REVIEWS

Dyson Hot+Cool purifying fan and heater

Microsoft Surface Go with LTE Advanced

Google Pixel Slate

ABox Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Starter kit

BlackBerry KEY2 LE

2018 MacBook Air

ViewSonic M1 portable projector

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Waze navigation app on Apple CarPlay

Apple iPhone XR

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple iPhone XS Max

Google Pixel 3 XL

Fitbit Charge 3

Rowenta Intense Air Pure Purifier

iOS 12

Bissell CrossWave PetPro Multi-Surface Cleaner

Casper Dog Bed

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

MacBook Pro 13 (2018)

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Plus PHEV Driver

Dyson Pure Cool HEPA Air Purifier and Fan

BlackBerry Key 2

Sonos Beam

Huawei P20 Pro

Apple HomePod

Google Home Max 

Motorola Moto G6

Fitbit Versa

Sennheiser Ambeo Smart headset

Amazon Echo Spot

Apple iPad (2018)

Spectre x360 13 2-in-1

Samsung Galaxy S9

Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset and Controller

ScoopFree Original Self Cleaning Litter Box

Kindle Oasis (2017) - The Perfect eBook reader

Azio's Retro Classic Mechanical Keyboard

Google Pixel Buds

Jaybird Run wireless bluetooth headphones

BlackBerry Motion

Apple iPhone X

Microsoft Xbox One X

Miele Blizzard CX1 Hardfloor PowerLine

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Sonos One Smart Speaker

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Anki Overdrive - Fast and Furious Edition

Apple TV 4K

Google Home Mini

Fitbit Flyer

Fitbit Ionic

Huawei P10

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

2018 Toyota C-HR

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Nomad leather case for iPhone 8 Plus

Saturday
Jul112009

Twitter Trends

twitter By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla The micro-blogging and social networking phenomenon that is Twitter has picked up a lot of steam globally. Trending on Twitter has become an instant way to feel the pulse and undercurrent of events and issues. Like other social networking services, you build your list of people you would like to follow and likewise, anyone who may be interested in what you might have to share, will ask to follow you. When you “Tweet” you can share information about anything provided you limit the length of your messages to 140 characters. You can link to articles, photos and more importantly you can “Retweet” postings from other people. Because weblinks are sometimes long and you don’t want them to take up you 140 characters you can use services like TinyURL.com that shortens long URLs into shorter links ideal for linking on twitter posts. For photos there is Twitpic (http://www.twitpic.com/) allows you to share photos on Twitter. Twitter is useful More than announcing to the world what you had for lunch or what song is playing on the radio, Twitter can be really useful. Want to get feedback on a product or service, search the Tweets. Want to know which patio is worth checking out, simply ask- there' a good chance someone will Tweet you back. A lot of companies, like Starbucks, CNN the New York Times use it to interact directly with their customers and receive instant feedback as well as run promotions. Celebrities and high profile personalities like Shaquille O’Neal, Lance Armstrong, John Mayer and many others use Twitter to keep in touch with their fans as well as get feedback. The recent NBA trades, negotiations and rumours were lighting up the Twittervese and guess what, the players themselves were Twittering away and interacting with the fans. One thing about Twitter is that it so levels the playing field, it cuts out the middleman and enables real interaction between the big names and their following. To see who is on Twitter and what their rankings are you can got to wefollow.com, the self-proclaimed User Powered Twitter Directory breaks down twitterers based on genre and also offers up the most discussed topics posted on Twitter by tags. Trends and Locations Twitter has certain advantages when you search Tweets for a specific topic. On the Twitter homepage, the hottest trends are updated so you can click on them and bring up what people are saying or thinking about a specific subject. Mobile users who access Twitter on the smartphones have the advantage of using their phone’s GSM location or GPS function to gather Tweets from your vicinity. This is helpful if you are attending an event, say a concert or a bazaar you can actually “listen-in” in on what people in the area have to say. Similarly, while travelling, you can post questions like, “what’s the best Pizza in the city,” and you are likely going to get a few responses. Clients Galore Twitter on the go really makes sense and there are some good applications for the iPhone, such as Tweetie, Twinkle and Twitterific. You can also get full-featured Twitter applications for other smartphones such as BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Mobile and for those who use standard celfones, it is possible to Tweet via SMS. For the desktop, a number of outstanding Twitter clients are available for free. Sure, you can just use the web-based pages on Twitter.com but to really extend the functionality of the service. Tweetdeck Beta and popular favorite Twhirl both make use of Adobe Air technology and add some profound levels of usability to the Twitter interface. Tweetdeck works on Macs, PCs and Linux machines while Twhirl is strictly for XP, Vista and OS X. We’ve used both and prefer the way Twhirl works in the background and the fact that it can handle multiple Twitter accounts at the same time. Other clients worth checking out are Tweetie (Mac and iPhone), Snitter for Mac and PC and Spaz for Mac, Windows and Linux. Twitter may not be for everyone, I mean with email and instant messaging and text messages most of us already have a lot on our plates. Add your Facebook habit and there's little time for anything else. The beauty of social networking is that you, the user, can control it. You decide how to effectively use the tools to improve your communications and enhance your business and social life.

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Tuesday
Jul072009

Micro Four Thirds Photography and the Lumix G1

Pick a color: The Panasonic Lumix G1 Micro Four Thirds Camera Pick a color: The Panasonic Lumix G1 Micro Four Thirds Camera By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla The DSLR phenomenon has really caught up with prices coming down and consumers having more options than ever in terms of affordable semi-pro or prosumer cameras with interchangeable lenses. Camera processor and lens technology has become so advanced that, in the right hands, a cheaper DSLR can capture great looking photos that are comparable to expensive, higher end cameras. The question of whether there is something beyond DSLR, has been answered; it seems, by Panasonic with their Micro Four Thirds Lumix G1 and their HD Video shooting GH1. These cameras are a hybrid of high-tech point-and shoot, ultra-zoom and a DSLR-type form-factor with interchangeable lenses. Ditching the pentaprism and mirror of a DSLR while allowing for smaller lenses has enabled them to create a stunning new product that give the versatility of a multi-lens camera with the ease of use of a point-and-shoot. We will focus on the G1 since it is widely available and retails in places like Henry’s Camera and Canada Computers for around $699-$799. Tiny Revolutionary The most impressive aspect of the G1 is its diminutive size. Even the larger lenses, which already integrate the stabilization feature, are remarkably tiny compared to what you are used to with DSLRs. The G1 also has an electronic viewfinder as opposed to an optical only one that is a mixed bag. The viewfinder is super-clear and accurate but fails to deliver the instantaneous performance of a glass viewfinder. This is most evident when shooting multiple frames per second; they just don’t register quickly enough. So, if you are into action and sports photography, then consider any DSLR over the Lumix G1. The G1 also comes with a foldable rear screen, not unlike what one would see in a camcorder and this, coupled with the live-view feature, makes composing photos a bit easier. This lightweight camera fits well in the hand and is a joy to use, especially in situations where a larger DSLR may catch attention. Panasonic’s automated controls are so good that you really don’t need to mess with the settings, more seasoned photographers may be put off with this as it seems that manual features, while available, don’t feel as accessible as they would on a regular DSLR. The intelligent auto feature on the G1 is pretty darn good and can figure out, more or less, what kind of lighting and focusing is needed by each situation. Micro Four Thirds at the forefront The Panasonic G1 is the world’s first Micro Four Thirds Camera in the market, it uses a smaller sensor (similar to that on the Olympus E3 Four Thirds DSLR) but one that is still far larger than any point-and-shoot or ultra-zoom compact camera can offer. Ditching the mirror that makes a DSLR has allowed the creation of smaller bodies, smaller lenses and more technology and less mechanical functionality. So you can theoretically shoot thousands of photos on a Micro Four Thirds camera without worrying about the shutter giving way or mirror wear - a big concern for traditional DLSRs that tend to crap out after a lot of use. Some would say that the 12 Megapixel Panasonic G1 is really the future of the replaceable-lens camera at least in terms of technology. The biggest problem with this platform is that it is so new that there are only half a dozen lenses available for the system (you can expand this with adapters and connectors which allow you to use anything from Four Thirds lenses to Nikon, Canon and even Leica mounts). Aside from the G1 and the GH1, Olympus released the Digital Pen P1, which is more similar to a rangefinder in shape and size and comes without any optical viewfinder and built-in flash. Only time will tell if a proper evolution for this standard will take place but right now the G1 is a hot little camera whose price has gone down in the past few months and has even won prestigious awards for its innovation and performance, most notably Popular Photography’s Camera of the Year for 2008. Which is impressive considering it went up against the likes of the Nikon D90 and the newer Canon Rebels. Real World Usage The G1 performed admirably in clear and well lit situations but seemed to struggle while photographing musicians in a dark bar – a situation that a true DSLR would have been able to handle given the right settings. The electronic viewfinder in low light is just plain awful and without it you will need to guesstimate what is ahead of you – something that professional photographers will never do. Higher ISO performance is okay but not amazing; attribute this limitation to the sensor size. The stabilized lenses work well and are fatastic in terms of size and performance but they aren’t Leica lenses which is unfortunate since the G1 has a gold L, for Leica, badge on its body yet there is nothing remotely Leica-ish about it, You would think that for the steep price ($US 800.00) Panasonic would spring for some higher end glass to go with its landmark camera. The G1 performs excellently in daylight conditions manitaining bright colors. The G1 performs excellently in daylight conditions manitaining bright colors. We enjoyed the auto mode on this camera which gave consistent, pro-looking quality photos but realized that it could be a good camera to fiddle with. Casual photographers who want the state of the art and the option to change lenses but who are daunted by jumping into the DSLR world would benefit from the G1. Pluses: o Micro Four Thirds realized in a small and powerful package. o Lenses are compact and stabilized o With adapters, can use a gamut of other lenses including vintage Leica rangefinder lenses as well as full size Four Thirds Lenses o Amazing auto functions, good AI and clear, crisp photos in well-lit conditions. o Well built body, rubberized texture and grip make it easy to hold even If it is incredibly lightweight. o Pop-out 3-inch LCD screen is great for composing awkward or challenging shots. Minuses: o Lenses aren’t Leica glass o Expensive for a glorified point-and-shoot. o Electronic viewfinder is among the best but fails in low-light conditions and when firing multiple shots. o Only two lenses available in the system. Conclusion: While we embrace the innovation and boldness that the Panasonic Lumix G1 embodies, we’re a bit tentative on its practicality. With the addition of more Micro Four Thirds models, we should hopefully see more lenses and accessories round out this exciting new system. Photo courtesy of Firepixel.ca

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Friday
Jul032009

Apple iPhone 3GS - Full Review and Test

Apple iPhone 3GS iphone3gs Launched a few weeks ago via Rogers Wireless, the new Apple iPhone 3GS has been put through its paces and our experience with the new upgrade is that it does offer features that might benefit power users and those relying on the iPhone’s 3G data functionality and speed. Regular users, those whose use of the iPhone is primarily to make calls, listen to audio and run a few non graphic intensive applications- we fell the iPhone OS 3.0 upgrade is more than enough to sustain their current iPhone 3G handsets. Overview The iPhone 3GS is so named for the overall increase in Speed. A new 600 MHz ARM processor powers the new models. The extra horsepower is further boosted by improvements to the graphic architecture with a PowerVR SGX graphics chip that now enables 30 frames per second video recording at VGA mode. RAM has also been doubled from 128MB to 256MB as has the 3G data throughput of 7.2 Mbps where available. Our initial impressions of the iPhone 3GS is that it is clearly twice as fast than the iPhone 3G, especially when rendering complex websites or when loading graphics intensive games. The increased RAM and the graphics boost do make things run a lot faster. Even negligible tasks like booting up or synching with iTunes are much faster because of the new components. Not to take anything away from the iPhone 3G, which is still an excellent device, but next to the 3GS it just seems slower. Compass, camera and voice commands The iPhone 3GS also offers a digital compass that works in tandem with the GPS and Google Maps to enhance location and direction based applications. The compass is accurate and although a bit gimmicky, is a good thing to have. Apple also bundled the Nike+ component that interacts with the Nike sensors for managing and tracking your workouts. All you need are the Nike+ sensors and you are good to go. Shutterbugs will love the improved 3 Megapixel cameras that does video, offers geotagging, auto-focus and white balance plus exposure. A neat add on is the touch-to-focus feature that can help when separating an object from the foreground. The camera, even at 3 Megapixels, sealed the deal for us since we often need to take snapshots of events, products or people but don’t want to lug our digicams with us. The addition of video is a big bonus, especially since videos can be edited in camera and uploaded to MobileMe or YouTube. One of he biggest pluses for us, and a good enough reason to upgrade, is the availability of a 32GB model that is even more storage capacity than some netbooks offer. As a journalist who often needs to bring a camera, voice recorder, video recorder and notebook on the road –the iPhone 3GS with its new features is an astonishing replacement. The Voice Memos function works great and we managed to get a clear interview from a person in a noisy bar. Audio can be easily synched to one’s PC and filed away or even sent as an email attachment. We’ve not really had a chance to use the video feature much but the results so far have been good. The quality of video and audio is as good or better than a Flip video camera. Although not in HD (which is fine for most uses), the video is crisp and clear even in a darkened concert venue and can be shared instantly via email or upload to YouTube. The camera and its auto white balance, auto focus and auto exposure makes taking photos on the fly a lot better. Is there marked difference between the 2 Megapixel camera and the old 2 Megapixel camera, it doesn’t seem to be noticeable. The increase in storage on the high end from 16GB to 32GB, however, give users more room to play with in terms of the number of files they can keep. Unchanged yet Reduxed Apple kept the basic design of the iPhone 3G for the iPhone 3GS and for us who have already spent a small fortune on cases, accessories and battery extenders (like the amazing Mophie Juice Pack Air) can breathe a sigh of relief. Apple focused on squeezing even more features in the package and adding only one once more of weight while extending the battery life by 30% specially for web surfing on Wi-Fi. Tethering, currently being offered by Rogers Wireless to those with a data plan greater than 1GB a month, works exceedingly well and is surprisingly fast. iPhone 3G or 3GS owners with a netbook or notebooks should be able to access the web and email from their cottages this summer without much fuss provided they have the coverage. The screen seems similar to the iPhone 3G and side-by-side there is very little difference. The iPhone 3G S also features a new fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating that attracts fewer smudges and wipes off easily. With its speedy processor, increased storage space and multimedia and communications features, The iPhone 3GS is a handheld computer as much as it is a phone. An evolutionary, rather than revolutionary leap, the iPhone 3GS is the definitive smartphone to beat today.

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Wednesday
Jun102009

Apple drops prices, boosts MacBook Pro lines

overview-gallery1-20090608 Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla Adding faster processors, larger memory capacities (up to 8GB), FireWire 800 plus a SD Card Slot, Apple refreshed its MacBook Pro line by formally inviting the unibody 13’ inch MacBook to the fold. More after the break. Available in Canada this week, the new MacBook Pro 13 starts at $1,399, offers a backlit keyboard, a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, 160GB HD and most surprisingly a built in 7-hour battery (non-user removable). A 2.56GHz model is available for $1,749 and offers a 250GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. features_battable20090608 The entire Macbook Pro line now has improved battery life, thanks to an innovative but non-user replaceable battery that was introduced in last year’s MacBook Air. The addition of a Firewire 800 port on the 13’ inch MacBook is also a welcome addition that many users were clamoring for. For the 15-inch MacBook Pro, a new 7-hour battery (built-in), a 3.53GHz, 2.66GHz or a 2.8GHz processor with 4GB RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), up to 500GB hard drive capacities. NVDIA GeForce 9400M is standard on the base model. You can still get the white polycarbonate MacBook, which is a great value at $1149.00 and offers a 2.13Ghz processor, 2GB RAM and a 160GB Hard Drive. Apple also announced the availability of Snow Leopard for a surprising price of $29.00. $100 less than previous OS X updates. Snow Leopard will be available in September. One month before Microsoft’s Windows 7 is released. Snow Leopard is an evolutionary upgrade to the Mac OS and will be faster to install than the previous version and will also reclaim around 6GB of disk space. Offering reduced prices on its most popular hardware and its operating system shows that Apple Inc. is seriously challenging the perception that they are expensive and out of reach.favicon

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