Take control of your batteries with Technocell

Technocell indiegogo_actionWe really live in a battery-powered age, as our mobile device, laptops, and our computers all run on some kind of battery. In addition to all of our mobile lives, most of our electronic toys and other devices are run on battery power.

The problem with these old-school batteries like AAs and so forth is that they don’t have the indicators like on our mobile devices. Imagine if you could monitor your AA batteries from a mobile device, and this is exactly what Tethercell is made to do.

Tethercell is very easy to install. All you need to do is remove a single AA battery from your device, and then insert the Tethercell, which requires a AAA battery. One of these Tethercells is all that you need to monitor to wirelessly monitor your battery powered device via Bluetooth.

Personally, I think this is a great idea, but this is an Indiegogo project, which means it needs your funding. In this case, it looks like it actually achieved its goals. Check out the site here.


President Obama: “The truth is…we’re building Iron Man”

In case you haven’t heard, we really do live in a science fiction age. This Source from CNN shows President Obama making an announcement that he is working with the military to make “Iron Man”.

In all honesty, it feels like something that Jay Pharaoh would do on Saturday Night Live when he does his awesome impersonations. The audience seems to have a fond chuckle over this, and then Obama says that it is classified. Of course, if it is classified, then why in the world does he even mention it, at all?

Just to let you know, one of the characters in Iron Man said that “twelve of these could level Asia”. If the U.S. military is trying make an army of Iron Men, then be prepared to screw up the balance of power!


Review of the Oontz Curve by Cambridge Soundworks

Oontz CurveI’ve reviewed a lot of Bluetooth speakers in my time, and it has been a while since I reviewed something from Cambridge Soundworks with the Oontz. The Oontz apparently comes in a small form with the Curve, and it is small enough to fit in your hand.

As you can see, there is no sharp edges, and it is quite lightweight at 9 ounces. I was able to try one out for review, and the Oontz curve is pretty spiffy as it vocally tells you when it is ready to hook up. Yes, a lot of Bluetooth Speakers have this feature.

I guess I will go through the other features with 5 hours of play time when full charged, playing at 2/3 of full volume level. I almost don’t think I need to talk about the USB charging, wired capability, and built-in microphone.

The sound is really excellent, especially when on a flat surface. It comes in Metallic Blue, Titanium Black, Platinum, Metallic Red, Gold Metallic, and Rose Gold Metallic. You can get it on the Cambridge Soundworks site for $29.99.

Privates Wireless Headphones by Outdoor Tech are Definitely Dynamite!

Privates Outdoor TechnologyIn case that headline didn’t give you a clue, I am going to give Privates from Outdoor Tech a positive review. I don’t know if the term “Definitely Dynamite” is trademarked, but if it is, then I apologize.

I might as well just get this out of the way: the only thing I don’t like is the slogan. Here is what it is: “Touch your Privates in Public”. Okay, maybe you think it is clever, but it is actually referring to the touch controls. If you swipe horizontally on the left side, it will advance to the next track. If you swipe it vertically up or down, it will turn the volume up or down.

By the way, it works, and works really well. The sound is also good, but I’m sure that you expected me to say that. The headphones are wireless and they also include a 3.5mm AUX jack cord for wired connection as well. Just to let you know, the wireless range is 32 feet for about 10 hours on a single charge.

Another cool feature is its ability to fold up. So hey, what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Outdoor Tech site and get a pair of Privates for yourself. Uh, that just sounds terrible, doesn’t it?

Sony planning a film about Steve Jobs?

steve-jobs-photo-first-iPhone-15-sizedI’m sure anyone who reads my Speculative Fiction Saturday posts knows that I really can’t stand the lack of originality in Hollywood. I have just heard that there is going to be a movie about Steve Jobs.

Yes, you have heard this before. In fact, Ashton Kutcher was just in a film called Jobs, that apparently didn’t do so well. Before that film came out, you could watch iSteve for free with Justin Long. Personally, I think we have had way too many films about Steve Jobs.

Then there is this weird factoid. This new Steve Jobs film was written by Aaron Sorkin, who also wrote The Social Network film about Mark Zuckerberg. Then there is a plan for it to be directed by David Fincher, who also directed The Social Network.

Okay, why do we need another Steve Jobs movie, especially with this creative team who already gave us The Social Network? I get this terrible feeling of deja vu, or a studio trying to bank on something that they think will surely be a hit. I haven’t heard who is playing Jobs yet, but I’m sure it will be some box office draw.


The Safe5 Waterproof iPhone 5 case from Outdoor Technology

Safe5I have reviewed a lot of waterproof cases for the iPhone 5 as well as other smartphones, but I really have to admire the Safe5 for the iPhone 5.

When it comes to reviewing cases like these, there is usually only one issue: how long and how deep can you hold it underwater? The answer for the Safe5 is that it is IPX-7 rated, so it is waterproof up to three feet for thirty minutes.

One thing that I like about the Safe5 is its aesthetic. Unlike other waterproof cases, like the ones from Otterbox or Lifeproof, the Safe5 is transparent. This means that it will appear almost invisible on the iPhone 5, and I really like the way it goes on the iPhone 5.

The Safe5 case just opens up, and it has a rubber gasket that seals it all the way around. There are three screws that lock it in, in case you are worried about any leaks. There is also a watertight seal on the charging port and headphone jack.

In short, the Safe5 is a very decent case from the always more-than-decent company of Outdoor Technologies. You can get this case on the Outdoor Technology site for about $49.95 in clear, blue, or orange.

The S850 Slim All-Glass Smartphone from Lenovo

lenovo-s850-02-612x640I don’t think I missed this phone at CES 2014, so I’m just going to say that this is another smartphone announced at MWC 2014. The S850 is interesting as it has an all-glass body.

The S850 has a quad-core MTK processor, but I believe the big thing on this phone is the camera. It has a 13 Megapixel rear camera and a 5 Megapixel front camera, and just so you know, it also has a 5-inch (1280 x 720). Other features include Android 4.2, 1GB Memory, 16 GB storage, GPS, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and Dual SIM capable.

You should be able to get the S850 from select markets and Lenovo website for a starting price of $269.


Power up your cell phone using with vibration

vibrate carphonemountvibI think it is very interesting how we are always needing to charge our cellular phones, and I have seen many chargers that work on solar power to get more juice. This one method of charging is vibration could change a lot, especially for those who take their phone on the road.

Dr. Xudong Wang at the University of Wisconsin, along with Sun Yat-sen University, is developing a material that turns small levels of vibrational energy into electricity for the phone. This process has a pretty long name with mesoporous piezoelectric nanogenerator, and it can produce power when the phone is in motion. So if you are walking home with the phone in your pocket, that works. My Source tells me that the phone will work much better if it is on a dashboard.

I don’t have any date on when this mesoporous piezoelectric nanogenerator will hit customers, but it definitely needs a smaller name. That, or some sort of abbreviation, like MPN or something. That one is for free if you want to use it.


Samsung unveils the Gear 2, Gear Neo, and Gear Fit smartwatches

samsung-gear-2-neo-smartwatch-8Well, if you didn’t read the last two posts, then you would know that Barcelona, Spain is the site of Mobile World Congress, a big mobile phone convention. Not only has Samsung announced the Galaxy S5, but they have unveiled a trio of smartwatches with the Galaxy Gear 2, Gear Neo, and the Gear Fit.

The Galaxy Gear 2, as its name implies, is essentially a sequel to the smartwatch that was only unveiled five months ago. This watch has 1.63 inch 320 x 320 Super AMOLED display, 512GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, 1GHz dual-core processor, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, speaker, and speaker. As for the Gear Neo, it has the same specs as the Gear 2, but it doesn’t have the 2.0 Megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture. The Gear Fit is focused on the fitness-interested users, and it has a much slimmer screen.

The interesting thing about these smartwatches is they are not Android like the first Galaxy Gear. Instead, Samsung is using their own operating system of Tizen.

I currently don’t have a price for these smartwatches, but they will be available in all kinds of colors. I would imagine that they will appear some time when the Samsung S5 will be out, which will not be until April.

Source 1 and Source 2

Nokia introduces X, X +, and XL phones at MWC 2014, and they are Android!

Nokia X phonesWell, I think we expected Samsung to announce the Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014, but Nokia pulled something a little out of left field with their announcement of the X, X+, and XL, which are Android, not Windows phones.

The X plans to have a 4-inch screen, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage via microSD slot, and 3 Megapixel camera. The X + has about the same specs but with 768 MB of RAM and an included 4GB microSD card. Then there is the XL, which has a 5 inch screen, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and 5 Megapixel rear/2 Megapixel front cameras with LED flash.

As I mentioned before, this isn’t the usual Windows phones from the big N. Instead, they are Android, but apparently a special type. There won’t be Google’s apps or the Play store, so it will be a specialized Nokia store.

Speaking of stores, the X should arrive very soon in stores. The X+ will arrive sometime in Q2, along with the XL.

Source 1 and Source 2