Apple Special Event – September 7

Big news regarding the iPhone 7

iPhone 7 (10 notable features)

  • Design – refined design; new finish (jet black) high gloss finish, aluminum body with embedded antenna and single glass face
  • Home button – home, multitasking, siri, accessibility, touch ID, reachability, apple pay; NOW with taptic engine API, force-sensitive, solid-state
  •  Water and dust resistant!!!  IP67 protection standard
  • Camera –
    • OIS on BOTH phones,
    • f1.8 lens,
    • 1st camera has six-element lens 12MP sensor (60% faster, 30% energy efficient)
    • Quad-LED tru tone flash
    • Apple-designed image signal processor (ISP) with 2x throughput
    • 7MP 2nd front-side (selfie) camera
    • with iPhone 7 Plus, there are TWO cameras (one has wide-angle, other has telephoto 2x) with zoom-feature built in to iPhone, zoom up to 10x (with software zoom)
    • Bokeh for shallow depth of field with two lens (but this should already be feasible with f1.8 lens?!)
  • Retina HD Display – 25% brighter, Wide color gamut Cinema standard, Color management, 3D touch
  • Speakers – louder
  • EarPods – lightning connector for headphones; apple EarPods included with iPhone 7; lightning adapter for headphone jack ALSO included
    • Removed jack because lightning can be used, smartphone technology, wireless (Apple AirPods)
  • Wireless AirPods – with battery and charger built into case (24h total listening power); Beats Solo3 Wireless and Powerbeats3 Wireless and Beatsx
  • ApplePay updated for use around the world (NFC and Felica technology); also included in Apple Watch Series 2
  • Performance
    • A10 Fusion – New Generation Chip; 64-bit 4-core CPU; two high-performance cores (40% faster than A9, 2x faster than A8), two high-efficiency cores (1/5 power of high-performance cores) for longer battery life
    • Graphics performance – 50% faster than A9, 3x faster than A8; 2/3 power of A9, 1/2 power of A8
    • “Longest battery life ever in an iPhone”
  • iOS 10


Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus DOUBLED its storage (32GB, 128GB, 256GB) from original for SAME prices as old Apple 6S and 6S Plus

Home Kit – a home app that integrates management of home devices from your phone





Motorola VerveLoop+ Wireless Earbuds – Review

Motorola VerveLoop Plus“Take your music anywhere with the Motorola Verve Loop+. These wireless stereo earbuds are super light, perfect for high impact activities, and are IP57 water and sweat proof to hold strong during your most intense workouts – indoors our outside. The integrated mic lets you take calls with ease without having to reach for your phone, while the extended 150 feet of range gives you mobility at the gym or the office. Go ahead, listen to music for up to 9.5 hours without interruption using your phone, tablet, or computer. Verve Loop+ Super Light, Waterproof, Wireless Stereo Earbuds. Cut loose.”


  • Sweat & waterproof (IP57 protection)
  • Super light with HD Sound
  • Up to 9.5h Playtime*
  • Up to 150ft of range
  • Siri & Google Now compatible
  • Integrated mic for calls

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Star Trek – Into Darkness

Just saw the freshly released movie poster for the next movie.  Awesome!

Star Trek - Into Darkness

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Slim – Review


Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Slim 500 GB USB 3.0 Performance External Hard Drive (STBE500100)

This review is for the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Slim 500 GB USB 3.0 Performance External Hard Drive.

My previous favorite go-to backup drive was the Buffalo Technology MiniStation Stealth 500 GB. Was. Now, I have a new go-to drive with the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Slim. I did not think a new drive would replace the MiniStation for a while, and I am pleasantly surprised with the GoFlex Slim performance.

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Apple announces newest iPad

The latest iPad was unveiled today in Apple’s special event in San Francisco.

Release date is March 16.  That’s next week, folks!!!  Let’s hope Apple comes through with this date.

Dubbed “The new iPad,” the updates include:

1.  High-resolution Display.  It is the same resolution as the iPhone 4S retina display.  At 2048 by 1536 it boasts over 3.1 million pixels.

2.  iSight Camera.  The new camera sports a 5 Megapixel sensor, using the same technology that’s in the iPhone 4S.

3.  HD video recording.  Let’s you record in 1080p, just like on the iPhone 4S.

4.  Voice dictation.  Sweet…

5.  Next generation wireless… 4G-LTE!!!  Finally!!!

More importantly, the price.  The new iPad is priced at just $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB. And $629, $729, and $829 for 4G.  These are the same prices as the iPad2.

Other things:

It can also function as a personal hotspot (requires carrier support).  Up to 5 devices can connect wirelessly to the iPad.

The new iPad gets the same 10 hour battery life as the old model, and about 9 hours when on 4G.  That is not bad at all, considering how 4G sucks the life out of most 4G-enabled cell phones (you know who you are).

There will be two versions of the iPad (AT&T and Verizon).

More info to follow.  Stay tuned.

Grant Wilson Leaving ‘Ghost Hunters’

Grant Wilson, a co-lead investigator of SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters” and co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), is leaving the reality series.  He announced his departure on the Ghost Hunters episode aired on February 15.

“It is with mixed emotion that I am announcing my departure from the cast of ‘Ghost Hunters,'” Wilson said in a statement. “While paranormal investigating has always been and will remain a passion for me, after enjoying nearly eight successful seasons on television, I have made the decision to leave the series in order to focus on other aspects of my personal life.”

“When Grant and I founded TAPS nearly 20 years ago, we never imagined that we would be able to make such an impact just by doing what we enjoy every day,” said Jason Hawes, TAPS co-founder and “Ghost Hunters” co-lead investigator. “I will miss working with Grant on a daily basis, and am indebted to the level of dedication and expertise he has brought to our field. I can’t imagine having a better partner through it all — both on the show and off. Grant and I, along with our spouses and children, are all like one big family. While I fully support his decision to move on from the series, this longtime friendship — as well as our business partnership — will continue off-camera for years to come.”

Grant and Jason offered unparalleled experience and unbiased analysis of paranormal investigation.  Grant said he will still be a part of several more upcoming investigations.

Mark Stern, SyFy President of original content, supported and respected Wilson’s decision, and said that the show would “find a way to reshape itself as it moves forward.”

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Ask Conrad – Why is one speaker not working on iPhone 4S?

Hi Conrad,

With my older iPhone, there was only one speaker on the bottom (and one mic).  I recently upgraded to the new iPhone 4S (Verizon), which seems to have two speakers at the bottom.  But I am only getting sound out of one speaker (the right one).  If I connect my headphones, there is audio coming out of both L and R earbuds.  Should I return or exchange the phone? 




Hi Leslie,

The newer iPhones (4/4S) also have a single speaker, much like the older iPhones.  The 30-pin dock connector at the bottom of the iPhone is flanked by the built-in speaker (right) and the microphone (left).  So your phone is perfectly fine in that audio should be coming out only from the right side, and audio should come out of both L and R while using the headphones.


Review – Motorola SF600 Wireless Sports Headphones

Link to Amazon – Motorola SF600 Wireless Sports Headphones

I received these headphones to test its capabilities as a replacement to my wired headset.   My favorite wired inner-ear headsets are the Ultimate Ears TripleFi 10, followed closely by the Ultimate Ears 600vi set.

I opened the retail packaging to find a quick-start guide sitting on top.  Underneath was the SF600 wireless sports headphone, a bag with 5 sizes of ear cushions, a wall charger, and a convenient black travel pouch.  The package Motorola SF600 has ear cushions in five sizes to ensure a secure, comfortable fit no matter what your pace is.

The selling-point of this headset is the breakthrough HD sound with wireless technology that the manufacturers referred to as headphones that “deliver crystal clear, pulse-pumping sound quality to keep you focused and motivated through every step of every workout.”  What does that mean?  Well, the Motorola SF600 features advanced HD audio capabilities that include APT-X codec technology that Motorola boasts to match or even the outperform wired headset performance.  Overall, the sound is one of the best I’ve heard from a bluetooth headset.  However, there are areas that need work.

I tested this with an iPhone 4S, iPad2, Blackberry Curve, and a MacBook Pro.

How did the SF600 fare?

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Samsung F4 Firmware Update – Prevent Data Corruption

I have been getting lots of inquiries about how to upgrade the firmware of the Samsung F4 HD204UI 2Tb hard drive.

The major issue is the enhanced probability of data corruption (and data loss!).  There seems to be a flaw in the drive’s firmware where disk writes can become corrupted when the write cache is enabled.

Because of this, a firmware update was released by Samsung, and this updated firmware seems to be required for many of the older drives.

However, since Seagate recently acquired Samsung, the FAQ relating to this problem ( is no longer available through Samsung.  Any attempt to access the Samsung domain will redirect to Seagate’s home page.  And, searching the Seagate site is futile and yields no useful information about this issue.

Fortunately, there is a functional download site to the F4EG firmware update.  Yes, it works!  I verified it several times now!

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3 quick tips for iPhone 4S #1

Quick tips for iPhone 4S users:

These are not secret tips, but almost all of my friends and colleagues did not know about at least one of these features (including myself).

I would like to credit Michelle R for these helpful tips.  She has fast become my go-to consultant for these things.

1.  Get to camera/iPod control without having to unlock your phone.  

If you are like me, you probably activated the key lock so that whenever your phone times out and locks, you have to put in the 4-digit numerical password.  If you need quick access to your iPod or camera, and do not want to have to input the password each and every time, you can just press the home button twice, and you will get direct access to the iPod controller (reverse, play/pause, forward), and the camera button on the bottom right to activate the camera.

2.  Scroll through contacts list quickly.

At the right of the contact list, there are letters that if you press on it and scroll up/down, you can scroll through the contacts list by letter rather than by each contact.

3.  Domain suffix (ie “.com” etc.)

I used to just type out this simple 4-character ending when surfing through Safari.  After a while, it got old.  Well, there is a key for it, sitting next to the “Go” key at the bottom right of the keypad.  So now you can type your address (www.whateverthewebaddressis) and then press this key to add “.com” at the end.  Sure, it will only save 2 seconds of your time, but if you type enough web addresses, over time any little bit will help.

If you keep the “.com” key pressed, it will give you other suffix options (“.net” “.edu” and “.org”).  Slide your finger to the other keys, rather than lifting and pressing the key.

If your default search engine is google (and not yahoo), you don’t even need to type “www” or “.com” so if you want to go to “” you just need to type “nytimes”

I hope this helps.

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