Archive for December, 2015

All the big tech and Gadget News from 2015!

Now that the New Year is almost here, it is time to talk about what happened this year.

Well, we know the big movie news, Star Wars Episode VII was released.

I also learned that Betamax was dead. Should I be surprised?

BlackBerry had this new Android phone known as The Priv.

We all celebrated Back to the Future II Day back in October.

Apparently, Playboy will no longer will be doing nudes anymore.

I reported on Facebook doing Reaction Emojis, has anything more happened with that? Speaking of Facebook, remember that Profile tool thing?

When Google announced their rollout of the new version of Android, they talked about the Pixel C tablet.

Remember that cool Red Supermoon? It was the same day when we found out there was water on the Red Planet.

Anyone remember the boy with a clock that everyone thought was a bomb? Yeah, I’m trying to forget it too.

We’ve got something going on with the PlayStation VR.

Then there was that whole Ashley Madison thing. Here’s my feelings about it, Part One and Part Two.

Microsoft attempted a world takeover by giving the world free Windows 10.

There were some big announcements from Sony and Microsoft at E3 2015, but not much from Nintendo.

Well, this was news for me, but I got a chance to do a presentation at MomoCon.

I don’t know if you heard, but LG made a TV that is less than a 1 mm thick.

LG launched their new flagship with the LG G4. This was around the same time that Sony announced the Z4. Around where the Huawei P8 was unveiled.

Remember that dumb “What Color is the Dress”? Should you?

I’ve been writing a lot about No Zelda game in 2015, that was supposed to come this year for the Wii U.

Apple had a “Spring Forward” event to announce the Apple Watch and more.

There were a lot of announcements at Mobile World Congress 2015.

I had a chance to try out the HTC Vive, and I liked them, a lot. They are the VR device to look out for.

Posted by on December 30th, 2015 No Comments

All the Gadgets that I reviewed in 2015!

Okay, with New Years Day is quickly approaching, and it is time for me to do my year in review as I become very impressed at the gadget that I reviewed for the year.

This particular iRig Acoustic from IK Multimedia is sure unique!

This SEIDIO LUMA case for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus can make the iPhone glow. We also reviewed the STM Atlas Wallet Case for the same devices. This wasn’t the only SEIDIO products with some Android cases and some Apple cases.

We had a chance to review two Lander products: the Neve Charging Cable and Case.

I really enjoyed this AutoFlex Vacuum from Black and Decker.

One great gaming accessory was the ROCCAT NYTH gaming mouse.

Finally got a chance to review one of Monster’s products with the Clarity HD High Definition earbuds.

We had a chance to review three Native Union products with the Gripster Wrap, two cases, and the POWERLink and Switch Bluetooth Speaker.

We also had a chance with the Kidz Gear Unplugged Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headphones.

We really liked the Nomad Wallet, I can tell you that! In addition to that, there were three other Nomad products that we reviewed.

We also were happy to review the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 640 3LCD Projector.

Here is our review of the Mini LifeJacket 2.

We also had a chance to review the Tenba DNA 13 Messenger for DSLRs.

This is our review of the Power Plus 3 13400 mAh Mobile Battery from Cheero.

I had a chance to review a few Beyerdynamic headsets including the MMX 2 Multimedia Headset. There is also a MMX 300 Premium Gaming and Multimedia Headset.

We had a chance to review the Kensington KeyFolio Thin X3 for the iPad Air 2 as well as the Orbit Wireless Mobile Trackball, also from Kensington.

Well, we had a chance to review the D-Link Full HD Ultra-Wide View Wi-Fi Camera.

So, we had a chance to review the HTC One M9 Smartphone, a phone that I still use.

We had a chance to review the iblazr, a flash for mobile devices.

The Masimo MightySat with Bluetooth LE and PVI is something for your health.

Here’s another iPhone case with FUZ Designs Soft Case.

I had a chance to review the Kolibree Smartest and Most Elegant Toothbrush.

We reviewed the Hyper X Cloud II Headset from Kingston.

So, we had a time playing with the Matias Quiet Pro Keyboard.

Another set of earbuds that we had a chance to review was the Audiofly AF78M.

So, here’s the TYLT ENERGI Sliding Case for the Samsung Galaxy S6.

This is a pretty cool product: The FOODsniffer.

We had a chance to review some Peanuts earbuds from SAKAR.

I’ve been wanting to review this for a while, but here is the review of the Buoy Tags.

We had a terrific time reviewing the Armpocket Mega i-40 Plus.

It was worth the time to review the Ozobot Bit.

This is a terrific Case Logic Kontrast DSLR Shoulder Bag.

We also had a good chance to review the TYLT FLYP-DUO Reversible USB and Y-CHARGE [QUIK].

Another unique product that we had the chance of reviewing is the D-Link mydlink Wi-Fi Water Sensor.

We reviewed the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC33iS QuietPoint Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones and the AT-LP60-USB LP-to-Digital Recording System.

Finally had a chance to review the Cobra Electronics with the CDR 825 (825E) Drive HD Dash Cam.

This is the TurnFolio with Keyboard from iPad Air 2 from Griffin.

This is a terrific Bluetooth earbuds with the JayBird X2.

This is the iRig Mic Field from IK Multimedia.

Then there is the BlueFlame Power Station for charging four devices.

We had a chance to review the BOOMAX from MiPOW.

There were several products from Gosh that we got to review like the Cordbox and some mobile batteries.

We also had to review some mobile batteries from EnerPlex and two solar backpacks.

We also got to review two products from HEX.

We were pleased to review the Jabra Sport Coach Bluetooth earbuds.

It is also good to review the Fuz Designs Dock for the Apple Watch.

Here’s the Kensington SecureBack rugged Case for the iPad Air/iPad Air 2.

We have a terrific chance to try out the myCharge StylePower 2000mAh Portable Charger.

Click here for two reviews of Biologic products.

I always like reviewing the Urban Armor Gear, and the UAG Maverick is good for Samsung Galaxy S6.

Another product that we got to review was the IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio.

Now, there is another fine ZAGG product that I got to review with the Pocket Keyboard.

And we got a chance to review another Olloclip product with the Active Lens for the iPhone 6/6 Plus.

Then we had the chance to try out the Makeblock MBot Educational Robot Kit.

We then had a chance to write about the RIBBN Car Charger from TYLT.

This is the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch.

I was pleased to try out the V.360, a 360 Degree Camera and there is a lot of products like it.

We were pleased to try out two Mobee products some Magic products and some others.

Here’s some of our other UAG reviews with the Rogue Folio and Outland and the Scout for the Microsoft Surface 3.

Then there was the iBaby Monitor M6.

I seem to recall reviewing the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3000.

This would be the Evutec Wood Cases for Mobile Devices.

We have a lot going on with the KiiTAG Bluetooth 4.0 Item Finder.

We had a hands-on with the Otterbox Agility Tablet System. We also reviewed the Resurgence Power Case for the iPhone 6.

Belkin sent us some QODE Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for the iPad Air 2.

Again, we had a chance to review two Audio-Technica with the ATH-SPORT2 earbuds and ATH-PDG1 Premium Gaming Headset.

We also got a chance to review the Olloclip New Telephoto and Macro 3-in-1 Lens for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Life n Soul had a Mini Water Resistant Speaker that we had a chance to check out.

This is a Acme Made Charge for the iPhone 6.

We had a chance to review four new products from Nite Ize.

Here’s another TYLT product with the VU Wireless Charging Car Mount Review.

Smart Homes were big this year, like with the Insteon Starter Kit that we reviewed.

Here’s a review of the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100.

One set of gaming headphones that we reviewed was the Afterglow Kral Wireless headset from PDP.

We had a chance to check out the Ergo Book Sling for the iPad Air.

I am glad I had a chance to review the GameClutch and Edge+ from Signal.

At CES 2015, we had a good time with the Patchworks ITG PRO Plus Tempered Glass Screen Covers.

This is a pretty cool Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set.

Well, we had a good time with the Misfit Shine Fitness and Sleep Monitor.

We had a good chance to review for the Mobee Magic Case for the iPhone 5.

We were more than pleased to review the Luci Lux. It came in handy this year when I had a blackout.

We also had a chance to review some products from Trident.

We had a chance to review a lot of Verus products. Here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

One of my kids tried out the Skechers’ New Interactive Shoe called the Game Kicks.

We also had a chance to try out a lot of Case Logic products with Part 1 and Part 2.

Remember when we reviewed the Kidz Gear Wireless? Well, we reviewed the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones too.

Sometimes the best devices are simple, like the Earbud Anti-tangling Device, also known as The Loop.

I had a chance to review the MobileLite Wireless G2 from Kingston.

We had a chance to review the J5Create JUD 480 USB 3.0 Boomerang Station.

So, there was an interesting review we had of the Playbulb Candle from MiPOW.

This is the Universal SwingHolder Floor Stand by Stand For Stuff.

Here we have the ZAGG Folio Case for the iPad Air.

We had the chance to try out the LoopPay.

We had chance with Tech21’s products, again.

I was grateful for a chance to try out the eTAPE 16.

I was so pleased to review the Stelle Audio Pillar Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker.

So, here’s some interesting Beyerdynamic Earbuds.

This is the BACtrack Vio Smartphone Breathalyzer.

We sure had a fun time with the IN1 Case for the Galaxy S5.

This is the IZZI REMIX Quick Change Lens Case for the iPhone 6.

This here is a quite good case/keyboard with the Typo2 for the iPhone 6.

Then there is the VYSK Privacy Case and EP1.

Posted by on December 29th, 2015 No Comments

myCharge HubPlus

myCharge 6000 mahAfter New Year’s Day, I will be heading to Las Vegas, and I could be using something like the myCharge HubPlus. I had a chance to try it out as a little bonus Christmas present.

This is the Rechargeable 6000mAh portable charger from myCharge, and it is something that I have reviewed before with the mobile battery. In this case, the HubPlus has retractable prongs to it can charge up for 45 hours.

Here’s the reason why it is called the HubPlus. It actually has two charging cables, one of them is a Lightning cable and the other is a micro-USB cable. It can charge up to 65 percent faster than competitors.

If this something that you want, head on over to the myCharge site and lay down about $99.99.

Posted by on December 28th, 2015 No Comments

Speculative Fiction Saturday: Home, a kid’s movie that adults can appreciate

home movieI might be a little late on this film, but it does take place during Christmas. I was not excited to see this film, and the only reason why I saw it was because it is free on Netflix. The ads for it did not look good, because I thought it was another “child meets alien” story like E.T., The Iron Giant, Lilo and Stitch, and Earth to Echo.

The trailers for this film did not show the set up. Home begins with a race of aliens called the Boov, who are running away from an evil alien race called the Gorg, and decide to settle on Earth. When the Boov settle in, they basically use their very advanced technology to move all the humans to Australia, while they settle in every other place but Antarctica.

In other words, the human race gets relocated. That is such a great premise, that it should have been on the trailers (maybe it did, I don’t know). The reason why the Boov do this is because they consider the humans animals, and they believe that they are doing humans a favor. In case you are wondering, it looks like the humans couldn’t do much to stop the Boov. There isn’t any Independence Day type of human uprising.

Yes, this is a film for the kids, the that entire cool scene of the relocation takes place in minutes. Much of the film is a lot of quick cuts, revealing that it is for kids, but as I said in my title, adults can enjoy it too. I have already explain one reason.

Adults should enjoy seeing Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory playing the main character of Oh (named because this is what the other Boov say when he comes around). Jim is playing this role as Sheldon Cooper, only without the genius level IQ. In fact, Oh speaks this odd broken English that is humorous, but not really logical.

This film has a lot of things that happen that are also pretty illogical. For example, Oh decides to have a party, and he accidentally hits the “Send All” invite on his circular transparent tablet. This means the Gorg will apparently get the invite, and will come to Earth. Oh then becomes a fugitive, and doesn’t just simply cancel the invite, even though it is established that he can.

Another pretty bad story element is how Tip is left behind during the relocation program. Tip is a little girl who has been left alone in a world full of Boov, and she is played by pop star Rihanna. This was not a good idea, as Rihanna is an adult, but oddly enough, her music seems an appropriate soundtrack. Anyway, the reason why Tip is left behind is because the aliens were scanning Tip’s apartment scanned her cat by mistake. This left Tip without her mother, and we are to assume that she has a single parent.

Now, the way Oh and Tip meet up is typical animated movie fashion That is, they both have something each other wants, and make a deal. In this case, Tip busts her car, and she traps Oh in a convenience store freezer. Oh fixes the car, after Tip lets him out…blah…blah…blah. Then the two realize that they can help each other.

There is also one of those “third act breakups” that is common in most romantic comedies. You know, where the characters have a misunderstanding and separate, then realize that they were both wrong and right and get back together. That is hardly a spoiler.

What I like about this film is its simplicity, which is why I can recommend it for adults. The show is about how people can be mistaken about others, and how we need to learn. It is also about how people in power won’t change and need to be taught a lesson.

The fact that the movie’s title is so simple, I was surprised that it was used. I don’t know if it is the proper title, but it shows how the concept of wanting a place of love and safety is universal. I can’t deny that the story is good, which is why I will recommend it.

Posted by on December 26th, 2015 No Comments

Special Holiday Speculative Fiction Saturday Comes Early with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Unleashed

SW-THE-FORCE-AWAKENSI have mentioned more than enough times how I wasn’t certain if I wanted to see Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Of course I was planning to see it because, well, it’s Star Wars, and I grew up with it.

As it so happens, the other site that I write for, The Gospel Herald, wanted me to write about it. You can read what I wrote about it here, but there is a warning about spoilers.

I will have to say that I loved this movie. I will have to say that I started making comparisons of this film with the original trilogy as I watched. Yes, there is some originality in it, and it does take the story of Star Wars after Return of the Jedi pretty well.

Here is something that I have to say about Star Wars: it is a legacy. When it first hit theaters in 1977, it changed everything. The Lucas made a sequel which was considered even better. Personally, I didn’t really like it back in the day, but I loved the toys and trading cards. Then I loved Return of the Jedi, and I loved just having the closure of the trilogy.

I said that I was going to do this review without spoilers, and I will say that I will have to say that some bad stuff went down after the Ewok party. Remember how it felt like “Vader is in his heaven, and all is good in a galaxy, far, far away” at then end of Return of the Jedi?

Yeah, that didn’t take. Instead, the First Order is now the Imperials, but there is a Rebellion…I mean, Resistance. There is kind of a new Darth Vader named Kylo Ren and some other new characters like an ex-stormtrooper named Finn and Rey, a kind of Luke Skywalker character.

Then the older characters are back with Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C-3PO, plus the Millennium Falcon. Yeah, the last one isn’t a character, but dang it, it might as well be.

Yes, there is a lot to like in this film, as modern day special effects make the space chase scenes look absolutely terrific. Then there is also a scene that happens that is tragic, actually, there’s a few of them. I can’t spoil it, but nothing in Star Wars will ever be the same, and Disney reboots that pesky Star Wars Expanded Universe.

In short, The Force Awakens is a great film, but to compare it to the original trilogy just doesn’t work. Things have changed with 30 years of film, but it’s okay to start something anew.

Posted by on December 24th, 2015 No Comments

Christmas goes too far at Boston Dynamics?

Okay, I’m not certain when Christmas decorating goes out of control. Personally, I think technology can really do a number with some Christmas lights, as you’ve probably seen that cool house that is decorated to flash to “Wizards In Winter”.

I have reported about Boston Dynamics before, and they are famous for making the four legged Wildcat robot. Think of them as miniature versions of the AT-AT from Star Wars but real. Now imagine them pulling Santa’s sleigh.

A lot of people find this a little creepy, and I’m going to have to say yes on that. I can’t imagine any place where this would come across as cute. Heck, if I saw this coming toward me, I might open fire. Maybe I would wish for some Christmas fairies to circle these things legs with thin cable.

Okay, I have had enough berating this. In another few years, this could be a regular Christmas tradition.

Source

Posted by on December 23rd, 2015 No Comments

Our Review of the iRig Acoustic from IK Multimedia

iRig AcousticI have to admit that IK Multimedia’s products are usually a very niche product, and the iRig Acoustic is the first acoustic guitar mobile microphone/interface for acoustic players.

As you can see in the image, it is essentially a guitar pick shape that clips on the guitar or other appropriate stringed instrument. It clips on very easily, and it uses this MEMS (MicroElectrical-Mechanical System) microphone technology with an omnidirectional polar pattern, so it able to find every vibration and sonic interaction.

The iRig Acoustic plugs into a device headphone/input jack with a standard 1/8-inch TRRS cable that allows the user to monitor his or her performance thanks to the female stereo output jack placed on the in-line cable.

It can be purchased on the IK Multimedia website for about $49.99. The AmpliTube Acoustic App is available for free, and it is acoustic-specific application is made for processing and recording acoustic guitar.

Posted by on December 20th, 2015 No Comments

Speculative Fiction Saturday: A Nightmare Before Christmas

nightmare_before_christmas_posterConsidering that Christmas is coming up, I figure I should probably review a speculative fiction Christmas movie. Something that I realized the other day that a lot of Christmas stories have nothing to do with Christmas. I mean, if you think about It’s a Wonderful Life, it really is about a guy who realizes that everyone has a destiny. The story just happens to take place on Christmas, just like Die Hard would be the same movie if it didn’t take place on Christmas.

On the surface, it seems like A Nightmare Before Christmas is a Christmas movie. Heck it has Christmas in the title. I mean, you could probably do the story of A Christmas Carol without Christmas, but what it is about is how the rich should help the poor. It just so happens that Christmas is involved.

Even though A Nightmare Before Christmas has Christmas in the title, the story is really one that is a good lesson. This is strange, because the visuals of the story can easily distract you from what it has to say.

But first, let’s talk about the film. It opens in Halloween town, some place where there is a mix of the macabre with the comic. I’m not really certain how this works, but apparently, everyone looks like it is Halloween every day, and yet it is only Halloween once a year. Yeah, I’m not really certain how it works either.

Anyway, the main character Jack Skellington is a skeleton who essentially leads this big celebration that they have every year. The problem is, he’s tiring of the repetition of it, and wants something new. He then wanders into this place where there are trees that lead to other holiday themed towns. There is one for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Jack stumbles into Christmas town, and he immediately falls in love with it. Instead of the celebration of all things cold, dark, and dead (which is what Halloween is) everything is merry and bright. He sings a song that really expresses his feelings that is incredible, honestly. Yeah, unlike Corpse Bride, the songs of A Nightmare Before Christmas are generally memorable.

Jack then goes back to Halloween town and decides that they will celebrate Christmas. In order to do that, he decides to take over Santa Claus’ job. It goes about as well as expected.

This is what I like about this film, Jack tries to be something that he’s not, and it fails. This is really what I feel what this film is about, the idea that we are made to do something, and we should do it. This is very contrary to most films that are designed for children, as they usually show a main character doing something they shouldn’t be doing and exceeding all expectation (think Turbo, Babe, or Ratatouille).

What I really see in A Nightmare Before Christmas is a solid Christmas message, where we often feel a sense of self-reflection over events of the year. Some people feel the “Christmas blues” because they don’t feel like they are achieving their true destiny. The issue is that they could be doing their destiny, and not even know it. Sometimes it isn’t necessary to change everything, just some things.

In the end, this is what Jack Skellington does, as he realizes that he is missing love in his life. Eventually, he falls for Suzy, who is a patchwork Frankenstein’s monster of a character that is one of the many animated spectacles in this film.

Yes, this film is full of animation in clay that looks really great, even after 20 years. However, don’t let the visuals distract from what is a pretty decent story.

Posted by on December 19th, 2015 No Comments

SEIDIO LUMA Case makes the iPhone Glow!

LumaSEIDIO has put out a lot of terrific products in the past, and I had a chance to try out the LUMA cases. I have to admit that the LUMA could just be another case, but as my title says, it makes the iPhone glow.

Just to let you know, that “makes the iPhone glow” isn’t an official tagline of the product, but it probably should be. What happens is that you have to go into your Settings of the iPhone so that a notification will cause the device’s LED camera flash. Not only will it glow, but you can use five color plates like white, green, yellow, blue, and red.

So, what you have here is have: a case that will glow with notification. You also have a little bit of protection for your iPhone. You should be able purchase the LUMA case for the iPhone 6/6S here, and the case for the iPhone 6/6S Plus here. The price is about $29.95 for each of them.

Posted by on December 18th, 2015 No Comments

Lets’ Talk Television, and Why It Is Dead

So, does anyone remember when after 8, you made plans to watch TV. Sure, you could have taped it, but even with VCRs, people still watched TV. Now, who needs that? Why should I watch a show when “they” want me to? Not only is there TiVo, but ways to stream shows after they air.

What is so funny is that I can’t think of any show that I just can’t wait to watch. That is, I’m willing to wait a week so I can watch last week’s episode of The Simpsons. They have have to ask myself why I am even watching The Simpsons.

The good thing about television and all its content is there is always something good on, and with Netflix, you don’t have to wait for it every week. Shoot, they have entire seasons of shows that you can binge-watch, which is a serious thing that viewers are doing.

But hey, who needs shows from the networks? I can go to YouTube and watch really good views made by amateurs. In many cases, they are funnier than what the networks put out. Heck,just watching the Nostalgia Critic, a show about bad shows keeps me well entertained.

Here’s the thing that television needs to learn: just get some content that people want. This is all that is needed. Then find away to monetize it, and let the Internet find your fanbase. This is really how it works now, right?

Posted by on December 17th, 2015 No Comments