Articles in Personal Tech

Bluelounge – The Sanctuary

Bluelounge – The Sanctuary

What do you do with your multiple mobile phones, Bluetooth headset, MP3 player, portable GPS, and game console, not to mention your car keys, when you get home?  Most people have a plethora of chargers scattered throughout the house.  Enter the Sanctuary, from Bluelounge Design.  The Sanctuary lovingly holds and charges all of your gear in what proves to be a simple but brilliant solution to a problem faced by …

Flip Mino Video Camera

Flip Mino Video Camera

If you think of a camcorder as bulky and cumbersome, you haven’t seen Pure Digital’s Flip Mino.  The Flip is both pocket-friendly and easy-to-use.    Weighing in at just 3.3 ounces (its predecessor tipped the scales at 5.2 ounces), you might even forget you have it with you (I did, several times).
The Flip gets its name from the retractable USB arm that pops out on demand (no need to have the …

Sony Philharmonic Orchestra

Sony Philharmonic Orchestra

Technology companies such as Sony usually make technology.  In some cases, they even make music players (Walkman, iPod).  But it’s rare that the employees of such companies make music.
At Sony, however, it’s the norm.  Founded in 1995 by then CEO Norio Ohga, a former opera singer who had conducted professional orchestras, the Sony Philharmonic is made up of Sony employees from different parts of the company (Sony Corporation, Sony Computer …

Joby Gorillapod

Joby Gorillapod

Many photographs that appear to be out of focus are actually blurred due to camera shake.  Holding the camera steady is the key to taking sharp photographs.  Too many people hold a camera at arm’s length and look at the display; in low-light conditions, even the steadiest photographers may not have a steady hand.
For the past few months, I’ve been travelling with the lightweight (smallest is 9.7 oz.) Gorillapod SLR, …

Ford Sync Powered by Microsoft

Ford Sync Powered by Microsoft

Sync, available in Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury cars, is without question the most advanced in-car infotainment technology I’ve ever used.  Developed by Microsoft, Sync provides hands-free voice-activated control over phone (via Bluetooth) and music (via Bluetooth or a USB cable).
Sync is Microsoft’s second major automotive product: the first, Blue&Me, is similar to Sync and is offered in Fiat and Alfa vehicles.
Vehicle owners can download updates and new features via the …

Avoiding a $5000 Phone Bill on Your Trip

Avoiding a $5000 Phone Bill on Your Trip

Whether you know it or not, your smartphone may be surfing the Net – and running up your bill – during trips abroad.  Discussion forums are full of reports from business travelers with high phone bills due to unintended data access: comments such as “one day, $768,” “one trip, $4800″ abound.
This can happen even if you don’t think you are using any data services.  For example, users of SimulSays, a …

Samsung Instinct

Samsung Instinct

The Samsung Instinct and the iPhone have a similar look and feel but the similarities end there.  The iPhone is a not only a smartphone but a software platform; the Instinct is a smartphone with some features not found on the iPhone.
The Instinct’s interface (with some exceptions) is reasonably well thought out; visual voicemail allows one to see and listen to individual messages (the iPhone lacks this feature); and the …