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

July, 2012 Archive

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July 28, 2012 • Gear Bits, Music Diary

In a Summer of Pricey Concerts, Madonna’s 45-Minute Mediocre Show Costs the Most

Imagine that you have paid $400 for a concert ticket and … wait, WHAT?!?! I can’t even get past THAT! Last year both of my sons wanted to go to concerts so I went along – and tickets were $55 for Kid Cudi and $25 for Skrillex. Bruno Mars was part of our NY State …

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332

July 28, 2012 • Music Diary, News, Reviews

Griffin MIDIConnect for iPad Hands-On Review

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the release at Summer NAMM of the Griffin MIDIConnect, and that the great folks at Griffin sent me one to evaluate. I have had a chance to put it through its paces and found it did the job perfectly, and even offered some other reasons to check …

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110

July 28, 2012 • Gear Bits

NBC Skipped One of the Best Parts of the Opening Ceremonies

I don’t know about you, but every couple of years I watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, trying to get through the rather drawn-out and sometimes boring affair interspersed with way too many commercials and inane ‘up close and personal’ interviews. Last night we got to hear about the nicknames of a couple of …

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89

July 28, 2012 • Editorials

How to Guarantee That You Won’t Get the Reaction or Results That You Want

There are very few “sure things” in life, but here are a few things about which you can be certain  … 1. How to Guarantee that We Won’t Review Your Product You can pretty much guarantee we won’t review your product if you introduce it to us by lying. Here’s a good case in point. …

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186

July 28, 2012 • News

Have a Nexus 7? Waterfield Design Has You Covered

If you got one of Google’s already-popular Nexus 7 tablets no doubt you want a way to keep it protected. Waterfield has options… lots of options. In fact, WaterField offers so many different options that they are calling it a “line of Nexus 7 cases“. What’s in the line? There the Nexus 7 Smart Case, …

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129

July 27, 2012 • Gear Bits

“Cinderfella” Reimagines Disney Princess Stories

Like just about every kid in America, I grew up watching Disney movies. Of course, most girls don’t cast themselves as Prince Charming, but that should have been an early clue for me that maybe I wasn’t like the other kids. Apparently I wasn’t the only one rewriting fairy tales! Todrick Hall, who apparently was …

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112

July 27, 2012 • Outdoors

News Roundup On The Cusp of the Olympics!

Less than 24 hours until the start of the Summer Olympics! Hopefully you aren’t too burned out on Olympics stories so far, there’s a long month of feel good tales and endless shots of crowds ahead of you. Meanwhile, we have a quick roundup of apps and news to carry you through to the Opening …

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171

July 27, 2012 • Gear Bits

Why Cable Companies Should Be Afraid of Airplay

Despite the fact that the operating system was released just a few days ago and there have been some issues with getting redemption codes and downloads, an amazing number of Mac users have already upgraded to OS X Mountain Lion. Having used it since shortly after the OS was released I can honestly say that …

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161

July 27, 2012 • Autos

The EV Life, One Year Later

In the summer of 2011 I penned an article centered around my daily struggles driving (and living with) an electric vehicle. I was testing a Chevrolet Volt Extended-Range Electric Vehicle and if you recall, I could not find anywhere to recharge my test unit but, in less than a year, my how things have changed. …

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271

July 27, 2012 • Gear Bits

Happiness is a Maple Bacon Donut: Happy SysAdmin Day!

Yesterday Twitter had a pretty major outage.  Even though it wasn’t the best moment for the SysAdmins who work for Twitter, it’s something I appreciate when I see the hard work they do.  I am also a SysAdmin and today someone did for me what I think is the best thing ever.  They bought our …

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July 26, 2012 • Reviews

The ePool Smart System Swimming Pool Wireless Monitoring System Review

One of the things that makes living in West Texas bearable during the “hot months” — you know, mid-April to early September (when the temperatures consistently hover around 100º) — is having a pool or favorite watering hole that you can use to cool down in. We have a freestanding 30’x6′ concrete stock tank not far …

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172

July 26, 2012 • Gear Bits

First Trailer for ‘Life of Pi’ Hits!

Published in 2001, Yann Martel’s ‘Life of Pi’ is a highly acclaimed novel that is deep with allegory and allusion and heart-wrenching storytelling. I found it a captivating read and it quickly passed through my family and out to family and friends through the years. It was recently featured as a ‘Kindle Deal of the …

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476

July 26, 2012 • Reviews, Travel

Lowepro Urban Photo Sling 150 Review

If all you need to bring with you is your DSLR camera, a few accessories and an iPad you certainly don’t want to carry some big, heavy, and bulky bag. At the same time, carrying your camera and your iPad means that you have some rather expensive equipment along with you for the day so you …

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178

July 26, 2012 • Reviews

Acase Concept Hard Shell Case Folio for New iPad Review

Sometimes simple is better. That’s the situation with this iPad case from Acase. It offers a slim, formfitting back for your new iPad and a leather case that wraps from the back to the front. In addition, it has a magnet for sleep and awake that does a good job keeping the cover closed when …

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177

July 26, 2012 • Gear Bits

Turkey Dubstep Animation Is Awesome

Whether you like dubstep or not, there is no denying the cuteness of two turkeys spitting it out. The video short was so popular that not only has it earned a sequel … Turkeys + Dubstep + a little bit of success = Selling out … it has also earned several YouTube remixes, including one …

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139

July 26, 2012 • Gear Bits

US Cellular HTC Flyer Honeycomb Update – Do It the Same … But Slower!

Just as it seemed we might be seeing some critical mass in the move towards updating Android devices to ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ almost nine months after release, ‘Jelly Bean’ arrived and threw things back into a fragmented turmoil where the overwhelming majority of devices are TWO VERSIONS BEHIND. Oh well, at least we continue to …

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193

July 26, 2012 • News

With Dragon 12 Voice Recognition Gets Smarter… and Faster

The global voice recognition in Apple’s new Mountain Lion operating system is already by far my favorite feature. It is incredibly fast, quite accurate (when I speak slowly and clearly in a quiet room), and it’s so easily accessed (you hit Fn twice) that it makes voice recognition something you don’t even need to think …

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July 25, 2012 • Music Diary, News, Reviews

If You Want to Get ‘Real’, Get SampleTank! My Hands-On Review

When I did my hands-on quickie review of the iRig MIDI hardware and software, my iPad was sitting on top of one of the classic powerhouse synthesizers of the 90s, the Kurzweil K2000R. Aside from the powerful synthesis capabilities in the VAST engine, the system also featured a tremendous sample-playback capability. It cost thousands of …

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330

July 25, 2012 • News

With Mountain Lion, Global Voice Recognition Comes to OS X and It Is Awesome

If you read the site you know how much I like, use and rely upon voice recognition. I use Siri on my iPhone more for voice recognition than for the actual “power” of Siri. I use global voice recognition on my iPad ALL THE TIME. And on my Mac I use Dragon Dictation and Dragon …

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165

July 25, 2012 • Gear Bits

The Whole Samsung vs. Apple Legal Debate Summed Up in One Image

OK, so the title really isn’t true – there are so many multi-faceted elements interwoven in the international legal cases between smartphone makers that summing them up simply would be impossible. But when you look at phones from Samsung and HTC and others … this one picture tells a singular and undeniable truth: all current …

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111

July 25, 2012 • Music Diary, News

American Public Media Launches New Interactive Stations on Slacker Radio

Back when I lived near Boston I had a long commute, and in the evenings I would occasionally end up stuck in traffic long enough to catch Marketplace on NPR radio. It was a mixed feeling – on the one hand I have always loved the show, on the other hand it meant I was …

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