Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'gadgets and deals'

Prakash

Nikon COOLPIX S9100 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 18x NIKKOR ED Wide-Angle Optical Zoom Lens and Full HD 1080p Video (Black)The Nikon Coolpix S9100 is a Super Zoom in a compact body. The advantage of a Super Zoom is you can take wildlife photos without getting too close to your subject such that you get extinct.

The problem with existing Super Zoom were that they were big and bulky which people had to carry around hoping to get their moment. Or they carried a compact and wished they had carried the big one! With S910 you no longer need to carry big fat cameras to get High Zoom. Its compact enough to fit in your pocket and you can use the 18X zoom when you need it.

Here is what’s cool about the Coolpix.

  • 18x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom
  • 12.1-megapixel
  • Full HD 1080p Videos
  • 3-inch Display
  • Continuous mode can shoot 5 shots per second at full resolution
  • 5-way VR Image Stabilization System

What was no so cool:

  • If it had a varied angle LCD, it would have been more flexibility
  • Its small enough fit into a bag, but not exactly pocket size.
  • The battery is charged by connecting the camera to the USB, while this is good as you have to carry less stuff around.. but a separate charge would be more convenient. The separate charger is available at additional cost.

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Prakash

Apple iPhone 4G 16GB Quadband World GSM Phone (Manufacturer Unlocked)Do you envy when your Blackberry friends talk about BBM, short for Blackberry Messenger. Time to show them Whatsapp.

What is Whatsapp?

Its a cross platform instant messenger, think SMS/BBM.

It works on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia. Currently BBM is restricted to Blackberries only.

It offer messages, videos, photos, audios and more.

No cost of sending messages because it uses your data connection. You can use WiFi or 3G. A world of caution: if you have a limited data plan or on roaming, you may be paying for sending messages.

Sounds too good to be true? Now the fine print :) Its a paid app, on no! For iPhone its $.099 and for Android its free for first year after that its $2.

Its still worth it. Enjoy Whatsapp.

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Prakash

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Raspberry Pi Foundation is offering a $25 Ubuntu PC. Its very tiny, has an HDMI port at one end and USB at the other. This brings in a very low cost computing solution to the market. Its also low power consumption due to the ARM processor.

Vital Stats!

  • 700MHz ARM11
  • 128MB of SDRAM
  • OpenGL ES 2.0
  • 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • Composite and HDMI video output
  • USB 2.0
  • SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
  • General-purpose I/O
  • Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)

 

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Prakash

I have been using the Siemens Gigaset A580 with Nonoh.net for a while. It works well, and allows you make inexpensive calls. The voice quality is also good.

What also worked was if another user using Nonoh can call you. For example if your nonoh ID is user1@nonoh.net another user called user2@nonoh.net can call directly user1@nonoh.net. The voice quality for this was not very good.

Note: Siemens Gigaset allows you to receive VOIP calls, however it doesn’t allow you to dial only numericals no alphabets, so you unfortunately you can’t dial a VOIP ID like above you can only dial numbers.

Here is the steps to setup Nonoh. I tried this with  Siemens Gigaset A580. It should also work with other gigaset models.

To setup first setup your Gigaset, so its up on the network. Default setting should work on most routers.

Now go into Settings-Telephony-Connections

Select the IP connection, if the first one is available select it, else select which one one is available, click on edit.

Connection Name: Nonoh

Select VOIP provider: Other Provider

Authentication Name: your nonoh login name

Authentication password: your nonoh password

Username: your nonoh login name

Display name: What ever you want to display when you call another viip user. I use my nonoh user name here.

Click on Show advance setting.
General Provider Data
Domain: sip.nonoh.net
Proxy server address: sip.nonoh.net
Proxy server port: 5060
Registrar server: sip.nonoh.net
Registrar server port: 5060
Registration refresh time: 180

Network
STUN enabled: No

Outbound proxy mode: Always
Outbound proxy: sip.nonoh.net
Outbound proxy port: 5060
Click on Set. Now it should show registered. If it doesn’t,  you just need to restart the Gigaset. Once it shows regstered, you are ready to make calls.

The default dial out is usually on the landline, to use VOIP, you need to hold the dial button a longer. To make VOIP your default outgoing line go to.

Settings-Number Assignment

Default Connection
Linetype for outgoing calls: Select VOIP

and click on Set

You can also dial a number and suffix #1 at the end to use the first voip . For example if nonoh.net is the first VOIP you have setup, and you are trying to call number 1234, then you type.

1234#1 to call 1234 using nonoh.net

Here is a screen shot of the settings.

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Prakash

HTC has launched the HTC Incredible S, which is an update over HTC Desire HD. Here are the improvements of HTC Incredible S over HTC Desire HD.

  • Its lighter, 135g vs 165g
  • Incredible S has 4″ display, while the HTC desire is 4.3″. Incredible S however has better quality Super LCD with the resolution remaining the same 480 x 800 pixels. Aparently HTC had LCD supplies Delays from Samsung and hence has switched to Super LCD from Sony.
  • Incredible S ships with Android 2.2 just like the Desire HD, however is upgradeable to 2.4. No word yet on whether Desire HD will be upgradeable to 2.4 althought 2.3 is expected.
  • Incredible S has secondary front facing camera for video conferencing.
  • Has image stabilisation
  • Touch sensitive control buttons

Both the phones have:

  • 1 GHz Processor
  • 8 Megapixel Camera
  • HSDPA 14.4 Mbps

My two cents: If you already have the HTC Desire HD, then stay with it. If you were planning on buying the Desire HD, then this is for you. Battery life is nothing to write home about.

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Prakash

I have been using an Android phone for more than month now. I used the original iPhone which I upgraded upto iPhone 3.0. I have used newer iPhones 3GS, 4 occasionally. Here is what I find better in the Android platform:

  1. No Need for iTunes: Apple insists for syncing music, video and other things, you need iTunes. Which requires a PC/Notebook with Windows or Mac. This is a big limitation for me for two reasons. One, you need a computer, today cellphones are out-selling computers so why have the need for a computer. The second is I don’t use Windows or Mac, I use Linux. So every time I needed to add an MP3 into my iPhone, I had to re-boot into Windows.. newer version of Ubuntu, allow you to sync with iPhone without iTunes, which is nice but it still requires a PC.
    With Android, I can stick-in a memory card full of music and it will allow you to play it. You can also transfer from another phone/PC via Bluetooth.
  2. No Apple Tax on data usage: In India Vodafone charges higher for data usage if you have an iPhone, essentially a part of the data revenue gets shared with Apple.  Do I get any benefit of paying the Apple Tax? No, so why should I ? Android phones data plans are the standard plans and they are cheaper.
  3. Choice of Vendors: With Android, you have a choice of vendors to choose from. Android has the large number of vendors supporting it, while iOS is only available from Apple. Competition is always good for the customer.
  4. Cheaper and pricing options: You can purchase an Android phone from Rs. 6800 ($150) up to Rs. 32,000 ($710), while the iPhone costs $800 in India.
  5. Faster availability: iPhone 4 is still not available in India, while 3GS is priced very expensive. Android phones are hitting the markets faster pace.
  6. No Vendor lockin: When you buy an iPhone you are locked into apple and also with the service provider due to contracts etc.. With Android you can choose to buy your own handset and take the plan of your choice without any contracts.
  7. More Free Apps: Lots of free apps right from Wi-Fi hostspot to games are available. While many of these apps are charged on the iPhone.
  8. Play you own ring tone! Apple doesn’t allow you to select any music from your collection as your ring tone, while Android has no such restrictions.
  9. Expandable Memory: When you buy an Apple product, you better be sure how much memory you are going to need. You would either end up buying more than what you need or if you buy with less, you would always feel wish I had bought the model with higher memory. With Android, you have a choice of phones which has expandable memory slot. So if you every run out of memory in the phone, you can always add expandable memory.  This also works out cheaper.
  10. OS upgrade make your phone faster. With iPhone, every time I would upgrade the OS, my phone would slow down.. it was tell me time to get the new  iPhone. With Android, upgrading to the newer version of the OS actually makes your phone faster. The upgrade on Android also doesn’t require iTunes or a PC, so can be done directly

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Prakash

Motorola Atix the most powerful Android phone is now available for purchase.

US$599 without any contract and $129 with 2 year contact with AT&T.

Order Motorola Atrix on Amazon.

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Prakash

Samsung has announced the I9100 Galaxy S II, here is whats new..

  • 8 MP Camera
  • 4.3″ Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen
  • 16 or 32GB memory
  • HSDPA 21 Mbps for high speed data downloads
  • USB on the go, so you can connect other USB devices
  • Full HD, with 1080p video recording
  • Gyroscope sensor for gaming and other applications which require 3D orientation
  • Dual Core 1GHZ processor
  • Near Field Communications (NFC) support, which doesn’t have any application today but could be used in future for payments, etc.

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Prakash

Samsung has discontinued Samsung I9000 Galaxy S and has replaced it with Samsung I9003 Galaxy SL, here is the difference:

  • Sumer AMOLED display is replaced by Super Clear LCD. Resolution remains the same.
  • Slight heavier 131 grams vs. 119 grams.
  • Preloaded with Android 2.2, while Galaxy S has 2.1 but is upgradable to 2.2
  • Has 16G storage, while the Galaxy S has 8 or 16.
  • 1GHz Hummingbird (Samsung) processor is replaced by TI, speed remains the same.
  • Battery has been bumped up from 1500mAh to 1650mAh, that answers the increase in weight.

Final Thoughts:

I don’t see much change in specification,  If you are using Galaxy S, you need not upgrade. If you are planning to buy a new one, you could get a good deal on Samsung Galaxy S. You can always add additional memory if you need and change the battery to 1650mAh.. since battery life was one big complain for Samsung Galaxy S users.

Samsung Galaxy S is available on Amazon for $539.

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Prakash

Intel CEO Paul Otellini agrees with me :)

Otellini said Nokia’s Chief Executive Stephen Elop received “incredible offers — money” from Google and Microsoft to switch.

“I wouldn’t have made the decision he made, I would probably have gone to Android if I were him,”

Otellini said Nokia would find it hard to differentiate using the Windows platform: “It would have been less hard on Android, on MeeGo he could have done it.”

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Prakash

After the Motorola Atrix which runs both Android and a Linux based OS, ARM showcased a TI OMAP4 based phone that runs Ubuntu and Android.

Todays phones have become powerful enough to as a phone as well as provide basic PC functionality. This should get more PCs accessible to People, as more people today have mobile phones than PCs.

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Prakash

Nokia: MeeNoGo?


Nokia has been losing marketshare in the last few years and has been trying a few things. In 2010 Q4, They lost the title of being the number 1 smartphone to Android. This was after having this lead for 10 years.

They tied up with Intel for Meego, which is Linux based OS for smart phones and tablets.  Now their first device is cancelled.

They also open sourced Symbian, now they are  shutting down the site and taking off all the code from the website. You can still get a copy before the site goes offline next month as the code is open source.

They have now tied up with Microsoft for Windows Mobile 7 based devices. Nokia is hoping to beat Android and Apple with this strategy.

They recently released Nokia N8, which has the best specifications for its price but had poor software Symbian.

Here is some food for thought.

Intel’s Moblin project and Nokia’s Maemo were both great initiatives but struggling to get a popular device with the end user. So they decided to merge the project. Does merging two failing projects result in a successful one?

They also hired Stephen Elop  in September 2010 as the CEO who came from Microsoft. He decided to tie up with Microsoft for Windows Mobile 7. Windows Mobile is another struggling project. What would you expect, if he is expected to show results quickly and has exposure to Microsoft due to his past?

While its a good move for Microsoft as a leading mobile company has adopted their stuggling platform, Nokia is taking a beating. Nokia’s lost $5 Billion in market capitalisation since the announcement.

Microsoft has a history of forging partnerships where they benefit the most at the cost of their partner. They have very good lawyers, you see :) This alliance will surely benefit Microsof, the feedback given by various engineers at Nokia will help them improve their products.

Stephen Elop also owns US$ 6.79 Million worth of Microsoft stocks.. go figure!

While Nokia is hoping to compete with Google with this, they don’t realise that Android is not only Google. Its driven by the Open Handset Alliance which is lead by Google and over 80 companies are members. This include software developers, telcos, semiconductor companies and phone manufacturers such as ARM, TC, Dell, Intel, Motorola, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Samsung, LG, T-Mobile, Nvidia, Sharp, Toshiba, NEC  and Wind River Systems.

Instead of competing with these companies, they could have simply joined Open Handset Alliance. I would have purchased the N8 only it ran Android. It still has the best specs in the market but runs Symbian which is a crawl as compared to Android.

With Nokia’s Microsoft announcement, Intel’s Meego team is going to be single this valentine as their partner has found someone else.

Nokia is not relevant any more. Nokia for Me is NoGo.

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Prakash

When I was looking at getting a new wireless router, I started looking at what users had to say about their experience. The first user reviews said the ASUS RT-N16 Wireless-N Gigabit Router is an excellent hardware with poor software. So it suggested to flash the firmware with DD-WRT.

So I decided to get this router and the first thing I did was to load DD-WRT.

Here is what I like about the router:

  • 4  Gigabit Ethernet Ports 10/100/1000Mbps
  • 1 WAN Port
  • 802.11n (Draft)  supports 300Mbps wireless (your device also has to support this)
  • 3 Antennas for extended range
  • 2 USB ports
  • Power adapter works on both 110/240 volts
  • 480 MHz processor which can be overclocked to 533 MHz

The DD-WRT firmware is very easily loadable using the router browser front-end. Its an open source firmware, it makes the router fully customisable and is extremely easy to use. You can plug in a USB hard drive and convert the router into NAS server. Or can be used to share a printer. You can read the documentation here on how to load DD-WRT.

It can also be used to share 3G connection. You connect your 3G dongle on the USB and you need to do some scripting on the router. (If you are not comfortable with command line stuff, this is not for you). You can load the scripts through the web based front end and run them or you can also telnet/ssh to the router. There  are a lot more features you can explore once DD-WRT has been loaded, like you can convert the router into a VOIP server by installing Asterisk. Happy Hacking!

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Prakash

Motorola has finally launched the Defy in India. This is 3 months after it was launched in US by T-Mobile. Motorola is improving, some of their other phones, took 4-5 months to be launched in India. Lets hope they launch the Atrix sooner in India.

Motorla Defy

Here is whats cool:

  • Waterproof, scratchproof, dust proof. Should I say child proof ;-) ?
  • 3.7″ touchscreen  display
  • 5 Megapixel Camera with Video recording
  • MicroSD Card slot for additional Memory
  • 3G with HSDPA 7.2Mbps
  • WiFi
  • MicroUSB for charging (This is soon becoming a standard)
  • 3.5mm standard headphones jack
  • AGPS and Digital Compass
  • Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor
  • Android 2.1 with Flash player, this will get upgraded to 2.2
  • FM Radio

What would be nicer:

  • Device should have shipped with 2.3 or atleast 2.2, no word yet on when it will receive 2.3 update
  • Gyroscope for the gaming enthusiast
  • Xenon flash for indoor night photography for the party animals
  • HSDPA+ with 14.4Mbps
  • AMOLED display.

Nevertheless its a nice phone for its price. Its available for Rs 18,900 at Croma.

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Prakash

A cool looking phone from Google. Bbuilt by Samsung, hence the similarity to Samsung Galsxy S.

Here is what I like:

  • Android 2.3 (first and currently the only phone to have this)
  • 16GB Internal Memory
  • 4″ Display
  • 1 GHZ Processor

Here is what I don’t like:

No expandable memory slot, Whith 16 GB built in, you may not need it..but why not have it?

Only HSDPA 7.2Mbps, No HSDPA+ which offers 14.4 Mbps

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Prakash

Motorola has managed to come up with a very good concept. Its essentially a very powerful phone, which can be converted into a PC or a netbook. This will provide a serious competition to the iPhone4 and also provide a single device which can double up as a PC or a netbook.

It has two docks which are optional accessories

  • The Motorola HD Multimedia Dock has three USB ports and an HDMI port enabling connections to a keyboard, mouse, speakers and HDMI-compatible monitor for working at your desk/office, or connecting to an HDMI-compatible television and home theater audio system for interacting with content and enjoying video, music, games and more in your living room.
  • The Motorola Laptop Dock has an incredibly thin design with an 11.6-inch screen, full keyboard, stereo speakers, 36Wh three-cell battery that delivers up to eight hours of battery life and weighs just 2.4 pounds. Users simply dock their Motorola ATRIX 4G into the back of the Laptop Dock to turn it into an active, connected machine to experience true mobility at work, home and playing on-the-go in a form factor that’s lighter and smaller than most laptops on the market.

Comparison between Motorola Atrix 4G and Apple iPhone 4

Comparison Motorola’s Atrix 4G iPhone 4
Availability Coming soon. Exp. release 2011, Q2 Available. Released 2010, June
Size 117.8 x 63.5 x 10.1 mm 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm
Weight 135 g 137 g
Display TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors,
worlds first qHD (Quarter High Definition) display
LED-backlit IPS TFT, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Resolution 540 x 960 pixels, 4.0 inches 640 x 960 pixels, 3.5 inches
Input Sensors Gorilla Glass display
Multi-touch input method
Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
Fingerprint reader for security
Scratch-resistant oleophobic surface
Multi-touch input method
Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
Three-axis gyro sensor
Audio jack 3.5 mm audio jack 3.5 mm headset jack
Memory 16 GB storage 16/32 GB storage
RAM 1 GB RAM 512 MB RAM
Expandable memory microSD, up to 32GB No
3G HSDPA+ 14.4 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps HSDPA 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
USB Charger Standard microUSB v2.0 Apple proprietary
Camera 5 Megapixel, Geo-tagging, image stabilization 5 Megapixel, Touch focus, geo-tagging
Video Recording Yes, 720p@30fps, will be upgraded to 1080p Yes, 720p@30fps
Front Camera Yes, videocalling over 3G and Wi-Fi Yes, videocalling over Wi-Fi only
Operating System Android OS, v2.2 (Froyo) iOS 4
CPU 1GHz Dual Core processor NVIDIA Tegra 2 AP20H 1 GHz Apple A4 processor
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS No
Java Yes No
HDMI Port Yes On, TV-out via Apple cable
Compass Digital Compass Digital Compass
Adobe Flash player Adobe Flash 10.1 player No
Battery Lithium 1930 mAh Li-Po 1420mAh

Image curtesy: Motorola.com

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Prakash

ARM which is already leading in Smart phones, is now gaining popular on Tablets.

With Microsoft also announcing today at CES that Windows will run on ARM chips and with Google’s Android Linux, Apple’s iOS, and Canonical’s Ubuntu already on the low-powered processors, that’s a big portion of modern computing.

Throw in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its clones from CentOS and Oracle, and you can pretty much call it a day in terms of OS coverage for ARM. Alas, today was not Intel’s lucky day, no matter how much revenues and profits it stands it get in the near-term from its new “Sandy Bridge” Core PC chips and future Xeon variants for workstations and servers. With Nvidia and Microsoft jumping into the ARM race, the future for Intel is going to get a whole lot tougher.

Read the complete article.

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Prakash

???More than 40% of U.S. customers who purchased smartphones over the last six months have chosen Android-based phones.

Apple is still leading with 28.6 percent, followed by RIM (Blackberry) at 26.1 percent and Andorid at 25. percent. With the current growth, it won’t be long before Andorid becomes number 1. Read the complete report.

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Prakash

???Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak says:

The Google OS is likely to win the race similarly to the way that Windows ultimately dominated the PC world. Woz stressed that the iPhone, “Has very few weak points. There aren’t any real complaints and problems. In terms of quality, the iPhone is leading.” However, he then conceded that, “Android phones have more features,” and offer more choice for more people. Eventually, he thinks that Android quality, consistency, and user satisfaction will match iOS.

Read the complete article.

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Prakash

As per last quarter reports published by Gartner, Android is now number two Mobile operating system with 25.5 percent market share. While Symbian is loosing market share, it still retails the number 1 slot due to Nokia.

Android market-share jumped from 3.5 percent to 25.5 percent vs the same quarter last year. Android 2.3 is just round the corner, expect it to fuel more growth for Android phones.

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