June 2012

Did Google Pick Up Quickoffice for Integration with Google Docs/Drive?

When I first migrated from Windows Mobile to Android, my Android phone had a lite version of Quickoffice pre-installed and as a result I became a frequent user of the software suite. Right now I have Quickoffice for Android, WebOS and iOS, to maintain a semblance of consistency across my multiple platforms, so I therefore took pause when I contemplated the news that Google acquired Quickoffice the other day. On the one hand, I had a brief bit of sorrow on seeing another independent company absorbed by a much larger entity, but at the same time considered the potential tangible…


Can You Hear Me Now? Dragon ID Lets You Log In by Voice

For years Nuance, makers of Dragon Dictation, Dragon NaturallySpeaking and, although unconfirmed, the force behind Siri, has been collecting data on how we speak, what is different from one voice to the next etc. Data collection is a big deal but, unlike Google collecting data so they can better target ads and generate revenue off you, Nuance has been collecting data in order to advance their voice-recognition technology. (Of course they want to advance their voice recognition technology in order to generate income but that middle step is an important one.) In recent weeks we have seen Nuance begin to…


Twelve South SurfacePad for Air Brings Luxury to the MacBook Air

We’re huge fans of TwelveSouth and love watching their relatively small portfolio slowly grow as new products are added. That only seems to happen a few times each year so. Well, this is one of those times and, while the new product is not something you NEED, and is not something that is completely NEW, it is something that those of us who use a 13″ MacBook air will want to consider. The Twelve South SurfacePad is a razor thin layer of premium Napa leather that cushions and protects the wrist rest area of your MacBook Air, while giving your…


Toshiba Unveils New Ultrabooks!

The world of laptops has had a very disruptive series of events over the last few years. There’s the whole netbook craze, which evolved into a tablet movement, and meanwhile, on the high-end, the MacBook Air line remains the gold standard for a lightweight, but powerful computer. Hence why Intel and Toshiba rolled out a trifecta of Ultrabooks today; lightweight computers for everyone’s needs! First up, the U845W for $999.99: Satellite U845W: The World’s First Ultrabook with an Ultra-Wide 21:9 Cinematic Display The entertainment-optimized Satellite U845W offers premium features and design in an ultra-slim form factor. Designed with movie enthusiasts…


DRACOdesign CLEAVE CRYSTAL Bumper for iPhone 4/4S review

So you love the look of those fancy aluminum-frame designed iPhone cases but don’t love the added weight or the impact they can have on the iPhone’s signal strength. Well good news… DRACOdesign’s CLEAVE CRYSTAL Bumper for iPhone 4/4S offers the same great style in a plastic case that is light and has zero (ZERO!) impact on your phone’s signal. Let’s take a look. From DRACOdesign: This crystal edition iphone4/4S bumper, CLEAVE, is an extension of DRACO IV. By using polycarbonate as base material, the bumper is hard on the surface to prevent from scratch with elasticity around the frame…


Sena Lugano Snap-On Case for Apple iPhone 4S/4 Review

Sena makes great cases. We love them. Their leather is gorgeous and the build-quality is always terrific. What is also great about them is that they are continually coming out with new designs and trying to rethink how they approach something as simple as an iPhone case. Case in point (sorry, bad pun), the Sena Lugano Snap-On Case for Apple iPhone 4S/4. It is a simple, low-profile case, a design that is quite familiar, but because this is from Sena it has the added luxury of… leather. Let’s take a look. From Sena: Lugano is the SENA’s Snap-On Case for…


E3 2012 – Smart Glass for XBox

Microsoft launches SmartGlass, an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that connects phones, PCs and tablets with your Xbox 360 console to make your entertainment smarter.


Plugging Into the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

My knowledge of and experience in electric vehicles has grown exponentially this past weekend as I spent time with the new all-electric entry from Mitsubishi – the 2012 i-MiEV. Mitsubishi would like the world to simply call the little EV “i” but since even its own paperwork and fender badging utilizes the “MiEV” (Mitsubishi Electric Vehicle) nomenclature I am sticking with it as well. The automaker has been testing the MiEV for a few years with this 2012 model being its first full production unit. Availability is still a bit limited but consumers nationwide should be able to get one…


iPad-mini? iPod touch HD? iPhablet? A Gear Chat

The new… iPod Phablet I blame Francis. After all, he got the ball rolling when he asked the team:   Apple 5″ device, how likely are we thinking? I still have my bets on a smaller iPad, but not sure about 5″.       Carly jumped in with: Unless they bump the iPod touch to 5in to differentiate it.       Chris then said: I could see them doing that to the iPod touch possible, but not the iPhone.       I (Dan) then commented: That’s the post I was roughing out- the case for the iPod…


Kobo Hits a Growth Spurt!

If you doubt there’s a three-horse race for dominance in ebooks, look no further than Kobo’s big announcement this morning. They are crowing about “triple-digit growth” in downloads, sales, and eReaders. Now, they are still trailing B&N and Amazon, especially in the USA, but they are likely pulling lots of sales from Sony, Google Books, and other small players. It’s also worth noting that Kobo is a huge international ebook player. They are owned by Rakuten, a Japanese company, and they have a strong presence in Canada as well as in the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Australia, and New…


Nokia and Warner Bros. Bring Fun Lumia-Movie Mashup

I love the cool product mashups that have been increasingly common these days. Just as chocolate and peanut butter go together to make a delicious peanut butter cup, so too can two other seemingly different products combine to do something neat. For example, Nokia and Warner Bros. have teamed up for an exclusive partnership that brings the awesome Nokia Lumia smartphones together with The Dark Knight Rises. That partnership kicks off today (in the US) with the launch of The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) mobile app. It is exclusive to Nokia Lumia devices. The app lets fans access film trailers,…


On the Way! Elevation Docks Begin to Ship, Kickstart This!

The Elevation Dock is one of the Kickstarter projects I have been most excited to see actually ship. I love my iPhone but hate the way most docks make it a challenge to put your iPhone in or remove it. After all, the 30-pin connector is the most vulnerable part of the iPhone other than the screen (and I would argue it is in first place). The Elevation Dock solves that problem with a metal dock that looks great and promises to be easy on the iPhone when yopu dock and undock. (Read the Kickstart This! post here.) Well the…


Tabula Project Seeks to Bring Affordable, Teacher-driven Tablet Computing to School

Tablets are finding their way into more and more settings and among the most powerful is education. I know I have been setting the stage for us to use iPads in a variety of creative ways come the fall in everything from pre-school to bar-mitzvah to High School. One thing that gets overlooked in too many places these days is the fact that the iPad (or any other tablet but let’s stick with the one that makes up more than two out of three tablets sold) is simply a tool. It is not a replacement for good content and great…


E3 2012 – Sony Presentation Summary

Sony announces a new crystal white PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Mobile, Wonderbook and the psychological thriller game BEYOND: Two Souls from the makers of Heavy Rain at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).



The Brydge Gets Funded… and then Some, Kickstart This!!

The most expensive Kickstart Project that Judie and I have backed just got funded. (Okay, “over-funded if there is such a thing”.) The Brydge is an elegant solution to the lack of quality iPad keyboards and accessories currently on the market. Brydge connects to your iPad using a patent-pending hinge which allows for close to 180 degrees of iPad positioning and holds your iPad secure. In other words, it turns your iPad into a NetMac complete with speakers and all. As the Creatives note Brydge’s aluminum body is machined and anodized so that it matches the look and feel of…


Big Green Egg vs. Primo XL: Kamado Dragons Face Off in the Ceramic Grill Octagon

Anyone who is slightly befuddled by the title of this post probably isn’t a member of the cult of ceramic grills, which are also known by their Japanese name of kamado grills. I used to be one of those people who sneered at my friends who went on and on about how wonderful their Big Green Eggs were and how they could cook perfect ribs or chickens or pork shoulders all the time because of the incredibly well-insulated ceramic grills’ ability to hold a constant temperature for so long.


DryCASE’s New Backpack Keeps Your Gear Dry and You Happy

As a frequent rider of mass transit, specifically buses, I have to be prepared for the elements.  This includes making sure my gear remains safe if I happen to incur a sudden downpour or get caught in a snowstorm.  While my current gearbag, a Swiss Gear Cobalt does an ok job but I still wonder with the thunderstorm season upon us here in Central Ohio.  That’s why the bag above from DryCASE peaked my interest. The bag is the DryCASE Waterproof Backpack.  This bag has many features a lot of bags don’t that will help the stuff inside stay bone dry as…


The Adult Vanquishing of Childhood Monsters

Two weekends ago I ran my first 5k road race. Ever … and at 46 no less. For most folks it is no big deal – a look at what Carly Z has done and my first little 5k seems meaningless. But for me it was a life-changing experience. Why? Well, that requires a little history. I was never ‘small’ or ‘thin’. Like my own kids I was always one of the tallest kids, and in spite of a life-long love of fruit and vegetables (also like my kids) I wouldn’t describe my eating habits growing up as balanced or…


Speck FitFolio Case for Kindle Fire Review

I love my Kindle Fire and use it regularly, nestled in the Oberon ‘Celtic Hounds’ design case. I am very happy with the feel and utility of that case, so anything else has a tough road against the incumbent. Speck recently sent us a FitFolio case to review for the Kindle Fire, so let’s have a look! The Hype: FitFolio is a Kindle Fire case that combines the fit of a precision-molded hard shell case, with the cover-to-cover protection in a book-style folio. The form-fit hard-shell cradle keeps your Kindle Fire securely in place, so it doesn’t slip or slide,…


AViiQ Portable Charging Station with Cable Rack System Now Avaialable

We reviewed AViiQ’s portable travel station last August (read the review). It is a great way to charge and sync numerous devices from one wall outlet. It also is a convenient and “clean” way to carry a charge/sync hub in a compact accessory. It was not, however, without it’s faults. Primary among the issues I found was the fact that the cable management system, consisting of overlapping fabric slots, wasn’t the easiest way to keep everything neat and tidy. Now AViiQ is back with an updated version. It costs a bit more than the original (which appears to still be…