Archive for the ‘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

Is Toshiba Finally Laying Down The Sword on HD DVD?

Monday, 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?

Game Hotting Up on BlueRay Vs DVD

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

Following on from our 2007 predictions that BlueRay will trounce HD by year end, we have an update. According to media reports,  sales of Blu-ray Discs have overtaken sales of HD-DVD discs in recent weeks. Is this the beginning of the end for HD-DVD. However, as far as I can tell, many are jumping to conclusions a little too early. Two HD-DVD players from Toshiba do not appear to be holding ground against , the Blu-ray players from Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, and Pioneer. Just to confuse matters, Apples HD-DVD player add on for the Xbox360 has been countered by Sony with its Blu-ray Player equipped Playstation 3.  And in case your really can’t decide, LG  has launched a Blu-ray Disc/HD-DVD combo player.  Taking the game to a higher level Toshiba has announced its 2G HD-DVD players with Samsung about to do likewise with its Blu-ray Disc Player. Looks to me like the game is still on, and it isn’t over yet! 

As for me, I am about to embark on the rebuilding of a leaky house, so anticipate that a clear winner will emerge by the time I do at the end of my project, and ready to upgrade my home entertainment systems.

Go HD-DVD Reviews

Go Playstation Reviews

The Masher

Hot Tech Predictions For 2007…Or Not?

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

CNET is one of my favourite tech sites. One of the reasons, is that they are pretty hot at accurately predicting what is likely to happen with technology in the next 12 months. CNET Executive Editor David Carnoy predictions for 2006 came out pretty darn well [5/6 ] when he predicted: 

  1. 42-inch high-res plasma tv’s would hit the $1,000  price mark by Thanksgiving

  2. PS3 barely making the holidays

  3. No PSP 2 until ’07

  4. HD-DVD and Blu-ray battle to 0-0 draw

  5. CableCard dies out

  6. Apple will release a real video iPod by May – the only prediction to be out by a year!

So I was keen to see what his predictions are for 2007:

  1. The HD vs Blu-Ray battle will stay alive, with sluggish sales other than from gaming consoles Xbox 360 and PS3. Will the market die if one does not bow out? CNET predict HD DVD surrendering by September. This will clear the way for standardised downloadable DVD formats.

  2. 60-inch plasmas selling for $3000 by year  [Vizio announced it would begin selling a $3,000 60-inch plasma by the end of February]

  3. Windows XP users will only upgrade to Vista, when buying a new PC.  Having 5 options won’t help decision making.

  4. Enhanced Digital Photo frames will get hot boosted by some good reviews

  5. A Sony Playstation 3 revival by mid year as games availability flourishes

  6. No SED (surface-conduction electron-emitter display) TVs commercially available until  2008.

Masher Adds: 

  • HG already introduced a player that works in both formats. HG is a company worth watching over the next few years.

  • Has Microsoft gone too far in Vista, with its computer controlling OS. It is set up to degrade the quality of HD DVDs to enforce copy protection by the paranoid movie industry. I predict an upsurge in hacking due to a new challenge. A whole lot of resources are going to be used to run this crap. Already the naming conventions are bubbling with the likes of  Bloatware, Microflop.

One forum response [larry123] predicted:

  • “For those who upgrade, spending lots of money for parts, tranquilizers and hours on the phone.
  • For those buying Vista preloaded, lots money spent on tranquilizers and hours on the phone.
  • For the Hackers, lots of new vunerablities to be found and exploited.
  • For Microsoft teck support lots of overtime. And job security for those who write the patches.
  • And, for the antivirus/antispyware makers a bunch of new cash!”

Check out all the responses to CNET 2007


The Masher