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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cutting The Wire On Photo Uploads

After first writing about it in December of 2007, I finally got a hold of an Eye-Fi card, and now I'm not sure why I hadn't worked harder to get one of these little gems sooner. In my defense they are not readily available in Canada and I really dislike paying the duty that comes with purchasing such things online from outside of the country. I have however very recently obtained an Eye-Fi Connect X2, 4GB+Wi-Fi and there is no turning back... awesome is all I can say. It's very easy to use and the endless memory mode means you never have to worry about running out of memory on your card as it intelligently makes space once your content is safely delivered. The card can be configured to recognize up to 32 Wi-Fi networks and upload content  to 25 different photo and video sharing sites.

Not all went smoothly with the installation on my Windows 7 machine, and I understand that my friend and coworker encountered a similar issue on his Mac. The documentation that comes in the package is sparse, to say the least, but luckily the support forum was easy to navigate and assisted in getting me over the hurdles. It seems as though we both had issues with the "helper" application that analyzes your network and firewall settings. Once resolved the Eye-Fi has performed flawlessly and is my new favorite gadget. 

Adobe's 64-bit Flash Player Unleashed

Adobe has released an early version of it's new 64-bit Flash player code named Square. According to this article on cnet, the download is available via Adobe Labs but note however that if you install Square, you'll have to manually update it on your own.

It's an important move for Adobe as it fights competition from emerging technology such as html 5. Hardware manufacturers have been gradually moving away from 32-bit technology in favour of the speedier 64-bit architecture but software has lagged behind in leveraging the technology. Square is said to take advantage of a computer's graphics chip power, in particular when paired with Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 9 (beta) promising a faster and more responsive user experience with Flash-based content.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Twitter Unveils A New Look

By mid day yesterday it was clear that something was up at Twitter, tweets and blog posts pointed to the excitement amongst employees but nobody on the inside was spilling the beans. Turns out the buzz was all about a new look and user experience that Twitter will roll out gradually over the coming weeks. (I still have the old version of the site as of this posting)

“We’ve made it pretty clear that we are going to create the best experiences we can with all our clients,” says co-founder and CEO Ev Williams “We made it clear to developers that it’s great for everyone if we make it as good as possible, because that will create more successful Twitter users.”

While I've not yet had a glimpse of the new site, I'm hopeful by it's description that Twitter is offering a more flipboard like experience where you get a sense of what's behind those tiny urls before you click through. The NY Times describes it as follows: "The redesigned site, which will be available to all users in the next few weeks, makes it simpler to see information about the authors of Twitter posts, conversations among Twitter users, and the photos and videos that posts link to." so it sounds promising. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Android Tablet Cometh

Hold on to your hat Apple a slue of android powered tablets are set to rock the market place to it's core, well maybe. While there have been a few cheap attempts at displacing the iPad, no serious competitor has made it to the market yet but just in time for Christmas are offerings from  Samsung, Toshiba, ViewSonic and Archos with screens ranging from 7 to 10 inches in size and some boasting 1080p resolution, usb interfaces, and of course adobe flash support. The android tablets are set to debut at anywhere from $299 for the Archos 101 Internet Tablet to arround $1000 for the Galaxy Tab by Samsung putting them all around the $499 and up offers for the various iPad models.

It will be interesting to see if the iPad will continue to dominate or if the trend being felt in the smartphone market will carry over into tablets. My prediction is that the lower priced Archos will be a winner, I'd love to see the Galaxy Tab do well but the price point may be a sticking point unless it is subsidized by carriers on a contract. All in all, the android operating system is gaining favour and could propel android powered tablets into compelling alternative status.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Internet TV Comes To Canada

After announcing the acquisition of CTV last week, Bell Canada's Kevin Crull said today that his company was going to roll out Fibe TV an internet television network featuring with over 70 international and 100 HD chanels.

"We went from black and white to colour and then to high-definition," Crull said. "And you think of the size of each of those leaps, and now going to FibeTV is an equally large leap for the product, and it's just going to continue to evolve. It's the platform, very much, of the future of this industry."