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Skype on the Xbox One - the Future Has Arrived!

November 20, 2013


Curious to know what features Skype has in the new Xbox One? So am I. With the Xbox One, you get an all-in-one entertainment system that aims to take over your living/family room not just for gaming but for communicating as well. All Xbox Ones come with Skype pre-installed, and since every Xbox One ships with a Kinect, they'll also include 1080p HD cameras and beamforming stereo array microphones, this is the ultimate Skype-on-TV experience. Makes me wonder if near-ubiquitous video conferencing in the home has finally arrived since Microsoft will no doubt sell at least 10 million Xbox One units.

Further, Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers buying Xbox Ones also get Skype Premium for free for six months, which adds group video calls and 100 minutes of telephone calling to 60 countries.


The Blazar Wireless Portable Speaker Launches on Kickstarter

July 23, 2013


The Blazar Bluetooth portable speaker now has a Kickstarter project page. The Blazar is a wireless speaker with a few innovative features, including stereo pairing and NFC. The Blazar comes from Beacon and features Bluetooth and a microphone that enables speakerphone mode or talking to Siri. It sports a 12-hour rechargeable battery and 1,000 day warranty.


Uniquely, you can pair two Blazars to get true left and right stereo separation. You'll need to purchase two to do so since they're sold separately, but having a portable stereo setup with access to your full Android, Apple iOS, or Windows Phone music library means you get retire your 80s boombox when headed to the beach - if you haven't already!


The NFC feature is used to pair your NFC-compatible phone with the speaker.






Windows 8 Underscan / Overscan & HDMI Resolution Problem Solved!

February 25, 2013

I had a problem with Windows 8 having underscan (& overscan) issue where the screen was not filling entire TV screen over a HDMI connection, resulting in abnormally large black borders. Who wants to watch 1920x1080 (1080p) HD video content with black borders? Well, after some extensive researching I was able to resolve the issue.

The specific computer I'm using is a Dell Zino HD with a ATI / AMD 4330 video card, which was running Windows 7, but I upgraded to Windows 8 and which was when the problems began. On Windows 7, you simply install AMD/ATI's Catalyst Control Center (CCC) and then you can launch CCC and change the underscan/overscan settings to fill your whole screen.

Samsung is Kicking Ass - Everyone's Ass...

December 18, 2012


Samsung is kicking ass - as in everyone's ass. They're kicking Apple's ass in smart phones, they're kicking Sony's ass in TVs, and they're kicking Nokia's ass in smart phones, Nokia no longer the top selling cellphone maker in the world. For the first time in 14 years, Nokia will not be #1 in the global cellphone business on an annual basis at the end of 2012. Instead, Samsung is now the world's #1 mobile handset maker according to a new study from iSuppi.

Rotten Apple: iTunes 11 Latest Cutbacks

December 6, 2012


Sure, Apple seems like it is always getting better and more streamlined, but what about the other side of the story? We're here to inform you what is really going on behind all the glamour of Apple and some noteworthy features that were left out of iTunes 11 from it's predecessors. 


Number 7: The Genius Recommendation Sidebar

iTunes 11's lack of this feature may go unnoticed to most music listeners, but for avid users of Genius this will be an inconvenience.


Gadget Lovers Rejoice! AAA Battery Delivery!

August 29, 2012

Have you ever had a gadget or toy stop working because the batteries died? Of course you have. Worse, have you or Santa Claus forgotten to include batteries in the Christmas stockings to be used with the various children's toys and games? If you've ever had to experience your own child with those sad, sullen eyes looking up at you in disappointment because they cannot play with their newfangled toy on Christmas, you know it is not a fun feeling.

Making a battery run on Christmas is no fun and most stores are closed.

24's Jack Bauer Bakes Explosive Cupcakes for Hilarious Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook Ad

August 22, 2012

How to install Windows Media Center in Windows 8 Pro RTM

August 21, 2012


If you're wondering how to install Windows Media Center in Windows 8 Pro RTM, you've come to the right place. After installing Windows 8 Pro RTM using a MSDN / TechNet key I noticed Windows Media Center was gone. I use Windows Media Center for DVR, Photo Gallery, Netflix, Hulu, Home videos, playing ripped Blu-ray .iso movie images, and more - all connected to my 55" TV over HDMI. Then I remembered reading about how Microsoft was trying to keep the licensing costs of Windows 8 down and one way was by not licensing various codecs, as they explained here:
Our partners have shared clear concerns over the costs associated with codec licensing for traditional media playback, especially as Windows 8 enables an unprecedented variety of form factors.


Ion Audio's WATER ROCKER Waterproof Floating Speaker

July 12, 2012

Show of hands - who doesn't want floating speakers in their pool or hot tub controlled by you, the master DJ using your iPhone, iPad or any other audio source that works with a 1/8-inch audio jack? Sure you could break out your 80s boombox and play some FM radio or play some CDs, but you don't want to look uncool now do you? Now what's cooler than a floating speaker in the middle of the pool so your party guests, family and friends can enjoy your 'Top 50 Most Played' iPhone music playlist with the music playing just inches away? Well, check out Ion Audio's Water Rocker:

Beacon Audio's The Phoenix Portable Bluetooth Speaker Launches

July 11, 2012


Tired of your tinny mobile phone or tablet speakers and want portable high-quality speakers? Well check out Beacon's The Phoenix, a Bluetooth-activated, rechargeable, take-with-you-everywhere speaker, which is available in 3 colors - vibrant Blue or Red, as well as a more classic Black color option.

Weighing in at just seven ounces with dimensions of 3.2 x 3.2 x 2.9 inches, the Phoenix is smaller than a coffee mug yet still manages to provide crisp, clear sound and enough volume to fill a room, loudly. The unit also features a wireless range of 35 feet. On the rear of the speaker, an auxilary input exists for all non-­Bluetooth enabled devices.


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