Category Archives: Hardware

Nvidia Announces Tegra X1 With Maxwell GPU

The specs on this chip are awesome, I may be looking for this chip in my next phone. the article has all the specs for us nerdy types.
-Dave

TechCrunch

At a press conference in Las Vegas, Nvidia today announced an update to its highly successful Tegra K1 mobile processor. The X1 combines a 64-bit ARM_based processor with a graphics chip based on the company’s Maxwell architecture. The K1 used Nvidia’s older Kepler GPU technology. The X1 will feature a 256-core Maxwell GPU and an eight-core 64bit CPU. That, the company says, makes it the first teraflop mobile processor.

The original Tegra K1, Nvidia noted, was the first mobile processor that brought together a strong mobile CPU with a very powerful GPU. Bringing Kepler to the K1 took Nvidia two years.

IMG_4863

Nvidia unveiled the original K1 exactly a year ago at CES. It has since found a home in a number of products, including a number of Chromebooks from manufacturers like Acer and HP. Nvidia’s own Shield tablet and Google’s Nexus 9 also used the chip.

The Kepler…

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Setting up the Google Nexus Player

I received my new Google Nexus player last week, and I like it. It is like a Chromecast that has Bluetooth controllers you can cast content from your mobile devices to your TV and also play games on the player all for about $100. Setup was easy take a look.

-Dave

Dave’s Gadget Gift Guide 2014

I put together a list of gadgets that any self proclaimed nerd would love to have this holiday season. The good news is you can find a great gadget for as little as $35, which is where the list starts.

Under $50

The Google Chromecast. I now have one of these on every TV at our house. It is easily my favorite gadget that has been released in the past year. It allows you to locate content with your device (on TouTube, Netflix, HBOGO etc) and cast it to your screen. You can also cast your devices’s screen to the TV if you have KitKat or Lollipop. If your family gathers for the holidays it is a fun way to share some of those funny videos from the internet without playing pass the phone! A must have gadget!

ChromeCast

Under $100

The Google Nexus Player is similar to the Chromecast just add a gaming controller (the controller is sold separately and will put over the $100 price point)  and Games. If you like to play games on your phone or tablet this device will give those same quality games on your TV, along with the same casting capabilities of the Chromecast.

Google Nexus TV (33) Cropped

Under $300

The smartwatch category is exploding. Finding the right smartwatch for your gadget loving nerd will depend on which phone or tablet and what they would like to do with it so here are several choices.

Motorola Moto 360 – Of course this goes best with the Motorola phone and is probably the best looking at all the smartwatchs. The android where software works great on it however it’s battery life is somewhat lacking.Moto 360 Watch

Samsung gear smartwatch – Works best with Samsung devices, it puts the Google now app on your wrist but it to suffers from low battery life. And for my money still looks old clunky.Samsung Watch

Sony smartwatch 2 – The second-generation of Sony smartwatch. It may have the most apps available of all the smartwatch is and is easy to read in the sunlight. It is still fairly large and only works with android devices.Sony Smartwatch

Pebble steel smartwatch – Pebble has been making smartwatch is for several years now, they do not make a phone so they are not trying to marry their device with a particular phone. They have their own app store for their smartwatch is the display gives the user more customize interfaces than the other manufacturers. Battery life is more than adequate for a full days use.

Pebble Watch

Both Microsoft and Apple will have new products arriving in this space shortly, they will be available for Christmas and could be good options for your favorite gadget guru.

Under $600

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2014. The galaxy note comes with a 2560 x 1600 TFT display compatible with its note pen, up to a 2.3 GHz quad core processor, 3 GB of RAM up to 64 GB of flash storage, an 8 MP camera, every type of wireless connectivity imaginable, GPS and 8220 mA battery and a very large assortment of built-in apps for productivity. This tablet does it all and makes a fantastic gift.Galaxy Note 2014

Break the Bank

The Asus ROG G750JZ provides a one of the best “portable” gaming notebook available. With its i7 Intel processor, HM87 chipset, up to 32 GB RAM, 17.3 inch Auto FHD display, Nvidia GTX 880M with 4 GB/8 GB GDDR5 memory, Blu-ray reader, and solid-state drives available this is one serious gadget for gamers.Asus G750JZ

I hope this help you find a great gift for your favorite nerd.

Don’t forget to visit my YouTube channel with tips on how to use some of these gadgets.

– Dave

Amazon prepares for UK drone tests, but commercial launch would need law change

All indications are that Amazon is continuing to create a Drone delivery system…testing and infrastructure are being built in Cambridge. I can hardly wait to receive my first amazon delivery via Drone. Read on for more details.
-Dave

Gigaom

Amazon is recruiting people to assist with tests of its “Amazon Prime Air” drones in the U.K., job ads posted in the last couple months show. However, the company faces significant restrictions on the tests it can carry out in the country, and aviation rules would require revamping for any commercial drone rollout.

The ads, flagged by TechCrunch, include two for flight operations engineers who will need to act as safety observers using test flights, “both outdoor and indoor,” to help plan the evolution of flight tests and develop safety policies. Amazon is also looking for a research scientist, a project manager and a site leader. The jobs are based in Cambridge.

The German postal giant [company]DHL[/company] is already testing delivery by drone, most recently launching a pilot in which “parcelcopters” deliver packages to the North Sea island of Juist. This process is entirely automated, albeit monitored in…

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Biometric Wrist Bands for Banking

The Royal Bank of Canada is testing a biometric wristband that uses the cardiac rhythm of the wearer to authenticate the user’s identity. Using the wristband in conjunction with wireless technology the bank’s customers are able to authenticate their purchases and banking transactions. This is a fantastic idea which would be easier for the user to use and more secure than a PIN or password. It is only a pilot program at this point and of course if the results are good they will roll it out nationwide. You can read the full article of details over here.

– Dave

Printing with Your Android Device to an HP Printer

The latest of my Android “How To” video. With the change of checking email and other work tasks moving to our mobile devices the ability to print from these devices is almost becoming a necessity. I put together the video that details the procedure for installing and using the HP ePrint app.

-Dave

Verizon offers a new router designed for the smart home

I have been expecting new routers with more features and interfaces to be announced as our inventory of Wi-Fi gadgets continue to increase at home and at the office. I did not expect Verizon to be the first vendor to bring a smarter wireless router to the table. Read the blog post from Gigaom for the details and links about the new wireless router form Verizon.

-Dave

Gigaom

In many homes, the wireless router is the weak link between the web and your actual internet experience. It may be too slow, coverage might be uneven and it doesn’t often have the features a consumer needs to control their devices and home network without becoming a network engineer.

[company]Verizon[/company] is solving this issue with a new gateway it built in partnership with [company]Greenwave Systems[/company]. The FiOS Quantum Gateway can deliver speeds of up to 800 Mbps inside the home. It also separates high bandwidth activities like video streaming to the 5GHz network, while other web-based activities are shunted over the 2.4GHz network that tends to be more crowded. Z-wave is integrated into the router for controlling certain connected devices and sensors. Eventually, Verizon will update the router with software that lets the homeowner (or renter) control access on a device-by-device basis.

This means, for instance, that you can control…

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Cyber Security Awareness Month

I almost missed it, October is Cyber Security Awareness Month!

I was poking around the internet and discovered that I had missed most of Cyber Security Awareness Month but it did lead me to staysafeonline.org website. It looks to be a great resource for businesses and individuals to secure their online presence. The website is loaded with great content, more than I can dig through on a Friday morning. I will have followup posts on content from staysafeonline.org website. I started digging through the website looking at the parents section…take a look at their “Raising Digital Citizens Tip Sheet” to get an idea of the content they offer.

Internet Safety and Security Tips for Parents

The staysafeonline.org’s mission and vision statements provide a clear definition on the sites objectives.

Mission

NCSA’s mission is to educate and therefore empower a digital society to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work, and school, protecting the technology individuals use, the networks they connect to, and our shared digital assets.

Vision

In a climate of persistent threats, securing cyber space is a responsibility we all share.Securing the Internet and our shared global digital assets—cybersecurity—is critical if we are to achieve the potential of an empowered digital society capable of leveraging robust and widely available:

  • content
  • community
  • communication
  • commerce
  • connectivity

NCSA builds strong public/private partnerships to create and implement broad reaching education and awareness efforts to empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems, and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cybersecurity.

-Dave

Google Play Movies is getting second-screen smarts for Chromecast

I love my Chromecast and now they made it better!
If I am watching a movie through the Chromecast I can easily look up the actors and see what other films or shows they have appeared in.
Great add in Google!

-Dave

Gigaom

Google’s Play Movies app for Android phones and tablets is getting an update that isn’t just bringing the company’s new material design philosophy to the app, but should also make using it with Chromecast a lot more interesting.

The update, which starts rolling out today and will be available to all users over the next few days, comes with a dedicated second-screen mode that will relay relevant information to the mobile device while you watch a movie on the TV screen.

Play Movies - Second Screen

For example, the app will show cards for the actors of a movie as soon as they appear on the screen, and other cards will tell you which song is playing as part of the soundtrack without the need to fire up Shazam. Similar cards are also available for some of the more popular TV shows on Google Play.

This kind of second-screen experience isn’t entirely new — Amazon…

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10 Tips for Safe Shopping this Holiday Season

I read this article over at welivesecurity.com and realized we are about ready to dive into the holiday shopping season, so here is the quick list:

1. Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity
2. Use credit cards instead of debit cards
3. Consider using gift or stored value cards
4. If in doubt ask for a replacement card
5. Beef up your PINs and passwords
6. Password protect your devices
7. Know who to Call
8. Check your credit report.
9. Insist on secure transactions
10. Be wary of “amazing” deals

Holiday_shopping

The full article with further details can be found here.

Shop safely this holiday season.

-Dave