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Digital Camera Gadgets Smartphone

Is the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom a Viable Product?

There was some debate on the merits of Samsung’s latest announced product, the Galaxy S4 Zoom, the moment people got word that the Korean manufacturer was going for a smaller, telephony-capable variant of its much-maligned Galaxy Camera. Branding issues, aesthetic concerns, and speculation over the device’s actual utility are all part of the discussion. It’s a confusing product, no doubt about it, and the future doesn’t look good for this ambitious cameraphone.

Cameraphones are things of the past

Cameraphones used to be a valid segment in the mobile phone market, back when do-it-all smartphones weren’t the norm and feature phones ruled the day. Sony, then known as Sony Ericsson, really hit the cameraphone concept right out of the ballpark with CyberShot-branded phones that looked good, were pocketable, and had decent camera sensors for superb photography.

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Gadgets Mobile Smartphone Technology

How to Make Your Smartphone Earn Its Keep

These days, more and more people are turning in their feature phones for a brand new spanking smartphones. Contrary to the belief of some, you don’t necessarily have to shell out the big bucks for your smartphone. Today’s mobile phone manufacturers know the needs of the global market and work overtime to produce multiple models at different price points. You’re sure to find a smartphone that will suit both your requirements and your budget – or, at the very least, reach a good compromise.

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Gadgets Mobile Smartphone Technology

QWERTY’s back: Is the BlackBerry Q10 worth it?

Before Apple dominated the smartphone market, BlackBerry was the king of mobile handsets. Back then, touchscreens were rare, and the alphanumeric “qwerty” keyboard of Blackberry phone was the industry standard for input and navigation. With the emergence of iPhones and other touchscreen-equipped devices from Android, the QWERTY lost its appeal and functionality: it would be unwise to waste the face of a mobile device with a permanent keyboard fixture. The end became apparent for the once-loved mobile phone keyboard when virtual keyboards evolved to become more tactile and intuitive, giving rise to haptic feedback, type-and-swipe, and auto-correct features, among others. But with BlackBerry’s latest attempt to salvage its brand, we see new smartphones sporting the iconic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard. One of these devices is the Q10, a full-fledged smartphone running the new BlackBerry OS 10. With the lukewarm reception of BlackBerry’s first OS 10 gadget, the Z10, the future of the Q10 is highly questionable. Is this device really worth the time, money, and attention? Does adding a full QWERTY keyboard enough to convince everyone to bite into the “other fruit” of the smartphone market? Read more to find out.

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Gadgets Smartphone Technology

2013 Statistics and Trends on Smartphone Usage

The smartphone has become one of the most popular advancements when it comes to mobile communication. Over the last few years, the number of smartphone users has been hugely increasing. Based on the latest trends, it is forecasted that there will be a continuous rise in the number of smartphone users. The phenomenal success of smartphones has become possible because it was able to penetrate markets such as rural areas and other areas that have no access to dial-up Internet.

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MISC Technology Travel

5 Best Travel Innovations of the 21st Century

Today, it seems like everyone has at least one complaint about his or her travel experiences, be it a flight delay, a luggage mishap or a booking slip-up. When you think about it though, travelers have it so much easier now than others did only decades ago. Here’s a look at this century’s top five innovations in travel so far:

1) Global Positioning System

Though GPS has been around for decades, it was only in the early 2000’s that it began to be used in civilian everyday life. It eases the worries of travelers and their families because they know that their plane or ship is being tracked. And of course, you use it to navigate your way through unfamiliar roads, be it by foot or car. Apps utilize your smartphone’s GPS to locate the restaurant, gas station or convenience store nearest you. With GPS, you don’t need to worry about finding someone to get directions from, and that’s a huge burden removed from any traveler.

2) Self-service check-in – and boarding!

Not only do most airlines have online check-in, which enables you to check-in for your flight via Internet, a lot of them also have self-service check-in kiosks. These handy kiosks allow you to access your flight itinerary, make changes in your seat assignment or bag count and print your boarding pass. After that, you just have to deposit your checked baggage at the drop-off counter, and you’re all set.

There’s also this new technology that further minimizes the need for manpower in airports—the so-called self-boarding stations. First introduced last June 27, 2012 at Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport, these stations permit you to open the automated gates just by scanning your boarding pass. How nifty is that?

3) In-flight Wi-Fi

During long haul flights, some people may be satisfied with toying with the in-flight entertainment system or prefer to sleep the hours away, but you may be one of those who long to check their emails or surf the web. Thanks to in-flight Wi-Fi, you can satisfy your itch for connectivity as long as you’re willing to pay the quite hefty price. The connection isn’t as fast or reliable as it would be on land, but hopefully, in-flight Internet providers will be able to work on that problem in the next couple of years.

4) User-generated content

Imagine planning your itinerary without the help of sites such as Trip Advisor. It has changed the way we plan our travels and has made the idea of venturing out into the unknown less intimidating. Aside from simply providing a database of hotels, restaurants and attractions, it allows users to rate them, leave comments and even post actual photos. You no longer have to worry about hotels posting misleading photos of their rooms or getting reeled into a gimmicky tourist trap that’s the theory, anyway. There’s still the possibility of people leaving fake reviews, but overall, user-generated content websites tend to be more helpful than not. Plus, you can’t beat the free price.

5) Smartphones

It’s undeniable smartphones have changed the way people live. Nowadays, you don’t just use your phone to make calls; you use it to keep track of the news, send phone system messages and download all kinds of media. It’s especially useful when traveling because all its features and apps ensure that you have your own personal itinerary planner, tour guide, tracking system, documenter and entertainer. It basically allows you to save on the luggage space and many other incidental costs. With the introduction of near-field communication (NFC) chips in new smartphone models, you can even use your phone to pay for your purchases or as an alternative to the standard barcode-based boarding pass. Really, it’s no wonder most people are so dependent on their smartphones.

We’re only thirteen years into the twenty-first century, and we’ve already seen amazing innovations in travel and technology. It’ll be exciting to see what will happen in the years to come.

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Life Style MISC Technology

Techie Toes: Sophisticated Shoes that Will Rock Your World

Several weeks ago, basketball and footwear royalty Michael Jordan celebrated his 50th birthday in Houston during the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) annual All-Star Weekend. Yes, the man we know as His Airness is that old. Wasn’t it just yesterday when he entertained us with his gravity-defying, buzzer-beating, tongue-wagging, Gatorade-chugging presence? Celebrities, athletes and entertainers alike came in droves at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts to party with the icon many consider to be the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) and to witness the official release of his latest sneaker, the Air Jordan XX8.

Almost 10 years after his last game, it seems MJ still hasn’t left the building because he is still the benchmark for superstars in the NBA and remains ever present in the sneaker game with his line of Air Jordans. The former North Carolina and Chicago Bulls star put Nike on the map 29 years ago and transformed the swoosh brand into the world’s top supplier of athletic shoes and apparel. Elite athletes like Jordan inspire designers to create the most advanced footwear that will help them perform better in their respective sports. Here are some of the most sophisticated shoes produced:

Nike Vapor Laser Talon

Have you been watching the National Football League’s (NFL) Scouting Combine? If you have, then you’ve probably noticed some of the hopefuls rocking new yellow cleats from Nike, the Vapor Laser Talon. Weighing just 5.6 ounces, these cleats were made using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), a technology which uses high-powered lasers to selectively fuse small materials into a desired solid shape. SLS technology allows Nike to make cleats faster while reducing the overall weight. In a sport where speed is supreme, the new 3D printed plate is designed to help NFL players accelerate faster on the field, increasing their chances of getting the block or a sack. It is also possible for SLS to be used to develop new running and soccer shoes, so that is something to watch out for in the future.

Concept 1

In 1985, the first Air Jordan was banned by NBA Commissioner David Stern because it didn’t conform to the league’s "dress code." In 2010, 25 years after MJ’s first signature kicks were outlawed (the ban was subsequently lifted, allowing His Airness to claim his throne as king of the sneaker game), the NBA imposed a ban on Concept 1, a basketball shoe created by Athletic Propulsion Labs (APL), which claims that it can increase a player’s vertical leap by three inches or more. The ban on the shoe essentially confirms that it works. Concept 1 looks like a regular basketball shoe, but a closer look at the forefoot reveals the patented Load N’ Launch technology. It’s a metal spring embedded inside plastic designed to capture the maximum amount of energy that you generate when you exert pressure on the forefoot, and releasing the energy when you jump to increase your vertical leap. Tests conducted by APL show that 11 out of 12 participants instantly jumped higher when they used Concept 1, which somehow justifies its $300 price tag.

The Air Jordan XX8

The Jordan Brand has consistently produced some of the most revolutionary basketball sneakers in history. The first Air Jordan ushered in a new era in basketball shoes in terms of aesthetic appeal and performance. The Air Jordan XX8, the lightest and most tested Jordan sneaker to date, raised some eyebrows with its unconventional design for a basketball shoe because it looks more like a boot. Why a shoe that’s almost eight inches taller than most basketball shoes? "With the ongoing evolution of the game shoe, I encouraged our entire function to push the boundary when it comes to design, technology and performance," says co-designer Tinker Hatfield. The XX8 pushes the performance limits of a basketball shoe, providing maximum responsiveness, support and traction. At $250, most people would probably think twice before calling Nike’s business phone number to inquire about the shoe, but the Jordan brand says those who cop a pair will not be disappointed.

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Gadgets Mobile Smartphone Technology

Motorola Motoluxe: Product Review

If you’re looking for a stylish yet powerful smartphone that can attend your daily mobile needs, you may want to consider including the Motorola Motoluxe to your shortlist. This handset flaunts a nifty design and impressive hardware ideal for all mobile users, from business professionals to those people who are particular when it comes to the latest mobile trend. It is feature-rich, and user-friendly so you can easily operate it without any hassle to worry about. Powered by a 800 MHz processor, this smartphone runs the Android 2.3 operating system, also known as Gingerbread, giving you a quick access to Android market.

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Companies Gadgets iPad iPhone Smartphone Technology

Apple plows forward into 2013, no matter what everyone else thinks

Even before it made its mark in the field of mobile technology, Apple has been known for being the technology of the elite. It has made a name for itself by being sleek, reliable, and durable technology worth its price tag.

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Internet Social Media Technology

Graph Search: Not Your Ordinary Search

Before, people are already satisfied with the information given by Google, Yahoo and other search engines about things they are looking for. But now, people are now looking for a more meaningful way to search for things they are interested with; they want more than just mere links from the World Wide Web. This 2013, Zuckerberg just did the thing for you.

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Gadgets iPhone Smartphone Technology

The Big Break-in: Apple’s iOS 6.1 reveals a gaping flaw

We’d like to think that an Apple product could keep data secure. They have all sorts of security measures in place, after all. There’s the Find My iPhone app that allows you to track down an iPhone if it gets lost. There’s a lockscreen that can be customized with a complex or non-complex passcode in order to keep it from simply getting searched by prying eyes. Then there’s also the fail-safe feature that can be enabled that nukes the entire iPhone’s memory after a set number of failed tries to enter the passcode.. It’s practically Mission: Impossible-level stuff. Add that with the fact that Mac products aren’t traditionally so susceptible to viruses, and it seems like things are secure…