Editorials

On Piracy and Copyrights: The Stupidity of Delay and Denial

The folks here at Gear Diary are in lots of different industries:  financial, tech, rabbinical, teaching . . . me, I’m a technical writer.  I write books and “topics” about technical topics for a living.  Computer manuals, network system reference pages, instructions on how to install everything from giant Cisco routers to that teeny 2Wire modem some of you may…


Use Your Cell Cam, Go to Jail

Photo courtesy of ABC News© We don’t talk much about politics here at Gear Diary.  It’s not our thing.  We’re geeks and nerds here, not PoliSci majors.  We like to talk about the positive side of tech. But every once in a while, tech news and politics do bleed into each other.  One of the classics is Net Neutrality, of…


The Democratization of Music in an iTunes Era

Say what you will about iTunes and the electronic age’s impact on music and the music industry but one thing is clear — they have been great about is giving talented people exposure long before they might come to the attention of agents, scouts and record labels. That’s the case with Applegirl, who caught the world’s attention with her rendition of…


Love & Breakups in the Facebook Age

I love social media. I tweet. I run a website. I have a Facebook page. Gear Diary has two Facebook pages. But sometimes … sometimes it just goes too far. Sometimes people lose site of the public nature of these things … or maybe it is just that they don’t use good judgment. Regardless of the reasons, let me tell you a…


New Dragon Age Patch Breaks DLC, the Solution? Patience!

There is nothing worse than starting up a game and getting an error message like the one above – you have done everything right, installed everything, logged into the account, even played before using all of this content. But now, you log in and cannot start the game, and are told that you are not authorized to use the content…


Fear and Loathing in eBooks

Amazon announced this morning that they’ve struck an exclusive deal with literary agent Andrew Wylie. He’s acting as a publisher for several authors he represents, and has agreed to give Amazon an exclusive on 20 titles. You can check out the full press release here, but the highlights are: Books available in the Kindle Store through Odyssey Editions include modern…


Are e-textbooks the Next Big Market?

(image courtesy Skidmore Unofficial) There’s no doubt that ebooks are taking marketshare from regular books, and the marketplace is getting very crowded with companies attempting to grab a slice of the action. e-Textbooks, on the other hand, have been a much tougher sell. The Kindle famously flamed out in various university trials, and it’s too early to tell if the…


The No-TV experiment Diary

Last week my fiancée and I set out to do a no-TV week…here are my quick thoughts on how it went! Day 1: Not terrible. The worst withdrawal symptoms were right after work, when we would normally flop down on the couch until it was time to hit the gym and be tortured by the personal trainer. Instead, we cleaned…


Amazon Kindle DX Makes Difference In Centenarian’s Life

Here’s a great story about technology making a real difference in one person’s quality of life… My mom just turned 100 in June of this year. She says she has the mind of a 50 year old and the body of a 100 year old and in truth she certainly doesn’t look 100. But she is 100 (and has the…


Droid X Gets the Lockdown: Does it Matter?

There’s been a bunch of stuff going around the web about the Droid X and the fact that it likely will not be able to run custom ROMS and may even be hard to root. I’ll try to describe, in layman’s terms, what this may mean to a prospective Droid X buyer. What is this root and custom rom thing?…


Fact Checking, Public Relations, and the Droid X Versus the iPhone

(image courtesy Newsrealblog) At Gear Diary, we receive a fair bit of unsolicited email pitching ideas. The originators of this email sent us such a boneheaded set of statements that I don’t feel it would be fair or right to post their names. However, I will post the five points they attempted to helpfully share, and why they are wrong…and…


Thanks Amazon for Linking Me Up With Old Friends … um … I Think …

Before I start this story, here is a Public Service Announcement – if you use Amazon.com’s Wish List feature, be aware that unless you explicitly link each list to an address, it will direct shipments to whatever your default address was … WHEN THE LIST WAS CREATED! Please do yourself a favor and make sure your list isn’t sending stuff…


Apple Picking iPhone Reception Issues- A Gear Chat

Dan: The drama surrounding iPhone 4 reception issues moved up a few notches yesterday when Consumer Reports announced that they were reversing position and announced that they could not recommend the iPhone 4 due to a design flaw in their external antenna. Bear in mind that they seem to love every other aspect of the phone and give it a…


State of the eBook: Fight!

(Image courtesy Thundafunda) For this week’s “State of the eBook” I thought we should look at potential winners and losers in the ebook world. With competition and price wars getting fiercer, there’s a few major battles shaping up that may change the competitive landscape. One is (at this point) a slam dunk, while the others are subject to many variables….


Breaking the TV Habit

My fiancée and I watch a fair amount of television. It’s not the ONLY thing we do, but we tend to leave it on a great deal in the background during the evenings. In the summer, there’s not much we really follow, but somehow the TV still ends up on around 7:30, 8pm and stays on until around 10. So…


Adventures in Customer Service FAIL … Jott Edition

A few months ago I canceled my subscription to Jott. Between Reqall’s powerful voice-to-text memory system and Dragon Dictation I found that I wasn’t using it all that much. After a time however, I found that I missed being able to Jott new appointments to my Google Calendar and new tasks to Toodledo so I signed back up. This time…


nVidia Optimus – Not Ready for (Gaming) Prime Time

It was supposed to be a great day … I had written first impressions about the original Alienware m11x and about how I was ordering the new one as soon as it became available. And while I was away on vacation my order shipped and arrived, so it was waiting for me upon my return. I was thrilled and couldn’t…


Tech Infrastructure and Monopolies

When I was a kid, phone design was still pretty much in its infancy–the “Princess” phone was pretty much the height of technology then.  It wasn’t bolted to the wall!  The dial lit up!  It came in colors other than black or beige!  Eventually, it even had buttons instead of a dial! In those prehistoric days, everything ran across copper,…


Is Borders Destined For Failure?

Oh Borders. I don’t want to wish failure on any entity, especially a company that taught me a great deal, but sadly, the Borders eBook strategy is going to fail. Spectacularly. I just don’t see how they’ll overcome the Amazon/B&N/Apple juggernauts with such scattered, messy, and honestly lackluster set of offerings. Head over to Borders’ site, and check out their…


Email, iPhones and Steve Jobs: a Cautionary Tale

Before you read this post I need to ask you to participate in an experiment with me. Seriously, thus isn’t a joke. The gist of this post will make more sense it you play along. Bookmark this post, do the experiment and then, when you have finished the task, come back and read on. Here is the experiment. 1. Next…


Why is Apple’s iOS4 Crashing Microsoft Exchange Servers?

I’m going to be honest, I really could care less about Apple’s current antenna/signal reporting woes right now.    Businesses and users who use their iPhone with a Microsoft Exchange server are facing a much bigger issue that, by and large, is not being covered.  The problem?  Apple’s iOS4 crashes Exchange servers.   What’s worse is that the problem won’t just impact…