Futurism, Smartphones

SmrtGRiPS – finally connecting bike handles to the Internet!

I know – no one asked for ‘connected’ bike handles, but the team over at SmrtGRiPS make a very convincing argument that this is how biking should have been all along.  Currently funding over on indiegogo, SmrtGRiPS has a ton of cool features, and a lot going for it (aside from the terrible name). Not only does it incorporate bike tracking (if you happen to lose your bike) but it also integrates ‘screen free’ turn by turn directions, and will do stuff like automatically notify emergency services if it feels an impact or crowd based ‘bike finding’ if someone happens to take your bike out by accident. Check out all the planned features over on their indiegogo site – looks like you’ve got until March 12th to get them early at a significant discount.

Smartphones

Modular Phones – probably not for the mainstream just yet.

colorsOfPuzzlephone-820x420

My wife and I recently upgraded her phone. We walked into the Verizon store and had a representative “help” us find the phone that she wanted. It had been two years since our last upgrade and her previous phone had all but died – the battery life had gone from a good 8 hours with medium use, down to about 4 hours after doing all of those little tricks like turning down the brightness, turning off the bluetooth, rubbing it against fresh blankets out of the dryer, etc. etc.

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Computers, Consumer Technology, Enterprise Technology, Futurism, Green Energy, Ipad, Iphone

eCycle Your Old Gadgets

VenyuBlog-eCyclingSomeone in your household received a shiny new tablet, phone, TV … something gadgety for Christmas. Your old phone either gets repurposed as a science project or relegated to the kitchen junk drawer — and that lifecycle is the problem because soon enough it will end up trashed.

Global demand for gadgets is staggering. While we’re making Apple and Samsung rich, parts of our world are getting strip-mined and in some cases, people are literally dying to satisfy our appetite for electronics. Yikes! That’s morbid Matt… it should be. Join me and gather up all those “old” “clunky” iPhones and pre-iPhone-6-Plus phablets and take them to your local eCycler (electronic recycler) for recycling.

Each device contains an amalgam of precious metals and hard to source minerals that, in the right hands, can be repurposed for the next generation of e-gadgets. FastCoExist recently published a sobering blog about Bangka’s tin mining operations – bleak and depressing to say the least.

The moral of the story is that everything we have comes from somewhere. I ask you to acknowledge the electronic lifecycle and help stave off the insatiable demand for precious metals by eCycling. It’s pretty easy actually: BestBuy and HomeDepot, among other big box retailers, typically have recycling bins inside their front doors. Just be sure to prevent your identity being eCycled! Delete your data ;)

Smartphones, Windows Phones

HTC One M8 for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 review

HTC One M8 For Windows

Imagine this scenario: You work at HTC, it’s 4:30 PM on a Friday, and you can’t wait for the weekend to begin.  Suddenly, your manager comes up to you, drags you into a conference room with the new guy that started on Monday, and says in his gruff voice, “come up with a name for our new HTC One M8 phone that runs the Windows Phone OS before you leave today.”  If ever someone at HTC threw their hands in the air and frustratingly grunted out, “call it whatever you want!” to some other clueless person, then stormed out of the room, I think this would be that time.

This is the HTC One M8 for Windows, the very appropriately and unimaginatively named Windows Phone from HTC running Windows Phone 8.1.  I’ve been Windows Phone-curious since Microsoft released Windows Phone 7, and I’ve finally got my hands on one of these elusive devices for an extensive review and analysis.

Read more over at my personal blog.

Consumer Technology, Entertainment

REVIEW: Fire TV Stick – two thumbs up

Image Courtesy: Amazon.com

Image Courtesy: Amazon.com

Is Amazon’s Fire TV Stick this Christmas Season’s go-to gadget?! Yes. I bought one in the pre-sale on a whim and obviously couldn’t just wait until Christmas for the install. I’m impressed.

Super easy to install and setup, the Fire TV Stick is snappy, intuitive, and even minimalistic.

We’re a cable/satellite-free family and have been using our Roku for two years running – additionally, I use the Apple TV at Venyu so now with my Amazon Fire TV experience, I can attest to it’s coolness. I like the interface and the tactile interaction  with the little svelte remote (ala Apple TV). Like all streaming devices, the Fire TV Stick basically transforms your dumb tv into the opposite.

Tech specs are hard to argue with too: dual core processor, 1GB memory, and 8GB onboard memory for apps and games. Apps include all the usual suspects like Netflix, Pandora, Hulu, etc and the games selection is not too shabby either although you’ll want to order a game controller. As an Amazon user, you’ll benefit from added bonuses like photo streaming from your Amazon cloud as well as music streaming from Amazon Cloud Player – both native to the device.

All this for $39.00 – and that’s the whole point of this article. Making the leap to a cable-free, internet centric media experience is more realistically accessible than ever before.