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Summer blessed us with some seriously cool phones - some of the best I've seen all year.
Sprint's "4G" debut - the HTC EVO 4G- is incredibly fast. The iPhone 4 is incredibly user-friendly to the data lover. And the Droid Incredible by HTC gives the iPhone 4 a run for its money, with social-network-focused interfaces and cool applications. The Droid X sports a big screen and faster speeds than the original (You've come a long way, Android).
But it hasn't been all sunny skies.
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Verizon Offering R2-D2 DROID 2!!

August 10, 2010 2:21 PM | 0 Comments
So, by now you know Verizon Wireless is offering the Droid 2. That's great, but I can't believe they reserved the most exciting news for the end of the press release:

"In honor of the iconic Astromech Droid from the Star Wars™ Saga, Verizon Wireless will offer a limited-edition R2-D2 version of the DROID 2, available only online in September.  The special version of the phone will feature exclusive Star Wars content and external hardware designed to look like the trusty Droid from the film saga.  Visitors to the upcoming Star Wars Celebration V inOrlando, Fla., can see a preview of the limited edition phone and sign up to receive alerts when the phone is ready for sale." 

Here at TMCnet, I'm totally psyched to see (and hear) this one!

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Why You Should Say Yes to the X

July 27, 2010 11:42 AM | 0 Comments
Tornados that threatened Fairfield County, Connecticut, last week didn't do a shred of damage to my after-work, five-mile run. 

But my phone, a pink BlackBerry Curve I've had for 11 months, drowned in the parking lot of a pal's apartment complex. Though wind didn't do it in, those torrential downpours killed the keypad. (Unfortunately, they didn't kill the alarm, which went off at 6 the next morning. I actually had to physically remove the battery to kill that!).
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 IMG00107.jpg IMG00106.jpgIt's been a while since I posted anything. (Sorry, I've been busy keeping the Droid X to myself, though I let Rich fiddle with it for five minutes the other day!). I've also been busy going on various adventures to deep, dark places underground.

Okay, I'll be honest: When I attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, July 1, at a colocation interconnection facility known in the industry as the "Long Island Data and Recovery Center," I thought I was going to explore something really dark and undergraound. But instead, officials with ancotel GmbH sent me to the second floor of the building, not some basement cavern. Continue Reading...

Chances are, you've seen a lot of headsets.
But really - does yours look sleek and chic - or is it a freakish extension attached to your ear?
Just in time for summer, Jabra has release a white hot Bluetooth wireless headset, its followup to the black Jabra stone that came out last fall.
Not only is it easy to put together and charge, but it looks fantastic in your ear, on your desktop or in the palm of your hand.
Let's revisit some of the Stone's stellar qualities:
1. It comes with up to 12 days of standby time;
2. A feature called "StatusDisplay" measures battery power levels;
3. It gives you eight hours of talk time;
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htc-incredible.jpgPerhaps you've been eyeing the new iPhone, or Sprint's sexy new EVO piece.
But before you shell out the big bucks for something that promises 4G speeds and such, let's take a look at third phone that came out a little more than a month ago and has delivered on its word: the HTC Incredible.

When the phone arrived at TMC's Norwalk, Conn., offices, I was skeptical at first. After all, not many gadgets carry such a big name.  
But it didn't take long to see that the Incredible is definitely worthy of it.
Whereas the Motorola DROID was a huge chunker - thanks to the weight of a slide-out keyboard - the easy-to-navigate Incredible is a nice and lightweight 4.6 ounces. That said, I was a little frustrated that the touchscreen interface, which lends itself to typos, required me to slow down my made-for-BlackBerry texting speed.
Still, this baby is loaded with goodies.
These include an 8.0-megapixel camera, a wide selection of interactive widgets and instant weather news for wherever you are (I'm training for a marathon so the feature helped me plan this week's 12-mile run!).
The screen is 3.7 inches wide, so it's easy to tuck into the back pocket of my bootleg jeans (without adding too much unflattering baggage).
And unless you're in a city where you can take advantage of Sprint's 4G network, you won't lose sleep over lack of speed. Which for me, would be something "incredible" indeed!
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Wearing headsets isn't a pain in the butt. What is? Putting them on in the first place. 
Moments after I tore into the sample kit for Sound ID's 510 Bluetooth headset - an elongated piece of black plastic that came with its own clip-on carrying sleeve - I had a devil of a time trying to adjust the little ear piece so it would slide into my ear.
But it was worth it! On my way home from work, I enjoyed the cool oh-so-relaxed feeling of not having a cell to my (and I almost forgot I was wearing what looks like a skinny flash drive pressed against my right ear).

The next morning, however, it took me more time to adjust the thing into my right ear than it did to brush my hair - and I have hair that's more than a foot long!
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Most of you know I've rhapsodized on the joys of my BlackBerry time and time again on this blog, while many of my friends have espoused the merits of their iPhones.
And while I've considered ditching my pink 'berry for a Motorola DROID (the voice-activated navigation feature is awesome, by the way!), I've never even considered an iPhone. You'd have to pry me away from Verizon Wireless, which I switched over from Sprint in 2003 because it was the only network that wouldn't drop calls made while riding the Metro in Washington, D.C.
Still, I must grudgingly admit my ears perked up when I heard, on NPR this morning, that Verizon could very soon be carrying the iPhone.
According to an article published by the Wall Street Journal, Apple plans to begin producing this year a new iPhone that could allow U.S. phone carriers other than AT&T to sell the phone.
What's more, the new iPhone would work on CDMA, the network technology used by Verizon Wireless!
Could this really be true? I rushed into work this morning to make some calls - albeit, a bit distracted by personal thoughts like, "should I switch to the iPhone after all?" -- to Verizon, AT&T and Apple a few minutes ago.
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Planning a wedding in the Internet era is so easy, it's no wonder so many non-celebrity wedding planners are out of work. 
In fact, you could plan TEN weddings at once using the Web, doing everything from dress shopping to booking a honeymoon. Even my engagement ring was fetched online, via
Some other examples:
1. I found cards I liked on and -- via an instant chat application -- was able to ask "Gina" whether the price included envelopes, or if I could order two sets of save-the-date cards (my family doesn't like the ones of my fiancé passed out in my arms at 2 a.m. after a friend's wedding!).
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As a member of the "fairer" sex, I'm a sucker for red roses, nice dinners and sappy text messages. Especially in bitter-cold February.
Thank God my paramour knows better than to bring me a cold, non-floral high-tech trinket in lieu of the boring, predictable - but beloved! - batch of long-stem red roses.
In an informal poll of my female tech-writer coworkers, three out of four said they would prefer roses and dinner on Valentine's Day over the iPod Nano. Even those who would opt for the Nano don't consider Apple's mini MP3 player romantic.
But if you're a nuts-and-bolts kind of guy who insists that getting something electrical for your lady in waiting, make sure it comes with a candlelit dinner.
And if you're short on ideas, consider a few of the tech industry's 2010 V-Day marketing ploys that push gadgets over Godiva.
Apple's promoting its iPod Touch through the "Love at First Touch" campaign. And apparently, iPod Nano "Captures Hearts.
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Go Ahead, Cozy Up to iPad

January 28, 2010 1:23 PM | 1 Comment
Thumbnail image for apple-ipad.jpgAre you supposed to cradle it against your chest? Or, pop it in your man-bag to pull out on the subway in lieu of your iPhone?
A gazillion stories about Apple's new iPad hit the wires yesterday and this morning. Unless you've been sucked into watching video clips of President Obama's State of the Union address, you know Apple's new 9.7-inch touchscreen tablet can do so many things, even give you a 3G connection.
Sure, there are concerns about lack of Flash and a higher-than-Kindle price tag ($499 and up!). But -- being the first cousin of the iPhone, iTouch, iPod and i-everything else Apple-invented - it's still supercool.
You know you want one.
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The big benefit of being a gadget writer is that I get to carry around a pile of phones in my big purse. I learn the most about myself observing my own cell-phone behavior (like reaching for a Motorola DROID over my very own BlackBerry Curve when I need instant directions somewhere).
But would I pay a stiff several-hundred-dollar fee to switch to the DROID?
Probably not, though the last time I tried typing in a request for directions last-minute on my pink BlackBerry proved a bit frustrating.

So when analysts and media types debate whether Google's new Nexus One, unveiled just hours ago, will be the "iPhone killer," what they're really debating is whether cell subscribers at the end of their contracts will opt to upgrade to Nexus One. Or, if those of us stuck on another plan will be persuaded to switch.
But if you're like me and get attached to things, even the most killer of iPhone killers might not carry much weight.
See, I like a lot of things about Google's first Google-branded smartphone. It's super-skinny, at 11.5 millimeters, weighing just 130 grams. Second, it's got technology that makes it super-fast, in the form of Qualcomm Snapdragon 3G QSD8250 chipset, delivering speeds up to 1GHz. Third, it's not an iPhone.
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droid-eris-verizon-Support-708.pngHaving HTC's Droid Eris is like having a little computer -- or a slightly cooler-looking iPhone.
But I wouldn't have known this hadn't a friendly Verizon Wireless PR rep suggested that I check it out (after asking for me to give back the Motorola DROID I borrowed). 

See, when Verizon Wireless released both gadgets in early November, a flurry of media write-ups and advertising campaigns crowned Motorola DROID the Alpha Male of the handset market (targeting non-princess types through questionably sexist commercials). Still, the hefty cell phone with both touchscreen widgets plus a tangible keyboard sported some seriously awesome features - like voice-activated GPS and the best-looking Gmail interface I've ever seen.
If the Motorola DROID is a beast, then the Droid Eris is a beauty, with a smooth, black/soft black exterior and bright, app-happy color screen. I love the little retro clock on the home screen and Eris' lightweight feel (plus, it actually fits into my princess-jeans pockets without making me look pudgy).
Still, I wondered, putting the pretty phone into my pants pocket, how could this gadget offer anything the iPhone doesn't? Soon, on the snowiest night of the year, I would learn that this little Droid did.
My hour-long train ride into New York City was MUCH more entertaining than it would've been with my standby BlackBerry.
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For the Ski Lover: Satsport GPS

December 14, 2009 4:45 PM | 1 Comment
GPS-black-Ski-high-res.jpgIf freezing temps make you want to hit the slopes when your pals reach for hot chocolate, perhaps it's time to treat yourself to a special kind of GPS system. You know, one that's made for skiers and snowboarders.

Though it's a bit pricy at $490, Satsport GPS - a multi-sport, interactive, all-weather GPS system - is loaded with bells and whistles galore that'll truly enhance the experiences of the road warrior/winter adventurer.
Sporting a 2.7-inch touchscreen, SiRF Star II antenna, Samsung 400 Mhz processor and micro SD card slot, the handheld gadget combines true, real-time interactive navigation for skiers, snowboarders, golfers, runners and cyclers. And it does this through PC software that syncs GPS data with Google Earth to replay in 3D.
Throw in an extra $65 for an optional SD card to turn the device into a voice-activated street navigator.
It's available at ski resorts worldwide, so you can try one out instantly -- on slopes or in the ski lodge, hot chocolate mug in hand.
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Skiff: Not for Town & Country Types

December 9, 2009 6:31 PM | 0 Comments
It's no secret the magazine industry is having a hard time staying afloat, as major titles folded by the dozen in 2009. And though Hearst made ears perk up when it said that it would launch Skiff, an e-reader service of sorts, in 2010, a lot of questions remain. 
The publisher of Harper's Bazaar and O, The Oprah magazine said that Skiff brings magazines to smartphones and Kindle-like devices. Plus, the Skiff service and digital store will feature a selection of newspapers, books and magazines.
Still, it's unclear whether I'll be able to download rival publications (those from Conde Nast, like Vogue), through Skiff.
Even though Skiff will be ad-supported, who will use it?  
Although digital media is cheaper to produce than print, there's "no proof" something like Skiff "is going to sell products," Steve Cohn, editor-in-chief of magazine industry publication Media Industry Newsletter, remarked during a recent phone conversation with me.
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