Category Archives: Uncategorized

12 TECH DAYS OF CHRISTMAS…DAY 4

Follow my daily 12 tech days of Christmas. The words of the perennial 1909 festive song by Frederic Austin’s original have changed slightly, but the meaning is all the same. Merry Christmas!

On the fourth day of Christmas my tech love gave to me, four odd collections, three streaming players, two instant photos and a java on a pear tree…

Useful technology or something you might get bored with? You be the judge.

Two years ago, Samsung showed its Welt belt at its Las Vegas CES booth in January. Surprise surprise, the smart belt got on Kickstarter!  Pay $119 ($69 or $99 if you’re early) and you’ll get a classically made leather belt that tracks your waistline, eating habits, step counts and the time you spend sitting. Higher-priced designs cost more but have the same functionality. Delivery is scheduled for January, just in time to track bad habits over the holidays. Works on iOS and Android.

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Google’s smartly designed Daydream VR headgear gets a load of new titles

daydream-view-partially-open

Just in time for the Holidays, the next round of VR apps launched for Google’s Daydream headset today. They feature a variety of game genres for every taste, taking advantage of the Daydream’s ability to play and view within a 360 degree sphere around you by turning your head around.

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Cineplex to host youth LEGO tournament nation wide

Family gaming is where it’s at for Arif Pervez and daughter Hadiya 7 yrs honing their skills at a special free WEM Cineplex LEGO Dimensions league for young gamers. The trial run, is a prelude to the official league launch at 12 Cineplex theatres across Canada next March. The friendly no eliminations competition featuring the popular LEGO toy and video game hybrid consists of four consecutive weekly sessions where LEGO fans can play and compete in-theatre on the big screen. First time BATTLE ARENAS feature allow players to take their favourite characters into battle and compete with up to 3 friends head-to-head.

Arif Pervez and daughter Hadiya 7 yrs honing their skills at WEM Cineplex LEGO Dimensions trial.  "This is my first time playing but its a good way to do things with my family" said Pervez, whose daughter, centre, trounced her dad on the big theatre screen.
Arif Pervez and daughter Hadiya 7 yrs honing their skills at WEM Cineplex LEGO Dimensions trial. “This is my first time playing but its a good way to do things with my family” said Pervez, whose daughter, centre, trounced her dad on the big theatre screen.

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High-Tech GMC Acadia includes Low-Tech life saving feature

The re-imagined Acadia 2017
The re-imagined Acadia 2017

I recently attended a media “driving adventure” for the “re-imagined” 2017 GM Canada Acadia crossover in Whistler. Although the new Acadia was launched earlier this year, GM Canada, creates media driving experiences to familiarize us with new cars, including a similar driving adventure on Vancouver Island last spring with the 2017 Chev Malibu.

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Adobe addresses pain points with time and money saving improvements in Adobe CC

Note: check  out Adobe’s brief video on the enhancements below to fully appreciate the Adobe Stock and CC Desktop new features.

Today Adobe  launches updates to its flagship Creative Cloud tools and services. It includes new features in Adobe’s flagship applications, performance enhancements across Creative Cloud (CC), and updates to Adobe Stock — including deeper integration within CC and the addition of an all-new Premium Collection of high quality stock content.

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Taking the new LG G5 super wide mode for a spin

The just released LG G5 16 MP smart phone modular design phone is many things to many folks. From creating and sharing your own 360 VR clips to watching your own VR or shared content on the very compact LG 360 VR headset, its hard to not like the G5 and “Friends” .

Personally, the super wide 135 degree shooting and video mode of the G5 rocks for me. Here is a collection of photos in recent tech trips abroad, all on the super wide mode. I even shot selfies with the same rear lens by setting the camera on timer!

For more on the LG G5 VR wild side, check out my Global TV Sunday Morning News tech segment

Framing the Great Wall in China from tight spaces was a piece of cake with the LG G5 super wide 135 degree mode
Framing the Great Wall in China from tight spaces was a piece of cake with the LG G5 super wide 135 degree mode

Continue reading Taking the new LG G5 super wide mode for a spin

CES 2016 shows thousands of global technology gizmos and ideas

The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the Mecca of inventiveness. More than 3,800 vendors ranging from tech giants Samsung, Sony and LG with booths the size of several ice arenas to one person 4 square meter single table booths swayed more than 170,000 attendees including some 50,000  outside the U.S.

Check out my coolest YouTube linked products at CES by clicking on the linked names.

Samsung Family Hub Fridge at CES commanded much attention. Priced at more than $6,000 CDN, it will be in Canada later this year pending negotiations with online grocery venues in Canada.  It features a 21.5 inch 1080p touch screen, three interior shelve cams, self digital food labelling with expiry dates, screen photo albums, online grocery ordering, weather and more. You can also see what’s in your fridge, live, with a phone app and switch the lower right compartment to a freezer when needed.

LG Signature series features semi transparent glass door
LG Signature series features semi transparent glass door

Continue reading CES 2016 shows thousands of global technology gizmos and ideas

Tech Bytes of the week

With SlashGear co-driver Vincent Nguyen testing Ford's new G-Max Energi in San Francisco
With SlashGear co-driver Vincent Nguyen testing Ford’s new G-Max Energi in San Francisco

Did you know that trying to find parking in large metro cities consumes  one quarter of your car’s gas? In a recent visit to Ford’s Silicon Valley Research Centre, I found out the car maker is into a lot more than just selling cars, like phone apps to help you find parking,  ECO bikes to throw in your trunk and new ways to get around town with shared cars. Check my special report this Tuesday, August 4,

 

 

Windows 10 device familyCheckout my GlobalNews.ca Tech Talk TV and blog segment this Sunday on the New Windows 10.  With only three days to go, Microsoft is still updating its public Windows Insider Program version with new security updates. Will Microsoft get a home run on its Windows 10 launch? Like millions, I have been running it on an Acer Aspire V 11 Touch with no problems.  It looks like the new OS will continue to be work in progress and might keep its “10” name for a long time. BTW, there is some erroneous information circulating online about who gets the free upgrade Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro.

Here’s the skinny: If you currently have Windows 7 or 8/8.1 Home or lower, you get Windows 10. If you currently have Windows Pro, you get Windows 10 Pro. If you have Windows Enterprise, you got to talk to your IT manager or pay for that upgrade.

Adobe

If you are trialling Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom, which is worth doing, for free, you can also use Lightroom for your mobile iPhone and Android devices. Brighten shadows, flag and share favorites, organize photos — just like the desktop app! And everything you do automatically stays in sync from device to desktop. The trial is like the real thing which costs a reasonable $9.99 US

Böcker

At the IFA Spring Global Press Conference 2015 in Malta I attended last April, IFA analyst Juergen Boyny reported that e-Readers where showing a steady decline for the past five years. He was right! Folks of all ages are reverting back to the analog book, because it feels right to hold, touch smell and read. Research shows looking at text on paper has a more soothing effect than reading of e-readers. And no power required!

UPmini

London Drugs (sorry my GTA friends) is selling an affordable 3D printer, the UPmini for $849.99. Check it out. How about sharing the cost with interested friends to start 3D printing!

The new facelift for mobile YouTube App

YouTube is getting a face lift on its mobile apps. Android, available now, and App Store, available soon will make it easier to find and create videos.The update introduces three new tabs:

•           Home: Easily explore and discover videos you’ll love with recommendations based on your watch history as well as playlists personalized just for you.

•           Subscriptions: Find the latest videos from your favorite channels and creators on the new Subscriptions tab. And to help make sure you never miss an upload, you can now tap the bell icon on the channels you love to get a notification as soon as a new video is posted.

•           Account: Check out your playlists, watch history, and the videos you’ve uploaded all in one spot.

Canadians are huge consumers of YouTube. In fact, they watch over 24 hours of online video a month — five more hours than Americans. Today, more than half the views on YouTube happen using mobile devices. In Canada, 20% watch online video on their smartphones daily, and 30% of Canadians watch online video on their smartphones weekly.

TELUS CIBC

Earlier this year TELUS and CIBC launched a new co-branded CIBC TELUS Rewards Visa card that enables TELUS customers to earn and redeem reward points on their everyday spending towards a selection of TELUS products and services. Now customers can apply for the CIBC TELUS Rewards Visa Card at participating TELUS locations and get approved instantly.Customers can earn rewards points on everyday card purchases which can be redeemed for a selection of TELUS products and services including the latest smartphones and tablets, charitable donations, travel passes and TELUS prepaid cards that can be used on a variety of products, including wireless accessories.

Here’s the breakdown:

·         Earn one point for every dollar spent using the rewards card

·         Earn 1.5 points on all rewards card purchases at grocery and gas retailers

·         Earn 1.5 points on TELUS purchases made on the rewards card – paying their monthly bill, purchasing accessories or mobile devices, etc.

·         Enjoy no annual fee

·         Redeem points for a selection of TELUS products and services including the latest smartphones and tablets, charitable donations, travel passes and TELUS prepaid cards that can be used on a variety of products, including wireless accessories

For a limited time, customers who apply for the card and activate/renew on a 2-year plan in-store, will receive up to $100 off their smartphone purchase plus 5,000 TELUS Rewards points, worth $50 that can be redeemed towards their next device. For more info go here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samsung keeps the WOW factour at Barcelona launch

Today Samsung announced its newest Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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The S6, features a smooth rounded metal bezel, while the S6 Edge has curved glass screens on both sides with a uniquely crafted bezel hugging both exposed corners.

2015-03-01 14.49.37

More 64 bit processing power and faster response to finger touch are in order here. Both models are sealed, thus no interchangeable battery with build-in wireless re-charging. You get 4 hours of normal use after a 10 minute charge.

National coffee stores and Ikea will soon feature under the surface cordless chargers on counters and night tables from Ikea. Samsung supports an open standard in wireless charging.

No more memory upgrades either. There will be 32, 64 and 128 GB models. Samsung decided its new battery was good enough to be sealed permanently shaving the S6 down to 6.8 mm. It also said the S6 “won’t bend.”

A 16 megapixel main camera features less than a second instant on from the get go by pressing the menu bar twice, even on locked phones. It has easy to use settings for beginners and a Pro mode to grow into.

The 5 megapixel selfie uses a fast f1.9 lens and shoots gorgeous FullHD video.

Samsung showed tough picture and movie taking comparisons in bad light against an iPhone 6 with noticeable quality gains.

Both phones will be available in Canada on April 10 with all cellcos. The 32 GB S6 is expected to sell in the $250 range while the Edge will cost about $100 more.

For that you get a well crafted constant companion with Gorilla Glass 4 and a curved screen that was subjected to 8,000 Celcius during assembly.

Thinness, dazzling looks and smart functionality with speed is Samsung’s latest effort to compete with Apple’s recently successful iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones sold worldwide.

Samsung Canada's Paul Brannen "We listened to everyone's pain points on phones and delivered on design and functionality."
Samsung Canada’s Paul Brannen “We listened to everyone’s pain points on phones and delivered on design and functionality.”

The curved S6 Edge has room for separate narrow side panel information viewed from the top or the side. This gives fast access to app icons, auto-scrolling sports and news and a nifty non-intrusive bed light mode, with time weather and alarm showing on the curve edge.

When face down, the S6 Edge glows colours assigned to specific contacts so you know who might be buzzing you in a meeting.

Despite its “wow” tecnology showcase at the premiere mobility show of the year, the South Korean giant finds itself with decreasing annual profits and playing catchup to Apple’s hugely successful 75 million global iPhone 6 sales.

Analysts place Apple and Samsung at par with 20 per cent each on global phone shipments in the past quarter. Samsung recently reported a 37 per cent drop of its company-wide operating profit from last year.

Will Samsung’s glass screen-bending magic save it from its current woes?

Faced with Apple’s lightening fast market growth outside North America, low price busting Chinese smartphones from Xiaomi and its growing dissatisfaction with the Android operating system, Samsung is in the unenviable position of having the coolest technology in need of the right market.