Updates from July, 2008 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Chris 12:36 pm on July 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Glubble 

    At first glance you might ask yourself “What in the world is a Glubble?” What an odd name and it doesn’t convey what it actually is through the name at all, you’d think that it would be some sort of glass bubble company, but Glubble is something that we’ve been using it for a couple of months and it does exactly what I wanted it to and best of all it was free.

    Glubble is an Add-On for Firefox and if you have children in your house you can’t afford not to have Glubble. What Glubble does is takes Firefox and turns it into a child safe browser that you (the parent) choose and decide which site your little web surfer will be able to get to.

    One the child’s side they are met with a very simple browser interface that allows them to click on pictures of the sites that have been approved and should they want to venture off to a site that isn’t approved they are met with a prompt that tells them they can’t get to that site but they can submit it to the parents account for approval. It is as simple as that, clean, simple, kid friendly interface.

    On the parents side is where you will be impressed, the password protected clean interface allows you to visit and approve or decline pending sites, write notes to your child, and also use the browser in the unlocked mode.

    The only negative thing that I can say about it isn’t Glubble’s fault at all, if you approve a site and then the site changes anything and changes the link in any way your child has to resubmit for approval, I’ve only noticed this being a problem with the Disney Channel related sites.

    All in all, this is one of the greatest plugins available for Firefox and set up inside of a limited user account is a great tool for parents who want to ensure that their little ones aren’t venturing off into sites where they shouldn’t be.

    Glubble

     
    • Brian Harrison 2:48 pm on July 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Chris – The kind words about Glubble are much appreciated. There have been over 100,000 downloads of Glubble to-date, thanks in part to the attention it has received on blogs such as this.

      There are new enhancements and features coming this fall, and I’d invite you to join Glubble’s Facebook Page to get the latest news and information.

  • Bryan 6:27 pm on July 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: PSP, PSP 2, Sony   

    PSP 2 

    I have the PSP-2000 and the PSP-1000, and soon Sony will be releasing the PSP 2. I thought I should share my opioion about the up and coming PSP 2 and what I think it should have in it.

    One feature that I think the PSP needs is Bluetooth. Bluetooth would greatly increase the value of the PSP and would give it options that the other PSPs didn’t have. Such as connecting it to a headset microphone for online play.

    I also think that the new PSP should have, a second joystick. This is a feature that I really wanted in the very first PSP but it was never put in. This would be great for many genres of games such as first-person shooters. So Sony, please put in a second joystick.

    The third thing that I think should be put on the new PSP is a built in mic. This would be great for playing games online, and numorous other things.

    There are many mock up pictures of what people think the new PSP will look like. All you have to do is google PSP 2 on an image search, there are tons if results. Personally I don’t see anything wrong with the current design. If corse they are going to change it a little bit but I really don’t see them changing to general design.

    So now the question is all about the release date. I think that the PSP 2 will be ready by Christmas in 2009. And I also hope that they keep the same prices.

    If you have any comments let me know. You can email me at gadgetsandtech@gmail.com or you can just leave a comment.

     
  • Chris 8:00 am on July 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Fluid 

    I’m not sure if the Windows or Linux World has an equivalent to Fluid but if you use web apps and have a Mac you owe it to yourself to download this free application, it quickly became an essential application for me.

    Fluid is a site specific browser, what that means is you type in the address of a site, name it, click create and then you have a standalone browser that takes you directly to that site. Essentially what it does is it takes your web destination and makes it appear as if it is an application.

    The possibilities are endless for this really, it is great for MobileMe as I have it pictured here, web based email clients, social apps, favorite sites, the possibilities are truly endless.

    I originally downloaded this on the advice of a friend and as I played with it I thought “well this is nice, simple and nice but not really that practical”, I’m happy to say that I was wrong, while this most likely won’t be a day to day use application it is one of those apps that you’ll be glad you have when you need it.

     
  • Bryan 9:44 am on July 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Radio, Sirus, XM   

    Should XM and Sirus Radio join? 

    There has been a lot of talk recently about XM Radio and Sirus Radio joining. I think there are some major pros and cons to them joining so it could be a good idea or a bad one.

    The biggest con that I thought of was a monopoly. If there is no compition then XM and Sirus can raise the prices and no one will be able to do anything. I don’t see any other company that would give these two a challenge. Also, if these two companies join then there won’t be another choice if you don’t like their product. It is ethier thiers or nothing.

    But there are good things that can come from the joining of these to companies. Obviously when you combine to companies usually their product become better. I think that XM and Sirus could make a great radio together. Both of their radios have things that the other should put in.

    So, should XM and Sirus join? Personally I think that they should. Even though the prices might be a little but higher, we would still get a better product so it will be worth it. If they do join, I would look to buy a radio from them because there is never good music playing stations around where I live. So what do you think? Should XM and Sirus join? Why or why not? I would love to hear your opinions, feel free to leave a comment.

     
  • Bryan 11:10 am on July 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    6 Applications that I love 

    I thought I should share some applications that I love to use on my iPod touch. Currently I have 57 applications, but there are only about 6 that I really use everyday. These applications are not in any order.

    Band- $9.99

    This is an application that I really enjoy and use everyday. I think almost everyone knows what you do in this application because, it was shown at WWDC. This is one of the games for the iPhone that have a very high replay value. If your on a huge road trip and you are bored this is a great application to have because it rarley gets boring.

    Facebook-FREE

    This application so far is great. I know there are somethings that they could certainly improve on and add more features but I think it is a good start for Facebook on the iPhone. One feature that I was glad to see in it was chat. But there are numorous things they can add to this application. One of the big things that stands out to me is Groups. There is no support for groups what so ever, I hope they add this soon.

    Twinkle- FREE

    Twinkle has just recently come out, and I love it. For those of you that don’t know, it is a Twitter client. This is an application that I use all the time everyday. I have also used Twitterific for the iPhone and I think that Twinkle is better. If your looking for a Twitter application for your iPhone I would go with Twinkle.

    Weather Bug- FREE

    This is a great application, and it’s FREE! I wouldn’t pay for any application for the iPhone because this one is fabulous. The only thing that this could have that it doesn’t, is moving radar but that isn’t really needed.

    Aqua Forest- $7.99

    This is an app with a great replay value. This game is very hard to explain to people but it is a ton of fun. Everytime you play it you can do somethig new and different! This is another game that is great for road trips because it is so much fun and so entertaining. Chris Pirillo talked about it in one of his videos if you would like to see it.

    AP Mobile News- FREE

    If you want to know about any news that has recently happened this is a great application. The one thing that I really like about this news application is the ability to save and email stories. It is very easy to find the stories that you have saved and share them with others.

    So what are your favorite applications? I would love to hear about them and check them out. If you have any feedback you can leave a comment or send me an email at gadgetsandtech@gmail.com

     
    • Chris 10:42 pm on July 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I’m a huge fan of these:

      WordPress App (works on self hosted and wordpress.com blogs) – FREE
      Scrabble – 9.99
      Comic Touch – 4.99
      Facebook – FREE
      Evernote – FREE
      NetNewsWire – FREE
      Twitteriffic – FREE
      Remote – FREE

      Interesting to see what the other guys are using.

  • Chris 3:05 pm on July 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    Now with Vitamin MM and 2.0 Goodness 

    When you take out the complete and utter disaster that can only be labeled as the worst product launch Apple has ever seen on not one, not two, but three highly anticipated products (or could be sheer genius, I mean look at the press they’ve gotten) and look at what these products are and how they meld together, Apple has really hit a home run. Lucky for Apple the iTtention span of the internet is a few days at most and once all of the kinks have worked out and people are plugging along with the great products life will once again be calm amongst the fanboys.

    Of the three products released this week, MobileMe, iPhone 2.0 firmware, and the 3G iPhone, I was, as you know, anxiously awaiting the first two. MobileMe was a tease on what was supposed to be day one but in the few seconds (literally) that I did get one and play with the slowness that currently is MobileMe, I knew that my patience would be rewarded.

    I was also lucky enough to install the 2.0 firmware on my iPhone and download and play with some good third party applications, but I still wasn’t able to play with the two services until MobileMe finally got to a stable state. Now I have played with both and did some very unscientific testing to see how they work together and if you are currently in some level of iHell rest assured that your patience will be rewarded.

    MobileMe: this is the web-based service that replaced .mac, it features a whole bunch of stuff but what is the most important (for this review) is the ability to have true PUSH email, sync your contacts, calendar, (and bookmarks should you desire) from your Mac to another Mac or to a PC or to a iPhone, or to a iPod Touch and back again without physically needing to sync with a cable. I currently have only tested the iPhone, web-based, and Mac syncing and let me say WOW!

    When you look at the web-based version of Calendar it looks very similar to iCal and you can drag appointments from one place to another and within seconds your iPhone’s calendar has reflected that change, seriously seconds! The same is true for adding a contact, if you add the contact on the web-based address book or the iPhone within seconds it is available in the other place. The web-based Contacts looks very much like Address Book and like Calendar it is completely divided up into subsections (or categories) like your desktop applications are. I have seven calendars in iCal and four contact groups in Address Book and on the web I am able to display those groups just like I can on my desktop. I’m not sure what PUSH is powered by but I can only come to the conclusion that the forces of black magic are at work and I kind of like it.

    Over the next few weeks you’ll read what everyone likes and dislikes about the service but I can honestly say that it met or exceeded my already high expectations.

    I did however notice a couple of things that I wish it had:

    • The ability to choose which calendars or group of contacts I could sync. Currently you can only sync everything or nothing.
    • The ability to have iCal or Address Book PUSH the information immediately instead of waiting for the next sync cycle.

    I know the speed of the web-based applications will work itself out over the next few days as soon as the “newness” wears off and not every single MobileMe user is trying to view its goodness. The wait however agonizing it appears right now is worth it I can assure you.

     
  • Tyler 11:06 am on July 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bungie, Halo Wars, Previews   

    Halo Wars Preview 

     

    Bungie’s Halo franchise has been a huge hit on the Xbox and the Xbox 360. The shooter has sold millions of copies and has captured the fingers and thumbs of almost every Xbox 360 gamer. Now Bungie has set their minds on a new type of game. An RTS. I love Halo 3 but I never thought that Halo would turn into an RTS/Strategy game. 

    Even though I never thought this would happen doesn’t mean that it won’t be a good game. The game will take you 20 years before the Halo 1 but you will still be fighting the Covenant aliens. In order to supply your army there will be no villagers like in Age of Empires or Farms like in Battle for Middle Earth. Instead Bungie approached this for more like modern times. You will have to wait for you supply drive to come in. So in order to get more supplies you must stay in the game long enough. You also must command you troops more interactively. As an example you have to tell you troops when to take cover, when to fire, and when to do everything.

    The A button is the basis for the game. If you move the cursor over a unit and press A that unit will be selected. If you double press A then you select every one of those units on the battle field. Lastly if you press and hold A you can do a ‘click and drag’ to select all the units in the box. The game will feature a circle menu that come up when you click a building or a unit. The game is focused strongly on combat but you can use the D pad to jump back to your base for a quick defense build up.

    This game looks very promising and i will hope to have a full review of the game when it comes out on October 1, 2008

     
  • ghall89 11:15 pm on July 10, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    iPhone 2.0 and App Store 

    I woke up this morning to quite a surprise. The past few days I have been obsessively checking the App Store on my iPhone 2.0 software beta, and I have been constantly greeted by “The App Store is not supported in your country”, but today was different. I was half asleep on the couch and I saw none other than the app store, ALIVE!!! At first I thought it was a dream, so I downloaded a couple apps and realized that I was, infact, not dreaming. 

    So after recovering from my initial shock, I checked MacRumors to see the scoop, apparently Apple had released iTunes 7.7 while I was in slumber and launched the app store along with it (though not officially). I can proudly say I was the 7th person to download the iPhone AIM client (as of this writing there are over 43000 downloads).

    Well now the App store is officially launched, and the final 2.0 software is available for those who dare, so let’s see what we’ve got. I love free software, so I’ll review some of the free apps that I’ve had the pleasure of playing with today (all links go to the App Store):

    Twitteriffic: There are two versions of Twitteriffic on the App Store, a free version and a “premium” version. From what I can tell they’re pretty much the same except that the free version has ads. Anyway, it’s a Twitter client for the iPhone, great for Twittering on the go. 

    Zenbe Lists: A great to do list app. It’s very simple, like any to do list should be. Manage multiple lists, check off stuff with a tap, and sync with the Zenbe online to do list service.

    AIM: Does exactly what you’d think it would, lets you send and receive IMs using your AIM, .Mac, or MobileMe screen name. If you have multiple conversations, don’t worry, you can just swipe between them.

    Remote: This little app from Apple is a really cool way to control iTunes or your AppleTV. The interface is setup just like the iPod app that’s included on the iPhone, and it works great with AirTunes.

    Rotary Dialer: A fun little app if you want to dial someone’s number old school style. Totally pointless, but totally retro. 

    That is but a taste of the App Store, there are many more apps currently available, and there are many more to come, prices varying from free to “oh hell no”. 

     
  • Chris 12:05 pm on July 10, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    MobileMe (so far) 

    Well finally it has arrived, looks amazing…but…

    This could possibly be the worst Apple product launch ever, it is up and down more than a roller coaster and I was able to get in and play a bit. Very pleasing to look at and I really hope that it is as good as we all want it to be…more to come as soon as it is up for a while.

     
    • Woody G 12:17 pm on July 10, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      This has been a very frustrating day for those who us who rely upon a Web-based way to check our Mac email account. I have only been able to get into MobileMe for literally a few seconds at a time today between 9 am EDT and just after 1 pm EDT. I have never been able to read any of my Mac email, I can only see the subject headers. Sure hope MobileMe works better than this poor launch!

  • ghall89 1:13 pm on July 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    The New Guy 

    Hello everyone! I am pleased to welcome the latest addition to the Gadgets and Tech writing team: me! I think we’ll get along great!

    Anyway, the of this entry is sort of misleading, I am not completely new here. Scroll to the top of the page. It’s okay, nothing bad will happen. See that banner? Yeah, you guessed it. I made that!

    Anyway, my name is Graham. I love Macs, my girlfriend, and cake. In my spare time I read, play video games, aimlessly browse the web, and engage in activities inappropriate for young children. I hate spinach, annoying people, and 3 day old BLT sandwiches. 

    If you’re a complete nerd like me, you can follow me on Twitter, check out my iUseThis profile, or friend me on Facebook

    See you around.

     
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