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Back in December, I posted about how I’ve been trying to shift my life into the digital domain.

Today, I watched as Apple dashed these hopes into the ground. Steve Jobs revealed their new tablet, The iPad. Upon first glance, I saw the iPhone’s interface and my heart sunk.

Gizmodo covers quite well the myriad disappointments of the iPad, all of which are very valid complaints. However, I’d like to explain my own personal disappointment.

Truly, what I wanted was a touchscreen MacBook. Something that could be used to create, but at the same time be large enough — unlike an iPhone or iPod Touch — to consume media. Apparently this is a tall order, since the iPad seems hell bent on only media consumption. That isn’t to say it’s a completely gimped product, you can buy the iWork suite for $30, i.e. it’s not the central focus of the device.

This is what I was expecting. This video is a concept of Microsoft’s Courier Tablet — something useful, something meant for creation. Yet all we got today is the “iPod Touch XL”.

Would it have been that hard to put a camera for video chat? Or allow multitasking? Or even put a USB port on the thing so we don’t need a dongle?

Someone wake me up when this thing can do something other than charge your credit card for media at every turn.

I had no idea the man himself is on YouTube. And he posts really really frequently. /jawdrop

I mean, this is improv’d!

A few days ago, the guys at Gizmodo posted about this waltz created with the Nokia ringtone as its theme. In the comments, someone pointed out the actual song that Nokia ripped on.

I think I like the piano waltz better.

“It’s not shiny things that captivate me anymore; it’s what they shine.” – Brian Lam

This is the aftermath of the blizzard that rolled through the east coast this past weekend — there’s something calming about the sun’s pallid light, cast upon the thick layer of snow that seems to have frozen everything in its tracks.

It took Linda over 12 hours to get here on Friday. The journey is normally only 4.5 to 5 hours. The New York Times has an article about the storm, but their coverage on the D.C. beltway seems conservative. She described the situation of all the cars parked on the road, some cars tried to pass on the shoulder, but got stuck, blocking the path for the snow plows. After some time parked on the interstate, she managed to make a u-turn, escaping the interstate-now-parking lot. I’m just glad she made it here safely.

Earlier that afternoon I went to the Verizon store to get a new cell phone. I just needed something to make calls with and ended up spending $150 on a refurbished Motorola. It was horrible timing to ruin my phone, but I at least had something working so I could track her progress and update her on traffic. It’s not the best phone in the world, but it got us through this blizzard.

Well, since my Samsung Trance was sentenced to a watery death, I suppose I’ll memorialize it by reviewing it.

First the good. The build quality is excellent; it’s a slide phone with a glass front. All the buttons feel very sturdy and for the four months I had it, the slide never gave any signs of wear. Call quality was very good too, probably the best of any phone I’ve had, though I’ve admittedly not owned many phones.

In terms of design, the entire front face is touch sensitive, which is really just a gimmick. Having touch buttons on the face doesn’t really do anything when the button layout is static. When I first got it, I tried to touch the menu buttons on the screen many times, but you have to navigate around with a touch direction pad. My biggest gripe with the touch screen front was that the mute button was one of the buttons you could tap during a call. And press it I did. Many times.

Despite its flaws, it was a faithful phone while I had it, but alas, our time together was cut short by the spin cycle.

Cell phones can get pretty dirty. Every time you talk on one, a thin film of face grease will undoubtedly appear upon call completion. Thus, whenever I talk on my phone, I usually just wipe it a few times on my pants before inserting it back in my pocket. Sometimes, I’ll go all out when cleaning my phone; I’ll bust out the laptop screen wipes or maybe some rubbing alcohol. In general, however, cleaning your cell phone is usually a pretty mundane affair. So why write about it?

Well, I just thought I’d let everyone know that the laundry machine is not intended for cell phone cleaning. It may seem like a novel idea, considering the cell phone could already be in your pants, one step away from that slowly rising sudsy water — but resist the temptation. I, unfortunately, threw a pair of pants in the washer this morning, which was, even more unfortunately, housing my cell phone. It won’t turn on now.

At work, I try my absolute hardest to stay as digital as I can. Yet I always tend to keep a notebook or pad of paper around to jot the random things that tend to just pop into my mind. If I had my way, I’d just use my laptop for these random “ah-ha!” moments. However, being an engineer, it usually involves some kind of drawing or equation. Hence, I don’t use my laptop for notes. There was a point where I tried, but it was just too cumbersome, and the only benefit was being able to command+F and search for things.

I got excited when Gizmodo put up some information on this tablet that’s been floating around the internet (now known and JooJoo). Much to my dismay, however, it seems to just be a terminal server onto the internet, and not anything like the Courier. But I’m waiting for Apple to unveil their supposed tablet. I’ve slowly migrated away from Microsoft to Apple, and I just don’t want to go back, no matter how shiny Windows 7 is.

Someone just needs to make my all digital dreams come true, and pronto. This paper stuff is getting in the way.

For those that didn’t hear, DARPA created a challenge to find 10 red balloons throughout the US. With the first person to find all 10 receiving $40,000. Surprisingly, the challenge was completed in less than 9 hours (PDF) by a team at MIT, which is pretty dang quick considering how randomly placed these balloons seem to be. Go networking!

There’s nothing quite like Pandora to get your musical curiosity flowing. I know I was just saying how acoustic guitar needs to be watched, but the music itself can be so transcendental. If you couldn’t guess, I’m listening to my acoustic radio station on Pandora now, what better way to motivate a Friday afternoon?

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