Thursday, January 31, 2013

iPhone users pay more for Wireless

It appears that iPhone user's don't just pay a premium for their phones, they may be paying top dollar for there phone and data plans too. A new study shows that 59% of iPhone user pay over $100 a month for celular coverage and data. Conversely, it appears that 53% of Android user spend that much and Windows Phone and Blackberry users pay even less.

The best theory to explain the cost difference is that the iPhone cost more then all but the highest priced Android phones and that carriers raise the price of their data plans to recover the cost of subsidizing the expensive devices. To get more on the story, Click Here...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Looks like Lenovo had the right idea after all...

Another slow day in Tech news. During these dry spells some people like to look back on Gadget days gone by. Cnet is, apparently having one of those days. But they appear to have dug up an interesting tidbit. It appears that Lenovo saw the tablet craze coming even before the anoucement of the iPad! Even more amazing is that they also saw the convertable Laptop/Tablet hybrid coming. The Lenovo U1 was ahead of it's time, shame it never made it to the hands of consumers...

Read the full article HERE...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Library of Congress says you don't have the Right to Unlock your Phone

Bad news for consumers who want to unlock there mobile phones so they can be used on other networks. As of Saturday, January 26 2013, it's is now illegal to unlock an exclusive (carrier specific) phone and use it on another network. The decision came from the US Library of Congress's Copyright Office, which is responsible for reviewing and overseeing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, back in October of last year. The Copyright Office gave people a 90 day grace period to unlock there phone before it officially became law. That grace period expired yesterday...

The new restrictions against unlocking phones do not extend to Jailbreaking phones, such as the iPhone, to allow them to run applications not supported in the App Store.

The LOC decision was based on evidence that consumer do have alternatives (such as purchasing an unlocked phone from Amazon), and what they considered a failure by opposition to prove that this will adversely affect consumers or the phone market.

Many feel that this new ruling will however limit consumer choice and hurt resale value for individuals looking to sell their old phones.  Entreprenuer Sina Khanifar has started a petition to the White House, asking the LOC to reverse it's decision and support a bill to legalize unlocking phones.

Read my Editorial Article on Digital Rights Here...Articles Section

Thursday, January 24, 2013

While We're At It...

In hardware news this week, at long last, the Microsoft Surface Pro will hit stores on Febuary 9th. Some 7 months after it was announced. Still not sure what the difference is between the new Pro model and the RT model that has been out for months? The biggest difference for consumers is that the Surface Pro will run Windows 8 Pro, which allows you to run full regular and legacy Windows programs, were as Windows RT runs only programs made specifically for it. Prices will range from $899 for the 64Gb version and $999 for the 128Gb model. (Btw, these prices do not include the nifty Typecover that's been in all the commercials. Add another $130 for that or save some cash and use your own keyboard)

Seagate's Wireless Plus 1Tb wireless storage drive could the answer to your mobile media library prayers. With a terrabyte of storage, 10 hours or more of battery life, and the ability to connect to up 8 wireless clients (seperate wireless devices) you can take a huge library of images, documents and video with you almost anywhere. For a detailed review check out Cnet HERE

And while you're there. Check out this cool article on ways to hack your Netflix account. There are some interesting tricks to get the most out of your Netflix membership, but the easiest and maybe most useful is this website. lists what's new and interesting on Netflix more quickly and simply then Netflix own site, and even tells you what videos are about to expire so you can't check them out before they're gone! Read the rest of the story at CNet  

All the News thats Fit to... Ehhh.

Okay, so it's a slow tech news week so far. CES is over and we're nearly a month from the next big technology showcase. But this is good time to go over some old news that may still be relavent...

During the playoff game this past weekend (GO RAVENS!) I noticed an ad for the Samsung made Google Chromebook. Don't know if it was new ad, but it was the first time I'd seen it. The ad reminded me of a incident shortly before Christmas when someone asked me what exactly a Chromebook was, and to be honest, I didn't really know.

A Chromebook looks like a standard laptop, but instead of running Windows or Mac OS, it runs Google's Chrome OS. What makes this different is that Chrome OS is designed to be largely web based. While it does store data in interal memory and it is based on a Linux kernal, like Android, Chrome stores application and user data on the internet. This has two main advantages, the first being amazingly fast boot up time. Turning on a Chromebook is reported to take only 7 seconds or less, compared to 30 seconds to several minutes with other operating systems. I can see quick boot ups as a major selling point with many potential buyers. The second big avantage is that by using system on a chip technology and web based applications, the Chromebook itself will be cheaper and mechanically simpler then a traditional laptop, while the applications will automatically update more quickly and easily then other system based apps.

So what's the catch? Well, with many of it's applications and saved data saved on a server in the Cloud somewhere, many functions are likely to have limited functions or not work at all when not connected to a network. To combat this obvious shortcoming, at least two of the three models already out from Acer and Samsung have built in 3G wireless. Google has made plans with Verizon so that Chromebook buyers who opt for the 3G models will receive 100Mb of free data a month for the first year of ownership, with additional data available for an additional fee. Not sure yet how I feel about so much of my data and applications sitting on someone else's server, but if 90% of what you do on a computer involves the web anyway, a Chromebook could be an economical solution to your computing needs.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

More News and an Update...YAY

Okay, so I just posted my first article on the new site. It's about buying your first tablet. Hopefully, Tablet shoppers out there might find it helpful. If I didn't answer your questions, then at least I may have found a new name for the problem. LOL. So please check it out!

As soon as I finish posting the article, which has a section covering budget model Tablets,  I come across news that Archos will be releasing a new 8 inch model and they're aiming for a $169 price tag. The new tablet will be dubbed the Archos series 80 Titanium. while it's most likely an update of the Archos 80 Cobalt it does have a features list that should get some attention. Check it out, a Dual core 1.6 Ghz processor, Front and Rear cameras (lower resolution cameras mind you but hey, my last Archos didn't have a camera at all), Quad core graphics chip, and 1,024x768 screen that's on par with the iPad Mini for less then half the price! This should be one to watch folks. I have a 2 year old Archos 5 internet tablet and even though it may not be state of the art anymore, it still runs pretty good. LOL

And while I'm on the subject of Archos and since my last post (sorry it took so long) was about mobile gaming I just happened on this little beauty on Archo's site. They call it the GamePad and what it is is simple but brilliant! A 7 inch tablet with a heavy duty graphics processor and physical control buttons (plus two analog control sticks) made just for gaming, but it still has full tablet functionality! Plus Archos has built in software to map the controls to older existing games that were never intended to use physical controls, now that's awesome. No word on price yet but if it's around $200 to $250, they may have a sleeper hit! For more info on the GamePad and other Archos Tablets and products click here

Monday, January 14, 2013

And The Name Of The Game Is... Um, Gaming. Actually.

One of the biggest suprises at CES this year was the anouncement of new gaming hardware. NVidia, the famous graphic card manufacturer anounced it's up coming Project: Shield! This will be Nvidia's first game console offering and a radical departure from the usual game console. Shield (who's name may change before release) will run Android, making it not only capable of non-gaming tasks like web browsing, but fully compatable with Google Play and hundreds of Android based game titles already on the market. The self contained unit will feature an HDMI output and have the ability to stream some Windows PC based games from PCs equiped with NVidia's newest chipset! This one could be a game-changer (no pun intended) or a major flop, but I'll be keeping my eye on it because either way it should be interesting!

Another interesting entry will be the Razer Edge, a high-end Windows 8 tablet built specially with gamers in mind. This one is estimated to set you back $900 to $1400 depending on Processor options and packaged accesories.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

News- Or something like it!

Trying to Live a Jettson's Lifestyle On a Flintstone's Budget...

 Hello, and welcome to Mobile and Broke! You may be wondering what his blog is about or why you should bother reading it. Well, like many of you, I am a fan of technology. I've wondered the stores staring at the latest and greatest modern technology has to offer... Which usually ends with the thought, "Thats really cool, but I can't afford that". I've put out money for magazines and read articles and reviews, and done my homework before I throw down more of my cash on a new gadget. And I have amassed a small collection of gizmos and gadgets, tablets and smartphones, to make my life easier. So i thought I'd share what I'd learned (and am still learning) because there really are alot of products and apps out there and it really can be confusing...

So, thats the point of this blog. Not just to show you whats new ('Cause the major magazines and TV shows will always beat me to that), but to help you make up your own mind about what's worth spending your hard earned cash on...

CES, Of Coarse...

So, of coarse, the big tech story this week has to be the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. If you are a geek like me, you know that each year the electronics industry's best and brightest show up for CES to show off their up coming products. The newest Smartphones, Tablets, and Desktops plus accessories, peripherals, and prototypes on display here will keep nerds and consumer correspondants busy for months. So far, from what I gather, there are a handful of stand out products, and a whole lot of the same old same old.

Cornings New 'Willow Glass' May Be The Future Of Displays, But don't Hold Your Breath...
Dow-Corning, makers of the Gorilla Glass (the highly durable scratch and shatter resistant chemically altered glass that covers many higher end smartphones and tablets) anounced their new Gorilla Glass 3 a week before CES, but the big story at Corning's booth this year was unboubtedly a new product called Willow Glass.

Willow Glass is an ultra thin (100 microns, or about 1 human hair thick) piece of glass that has been chemically fiddeled with so that it's actually flexable (see above photo). Amazing, but it does have it's flaws. It's not as flexable as, oh lets say, plastic wrap or cellophane. It does have a breaking point. So all of the demo pieces seen at CES have had a plastic cover on them, just in case the attendees get too rowdy with it. Corning admits that, while justifiably proud of this accomplishment, it's not quite ready for your new smartphone as they are still trying to make 'Willow' a bit more of a 'Gorilla'.

Not to be out done, Samsung turned up with prototype devices, sporting their own flexible glass display technology called Youm (see below). This technology allows displays to be curved or bent around the edges of a device to allow information like Text messages or RSS feeds to be shown on the edges of the display. Pretty cool, actually. Samsung says samples are being sent to manufacturers and there may be devices in the hands of customer by 2014.