Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

May, 2011 Archive

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May 31, 2011 • Reviews

iPhone 4 Case Review: e13ctron’s s4 Case for iPhone 4

I absolutely loved the original version of e13ctron’s s4 for iPhone 4. It was a sleek aluminum case that protected the iPhone, didn’t add too terribly much weight and had a beveled shape in strategic areas that just felt great in the hand. Yes, I loved the case and I used it… For a day. …

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May 31, 2011 • Gaming, Rants and Raves

Next Call of Duty to Charge Monthly Fee for Multiplayer

C’mon … you KNEW it was coming. First there was the price increase to $60 for this generation of games. That is easy enough to justify and accept based on the cost to product the graphics assets. Next we started with DLC, which very quickly spawned the whole ‘Horse Armor’ DLC nonsense. DLC is paid …

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161

May 31, 2011 • Reviews

iPad Accessory Review: The Joy Factory’s PowerBullet-X

My brother-in-law Robert recently ordered an iPad. I never thought I would see the day when that would happen but order he did. The same goes for my friend Michael. He too finally hit the “Order” button and came into the new post-pc era. I predict that Robert and Michael will find themselves using their …

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135

May 31, 2011 • News

Making a Pilgrimage? Apple’s 5th Ave Store is Destination for Many

The Huff Post recently published an article that “Apple Stimulates ‘Religious’ Reaction in Fans’ Brains”. That may sound like a ridiculous April Fools Day post, but neuroscience is neuroscience and clearly Apple has found a way to quite literally strike a nerve in many. It should come as no surprise then that, for many, Apple’s …

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213

May 31, 2011 • eBooks, News

Zinio Magazine App Now Available in the Android Market

It took far longer than we hoped or expected but, as of this morning, Zinio’s app is live in the Android Market. That’s right, if you have a device running Android 2.2 or above Android Honeycomb you can now get hundreds (thousands actually) of magazines right on your Android device. Zinio is one of my …

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154

May 31, 2011 • Rants and Raves

Web Site Giveaway Adventures in Customer Service

One thing is clear – gadget-heads love their stuff. We love getting it, playing with all the features, and then moving on to the next new shiny thing. I am certainly no exception, and as a result I have loads of tech sites I track on a regular basis – and loads of giveaways I …

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136

May 30, 2011 • Music Diary

Music Diary In Memorium: Gil Scott Heron (1949-2011)

Way back in the mid-70’s the music played on shows like Saturday Night Live represented the same sort of off-beat, out of the mainstream approaches as the show itself. In contrast to the Katy Perry/Lady Gaga/Bruno Mars list of generic corporate-rehash pop ‘Johnny Bravos’, you could hear Leon Redbone, Frank Zappa, Betty Carter, Captain Beefheart, …

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181

May 30, 2011 • Editorials, Rants and Raves

Yo, Apple: Time for a UI Redesign!

“Where is the Bluetooth menu, again?” Really, you all can blame Thomas for this.  He tweeted: Apple – Please move the Bluetooth toggle from Settings > General to Settings (w/ Wifi, Personal Hotspot & Airplane Mode) where it belongs. I usually don’t kvetch–publicly, anyway!–about the choices that user interface (UI) and operating system (OS) software …

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397

May 30, 2011 • Reviews

Shooting Gear Review: X-Rest by Montie Gear

Here at Gear Diary, we write about a huge variety of products and services. One area that we rarely touch on is the hobby of shooting. Living in South Texas and being a country boy means that I have done my fair share of shooting. I love to hunt, despite rarely getting the chance and …

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184

May 30, 2011 • Gaming, Reviews

Sudoku 2 for iPhone/Touch

I have loved playing Sudoku since it became a craze appearing in newspapers. My wife bought me a book full of puzzles one year and I would often print some out for my students to work on if they had down time in class. I love word and number games that require higher level thinking …

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270

May 30, 2011 • eBooks, Editorials

Is Barnes & Noble Gearing Up to Completely Kill eReader and Fictionwise?

If you have a big eReader or Fictionwise library, I strongly encourage you to do two things. One, download any books in your library and archive them on a hard drive or SD card, and two, download and store the appropriate software to read them on your smartphone or computer. Here’s the eReader download page …

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May 29, 2011 • How to Do It Yourself!

IPad Quick Tip: Want to Read Outside on Your iPad? Go Landscape

Now that summer is unofficially here you may be spending more time than ever outside. As great as the iPad is it leaves a good deal to be desired when you are in the sun. There is the glare. There is the overheating and subsequent shut down safety mechanism. And there is the fact that …

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137

May 29, 2011 • Editorials

Tablets Galore: A Quick Look at The iPad 2, HTC Flyer and Asus EEE Pad Transformer

I’ve been checking out a number of different tablets and, for a brief period, had more than usual at home at one time. Here’s a brief, biased look at three current offerings: one awesome, one quite impressive and one that did not impress at all.   (Spoiler Alert/Disclaimer: the EEE Pad Transformer had not been …

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464

May 29, 2011 • Reviews

Vivint Adds Security and Automation to a 1970s Era Deckhouse, Part One: The System

Eight years ago we moved into a thirty-five year old Deck House fixer-upper. Deck Houses are post and beam “kit” houses that are built like a barn, offer huge open space and, because they have no joists or crawl spaces for running wires and plumbing present numerous challenges when renovating. It is for that reason …

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536

May 29, 2011 • Reviews

Bluetooth Car Accessory Review: SuperTooth Buddy

I recently spent a week driving my father-in-law’s late-model Acura TL. I loved the power but the thing that really impressed me was the integrated Bluetooth. No, it wasn’t anything that you cannot find in most cars today but the combination of a super quiet ride and state-of-the-art Bluetooth was impressive for me as the …

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405

May 29, 2011 • Reviews

The CleanDr LCD/Plasma Screen Cleaning Kit and More Review

It’s been a while since I have heard from Digital Innovations.  They have since released many updates to their cleaning products I have previously reviewed so they sent me a box of goodies to share here on Gear Diary.  Let’s see if they are any better than the 2009 versions. First up is their 2 …

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242

May 28, 2011 • Gaming, Reviews

PlayStation 3 Game Review: Knights Contract

This medieval action adventure features a dynamic duo who slice through challenging bosses and countless creatures to save the human race.

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129

May 28, 2011 • Editorials

“The iPod touch Effect”, or Why RIM Could Have Been a Contender… but Isn’t

Yesterday a post on Cult of Mac related some bad news for the Canadian-based RIM. They noted, “Realizing its failure, the handset maker is ready to surrender to Apple in the consumer ring, and focus on its business roots… an arena which iPhone is also increasingly dominating.” Their comment was, in part, based on a …

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244

May 27, 2011 • Autos, Reviews

Infiniti’s Endless Summer: 2011 G37 Convertible

Summer is calling and Infiniti is answering with its G Convertible model. Based on the stylish and sporty G Coupe, the new hardtop droptop adds a third dimension to driving pleasure from the automaker. They still have all the basics covered: Spirited 325hp VQ-Series 3.7-liter V-6 engine under the hood backed by choice of 7-speed …

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160

May 26, 2011 • eBooks, Reviews

Review: B&N NOOKcolor Software Update And App Store

When I reviewed the NOOKcolor back in December, I was very impressed with it, and the device has only improved with time. B&N’s latest update is a dramatic one, adding Android 2.2, flash, an app store, and several other small tweaks and goodies. Is this update enough to lure users with promises of a more …

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May 26, 2011 • Reviews

Home Audio Review: Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Air

As I have noted elsewhere on the site, I find myself listening to more music than ever these days. Much of the reason for this has to do with the fact that I’m always carrying at least one, if not two or three, devices that are able to stream a whole host of different types …

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