Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
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Thursday, October 18, 2021

A couple of days ago, a fellow consultant emailed me during work hours with a simple request: To call her, so that she could find where cellphone was hiding.

As soon as I read the email, I broke out in a big smile. Because I’d been through this scenario before.

I didn’t wind up breaking up with anyone this time around, though. And the phone was recovered within seconds, so I didn’t come off as a jerk. Wonders abound.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/18/2007 10:36:12 PM
Category: Tech, Comedy, Women | Permalink | Feedback

Tuesday, October 16, 2021

hot hot hot
I caught wind of Thermablade, the electronically-heated ice blade that slightly accelerates the melting of ice under your skate to give the skater a speed/power boost, a couple of weeks ago. And I figured, even with Wayne Gretzky’s endorsement, it would remain a fringe oddity.

Wrong. The National Hockey League is getting ready to test them with players, with an eye toward introducing them into games.

Maybe I’m missing something. Can someone explain to me how this wouldn’t lead to completely chewed-up, slushy ice during the course of an NHL game?

We’re talking about creating less friction/resistance between the blade’s edge and the ice surface in order to achieve the extra speed — fine. But that means more water on the ice, which will build up. Even now, with the unheated friction effect from regular skates, a lot of the rinks in the league end up with soft ice. How will they fare when you add heat to the mix?

I know the Zamboni will still be there to do its job between periods. But will it be able to compensate for the extra wear-and-tear? I’m doubtful.

In fact, I can see this attempt to speed up the game having exactly the opposite effect: Creating slog-fests where skaters will struggle to gain traction on slushed-up ice, with a marked increase in injuries from added muscle strain to boot.

I’d like to think the league’s ice expert, Dan Craig, is being consulted on this. It looks like he’s been in on it, but I can’t find any ruling from him. If he’s signing off on it, I guess it won’t be a problem. But I’d like to hear an explanation that makes sense.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/16/2007 11:11:01 PM
Category: Tech, Hockey, Science | Permalink | Feedback (2)

Thursday, October 11, 2021

So it’s been two days since I picked up a brand-new iPod Touch (16 gig version) from the 5th Avenue Apple Store.

I’ve barely been able to keep my hands off the thing. Does that mean I’m in love with a hunk of glass-coated plastic?

So far, so fantastic. It’s everything it’s hyped up to be, and more. I can’t remember the last time I was so fully satisfied with a new tech toy, right off the bat. I’m sorry I waited the couple of weeks that it’s been out.

In addition to the music/video playback — which requires new finger-movements thanks to the full-screen interface, but which I’ve found to be comfortably intuitive — I’ve been having lots of fun with the wi-fi Web browsing. It’s a pure thrill being able to call up a full webpage, without having to lug around a clunky notebook computer. I can’t always find an open wireless access point, but I can most of the time. I’m already pretty sure I’ll be dropping the Web access portion of my Verizon Wireless cellphone plan.

On top of that, the battery is holding up extremely well. That’s a constant bugaboo with me when it comes to portable electronics like media players and phones. I’m guessing the flash-drive guts (versus the traditional spinning hard drives found in earlier iPods) take up a lot less power, thus extending charge life. Really impressive.

Anyway, that’s enough specifics for the early going. I might do a fuller-fledged review here in about a week, after I’ve had enough time to work it out. For now, I’m in bliss.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/11/2021 11:32:07 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback (4)

Wednesday, October 10, 2021

A pretty consistent problem for me with regards to every mobile phone I’ve ever owned is inadequacy of the ringer and vibration modes. Half the time, I manage to miss incoming calls because I can’t hear or feel the phone go off. Seemingly, my pants are too loose, and pockets too voluminous, for a mere cellphone to make itself noticeable to me, even when it’s on my person.

So consider the practical opposite condition: Compulsively experiencing imaginary vibration buzz, even when the phone isn’t present.

Some users compare the feeling to a phantom limb, which Merriam-Webster’s medical dictionary defines as “an often painful sensation of the presence of a limb that has been amputated.”

“Even when I don’t have the BlackBerry physically on my person, I do find myself adjusting my posture when I sit to accommodate it,” said Dawn Mena, an independent technology consultant based in Thousand oaks, Calif. “I also laugh at myself as I reach to unclip it (I swear it’s there) and find out I don’t even have it on.”

Research in the area is scant, but theories abound about the phenomenon, which has been termed “ringxiety” or “fauxcellarm.”

I’m guessing the next symptom to show up is the carrying on of phantom conversations with yourself, even when you Bluetooth headset isn’t plugged into your ear. Eventually, you become completely unhinged.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/10/2021 11:25:38 PM
Category: Tech, Society | Permalink | Feedback (3)

Saturday, October 06, 2021

Who knew that metal grew stubble? The tendency of tin to develop tiny splinters, or “whiskers”, is threatening the structural integrity and functionality of electronic equipment great and small.

Typically measuring under a millimeter long, tin whiskers look like errant strands of static-charged hair, erupting in every direction from tin-based materials like solder. Their cause is hotly debated. Other metals also grow whiskers, but not like tin.

Trouble arises when the whiskers bridge separate parts of increasingly miniaturized circuit boards. They also can flake off and interfere with sensitive optics.

The consequences are real:

In the 1980s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled some pacemakers because of a high failure rate caused by tin whiskers.

In 1998, PanAmSat Corp.’s $250 million Galaxy IV communications satellite, which provided service to tens of millions of pagers across North America and thousands of pay-at-the-pump gas station machines, was deemed a total loss after two processors failed. The main spacecraft control processor, which governs the satellite’s positioning and other functions, failed for an unknown reason, and the backup couldn’t be used because tin whiskers had shorted it out a year before.

At least 10 other satellite failures have been blamed on tin whiskers, according to the NASA database.

Over the past two decades, also according to the NASA database, nuclear power plants have been temporarily shut down at least seven times after tin whiskers in the alarm system circuit boards triggered false alarms, alerting managers to threats that didn’t exist. There have been no reported injuries.

The heart of the issue is the new edicts in the EU to ban the use of lead in electronics, which until now had been mixed into the tin solder to severely reduce the effects of whiskering. The concern is that it’s being done prematurely, before a substitute is devised. The technocratic whining seems misplaced — do the engineers really think it’s a good idea to include poisonous substances into these products? Eventually, a solution will be developed.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/06/2021 11:03:34 AM
Category: Tech, Science | Permalink | Feedback

Thursday, October 04, 2021

I’m not sure if the advent of global-positioning system information at City bus stops is enough to prompt me to take the bus.

“Sure, it’s good,” said Darlan Rogers, 63, an elevator repairman waiting for an M15 bus at First Ave. and 14th St. “It takes the guesswork out of it. Otherwise, you stand around stamping your feet waiting for who knows how long. The idea of not knowing drives you crazy.”

The arrival boards are along six routes: the M15, M72, M57, M66, M116 and M31.

But I’d still have to learn the bus routes — no GPS guidance is going to help me with that. It’s taken me long enough to figure out the subway lines; I think my cranial capacity for memorizing public transportation information is full. I’ll stick to the close-enough arrivals via train, and then going on foot.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/04/2021 11:23:07 PM
Category: Tech, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback

Wednesday, September 26, 2021

times two
We’ve all heard of the One Laptop Per Child project, the goal of which is to equip youngsters around the globe with a low-cost learning tool and access point to the Internet. Originally conceived as a computer engineering challenge, the much-vaunted $100 price point per unit overshot a bit to $188, giving the program a bit of a black eye.

To bounce back, OLPC has launched a unique marketing initiative, dubbed “Give 1 Get 1″: Starting November 12th, you can buy two of the little green XO Laptop-ettes for $399 (tax-deductable), sending one into the waiting hands of an underprivileged youth while the other comes to your doorstep.

Am I intrigued? Yes. I’m thinking I’ll be ponying up for this program in two months. A desire to do some good merges with my financial requirements (as an independent contractor, I need to be on the lookout for deductions) and my techie curiosity. It’s really a genius way for OLPC to prompt a large group who otherwise wouldn’t bother participating.

I do have some misgivings. I’ve heard about the dubiousness of the one-size-fits-all model — just because the laptops are successful in Cambodia doesn’t mean they’ll take off in Angola. And the potential unintended consequences of increased malware coming from this mass computerization is something to consider. On balance, I think the positive possibilities are worth the risks.

As I suggested, I’d likely keep the extra XO Laptop for my own tinkering. I’ve got an aunt and uncle who probably need to get connected to the Web, and a dead-simple computer interface would be the only way it would happen; but that’s a remote backup plan.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/26/2007 05:55:41 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Tech, Society | Permalink | Feedback (1)

Tuesday, September 18, 2021

So what’s Ashton Kutcher up to lately? Aside from being married to Demi Moore?

Improbably enough, he’s working as the Creative Director at a Web-telephony startup called Ooma.

No, really:

On Wednesday, Ooma will launch an 80-second YouTube advertisement produced by Ooma creative director Ashton Kutcher, the Iowa-born model who starred in the sitcom “That 70’s Show.” Kutcher wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press that Ooma “opened my eyes” to technology’s power.

Even if Ooma’s business model of a one-time-fee for unlimited VoIP phone calls works — and I don’t see that happening — this comes off to me like Kutcher’s slumming. Has he run out of television and film projects to produce?

Also, despite Kutcher’s academic background, I have to wonder: If Ooma was going to roll with a Hollywood star as part of its team, wouldn’t it have made more sense for the company to tap Uma Thurman? Name recognition would be strong.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/18/2007 09:32:01 PM
Category: Internet, Celebrity, Tech | Permalink | Feedback

Saturday, September 15, 2021

I’ve certainly been aware of sniffer programs like PC Pandora, and how popular they are with otherwise happily-married couples.

I wasn’t aware just how popular they are:

“In just about every case now, to some extent, there is some electronic evidence,” said Gaetano Ferro, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, who also runs seminars on gathering electronic evidence. “It has completely changed our field.”…

Divorce lawyers say their files are filled with cases like these. Three-quarters of the cases of Nancy Chemtob, a divorce lawyer in Manhattan, now involve some kind of electronic communications. She says she routinely asks judges for court orders to seize and copy the hard drives in the computers of her clients’ spouses, particularly if there is an opportunity to glimpse a couple’s full financial picture, or a parent’s suitability to be the custodian of the children.

Yep, I’m aiming to get married real soon.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/15/2007 02:00:59 PM
Category: Tech, Society, True Crime | Permalink | Feedback

There be ghosts all over Brooklyn. Let them haunt your cellphone while you stroll in their path!

This Sunday’s Cripplebush Ghost Tour (named after the old Dutch name for the Williamsburg area) is part of this weekend’s Conflux Festival. It’s got a little something extra in the way of a ghost story:

Here’s how it works: A guerilla team has plastered the neighborhood with rectangular yellow stickers about the size of a postcard printed with a Pac-Man-style ghost graphic, a phone number and a four-digit code. You text the code to that number, wait 30 seconds for the buzz and accept your digital history lesson.

For example, if you stand outside K&M bar at the corner of North Eighth and Roebling streets and text 3101, you learn that, “Krystyna & Margaret ran this space as a pierogi restaurant from ‘96-’04. One died of cancer in 2004. In the ’60s & ’70s, the space was Go-Go club.”

Appropriately interactive, although think about it: What does the texting part do for you? The information is so byte-sized that it could have as easily been printed on those paper posters. It’s actually more of a hassle to have to text a request for it. If the text shot back more of a multi-media response — spooky audio-video to make the tour “come alive” — then I could see it being worthwhile.

I guess the text component is good for visitor tracking and measuring which sites are more compelling than others. Plus it’ll appeal to compulsive texters. Otherwise, it’s merely cute.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/15/2007 01:34:19 PM
Category: Tech, Creative, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback

Thursday, September 13, 2021

While I was gushing over the forthcoming iPod Touch, I took a second to wonder about a new iPhone feature:

I’m curious about the new service allowing conversion of select iTunes tracks into customized ringtones. I’m surprised AT&T went along with this. Ringtone sales are a hot revenue-generator for the phone companies; this would seem to undercut that. Maybe it’s a test market thing, given the iPhone’s relatively small base.

Details are now available, and they seem to confirm that Apple’s upending (somewhat) the $5 billion U.S. ringtone market:

Apple is selling a ringtone and the full song together for $2, and claims that that’s a bargain.

As it turns out, that’s correct—at least compared with existing sources for ringtone sales. Pop song ringtones from T-Mobile and Sprint cost $2.50 apiece; from Verizon, $3. You don’t get to customize them, choose the start and end points, adjust the looping and so on [as you can with iTunes-purchased ringtones]. Incredibly, after 90 days, every Sprint ringtone dies, and you have to pay another $2.50 if you want to keep it. Verizon’s last only a year.

Three bucks for a 30-second snippet that lasts a year—when you can buy the entire song online for $1 and own it forever?

David Pogue can’t seem to figure out why users should pay anything at all for the ability to snip a music track into a ringtone. I can’t believe he didn’t already know about the brisk business wireless providers do in ringtone sales. And that’s only starting to roll in America — in Europe and Japan, the ringtone has been an established music-release format for a decade, routinely sold alongside CDs, digital, video and cassette. Nothing new, and no reason to freak out over yet another way to extract revenue. Like I said, I’m surprised AT&T went along with it.

I’ll disclose my personal ringtone policy: I don’t buy them, and don’t plan to. I do, in fact, use Bitpim to hack into my LG phone to load up clipped MP3 files for customized musical ringtones; a shoot through the archives on this blog will reveal some past dabbling in this area. Works well enough for me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 09/13/2007 11:50:59 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback

Thursday, September 06, 2021

Playing off past reports of a text-messaged retirement “announcement”, David cheekily speculates on how Jeremy Roenick (with his 495 career NHL goals) communicated with San Jose GM Doug Wilson to arrive at a one-year, $500,000 contract with the Sharks:

[Wilson]: wnt 500?
[Roenick]: gols?
W: $
R: wnt both
W: play in sj?
R: k

Does Roenick’s wireless provider get the agent’s commission?

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 09/06/2021 09:59:58 PM
Category: Tech, Hockey | Permalink | Feedback

Wednesday, September 05, 2021

touch me
I think I can abandon my plan to hack the iPhone just for the wi-fi action.

Yes, I’ll be queued up later this month, waiting to get my hands on the iPod Touch, most likely the 16-gig model (my current 30-gig is less than a quarter full, and I’m not planning on loading up on fat-file videos in the future, so the drop in disc size doesn’t faze me). And the key motivator for me — as it was for my brief flirtation with the iPhone — is the wireless Web capability. Finally, I’ll have a pocket-sized way to access the Internet while out and about!

It’s just as well. I wasn’t wild about switching phone service from Verizon Wireless to AT&T. And really, I was even less wild about combining my phone, music player, mobile Web and whatever else into a single device. I don’t care how high-performance the iPhone battery is, I’m not counting on it having enough juice to last the amount of use I’ll put into it. Besides, I’m well used to carrying both a phone and an iPod around; it’s not a hassle.

I’ll admit, I’m just as intrigued by the other new capability for this refreshed iPod line, including the Starbucks interface and mobile iTunes service. I’m not sure I’ll utilize either to a great degree. But it’s fun to tinker.

Back to the iPhone, on a side note: I’m curious about the new service allowing conversion of select iTunes tracks into customized ringtones. I’m surprised AT&T went along with this. Ringtone sales are a hot revenue-generator for the phone companies; this would seem to undercut that. Maybe it’s a test market thing, given the iPhone’s relatively small base.

Just counting down the days now…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/05/2021 11:21:27 PM
Category: Tech, Wi-Fi | Permalink | Feedback (5)

Monday, September 03, 2021

The jockeying for the next-generation digital-video disc format grinds on, with neither Toshiba’s HD DVD nor Sony’s Blu-Ray gaining the upper hand despite each scoring in content partnerships and hardware sales.

I’m wondering why this competition is still being characterized as a two-horse, zero-sum race.

Because it’s not. Not with the Internet as an easy-access repository of playable video, legal or illegal. Nor with the ever-expanding offerings from cable company video-on-demand (VOD). These represent a third option to waiting on the sidelines while disc-player standards are sorted out.

The quality issue looms: For most people, watching video on a tiny computer media-player window doesn’t compare to the clarity of a proper-sized television monitor. But bridges between online-acquired content and the living-room screen are coming — Apple TV probably isn’t it, but the critical-mass solution likely isn’t very far off. The visual clarity offered by the high-def discs is largely a canard, since video quality is at least tolerable in a lot of existing content (and besides, more and more high-def content is making its way onto VOD and the Web).

To me, all the HD DVD/Blu-Ray jockeying is doing is forcing consumers to look more actively beyond the disc player. Instead of dismissing the idea of porting the media files on your computer hard drive over to your entertainment center as something only for hard-core techie geeks, I imagine a deadlocked format war would prompt casual users to investigate what’s available in digital format.

I can’t say for sure if this is taking place already. That Toshiba and Sony are still looking for higher ground versus each other indicates to me that the consumer market is slower than usual in picking sides, and if I had to find a reason for that, the above scenario would be the likeliest. The next year or so might make things more apparent.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/03/2021 06:03:28 PM
Category: Media, Tech | Permalink | Feedback

Friday, August 31, 2021

A browse through this blog’s Wi-Fi category reveals a preoccupation by yours truly of municipal efforts to erect wireless Internet networks.

I may not be thus preoccupied much longer: Earthlink, AT&T and other providers are balking at further build-outs even in underway projects, citing low usage and lack of city funding.

When EarthLink and MetroFi first bid for Wi-Fi contracts several years ago, they often agreed to foot the bill for network build-out, operations, maintenance, and upgrades. They also frequently agreed to pay cities to lease public facilities, such as light poles, to hold Wi-Fi transmitters. If that wasn’t enough, the companies also promised some cities a chunk of their subscription and advertising revenues, as well as free usage of the Wi-Fi networks by city workers. EarthLink’s troubled San Francisco contract, for example, contains many of these terms.

One major flaw in these arrangements has been that initial forecasts for Wi-Fi subscriptions used to justify the investment in these networks have proven to be overly optimistic by a wide margin. In many cases, 15% to 30% of an area’s population was expected to sign up for muni Wi-Fi. But only 1% to 2% have signed up so far figures Glenn Fleishman, editor of an industry blog called Wifinetnews.com.

While rising demand for advertising on municipal Wi-Fi networks is helping offset the shortfall in subscription revenue, there’s a catch-22 at play here: Higher user numbers might generate more ad revenue, but network operators might need to cut fees to attract more users.

Is it realistic to push through enough ad inventory during the average few minutes someone is accessing the network? To me, free public wi-fi hotspots are good for spot-checking the Web: Check your email, check your blog, look up movie times, get local maps/directions, etc. That’s it. It’s not for lounging for a couple of hours of Web surfing. Battery life alone is an obstacle to that. A typical online media model for advertising doesn’t make much sense.

I’d still love to see a more widespread use of free wi-fi, for always-on access (independent of cellphone networks and the like). Maybe there’s a workaround no one’s dreamed up yet.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/31/2007 02:29:37 PM
Category: Wi-Fi | Permalink | Feedback

Wednesday, August 29, 2021

Bad news if you live in California and still have been dialing up the phone company to hear a recorded woman’s voice intone the correct time: As of September, AT&T is discontinuing the now-antiquated service.

On the bright side, if you really need to know the time at any given moment… You could just look at your cellphone, before actually making a time-check call.

And if all you were really after was the assured sound of a woman’s voice, well, there are other options there as well.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/29/2007 08:28:19 AM
Category: Tech, Society | Permalink | Feedback

Thursday, August 23, 2021

Seeking to underline just how much Sun Microsystems is hitching its future to the Java programming language, the company is changing its Nasdaq ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA.

After this change goes into effect on Monday, I’m waiting to read the first howls of dismay from clueless shoot-from-the-hip investors, who’ll see the new four-letter mark, snap up shares, then realize they weren’t buying into some sort of hi-tech coffee company…

This may seem to be a trivial move, confined to the financial pages. But Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz attests to the deeper significance:

SUNW certainly has some nostalgic value - it stands for “Stanford University Network Workstation,” and heralds back to Sun’s cherished roots (in academia). Granted, lots of folks on Wall Street know SUNW, given its status as among the most highly traded stocks in the world (the SUNW symbol shows up daily in the listings of most highly traded securities).

But SUNW represents the past, and its not without a nostalgic nod that we’ve decided to look ahead.

JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet, and a brand that’s inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability). And so next week, we’re going to embrace that reality by changing our trading symbol, from SUNW to JAVA. This is a big change for us, capitalizing on the extraordinary affinity our teams have invested to build, introducing Sun to new investors, developers and consumers. Most know Java, few know Sun - we can bring the two one step closer.

Schwartz says the rebranding will be limited to the Nasdaq scroll, but from the way he’s talking, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the whole company someday change its name to “Java Inc.” or similar.

Incidentally, Sun’s far from the first company to use its stock exchange symbol as a promotional tool. As I said before:

If anything, these cutesy letter combinations are useful strictly at the time when a company goes public: Because that’s a prime marketing opportunity, the symbol should fall in line with all the other promotional hype to mark the event. But after that blows over, who cares? It’s purely a shorthand marking for use on the big board. They might as well use numbers.

That said, Sun’s move to JAVA is a reflection of a doubling-down on a proprietary technology that will make or break the company moving forward. So in that sense, this works effectively as a marketing ploy, because it generates a buzz.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/23/2007 03:50:37 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Tech, Business | Permalink | Feedback

Saturday, August 18, 2021

He uses it as a stepping stone toward reviews of a bunch of overprice Bluetoothed trinkets, but David Pogue brings up a good observation about how external wires are being phased out of our tech toyland:

Yes, wires. If you hadn’t noticed, they’re disappearing at an alarming clip. The cord between your home phone handset and the phone body? Gone. The wire between your cellphone and clip-on earpiece? Gone. The cable from your laptop to the network router? Gone.

Wi-fi Web/network connectivity is probably the most common example of this, at home and work. But if anything, the possibilities for ditching wires are underutilized. For example, I used to have to buy a new data cable every time I bought a new cellphone. But last time, since I got a phone with Bluetooth functions (which practically every phone has now), I smartened up and got a USB-plugin Bluetooth reception dongle. Now, syncing phone and computer is smoother, and I won’t have to buy a new connection interface with my next phone.

More to come, too. Wireless electrical power transmission will take the unplugged setup to bold new levels. Someday, the very concept of external connection wiring for any purpose might be a quaint outmoded technological memory.

The downside? Security holes galore, probably. And I’m sure a couple of decades from now, we’ll all be diagnosed with irradiated tumors, as a result of living in daily wireless crossfire zones. Convenience now, chemo later…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/18/2007 02:24:50 PM
Category: Wi-Fi | Permalink | Feedback

Tuesday, August 14, 2021

I’m sure we’ve all seen T-Mobile’s “Jimmy’s HotSpot” TV spot:

And I’m sure all of us are glad that “The Jimmy” has prospered since his long-ago “Seinfeld” appearance.

I was skeptical about the prospects of “The Only Phone You Need” campaign resonating with customers. Maybe ripping off old sitcom motifs is a way to ensure success.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/14/2007 10:34:58 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., TV, Wi-Fi | Permalink | Feedback

Friday, August 10, 2021

Thanks to some intrepid file-diving by Chaz, the world now knows that the Sony MP3 Walkman is apparently engineered by texting-happy teenaged girls:

…I noticed that the folder on the machine which actually contains all the music files is called OMGAUDIO.

I know the iPod’s file system used to contain folders with names like “TheVolumeSettings” or somesuch. Depending on how your iPod synced with a computer, those telltale folders would wind up on networks, making them a dead giveaway that someone was hooking up their digital tunes to their workplace computer. (I think Apple has since revamped the file system; I’d check but I don’t have a syncing cable handy.)

Much like Chaz, I get a chuckle out of these kind of hidden techie foibles. Giggly is taking it a bit too far, though.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/10/2021 12:06:53 PM
Category: Tech, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback

Finally, a Bluetooth-enabled device I would actually use. BlueQ is a plastic wristband that syncs with your cellphone to ensure you won’t miss a call:

It contains a tiny Bluetooth receiver and a cellphone-like vibrating module. The idea—which is, actually, rather brilliant—is that you’ll no longer miss cellphone calls because your cellphone’s own vibrate mode is feeble and you can’t hear the ringer. Because of the BlueQ, you’ll feel the vibration on your wrist, where you can’t miss it. (Get the name now? Blue as in Bluetooth; Q as in your cue to answer the phone.)

One of my frequent complaints with cellphones — and this has been the case with every phone I’ve ever owned — is that the ringtones and vibrate modes are pitifully weak. Whenever I store my phone in my pant pocket and I’m in a crowded situation, I’ll miss a call. I try to wear shirt with breast pockets just to avoid this, but I’m not at the point of basing all my wardrobe decisions on cellphone access. (And don’t even bother suggesting those God-awful belt clips.)

So for me, the BlueQ would be ideal. No way to miss a buzzing sensation on the wrist! And since I don’t wear any other wristbands or other incidentals, I can live with just thing on my arm.

But it does seem that a wrist accessory has less appeal for men than it does for the ladies:

This is genius for women, which makes it even more important that it be available in some kind of customizable form. Like many women, I carry my cell in my purse. (Belt mounted just doesn’t really work for women, but I will leave the details of why to your imagination. Just remember what we don’t do standing up.) Anyway, I miss calls a lot because my purse is not close enough to hear, sometimes even when it is on my shoulder. Plus, I forget to turn the ringer back on after meetings. So I think this is a fabulous idea.

If the company gets smart and rolls out different colors for this thing, I expect to see it become the tech accessory of choice by mid-2008.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/10/2021 09:05:56 AM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback

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