Garmin Nuvi 750

Monday, April 6, 2009 8:46
Posted in category Gadgets

In the market for a GPS I did a comparison of the latest models to determine which would best fit my requirements for ease of use and low cost. The winner was the Garmin Nuvi 750.

Garmin’s nüvi 700 series brings two exciting new features –multi-destination routing and, “Where am I?/Where’s my car?” — to its popular pocket-sized GPS navigator lineup. As with all nüvis, you get Garmin reliability, the fast satellite lock of an integrated high-sensitivity receiver, a slim, pocket-sized design with a gorgeous display, an easy, intuitive interface, and detailed NAVTEQ maps for the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico with more than 6 million name-searchable points of interest. All of the 700-series navigators also feature a rich array of features including spoken directions in real street names, MP3 player and photo viewer, and an FM transmitter that will play voice prompts, MP3s, audio books, and more, directly through your vehicle’s stereo system. The nüvi 760 and  770 add integrated traffic receivers and Bluetooth capability for hands-free calling. The nüvi 770 adds maps for Europe. The nüvi 780 adds enhanced MSN direct content capability.


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Amazon Kindle 2.0 arriving February?

Thursday, January 29, 2009 21:08
Posted in category Gadgets

Amazon.com announced it will be holding a press conference on February 9th. What it won’t announce is the topic, however rumor has it the new version of the Kindle will be debuting.   The Kindle 1.0 has been sold out on the Amazon website for weeks among speculation that Amazon is waiting for its new model 2.0 to hit US shores.   Although Amazon will not release its sales figures for the Kindle, it is estimated that the company has sold 400,000 units and is expecting $1 billion in hardware and eBook sales in 2010.

Amazon Kindle

Monday, January 19, 2009 15:16
Posted in category Gadgets

The next generation of books has arrived and gone.  You’ll have to wait a few weeks in order to get your hands on the  because it is sold out at Amazon.com.  But there are plenty more on the way.  According to Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney, Amazon was anticipated to sell 380,000 units in 2008, a number similar to IPod’s first year sales.    The same source has increased his forcasted Kindle sales reveneus in 2010 $400-$750 million to as much as $1 billion.  It is yet to be seen if the Kindle will transform reading like IPod did to music.

Six years ago I thought the Tablet PC would be the next generation of books.  These light notebooks can be swiveled into a tablet, making reading and taking notes easy.  A market was identified who were interested in subscriptions and books delivered to their PC for reading on the go.   However you still had all of the hassles of a PC; software troubles, low battery life, eye strain and overheating.

Amazon recognized an emerging market and introduced a product which overcame the PC problems; the Amazon Kindle.  The gadget is easy to use and the high-resolution screen looks and reads like real paper.  The device is completely wireless on its own network so there is no need to look for hotspots in order to download materials.  Books are delivered in less than a minute.

Books range around $8 and you can try before you buy: the first chapters are available for free.  Subscriptions to most major newspapers are available, as is up to date posts from favorite blogs.   The device holds over 200 titles, has a long battery life, and is lighter and thinner than a typical paperback, weighing in at only 10.3 ounces

Obama’s addicted just like the rest of us

Saturday, January 17, 2009 9:57
Posted in category Gadgets

Showing he is a man of the people, President-elect Obama is putting up a fight for his BlackBerry.  Understandably so.  What person who has used a BlackBerry doesn’t shudder at the thought of not having it within arm’s reach?  Who hasn’t glanced at that seemingly innocent electronic gadget sitting nearby and been propelled into action by its red shining beacon?

It’s not so easy when you’re the president, however.  All official correspondence may be subpoenaed and must be archived and saved.   Prior presidents have elected not to use e-mail.  But then, prior presidents have been from a different generation.  Forget the BlackBerry, who these days could live without any sort of e-mail whatsoever?   But President-Elect Obama, being the lawyer that he is, claims that his personal communications fall outside of the official duties of the office, and thus are not required to be archived.  He’s putting up a fight and is “pretty determined” to keep it, according to senior adviser David Axelrod.

Other BlackBerry news has broken recently; namely the RIM BlackBerry Storm, sold only through Verizon.  This is a touchscreen device similiar to the iPhone, and includes features like GPS, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and that nifty ability to switch from portrait to landscape view by rotating the phone.  However the reviews have been so-so.  “The RIM BlackBerry Storm may blow in a frenzy for Verizon Wireless subscribers wanting a touch screen similar to the Apple iPhone. However, there are bugs and performance issues that prevent the Storm from delivering its full potential.”  cNet Review

Google watching who’s searching for flu information

Sunday, November 16, 2008 21:02
Posted in category Technology Trends

Google announced the launch of  flu tracker; a program which keeps tabs on who is searching for flu-related information and displays the level of nationwide activity on a map.   Is this creepy “big brother” stuff, or a useful tool for the CDC? 

Google has created a Predict and Prevent initiative which “supports efforts to identify hotspots where new infectious diseases may emerge, detect new pathogens and outbreaks earlier, and respond quickly to prevent local threats from becoming global crises.”  All this from a search engine company.  Google tracks your PC’s IP address and compares it to lists of known IP address locations in order to target where you are located.   

So, what other information is being tracked on Google?  How about your emails.  Those using G-Mail, Google’s free e-mail offering,  have their e-mail scanned for keywords which in turn pop-up advertisements based on those keywords.  Google assures us that no humans actually read the e-mails.  It’s hoping that you’ll click on those ads and generate revenue to pay for that free e-mail.  

Google Health is another offering which asks you to place a lot of faith in Google’s privacy policy.  This service allows you to upload all of your medical records to the program, which then keeps track of your prescriptions and health conditions.  You can refill prescriptions, ask for a second opinion and get personalized health information. 

Information sharing can be benficial so long as there is a level of trust on both sides.  Is there a reason to believe Google can not be trusted with personal information?  Maybe it was just the lawyers talking, but in a recent lawsuit against Google alleging invasion of privacy for Google’s Street View offering, Google didn’t see anything wrong with entering private property to gain pictures of a private residence for public display on its website.  Granted, this is a long way from disclosing medical records, but it still is grounds for concern.