technology

Tracking

The KizON wearable also features a ‘One Step Direct Call’ button, which lets parents contact their children easily. If the kid fails to answer a call from any pre-set phone numbers within 10 seconds, KizON will automatically connect the call so the parent can listen through the built-in microphone. Kids can also dial a pre-configured phone number in case they need to speak to an adult.

Good idea, but the device is too big. I don't think it will fit on my kids' arms. I don't think I can convince them to wear this either.

Rumored Apple iPhone Event September 10

This was confirmed by The Loop so it must be true. I'm really looking forward to a new iPhone, having been with the iPhone 4S for close to two years. The hardware will seem like a leap to me, and you add in iOS 7 and I'll be a happy camper for another two years.

There seems to be a lot of talk about smartphone fatigue lately. It seems smartphones have hit their peak, as far as features. But I am still excited about this upcoming gadget, even if it won't wow the general tech press or Wall Street. But what do I know. I'm just a lowly consumer.

 

Fired via Text Message

According to the cook, at least 12 other employees received the same message. The surprise Fourth of July firing gave no notice, the employee said. The restaurant is now shut down, and Jackson says the workers are waiting for their final paychecks.

What a way to be fired. 

Not Disappointed

I'm fairly pleased with the iPhone 4S announcement the other day. It hit all the points I was looking for in a new iPhone. Granted, my points weren't really that lofty. I hoped for, at the least:

  • A screen as good as the iPhone 4 (e.g. retina display).
  • The same or better camera.
  • More powerful, processor-wise.
  • More memory for less.

What was shown was:


  • Yup, retina display. No change in screen size or resolution
  • A better 8MP camera with an aperture of 2.4 (good for low light).
  • Dual-core A5 chip = faster!
  • Now offering it in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. It meets my more memory for less criteria.

I wasn't expecting or waiting for an iPhone 5. It seems to fit with the pattern or releases (e.g. iPhone 3 to iPhone 3GS). And since I'm on a broken down iPhone 3GS anything would be much better. Now, what size and color should I get?

Just Annouce It Already!

Apple can announce anything today. Just as long as it's a new iPhone. I so desperately need a new phone. 

  • The headphone jack is broken.
  • The physical volume buttons are broken.
  • The side with the volume buttons is starting t split.
  • The top power button, when pressed does nothing. This means I can't power off my iPhone

I could have gone with an iPhone 4, but I held off for two reasons. The first, was to uphold a pledge to skip every-other-version of the iPhone. We had the First Gen, skipped the iPhone 3G, and got the iPhone 3GS. The second reason I waited was when my iPhone truly started to become unusable as a music device, it happened during that weird window where you know you need a new iPhone, so why get one. Why not wait?

I do hope the new iPhone is better than the iPhone 4, which was something I lusted after for some time. What I hope for in a new iPhone is:

  • A screen as good as the iPhone 4 (e.g. retina display).
  • The same or better camera.
  • More powerful, processor-wise.
  • More memory for less.

All that I ask above is doable, very doable. We'll see what happens later on this morning. All I know is that by the end of the month I should have a new phone.

Pownce No Longer

I’m saddened by the demise of Pownce - in its current form.  They were acquired by Six Apart earlier this week which means...I don’t know exactly what it means.  I wasn’t  a heavy user of Pownce, but I did use it to communicate with friends. I was able to privately share small files, photos, links, and messages with various friends.  I’m not sure if Pownce will be integrated with one of Six Apart’s services such as Vox or Typepad, but it won’t be the same.

And this brings up a problem that I fear on the Internet - the loss of content you created / posted on the Internet.

Luckily Pownce provided a way to export your data and time to complete the export.  But other services that have gone the way of the dodo, such as Digital Railroad, didn’t give their users this opportunity.  Imagine losing all the photos you posted online? What if you didn’t have a backup?

I have over 9000 photos posted on flickr, another 24GB of photos posted on Smugmug.  My blog has 473 entries,  and there are only about 100 entries on my tumblr account.  Most of this data - minus the tumblr posts - I have on hand a local backup.  But some data cannot be copied, such as my Facebook and MySpace account.  Plus any comments made on the photos above cannot be backed up - or at least I’m not aware of a way to do it at this point.

My greatest fear is that flickr or Smugmug goes under without notice.  It was a fear I had with Vox which is why I moved my blog back to my personal site.  (If Vox provided a means to export my blog posts it would make me feel more comfortable using it as my primary blog.)  I’m sure this reality is far from possible at this point, but with this economy you never know.  I have always hear that flickr is a losing proposition for Yahoo!  This unconfirmed fact makes me more confident that Smugmug is a stronger choice to share my photo data online.  But I enjoy flickr’s community so much.

And this is the other aspect that is lost with the demise of Pownce - the community. A solid community is difficult to build - let alone maintain. While Pownce may have not had a choice but to sell itself to Six Apart, it is a shame it wasn’t able to keep the community it had built together.

My Bandwidth Results

I wrote in a previous post about having to track my bandwidth usage since Comcast was implementing bandwidth limits. Well, my results for September are in. According to my Tomato router I used 195.11 GB total bandwidth. 57.51 GB was used for downloading content and 137.60 GB was for uploading.

What does this mean?

Well, my upload number is high because of the online backup service I use, Mozy. The data I am backing up - music, photos, and documents - is about 200 GB total. I had hoped I could have uploaded it all before October, but I ran into the end of the month before completing that goal. I hope this doesn't screw up my October numbers.

From the looks of things I am well within the 250 GB limit imposed by Comcast. I hope my numbers are correct. I would hate to lose my Internet service.

My iPhone Contacts Disappeared!

My iPhone Contacts Disappeared!: While I was out and about today, my iPhone contacts decided to disappear. I noticed this when I received a text message from someone in my contact list and it showed their phone number instead of their name. I’m guessing my over-the-air sync with Mobile Me was the cause, since I have seen this sync problem before but only with my iMac and dot Mac. But when I got online, I my Mobile Me account and my iMac contacts and both were fine. At this point I don’t know what happened. It just sucks to lose your contacts, for no apparent reason, when your out on errands. I wonder if this has happened to anyone else?

Handsfree

Beginning in July, California went 'handsfree'.  Now, I don't talk on my cellphone often while driving but Farrah does. And so I did some research on a solution that would work for her.

The iPhone comes with a nice standard headset for listening to music and taking phone calls.  It can be used in the car as long as you only use one ear bud while driving. I do this often, but it can be uncomfortable, and I think Farrah finds this so as well. Farrah also finds Bluetooth headsets uncomfortable. 

I heard Leo Laporte speak of the BlueAnt's Supertooth Light Bluetooth Handsfree Speakerphone as a good solution, and so I ordered it from Amazon and let Farrah give it a try.

The unit charged quickly, with Farrah being able to try it the next day.  The main unit attaches by magnets to a metal clip you can fit to your car's visor.  Having the clip allows you to easlily move the unit from car to car, or simply detach it from the clip to hide the unit in your glovebox.  To activate the unit, you extend the mic boom.

The sound quality is very good.  I was able to hear Farrah very clearly while she was driving, and she was able to hear me without my yelling.  The unit also comes with a built in ringer so you won't have to hear your cellphone ringing, unless you have the BlueAnt turned off.  The BlueAnt holds a very good charge.  We've only had to charge it twice since having it, but people who talk often may have a different experience. The only negative experience we've had with the unit is when pairing with two different phones. The unit appears to forget the first phone it was paired with, but works fine the ethe second. If you are the only one using the BlueAnt, then this will not be a problem. Overall, Farrah finds the BlueAnt solid and reliable, as do I.

There is a newer unit available, the BlueAnt Supertooth 3.  I think this unit has voice activated calling, but I have no personal experience with it.  You may want to read the reviews on that unit, but it does cost about $30 more.

Always Behind the Curve

It's a fact that when it comes to hi-tech toys you will eventually be behind the curve. Sometimes it can take a year to fall behind. Other times it can be weeks.

I was reminded of this when I read Gizmodo this morning. I found out a new version of Drobo came out. I only bought mine three weeks ago. Should I send back the old one (if I can) and get the new improved one? Actually it would be too much of a pain to do so. I would need to offload the tons of data I already stored on the hard drives, then box up the unit, go to UPS and pay the shipping. I would then be without a unit for some time.

It's like when I bought the iPhone, or the iMac, or the Powerbook - I knew something better was going to come along. But you can't wait on your purchase. If you need that hi-tech device, buy it after doing the research. It just needs to do what you want it to do. Waiting isn't going to stop a newer and better version from coming out after your purchase. Just do it.

Other notable behind the curve moments for me:

  • iPhone - Purchased September 2007. New version July 2008
  • 24" White iMac - Purchased late 2006. New aluminum version mid-2007
  • 12"  PowerBook G4 - Purchased October 2005.  New Intel MacBook Pros release February 2006.

All I can say is keep up with the read the reviews and keep up with the news before buying.

The reasons haven't changed why I bought the Drobo in the first place. I was tired of buying external hard drives and wanted a simple and secure solution that Drobo offers. So what if it's only USB 2.0. I did my research and knew this fact going in.

Any Web Hosting Suggestions?

Janella.com Home Page

My website is down for the second time in about six months.  The reason my hosting company gives is hard drive failure - again!  Two times, on two different servers, in six months.  I think it may be time to make change.

So does anyone have a suggesting for a web hosting company? I'm looking for about 5GB of storage (for a small photo program I maintain),  PHP and mySQL, and not much else.  I'm not looking to break the bank on monthly fees, but anything under $25 is worth considering.  I'm currently with Midphase and have been with Hostgator (who wasn't bad at all).

If anyone has a suggestion I would appreciate it.