Friday, September 16, 2011

I Flinged My PhoneArena Review!

I haven't bought a new phone in ages and it was time to get a new one. My sputtering Nokia was hardy and built to last. But I was longing for an Android phone but wasn't sure which one. On the net there were tons of reviews from god know where. Everybody has an opinion but what I was looking for was the proof. Anyone can say is a phone is crap so I wanted to see for myself. I wanted to see it in action.
I found a such a site in PhoneArena, specifically it's YouTube channel. It provides a good write-up. But the proof is in the pudding. So I found the phone I was interested in and watched the reviewer put the phone through it's paces.
They even have side by side comparisons so that you can take a look at two similar phones
I recommended to a friend the website. We wanted to see the video review but the netbook I had with me made the video a bit smaller. In fact, the size of the phones in the demo were smaller than the actual size.
Then I remembered that the WDTV box I had came with flingo. Flingo is a content service provider that offers content from other content providers. Some of them are great (Revision3, CrunchRoll) while others just rehashing trailers and PSAs (FOX, WB). But it also offers a service to "fling" videos from the PC to TV.
Just go to and save the button there to your bookmarks toolbar. Then go to a video streaming site, like YouTube and drag to video to the bookmark.
However, normal content restrictions still apply. You could see a video on the PC but the moment you flung it to the TV, don't be surprised if it can't play because the content owners said no.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Tech News Today & TWIT - Getting your (daily) tech fix

Starring: Tom Merrit, Sarah Lane, Iyaz Akhtar, Darren Kitchen and Jason Howell
Category: News
I was a big fan of TechTV despite discovering it just before it got gobbled up by G4. I watched re-runs of the ScreenSavers and CallForHelp with Leo Laporte not only because of the tech content but because it was done so well. For once, tech shows that rise above the cable public-access quality and lasted more than a few minutes. It was not only a good tech show, it was a good show. Entertaining and informative. It didn't look down on the audience but instead got them involved.

But it was not to last as the G4TechTV basically gutted the tech content in favor of games and testosterone-orientated shows. The TV executives wanted the TechTV viewers (which were in the millions, according to Wikipedia) but not the shows, apparently. Which is bizarre because aren't people watching because of the shows? Is there any surprise that the viewers like me left when their favorite shows were cancelled? It was apparently a surprise to the executives at G4.

After that, combined with the dilution of other tech news websites and periodicals, I lost interest in tech journalism altogether, finding tech news to be too much marketing, very little information. I began a long distrust of technology journalism as the articles I came across were either too biased, too opinionated and one-sided and too copied from a press release. In fact, the only tech magazine I regularly read is Linux Format and the occasional Wired Magazine.
I few months back I got a WDTV Live. One of the Internet content services that came bundled with the box is MediaFly. I loved watching NBC Nightly News on it because it was like watching it on demand whenever I wanted instead of having to sit there waiting. It also had a Technology section where I found This Week in Tech, where Leo Laporte hosts a roundtable talk show on the latest in technology and trends. The first episode I watched, he had John C. Dvorak, Steve Gibson and Jerry Pournelle, tech personalities from the  early days of (my) computing. It was both nostalgic and interesting, as they have lost none of the edge they displayed back in the day. In fact, I don't remember Dvorak being so snarky. However the format was over an hour long and bit too involved. I found that it was a good watch to sit down with but not so much to accompany me for the day. I tend to stop and focus on the discussion going on. Don't get me wrong. I still watch it but only when I can.
Browsing through the Technology section, I found an entry for Tech News Today. What attracted to me first was one of it's hosts was Sarah Lane, another TechTV alumnus. She hosts the show with Tom Merrit (who is the anchor, I guess) with Iyaz Akhtar and Jason Howell. They would report on and discuss the day's tech news. There would also be live guests or guests who Skype in. What interested me was that although they reported on the day's tech news, most of it originating from press releases and postings, they review them intelligently and brings them down to earth, stripping away the spin. They brought it down to "what does it mean to you" sense. The TNT crew does so with a sense of humor and clear sense of how important the news was in the big scheme of things. The show would have sections discussing forthcoming events, interesting slightly non-tech news and have special coverage of major events. At first, I found it strange for them to have hosts that rotate in and out as well as guests but later found out that it was because the studio was too small to accommodate everybody.