Archive for: ‘September 2018’

SOLID STATE MEMORY ROCKS IN DIGITAL CAMERAS AND USB STORAGE DEVICES

22/09/2018 Posted by admin

 

In today’s Global TV Morning News with co-host Mike Sobel, I showed and talked about bigger and faster memory cards for digital cameras and portable USB drives.  

Faster and larger Solid State Memory is gaining more acceptance, despite higher price tags. 

Newer digital cameras now accept SDXC secure digital cards that come in storage capacities from 32 GB way up to 2 terabytes, more than any consumer computer can store! 

Should you get one? They are not cheap but if you travel and like to shoot all your pictures in the un-processed RAW file format with room to spare, then check it out. 

During a recent 11 day cruise I used a 64 GB Lexar Professional SDXC card on an Olympus E-PL2 mirrorless camera. It was able to record more than 2,500 Fine Quality JPEG and another matching 2,500 RAW format photos, plus one hour’s of HD 720p video. It took 61 minutes to transfer these files to a speedy 256GB Intel 510 SSD internal drive on my desktop. Long? Not really, considering it would take more than twice as long to transfer the same number of files in four class 4 16GB SDHC cards.  

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I have been using the Lexar card in more than one dozen digital cameras I have tested in the past two months and it has performed flawlessly.  

You will find Lexar class 10 SDXC cards in specialty camera and computer stores. London Drugs in Western Canada has it for 169.99 while Henry’s in Toronto has it for $149.99, a considerable price drop since their introduction earlier this year for more than $220. It is also available in 128 GB size. I found most brands in this category perform just as fast. What you want is a good brand name like Lexar, Panasonic, SanDisk and Kingston. 

Digital cameras have been SDXC compatible for the past six months and most new ones will support the new SDXC standard. All cameras are backward compatible with older SD and SDHC cards.  

Some SD card buying tips: Brand name SD cards are marked by class number from 2 to 10, usually printer on a circular C on the front of the card or packaging. The higher the class number, the more expensive and faster. Some digital cameras, especially newer ones, that record larger files and quality HD video, will not work with lower class number cards. Many digital cameras, like the new Canon Rebel Tsi can shoot continuously for more than 250 JPEG frames on the Lexar SDXC card I ried, more tha twice as many as older SDHC cards.  Check what your camera maker recommends. If you see a too-good-to-be-true price for a large capacity, no-brand SD card with no class number…stay away.  

When buying SDXC cards for newer cameras, you might want to look into an external reader like Lexar’s 24-in-one USB reader as most computers and laptops can’t SDXC cards yet.  I found the reader to be faster than previous generation readers for older cards.    

For more information go to: 杭州夜生活lexar杭州龙凤 and 杭州夜生活sdcard杭州龙凤   

ARE YOU READY FOR USB 3.0? 

 

Windows PC’s are supporting the new USB 3.0 standard used mostly for external portable hard drives which commonly go up to 1 terabyte size for about $170. You will recognize the USB 3.0 connection behind your PC by its blue colour.  Typically you will see between a 2x to 4x gain in faster transfer speeds, but if you want zing, you will need deep pockets for SSD versions, like Kingston’s HyperX Max 3.0 which retails for about $325 for a 128GB size. What you get is small, silent and thin-size portability with speeds up to 10x faster than hard drive versions. For more information go to: 杭州夜生活kingston杭州龙凤  

WHAT ABOUT MACS? 

Mac computers won’t support USB 3.0 as they have partnered with Intel to deliver much faster connectivity with Thunderbolt technology, available in the latest MacBook Pro and iMacs. But it won’t be till summer when Thunderbolt compatible devices like hard drives and multiple HD monitors will be widely available for your Mac.  

For more information go to: 杭州夜生活apple杭州龙凤/ca/thunderbolt and 杭州夜生活intel杭州龙凤/technology/io/thunderbolt     

WHICH OF THESE TOP TABLETS IN CANADA IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

22/09/2018 Posted by admin

The morning, my co-host Mike Sobel and I yaked about the pros and cons of the most populat tablets in town.

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Now that the Motorola Xoom is in Canada, I thought I would give you my take on the top-level pros and cons of the four top tablets that electronics stores and cellphone stores are selling.

Don’t decide on which tablet to buy based on price. $100 here or there doesn’t mean much if you don’t like your tablet months after you bought it.

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They all do email, have hundreds of thousands apps (including BlackBerry’s PlayBook soon to run Android apps) from serious to useful to pass time genres. Most take as good pictures and videos as the best smart phones.

But here is what counts the most for me on a tablet: The Internet experience, screen clarity and size – features you have to live with after you purchase your tablet. I find 10-inch tablets, like the iPad 2 and Motorola Xoom become awkward on long trips, especially holidays. They are heavier and cumbersome to hold with one hand and become an “additional” item to take along. The 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook and Samsung Galaxy Tab are lighter, can fit in most jacket pockets, which also means coats and purses and can be held with one hand for longer.

The OS becomes secondary, as all are different and once you get used to yours, your tablet will be a fun and productive tool.

You can go online and check the detail features and functions on the links below. Here is my brief take on the experience of using these tablets.

*iPad2 from Apple Store, also at Bell, Rogers and TELUS from $640 to $849 (16, 32, 64 GB) WiFi or $519 to $719 (16, 32, 64 GB) on cellular data plan. It has the second nicest 10-inch bright screen, the coolest and simplest iPad Smart Cover, the most apps, most responsive touch screen, iTunes and Internet anywhere w/cell data plan option. The cons is an Internet limitations due to no Flash support so you won’t be able to see a lot of videos on many sites.

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*Samsung Galaxy Pad from $399.95 to $199.95 with plan at Bell and Rogers is the cheapest 7-inch tablet with a descent screen experience. It runs on the now older Android 2.2 OS similar to many Android smart phones. It does Internet anywhere w/cell data plan and is perfect for budget minded folks who still own a regular “talking” phone and wish to bypass the smart phone stage with a larger and easy to use screen. The cons are some web sites will only run in mobile mode instead of full PC-like mode. And the video quality is one notch lower than the iPad2 and Xoom.

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* Motorola Xoom from Motorola Mobility Canada, $599.99 at TELUS features the strikingly new Android 3.0 HONEYCOMB OS. It feels and looks like a laptop of the future with swooshable multi-finger swipes for customizing your apps. It has a smart selection of optional accessories like Bluetooth keyboard, portfolio case, gel skin and a combo charger/HDMI out HD Speaker Dock. The cons are despite the sharpest 10-inch screen and unbreakable Gorilla glass, it is the most reflective screen, especially at angles and it needs WiFi for Internet, unlike a cellular data version in the U.S.

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* BlackBerry PlayBook from Research in Motion $499.99 to $699.99 (16, 32, 64GB) from everywhere, has the best no-glare, truly multi-angle bright screen, smartest multitasking OS for switching Apps and a special secure Bluetooth connection with your BlackBerry device OS 6 and higher. It has the best Internet experience, shoots the best HD video and will soon run the some 160,000 Android Apps. It’s basically WiFi but can bridge with your BlackBerry in tether mode for Internet (the BlackBerry Bridge Bluetooth is different from the tether function so you can have either or both running). If you like your BlackBerry smart phone, the PlayBook will not disappoint.

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TWO WILD AND CRAZY PRINTERS

22/09/2018 Posted by admin

In today’s Global TV Morning News with co-host Mike Sobel, I showed and talked about some exotic printers from Lexmark and HP.

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Printers have come a long way, but here are two unusual ones that incorporate technologies you won’t find in any other printer. They are both pricey at $399 but they offer different ways of printing at home and small office or from afar.

Lexmark Genesis inside view off special copy camera and stand-alone unit.

LEXMARK GENESIS

Lexmark’s Genesis not only looks different but works different too.

It’s a 4-in-1 multifunction printer (copy, scan, print and fax) but instead of a traditional scanner, it uses a special built-in digital camera (thus its odd size) that scans in less than several seconds. This means no waiting.

It follows Lexmark’s lead of Smart Solutions which load on WiFi N wireless printer from the Internet making it a stand-alone unit that can work with a USB connection to PC or wireless or simply work on its own. Walk up to it and select the app you want to run off the easy-to-use menu on the bright 4.3-inch touch colour screen.

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It can make a quality copy of a photo album print (or group of prints it can recognize) in less than one minute. Or scan a document into a PDF file and save it to a plugged-in USB stick. You can scan business cards or even read and print news, sports and entertainment, directly off the screen. Off-course it has full back and forth functionality with your nearby PC.

Unlike traditional printers, it doesn’t have a feeder but it’s speed – a few seconds – instead of a few minutes, makes up for its simplicity.

Who would use it? Folks who want to save time on a quick turn-around tasks mentioned above. Scanning and sending to an email can also be done from the touch screen. If you have a lot of old album photos, the Genesis will scan and tuck digital copies away, again…in seconds.

The one thing that you still have to wait for, as on all printers, is the print time.

Part of Genesis smarts is giving you a preview of whatever you are scanning instantly before your hand leaves the cover. Impressive and smart technology adding a different sculptured look wherever it stands.

Available at Future Shop.

For more information go to: 杭州夜生活lexmark.ca or 杭州桑拿按摩论坛lexmark.ca/genesis/

Expect to consume more paper with HP’s detachable wireless printer tablet

HP Photosmart eStation

It’s been less tha a year since HP’s slick ePrint technology, let’s you email directly to your HP printer from anywhere. This means you can even forward emails from your smartphones too, with attachments and have them printed on printers, each with a unique and secure email address.

The coolest of several HP ePrint models is the HP Photosmart eStation, a relatively low profile multi function 4-in-1 printer with detachable 7-inch web-browsing tablet. The tablet and the printer are both WiFi meaning you can walk away with the tablet and go online to a slew of dedicated sites for news, sports entertainment, ebooks and more. The special Disney site for example can let you print colouring pages from favourite animated characters from the detached tablet.

The only drawback is that the tablet is limited to specific sites like Yahoo, FaceBook or Snapfish and you can’t surf as in new tablets today like the iPad, Samsung Tab, PlayBook or Mororola Xoom. This means wide support for competitive emails. Still, the durable eStation touchscreen tablet, when attached back to the two-side capable printer, becomes a huge easy-to-use interface for ordinary printing tasks, without the need of a PC, for direct copy tasks.

If you don’t need the tablet feature, HP makes ePrint models starting at $129, handy for printing out emails and correctly formatted Word and PDF attachments, or even pictures, directly from your smartphones.

Available at BestBuy or Staples.

For more info go to: 杭州夜生活hp杭州龙凤/canada

pike place fish

22/09/2018 Posted by admin

                           

 If you have never been to Pike Place Market in Seattle go. Don’t hesitate. Don’t put it off. Go. 

  It is Granville Island with one endless comedy act.  Yes, I like Granville Island. It offers much more than Pike Place. It has theatres and schools and a concrete factory and parks and a brewery and mini ferries and turtles in a pond and a duck crossing. 

  The Duck Crossing on Granville Island is wonderful. That is a touch of soul, but it is only a sign.  Just after you pass the brewery and Kid’s Market you see the Duck Crossing sign. 

  “Are you kidding?” I asked a maintenance man on the island. 

  “No way. It is serious. Ducks cross here. Drive carefully.” He brushed off the sign with his sleeve. That is humour, but done quietly.  

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  But in Pike Place Market is a fish store, called The Pike Place Fish Shop. Brilliant original name. What goes on there has become world famous. 

  Half the workers at the store stand out in front of the boxes of ice and fish and crabs. They wear yellow rain slickers, or at least the trousers below their working shirts. 

  They wait for an order. 

  “A King Salmon,” says a customer. Customer points to it. King is American for sockeye, which we think is the king of salmon even without the name. 

  One of the outside workers picks it up from the stacks of fish on ice, then shouts, “One king.” All the workers out front and behind the counter shout together, “One king.” It is a powerful shout. 

  Then the outside worker throws it over the boxes, over the counter behind the boxes, a good 20 feet of throwing, where a behind-the-counter work snags it. The fish is not gently lobbed like in slow pitch soft ball. The fish is thrown, hard ball style. 

  The crowd cheers. 

  The king gets wrapped and weighed, then the behind-the-counter monger shouts, “King coming back.” 

  The wrapped six pound fish flies over the counter. 

 The crowd cheers and takes pictures. 

   “Two crabs, please.” 

   A customer has spoken. Outside worker picks up the two chosen hard shelled bodies and yells, “Two crabs.” 

   All ten or 12 fish mongers yell, “Two crabs.” The crabs, one at a time, fly through the air. 

  The crowd cheers and takes pictures.The crabs get wrapped and weighed and, “Crabs coming back,” is yelled. 

   More cheering. More pictures. 

 This goes on all day, every day. It may sound monotonous, but it works. The workers either really enjoy it or are paid to enjoy it. It doesn’t matter. It is fun to watch. And the store does not have to advertise. Everyone who knows about it comes to buy a fish or wait for someone else to buy. 

 There souvenir stores in the market that have cartoons of the crowds of people watching fish flying through the air. All the cartoons show people clapping and cheering and taking pictures. 

  And then i saw the problem. It was the fault of the media. 

 A woman told me she had come from Boise, Idaho, and wanted to take pictures of the flying fish.  She squeezed her way to the front of the crowd. She had to, she wanted a picture. 

 A man had come from Vancouver. He got to the front. Another woman from California and a man from Texas joined them. I know they were from California and Texas because they told each other loud enough for me to hear. They asked the man from Vancouver where he was from. With the lady from Boise they formed a solid front. 

Then more photogs squeezed through the crowd.  A bus must have unloaded just to watch the flying fish of Pike Place. “You can’t miss this moment,” I imagine the tour guide said.   

  In a few moments there was a wall of digital cameras and cell phones with lenses and expensive single lens reflexes and little pink cameras and blue cameras and things I did not think were cameras all lined up in front of the counter, waiting. 

  “When are you going to throw a fish?” asked Boise woman. 

  “When someone buys one,” said monger with the yellow pants. 

  “I haven’t got all day,” said Boise lady. “I have to get back to my group. “Can’t you just throw one and let me get a picture?” 

   Monger in yellow knew lady from Boise did not catch the concept. 

  “Buy and fly,” he said. 

   “But I don’t want a fish. What am I going to do with a fish? I’m on a tour,” said Boise.  

  Yellow picked up a fish. More than 20 cameras rose up. 

  “I don’t mean to be impolite, but all of you are in the way of the people who want to shop.”  

  Then he put down the fish. Twenty groans and the cameras lowered. 

  I have seen something similar at almost every choir sing and press conference and  ginger bread house contest I have been to in the last two decades. The cameras are in front of the audience. It is embarrassing. The poor folks who have come to see the event see only the back sides of the cameramen. 

  It is true that many more people will see the event on television, but I always think the cameras have long lenses. They could go in the back.  

  But like at the fish market, everyone wants to be in front. 

  There were no shouts, no fish, no pictures.  

  “Darn,” said Boise. “I have to go. It’s not fair.” 

   Yellow pants looked sad. “Wait,” he said. 

  He picked up a king. “One king for Boise,” 

   “ONE KING FOR BOISE,” shouted all the fish folks. 

  It flew over the ice and the counter and was caught in mid flight by two strong hands. 

   “I missed it,” shouted Boise. “I wasn’t ready. I didn’t get it.” 

   Yellow pants laughed. 

  “No, I think now you do get it. Hold up your camera.”  

   He waited. “Ready?” 

  She said yes. 

   He held up his hands and barely glancing back. 

“Boise fish coming back,” the man behind the counter said. 

 “Boise fish coming back,” all the workers shouted. 

  And the fish landed right into outside man’s hands. 

  “You got it?” he said to the lady. 

  She was so happy she could only smile. At least 19 other tourists also got the picture. They left and business returned to shouts and flying fish. 

   Moral: they know it in the fish store. You want to get rid of a problem? Treat it nicely. 

  

 Mike 

  

      

maple leaf in the air

22/09/2018 Posted by admin

 Hold onto your hat, or your heart, this is a shocker. Americans are looking up to Canadians for their patriotism. 

   And not just love of country, but outward display of it. 

  No way. Impossible. Can’t be. When I moved to Canada it was Americans who covered the sky with their flags. They were at rock concerts. They were at swap meets. They were on shoulder patches. Basically every police department in the country had a flag sewn on their uniform. 

  Yesterday, May 21, 2011, I was at something in Seattle called Street Fair. It is 10 blocks of arts and crafts and food and music and jugglers in the university district and has been going on for 45 years. I hardly noticed at first, but there was not one American flag. 

  It used to be a Canadianism to say, “We are not like Americans. We don’t show our patriotism outwardly. We carry it inside.”  

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  That is very nice to hear. But I look out the window were I am sitting now in my home and there is a Canadian flag flying on a pole in front of the house across the street. That is very nice to see. 

  And when I drive around the city I see the Maple Leaf flying basically everywhere. When I travel it is sewn onto nearly never pack sack and stickered on countless suitcases.  

  Some say it is so those carrying it don’t get mistaken for Americans. Some Americans have said the same thing when they put the Maple Leaf on their American Tourister Luggage.  

  Then in Seattle I read a story in an arts and entertainment newspaper headlined, “Fear of the Flag.” It is in rock and roll and arts papers that you get a feeling of what the mood is in a city.  Feelings inside tell you what is behind the facts that are outside and more importantly, they tell predict what the future facts will be. 

   Chris Kornelis,  a music critic who I don’t know and never met, said he had a good feeling when  he was at a rock show in Pemberton three years ago. After the warm up bands played he wrote, “the crush of young, almost entirely Canadian fans in front of the stage burst into an impromptu a cappella rendition of their national anthem, ‘O Canada.’” 

  At an outdoor rock concert in Washington, Kornelis wrote, Canadian fans flew Canadian flags. One young American women who lives in Canada wrapped herself in the red and white flag. He talked to her. 

  “I love America,” she said. “My mom’s American. But Americans don’t share the same enthusiasm about patriotism as Canadians.” 

   My eyes bulged. I thought it was the other way around. But no, right there in black and white and read all over the newspaper fellow was saying, “It’s commonplace to see Canadians make their national pride known at summer festivals…..Such outward expression of national pride is unheard of among their stateside peers.” 

   He said it is “embarrassing” for a young music fan in America to hold up the flag. The connotation that it “represents hicks, rednecks, the NASCAR community, and the far right is so prevalent that it almost doesn’t make sense for a liberal to wave the flag anymore.” That is the feeling in a newspaper, the Seattle Weekly, that has stories on music and the arts and feelings and trends. 

  In Canada he talked to someone who said the flag flies with the rock music because, “Every time we’re having fun, we’re patriotic.” 

  As I said, the world has turned upside down. Or maybe it is right side up.   

 I think the Stars and Stripes represents a long list of good things. But I’m glad to look out my window and see the Maple Leaf.  

 

Mike