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Kindle Oasis (2017) - The Perfect eBook reader

Azio's Retro Classic Mechanical Keyboard

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Sudio Regent Bluetooth headphones

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VisionTek SoundTube PRO Bluetooth speaker

Fitbit Charge 2

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Long Term Test – Sony VAIO P subnotebook

The little P that could The little P that could By Gadjo C. Sevilla Prior to investing in the Sony VAIO P, we had a series of netbooks and subnotebooks which we had used as backup machines as well as travel computers for basic e-mail, blogging and web surfing, The models we used included the 7’ inch and 9’ inch ASUS EeePcs and the HP Mini. While they were stellar in terms of size, their lack of storage space as well as tiny keyboards made them less-than-ideal for use in extended periods of time. The VAIO P, which was designed around the keyboard promised to be a more portable yet more robust solution. Despite early misgivings on poor performance and a poor OS of choice (Vista Home). The Sony VAIO P has acquitted itself as a viable subportable that just works. Emergency Option When our unibody Macbook Pro started exhibiting odd behaviour (freezing, hanging and slow performance) during an overseas assignment, we were forced to make our Canadian version (no GPS, no WWAN) Sony VAIO P our main machine for managing our blog, social media, light photo editing and resizing as well as email and communications. Our VAIO P, outfitted with the extended battery, which ups the battery life to almost 6 hours with Wi-Fi, took to the tasks admirably. We reveled in its near full-sized keyboard which had us touch typing at our regular rate without much adjustment. The 2GB of RAM on the VAIO P is ample for Vista Home, even with the requisite antivirus and anti-spyware applications running in the background. The biggest hassle we encountered with the VAIO P is getting used to the small screen. Although incredibly crisp and clear, the VAIO P’s screen requires that you keep toggling your browser to increase the font size on each page you visit. There’s probably an easier way of dealing with the incessant need to resize and enlarge everything. While handy and easier on the eyes, resizing text on webpages works only on non-Flash enabled websites and as expected, wreaks havoc on formatting, specially on more comprehensive websites with a mix of elements such as embedded video or images. What we would change Since our main machine, the Macbook Pro, crapped out, the VAIO P has become our most used computer for communications, research, blogging and email while an iMac has taken on all the image editing and video work. There’s a lot to love in the VAIO P. Small size, stellar keyboard, ample connectivity and its long-lasting battery life are just some of the features that make it a true traveling subnotebook. We would have liked it better if it did come with the ability to use a SIM card for 3G connectivity. While Vista Home works well enough (we had to scale back the settings and remove visual styles and aero to speed things up), we still would have relished the ability to install Windows XP, which, with the soldered 2GB or RAM, would have given the VAIO P better and faster performance. Finally, something has to be done about the clunky video performance. Even YouTube videos play like absolute crap on full screen—we’ve seen the iPod Touch do a better job playing back video, which shouldn’t be the case. The VAIO P would be an ideal device for portable video given its bright screen and strong battery life but alas, until Sony or Intel deliver a software fix for the integrated video its all wasted. Conclusion Netbooks have come and gone but it seems our VAIO P is here to stay, either as a secondary machine or as our first option for a wired note-taker with almost all-day computing on its extended battery. We can’t wait to see what the VAIO P will be able to achieve once Windows 7 is made available.

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One Billion iPhone Apps : Analysis

Counting to Ecstasy: Apple prepares the confetti and balloons for its big Billionth Countdown to Ecstasy: Apple prepares the confetti and balloons for its big Billionth By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla You can always tell a new Apple iPhone owner from the glassy-eyed excitement they have as they share and compare the applications they have downloaded and tried. The first few days with an iPhone are usually spent downloading any app that is cheap and interesting. This downloading behaviour usually tapers off as users settle into the apps they most use. Part of the iPhone's appeal is its ability to morph into any of thousands of devices and deliver a whole new way to do things within the interface. It is also the availability of inexpensive applications and while a lot of them are rubbish, there are some very useful apps that have helped cement this success. The iPhone is a serious product that has not only built a steady market share, it has grown a blossoming ecosystem of third party accessories, cases and peripherals and developed a bona-fide mobile computing platform for itself that has thrived despite the shortcomings of the operating system. The inability to multitask, the lack of cut-copy and paste as well as the limits of the touch interface have not at all diminished the iPhone's appeal or usefulness. Now that these shortcomings are to be addressed by a major software upgrade come June 2009, there will be little in the way of the iPhone reaching its full potential. The new OS brings a whole spectrum of new features and the ability to work directly with third-party hardware as well as greater freedom for developers to create killer apps. Developers, Developers, Developers The Apple iPhone has really helped bring developers into the Apple fold. Developers, who in the past may have shunned away from Apple's desktop OS, have embraced and profited from creating smart, small and exciting programs for the iPhone. Prior to the release of the iPhone OS SDK, people were Jailbreaking the iPhone like crazy just to get more out of it and run illicit applications because they could see the potential. Back then, the only legally sanctioned iPhone apps were limited to web applications which relied on the built-in Safari browser. This changed dramatically with the availability of the iTunes App store and enabling users to purchase new applications on the fly. Apple's App-specific TV ad spots brought the mobile platform to the mainstream, an unprecedented move. Never has a mobile computing platform focused on specific applications. Now there is a higher global demand for iPhone developers than there is for Facebook developers. iPhonefootprint Blog explains how this growth has recently boomed. "The trend at the international job site oDesk shows that the demand for iPhone application programming has jumped by a whopping 500% in a period between March 2008 and September 2008. The listing has increased from 30 to over 140 and the jobs span around various aspects emerging from the twin platform of iPhone (and iPod touch) and the App Store. Another trend shown by this site is that this demand is not only USA specific. The oDesk list shows a stiff demand for iPhone programmers and consultants across the globe, including India, Russia, China, Ukraine and a number of other countries. The types of jobs range from iPhone App developers to iPhone SDK engineers and various other iPhone programming and consulting jobs" The App store makes spending easy The App store makes spending easy Apple's success at cultivating developers for its mobile platform has allowed them to focus primarily on what the hardware can do and let the community provide the programs. Aside from the initial bundled iPhone applications and the Remote app (which can control Macs via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth), Apple really hasn't created any new apps itself. As amazing as one billion downloaded app sounds, and it is quite an achievement on any computing platform, mobile or desktop, things can only get better once iPhone 3.0 rolls out midyear. Expect more flexibility, better application selection and more money going Apple's way.favicon11

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New Directions in High Tech Home Building

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla Pierre Martell: Bridging home building and high technology for the benefit of customers Pierre Martell: Bridging home building and high technology for the benefit of customers "I think our clients like that we are only a "click" away, and they are always in the know of what is happening with Martell Homes, I believe this provides a sense of comfort that we are not a fly-by-night company, we are here to stay and if they need anything they know exactly where to find us," says Pierre Martell, co-founder of Martell Home Builders from Moncton, New Brunswick, whose high tech approach to home building has made successful use of today's social media tools. By involving their customers in each aspect of home building, Martell Home Builders manages expectations and communications by keeping them in the loop. "We all have, iPhones and Macbooks, use Twitter, Facebook and use 37 Signals for our CRM, SmugMug for online photo sharing, Smugshots for mobile photo uploads (this actually geotags the photos) gotVmail for our toll free number and online messaging, Skype and Tokbox for video conferencing, Google for calendar and document sharing and GMail for email," Martell explains. The integration of all this technology with a client-oriented approach has enabled Martell Home Builders to grow their business and deliver on their promises. A rare thing in the contractor and home builder industry where delays, budget bloat and communication problems are common occurrences. "We have completed 42 homes, currently we have 8 in the works that construction has begun on or will begin soon," Martell declares. He explains that client management has been a big factor for success but aside from offering high-tech monitoring options he also credits building close relationships with each client as a key for their success. "Pierre treated us like we were his friends and we felt very comfortable approaching him with any questions or requests that we had throughout the home building and buying process," explains Lisa Rice, a satisfied customer. Customer satisfaction comes, in part, from the company's 99-day countdown system. "For homes under 2000 square feet, we give our personal guarantee that once construction begins on your new home, you will be in it within 99 days, we have not missed a closing date yet," Martell explains. Another advantage developed by Martell Home Builders is enabling customization and interactive design tools for the clients to use in their home building process. "I think both aspects of our model (customization and interactive approach) appeal to our customers, the fact that they are in control over the build of their home where they make decisions, have choices and feel they are being heard and really be a pivotal part of the whole process," Martell explains. The company foresees growth and is expanding to the Saint John and Fredericton markets for 2009. The most challenging part of their business, according to Martell, is "ensuring the MHB team meets all our own deadlines and expectations." On the flipside, the company finds that the most satisfying part of their business is, "definitely closing day, when we hand over the keys to the new homeowners, seeing their excitement first hand makes every bit of hard work absolutely worth it." In this economic downturn, Martell has some advice for would be homebuyers. "With the interest rates as low as they are, I would encourage would-be homebuyers to hop on the homeowner bandwagon, but keep within their means, your first home doesn't have to be a mansion, it's best to start with what you need based on age, income, family size." favicon1

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New breed of consumer DSLR cameras focus on the summer of '09

Articulating screens- Coming  soon to a DSLR near you Articulating screens- Coming soon to a DSLR near youWe're seeing an interesting wave of consumer-oriented DSLR cameras coming to market in the next few months. The focus is on lower prices and consumer oriented features including articulating LCD screens, high-definitiion video capabilities, improved sensors and lens selection as well as smaller and lighter bodies. New Nikon on the Horizon The new midrange-consumer model for Nikon will be the Nikon D5000, a 12 Megapixel DSLR with video recording capabilities, an articulating LCD screen as well as 4 frames per second continous shooting and 11-focus-points. The D5000 seems to be placed between the D60 entry-level 10 Megapixel model and the D90 12 Megapixel model. It doesn't have the in-body stabilization of the D90 nor will it be able to record in full 1080p HD resolution but it should be able to manage video recording at a halfway decent 720p resolution. This is, essentially, a D90 squeezed into a D60's body. The D5000 will cost $730 body-only, or $850 bundled with the ƒ3.5-5.6G 18-55mm VR lens, and be in shops later this month. e620 Olympus flexing muscles Not as revolutionary as the Nikon D5000, Olympus is set to launch an equally interesting DSLR in the e620. With 12 Megapixels, a tilt and swive screen, in-body image stabilization, live view as well as art filter that offers in-camera effects for photos. Banking on the Four Thirds system of lenses and accessories, Olympus sees the e620 as its midrange model that boasts of fast 7-point auto-focus and its tiny size that will make it one of the most portable, full-featured DSLR cameras in the market. The Olympus e620 will be selling in Canada for $900 with a 14-42MM lens and should attract a lot of amateurs and prosumers who are willing to invest into the Olympus system. It should be an interesting time in the prosumer DSLR market , while megapixel sensor sizes are steadying at the 10-12MP range, we see features, usability and compact size as the competitive areas.

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