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Consumer Electronics

Awesome Cyber-Monday Phone Battery Charger Deal

November 17, 2014


My family has had great experiences with the PowerSkin PoP'n Battery Charger as the device has suction cups and sticks to the back of your phone which means no additional cable is needed. Best of all, since it isn't a case, you don't have to worry about the difficulty of separating your phone from the case. The only drawback is the base can be a bit fragile under heavy stress situations as you might expect. Still, this is a great battery and I endorse it fully because of the case-less and cordless charging capability.

The company will soon be selling these chargers for 1 cent and $7.99 for shipping.


What Skype for Web Means for WebRTC

November 14, 2014

 


Skype has finally decided to bring its VoIP and video platform to the web in an effort to better compete with a new wave of companies leveraging browser-based WebRTC technology. Today, they announced Skype for Web (Beta) which works with Chrome, Firefox and IE 10 or above. Recently, I mentioned how Microsoft has really been making some smart moves lately which make the company more relevant and ORTC/WebRTC support is certainly one of the most important areas in the communications space. My colleague Doug Mohney agrees when he says this isn't your father's Microsoft.

The simple reality about this move is it may make it tougher to compete with Skype as a pure WebRTC video or audio play as Skype obviously has a bigger name and bundles its solution with other Microsoft products.






10 Reasons Why Microsoft is Winning

November 11, 2014

With new CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, Microsoft is changing and into something it needs to be. A company embracing a changing tech landscape. It is apparent that Redmond has woken up to the threats that it faces in today’s world. Over the past decade they've been bleeding from a thousand cuts.

10 Reasons why CurrentC Will Lose the Mobile Payment War

October 31, 2014

By now, most of us have heard that retailers such as CVS allowed NFC-based payments for a few days via Apple Pay and then blocked them in favor of QR-code based CurrentC by MCX. While retailers would prefer non-credit card-based solutions, such as MCX, these are the reasons CurrentC has already lost the war.



  1. There is a campaign to give the CurrentC app a one-star review and that is the number of stars it currently “enjoys.” Its top three reviews in the Apple iTunes App Store are horrifying as you can see above.
  2. CurrentC has already been hacked. Regardless of what was taken, the poor publicity will hound them.
  3. CurrentC requires access to bank accounts. No one wants to give away this information to a little-known company, moreover, see #2..
  4. CurrentC requires social security numbers.

Amazon Fire Phone Should be a Laptop

October 24, 2014

I’ve written a lot of headlines in my life but this one is among the oddest. Why on earth does a phone need to be a laptop? I know what you’re thinking... Rich Tehrani flew to Colorado to do a story on legalized marijuana which includes sampling.

Birdstep Improves Wireless User Experience, Reduces Churn

October 17, 2014

A smartphone user can get tripped up easily when in motion as today’s smartphones look for WiFi networks to connect to and oftentimes aren’t able to fully connect to such signals, meaning a phone’s broadband connection can be in limbo. Nothing can be more frustrating than having connectivity issues like this when your GPS software is trying to determine which route has the least traffic and you need to decide whether to go right or left at a busy intersection.

Poor service quality which can be caused by the arbitrary switching to an inferior network leads to churn and churn costs a carrier money. Quality issues don’t just center on data as quite often a challenge for carriers is providing voice service levels which are solid enough to keep a customer happy.

Sonos BOOST, For Music in Tough to Reach Places

October 15, 2014

I’ve been using Sonos as an in-home streaming solution for many years and since it relies on WiFi it provides infinite levels of flexibility in speaker placement. However, since it is wireless, there are times when things don’t work perfectly. I've found that sometimes, signals have trouble getting through mirrors and other obstacles - typically made of metal.

Moreover, you will have to reboot your components every now and then to ensure they work properly.

Apple's Positioning Should Scare Intel and Others

October 9, 2014


Will the combination of the ARM processor coupled with 14 nm FinFET process thanks to Samsung change the dynamics of the mobile processor market? That is certainly the logic being put forward by Mark Hibben at Seeking Alpha.

As he explains:

The term FinFET stands for Fin Field Effect Transistor because one of its structural features is a vertical silicon fin.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus: Top 20 Must Know Thoughts

October 6, 2014

After spending a good deal of time with the iPhone 6 Plus, I feel confident enough to point out its pros and cons. Hopefully you’ll find this list useful when making a decision regarding a smartphone purchase.


Pictured above: iPhone 6 and big brother/sister iPhone 6 Plus




  1. Perhaps the best feature of the phone is the superior antenna, thanks in part to the larger size of the phone and technological improvements by Apple like support for 802.11ac. If you used a 5s or smaller device you have likely experienced the challenge of seeing a WiFi signal but not being able to connect with it in a meaningful way. In other words, the phone is receiving a signal from an access point but doesn't have a strong enough signal to establish a connection of any value.

H-P Probably Smart to Spin Off PCs and Printers

October 5, 2014




Hewlett-Packard will once again split its company into two, basically spinning off the low-margin PC and printer business according to reports. We have seen IBM pull this off with its PC and later server business thanks to Lenovo.

The reason I say "once again" of course is the company said it would do this a while back and abruptly changed course. They then reassured hte market that they would not spin off the units.

The move does make sense from the standpoint of focus and valuation. The company is gargantuan and having to deal with PCs and printers is just one more area to devote precious resources.






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