solar panel in the collar. This allows the person wearing it to charge cell phones and iPods through the jacket.

Two solar modules in the coat’s collar convert the solar energy into electricity.

The electricity is routed by conductive textile cables to a buffer battery.

The battery is then used to charge a device directly or store the power until needed.

I guess that’s one more reason to keep your hair cut short.