Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Podcast: Talking iPhone News w/CNET's Don Reisinger

Take a listen to Episode 19 of Don Reisinger's C|NET Digital Home Podcast where I appeared as a guest talking iPhone news and our impressions of last week's WWDC keynote by Steve Jobs.

If you like what you hear, give me a shout-out... and if you'd like me to be a guest on your podcast, TV show, or radio segment -- happy to lend my tech banter to your show! Drop me a line.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

PRSA **Technology** Award Submissions: Audio Tapes... ehh?

Every once in awhile I receive an email that thoroughly perplexes me... Today's cranium-scratcher is from an organization I probably should have heard of: The Public Relations Society of America. According to their website, they are "Advancing the Profession and the Professional."

The invitation (and humor) begins:
If you or one of your editorial colleagues wrote and published something in the past year that seems worthy of reward and recognition, you should read this letter and consider entering your work. The Technology Professional Interest Section of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has extended its Call for Entries for its 2007 Excellence in Technology Journalism Awards competition, and the final deadline for submission is now June 27, 2008.
Reading further, I stumbled across the following quiz: Why, in a call for submissions for the "2007 Excellence in Journalism Awards" would they require radio and TV submissions to be made using audio cassette and VHS tape (we'll assume respectively). Rule #8 states:
8. Radio and TV segments must be submitted in audio cassette tape or VHS version (five (5) copies) tape form, along with hard copies of a written script or transcript.
I'm looking forward to learning how this organization is advancing a profession by using two-generation-old technology for their technology awards submissions. [For the sake of discussion: I'm defining "generations" as: cassette/VHS -> CD/DVD -> MP3/Digital video (i.e. online).]

I don't even own a casette player or VHS deck anymore. Sad. I guess I'm not qualified? (Not that my work would stand up to the great tech reporting that won prior years anyway.)

Perhaps, folks, this might explain why it was necessary to extend the deadline??

Your responses welcome -- in any format! ;-)

Monday, June 9, 2008

iPhone 3G: Half-price (sorta), 2X Speed, adds GPS

It's official!

Perhaps the worst-kept secret in the history of product launches made its debut on the stage at Apple's World-Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco today. The phone that took the world by storm a year ago has finally met its match: iPhone 3G.

Sporting a built-in GPS receiver, extended battery life and a faster 3G data connection, the new phone is expected to win over new iPhone adopters and those looking for an upgrade. An iPhone 3G is half the price of the previous model at $199 for an 8GB version in black and $299 for double the memory available in black or white. The phone goes on sale Friday, July 11.

Update: With the iPhone 3G, the AT&T data plan goes from $20 to $30/month. So doing the math, $10 extra * 24 months = $240 over the two-year contract... the basic model is $199, add in the $240 and you're back where you started. That said I -- I suspect like many eager buyers -- will be happy to pay the $10 extra for faster data speeds, but it's definitely something to consider.

We'll keep an eye on additional details on the phone, and related accessories, including a complete wrap-up of today's announcements on this blog and on Newsradio 750 KXL.

Are you planning to upgrade? Have you been waiting for the new iPhone 3G? What feature are you most excited about? Send your comments to techexpert (AT) brianwestbrook (DOT) com.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Gadgets for Dads & Grads

With Father's Day coming up on June 15, and Graduations dominating the month of June, it seems appropriate to take a look at gifts for both late-Spring gifting occasions (feel free to repurpose these as wedding gifts as well!).

Passport Elite - Western Digital
"Pocket-sized USB hard drive great for backups"
I'm a big fan of these pocket-sized drive. I first discovered the 160GB version at my local Warehouse store and instantly found plenty of uses: backup, photo archival, and transfering large files. They're now up to twice the capacity, hover around the $100 mark -- and are now available in a dozen brilliant colors. They make a perfect gift for any photographer, digital videographer, or computer user looking for an easy backup solution (and who doesn't need a good backup solution!). ($130, Amazon.com)

Exilim EX-S10 digital camera – Casio
"Slim camera takes YouTube videos"
I've been a fan of Casio's digital Exilim's card-sized digital cameras for some time, owning a handful of different models. The latest generation, the EX-S10, sports a handy YouTube video mode – and makes sharing video clips a breeze. With a super-slim design this digital camera will find its way into any pocket or purse, guaranteeing you'll always have it handy to capture those moments. ($250, casio.com)

High Definition DVD Handycam (HDR-UX20) -- Sony
“HD camcorder recognizes faces”
Sony knocks one out of the park with a lineup of new high definition camcorders. Available with hard drives (look ma, no tape!) or small DVD discs, the newest Handycams are packed with high-tech features. A face detection mode spots up to eight faces while capturing video or taking photos and optimizes your skin tone. With high-power zoom and full high definition quality – your child’s home run never looked so good! ($990, SonyStyle stores or online)

Nike + iPod Sports Kit
"Track your summer run outdoors"
The two-part kit (a transmitter for your shoelaces, a receiver that plugs into your iPod Nano) monitors your pace, time, distance -- even calories burned -- and then uploads this information online to track your progress. It works with any iPod Nano and the online site allows you to challenge your workout buddies to a virtual race. ($29, Apple stores or Amazon.com)

TravelSound i50 Portable Speakers -- Creative
“Small speaker with big sound”
Snap your iPod Shuffle on top and clip these portable speakers to your beach bag. Be prepared for a surprisingly big sound from tiny battery-powered speakers! It’ll charge your Shuffle with either the included power adapter or a USB cable, but sadly, doesn’t double as a dock. ($50, creative.com)