Computers, Consumer Technology, T.V.s

Twitch and the Rise of the Now

Twitch_Website_MainPage

Image via Twitch.tv

Twitch is a live streaming service created back in 2011 – since then it has grown to become an interesting subculture, one where “younger generations” (or “whee whippersnappers” as I sometimes refer to them)  are watching other people play games instead of playing themselves. These “other people” have now become almost famous in their own right, attracting thousands of live viewers at a time, while live events can garner tens of thousands. For those that still deny that this is a new form of entertainment – Youtube is allegedly buying twitch for 1 billion dollars. That’s million with a ‘b’.

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Moment of Zen, Throwback Thursday, Windows Tablets

Old School Glory: Microsoft.com Circa ’94

MicrosoftHomePage1994The web looked amazing in 1994! Limited color palates thanks to low resolution VGA. HTML that was barely capable of a multi-column format and yet – Microsoft brought it with a half-moon design that included text in the round. These were exciting times. Full of hope. Microsoft PublisherThe newness was enchanting and I distinctly remember, regardless of how primitive, one of my first websites was poised to change the world – made using a Microsoft product nonetheless. Believe me, I would share a screen capture if I could remember the web address… hosted on Homesites.com or something similar. Obviously, it didn’t change the world. 

We have new frontiers these days – Apps, Alternative Energy, Wearable Tech, etc. And one day, we’ll look back on 2014 with the same fondness for our past and appreciate the future’s true potential.  

Consumer Technology

The T-Mobile Test Drive Experience

Image courtesy of t-mobile.com

Image courtesy of t-mobile.com

 

 

 

 

I have been interested in T-Mobile ever since they started rolling out their “Uncarrier” initiative.  I don’t have any particularly strong grievances toward my current carrier’s service, but I appreciate what T-Mobile is doing, and thus had an innate curiosity about their service.  When they introduced the Test Drive program, I was immediately interested.  An iPhone 5S on their network, unlimited talk/text/data, totally free, for one week?  Sign me up!

Obviously, your coverage level will depend on where you live, but in the city, I actually had really good data speeds and coverage.  I probably picked a bad week to test, as I had zero plans to leave city limits, but judging by the coverage I recently got on my Nexus 7 while traveling with T-Mobile’s free 200 MB tablet data plan, data on the interstate is spotty.  I wouldn’t trust it to be available for navigation purposes.

Really, the most impressive part of the whole experience was the call they make on your second day with the phone to make sure everything is okay, and the drop off process at a T-Mobile store.  I was expecting to be pestered, given sales pitch after sales pitch to switch over to them, especially while returning the device, but surprisingly, it was hassle-free.  I handed over the device, the associate asked how my experience was, and that was it.

The bad news is that with my grandfathered voice and data plans on my current carrier, it’s cheaper for me to stay where I am.  Every major carrier these days requires you to pay for unlimited minutes, which, let’s be honest here, is a waste of money since most of us don’t talk on the phone anymore.  But if you don’t have a grandfathered plan to worry about, T-Mobile’s offerings are actually pretty cheap compared to other carriers.

If you’re curious about T-Mobile, give their Test Drive program a shot.  Being hassle-free, and at the low, low price of “free,” it’s hard to say anything bad about it.

Consumer Technology, Displays

Microsoft’s Hyperlapse Project: A new Timelapse Perspective

When people create timelapse videos – there is normally a single object in focus – allowing you to see, for example, a flower blooming. Trying to actually look at timelapse footage of the camera panning, or moving in any way can be painful. Enter Hyperlapse technology – which aims to smooth timelapse footage taken with mounted cameras, effectively allowing you to watch quick first person videos of mountain climbing, swimming, or even biking. Heck – this could work great with the Skully AR-1! If you are interested in knowing more about how it works – the guys over at Microsoft research put together a great explanation over on their page.

Consumer Technology, Motorcycles

Skully AR-1 – Smart Motorcycle helmet funding now.

The Skully AR-1 is a new Smart Motorcycle helmet that has the form and function to make smart helmets something mainstream. The design of the helmet is phenomenal in my opinion, and I’m just wondering if it’s appropriate to buy one to use in the car. The project is currently being funded over on indiegogo where you can find out more or get your very own for the low low price of $1599.

Automobiles, Consumer Technology

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Review – The Elite American Family Hauler

 

2015 Tahoe Review

 

Thousands of Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans traverse our neighborhood streets each day – many pulling a double shift: business during the day; kids after hours. I’ve always been attracted to the Tahoe/Yukon.

  1. They seem to last forever; you see models from the 90’s all the time
  2. Room! I remember what is was like to be a kid on a road trip
  3. They are utilitarian and capable keeping your truck-like needs fulfilled.

The previous model’s design was good looking and yet we can all agree, it was time for a redesign and damn the new 2015 looks sharp. Except for the front. Oh, and the cockpit. Also, the wheels are not that great. Yup, I’m getting ahead of myself. Read More

Computers, Consumer Technology, Desktop

Yes. This PC has hair.

haircomputer

This is the Silentpower PC – who has replaced internal fans with external copper hair. Basically a giant metal heat sink – this supposedly allows the computer to run without fans and cools itself completely passively.  It is a neat idea, and only time will tell if it will be a successful one as they are currently taking pre-orders and donations to get their own crowd-funding campaign off the ground. More info can be found over at Gizmag. Or you can head directly to the crowd-funding campaign at Silentpower.

Android Apps, Android Phones, Consumer Technology, Iphone, Iphone Apps, Smartphones

5 App Essentials for New Parents

 

Well – you’ve gone and done it – brought a new life into this world. Yes it is a once in a lifetime, wonderful and magical experience. However, for the first few weeks you sometimes feel like you are taking care of a small alien creature who has many vague rules and regulations. Let them sleep too long? They Cry. Hold them a certain way? They Cry? Feed them after midnight? Well… let’s just say to be careful feeding them after midnight.

In order to help future new parents – I give you 5 app essentials that make those first few weeks a great deal more bearable.

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