Blogging from the Samsung Rogue

6 11 2009

Just invested in a new Samsung Rogue from Verizon. Not officially a Smartphone, it’s dubbed an Advanced Multimedia Phone and requires a data package of 25MB per month at $9.99 if you don’t have a plan with unlimited data. Has a beautiful touchscreen with brilliant graphics, which wears down the battery fairly quickly. Slide-out QWERTY keyboard works with the main touchscreen turned sideways, unlike the LG enV3 (another texter’s favorite), which opens to a smaller second screen when the keyboard is in use. Buttons are a little closer together and therefore slightly harder to use than those on the enV3. (Note that the Rogue does not have the option of a virtual QWERTY on the touchscreen.) The touchscreen is very responsive (the reason a Verizon rep recommended the Rogue over the LG enV Touch…unless of course she’s making commission on the mandatory data package, which also seems likely.)

You’ll forgive the short review, I hope, on the grounds that it’s being typed on the Rogue’s keypad by someone with less-than-adequate hands for texting. Stay tuned for updates…

 

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Turtle Talk #5: Playing Tag

6 10 2009

005PlayingTag
Another episode in the webcomic adventures of Michaela the Turtle.

Squinting? Click on the strip to enlarge.

Click here for the full Turtle Talk comic strip series.





Teaser Tuesdays: Slamming Open the Door

6 10 2009

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
  • Go back to Should Be Reading and add a link to your teaser.

Slamming Open the DoorTonight he sits down to dinner
at the head of the table
as we eat, mute;
later, he climbs into bed
between us.

Even as I sit here,
he stands behind me
clamping two
colossal hands on my shoulders
and bends down
and whispers to my neck:
From now on,
you write about me.

~ Excerpt from “Death Barged In,” leading poem in Slamming Open the Door by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno





Turtle Talk #4: Meet the Roomies

16 09 2009

004MeetTheRoomies
Another episode in the webcomic adventures of Michaela the Turtle, who doesn’t get quite as much alone time as she might like.

Squinting? Click on the strip to enlarge.

Click here for the full Turtle Talk comic strip series.

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Waterproof Cameras Reviewed by PCMag

11 09 2009

Another waterproof technology article popped up last week on PCMag, this one a review of Cameras You Can Swim With by Zack Honig. The subjects of scrutiny are true waterproof cameras — no normal cameras stuck in waterproof cases, no disposables.

Canon PowerShot D10The best review goes to the Canon PowerShot D10 ($329.99 list, pictured), which is rugged and easy to navigate and offers excellent image quality.  As the only camera  in the test group with an external lens, it’s also the bulkiest.

Other models reviewed include:

Check out PCMag’s side-by-side comparison to compare features.

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Turtle Talk #3: New Place

7 09 2009

003NewPlace

Another episode in the webcomic adventures of Michaela the Turtle, who’s been feeling a little confined lately.

(Note the log from which Michaela blogs in her aptly titled Blog from the Log.)

Squinting?  Click on the strip to enlarge. 

Click here for the full Turtle Talk comic strip series.

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Waterproof Your iPod Shuffle 2nd Generation

7 09 2009

SwimMan Waterproofed Apple iPod ShuffleJust came across a post on on Markus Weickenmeier’s blog about a new waterproof technology solution from a company called SwimMan.  For $250, they will sell you a genuine new 2nd Generation Apple iPod Shuffle which has been treated with SwimMan’s proprietary internal waterproofing technology, plus a waterproof headset manufactured by SwimMan which clips onto the strap of your swim goggles.  The waterproofed iPod Shuffle is available in silver or colored versions, and the package includes the original iPod packaging and accessories: charging dock, non-waterproof headphones, foam earbud pads, manuals, etc.  (SwimMan will also sell you the waterproofed iPod Shuffle without the waterproof headset for $150, or the waterproof headset alone for$100.)  This is not the first iPod Shuffle solution for swimmers, but it appears to be the only one that actually waterproofs the gadget rather than putting it in a waterproof box.

If you already own a new or nearly new iPod Shuffle 2nd Generation (1GB or 2GB), SwimMan will waterproof it for you for a fee of $100 and offer a one-year limited warranty from your purchase date if you can provide your original receipt.  This service does come with a warning that your buttons will work a little differently than they used to:

Please note that due to the waterproofing process, the on/off button and the shuffle button will be stationary.  The functions of these two buttons are controlled either by iTunes on your computer (shuffle feature), by simply disconnecting your waterproof headset (Off), or pushing the center button of the wheel for On.  The forward, reverse, volume increase and volume decrease, as well as the On center button will be slightly stiffer than your non-waterproofed iPod, but still fully functional—and completely waterproof!  Guaranteed.

On reading Markus’ post I immediately headed to SwimMan’s site to see what other products they might be able to waterproof for me, but unfortunately they seem to specialize just in the 2nd Gen Shuffle at present.  I’m no closer to my waterproof laptop, but hopefully I can be of help to fellow swimmers whose heads are actually the right size and shape for the swimming goggles these waterproof headsets attach to.

Interval Waterproof Headphone System from H2O AudioAnother all-in-one waterproofing solution for the Shuffle is the Interval Waterproof Headphone System ($80, pictured at left) from H2O Audio, which consists of a waterproof case for the Apple iPod Shuffle 2nd Gen and attached waterproof headphones (5 sizes of earplugs provided), all designed to clip to your swim goggles.   Waterproof to a depth of 12 feet, the Interval system also includes a  carrying case.  Unlike SwimMan, which actually waterproofs your player, H2O Audio simply provides a waterproof case for it, which adds a little more bulk.  However, the control pad on the outside of the Interval case allows push-button operation of the Shuffle’s existing controls, which should allow a little more functionality.iS2 Waterproof iPod Case by H2O Audio (See a full review at iLounge.)

If you already have waterproof headphones or are looking for a less expensive solution, you might try H2O Audio’s  iS2 Waterproof iPod Case (Shuffle 2nd Generation) ($40, pictured at right), which attaches to an included  armband and allows you to use the control pad on your player by pushing through a flexible case.  This product does not include earphones, but is compatible with any 3.5mm set and at the moment is being offered free with the purchase of Surge Waterproof Headphones ($60).  (See full iS2 review and Surge headphone review at iLounge.)

Note that all three solutions offered above are only compatible with the 2nd Generation Apple iPod Shuffle.  If you own a more recent Shuffle, a different model iPod, or another brand of MP3 player, there’s still hope: H2O Audio offers a whole line of waterproof armbands and cases for various sizes of MP3 players.  Another company worth checking out is OtterBox, which offers protective gear for your iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, GPS or PDA.  Although most of their products are geared more toward the accident-prone non-athlete than the serious swimmer, their Armor Series cases are waterproof to a depth of 3 feet.  OtterBox would also be happy to sell you a set of H2O Audio’s H3 Waterproof Headphones (review at iLounge).

SwiMP3 (v2) by FINISAnd for the ultimate in swimming technology?  The SwiMP3v2 player by FINIS ($150, pictured at left) throws headphones to the wind and instead uses the sound conduction of bones. Wear this player on your cheek (clipped to your goggle strap) and your cheekbone transmits the vibration to the fluid of your inner ear.  Cool.  (See a full review at PCMAG.com.)

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