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Author Archives: kduggan

Moshi for iPad
  • 10 of our worst cell phone habits
    Posted on August 20, 2012 by kduggan


    1. Texting on the toilet.
    2. Reaching for our cell phones as soon as we wake up.
    3. Spending too much money in the app store.
    4. Taking photos of everything.
    5. Our continuing addiction to Angry Birds.
    6. The compulsion to reach for our charger whenever we see an outlet.
    7. Never removing our earbuds.
    8. Sending texts laden with typos.
    9. Staring at the screen while eating alone.
    10. Aimless app scrolling whenever we’re standing around waiting.


    What are the worst cell phone habits you are willing to admit to?



    This post was posted in General, Odd And Interesting and was tagged with bad habits, texting while walking, Cell Phones

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  • Apple may have some revolutionary new earbuds for us to go along with next month’s iPhone launch.


    In a patent filed earlier this year, Apple described a “vented in-the-ear headphones” design that reduces the echo of your own voice that you sometimes hear when you're on the phone. The patent that got approved yesterday claims the invention “aims to improve the sound quality by venting or leakage.”


    It apparently works like this: When external vibrations caused from the sound within earphones bounce against the skull or other parts of the body near the ear, sound quality is reduced. Apple’s earbud design has a “vented tip” that forms a seal within the ear canal. As stated in Apple’s patent filing, “This provides the wearer with good acoustic isolation against external sounds.”


    This is good acoustic news for all of us who’ve tried carrying on a phone conversation while exercising or even walking on a noisy street. Now let’s hope Apple lets those new earbuds loose with that new iPhone.




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  • This one made Steve Jobs happy
    Posted on August 16, 2012 by kduggan

    Score another one for Steve Jobs. A couple of weeks ago a burglar broke into the home of the Apple co-founder and made off with $60,000 worth of property. It was Apple’s technology that pointed police right to the man who committed the crime.


    Steve Jobs from his home office.

    A 35-year-old homeless man, Kariem McFarlin, confessed to breaking into the home but said he didn’t know that it belonged to the Jobs’ family. He pawned some Tiffany jewelry, and then booted up a piece of the Apple hardware he’d stolen. He was busted when one of the two iMacs or three iPads he grabbed connected to Apple’s central servers to upgrade themselves.


    Local police and Apple’s security team traced the stolen equipment right to McFarlin. Once he was caught, McFarlin pointed the investigators to a locker where he had also stashed Jobs’s wallet, credit cards and a letter.


    The house was undergoing construction at the time of the burglary and was empty.



    This post was posted in Odd And Interesting and was tagged with burglary, steve jobs, Apple

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  • Buy 4 1/2 iPhone 4S's for this price
    Posted on August 15, 2012 by kduggan

     


    Smartphones circa 1993

    Back in 1993, Apple was still focused on the Mac II when IBM took the world by storm with the first smartphone called "Simon" (named for the game "Simon Says".) BellSouth was the only cell service provider that offered Simon. One could have been yours for $900.


    Simon weighed a little over a pound and included a 4 1/2- by 1 1/2-inch LCD touchscreen display. It was a pager, an email device, a calendar, an appointment scheduler, an address book, and a pen-based sketchpad. The image IBM painted for their device was a "hip G.I. Joe Walkie Talkie."


    As BellSouth's marketing described the smartphone, "Simon looks and acts like a cellular phone but offers much more than voice communications". Simon had an x86-compatible CPU, a fax modem, a PC card slot, and 11 built-in programs.


    Only 2,000 Simons were ever made, and the majority of them were eventually returned to BellSouth and destroyed. We'll bet if you had a Simon today, it would probably be worth more than nine hundred bucks.



    This post was posted in Odd And Interesting and was tagged with smartphone trivia, trivia, LCD touchscreen, first smartphone, Simon, IBM

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  •  



    The first time you picked up that Galaxy S III at the store, you fell in love with it. It had such a sleek, smooth feel, and so thin… Your service provider had it in that gorgeous pebble blue color. Sold!


    Then the clerk recommended hiding its beauty with a case or skin and a screen protector. Really?


    Sorry to say, you have to consider it. Here are a few reasons:


    Drops. Your phone will fall out of your pocket or slip out of your hand at some point. Given that you are probably hanging out on the concrete more than at home on the carpet, you know even the strongest case is going to get damaged. (And if that dent is in a spot where you hold the phone, you’ll get irritated again every time you make a call.) Besides, a cracked screen would really ruin your day.


    Germs. You’ve heard the horror stories. Most devices carry more germs than a toilet seat. That’s not just an ugly rumor. Study after study proves it. If you’re bothered by that, clean your phone regularly. If you’re the kind of person who likes that Spring cleaning feeling, wrap your phone in a skin and change it out if it really gets gooey or stained. A screen protector is even easier to swap out, so you can do those even more frequently.


    Look. A white Case is a beauty, but sometimes you need to show some personality. You want to show a little red once in a while, but not all the time. That red skin will look really good over that marble white case during the holiday season.


    Price. Even on contract, that S III set you back $200. Replacing it would hit you for at least $500. For that kind of money, you could buy a skin for every day of the month.


    Cases are designed to be smooth. That makes them slippery. That makes them more likely to be dropped. Hmmmm. Maybe that’s another reason that manufacturers make them that way…




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  • Battery life can make or break the popularity of a cell phone. Manufacturers make a lot of promises, but in real life testing their claims rarely hold true. CNET recently updated the results of their talk-time testing. Here are their results listed in talk-time hours.


    We hope your device is near the top of (or at least on) this list:


    1. Motorola Droid Razr Maxx – 19.78
    2. LG Optimus Vu (unlocked) – 16.08
    3. Apple iPhone 4 (with 3G off) – 14.55
    4. RIM BlackBerry Curve 9360 (on T-Mobile) – 12
    5. Kyocera DuraPlus (Sprint) - 11.47
    6. Samsung Captivate Glide (AT&T) – 10.3
    7. ZTE Fury (Sprint) – 10.02
    8. Samsung Galaxy S II (U.S. Cellular) - 9.47
    9. LG Optimus 3D Max (unlocked) – 9.35
    10. Huawei Mercury (Cricket Wireless) – 9.32
    11. Apple iPhone 4S (Sprint) – 9.2
    12. Kyocera Milano (Sprint) – 9.2
    13. Samsung Focus S (AT&T) – 9.01
    14. Kyocera DuraCore (Sprint) – 8.95
    15. Samsung Rugby Smart (AT&T) – 8.9
    16. LG Lucid (Verizon) – 8.47
    17. T-Mobile Prism – 8.32
    18. RIM BlackBerry Torch 9810 (AT&T) – 8.1
    19. Pantech Swift (AT&T) – 7.27
    20. Huawei Ascend II (U.S. Cellular) – 7.25


    Here are the bottom 20 and how miserably they performed:


    1. Motorola i412 (Boost Mobile) – 3
    2. ZTE Chorus (Cricket Wireless) – 3.35
    3. LG Encore (AT&T) – 3.6
    4. LG Saber (U.S. Cellular) – 3.9
    5. Huawei M835 Ideos (MetroPCS) – 4
    6. Nokia Lumia 800 (unlocked) – 4.12
    7. RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 (Verizon) – 4.18
    8. HTC 7 Pro (U.S. Cellular) – 4.5
    9. HTC Arrive (Sprint) – 4.5
    10. Huawei Ascend 1 (Cricket Wireless) – 4.72
    11. Huawei Ideos X5 (unlocked) – 4.75
    12. Samsung Zeal (Verizon) – 4.8
    13. HTC Trophy (Verizon) – 5
    14. HTC Thunderbolt (Verizon) – 5
    15. HTC Desire (U.S. Cellular) – 5
    16. Pantech Jest 2 (Verizon) – 5.3
    17. HTC MyTouch 4G Slide (T-Mobile) – 5.4
    18. HTC Inspire 4G (AT&T) – 5.5
    19. Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G (T-Mobile) – 5.63
    20. ZTE Score (Cricket) – 5.67


    It’s interesting that there's such a wide range of results on the talk-time for the 20 best batteries, and less than three hours difference from top to bottom of the 20 worst. Note that Verizon doesn’t appear on the best list but does have five placements on the worst. It looks like the equipment itself isn't the only determining factor for battery performance.




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  • Watches are back with a whole new purpose, and their name is iPod Nano – the most innovative development in the iPod world since, well, the iPod. If you dare to be either a geek or a trend-setter (or could absolutely care less what your best buddy or your mother thinks), don’t turn your nose up at the iPod Nano watch.


    The iPod Nano watch may look like a watch, but unless you program it to, it doesn’t act like one. It’s an innovative use of iPod technology that puts up to 16GB of music storage and an FM radio on your wrist. It lets you change music tracks on your wrist rather than holding your phone,


    The watch comes in a couple of different designs – one with clips on the band that you use to snap your Nano in place, and another with pins for a more secure fit (some assembly required.)


    That’s the good news about the Nano Watch design. Here comes the criticism:
    • The Nano charges via a long open 30-pin port that's exposed on the side. The headphone jack is right next to it. That's a lot of open ports on a wearable device.
    • The Nano isn’t water resistant, so you could even damage it just by washing your hands.
    • There’s no Bluetooth, so you’ll have a headphone wire running to your wrist (however, it is better than a wire running to your pocket or your backpack.)
    • The Nano's clipped on solidly, and can't be removed without removing the watch.


    The iPod Nano Watch is not ugly, but it is big. It’s convenient because you’ve got your music collection on your wrist. It’s cool because watches are a novelty. Make one that’s submersible (or at least undamaged by hand-washing) and connects to Bluetooth, and even your mother will want one.




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  • How much would you pay for a Windows tablet that you could actually call your PC?


    Lenovo has just taken the tablet limelight away from Microsoft’s Windows Surface with their announcement of a Windows 8 tablet with an Intel mobile chip. That feature alone makes their new tablet a full-on Windows PC with a very small footprint. Lenovo named their new device the “ThinkPad Tablet 2.”


    The Tablet 2 has a 10.1-inch screen that is 0.39 of an inch thick. The device is shockingly light at just 1.3 pounds. The Tablet 2 has mini HDMI and USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card slot and stereo speakers. Options include 3G/4G connectivity, an NFC (near-field communication) chip, a fingerprint reader and a keyboard dock.


    This tablet’s most amazing feature is the Intel Clover Trail processor. Clover Trail is an Intel Atom system-on-a-chip (SoC) processor that is powerful, efficient and portable. It also doesn’t require cooling fans. This is not a Windows RT device, but a full-feature Windows PC that runs Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft Office, and all Windows 7 apps.


    The unanswered question is price. Lenovo hasn’t given any hint at what they will charge for a full-featured Windows 8 tablet. It looks like we’ll need to get closer to its late October release when both Windows 8 and the Tablet 2 will hit the market in time for the holidays.




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  • Apple, app developers and hacks alike have all been frustrated by the secret to improved battery life. Well, it looks like BattSaver might be one answer.


    BattSaver is a new jailbreak tweak by xVolks, a company of iPhone hackers. BattSaver could potentially up to double the battery life of an iPhone. BattSaver identifies features in the smartphone that are draining its battery life and suppresses them.


    BattSaver concentrates on iPhone radios, i.e. Wi-Fi and cellular connections. The jailbreak tweak manages power usage when iPhone radios are enabled and disabled. Theoretically, this gives the device an increase in battery life.


    BattSaver allows users to choose one of four saving strategies:


    • Normal mode: When the iPhone is “sleeping”, BattSaver disables all radio signals. The iPhone will still check for new email every 15 minutes.
    • Aggressive mode: If Wi-Fi is connected, BattSaver disables the data connection completely. The idea here is if the phone is already Wi-Fi connected, don’t waste battery power with a data connection in-waiting.
    • Ultimate mode: This mode completely disables all radio signals. It’s almost the same as a smartphone’s Airplane Mode.
    • Custom: Allows countless configurations for BattSaver - perfect for jailbreakers.


    The BattSaver jailbreak tweak is available for download in the Cydia Store for $2.99.




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  • AT&T will launch shared data plans on August 23. The new data plans will let you share data between all the mobile devices you and your family use, eliminating the need for separate plans for each device.


    Plans are priced based upon GB usage and are available from 1GB to 20GB. Each plan requires at least one smartphone and will allow data-sharing with up to nine devices. One smartphone will receive unlimited talk and text data. An extra charge will apply for additional phones. Each plan includes tethering, and access to over 30,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots.


    Don’t worry. AT&T’s Mobile Share plans won’t be mandatory for new customers.


    Watch those data overages. With the Mobile Share plans, overages will cost you $15 per GB, as opposed to the $10 per GB with a traditional plan.


    The AT&T website has set up a Mobile Share Planner tool to help you determine the right plan for you.




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