New Contributor

Hello All!

I’m William Amyot and I am an avid Photographer and Film nutter. I Shoot a Canon 5D mkIII with a crazy mish-mash of lenses and equipment- Equipment that I’ll be reviewing and posting here.

For now, stay tuned- much more to come!

-William

Send The Pill Back to The Clinic

Thoughts on The Beats Pillspeaker-pill-black-standard-thrqrtright

The Beats Pill by Dre is probably the most talked about of the small bluetooth speaker category. It’s sold millions at the exorbitant price of $200 without even attempting at excellence in any area. The following is my review of the Pill which can most kindly be described as unfavourable.

Opening the box>

The pillbox contains the Pill, a charger (5v 2.1a), some cables for charging and audio connections, and some actually quite thoughtful marketing garble. The marketing garble has some thoughts from Dr. Dre essentially explaining his position, “People aren’t hearing the music!”

Let’s play>

@connornolteWhile it’s true that people aren’t hearing the music the way it was intended to be heard, the Pill certainly doesn’t help them hear. Turning the Pill on for the first time I spent a good five minutes trying to get it to pair with my Droid, only to find that the sound quality was terrible without a full battery. After charging, it paired with my iPod much more easily but while playing music from my iTunes library the audio would skip fairly regularly. Switching back to my droid; the Pill, having unpaired itself from the first attempt, took another few minutes to hook up. Once that was done it did play without too many hiccups, but with an interface as fast as bluetooth there shouldn’t really be any hiccups at all.

The audio quality is mediocre across the board but what all Beats products lack in audio quality they make up for with their high price point. If you’re listening to your music at a high volume the battery life descends from it’s already modest 4-6 hours, to about 1 hour. It then takes a very long time to charge even with the factory charger which puts out enough power to charge an iPad at maximum rate, and since the speakers sound like they have been stabbed with a pencil when the battery is low, you can’t really listen to it until it has charged for a while. Also, it seems that it’s all the charger can do to maintain current battery levels when the device is in use.

Bottom line>

Anyone who is serious about getting good quality out of a bluetooth speaker should buy something that’s $150 cheaper, or wait for something less crappy to come out. Radioshack usually has their Auvio box on sale for $50 and the quality difference is not worth the money. The Auvio is a bit tinny and can’t get the volume of the Beats but it has a real world battery life of more than 8 hours and doesn’t totally suck. When I can reasonably compare Dre’s $200 piece with a Radioshack store brand that costs ¼ as much there is something terribly wrong. If you want good quality or price buy something else. If you want an overpriced status symbol who’s sound quality ranges from absolute shit to ok, then rush out to get the Pill. I give it three out of eight bits.

11100000

News update for 9/13/11

OK. I totally changed my mind about the video version of the news updates because my camera sucks and I suck at making videos. So we’re back with the normal posts. I’m still going to use the same format I did last time unless someone complains. If someone else has better presentation skills you should make a video out of this and I’ll post it on the page if you email me the youtube channel link. That would be pretty cool.

So the fist story of the day is…. Microsoft says one thing and does another. Microsoft has long stated that it did not foresee a ‘post PC era‘ but it is now making it’s new operating system work on both tablets and PCs. They’ve announced that they intend Windows 8 to be used on PCs as well as tablets and other mobile devices. This is a good move for them since they don’t know which is going to be more important between tablet and PCs. This way they have a shot at success no matter which way the market swings. Good job Microsoft. Don’t push for change, just wait for it to happen and make sure you’re there to pick it up when it falls on the floor.

Now here’s the kind of news that I really like to hear. AMD chips have broken the land speed record at 8.4GHz. I have long been a fan of Intel chips and generally refused to use AMD chips in any of the computers I design because of their history of less than excellent performance and mediocre longevity. I am beginning to reconsider that stance a little bit as AMD is putting out chips with more cores and now much faster maximum clock speeds. In addition to being oveclocked to incredible speeds using liquid nitrogen cooling they found that it was actually able to sustain a clock speed over 5GHz using only conventional air or water cooling systems that cost under $100. Right now I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on one of the newest AMD unlocked CPUs so I can try to beat their clock. I’m also going to see about overclocking one of the Intel core i7 chips too. Not sure when this will all happen but I’ll post the results on here when it does.

 

More tablet stuff in the news today. Google is continuing it’s push into the smartphone market and announced that it is teaming up with Intel to make the next generation of smartphones and tablets. Google’s android software will now be optimized for the latest of Intel’s Atom mobile processors. As a side note Google’s Android system has remained the world’s best selling smartphone software at 43% market share worldwide last quarter. I personally can’t wait for Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings to go through so they can start making their own phone hardware.

Thoughts on Google making it’s own phone hardware… Making hardware for it’s Android OS would greatly increase the profitability of the Android project, but I don’t think it fits with the rest of Google’s Android business plan. So far they have been giving their Android OS away to any phone manufacturer who wants it and making money off of the app downloads and the increase in search and advertising revenue. It seems to me that when Google releases it’s own smartphones with it’s own OS on them it would be an act of trying to kill a market that they created. It would probably work, but seems like it’s not the most logical way of doing things. Also, when they’re making more money off of their own phones than off of the Android phones that other companies sell what is their motivation to continue giving it’s operating system to those manufacturers. Just seems like an odd plan to me. Sort of like when Apple authorized the Mac Clones back when stupid people were running the company.

In other bad news for Google, it’s search engine market share has dropped to 65% just thought you’d like to know.

No more Nintendo? Nintendo continues to struggle with it’s terribly introduced 3DS handheld. It has, however, released a host of new games that you should Google because I don’t care enough about the games to post them on here. My theory though is that in the future we will either have no Nintendo at all or we will have an Nintendo that only makes games for other consoles and not their own devices.

Please post any comments you have in the comments section because that’s what it’s for. You are also welcome to post links to other stories that you’ve seen that you think I should have posted in this post post post post…. I need to give you an update on this site’s impressions sometime in the future but I don’t feel like typing out the data right now so I’ll wait till a later date… haha that rhymed.

That is all.

September 11th thing…

This is my one day late memorial of the September 11th attacks. I started writing this on the 11th but it just wasn’t good enough until the 12th. It still isn’t really as good as I’d like it to be.

First I’d like to share some of my experiences on the day of September 11th 2001. I was nine years old at the time so I had just arrived at the socialist compound that the adults in my life called school. It was a Catholic school so it was more repressive feeling than any other school I’ve been in. They treated us like we had no capacity to understand what was going on around us and today was no different. Early in the morning, nearest I can figure it must have been around 8:30 the principal of the school announced over the intercom that we were all to head to the church that was attached to our building to pray for some people who had died in an accident this morning. This was only a little bit unusual because the school had us pray for everything that happened. If someone got in a car accident nearby or someone was ill we’d take time out to pray for them. I hindsight it was sort of a nice gesture to do this for people but it was also odd that they would think that forcing children to pray for something they knew nothing about would somehow make their prayers have a greater effect.

So we went to the church and prayed for about a half an hour which was a really long time compared to the other times we had done this, though I didn’t notice that until later. What I did notice though was that the administrative staff all seemed to be very forlorn, or worried about something. It felt as if this incident had some personal consequence, or had just scared the living hell out of them. No joke intended there… I also noticed that all of our teachers seemed to be as much in the dark as we were, and they seemed confused for the rest of the day. You have to keep in mind that Internet was much less of a powerful force in these days and most of the rooms in our building had no outside connection at all. The day continued as normal with only a few students being picked up by their parents shortly after we got out of church. I assumed they had some sort of social function or an appointment.

I had always been an admirer of the architecture and odd symmetric beauty of the twin towers. I’m not sure why, but when I look at them I was sort of awestruck. It was a symbol of human power to me, and the power of thinking, and the greatness of this country. I knew that it was the first thing many people from Europe would see of our country before landing on our soil and I was proud of that. I loved the buildings so much that when we were having a history lesson at school I would always turn to the page in our book that had the picture of the towers on it and just look at the picture and sometime read the text. I had long called them my favorite buildings in the world, though I didn’t know what their function was.

My mom picked me up after school this day and the first thing she said as we were driving away was, “Did they tell you about what happened today?” I said something along the lines of “No. What happened?!” to which she responded,  “Two planes flew into your favorite buildings…” I said, “It was that big?!” Mom, “Yeah. the buildings collapsed and lots of people died.”From what I remember I kind of got sad at this point partly for the loss of the towers and partly because of so many people dying, but I was still really confused. I continued asking stupid questions all they way home and by the time we got there I think I had pretty much put together that the US had been attacked, and that scared me… as I’m sure it did everyone.

What I’m sure I was still confused about was what this meant. I had heard of how wars began and how they played out but my country had never been at war in my lifetime. I was sure this was something like war but I didn’t know what war was. I came home to the TV running replays of the footage and CNN anchors talking about the Terrorists and how the president was safe and hadn’t yet made a comment… I don’t really remember a whole lot after that clearly. Just that I was shaken and scared about the future.

 

Moving on…

 

Being a huge fan of architecture I wanted to post a few pics of the new memorial and the freedom tower which I think may just be my new favorite structures in the world. They are both incredibly beautiful and I hope you all agree.

here they are.

Most moving picture I've seen in a long time...

 

News update 9/12/11 More iPhone stuff…

I would like to preface this post today by tell you all that I am going to be starting a video version of the daily news update starting as soon as my camera has a full charge. The first video will be posted later today. It will hopefully be on wordpress but if that proves challenging it will definitely be on Youtube and I will post the link. The video will have all of the same content as the text post because I’m using the text post as a script but I may add in little bits of info or opinions that I didn’t write down. Let me know if you like the crappy video and I’ll keep doing it! …I’ve also changed the format of the text post a little. Someone should let me know if they like having the mini headlines better. I’m just doing it this way because it seems to be easier….

Moving on…

First story of the day is a hacker who claims to be a 21 year old Iranian engineering student in Tehran who hates dissidents of his country. This guy snuk into the computers of an amsterdam security firm called DigiNotar and created 531 fake certificates for major high traffic websites such as Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook. He also made certificates for public websites of the CIA and other foreign spy groups. These certificates are blieved to be in the possesion of the Iranian government and were used to redirect traffic to fake versions of the sites. I might write a more full post on this subject later today or tomorrow.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fgw-cyber-attack-20110910,0,5366016.story

Moving on to the the iphone 5. I found when I posted my last story on the iphone 5 that if I would only tag “iphone 5” in each of my posts my site would quickly rise to the top of the wordpress most viewed thing. So I’ve been trying to find more information to give you on the iPhone 5, but classic apple tactics have resulted in very few tid bits being released. But there is one little thing that I noticed today, and that is that sprint is possibly one of the new carriers. Sprint told all of their employees in a recent memo that they would not be allowed to take vacations in early october. So we can guess that sprint is going to be carrying the iphone from it’s release date, and that release date will be in early October.

HTC appears to be considering purchace of HP’s webOS. WebOS is their tablet operating system that they created to compete with Apple’s iOS, but HP abandoned the project shorty after launch and then went on to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder while vehemently denying the diagnosis. This purchase if HTC decides to go through with it could potentially put HTC in a better position against the iphone.

One more Iphone thought. Android has, for some time, had a really good voice recognition software built into the OS. Why doesn’t apple have that. They have the connections that they could strike a deal with Nuance to get Dragon dictation software built into the phone. Perhaps that will be one of the new features in Iphone 5.

Moving on from the iphone to the ipad… I’m noticing a theme for today… Sorry to those of you who hate hearing about Apple news but it seems that the only thing that’s happing today is Apple related. Personally I’m not a big fan of writing it either. I thought it was worth noting that the iPad currently has 73% of the tablet market share or more depending on who you’re asking. Some market analysts however seem to think that number is set to drop in the near future. This is because most people still don’t have a tablet and now that there are more ipad competitors out there on the market some people will opt for other brands. But don’t worry apple’s market share will remain high and the number of users will continue to grow rapidly.

http://www.businessinsider.com/ipad-share-2011-3

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/sep/12/apple-tablet-market-share-set-to-fal

More porn! But not with celebrities names in it. The .xxx domain name that was recently introduced for the porn industry blocks the use of celebrity names in the damain itself. You can still say www.pr0n.xxx/kimkardashian.html but not www.kimksextape.xxx. This limitation was likely put into place because of celebrities like Kim who don’t want their names associated with porn. I’m just surprised that they don’t realize it’s too late for that.

I just had to put the porn bit in there to say that this post wasn’t entirely about apple. I any of you guys have a non apple story that you think I missed please put it in the comments section and I might repost it or make a video about it in the future. All other comments are welcome too though please be respectful. :) Have a nice day!

DolFin Releases a New Gaming Notebook!

As most of you know already, I am the owner and CEO of DolFin MicroDevices, a small computer company in Hastings Nebraska. I won’t use this blog to plug my brand and I will do my absolute best to keep my investment in DolFin from reducing the quality of my reviews. However, I do want to post the fact that we’ve released a new desktop replacement notebook. To avoid being accused of favoritism I will only post the raw data on this page. Just the specs pictures and other basic information and I will let you guys decide for yourselves weather it is good or not.

Today around 8:00PM DolFin MicroDevices Co. quietly updated it’s website www.dolfinmd.com with a new product that is much different from previous products on the site. The new DolFin RX1 appeared for $3999 and is touted as a desktop replacement gaming notebook. Here are the specs posted on the website:

CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-2720QM @2.2GHz
# of Cores: 4
TDP: 45w
Cooling system TDP: 55w
Cooler type: Copper plate phase change heat pipe.
GPU: NVIDIA® Geforce GTX560M, 1.5GB GDDR5 VRAM
GPU Cooler: Same as CPU
RAM: 16Gb Dual channel 4x4Gb @1333MHz
Display: 15.6″ LED-backlit LCD
Display Resolution: Full 1080p (1920 x 1080)
Storage: x2 256Gb Sata 6Gb/s SSD units
Optical Drive: SuperMulti DVDRW
Wireless: Bigfoot Killer™ Wireless-N 1103
Ports:
Monitor ( VGA ): 15 pin D-Sub x 1
HDMI: 1
USB 3.0: 2
USB 2.0: 2
eSATA: 1
Mic.-in: 1
Headphone-out: 1
Speakers: 2 Speakers: 2W x 2 + 1 Subwoofer

…and there you have it. That’s all I can say on this site. Let me know if you like it. Your opinions will be taken into consideration when I go to build the RX2 or whatever succeeds this one.

Apple iPhone 5!

In the absence of a post yesterday I have decided to make a more interesting post than just news titbits today. Yesterday I was working till six and then chose to hang out with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time until three in the morning. I may or may not post the normal news bits as well today.

So. On with the article….

Here are fiveish things that I would like to see or think we might see in Apple’s next iPhone.

Apple has been true to it’s roots in saying absolutly nothing to the public about what might be in iPhone 5. They have, however said some things about it’s new version of iOS. So today I’m going to run down some of the hardware features that I think will be in the next iPhone.

1. Pretty, lots of pretty.

All Apple products are pretty. There’s no contest on this one, but we can assume that it will be prettier than the last one. More aluminum and glass stuff going on, but it will probably be sturdier than the iPhone 4 because of the complaints and refused warranty claims that were put forward upon the initial release of the last model.

2. Louder speakers and a radio.

These ones aren’t things that I personally care too much about but they’re things that I have heard a lot about. People weren’t satisfied with the max volume on the iPhone 4 speakers and I must say, the complaints weren’t unfounded. The reason for the cheap speakers, however was the fact that speakers take up a lot of space in the small case of the phone. To install loud, or high quality speakers the would’ve had to decrease the size of the battery or increased the size of the phone.

Also many smart phones as well as some MP3 players have FM tuners in them. Again, this feature matters not to me because I don’t listen to over the air radio. The programming sucks, the quality sucks, and there are much better and more personalized options like www.pandora.com available. However, the fact that I don’t listen to it doesn’t mean that no one out there does. Neither of these things will probably make it into any iPhone because of Apple’s obsession with sleek design, and their investment in the online music industry.

3. Flash!!!!! (haha like that’s going to happen…)

Yeah right. Flash support. I suppose that we can hope that Steve Jobs will be too feeble to keep his employees from putting flash in there… But I’m guessing that Apple still hates flash even with it’s new CEO in place.

4. 3D Camera.

I know that most people really don’t care about how many Ds their camera has. But I just think it’s cool. It was a very short time ago that we couldn’t even see true 3D if we payed to go to a 3D theater. Now 3D glasses have only one color of lens and provide the illusion of a 3D holographic image. A camera that could record in 3D wouldn’t be terribly useful but it’s really fun to play with!

5. 3D holographic display.

This one is actually likely to appear in an Apple product at some point in the future. A ways back I wrote a story on Apple filing patent on a holographic display that didn’t require glasses to view 3D. According to Apple it was “true 3D” not just a 3D illusion, but I question weather or not that claim could possibly be accurate. But I would love to see the iPhone being the first true 3D mobile device, or even the first true 3D consumer device of any kind.

Well that’s about all I can think of that may or may not be seen in the new iphone other than the obvious Apple-ish or of things. Right now the announcement date is slated to be September 30th so I guess we’ll wait and see.