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There are two segments of any marketplace with room for growth: the high end and the low end. The high end is risky–if you go too heavily into this end and your product fails, you’re losing your shirt. The low end isn’t as risky, but also isn’t as lucrative. With Verizon doing well in the top end of things thanks to their iPhone success, and maintaining a popular middle ground, Verizon has decided to go after the low-risk, low-reward lower end of things. In the cellphone world, that means prepaid plans with no contract. Verizon is now offering a $35-per-month prepaid plan.
The plan seems like a good deal. You get 500 minutes (no in-network free calls or free nights and weekends or anything like that) with unlimited text and Internet. There are only four phones to choose from, all made by Samsung or LG, but if you’re in the market for a cheap phone, this seems like it might be the thing. Given how little I want to talk and how much more comfortable I am with texts and Internet phone usage, this sounds like a pretty good deal for someone like me who doesn’t talk much on the phone.Technorati Tags: $35 phone plan, lg, pay-as-you-go, prepaid phone plans, samsung, Verizon, verizon offers $35 prepaid phone plan, verizon prepaid phone, verizon wireless
T-Mobile is a company actively trying to create some noise in the cell phone game. The first thing the company did was end monthly contracts. Now they’re doing something even crazier: free iPhone upgrades. If you have an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 4S, T-Mobile will upgrade your phone to an iPhone 5 for free when it comes out April 12. Essentially, they’re giving you $120 per iPhone trade in, then they knock off their usual $100 fee. Not too shabby!
The issue with the deal is value. Namely, the iPhone 4S (and even the iPhone 4) can cost more than the $220 total T-Mobile is giving you, with some Ebay auctions of the low-end iPhone 4 model can be anywhere from $150 to $285 depending on who it is and the condition, and even an iPhone 4 with a cracked screen is fetching $100. I haven’t looked, but I’m sure the iPhone 4S is fetching prices higher than that. You may be better off financially by selling your old iPhone at various online retailers, then taking that money and going to T-Mobile to get the phone with that cash. However, that sounds like a hassle, doesn’t it? The T-Mobile thing might be a little less of a pain.Technorati Tags: cell phone, cellular phones, free iphone upgrade, iphone, iphone 5, iphone upgrade for free, mobile phone, smartphone, smartphones, t-mobile, t-mobile iphone upgrade, t-mobile is giving a free iphone upgrade, t-mobile upgrades iphone 4 to iphone 5, telephones
On April 3, 1973, Dr. Martin Cooper made a telephone call to AT&T’s Bell Labs from his office at Motorola. The noteworthy bit about this telephone call? It wasn’t simply teasing the competition, it was a noteworthy achievement. Forty years ago, the first cellular telephone call was made.
That phone is the Motorola DynaTAC, which was officially introduced to the mass marker in 1983, a full decade after the initial phone call was made using a prototype. The first DynaTAC, dubbed the 8000x, weighed a staggering 1.75 pounds. It offered 30 minutes of talk time and 8 hours of standby, giving it battery life the first generation of iPhone would be envious of. It was the first cell phone that could connect with the phone network without the aid of an operator for phonecalls, was portable, and lasted until 1994 with continual changes and improvements.
Among the accessories were a leather zippered case with a metal belt clip, a one-hour desktop charger (that sometimes broke the phone batteries and shorted the phone out), and a swiveling brass antenna, which might be the coolest accessory ever invented.Technorati Tags: 40th anniversary of the cell phone, AT&T, bell labs, cellphone, cellular telephone, dynatac, first cell phone, first cellphone call was made 40 years ago, martin cooper, motorola, motorola dynatac
The new trend at baseball stadiums is constant entertainment. From the transistor radios of the 50′s to in-seat video screens of today, there’s always something to do at a baseball game (in addition to watching the game on the field). Bars, restaurants, play areas, arcades, shopping sections… the entertainment never ceases at the ball park, and now you can play games while you use the bathroom, at least at one minor league stadium. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are going to have urinal-based video games. That’s right, you can now pee and play at the same time!
The game is the idea of the Lehigh Valley Health Network, and it is designed to educate men about prostate health. When the urinal is not in use, it displays information about prostate health and Lehigh Valley’s services. When a user steps to the plate, so to speak, the advertisements go away and the game starts. The user’s urine stream guides the character in the game, who is participating in a downhill snowmobile competition.
“It’s just like a joystick on a video game,” said Brian Downs, Director of Media Relations for Lehigh Valley Health Network. ”You kind of have a built-in audience and an opportunity to create an awareness about the importance of prostate health. There’s a lot of ways you can market different programs and healthcare. In this case, it made a lot of sense.”
Each of the four men’s restrooms in the 10,100-seat Coca-Cola stadium will get a game. There will be no charge for users to play; it’s all part of the fun of an IronPigs game.Technorati Tags: bathroom technology, coca cola park, iron pigs, lehigh valley, lehigh valley health network, lehigh valley iron pigs, minor league baseball, pennsylvania, toilet games, unusual video games, urinal game, urinal game system, urinal video game, video games
When it comes to hand-washing technology, things are only getting better. Right now, if I go to a place that has a hands-free faucet, hands-free soap dispenser, and hands-free dryer, I’m a very happy person. What’s the point of even bothering with a wash if I’m going to have to touch a gross faucet or handle or button or whatever and ruin it with germs? And I’m not even a germaphobe! Fortunately, Dyson has seen the future in the form of the Airblade Tap.
The Airblade Tap is a combination of the Dyson Airblade dryer–which I love–and a hands-free tap. That’s right, you get two for the price of one, and two in the same unit. You wash your hands, then without dripping water everywhere, you dry your hands by using the Airblades on the sides of the faucet. Pretty cool, no?
Not only is the Airblade Tap cleverly designed, it’s also pretty inexpensive. Operating costs are estimated to be about $48 a year, which means it’s going to pay for itself in savings over paper towels or stand-alone dryers in a pretty short time. Look for these bad boys in your local airport or hotel later this year.Technorati Tags: Appliances, bathroom faucet, bathroom fixtures, dyson, dyson airblade, dyson airblade tap, hands-free dryer, hands-free dryer and tap in one, hands-free tap, new airblade tap
When it comes to cooking you need to be prepared for one thing. You’re going to be measuring a lot. Any recipe, any serving size, any food activity means you’re going to have to scoop, spread, spoon, and sort a wide variety of ingredients. A cup of this, a tablespoon of that, a half-cup of whatever… it’s pretty complicated, even if you’re following a recipe. Plus, there’s always the complication of needing a dozen different scoopers and hoping they are actually accurate. Fortunately, there’s help on the way. The Smoon is a self-measuring digital spoon that follows recipes as you scoop out your ingredients.
Feast your eyes (see what I did there?) on this informative video!
Okay, so you can’t exactly buy a smoon right now, but the fact that there’s a working prototype suggests that there may be a future in the smoon after all. The fact that it can sync up to a recipe as you go through the measurements is very impressive, as is its ease of scooping and leveling. I really love that design of scoop, though if I were changing it, I’d make it so the smoon would also self-scrape with the push of a button. If I want a half-cup of peanut butter, the smoon should make that happen as precisely as possible.
Visit the smoon’s website for more videos.Technorati Tags: adjusting spoon, Appliances, automatic spoon, cooking, digital spoon adjusts to fit recipes, electric smoon, kitchen tools, smoon, spoon, unusual objects, unusual utensils, utensils
According to Pew, 9 out of every 10 people in America have cell phones and, as it turns out, everyone has cell phone problems. From the old-school candy bar phone to the most modern smart phone, there’s nothing but problems with your cell phone service. Of course, smartphone users have more problems than standard phone users when it comes to dropped calls, with 35 percent reporting weekly dropped calls versus 28 percent of non-smartphone users.
All users, no matter of their phone style, have dropped calls, with 72 percent reporting weekly dropped calls. If you have any sort of cell, prepare for spam; 68 percent get spam phone calls, and 70 percent report spam text messages. If you use your phone to get online, prepare for slow downloading speeds; that’s a common complaint for 77 percent of smartphone owners. Are these problems excessive, or are people just more aware of it as we become more used to constant availability? Well, if you believe Pew, it’s the latter.
“As mobile owners become fond of just-in-time access to others and as their expectations about getting real-time information rise, they depend on the cellphone’s technical reliability,” said Pew researcher Jan Lauren Boyles. ”Any problems that snag, stall, or stop users from connecting to the material and people they seek is at least a hassle to them and sometimes is even more disturbing than that in this networked world.”Technorati Tags: cell phone problems, cell phone survey, cell phones, Jan Lauren Boyles, pew, pew research group, phone problem survey
When it comes to computer mice, most people don’t think anything about them. For example, if they get a new computer system, they simply use whatever mouse came with their new desktop. If they don’t get any accessories, I’d imagine most people simply keep using their accessories until they give out from old age (like my 10-year-old computer monitor did not too long ago). However, it may behoove you, if you’re a power user who spends a lot of time at the computer, to get a mouse that’s more befitting of the way you use and grip your mouse. USA Today has a guide on picking your perfect computer mouse that might be worth checking out.
As for me, I bought a mouse ages ago, and have finally started to use it with my new Alienware netbook. So far so good. I’m a palm gripper, so I need a large mouse with contours for my fingers to go. The mouse I use, a Logitech MX1000-style mouse but not wireless, has been a big hit with me. It’s nice and large, but it’s very responsive to my hand movements thanks to the laser system used in place of the traditional mouse ball.
ShaktronicsLove home electronics? So do we.
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