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

January, 2011 Archive

January 27, 2011 • News, Reviews

Gear vs Gear: iPod nano Watchbands

No less than Steve Jobs himself quipped that the new iPod nano would make a great watch. From that moment, people have been thinking about way to use the recently shrunk iPod as a piece of wearable jewelry. Well, since the beginning of January I have gone from having zero iPod nano watch bands to having …

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January 27, 2011 • Gear Bits

GD Quickie: Incipio’s Bespoke Cases

While at CES, Dan gave me a code he had picked up at Incipio’s booth to create one of their “Bespoke Cases” for free. Curious about the product and the resulting case, I decided to give it a try with a picture I’d been holding onto for a while. Granted, the picture wasn’t as high …

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January 27, 2011 • Autos, Editorials

Automotive Technology Déjà Vu

I love new technology when it hits the automotive market, but sometimes I just cannot help wonder if someone else did not think of this first. Two releases I spotted this morning jumped out at me, and I was overcome by a strong sense of déjà vu. First, Ford Motor Company: Ford is aggressively accelerating …

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January 27, 2011 • Music Diary, News

Music Diary Notes: Spotify Signs With Sony; the Economics of ‘Music Monetization’ and Their Likely US Move

I recently wrote about my hands-on time with music streaming service Spotify, and had previously written about the contract wrangling that has so far kept the service EU-only. Now we have some news that points to the possibility of a US launch sooner than later … and also some sobering reality about the financial aspects …

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January 27, 2011 • Editorials, Gaming

Sony Unveils New Handheld Called ‘NGP’, Brings PSOne Classics to Android, and Makes Promises I Bet They’ll Break

As expected, during a 1AM EST press event, Sony unveiled the next generation of its portable gaming systems, called the NGP, or PSP 2 for short. I have attached full press release, but let’s walk through some of the details: 5″ OLED 960 x 554 Screen – also multitouch capable Multi-touch rear panel Quad-core A9 …

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January 27, 2011 • News

Boom Your Music and Bam! Your Mac’s Sound Will Be Awesome!

Just yesterday I was speaking with a friend who commented that she was continually surprised by the weak volume coming from most MacBooks. “Sure,” she said, “the sound isn’t all that great to begin with but what’s worse is that they just don’t get very loud.” Well that’s not longer an issue thanks to a …

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January 27, 2011 • News

CardMunch Is Now Part of LinkedIn, and It’s Free

One of the tools Judie and I made big use of during CES was the iPhone app CardMunch. CardMunch let us quickly snap images of business cards and then added all the pertinent information to either its own address book or the iPhone’s built-in one. The transcription accuracy of the returned information was amazing thanks …

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January 27, 2011 • Gear Bits

GD Quickie: Timing is Everything

How cool is this? While having my morning coffee I read a post that it was one year ago today that the iPad was first introduced. That’s right, one year ago today all the speculation about an Apple tablet ended, the computer world was turned on its head, and my all-time favorite gadget was announced. …

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January 26, 2011 • Music Diary, Reviews

Music Diary Reviews: Haven’t I Heard You Before?

Welcome to another edition of Music Diary Reviews! In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a tear since the new year, converting all of those hours listening and taking notes into actual music reviews! 2010 was an interesting year for music, because while there were a number of very good releases, …

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January 26, 2011 • Music Diary

Music Diary Notes: Spotify Hands-On … Yeah, It IS That Good!

Last week I got an invite to Spotify, allowing me to join the service that so many across Europe are so excited about using. Of course, getting from ‘invite’ to ‘account’ required doing stuff that while not illegal, was nonetheless not something I would regularly choose to do. Basically I acquired a British ‘accent’ for …

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January 26, 2011 • Gaming, Reviews

muBlip for iPhone Review

This week was time for something new for the Blue Plate. I wanted something entertaining, yet entirely different. My search brought me to muBlip. It caught my eye since it was a memory game that used musical principles. As a musician, I enjoy games with a music theme but as a guitarist I have never …

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January 26, 2011 • News

Updating Your Home’s Furnishings? AUTUM Designs Has a Couch That Is “To Die For”

Apparently Dracula didn’t get the memo… Sleeping in a coffin is passe; it is old school and looks a bit silly. Seriously, in 2011 no self-respecting vampire would be caught alive sleeping in a coffin. Sitting in a coffin while you read, watch TV or chat with company however … now THAT is an entirely …

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January 25, 2011 • Gear Bits

GD Quickie: Borders Gives New Meaning to “Everything Must Go!”

(image courtesy KZOZ) I am going to say up front, I have no idea the circumstances under which this transaction took place…but in catching up with an old Borders co-worker, she mentioned that Borders apparently sold everything down to the studs when they closed down our old store. After exchanging a few jokes about who …

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January 25, 2011 • News

Speck Introduces CandyShell Wrap for iPad

Any of you who own an iPad know there are two main issues. Protection and how to hold it. Of course we want to carry the gorgeous device with us, but all of that screen real estate leaves plenty of room for mishaps and broken glass. There are probably thousands of options for both protection …

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January 25, 2011 • News, Reviews

iPad Accessory Review: Amzer Foldo Stand Up

There are a ton of different stands now available for the iPad. They come in different shapes, sizes and materials and all make using the tablet an even better experience. Some of the stands we have reviewed have been a bit pricy. For example, the Jadu Skadoosh stand has an MSRP of $69.99, and the …

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January 25, 2011 • Gaming, Reviews

GearGames Retrospective: Dungeon Lords (2005, RPG)

As I recently announced, I have started switching my Netbook Gamer series to a more broad-based look at games called ‘GearGames Retrospectives’. I have already done a couple before making the transition official, including the ongoing ’50 Games That Defined The Decade’ series and the look back at Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. But for now …

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January 24, 2011 • Autos, Reviews

2011 Buick Regal, Part Deux

“I never quite thought of the Regal as a sports sedan myself, but the GNX from 1987 did get close and the new car will offer a turbo motor once more to tempt eager drivers.” That is what I wrote last summer after my first experience with the new 2011 Regal from Buick. Recently I …

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January 24, 2011 • Editorials

Droid Does: Smartphone Monogamy

I bought my Motorola Droid in December of 2009. 2009 was a very busy year for me with smartphones; I started with an original iPhone, then became frustrated with the notification system and jumped ship to Windows Mobile. That lasted only a few months before I jumped ship AGAIN, to a Nokia E71x. I didn’t …

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January 24, 2011 • Reviews

iPad App Review: Interruption

I usually only get to use my iPad at home when I have a WiFi connection. My first order of business is to check all of my news feeds, from Mac and tech blogs to actual world news. My number one problem with most readers is they are just too messy for me. There are …

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January 24, 2011 • News

Valentines Day Gift Idea: Stylish Flip Video CamCorder

Even in a sea of sea of HD-recording smartphones the Flip line of video cameras still reigns supreme as the easy-to-use, affordable pocket camcorder. The cameras shoot high quality video, make editing easy and, perhaps best of all, let you capture memories without running down your phone’s battery. Over the last few years the Flip …

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January 24, 2011 • Gear Bits

GD Quickie: Be Safe Out There!

(image courtesy Zoilus) Music is great. It can keep you motivated on a run, or help you maintain a certain speed. Plus having music can help the time go by quickly. But please, please, please, be aware of your surroundings. If you’re running outside, stick to the sidewalks in well-lit areas, or leave the headphones …

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