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    July 29, 2014
    Microsoft’s “Selfie” Phone

    It seems like you can’t escape selfies these days.  From television to your phone, the world is taking pictures of itself to share with its friends, and it seems like smartphone companies are getting smarter about giving the people what they want:  an easier way to take pictures of themselves.  That’s why so many phones come with forward-facing cameras, but Microsoft is doing the competition one better.  Microsoft’s new smartphone has a 5 megapixel camera just for taking selfies.  That’s more powerful than all the competition.

    The phone will be 4.7 inches and is joined by another higher-end Windows Phone in launching soon, but Microsoft employees have been given a sneak preview of the phone.  It’s the first designed by Stephen Elop, former Nokia chief who joined up with Microsoft when the company bought out the former phone manufacturer to bolster the Windows Phone division.  The first step, apparently, is to design a phone for folks to take pictures of themselves (and maybe occasionally the world around them) without sacrificing power and usefulness.

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    June 18, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Smart Fridge

    Image:  Beard Complex

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    April 30, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: $13000 Brewing System

    Image:  Engadget

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    March 21, 2014
    Fun Friday Videos: Kids React To Rotary Phones

    It’s Friday, it’s March, and you’re probably wishing you were at the park or watching basketball or doing anything other than sitting at your place of employment, manning a phone or typing on a computer.  I know that’s how I feel!  So, to lighten up  your afternoon and get reacquainted with some technology from the not-too-distant past, here’s a great “Kids React To” video from the Fine Brothers.  They do a bunch of these sorts of videos about everything from old technology to viral videos, and this is probably one of my favorite ones.  It’s  elementary school kids reacting to a rotary dial telephone.

    YouTube Preview Image

    It must be a sign of my age that when I was that age, I regularly used a rotary dial telephone at my grandmother’s house (and a push-button phone at my parents’ place) so even then I wasn’t lost on rotary dial.  Then again, I also didn’t grow up with a smartphone or even a cordless phone, so looking at a rotary phone must be like looking at a percolator to them.

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    February 21, 2014
    Sprint Adds Wi-Fi Calling Plan

    One of the hardest places to get cell phone signals (aside from every major city) is in your very own home.  You’ve got your cell phone, but in order to answer calls or get any kind of sound quality, you have to go sit by a window or go outside or even retreat to the comfort of your car in bad weather.  It’s kind of annoying, considering just how good the average home Wi-Fi signal is.  Fortunately, Sprint is going to be correcting that eternal problem.  Spring is going to be adding Wi-Fi calling and texting service to certain Android phones.

    The phones in question are the the Samsung Galaxy Mega and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini  Sprint will be rolling out updates to the phones in the coming weeks with the goal of relieving congestion on networks and improving service within the home.  AT&T and T-Mobile offer similar plans and similar ideas, with T-Mobile having the in-home Wi-Fi calling and AT&T using public Wi-Fi hot spots to reduce congestion on its service.  Those have been pretty successful, so I imagine Sprint’s plan will work out pretty well for the company, barring technical problems.

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    February 12, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Vintage Skype

    Via: Imgur

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    January 22, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Sad Phone

    Via:  Buzzfeed

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    January 8, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: The Pizza Button

    Via Neatorama.

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    October 3, 2013
    Power Tourism

    One of the classic quandaries for any modern traveler is finding power.  If you’re going from America to Europe, or vice-versa, you know full well that you can’t just roll into the UK and start plugging gadgets into walls without destroying your electronics and possibly causing a fire.  That’s not an ideal way to spend your vacation.

    Everything you’ll need as a traveler, from your phone to your laptop to your camera, needs power.  If you’re traveling with vintage equipment, just buy some batteries.  If you’re traveling with any camera made after the 90′s, or an older camera with rechargeable battery packs rather than actual batteries, you’ll need to plug it in.  The same goes for your phone.  If you can buy a converter for fairly cheap, one charger should be enough to keep everything you’ll need on a daily basis powered up, so long as you’re pretty competent about keeping things charging overnight while you sleep.

    However, if you’re in a tough way for charging, there’s a solution.  If your hotel room has a flat screen television (and most of them do these days if you’re staying at a decent hotel), you can charge your devices via their USB cables.  Just hook your camera or phone to the television while it’s plugged in and on and let the device trickle charge while you catch up on events back in the US or find out the weather or kill time until you sleep.  It’s bonus power, and no converters are needed!

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    August 16, 2013
    Ubuntu Raises $10.5 Million For Smartphone Project

    Ubuntu, the open-source operating system that is responsible for a bunch of different off-shoot operating systems, is kind of a big deal in its world.  That’s a limited world, to be sure, but it’s not without its supporters.  Specifically, 22,500 supporters who were willing to pony up money to support an interesting idea.  Ubuntu raised a record $10.5 million dollars on indiegogo to fund the Ubuntu Edge smartphone.

    “Since we’re working with industry already, and since millions of you have are passionate about the latest and greatest phone technology — software and hardware — we’re in a perfect position to change the way innovation comes to the mobile industry,” said Ubuntu and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth.

    Of course, you can’t make smartphones for $10.5 million; the company plans to raise a total of $32 million for its phone.  The phone is expected to debut in mid-2014 and will be running a Ubuntu derivative.  The phone will be a mid- to high-end device made from a single piece of carved metal with a 4.5 inch color display.

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