Posted by: miggins | December 3, 2013

The Copenhagen Wheel

I am seeing more and more examples of where green meets tech and this is one of the best in recent times. This is the intro video for the Copenhagen Wheel – a rear bike wheel which you can install on your existing bicycle to transform it with stored electric battery power. Pre-order pricing starts at $699! I would love to test ride this to feel how much boost you get.

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Some people refer to their car as their ‘baby’. That’s never really been my thing. However I realized the other day a similarity as a new model S owner. The way people approach me and ask questions make me feel like an expecting mother.

I get: ‘What is it like?’
‘Can I touch it?’
‘How long?’
Even ‘Was this planned?’

There are a lot of things I can say about the car so far. It’s amazingly quiet- so I love the blue tooth. I get a thrill out of passing gas stations and JiffyLubes. It’s a total joy to drive. My kids love it too.

But what I didn’t foresee is how often I would be happily fielding questions about it like an expectant mom.

Here’s a photo of my baby ‘napping’ in the garage.

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Posted by: miggins | December 20, 2012

Goodbye iPhone, hello Samsung Galaxy S III

I lost my iphone4  on Sunday.  I found myself in an AT&T store Monday morning getting, naturally, the iPHone 5.  I’ve been an iPhone user since they first came out.  In fact, I still have my original 4GB iphone and it still works, although the battery is pretty much shot.

But I gotta say, my first 4 hours with the 5 were not good.  The new connector at the bottom meant I needed to purchase 2 new adapters @ $30 apiece.  Then to make matters worse, I wouldn’t be able to charge the phone using the new power adapter and still leave the protective case on my phone.  Bottom line: in order to charge or sync the phone, I’d have to take it out of its case every time.  In the car, at work, and especially at home when docking with my alarm clock or Bose sound dock.  This is a huge problem for me and I was not looking forward to it.

I have friends at work with the Samsung Galaxy S III and they love it.  It’s cheaper, allows me to add storage (up to 64GB more) with a micro SD card, and it’s open source (Android).  I can definitely see why they are selling a TON of these phones.

So before I got too hooked, I went back to the store and swapped out my iPhone for a Galaxy S III. So far, so good.  Here are my pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Open Source nature of Android.  I think separating the platform from the handset and open sourcing the platform as Google has done will be the superior model in the long run.  Apple will look like Microsoft over time clinging to a proprietary platform and any app I need will also be available in Android.  I also think innovation will be faster on an open platform.
  • Cheaper – I saved $100.
  • Upgradeable storage (up to 64GB)
  • You can swap out the battery if it dies
  • I still am grandfathered on my unlimited data plan (as long as I stay w AT&T)
  • Bigger screen
  • Camera is incredibly fast!!
  • Much more customizable home screen.
  • Swipe typing.
  • Gestures!!  For instance, when texting someone – if you want to call him, just lift the phone up to your ear and it automatically dials the person you were texting.  This is cool and also a nice safety feature.
  • Apps download from the Google Play store very quickly – at least 50% faster than Apple.

Cons:

  • Switching costs (eg: when doing routine things like looking up the weather, it takes me longer to get that information).  These will subside over time but are a pain today.
  • Doesn’t sync with iTunes.  I had to download EasyPhoneSync to get music from iTunes to my phone
  • iTunes purchased songs don’t sync over.
  • Overall lack of integration.  I use a mac, have an iPad too so switching to a non iPhone is a setback in terms of user experience.  I will counter this in that I also have a Google Nexus 7 tablet which I really like.
  • I haven’t found a quick way to mute the phone other than slowly turning the sound all the way down to mute.  The iPhone has a toggle switch.

All in all, I think I’m better off leaving iPhone.  Of course, I can switch back within the next 10 days if I change my mind again.

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