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Archive for Gadgets

Phonebloks

Phonebloks

Phonebloks is a Thunderclap project started by Dutch Engineer David Hakken that might just be the next big thing in the mobile industry. A phone only lasts a couple of years before it breaks or becomes obsolete. Even if just a part of it failed us, we’ll have to make it an expensive paper weight.  Phonebloks is all about solving this problem, in an unusual, yet innovative and possibly viable way. Phonebloks is made of detachable bloks. The bloks are connected to the base which locks everything together into a solid phone. If a blok breaks you can easily replace it; if it’s getting old just upgrade. David Hakken has publicized this project as an attempt to reduce e-Waste.

And guess what it has a store all for itself. The Blokstore. It’s like an app store for hardware. In the store you buy your bloks, read reviews and sell old bloks.

Motorola has shown keen interest in Phonebloks. The company’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team went public with its one-year-old Ara Project (it’s own version of upgradable smartphones) after agreeing earlier this month to partner with Phonebloks. Now with Hakken as its new face, Motorola’s Ara project aims to bring some substance to Hakken’s arguable pipe dream, and “do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software.”

Motorola Project Ara

Project Ara

Martin Cooper, the inventor of the cell phone, told CNN that while the Phonebloks concept is ‘well-meaning’ he suspects it will never become a reality: “the main reason that the Phonebloks will not hit the market as it will cost more, be bigger and heavier, and be less reliable. By the time it could be brought to market, the problem that engendered it will be gone.”

He might be right, but there’s always two sides to a coin.

Why I think it could work?

  1. People love customizing their phones! The time of software upgrades, rooting & jailbreaking could be history.
  2. If it’s physically possible, it might be bigger than the huge leap forward Capacitive touch screens were, when they first arrived.
  3. As a student, we can get tight on the pocket, we could settle for the default and upgrade later!

Why I think it might not work?

  1. The phone could get too bulky
  2. It might succeed as a concept, but to surpass the impact that the iPhone or Galaxy’s have in day to day work might be too much of a task.
  3. Google Play is a key factor to the success of Android. As for the Blokstore, a store with a very small number of bloks could lead its way to doom. I don’t think there could be bloks enough to satisfy consumer needs.
  4. It will be as expensive as hell.

Let’s see where it goes from here.

Blokstore

Leaked: Nokia’s Android Smartphone

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Guess who’s joining into the Android Club? Yes, Nokia has finally realized that Windows alone cannot save the face of Nokias fortune. This has been rumored around for quite a while now, but recent image leaks show that this just might be true. Nokia might just bring out their first Android Smartphone. The body of the device similar to any of the current line of Lumia devices, which just means it looks nice, feels sturdy and is colorful. I’m definitely a fan of Nokia’s hardware design, and a huge fan of Android, I think this could be the start of real magic!

nokia-normandy-android-interface

Leaks of Nokias Android phone, codenamed Normandy, were originally published in November, but a number of recent images have provided a closer look at the hardware and software. Vizileaks has published what appears to be a near-final hardware unit, and some of the apps it can run. Thanks to Evleaks, we’re getting a closer look at the UI on the Normandy.

Nothing is confirmed on the hardware yet, but it is rumored to have a Snapdragon processor, with 512MB of RAM, a 5MP camera. The images found also show two SIM Card icons, this clearly shows that this phone is not for the US or Europe. Asia might be the target market of the Nokia Normandy. If Nokia can just upgrade the hardware a bit and get the pricing right, it might be a mighty contender to the newly launched Moto G. Let’s wait & watch.

The Blackphone: No more snooping around

blackphone

In a time where Privacy is just a myth, Silent Circle & Geeksphone have announced the formation of a new Switzerland-based joint venture and its first surveillance-thwarting product, the Blackphone. This Blackphone runs a new security-oriented version of Android called PrivatOS. They claim that the Blackphone will put privacy and control directly in the hands of the user.

The Blackphone will be a carrier and vendor-independent smartphone that will allow consumers and businesses to make and receive secure phone calls, exchange secure texts, transfer and store files, and video chat without compromising privacy on the device. But all this is possible only if both the users have the Blackphone smartphone.

Though nothing has been revealed on the specs of the phone, the company claims that the hardware is a “top performer”. More importantly, there isn’t a lot of detail yet about how the privacy measures are going to work other than encrypted messaging, “secure telephony”, and privacy measures baked into the hardware, including on the CPU.

Farewell, Steve

The passing of Steve Jobs means there will be, or already is, a proliferation of blogs, essays, and articles remembering a man who helped revolutionize how we use computers, how we listen to music, and how we use our phones.  A fitting finale would have been the announcement of the iPhone 5 the day prior to his passing, but it wasn’t to be.  I could write the typical article lauding his accomplishments and mourning his death at much too young an age (being just 5 years younger, I wholeheartedly feel he died much too young).  I don’t feel, however, that I could do justice to his life and accomplishments, and much has been written already. Instead, I’ve decided to give thanks for his creative genius, for that, coupled with the equally creative genius of that other computer company (no, not Dell; Microsoft) has made sites such as Geeks to Go a haven for those desperately seeking help for these sometimes confusing and uncooperative pieces of technology upon which we so desperately rely. Read the rest of this entry »

Lenovo M90z Contest Announcement!

Geeks to Go is proud to announce that we will be giving away a beautiful Lenovo M90z computer to one

Multi-touch support lucky person. Lenovo and Ivy Worldwide have teamed up with GTG and 25 other websites to give away 25 of these computers to lucky contest winners.

The Lenovo M90z is a 23” All-In-One multitouch computing beast that any technology buff would be lucky to have in their collection.

The specifics of the GTG contest are still being hashed out but we know for sure that our contest will begin on May 10 and our winner will be picked and announced on May 14.  Note: Comments to this story will not count as entries to our contest.

Stay tuned to the GTG homepage for the Lenovo M90z review and for more contest information.

Please head on over to the other websites participating in the giveaways and try your luck in all the contests.

UPDATE: Details for our contest can be found on our Facebook page: facebook.com/geekstogo

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PStart Review

PStart UISince I am a great user of my USB drive and a huge lover of portable applications that I carry around I have been looking for some launchers that I can add to my USB drive so that I can boot my portable applications more easily. And since it took me quite a while before I found the right launcher I thought I would write up a review for all you portable geeks out there that are looking for a portable launcher. My favorite is PStart, and that is what I will be writing about.

I will be judging PStart on a few factors which I deem very important for a launcher for all my portable apps. A few of those are an easy to understand User Interface, Simplicity (Who would want a launcher that is more complicated than looking up the app on your USB drive?) and most importantly (in my opinion) Customization.

A quick quote from the PStart Website;

PStart is a simple tray tool to start user defined applications. Designed to run portable applications (like portable Firefox & Thunderbird), you can start anything runnable from USB key devices or removable disks.

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Product Review – fit-PC2i

fitPC2i-logo

I remember a time when you had to go to a specific room in your house if you wanted to use your computer. It was creatively named “THE computer room”. Emphasis on “THE”. This room was the only room in your house where there was a computer, and if you wanted to do something on said computer, you usually had to schedule time or compete in feats of strength. Today, I have a computer in a holster on my hip (it’s a phone, but still), I’ve got a laptop that I can take everywhere, I’ve got a desktop in my “computer room”, and if I’m feeling really squirrelly, I could take home one of the netbooks from work. Not only can I have a computer everywhere I go, but virtually every TV on the market now has connectivity options for hooking up a computer so you can surf your faciespaces and mytubes and tweeterbooks from your sofa during commercial breaks without having to trudge one room over to “THE computer room”. One problem, my laptop is heavy (it’s a little old) and it makes my legs hot if it’s not on a table. Plus I can’t leave it connected all the time (it’s how I do my job). My desktop is way too large to carry into the living room and it’s fans are so loud that i can hear them right now across the house (also, the wife would get angry if I started running cables through the walls). And the netbooks? Well they’re great, but they’re not mine.

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Motorola Cordless Desktop Phone – Complete With Android!

If you are one of the people – like me – who cannot yet give up your land line, Motorola may just have the answer for you! The new HS1001 cordless Android phone allows you to not only call your parents, but also enables you to check the Web or your email! This sweet little gadget will be available this summer for around $150.00 in the United States.

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Carry Your Entire Computer in Your Pocket

I bet you are raising an eyebrow at me right about now. You’re thinking that I’ve likely lost my mind. After all, everyone knows you cannot put your whole computer into your pocket. You cannot possibly cram all of your data, your operating system and your software onto a tiny little old USB Flash drive. It’s not even thinkable that you could then plug said drive into any computer – anywhere – and run YOUR computer environment in an instant. If you now think I’ve gone off the deep end, you might want to sit back and prepare to be dazzled.

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Are We Taking Gadget Improvements TOO Far?

In the name of progress, companies keep pushing themselves to create the next new big THING. We consumers have all gotten quite spoiled. We want more out of our phones. We want our MP3 players to do more than just play music. We want our eBook readers to do more than just read books. We want it all. In order to try and satisfy us, manufacturers are rushing to stuff more features into our already jam-packed devices.

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