Category: COOL!


Apple TV vs. Roku vs. Chromecast – It’s a Throwdown!

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSA few weeks ago, Google came out with their newest streaming media device in Chromecast. An HDMI dongle that plugs into the back of your TV to watch applications such as Netflix, YouTube and more. In the meantime, the Parks Associates just released a report stating Roku has 37% share to Apple TVs 24% in the market. So which one do you want to get? Today, I am going to show you these three set top boxes along with their advantages and disadvantages.Then you can make an informed decision to purchase the set top box of your choice. Other Streaming Media First of all I want to state there are many other set top boxes out there. From Boxee, Western Digital and Sony to even gaming systems PS4, XBox One and Nintendo Wii. Certain DVD and Blu-Ray players also come with...

Orb Audio Speakers 0

Orb Audio Speakers Bring Design, Scalibility

Looking to get some new speakers for the home entertainment center? Maybe you want something in your computer room. Something with performance and something that looks good. That is where Orb Audio comes in. Orb Audio is a modular speaker system that can give you simple or complex sound in your home. You can choose 2 speakers, or get the full 5.1 surround system for high definition movies and TV. Designed in the US, these speakers are no bigger than a softball – yet there is nothing soft about them. Connecting to a receiver, these speakers put out some sound. Starting with the Quick Pack – a two speaker system – you can use these at the computer or for a smaller system. However, if you are going to pay for these speakers, you might just get the subwoofer to round out the sound (although I figure the...


LG Optimus G (Sprint) – Quad-Core Android with 32 GB Storage [Review]

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSAbout a month ago I got to use the LG Optimus G on the Sprint network. Optimus G is a newer Android phone that has power and storage to rival the future designs of the smartphone. A phone with enough power to not only get work done or the ability to do two things at once but the battery power to stay functional for the day. The Good – LG Optimus G Let’s start with the processor – a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor. This processor will let you not only record video and pull up your favorite apps but will also allow you to do two things at once. Send a text while a video plays – Email someone while you are in mid-game – then come back to where you were. You can even record a video and snap...


Record Shows on your PC with Hauppauge Win-TV DCR-2650

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSI have been very busy these last few weeks and have missed a lot of TV. In the past, I would have just shrugged it off and possibly caught it through On-Demand or HuluPlus. Before I left, I set up a Hauppauge Win-TV DCR-2650 to a Windows PC running Windows Media Center and recorded all my favorite shows. About the Hauppauge DCR-2650 Win-TV device The Hauppauge is a unit that connects your cable to a machine running Windows 7 and Media Center. The unit requires an M-Card, which is a card you can get from your cable company (for a rental fee). The DCR-2650 features a dual tuner mode so you can record one show and watch another. Simply connect your coaxial cable to the DCR-2650 unit. Connect the USB cable to the computer and install the driver software. You will...


One Week with the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD

It is difficult to do a one-size-fits-all review of the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G. Without getting into a huge amount of technical minutia, which can actually be misleading will call this drive “middle of the road” in terms of performance. Whether it is the right drive for you, or not depends on factors outlined next. When I got this drive, I installed it in a few different notebooks, including my Macbook Pro, my older HP G60, and a Dell Lattitude. I even gave it to a friend to use it in some special equipment. Each test brought pretty nice results. The OS would load about 10-20% faster (depending on the machine), the performance would improve (as best it could in an older machine), and I could get work done faster. Pricing the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD Based solely on the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP),...

Canon EOS 7D 0

Making of a Legend – Canon EOS 7D

In the days of Clark Kent (Superman) the young photographer Jimmy Olsen got by with a low-cost 35mm camera. It looks like an Argus C3. The more senior photographers ran about with a Speed Graphics and a pocket full of M3 flashbulbs. Subsequently World War II came and the Japanese pilots in their Zeros plied their trade of war craft using Nikon optics. The revenge against Nikon came from within its own nation-state, with Canon. When the 1970s came around ‘old school’ professional photographers used Nikon. The upstart photographers went with Canon. The civil war within professional photographers was and, to this day still is based on the kilo buck expenses (investment) in distorting glass (lenses). The price point of a high-end camera such as the Canon EOS 7D actually becomes almost nothing when you consider the lifetime investment a photographer makes in glass. This begets religious wars....

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Sony Wireless Camera Microphone UWPV6 for Professional Interviews

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS You are stepping up your game as a video blogger, newscaster, interviewer, or just want something that doesn’t have a wire attached to it. The answer – a wireless camera microphone that you can use in any situation. There are many out there, but in this case, going cheap may mean not having the best sound or the interview at all. If you are in a expo hall, there may be several wireless systems competing with yours. That is why I bought the Sony UWPV6 (3032) wireless microphone system. It’s a handset mic and a wireless lavaliere when you need it. Most important, it’s a microphone that adds a professional look to your interviews. I bought it from my friends over at B&H Photo. It’s a great place to go for all your audio, video, and photo gear. Located on...


Zoom H1 On-Camera Audio Kit Adds Better Audio to Your DSLR Camera

As an old-time photographer I have always enjoyed the Nikon/Canon battle that seems to last longer than the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys. However, I’ve also had a keen interest in audio as well. I became enthralled with the performance of Shure microphones which I first became aware of their killer performance when the audio engineer mis-adjusted the gain during an outdoor performance in Woodstock, New York. I noticed that Shure SM 58 microphones were so durable stagehands could make them do double duty as hammers. Throughout my lifetime that became my microphone of choice, until the digital age brought me face-to-face with an audio version of the Canon/Nikon battle. While it is true I am old, I am not an old fart (set in my ways). Slowly I moved away from my veritable analog mic selection and began purchasing digital microphones such as the Samson...

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: Applying to New Media [review] 0

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: Applying to New Media [review]

Jeffrey Powers looks at “POM presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold”. He poses that New Media should look at this model.

Philosophical flash game…. wait what? – GameBreak 1

Philosophical flash game…. wait what? – GameBreak

I came across a game quite recently on my Google+ stream. Someone was talking about a fun, strangely philosophical flash game they had found called The End. So I thought I’d give it a shot. And surprisingly, they were right. This game is cleverly disguised as a cute innocent flash game with platforming elements. However there is something much deeper at work here. And I’m not referring to the mini game you play against a grotesque creature to obtain items. At the end of each level you are asked a very personal philosophical question. How you answer won’t make you win or lose. What it’s meant to do is help pin down your thought process on what they call The Death Dial. This tracks not only where you fall on the scale they have made but you can see where people are located globally, you can connect to...

MAG redefines large scale battles – GameBreak 0

MAG redefines large scale battles – GameBreak

If you’re anything like me, you’ve played games like Halo and Modern Warfare and had wanted them to be bigger. You could switch to more realistic shooters like ARMA or Operation Flashpoint. But, unless you’re into super realistic shooters, where traveling to the destination and waiting for the moment to strike, you might be looking for something faster pace. MAG seems to blend more casual shooting games with large scale battles. And it does it beautifully. MAG doesn’t just up the map size, it also drastically increases the number of players in a single game. I’m not talking about games where they upgrade the players to 32. MAG has several game types that go all the way up to 256 (128v128) real players in a single game. Now granted, that is only one of the game modes and it takes a bit of playing to be able to...

Cowboys and Aliens, what’s not to love? 0

Cowboys and Aliens, what’s not to love?

If the title Cowboys and Aliens doesn’t spark something in you, then your imagination might need some tweaking. Just the idea of it was enough to get me interested from the start, then I saw the trailer and saw the people who was involved and I got really excited. So what happened? The film revolves around Daniel Craig as a cowboy with amnesia and a mysterious weapon attached to his wrist. And it’s not long before the aliens from the title make a appearance and the major conflict begins, bringing together western archetypes together to do what we all came for, kick ass. So with this all going on why was I just entertained by this film and not in love with it? Like to read before you watch? Get the Book Cowboys and Aliens I think it can be summed up in one word; potential. The main problem...

CISS: Circle it Simple, Silly – How I use Google Plus Circles 0

CISS: Circle it Simple, Silly – How I use Google Plus Circles

Jeffrey Powers talks about his process for Circles – CISS: Circle it Simple, Silly!

Vintage Google Plus Ad Found 0

Vintage Google Plus Ad Found

Was looking through my vintage magazines and found this. OK, not really. But it was something fun to do and burn some time off for a few minutes while computers were updating…

Fun in Comics – Comic Life 2 Turns You into a Character [Review] 0

Fun in Comics – Comic Life 2 Turns You into a Character [Review]

I enjoy being able to create comics. Of course, I have talked about Bitstrips in the past and also about GoAnimate! for video cartoons. But I have found a program that will let me make comic pages using pictures. That is called Comic Life 2. I can take pictures as I go, or use existing photos. Put in a couple effects and I have a comic look to myself. Add a speech balloon, adjust for size and where my mouth is and write what I want to say. Create multiple pages, like if you were making a comic book. Post to Facebook or another favorite Social Network. The parent company – Plasq – has versions of Comic Life for Windows, Mac and iPad. There is also an iPhone application that lets you caption pictures. You can get those programs right from the App Store.  

Captain America stirs up more anticipation for The Avengers 0

Captain America stirs up more anticipation for The Avengers

This is it, the last of Marvel’s single superhero focused movies that started way back in 2008 with Iron Man in a attempt to bring them all under one universe and set up The Avengers. So how does Captain America, a hero that could be argued is nothing more than a walking flag stand up to the other giants that have come before him? Plain and simple, this movie is fantastic. The movie’s pacing is absolutely brilliant, giving us plenty of time with pre-super serum Steve Rogers to learn what is behind the iconic Captain America. We are given a show of what a good and courageous person he is and why he was chosen above others who were much more qualified for becoming the first super soldier. That doesn’t mean this movie is without it’s action. From moments after Steve Rogers is injected with the serum the...

Google+ man – a Geek Smack! Short 0

Google+ man – a Geek Smack! Short

The newest Geek Smack! short is Google+ Man – a play on Google+. It’s a play on the old video game using Google+ and Facebook Characters.

Verbatim Store n Stay USB Drive Size of a Dime 0

Verbatim Store n Stay USB Drive Size of a Dime

I get many USB drives. Most of them get put to the side. Only a couple I end up taking with me. One in particular is the Verbatim Tuff N Tiny drives. It’s small and fits on my keychain. But I may trade up for this one. It’s called the Store n Stay. The drive is the size of a dime and the best part is it could stay in your computer. It can also be put into your car’s USB port and hold four to six albums. You can also plug it into a printer, the side of a TV or even a Roku player with your family pictures. “The low-profile, snag-free design makes it the optimal USB flash drive choice for laptop users who want the ability to transfer, store and share their favorite files on impulse,” said Mark Rogers, Verbatim Product Manager, Flash Memory. “It’s meant...

A Spirit in the Clouds? Pictures of Mysterious Light on My Flight. 0

A Spirit in the Clouds? Pictures of Mysterious Light on My Flight.

First of all, I have to preface by saying the only photoshop I did was put the watermark on. I was in the air from Chicago to Detroit. I decided to take pictures of clouds for an idea I had. There was this one cloud I thought would make a great picture. When I first took the series of pictures, I thought it was a great shot to make. However, I looked a little closer at the 2nd and 3rd pictures, I saw something in the bottom left-hand corner. It was a light in the form of a person standing on a cloud. When I went to the next picture, I saw that light jump up. The third picture showed the light up farther. I was pretty taken back to see the one picture. I thought it was impressive enough. This light on the corner, well, I don’t...

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5 Microphones that Look Cool for Podcasting (Sound Good, too!)

OK, so you are doing your show. The people are complaining – you sound too weird during your Live Stream or Podcast. The Radio Shack microphone is not cutting it anymore. The computer microphone you got with that Pentium II years ago is making you sound like your in a can. Time to get a new mic – one that make you sound good and look cool. But which one? Today, I will go over 5 microphones for that professional audio sound. I’ll talk about their qualities and you will see how visually stimulating they look in front of a person. I’ll even give you a couple USB options if you want a pro sound, but don’t want to deal with audio equipment. Sure SH 55 microphone (aka – the Elvis mic). With a low-impedance balanced output, this mic screams “Rock Star”. You will see it from...

Four Bloggers Walking Vegas Strip – Interop 0

Four Bloggers Walking Vegas Strip – Interop

I have been to Vegas before, but never really did the “tourist” thing. Bob, Greg and especially Aaron (who has never been to Vegas) wanted to walk around and see the sights. We started by going from Four Seasons, to the tram and to the monorail to about mid-point in Caesar’s Palace. We then walked back to Mandalay Bay, while seeing all the great images the strip had to offer. It was a fun time and even I got to see stuff I haven’t before.

Unboxing: Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z 0

Unboxing: Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z

I received the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z I will be Giving away (in a future contest) today. Unboxed and set up this new computer. Of course, when I set up a computer, I do it a little different. First, let’s look at the computer itself: We have a 23″ inch computer monitor with 2 point touch screen. Open up the back and you can see the computer – complete with DVD+/- RW, sound, 6 USB ports, VGA in, power and more. The back panel can be opened pretty easily by pulling the two arrowed tabs on the bottom and lifting up. What is interesting, is if you look at one of the photos, there is a spot to put in a card reader. If you get a computer like this, you want more than just USB ports. Another thing missing is a eSATA port for off-computer storage. The computer...

Midwest Gaming Classic pt 1: Wandcrafters 0

Midwest Gaming Classic pt 1: Wandcrafters

Podcast: EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS Midwest Gaming Classic While down at the Midwest Gaming Classic, I started on the vendor floor to see all the cool items you can purchase. Video games, Pinball machines, parts for machines, game consoles and more. Old consoles, game swag and more. I ran into Carol, from Wandcrafters. They make wizard’s wands. Using a lathe, Carol has expanded the process to keychains, magnifying glasses and more. They even had some pens made from cell phone boards. Wandcrafters has also created wands out of antlers that were shed. She sticks mostly to wood for her designs. This is the 10th anniversary for the Midwest Gaming Classic.    

Dropbox Turns into Social Network with Frenzy for Mac 0

Dropbox Turns into Social Network with Frenzy for Mac

Dropbox is a Cloud service that allows you to place and retrieve files wherever you are. Since it’s inception in 2008, Dropbox has been a great way to share pictures, documents and more. But I never expected it to become a Social Network, too. Frenzy is an application for Mac OS X (what, no Windows?) that sits in the menubar and monitors the Dropbox shares. You add your friends to your lists. When you share a file, they can get notified. When they share or update a file, you can get notified. You can even update statuses and find out what is going on with the friends or colleagues in your network. Frenzy is a great option for those Small businesses that need to share files and communicate, but don’t want to do that through Facebook or Twitter. The Reality is: Frenzy will be a great way for...