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Automatic Link gives your car a smart upgrade

If you feel like having a bit more control over your automobile, check out the Automatic Link. The link plugs into your vehicle's OBD2 computer port, you are then able to monitor your vehicle's gas usage, service/check engine alerts etc, it even remembers where you parked your car. The Automatic Link also has a crash alert feature that notifies up to 3 people when a crash has taken place. The onboard computer of your car has always been used by repair technicians in order to diagnose your car's health, this gadget is able to give you all the same information from the convenience of your smartphone. The Automatic Link is compatible with iPhone and Android, the connector fits most gas powered vehicles manufactured after 1996. You can check your vehicle compatibility here on the Automatic site. You can pre-order the Automatic Link for $69.95 with shipping following in May 2013. I have already pre ordered a unit and will be posting a review once received. I will note that there are other devices that allow you to do the same diagnostic functions but the ability to manage it from your smartphone sets this gadget apart from the rest. Check out the video below.


Sony's CES 2013 Press Event

Sony announcing 4K tvs to its current line up, including a 4K 84in Ultra HD tv at the low-low price of $25,000. Along with these announcements, they also previewed smaller versions at 65 & 55 inches that should be a bit more affordable. 

NFC (Near Field Communication) was also a big part of the event. NFC is not new by any means but it will be interesting to be able to interact with various devices around. Sending music to a portable speaker, HDtv or headphones promises to be easier than current solutions. 

The Bravia XBR-84X900 allows for upscaling to 4K. Of course, the question with 4K is the content. Sony also is adding a line of Mastered for 4K Bluray discs that -have to be upscaled to 4K- via one of it's new sets. Until later this summer when they launch the worlds first 4K distribution service...Can't wait to see the download times on one of those selections.


Samsung Press Conference CES 2013

Samsung announced it's new Smart Hub for tvs. The hub acts as an assistant to the viewer, you'll be able to talk to the tv in order to find content you are searching for. I found it interesting they did not build the microphone into the tv instead the the mic is in the remote. This somewhat fixes the receiving end from taking in ambient noise like on the Xbox Kinect. Gesture control was also highlighted for moving between menu options.

A Samsung Evolution kit that  brings all these new features can be added to older models of Samsung tvs allowing for an upgrade to existing sets. 

Along with these improvements, Samsung also announced an OLED 85in Ultra HDtv with 4 times the pixel density of a regular LED display. This set also upconverts HD to Ultra HD. Another example of the industry taking the next step as far as picture quality is concerned. Many people today ask What the next step is beyond 1080p? In my opinion, no matter how good we think picture quality is today, the industry will still force feed improvements as time goes on...Its expected.  After all it wouldn't CES without refrigerators with built in computers.  From ovens that can cook to meals at different temperatures at the same time to smart cameras, that 85in OLED tv has to be the highlight.




CES 2013: Intel Press Conference

This year Intel announced a pretty wide range of products in it's 48min press conference at CES 2013. As a company that is trying to remain relevant in the technology market, they previewed smartphones, tablets, tablet/laptop hybrids etc. Overall a improvements on technology we have already seen. Lower power requirements for upcoming Atom processors and "simpler" security in the form of facial recognition and gesture control were among other features announced. 

What stood out to me the most was a table top pc, that was used to play Monopoly by a family during the presentation. Similar to the Microsoft Surface table, players moved pieces virtually on the table without having to physically pick any game pieces. Although this seems very cool, I can't help but think that actually moving the pieces and holding fake money in your hand was one of the best experiences of playing board games. A deal with Comcast Xfinity involving a media gateway that will distribute premium content via IP to devices in the home looked pretty cool as well. I will be digging into that story more, even though I am not a Comcast customer.  All in all, a overall improvement over technology that I once again have already seen. A forward progression is still great but nothing really ground breaking in my opinion.

Check out Gigaom live blog for details of the event.


BLACK Friday

The craziest shopping day of the year is peaking around the corner. All around the US shoppers will get up or just plain old stay awake until stupid o clock in order to grab the best deals. Though I'm not in the market for anything in particular this year, I find myself turning to online purchases mostly. Check out the links below if you want to keep track of some deals heading your way this Friday the 23 of November. I listed some of the links that I follow, but if you have any that are good as well, be sure to drop a comment below.     Slickdeals     Cnet     Amazon


Purple spots on iPhone 5 photos, camera related issues

First off I want to say this problem is not the purple haze problem Apple has already admitted to. Which involves pointing the camera at a light area like the sun. This is completely different in the fact that after taking a random picture today, I noticed a dark purple stain in the frame. After taking several photos, I realized it was a stain within the lens. I cleaned the outside of the lens thoroughly and still no resolve. I immediately jumped on the Apple forums and to my surprise...I was not the only one. Other have also complained about the dark stain on their photos as well. Interesting enough it only appears on the rear camera photos, the front camera lens is clean. I take pretty good care of my phone, so this is not due to a dropped device. A trip to the Apple store is in my near future and I will let you all know what the outcome was. Below are some shots I took after realizing the problem.


iPhone 5 is a Solid Update

The new iPhone has dropped and sold out within an hour of the midnight release on Fri the 14th. Shipping dates afre now out 3-4 weeks online. I purchased the 16gb AT&T Charcoal model. Coming from the iPhone 4, the slightly bigger screen allows for more icons on a single screen. Videos are displayed in a 16:9 format that feels more natural. The thinner size feels substantially lighter than the iPhone4/4s, being that this new version does not have back pain of glass. Instead the back side is aluminum which gives it more of Macbook look. Based on specs, benchmarks have declared the iphone 5 the fastest smartphone on the market...for now. With the gang of Android smartphones coming in the near months it will be interesting to see if the iphone 5 holds it spot at the top. This phone has a slick design along with the same environment Apple users are accustomed to. Below I'll point out the good and the bad based on my time with the phone for now. As far as recommendations, if you have a iPhone 4 or earlier, it is definitely worth the $199 upgrade, If you have a 4s and don't actually need a bigger screen, then I say hold out for the next version, being that you most likely don't have an upgrade to use. You can still upgrade to IOS6 now anyway. Quick note as well, the Verizon iPhone 5 has an unlocked sim card slot meaning if you buy this version you will also be able to use it on AT&T minus the LTE (4G). Something to keep in mind if you have the choice to do so.

The Good

-Slightly bigger screen than previous models

-Thinner & lighter body

-Faster A6 processor along with 1gb of RAM

-LTE 4G data connectivity

-Turn by turn directions via Apple maps app

The Bad

-Proprietary Lightning connecter, new $30 adapter will be needed to use older 30 pin usb cables.

-Verizon and Sprint versions cannot transmit data and voice at the same time. (No simultaneous voice and data)

-IOS6 Maps app is (for now) a downgrade from Google maps on previous versions. 

-No NFC (Near Field Communication) Android phones have had this feature for some time now.



New PS3s Coming Soon

250gb Kit - $270 US

Black(Sep 25) or White(Nov 22)



500gb Kit - $379 US

Black (Oct 4)



250gb Bundle - $379 US 

Black or White (Nov 22)



New PS3s coming our way, if you never bought one now would be a good time to pick one up.


Why I chose the iPhone 5 over the Samsung Galaxy S III

  Up until a month ago I had been using a Iphone 4 on AT&T for quite some time. I skipped the Iphone 4s just because Siri was not a determining factor for me to upgrade. With all great the reviews (and specs) on the Samsung Galaxy S III I went ahead and sold my wife's 8gb Iphone 4, then gave her my 16gb Iphone 4, which in turn allowed me to use my upgrade to purchase the Galaxy S III. The Galaxy S III was $50 cheaper at Walmart compared to the AT&T store, Best Buy, Target etc. They only had the white version available (which I rather not have, but I put a case on all my phones anyway) so I went ahead with the 16gb white Galaxy S III. My first impressions of the phone were great, the bigger screen real estate was excellent for browsing the web, watching movies or podcasts. Android Ice Cream Sandwich was very fluid and quick. The free navigation app that is included was very user freindly, which previous iphones did not offer. The speed of the AT&T network in my area on the S3 was also a boost from the 3g that I was getting on my Iphone4. I was averaging 15mbps down and 10mbps up on AT&T's so called 4g network. So far the Samsung Galaxy S III didn't disappoint. But when it came to storing the 4.8inch Galaxy in my was a whole other story. I work outdoors mostly so keeping the phone safe is a priority. The Galaxy S3 did not fit in my Dickies cellphone pocket for one, which is my preferred pocket for cellphones. Given how big the screen was, it was dificult to stowe it without risking cracking the screen in half. Also typing with one hand was a challenge with the bigger screen. The iphone 4 felt a bit sturdier and robust compared to the plastic feel of the S3, due in part to the iphone4 front and back glass slabs. I will say that spec wise, the Galaxy S3 is superior to my iphone 4, but with the annoucement of the iphone5 I had to decide which to keep. I stayed with the S3 for about two weeks before returning it to Walmart, which was a smooth process that didn't even require a restocking fee. My upgrade was reinstated with 48 hours of returning the S3. At this time, the waiting game began, I had to use an old Blackberry 8310, which is torture, especially when coming from using an S3. 

 When the Iphone 5 was announced, everything pretty much fell in line with all the prior speculation, slightly taller screen, thinner body, faster processor. Ok the taller screen thing, I am completley cool with due to the experience I had with the S3. In the end, I had to go with the iphone 5 simply because I am invested in the Apple product universe with such apps as iMovie, iPhoto and various other Apple devices. The new iPhone is basically the upgrade we would have wanted after the iPhone4 instead of the 4s.

  Armed with a Google Chromebook, a Macbook Pro and an Iphone 4, woke up 5 minutes before  midnight on Thursday the 13th, at the stroke of midnight I refreshed all three devices for about 5 minutes until the winner by a tap of f5 was... the Google Chromebook! hmm... I was unable to reach the preorder page on the Macbook Pro, though I did have better luck on the Iphone 4 App Store App but I ended up placing my order on the Chromebook. The result will arrive sometime on Sep 21, the initial iPhone5 stock was sold out a little after an hour after midnight, shipping dates are now at 2-3 weeks. I will post a clearer review once I recieve the new device. Though I liked the S3, I wouldn't be able to make a full decision without trying both devices.


Training a robot