Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Google Glass

Google Glass, the cool new wearable computer, isn't out quiet yet but the library has managed to get a pair and you can borrow them to see how they work. So, how do they work? Simple. Just put them on like you would any normal pair of glasses. Adjust them so the clear prizm is just above your line of sight. Most of the time while wearing them the screen is off so it doesn't distract you. There are two ways to turn it on. Either tap the touch pad on the side of the glasses or tilt your head up 40 degrees (a built in accelerometer senses the movement and turns on the screen). The first thing you'll see on the screen is the time and the phrase "OK Glass" under it. Here is where the magic happens. Interacting with Glass can happen a few different ways. Using the touch pad on the side allows you to scroll through a series of slides. Scroll to the right to see things that have happened like pictures you've taken, text messages, news articles, or past google searches. Scroll to the left to see active slides like current sports scores, weather, or Glass settings. If you want to interact with a slide simply tap the touch pad. Depending on the slide there are several things you can do. Share a photo with contacts via email or text, respond to a text, or open a webpage from a google search just to name a few. To get out of a slide swipe down on the touch pad. Swiping down is like the back button on a computer. Swiping down enough times will get you back to the time screen and then turn off the screen.
The next way of interacting with Glass is definitely the most fun and really the main way that you'll get it to do anything. First go to the time screen either by tapping the side or tilting your head up. From here just say the phrase "OK Glass" and you'll get a list of suggestions.   
Then just say what you want and it shall be done. Say "take a picture" and it will. Say "google small dog breeds" and it will. Say "get direction to Disney World" and you'll be on your way. All the built in suggestions are basic but work well. It seems that every day third party developers are finding new ways to use and adapt Glass. The translate app is one of my favorites. Tell Glass to translate from Spanish to English and anything you see written in Spanish will be translated before your eyes. Pretty cool!
Although Glass has built in WiFi you'll need to connect it to a phone to gain access to some of the features like directions and messaging. This is a small price to pay since most people who use them will be carrying their phone anyway.
They have a ways to go convincing everyone that they need these and the exorbitant price tag is worth it but Google is definitely on their way.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

iPad Air and 2nd Gen Mini

The Apple iPad Air is the newest of the Apple iPad line and it is a great addition! It features a 9.7 inch screen with a retina display just like the 3rd and 4th generation iPads but this time that display is housed in a much smaller, thinner case. Even with the smaller case, the iPad Air includes a new faster processor and better front facing and rear facing cameras. It also weighs 1/3 of a pound less. That weight or lack there of is very noticeable! I never thought that the iPad was real heavy but after using this I can't get over how light it is and how heavy my 3rd gen iPad feels.

The other new addition to the iPad line is the 2nd generation iPad Mini also called the iPad Mini with Retina Display. This Mini is nice but feels almost exactly like the original Mini. Almost all the upgrades here are under the hood, the biggest being the new retina screen. There is a new faster processor and an upgrade to both the front and rear cameras (all the same upgrades that are on the iPad Air).

Even with the new upgrades to the Mini, the Air is real show stopper. Even if hadn't noticed before, once you pick up the Air you can immediately feel the difference and the older iPads feel balky in comparison.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Google Nexus 7

The new Google Nexus 7 tablet (second generation) is the probably best small tablet on the market aside from maybe the new iPad Mini but even that is debatable. The clear, bright screen is a thing of beauty and its performance is top notch but the UI is a little lacking though not all together bad. If you've used an iPad or iPhone it will take some getting use to the Nexus. At times it feels like an iPad and at time is feels like a PC. Many of the apps and games that are found in the Apple store are there and the feel and responsiveness is a lot like an iPad but like with a PC it is more customizable. All in all it's a fun little device.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Streaming Independent Films

Check out IndieFlix!

You have access to over 4000  independent films from your home.
Browse by broad category or view films from all of the major film festivals from all over the world.
Create a free account and get streaming!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kindle Paperwhite

The newest Kindle e-reader is called the Kindle Paperwhite. It's very similar to the Kindle Touch except that the background of the screen is white rather than gray and it has a faint back lit glow to it. Though my experience with the Paperwhite is limited, it appears to be more responsive when navigating and turning pages than its predecessors, the keyboard Kindle and Kindle Touch. The Paperwhite's back lit screen is made to be read in the dark but also handles just fine in the light. The white screen color is more pleasing to the eye and more closely resembles the pages of a real book. With the Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon shows why they are the leader in the e-reader market!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Google Glasses

Google's newest "thing" is called Project Glass. It's very cool, super futuristic and hopefully not as far fetched as it seems. The idea is to have a screen built into a pair of glasses so that your surroundings are augmented with info like directions, reviews, internet access, calendars and phone calls.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Playstation Vita

The Playstation Vita is the newest handheld gaming device on the market. It sports a 5 inch OLED touch screen that offer amazing graphics. The operating system is user friendly and very responsive. The battery life is average at best and one has to buy a proprietary memory card to save game data which adds additional costs. Those are the two biggest draw backs to an otherwise fantastic device.