Tag Archives: gadget

Do Our Devices Spoil Us?

The problem with using an iPad so much is that everything becomes a touch screen. Boy oh boy am I having trouble with this lately. I keep swiping my finger across the television and poking at my MacBook screen. When nothing happens, I am momentarily confused. Then, of course, sadness sets in as I realize those particular devices don’t react to my touch the way my beloved iPad and iPhone do. Le sigh…

I believe my devices are beginning to spoil me a little too much, and I’m willing to bet you suffer from this as well. We have come to expect certain things from our gadgets. When we use one which doesn’t adhere to our new standards, we become frustrated. Often, we even decide in a geek rage that whatever it is we’re trying to use should now be considered obsolete. We then rush out to buy whatever the hottest new product offering is, even if we truly don’t need it. Is any of this sounding familiar to you?

The fact of the matter is that those slightly-older gizmos aren’t obsolete. They don’t even work THAT much differently (most of the time) than the newest “replacements” you’ll find on store shelves. Sadly, we have become so snobbish thanks to the few truly revolutionary devices that we expect nothing less of each and every piece of technology we buy. This isn’t to say that’s a completely BAD thing… we want companies to build on existing “hot” items to make things which are even better. But for us to simply expect and demand true genius to come out of each and every new item – well, that’s a bit spoiled in my mind.

Look. Your devices are fine just as they are. Your television doesn’t need touch capabilities. Your radio doesn’t have to have antennas which will tune in Tokyo. Not everything in our world has to be new and different.

If it ain’t broke…

Do You Appreciate Your Technology?

Gordon asked on Geeks recently: “What do you consider to be this most ignored item of technology?” He talks about how we often take for granted the items we have around us… our gaming consoles, our computers and even our navigation systems. He’s right, you know. Most of us use these items without really thinking about them or appreciating them.

We want the newest technologies. We want things that are better, faster and newer than what we have. But do we stop and think about what we have? Do you appreciate the fact that science has evolved enough to even allow the design and implementation of that smartphone you cannot live without? Do you ever think about those people whose brains are so much more advanced than mine (and perhaps yours) that they can come up with things like this to make our lives easier and more fun?

What piece of technology do you think is the most ignored? What one item do you believe we all tend to overlook – despite the fact that we likely use it every day?

Don’t overlook the hot new software and app deals we have for you on our download site.

Is Your Cell Phone Hurting Your Children?

Is your reliance on technology hurting your children? A new study shows that perhaps parents are too plugged in. The story cites a young mother who was ignoring her toddler in a busy shopping mall while she had her head buried in her cell phone’s screen. It goes on to discuss the negative impact that constant device usage can have on a child’s psyche and upbringing.

The study talks about the negative effects that a parent’s desire to always stay connected can have on children, yes. But it doesn’t touch on the dangers that could happen. It only takes a split second for someone to grab a child in a public place. Toddlers and babies are kidnapped in an instant while their parent or guardian looks away at an item on a store shelf. It isn’t inconceivable that the same thing could happen while mom is busy checking her Twitter stream or dad is reading the latest email from work. Children can be hit by a car, drown in a pool or run off without supervision in the blink of an eye. If a parent is engrossed in their phone for a few moments, bad things could potentially happen.

I’m not saying that you can never use your devices around your children. I’m saying that you need to stop tuning everything else out while you check up on things. I’m just as guilty as the next person of this infraction. I am quite good at tuning out the world around me whenever I feel I need to. Parents build up this ability as their children get older. It’s almost a survival instinct. You have to be able to filter out noise and distractions to get things done, right? But what if something tragic happens while you’re tuned out?

Photo credit to The Chef Alliance.

The Ultimate Digital Camera Accessory for Anyone

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Eye-Fi. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve written about Eye-Fi a few times before – dating back to when the brand first launched. Eye-Fi cards are like regular ol’ SD cards with a ton of bonus features mixed in. Essentially, once configured, the media you record on an Eye-Fi SD card will be wirelessly transported to your computer(s) and favorite social media destinations whenever you bring that camera home, set it on your desk, and turn it on. No cables required.

Now, let’s just think about that for a second. Despite having a wide array of gadgets that can keep us creating content ’til the cows come home, the transfer process is often cumbersome – or forgotten altogether. I remember when a “fast” turnaround for photos was about an hour. It might take us a few minutes to do that with a USB cable, but… where did I put that cable, again? Ah, there’s always the trusty media reader… unless you get distracted with other tasks?

It should come to no surprise that the company is still developing new options to keep everyone happy. You might upgrade your camera every so often, but what about your removable media? If you’re having to buy an SD card, why not get something that will automatically do the work of uploading photos and videos for you?

Okay, it’s a trivial task for someone like me (or possibly you, if you’re a geek) – but what about other members of your family? How often have your elder relatives snapped images and never transferred them anywhere because it was “too hard” to do? Yeah, point ’em in the direction of an Eye-Fi ASAP.

Mac OS X and Windows compatible software helps ensure that you’re not stuck on one platform or another, too; hardware should enhance your lifestyle, not restrict it. Your focus should be on creating and sharing fresh content – not on the actual publishing routine!

Visit my sponsor: Eye-Fi

You want one? Cool. I’m hosting an Eye-Fi Giveaway (and be sure to read the official contest rules). To participate, simply leave a comment about Eye-Fi on this particular blog post. I’d appreciate it if you’d tell me what kind of digital camera you typically use, too. Your email address won’t be made public, but we’ll need you to use it if you’d like us to contact you should you be randomly picked. 😉

Or, post about Eye-Fi with your own Twitter account. The tweet must contain the hashtag #eye-fi (as well as a live link back to http://go.tagjag.com/myeyefi).

I bet I know what you’re thinking right now: “But Chris, I’d understand Eye-Fi better if a cute girl explained it to me in a YouTube video.” As you wish:

Could the iPad Outsell the iPhone?

Do we really even care which is a bigger seller? I noticed a discussion about this online earlier, and couldn’t help but shake my head. Seriously, people. They are two completely different products. Why does it matter which type sells more? The point is that there is a market out there for the iPhone, just as there is one for the iPad. Some people seem to be so obsessed with “numbers” and what’s “hot” on the market that they fail to look beyond that to the actual products themselves.

Too often, people rush to get in line to buy something new that all the World seems to want, only to never use the device because it doesn’t work for them. I honestly hate seeing that. As a gadget lover, I cannot stomach it when I see someone buying all of these cool toys, never to touch them again. They simply do it to keep one step ahead of everyone else. Gadgets are meant to be USED, folks!

Which is more important to you? Are you a fan of buying the hottest ticket in town, or do you research carefully before you buy something to make sure it will fit your needs?

Don’t forget to check out what’s new today in our software center.

10 Consumer Electronic Devices the iPad Replaces

Sure, the hardware listed here won’t match the iPad’s specs feature-for-feature, but I believe you’ll get the idea. Think of the following items more as services rather than just physical objects:

  1. Internet-Enabled Digital Picture Frame: $100
  2. Cordless Skype Phone: $80
  3. Basic GPS Hardware: $60
  4. The Kindle: $250
  5. FLO TV: $250
  6. Portable DVD Player with a screen suitable for sharing between two people: $50
  7. PSP Go: $210
  8. Digital Audio Recorder: $40
  9. Multi-Year Pocket Calendar & Address Book: Free

Total? $830. 64GB Wi-Fi/3G iPad? $829.

Being able to experience these functions on a single device and control them with either motion and/or a swipe of your fingers? Priceless.

For 90% of use cases, the first generation iPad (and its array of apps) may supplant a series of consumer electronic devices. Heck, I’ve been waiting for an amazing digital picture frame to come along for years – and may have finally found that in Apple’s new gadget. If you already have a Slingbox (and its app), the iPad’s screen should be a dream with it.

And these are just ten features that the iPad’s platform enables. I can’t imagine what the iPad will be like for parents, being able to replace a series of books and discs and other bits of consumable media in exchange for something that’ll keep even a grown kid happy ad infinitum (er, to infinity and beyond)!

Notice, please, that I did NOT mention “laptop” (or “netbook”) as a potential device to be replaced. This does not imply that iPad software is inferior to software that might run on Windows, OS X, or Linux. It’s just suggesting that… well, you have to stop comparing the iPad to notebook computers, yo.

Perfect? No. You don’t want one? Cool. Don’t buy one, then.

For the rest of us, there’s iPad.

Know of other devices / services the iPad will replace? Leave a comment and I’ll update the post with additional math:

Is Your Mobile Device Making You Less Productive?

According to a newly-released study, that mobile device in your hand is likely stressing you out, and making you LESS productive! Most of us who are power users tend to think that our iPhones and Blackberry’s help us be more efficient, and get more done. Sadly, that isn’t always the case for some people.

Look at it this way: if you are one of those power people who have to constantly check your phone, how much time are you taking away from your actual work? Instead of a simple task taking twenty minutes to finish, it can take more than an hour. The gadget on your desk is pulling you – you’re constantly checking it to make sure you aren’t missing anything. Instead of actually focusing on your work and helping you get things done, the phone is instead causing your tasks to take even longer. This can stress you out, because you know you aren’t finishing things on time.

For those of you who may recognize yourself in this, you should take a step back. Turn your device off when you start that next spreadsheet or Google doc. Don’t turn it on (or even look at it!) again until you complete your task. Try setting aside specific times during the day to check for new messages, tweets and updates. Once that allotted time is up, turn the gadget back off again.

Don’t let your need to stay in the loop get in the way of getting your job done. I really don’t want to read one day that someone has gotten themselves fired for spending too much time staying connected… and not enough time actually being productive. Sadly, I have a feeling this is already happening around the world. Our jobs demand that we are always accessible… yet they get angry if they feel we spend too much time reading the latest news or emails from coworkers. How are we supposed to find balance?

What is the Twitter Peek?

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Lamarr is a good friend, and community member around Geeks and our live chat. He has done a few videos for me in the past, and I couldn’t pass this one up. Lamarr is giving us a first-hand look of the new Twitter Peek. What an amazing device this is. You can view tweets with it! You can send tweets with it! You can uhm… use Twitter with it!

For only $7.95 per month for the service, you can use Twitter anywhere. Never mind that you have a cell phone that can help you tweet. Forget about that laptop or netbook! You can buy the Twitter Peek for $99.99, and then pay for the service to be able to tweet!

Oh, wait… you can pay $199.99 for the device and get the service included for the life of the gadget. How cool is that?

Give me a break. Why the hell would I buy a device that only does one thing in this day and age? I have an iPhone that will get me to Twitter. It also does a bajillion other things. What’s the point of a device that only allows me to do ONE thing? How is that a deal or bargain of any kind? Who the heck would buy or use this thing?

Epic fail, in my opinion… and in Lamarr’s. Thanks, Lamarr, for warning us about this device. Keep bringing us your fantastic viewpoints every week! I enjoy learning new ways of looking at things from you.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video: