Editorials

China Blocks… Pretty Much Everything

It’s amazing that in these troubling times filled with economic uncertainty and unbridled social woe, the petty-minded governments of various countries still manage to find the time and resources to censor media outlets in order to protect their citizenry from the corrupting influence of free speech. Iran briefly blocked access to Facebook, ahead of its June presidential elections. China has upped the ante by blocking, amongst others, Twitter, Flickr and…


Is Greed Good on the Internet?

[begin rant] Why does everything have to be about money?  Why is someone always looking to get something for nothing?  Free this, free that, promotional item here, promotional item there. Has capitalism ruined the beauty of some of the things that are free on the internet? I do video reviews on YouTube.  Earlier this week I posted a chat video I recorded, about some of the things which were bothering…


Should the FTC have a say over blog content?

If you read Gear Diary, you are probably familiar with product reviews on various blogs. But do you ever consider why your favorite website is reviewing product X? Or whether product X has been overly generous to buy goodwill in the blog world? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cares. How will this affect you? Read on and find out.


Keyport Key Fob – Product Vaporware

Promises, promises, promises.  At one time in my life I worked for a small, start up company.  For the entire first year the company existed all we did was market.  We had no product to sell, only a few working prototypes.  We traveled the world displaying these prototypes at trade shows to very interested customers.  We had the prettiest booth and the best brochures but nothing to sell.  We even…


It’s The Content… Stupid

We were over my in-laws’ house for Mother’s Day, and I did something rather unusual — I actually read a newspaper… from newsprint! Here’s what happened… I saw these quaint bundles of paper sitting on the counter and inquired as to what they were. My father-in-law said they are called “newspapers” and that, in his day, it was how they got the news. (I know I know… as shocking as…


Earphone Specifications Explained

Many people buy some sort of portable hearing device. By this I am referring to earbuds (like the iPods have bundled), in-ear earphones (like Apple’s In-Ear), over-the-ear headphones (like Sennheiser’s PX series) or large cans (something like the Sennheiser HD series). For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just refer to these as “earpieces.” When you’re buying a new one, whether  you’ve lost your iPod earbuds or you’ve frayed your last…


Watching Local Jobs Disappear

I usually keep my thoughts of economic doom and gloom to myself, but John Starkweather posted a link to this on Facebook, and I had to share. Chris Wilson of Slate has posted an interactive map of where jobs have been gained and lost across the country since January 2006. The map’s dates start with January 2007, and when each button is pressed they show respective losses or gains for…


Windows 7 on the HTC Shift

There have been two activities that have become the norm across the world of technology blogging in the last couple of years: unboxing, and loading Mac OS X onto netbooks. As a person who is lucky enough to have the opportunity to play with lots of phones, notebooks and other “unboxable” items, I’ve done the former a fair bit, and as an owner of a MacBook Pro for the past…


Science projects without tears

A few days ago I ranted about my belief that take home School Science Projects should be banned. I’m not altogether against them – it’s just that as a parent of two 9 year olds my experience is that most projects are a test of the parent’s ability to teach their kids how to do a project as opposed to the kids understanding anything at all about what they’re doing….


The Amazing Hubble Space Telescope in Action

According to astronomer Lyman Spitzer’s 1946 paper “Astronomical advantages of an extraterrestrial observatory”, there were two main advantages that a space-based observatory would have over ground-based telescopes. The first advantage was that “the angular resolution (smallest separation at which objects can be clearly distinguished) would be limited only by diffraction, rather than by the turbulence in the atmosphere, which causes stars to twinkle and is known to astronomers as seeing.”…


What If Your Town Got Nuked? A Ground Zero Project

Fresh from last night’s viewing of Religulous, which ends with a disturbing cacophony of nuclear explosions, I found this in my RSS feed today… CarlosLabs has posted a bit of Javascript which uses Google Maps to show the effects of various catastrophic disasters; manmade and otherwise. According to DVICE’s Charlie White, “The deep red color means total destruction, dark red would be third degree burns, light red signifies second degree…


Why school projects should be banned [rant]

I think my mom is the Queen of Science projects. At my house I’ve been struggling with getting my son’s science fair project completed by next week. I’m probably the least creative person at thinking up new and interesting ways to test how fast a matchbox car can run down a wooden ramp. Leave it to my Mom to an interesting way to complete the project in one emailed suggestion…


Bloggers photo guide

The idea for this post came from a little back and forth amongst the GearDiary team concerning getting better images to go along with our blog entries. Specifically, some were looking for tips to producing better images of tech gear with monitor screens, i.e. multimedia devices, smartphones, laptops, video monitors, etc.


Proof that I am Not a Member of Vertu’s Target Audiance

I got my Vertu Constellation in a round about way, and while I have greatly enjoyed owning it there has never been a day when I thought for even a moment that I was in the same financial bracket as the typical Vertu owner. Today I got proof positive of that fact in the form of a repair bill; more on that in a moment… I had noticed soon after…


The iPhone 3G as a Business Tool – Part 3

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been looking at the iPhone 3G as a business tool. It’s been an interesting time. I’ve gotten quite a large number of comments on the iPhone OS and its advantages and challenges in the Enterprise and in a business environment. Last week’s comments on Calendaring, also in the Enterprise and in a business environment, created quite the off line discussion among the Gear Diary…


TuneRanger iTunes Sync from Smithmicro – let the buyer beware

I received an email offer about two weeks ago from SmithMicro. They advertise a software product called TuneRanger which promises to “Sync, manage and protect all of your iTunes libraries …with the click of a button”. I have my main iTunes library on an iMac and would like to synchronize all of the iTunes music over to my MacBook Pro so that I’d have an identical copy including playlists and…


Is 64bit Vista Ready for Prime Time?

There’s been a big push by Microsoft to get everyone to cross over to the 64bit version of Vista. Are you and your hardware ready for it? I’ve got a MacBook Pro. I purchased the notebook in December of 2006. It’s the low end unit, with a 2.16 GHz C2D processor, 4GB of RAM (yes, Leopard will see and use all 4GB of RAM, despite what you might think, or…


This Does Not Reassure Me – “Texas School District Will Let Teachers Carry Guns”

Wayne sent me this news story as an aside, and I have to admit that after reading it my first thought was how glad I was that I didn’t have any kids in Texas’ Harrold Independent School District. This isn’t exactly gadget news, and I’m not sure why it hit today as this policy change approval actually took place last October, but needless to say…I am flabbergasted and felt the…


Livescribe Pulse – Don’t Head Back to School Without It!

I’m a terrible note taker. Half the time I’m focussed so intensely on what the other person is saying that I forget to take notes for brief periods of time. Later when I get back to the office I rack my brain trying to remember what was said. Here’s a solution to fill in the blanks on those notes you forgot to take. It’s a regular sized pen with a…


The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dating

In the car I just can’t wait, to pick you up on our very first date Is it cool if I hold your hand? Is it wrong if I think it’s lame to dance? Do you like my stupid hair? Would you guess that I didn’t know what to wear? I’m too scared of what you think You make me nervous so I really can’t eat – “First Date”, by…


Meet Winerack – Beerbelly’s Adventurous Little Sister

I don’t know which is funnier. The fact that there is a sister product to The BeerBelly named The Winerack – whose purpose is to let you sneak booze into events where BYOB is prohibited hold 25oz of wine or other beverage in a sports bra where you then drink it through a flexible tube. Or, that the company that makes it wants to send us a sample and asked…