Samsung New Series 9 Laptops Take Aim at Apple’s MacBook Air

23/07/2019 Posted by admin

Check out my Monday Tech Untangled segment on GlobalTV Morning News with co-host Mike Sobel: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活globaltvedmonton杭州夜网/video/index.html?releasePID=RJwz1tXo5ET6YV0koPp5H4X_5l3fdP0u

The new 13.3-inch Series 9 laptop from Samsung Electronics Canada could easily be mistaken for a thin book. It’s being promoted as a competitor to Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air (lighter and 2mm thinner at the thickest part) and although it outperforms the Air, it does not outscore it on all points.

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On the plus side, the series 9 is a drop-dead gorgeous laptop for those wanting lightweight yet fast performance. It has Intel 2nd Generation Technology i5 Mobile Processors that can automatically purr at 1.4 GHz or outperform most desktops at 2.3 GHz on turbo mode. This includes Intel’s much improved HD graphics which easily handle any size HD videos on the bright LED-backlit SuperBright Plus display, which is smartly very usable when closed towards you in a tight airplane seat.

It starts at $1,699.99 with a 128 GB solid state drive and 4 GB RAM the Series 9 comes with Windows 7 Home premium (64 bit) while a top-end model has a 256 GB SSD drive, 8 GB RAM and Windows 7 Professional (64 bit).

Here’s what makes the Series 9 stand out with Samsung innovations:

-The lightweight body is made from Duralumin, twice the strength of aluminum making it a tough travel companion with a battery life of about six hours.

-It is WiMax (next generation faster WiFi) capable and has excellent sound which includes a built-in woofer. It also supports 10-times faster USB 3.0.

-Battery charge settings like longer: Battery Life Extender Mode” and “Express Charging Mode”.

-A keyboard shortcut for an effective Samsung Support Center, including web chat, for troubleshooting as well as system backup and recovery on the laptop, network or USB stick. The drive is split into two parts for storing new files away from the operating system.

– Peripheral connections or hidden on either side in drop-down access covers. Get used to Micro SD cards cause that’s what Samsung is pushing on its newer digital cameras as well as smart phones.

-Adjustable keyboard backlighting and Fast-start Technology.

Is the Series 9 an Air killer? No, but it takes a big bite out for performance in a small package. If you have money to spare, the upgraded version will set you off another $700, then you will get a laptop that turns heads, outperforms, connects faster and is light (under 3 lb) and cool-running on your lap.

In comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Air (overdue for a faster processor) tappers to a thinner edge and has more than 20 per cent more pixels, meaning a sharper viewing experience. It retails for $1,349 for the same 128 GB SSD drive, 2 GB RAM and may not crunch numbers as fast but does the job with style.Like all Macs, itcan also run Windows 7 (you have to provide your own legal copy)


HP’s TouchPad No iPad Killer But Stands On Its Own Merits

23/07/2019 Posted by admin

Catch my Morning News Tech segment with co-host Mike Sobel : 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活globaltvedmonton杭州夜网/video/index.html?releasePID=9h7HUvxGwq87JmfWoX3zSUL_nZ1QaOl_

The 9.7-inch HP TouchPad, available in Canada July 15th for $520 (16GB) and $620 (32 GB), joins a large group of tablets sporting some unique features. Should you buy it? Read on.

What impressed me the most was its new operating system, webOS, originally developed by Palm, now part of HP and thus the computer giant’s first entry in the popular tablet market. WebOS is a smart and user-friendly fit for portable tablets that organizes what you do the way you organize “analog” paper work on your desk.

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Each application you open can be left open and tucked aside in a card-size format with one upwards finger swipe, or closed with a second swipe. In fact, it’s similar to a BlackBerry PlayBook. Now you can easily see and choose between all your open (and actually running) applications, swiping horizontally. Each open app stacks related windows on the same pile, slightly spread out like playing cards, to choose from and run full screen.

This interesting tab format also applies to different web sites you visit. This keeps a clean desktop and frankly is the best method I have seen to organize your work on any tab. I missed this intuitive swipe multitasking feature as soon as I switched to other tablets.

The “Just type” bar on the main screen is like the Windows 7 start tab, only smarter, understanding what you want to do, showing you any relevant applications or web searches to choose from.

HP has wisely designed the TouchSmart with a competitive platform to incorporate development with popular third party apps, like Facebook and Skype. It’s Flash 10.3 compatible and I found the web experience to be good.

The TouchPad has great sound and charges wirelessly on an optional charge pad and stand. A Bluetooh keyboard also works nicely, but the onscreen keyboard deserves praise as it includes numeric keys on the main text mode, meaning quicker access to numbers. You can also pinch and move the screen at the same time, something any tablet should do today.

Overall, I found it just as fast and responsive as competitors’ except for the iPad which is still the most touch responsive of the lot. The email client is first rate, the best experience to a non-cellular device which worked on every web email I tried.

It also does some magic with a compatible webOS phone using a touch-to-share feature wirelessly sharing information between the two. You need that phone connection for wireless cellular data access, otherwise you are limited to WiFi. I found the touch screen to be more reflective than average.

The TouchPad only has only one 1.3 mepagpixel user-facing webcam camera, good for video calls. It lacks a real GPS, relying on WiFi for location, good in cities but not in rural areas. Its online apps, 30 per cent free, are into the several hundred , and about 7,000 for the lower resolution webOS phone. For now, the iPhone/iPad Store world is way ahead, at about 360,000/90,000. I wish HP would have the more convenient PayPal option…instead you have to use your credit cards.

Which brings us to this sobering fact: The HP TouchPad is too pricy for the hardware it lacks and is not an iPad killer. It will join a group of “me too” tablets from Samsung, LG, Motorola, BlackBerry and others, each with its own advantages and quirky likes to please those looking for iPad alternatives.

One note, if you are not in a rush, and don’t have the iPad itch, wait for Samsung’s 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab, later this year. I have seen it and being Samsung’s second tablet version, it is worth waiting for.

GM’s OnStar Get’s Hi-Tech

23/07/2019 Posted by admin

Luvell Williams at Detroit OnStar Command Center where 6 million OnStar drivers can get emergency help, turn-by-turndirections to the restaurant of their choice and more

Here is my Monday GlobalTV Morning News Tech Untangled with co-host Mike Sobel: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活globaltvedmonton杭州夜网/video/index.html?releasePID=fdPLb0ozex5J338CTg7agmvAEwVIPfta

I recently was invited to tour the GM OnStar site at GM head
quarters in Detroit.

We talked to key members of the OnStar team and saw behind
the scene OnStar happenings from the Command Center to the research lab where
some exciting new features are being worked on for 2012 cars.

The Command Center, a wide glassed-in room with computers
and large screens showed live traffic activities of OnStar costumers from
emergency to remote access one’s GM car and more.

OnStar is now 15 years old and although the GPS based system
serves more than 6 million users (see stats below) there are some interesting
cutting edge features being worked on that were shown to me at the OnStar ASD

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The latest one, available for current OnStar users of 2011
vehicles, is MyLink, a free app for Android and Apple iPhones and iPads. Once
you register (and I was plenty convinced it is secure after trying it myself in
Edmonton this past week) you can start, stop your car remotely, lock, unlock
and turn horn/lights on and off. You can also see your car’s engine basic condition
like oil change status and most importantly, how much gas you have left and how
far you can drive. All from the comfort of you smartphone.

What else is coming up? Facebook and Text messaging
services, hands-free off course, are being beta tested and fine tuned with no
dated release yet. This will involve text to speech technology.

The ASD Lab was a bit secretive but I can share a bit of
what they are working on: A way to let you know, on your cellphone, you have a
flat tire and options to get it fixed. Also
a smart way to offer you alternative faster routes to work.

To me, the most interesting revelation from Joanne Finnorn, OnStar
VP Subscriber Services, was an open mind to forging relationships with third
parties, like advertisers. No details were revealed, but Finnorn said the company
would not discount future third party scenarios
that could offset rising operational OnStar costs.

So let’s have some fun with this. Here is a scenario you and
I can entertain: during your turn-by-turn voice directions to your
destination, with your prior permission, you might get an added announcement of
nearby deals like restaurant discounts.

Seems like a tall order for GM, amid current privacy and safety
concerns, but I think a relationship between OnStar and say, Groupon杭州夜网 with
instant discounts along your driving
route would be hot. No?

Canadians can find out about OnStar at 杭州夜生活onstar杭州夜网/Canada

(North America followed by Canada)

Automatic Crash Response: Over 2,600/Month, CAN: 180/Month

Emergency Services:
Over 10,000/Month, CAN: 310/Month

Good Samaritan Emergencies :
Over 6,800/Month, CAN: 350/Month

Good Samaritan Theft Reports: Over 450/Month, CAN: 30/Month

Remote Door Unlock – Over 58,900/Month, CAN: 3,400/Month

Roadside Assistance 2.6 million 33,000/Month, CAN: 1000/Month

Turn-by-Turn Routes Delivered: Over 1.6 million Routes/Month,
CAN: 58,600/Month

OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics:
Over 3.7 million emails/month, CAN: Over 270,000 emails Sent

On-Demand Diagnostics: Over 58,500/month NA

OnStar Hands-Free Calling – Over 2.6 Billion Minutes**
Purchased 72 Million Minutes** CAN: Purchased/Month including unlimited bundle
sales CAN: Over 6.8 Million** Minutes/Month

Detroit OnStar ASD lab researcher Jim Kelly shows an early version of a text messaging system notifying drivers of flat tires.

Kodak Throws 3D in its New Printer

23/07/2019 Posted by admin

Want to get a back-to-school head start on printers? Check out Kodak’s new ESP Office 2170 All-in-One Printer, $149.99

Check out my weekly live Monday Morning News Tech segment with co-host Mike sobel: 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活globaltvedmonton杭州夜网/video/index.html?releasePID=4QTvoDR8F7biWIVvNWSJt5DozmRtQdM3

It’s designed for home and small business use as it includes fax features in addition to the print, copy and scan capabilities.

It has a smaller footprint than previous models but packs more in a smaller package.

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Like incorporating a 25-page automatic document feeder, 150 sheet feed tray, the ability to send scans you start on the printer or multi flash reader to the PC and smooth and fast faxing. It is WiFi b/g/n capable and very easy to set up on its rather small but functional screen.

One cool feature is printing or saving to screen or emailing 3D generated pictures created with any digital camera by simply shooting the same scene twice, 10 cm apart. The printer’s software figures it out, but you need the blue/red anaglyph glasses to view. The 3D actually looks impressive on large PC monitors which don’t need anything else to display the 3D (other than the anaglyph glasses).

In addition, Kodak offers free downloads of its Kodak Pic Flick App for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or BlackBerry. That’s OK, but I wish Kodak would also offer text printing from these devices, something they have been promising for more than a year. Like other fine scanners, the 2170 can scan multiple prints at 1200 Dots Per Inch (DPI) optical resolution in one pass and handle each separately.

The printer is responsive and fast (especially when scanning to multipage PDF format) and is only missing one item to make it the perfect low ink cost printer… automatic two sided page printing. It will do it but it’s semi manual, requiring you take the automatically generated stack of pages and re-feed them for printing the other side…not worth the time for small jobs. Auto two sided is available in pricier models.


Where Kodak competes with all other printer makers is the cost of ink, at half the price according to Kodak, to print the same number of pages. This is the fourth generation of Kodak printers with the same lower ink cost feature. I have tried every one and must attest that compared to every other make (except Lexmark’s pricier 4- in-1 Platinum series with even cheaper under $6, 500 page black-only cartridge) , the average consumer will indeed save about 40 per cent on ink costs, when you factour in a combination of quality, text only and mixed colour content pages.

But it all depends on how you print. For example, draft quality printing mode on the 2170 is of slightly lesser quality than other brand printers, forcing you to sometimes switch to normal mode, which is indistinguishable in quality with competitors, still saving you on ink cost.

Kodak now offers larger capacity XL separate Black and Colour cartridges which at double the price (Black ink XL cartridge for $19.99 for 670 pages versus $9.99 for 335 pages) offer double the number of pages, no savings per page but fewer trips to the store at a considerably low 3 cents per black ink page for those planning to print a lot of school work.


we all need editors

23/07/2019 Posted by admin


I think editors are wonderful. I think they are better than writers, who often think they are the most wonderful of all. 

 Writers think because they have thought something it must be good, because no one else has thought it. 

 Editors shake their heads and think, heaven help us. 

After the riot I wrote a story that equated what happened to a gang rape of the city. That is a harsh image. What happened was a harsh reality. And metaphorically I saw what happened as  a rape by a gang on a peaceful lady called Vancouver. 

 Then came the editor with another image. What happens to a woman who may have suffered the same brutal attack?  What happens while she is watching the horror of the street on television and thinking about the horror those words bring back to her?  

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  She might say, please don’t cheapen what happened to me by saying smashing cars and stores was the same thing.  Please don’t take the lowest most painful, most unimaginably bad part of my life and use it as a label for someone else’s stupidity. 

   So the editor removed the words, and when the writer thought about it he realized, once again, there is no end to learning about how words can hurt as well as describe.  

  The editor is the news director, Ian Haysom, who is the strongest defender of free speech that I know. He encourages independent thought and expression. But as an editor he knows that expression, no matter how free, cannot be allowed to hurt.  

  As a writer I realize that everyone, in everything, needs an editor, to make sure that compassion is more than just correctly spelled. 



the wave that did not come

23/06/2019 Posted by admin


 This is really sad. I debated with myself about writing it because it is not nice and I don’t like things like that.

 On the other hand it gives you, and me, insight into a world we think we know, and then find out we don’t.

  Last Thursday I was at the South Terminal of the airport where the Canucks were landing. I had nothing to do with the sport’s coverage. I was only there to edit that day’s story about the car detailer who liked to help people and I was going to work in one of the mobile editing trucks.

 But was stil exciting to watch about fifty fans on one side of a chain link fence shouting for their team. There were some young Sikhs in the crowd waving flags. They had tied their heads with blue material, making turbans that were the Canuck’s colour.

  There were some girls in Canuck’s jerseys. There were a few cameras poking through the fence. It was a small crowd with lots of yelling, chanting, banner waving and clapping. To get there they had to drive to the furthest back part of the airport, behind the old terminal building and then down a construction road. 

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  The players got off the plane in their private area, walked down the stairs that were wheeled out for them and then they walked to their cars that were parked in a neat row.

  One player, just one, I don’t know who because I was too far away to see his face, but just one player waved to the fans. The rest ignored them. The fans kept shouting and cheering, but mostly to the backs of heads of the players as they got in their cars.

  Then the players pulled out of the restricted area and drove out onto the road with police guarding the way. The fans ran across a field to get near the road. I could not see if any waved from behind their windshields I hoped they did. But they were driving fast.

   The bad thing about telling you is it takes some of the royalness out of the royalty of the players. The good part is the same thing.

  When the parade comes, which it will,  they will wave to the hundreds of thousands who come to watch after they have won four out of seven.. They should have done the same to the 50 who came to see them even though they had just lost two games. That takes true royalty. 


Who wants ice cream?

23/06/2019 Posted by admin

Walking back from the American mess hall on the base, after eating a fairly heavy lunch of chicken and mashed potatoes, I was confronted by a very odd scene. 

Just a few steps from my sleeping tent an ice cream truck had pulled up. Yes, the same kind of ice cream truck that would greet hordes of excited kids on a hot summer day. The same kind of ice cream truck that serves favourites like rocket popsicles, that drip down your hands in blue and red rivers of food colouring or scoops of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

Even though it seemed out of place on the grounds of a military base in the middle of Afghanistan, care had been taken to make sure it wasn’t too out of place. Like any of the other military vehicles that are painted in the color of sand at Kandahar Airfield (KAF), it was fully decked out in camouflage displaying the words “mind the troops.”

Courtesy of the British, this ice cream truck provides a cool respite from the relentless heat to those living at KAF.


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While ice cream trucks in a war zone are not a normal occurrence, its presence here shows that despite KAF being a staging ground for troops engaged in battle, there is a sense that life here can’t only be about the war. 

Deployments can be anywhere from six months to more than a year, and that’s why maybe an ice cream truck isn’t so out of place after all.

Melanie is Global National’s research supervisor, based in Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter: @emmyjd2.



Summerside Show of Force Weekend

23/06/2019 Posted by admin

This past weekend the Snowbirds were part of the Sumerside Show of Force Airshow.   Most airshows these days are a combination of civilian acts and Military displays.  Summerside’s objective was to exclusively use the military.  The intent was to celebrate the fact that a large portion of the CF consists of people from the Maritimes.

Saturday gave us clear skies and the whole day went as planned.  The Snowbirds were the closing act and we were able to carry out a high show for the folks who turned out.  The winds had picked up earlier in the afternoon, so Mother Nature offered us up some significant mechanical turbulence that kept us working to remain in tight formation.   After we landed the team signed autographs until the last person made it through the line.  What I learnt was that this was the first time many of the young people in the area had seen the Snowbirds.  I later found out that it had been over 10 years since the last visit by the team.   

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While walking back to the car at the end of the day Marco and I spotted a Leopard tank driving on the far side of the aircraft ramp. I’d never seen the Leopard tank in action and the kid in me couldn’t resist seeing the 40 ton earth rumbling machine motor around.  We approached the cad pad soldiers’ in the area I politely asked what the chance for a ride was.  A few minutes later we were thundering across the field doing donuts! I was awesome.  You could only imagine the disappointed look on our teammate’s eyes when they found out what they missed out on.  

Sunday nights are typically the night the performers and the organizers get together and unwind.  While there, I began talking with the Captain of the HMCS Summerside.  After a bit, a couple of us were invited to visit the ship the next day to watch one of their training missions.  It was a chance for me to see how the Navy operates.  I’d flown over the Navy many times, so I didn’t want to pass up the chance to see how the Captain and his crew operate.  No matter who you belong to, the military is about training.  Training for just about any scenario one could think of.  The exercise for today’s trip was to react to a man overboard situation.  It was impressive to see that in a matter of six minutes the Captain instructed his crew to spin around a 1000 ton vessel, deploy a zodiac and have the soaked sailor back on board.   

The combination of great people, tanks, a huge ship and of course an airshow made for a great weekend.  Our job as Snowbirds is to represent all the people in the Canadian Forces.  This weekend helped in that I’m now better equipped to tell people how great the Army and Navy are.  Canadians should be proud of the work that these people do on a daily basis.  Bagotville is the next stop.  I can’t wait to see who we’ll meet next weekend. 

SB 6 




23/06/2019 Posted by admin

Last week we were in St-Hubert.  There we focused on two objectives. The first was to conduct and flat show for some 1500 plus aspiring air cadets. Many of our team members were once air cadets, so this stop was a way to inspire a new generation of cadets to go after their dreams.  Our second objective was to reach out to new groups of people that otherwise wouldn’t see the team perform.  Many of the guys on the team are avid motorcycle riders. I myself raced motocross for years; others participate in mini road racing, the rest ride for recreation.  What better group to target than a group of people who navigate their way through life manipulating machines than motosport fans.  The similarities between how the military uses high horsepower, high energy machines and people who are involved in racing are distinctly familiar. 

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Last weekend Mirabel hosted the first round of the Parts Canada Superbike race.  Since Mirabel is a short hop away from St-Hubert it made sense that we conduct a flypast on the Superbike practice day.  A few phone calls to our Headquarters and several e-mails to the organizers and it was a go.  We carried out both objectives in one mission.  We landed and met with the wide eyed, grinning cadets . The next day we were invited out to the ICAR race track to watch the races.  We were treated with open arms and the feedback from the racers and the fans exceeded our expectations.  Funny enough I ran into some old friends from my racing days in Saskatchewan.  They were the McCormick family, Grant, Michelle, and their son Brett.  Brett as it turns out is BMW Canada’s top rider and a contender to the Superbike title.  We ended up spending the day sharing stories and watching some exciting racing that had us on the edge of our seats.  Overall, I can’t say enough about how great of a combination it was to have the Snowbirds be a part of the motosport scene.  Perhaps we’ll see more of this combination in the future?

SB 6 out 



23/06/2019 Posted by admin

Busy week 

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The last few weeks have flown by (no pun intended.) The team has bounced from Kingston to St-Jean, over to Bagotville, back Eastward to St-Hubert and to our current location in North Bay, Ont.  We’ve carried out a flurry of flypasts for Canada’s newly graduated Officers from the CF’s Military Colleges in both Kingston and St-Jean. Since we’re still early into our show season we still need to practice..a lot.  Coming across unrestricted airspace to practice at isn’t so easy to come by East of Moose Jaw.  North Carolina was the last time we flew a high show, so an airport at a military base in is indispensable in keeping the rust at bay.  It’s only now that I realized how lucky the Snowbirds are to have the open airspaces south of Moose Jaw during our training season. That’s where Bagotville arrived into the picture.  It allowed us to practice; it also gave us the opportunity to re-connect with our colleagues from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron.  Upon our arrival into the Saguenay airspace we were met by Canada’s finest fighter, the CF-18. Much of the Squadron was still deployed overseas supporting the mission over Libya. Rest assured though that Canada’s finest are doing their best to see that the mission succeeds.  To express our appreciation we ended up taking some of the guys who just got back for a ride. It also served as a way to motivate some them to take an interest in being future Snowbird pilots.  Sharing stories, hearing about their missions and shooting the breeze with some close friends made to stop memorable. 

 It was awesome being welcomed back to the region where I’d spent my first flying tour at.  The region was a nice as I remembered it and the people were as kind as ever.  Dinner that first night forced all of us the practice our second language, which in turn was the source of a lot of laughs.  French for me is a perishable skill (as Scott Mclean graciously pointed during one of the Snowbird 6 episodes,) but after a couple of days it comes back. Don’t get me wrong I still raised a few eyebrows when I ordered my food; luckily I got what I ordered (most of the time). 

We’ll be back in the Saguenay in a few weeks for an official air show.  Hopefully, the food orders will go smoother. 

SB 6 Out