If you want to watch Netflix and YouTube on your television, you have a few options - video game console, Blu ray player, smart TV, Apple TV, or Roku Box. Google has developed an alternative that is both more affordable and easier to set up The Google Chromecast lets any iOS or Android device, as well as any computer running the Google Chrome browser, control video streaming on your television. For $35, it's a steal. Check out my video review below!
Starbucks. Amtrak. Barnes & Noble. All of these place offer the promise of free WiFi so that customers can freely browse questionable internet sites at their leisure. However, what always happens? The signal is crappy! Too many people are on it! It's too slooowwwww.
One way to get around this is to carry around your own WiFi signal. Most cell phone and tablet devices such as the Apple iPad or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1") pictured above contain an option that allows the device to broadcast its own WiFi signal. Confusingly, this can be called different things - Apple calls it Personal Hotspot, Verizon calls it Mobile Hotspot, and Windows Phone calls it Internet Sharing.
This may be an additional charge to enable mobile WiFi - AT&T charges me an extra $20/mo for my iPhone to share a WiFi signal. The price is worth it when I'm stuck somewhere with a crappy WiFi signal and I need to get work done. However, it WILL eat up your battery and drive up your data usage and potentially cost even more, especially if you're connecting using your laptop and visiting data heavy sites such as YouTube and Netflix. I've definitely been hit up with a bill that was significantly higher than I was used to because I didn't watch my data consumption.
BrothaTech also has a great piece on mobile hotspots last year - check that out by clicking here.
My favorite part of any movie that features a robot is when they show the robot's point of view. They usually show menus popping up with give further information on what the robot is seeing - someone's emotional state, directions to someone's place, etc. The cool kids call it "augmented reality".
Google is stepping to the arena with Google Glass, which will be released later this year for consumers. It's essentially a pair of glasses that allow you to access the internet, take photos, and record video with your voice. Joshua Topolsky gives a preview of the device on The Verge. It looks great, but pricey - Google is only promising it will be "under $1500". Yeah ... hopefully it's not $1499. If you can't see the video below, please click here.
Google is expanding on a concept that has existed with other pieces of tech that I've tried. The iPhone Yelp app had an awkward mode where you hold up the camera and restaurants with Yelp reviews instantly appear, along with reviews and distances. If you can't see the video below, please click here.
My Nintendo 3DS came with cards that, when viewed through the 3DS camera, came to life and flew around on whatever background the camera was focusing on. If you can't see the video below, please click here.
I'm definitely looking forward to the release of Google Glass later this year. I'm saving up now!
Last week, I attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. Below is a video of some footage that I took on the floor. Unfortunately, my microphone adapter broke so I was not able to hold any interviews - gotta get that fixed for next year!
One thing I really hate about airports is never being able to find an open outlet to charge your devices. There's always one random outlet located in a far off gate. To top it off, its usually not near a seat, so you have to sit on the dirtiest floor imaginable.
Another thing that disappoints me about most airports is having to pay for Wi-Fi. After paying for the cost of a ticket, transportation to the airport, baggage checking fees, and the ungodly price of horrible airplane food, I hate having to pay another fee.
Check out how St Louis Lambert Airport ranks in outlets and Wi-Fi in the video below! If you can't see it, click here!
So I blacked out and when I woke up I had a preorder for the new Google Nexus 7 tablet lined up and ready to go. I swear, it's not my fault! Ok, it is. The good news is that I didn't put myself in any financial trouble because I already had the money stashed away for emergency gadget buying.
I prioritize what's important by allocating a large part of my take home pay after bills, savings, and regular expenses to spend on whatever I want. As you can tell by this blog, I love tech and science. So I save this splurge money every paycheck until I find something I want that's tech and science related, so that I can get it with no worries.
This only works if you go cheap on things that you don't really care for. For me, a big chunk of that is for clothes. I wear clothes until they die and don't care much about what's the fashionable wear for this year or season. I also rarely go out and spend massive amounts on drinks or other expenses involving in clubbing. I spend minimally on this and other stuff so that I can splurge on what I love.
Don't go broke ... just adjust your priorities!
Meeting people like the amazing Adria Richards is a plus for conferences. She approved of my C:\ shirt!
I came away from this weekend's Blogging While Brown conference inspired and willing to invest in myself to make this blog the best that it can be. In the midst of this conference, I came away with several thoughts regarding technology.
Personal Interaction >>>> Virtual Interaction
One of the benefits of a conference is meeting people that you've only corresponded with online. The in person meeting makes a world of difference. My online persona is a representation of me, but the in-person meeting is just as, if not more important. It must be apparent that your online persona is an extension of your personality, not something totally different. Otherwise, you can come off as disingenuous and playing a role on the internet that is not real. Personal connection matters. You know that excitement when someone like Dr. Goddess, Luvvie Ajayi, or Slim Jackson interacts with you online? Yeah, that's magnified by a thousand when it's in person.
Technology is a Great Conversation Starter
When you're around people that are more successful than you and you're the new face in the room, it can sometimes be hard to approach people. I was able to start a lot of conversations with talk about gadgets - cell phones, tablets, or my infamous gadget sandwich. Nearly everyone was on some sort of device - engage people about them.
You NEED an Extended Charging Solution
In this era of social networking, you need access to a cell phone during an entire conference, which can sometimes last 10 hours or more, plus dinner, drinks, etc. Having an extended battery for your phone is key. Fellow attendee BrothaTech had a several charging solutions for his gadgets. I've been using the uNU Power DX extended battery for my iPhone, and I never had my phone drop out. Perfect for twitpics of people after they are ... a bit inebriated.
I had a great time at the conference, and I will definitely be attending next year!
I walk my dog nightly, and there are a couple of things that annoy me:
- People that call to my dog without asking
- People that touch my dog without waking
- People that wander into my path because they're not paying attention
While the first two are straight up disrespectful, the third is just as annoying. Whether people are talking on someone walking with them, talking on the phone, or texting, my dog has almost been crush by the raggedy sneakers of some idiot.
However, fining for texting is just stupid. It doesn't discourage the activity, and I damn sure don't want cops spending their time looking for people walking as opposed to solving real crime.
I know I've been guilty of texting while walking. To be fair, I try to be good about it - I tilt my phone in such a way that I can see what is ahead of me. However, I lose the sense of feeling when people come up either behind me or directly on the side of me. I've definitely been surprised by people, especially bikers and joggers, that come up quickly behind me as I'm trying to share my latest joke with the world.
Texting is an amazing piece of technology that let's you stay connected with friends without having to have an actual phone call. No excuse to walk into other people though.
The good news is that I remember several annoying high school kids from Fort Lee, so that's a plus. Ticket them like crazy!