Author Archive

Google’s Nexus One Unveiling Expected Today

Posted in Google,News by Darrin Olson on January 5th, 2010

HTC Nexus One From GoogleGoogle is expected to release it’s own mobile phone in a press conference schedule for today, going by the name of Nexus One. The new phone will be the first to actually be sold by Google and will also run Google’s very own Android software stack for mobile devices.

The Nexus One is rumored to also become available through the T-Mobile and their wireless carrier network in addition to the unlocked version direct from Google. The Android software has already been available on a number of mobile phones starting back in 2008 with a device from HTC. The device Google is introducing today is expected to also be from HTC, touting a 3.7 inch touch screen, 5-megapixel camera and a Snapdragon processor.

Flat screen protecting TV Armor Review

Posted in Accessories by Darrin Olson on December 9th, 2009

TV Armor protects flat screenGetting a new high-end flat screen LCD, plasma or LED TV this holiday season and have kids, pets or maybe a moderately clumsy person in the house? You may want to consider protecting the display on that investment with one of these acrylic protective shields from TV Armor.

We wrote about protective products from TV Armor back in September and since then the company has really been gaining traction and popularity. Let’s face it, even though flat-screen TV’s are getting a little less expensive they still are certainly not cheap. The last thing you want is a pet or kids toy, or worse yet this guy over to your house and smash something into that new big screen.

ioSafe’s Fireproof, Waterproof External Drive Tested

Posted in Review,Storage by Darrin Olson on October 7th, 2009

ioSafe Solo external hard drive is waterproof and fireproofioSafe, a technology producer of disaster proof storage hardware, launched the ioSafe Solo in January and this week we took the opportunity to test one out to see how well it would hold up. The ioSafe Solo is a rugged external drive designed to keep your stuff safe in the event of a disaster such as a fire, flood or the building literally falling around it.

The ioSafe is not shockproof however and is not designed to be dropped from great distances or thrown around. It is however built to withstand intense heat (up to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes), complete submersion (up to 10 feet for 3 days!) and is encased in a rugged enclosure making it like the Sherman tank of external drives.

Vonage releases Smartphone App for International Calls

Posted in News,Vonage by Darrin Olson on October 5th, 2009

Vonage mobile app for iPhone and BlackberryVonage, a provider of VoIP home phone services, has announced a new mobile application designed specifically for the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and RIM’s Blackberry devices providing alternative discounted rates for international calls. The application is a free download available today available from the Vonage site or through the iTunes App Store.

The application will allow mobile users to dial international calls as they normally would with no extra steps or special numbers to enter, and those receiving the calls will see the mobile number in their callerID just like a regular international call. In the future Vonage plans on extending the offering to a monthly flat rate, but for now the discounted per-minute charges will apply.

Hands on with Rebit Backup solutions

Posted in Review by Darrin Olson on October 3rd, 2009

rebit backup driveWe’ve been hearing about Rebit and their backup solutions from as far back as October of 2007, and our time to try out one of these devices was far overdue. For this review we got a chance to review a portable backup solution from Rebit which boasts a “ridiculously simple backup” process, and they did not disappoint.

SETUP
Setting up the backup system was about as easy as it could be. We simply unpacked the small, slim portable drive and USB cable and plugged it in to our computer. After a couple of automatically prompted approvals in our Windows Vista system the thing just started doing its job of backing up all the files on the hard drive of our computer. The entire process from opening the box until it started working was under 3 minutes. The drive has a dual-headed USB cord so a separate power supply is not necessary if a single USB port does supply enough power, but in our case a single USB 2.0 connection was all it took to power the device and transfer data.

Google Launches the Wave Communication Tool

Posted in Google,News by Darrin Olson on September 30th, 2009

Google Wave communication and collaboration toolGoogle has now started public testing by invitation only of Wave, a new online tool for communication and collaboration between people online. Wave has been described by its designer as what email would look like if it was invented today, and contains real-time communication through text, photos, video, maps and more according to Google.

The communication using the Wave tool is live somewhat like an instant messenger allowing users to see others edits as they make them, character by character. Should a users not be online at the same time, the communications will still be available to view at a later date, much like emails waiting in your inbox.

Orange UK to Sell Apple’s iPhone Later This Year

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on September 28th, 2009

Orange to sell the Apple iPhone in the UKFrance Telecom’s Orange announced on Monday that it will start selling the iPhone in the UK later this along with Telefonica’s O2. O2 has previously had exclusive rights to sell the iPhone in Britain however the contract is set to expire.

Orange announced that both the 3G and the 3GS versions will be available to UK customers later in the year, but gave no more details of exact dates or expecting pricing for the handset or plans.

Judge Delays Hearing for Google Book Search

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on September 25th, 2009

Google Book SearchA New York District Court judge on Thursday announced the delay of the Google Book Search hearing and instead will hold a status conference on the scheduled October 7th date. Google Book Search is a settlement case that has been pending for more than four years between Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. The deal would allow Google to digitize millions of out-of-print, coprighted books and make them available for sale to readers online. The authors and publishers of the books would share in sales and advertising profits.

The delay from judge Denny Chin comes due to a recommendation from the Department of Justice who felt that the settlement proposal violates copyright, class-action and antitrust regulations. Chin stated that the hearing currently “makes no sense…as it does not appear the current settlement will be the operative one.”

Microsoft’s Secret Courier Tablet Info Leaked

Posted in News,Rumors by Darrin Olson on September 23rd, 2009

Microsoft Courier BookletAccording to a recent report from Gizmodo on Tuesday, Microsoft is confirming rumors that it actually does have a new dual-screen tablet in the works, codenamed Courier. According to the article and a short demo video, the Courier is a real thing and is more like a “booklet” than a tablet as it folds together and has two interactive touch screens side-by-side with loads of fast functionality.

The project has apparently been kept under pretty tight wraps with very few, both inside and outside of Microsoft, with knowledge about it. In fact, rumors are that the team working on the project, led by J. Allard (a designer involved in the Zune and the Xbox) has been kept away from the main Redmond campus to help keep it secret.

Google announces reCAPTCHA Acquisition

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on September 17th, 2009

Google Acquires RecaptchaGoogle announced on Wednesday that the company has acquired reCAPTCHA, a company with an online product used for providing a test that humans can pass and computers generally cannot. A CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) tool is used in many places on the internet and often when submitting information to ensure that it is a human submitting the information and not some bot software filling out forms automatically on the internet.

A CAPTCHA program would provide text that is not easily and usually impossible for a automated character recognition program to decipher, but easy enough that a human could identify the letters in the text. The person submitting the information would then enter the text they see to “prove” that they are human and not a machine.

iTwin to Connect Remote Computers Easily via USB

Posted in Networking by Darrin Olson on September 15th, 2009

iTwin Remote USB ConnectionA new startup company called iTwin has what they are touting as some simple hardware to connect remote computers together and share information. The iTwin device consists of two USB drives that start out hooked together, but then can be plugged into separate computers to allow instant sharing of files. The designers state they realized that many people understand how to use a USB drive, but small USB drives hold a limited amount of data and lack in security if you lose the drive.

A user of the iTwin drives can connect them to a single computer and drop some files into the drive, then disconnect the second USB drive. The second USB can then be taken to another computer somewhere else in the world and plugged in, giving instant and automatic access between the two computers. A number of hurdles immediately come to mind when thinking about how this could work with everything from individual computer firewalls and port security, to network firewalls, internet connections and authentication on both ends. But, according to the designers of iTwin it basically makes a connection between the two computers as if they have a “cable-less cable”. The file sharing is unlimited and encrypted, and by simply unplugging one end, the other end is left useless for any attempting hacking.

Google Intros Fast Flip News Reader

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on September 15th, 2009

Google Fast Flip News ReaderOn Monday Google released a new online service to the public called Fast Flip on the companies experimental Google Labs site. The new tool is designed to allow users to see full pages of different magazines and newspapers more as if they were physically viewing them by allowing them to flip through the pages, which it kind of does.

The Fast Flip page is laid out into into sections of popularity, topics and even some particular sources. Static images of the pages of different articles are then shown for the section you are looking for that you can click on. Clicking them shows a larger static image on the page, but not necessarily all of it. You can then move back and forth to static pages of other articles on the subject, or click the source you are viewing again to actually get the web page.

iPod Touch hides faster Wi-Fi and space for camera

Posted in Uncategorized by Darrin Olson on September 14th, 2009

Apple iPod Touch has hidden faster N Wi-Fi and space for possible cameraThe same folks at ifixit.com who tore down the newly released iPod nano from last week also got their hands on Apple’s newest version of the iPod touch and carefully broke it down as well. In doing this they found some interesting surprises.

In dismantling the iPod touch, they found a faster 802.11n Broadcom wireless chip, still inactive but bringing wireless-N in addition to the a,b and G in the touch. Chances are that some OS update, hopefully in the not too distant future, will enable this faster wireless connection.

Facebook gets more Twittery with Lite and tags

Posted in Facebook by Darrin Olson on September 11th, 2009

Facebook Lite launched along with status taggingWe all know Facebook is continuously evolving, and just recently the social networking behemoth made some announcements that will likely make its popularity even larger, partly by making things smaller. On Thursday Facebook launched Facebook Lite, which is basically a scaled down version of the current Facebook site. Existing users can log onto Facebook Lite and it even uses the same cookies to recognize you if you are already logged in. All you friends are there and you can post messages, but it’s just got a little fewer “pieces of flare” about it.

The idea for Facebook Lite is to make a slimmer version of Facebook, not too unlike Twitter, that more people could use in places that have limited access to bandwidth, so the pages are not so “heavy” to load. So far the site is ironically only available in the U.S. and India, but I suppose they have to test it out somewhere. Chances are it will be rolling into some more obscure areas of the world soon.

Fifth-gen iPod Nano Teardown Photos

Posted in iPod Nano by Darrin Olson on September 11th, 2009

Photo: ifixit.comPhotos: ifixit.com

If you haven’t seen this yet, you’ll want to check it out. The folks over at iFixit.com have taken apart Apple’s new 5th Generation iPod nano with the camera, FM, etc., using some tools that are custom and some that you can find around the house. They have a whole mess of detailed step-by-step coverage and photos that are pretty interesting. See if you can find the typo on the battery warning!