Saturday, May 28, 2011

Run, Run, As Fast As You Can... 2.3.3 Is Out Of The Pan!

Sony Ericsson was never known for speedy software updates... It took forever for X10 owners to get the Eclair (2.1) update while everyone else is already on FroYo (2.2).

But now, they seem to have learned from the past, and are now giving Xperia Arc, Play and Neo owners the latest 2.3.3 version of Android Gingerbread.

Although the roll-out is still gradual, it's nice to see updates coming almost as fast as Google issues them!

For Arc, Play & Neo owners, let us know how the new software feels! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rolling Thunder: Why Thunderbolt Is Good

All this hype about Intel/Apple's new Thunderbolt port, and other manufacturers have yet to produce peripherals for it.  They can't get here soon enough.  Specially the adapters and hubs.

Now, to the people that really need it, like multimedia professionals, its use and advantage are obvious.  But how does it affect everyone else?  Why should the average consumer care if their new laptop has Thunderbolt or not?

Well, let me illustrate:

Without Thunderbolt:

With Thunderbolt:

How does this work in real life?  Thunderbolt aims to be a universal connector, much like USB did, except Thunderbolt was built to handle accessories, external storage, and external displays... and then some.

A single cable plugs into your laptop, from that cable, a hub with all the regular connectors: USB, Firewire, Ethernet, eSata, DVI, Displayport, etc... This allows a universal docking system for people with laptops.

You can leave your mouse, external keyboard, external display, hard drives, etc... all connected to one Thunderbolt hub, and just attach one single cable to your laptop.  Neat, clean, and fast.

Even if you don't need the speed, the sheer convenience of not having to plug and unplug all your peripherals all the time is a big plus.  On that merit alone, Thunderbolt should be standard on all peripherals and laptops now, not next year... NOW!

**Hallo, ich lerne Deutsch und ich kann ein paar Fragen zu beantworten.
Je parle un peu français aussi. Je peux répondre à des questions sur mes messages.**

A Little Environmental News

This isn't a tech related article, but I just had to write about it since I am a diver, and this affects the local eco-system.

A US company, Shell Horizons, Inc., seems to be exporting Philippine corals WHOLESALE.  Exporting (or simply bringing corals) out of the Philippines is illegal.  Tweets from Tourism Pilipinas, and an article on Asian Correspondent brought this to my attention.

If any of my readers have contacts in the US EPA, or the local Philippine DENR, please look into this and do something about it!

Video Out: A Moshi Mini DisplayPort HDMI Adapter Review

One thing with the new Macs is that the new Mini DisplayPort requires adapters to work with non-Apple displays.  Although a bit of an inconvenience, I do appreciate the fact that the port itself is very small and doesn't make the side of my laptop look like a cheese grater when not connected to an external display.

Currently, Apple only makes MDP to DVI and VGA adapters.  Useful for legacy displays, but what about newer HDMI systems?  All Macs as of 2010, support HDMI output, including audio pass-thru even though Apple doesn't make adapters for it.  But now, thanks to Moshi, you can now connect your Mac to your LCD/LED TV and surround sound processor, all with one cable.

Sporting a similar aluminum enclosure as the Macbook Pro, Moshi's adapter looks good and is easy to use.  Just plug it in.

Plug in your HDMI cable to the adapter, then connect to your home theater, and play your video.

By default the displays are mirrored, but you can also use it to stretch your Mac display onto your TV if you prefer.

On my Macbook Pro 13", 1080p HD movies are a cinch!

The Moshi MDP - HDMI adapter is a great addition to your accessory kit for your Mac, or any other MDP PC.  It looks great too!

**Hallo, ich lerne Deutsch und ich kann ein paar Fragen zu beantworten.
Je parle un peu français aussi. Je peux répondre à des questions sur mes messages.**

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Power Up!

It's storm season here in the Philippines.  Growing up, I got used to having intermittent power.  Not to mention the noise, and lack of proper grounding.  Because of this, I want to share with people the importance of a UPS, or Uninterrupted Power Supply.

Most companies invest in them to protect valuable data.  They give you the extra minutes needed to save your work and shut down your computer properly.  Most home users don't feel the need to have them, but I beg to disagree.

Power outages can seriously damage modern electronic devices such as mobile phones, mp3 players, and laptops while they are plugged in to be charged.  For desktops, they can (and usually will) fry your system, specially if there's a lightning storm.

The fluctuations in the electricity may not be noticeable, nor will they affect larger electrical appliances, but electronics are far more sensitive.  Not to mention, those annoying power adapters that charge your devices are not meant to be subjected to short power outages.  Most power adapters will be destroyed if a power outage is shorter than 5 seconds.

With that, I'd like to give my personal recommendation of APC products.  I've tried some of the generic ones but for the little price difference, they're really not worth it.  APC has a product for almost everyone.  Their basic system is what most home users would need.  A basic 500VA UPS, it provides about 10 minutes of back-up power for your home computer.  Enough time to save your files and shut down your system.

Built-in surge and lightning protection round up the benefits.

The more advanced systems offer telephone and LAN filters as well (LAN power spikes can damage your routers and DSL modems) as well as extended power, and automatic shut down.

I have a couple of these at home.  One to power my desktop and laptop, and the other to provide last minute charging for my mobile phone and other electronics (for small devices, a 500VA UPS can fully charge your mobile phone and iPod... it will give you about 1/3 charge for an iPad)

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Zombies Are Coming....

Are you prepared for the Apocalypse?  The CDC has posted a blog entry about zombie preparedness.

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

Remember these 33 rules as well:

  1. Cardio
  2. The Double Tap
  3. Beware of Bathrooms
  4. Wear Seat Belts
  5. No Attachments
  6. The “Skillet”
  7. Travel Light
  8. Get a Kick Ass Partner
  9. With your Bare Hands
  10. Don’t Swing Low
  11. Use Your Foot
  12. Bounty Paper Towels
  13. Shake it Off
  14. Always carry a change of underwear
  15. Bowling Ball
  16. Opportunity Knocks
  17. Don’t be a hero (later crossed out to be a hero)
  18. Limber Up
  19. Break it Up
  20. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, unless it’s a sprint, then sprint
  21. Avoid Strip Clubs
  22. When in doubt Know your way out
  23. Zipplock
  24. Use your thumbs
  25. Shoot First
  26. A little sun screen never hurt anybody
  27. Incoming!
  28. Double-Knot your Shoes
  29. The Buddy System
  30. Pack your stain stick
  31. Check the back seat
  32. Enjoy the little things
  33. Swiss army Knife
And my own personal rule: Don't forget to upgrade to Gatling Peas.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CinePlex Time! A Review on Plex

I love watching movies.  I'm sure a lot of you do too.  For the longest time, I used to use VLC to play all my movies and videos on my computer.  It works really well, and can do Dolby and DTS pass-thru to my surround processor.

Let's face it, the interface is less than stellar... very Windows95 looking.  Now that's not really a big deal since while watching, your video usually occupies the whole screen.  But what if you want something that looks polished... like a real entertainment center?

Enter Plex.  An elegant Home Theater program that works for OSX, Windows, iOS, Android, and certain LG Netcast™enabled electronics.

It's quite an amazing app.  First, it's skinned beautifully.  You may change the photos if you wish, but the stock ones work just fine OOTB.

Next, it scans all your media and downloads the relevant information and media artwork.  It even sorts your TV shows into seasons and gives ratings and synopsis of each episode.  And last, for Mac users, it works with the Apple Remote (I finally have a use for it!)

For HTPC setups, Plex is a very good app to have.  When paired with the paid mobile versions, the computer app functions as a home media server and can stream the media to your desired device.  On iOS (and coming soon on Android) it turns your mobile device into a media remote as well, allowing you to control playback on your Plex computer at home.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Galactic Gingerbread

Good news to all Samsung Galaxy owners! Samsung has announced that a Gingerbread update is just around the corner! The update covers the existing Galaxy lineup.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Marketing Time!

Good news to Philippine Android users!  Paid apps are slowly being made available in the Market!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's A Small Airport

Now open in Hamburg, Germany, and part of Miniatur Wunderland is the World's largest miniature model airport!  So cool!  This is what 6 years, US$5 Million, and OCD gets you!

You can view the other attractions of Miniatur Wunderland on their YouTube channel.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Roger Hargreaves!

Check out Google's new doodles!  Celebrating the birthday of Mr. Roger Hargreaves, author and illustrator of the Mr. Men and Little Miss children's books.  It changes with every refresh!  Very cool!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Apple Macbook Pro 13 Tip Of The Day

Since the introduction of the unibody Macbook Pro 13, Apple has decided to omit the dedicated Line-In port.  Granted anyone who actually uses a laptop for recording will use some kind of interface, sometimes you just need a quick connection.

The good news it that the Line-In port does exist, albeit combined with the Line-Out.  Only one function can be accessed at a time.  But it is just a simple drop-down selection in the System Preferences menu.

This will now allow your Macbook Pro 13 to accept Line-In sources from music players, pocket recorders, and mixers like the Mackie 402-VLZ3.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

There's A New Small Kid In Town!

A long awaited successor to the Xperia X10 Mini and Mini Pro... Sony Ericsson has FINALLY announced the new Xperia Mini and Mini Pro (dropping the X10 model name).

Over the current Mini and Mini Pro, the new models have improved the ff:
  • 1 GHz CPU!!!!
  • Screen now 320 x 480 (vs 240 x 320)
  • 720p HD video recording
  • Major RAM upgrade now at 512MB
  • Built in storage now at 400MB
  • Aperture seems to be fixed at f2.6
  • And like the Arc, it features the Exmor low-light sensor and Bravia display engine
And as an added surprise... the new Mini Pro has a front facing camera!  Although, no info of whether it will support 3G video calls... or if it's just for IP based video conferencing.

The new features may actually put the Mini Pro above the Arc in terms of sheer performance.  Having  similar CPU & RAM, but running on a much smaller screen would leave a lot of processing power left over for apps.

I like that it's only slightly larger than my current Mini Pro, but it has 2x the screen real-estate.  And I'm liking how they updated the corner menu!  It was already a great idea before, they made it much better now!  I was a big fan of ELSE Mobile, but seeing as how they're not really moving... I'm glad SE decided to adopt a similar fan-style menu.  The corner menu system is probably the most creative menu system on a smartphone today.

Can't wait!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Scam Warning!

Please DO NOT click on any Osama Bin Laden links on your Facebook wall!  They claim to have photos and other stuff.  This is a virus.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May The 4th Be With You... Always...

Happy Starwars Day!

The countdown begins til the release of yet another version of the saga... !

Finally see it clearly in all 1080p glory!

This may be the version that finally answers the questions:

Why do Storm Troopers bother wearing armor?

Did Luke enjoy the kiss from Leia?

Who is Luke's father???? Sebastian or Hayden?

and of course, the age old question...

Will Han shoot first?


The anticipation is killing me!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Scam Warning!

New Facebook scam... Royal wedding link... DO NOT CLICK!

Scam Warning!

Facebook scam link alert for the day... please do not click on this link...

flu season... again...

With all the new viruses out there... I just want to remind everyone to keep their anti-virus programs up to date.

Aside from my all-time favorites, I want to add a new one to my list, Sophos.  Although I still wish AVG would make a Mac version, Sophos seems to be quite good and has low overhead.

Download Sophos here.

For AVG Free, and iAntivirus, click here.

Past Tech Gospels

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...