Apple Carplay Starting To Appear For The Aftermarket

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 18, 2014 by itnerd

Up until now, the only way that it seemed that you’d be able to get Apple’s Carplay system in your car is to buy a new car with it already installed. But if you don’t wan’t to do that, both Pioneer and Alpine can hook you up with systems that you can install into your car to get Carplay. I don’t have any details about what Alpine is offering beyond the article that I linked to. But Pioneer systems that are compatible with Carplay include:

  • AVIC-8000NEX
  • AVIC-7000NEX
  • AVIC-6000NEX
  • AVIC-5000NEX
  • AVH-4000NEX

If you already own one of these, you can update your system later this year to get Carplay. If you are looking to replace your existing car audio system, you now know what systems to get to give you Carplay in your ride.

Viewsonic Announces Two Citrix Verified Smart Displays

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 18, 2014 by itnerd

Viewsonic announced yesterday that their new Virtualization Smart Displays are the first Android-based displays to earn Citrix Ready–HDX Verified status from Citrix Systems, Inc. These award-winning, next-generation ViewSonic multi-touch smart displays come with the Citrix XenMobile enterprise mobility management solution pre-installed, to allow administrators to remotely configure and manage the Smart Displays.

Here are details on the two Smart Displays

  • The SD-A245 is an award-winning, 24-inch HD LED Smart Display Client. A touch-based, multi-media ready display, the SD-A245 comes with a powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 1.7GHz processor and is pre-installed with Citrix XenMobile to run on an Android 4.2 operating system. It is a completely locked-down, secured and manageable device, with the ability to use a single software tool to seamlessly manage mobile and desktop devices. It has a MSRP of $549.00 (US).
  • A 22-inch HD Smart Display Client, the SD-A225 features HD resolution and a Dual Core OMAP processor from Texas Instruments. It runs on an Android 4.1 operating system with Citrix XenMobile pre-installed. The SD-A225 is a locked-down and secure device that can be easily managed and deployed. Control and operate access to information from the SD-A225 and leverage mobile and cloud-based tools through this thin client. The SD-A225 has an MSRP of $449.00 (US).

Both these Smart Displays are available now.

WeMo App Updated With New Functionality

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 18, 2014 by itnerd

If you have Belkin’s WeMo home automation gear, you should check the Apple App Store or Google Play for an update. The new WeMo app introduces new features including:

  • The away mode, or simulated occupancy, setting allows users to schedule lights to turn on and off at random intervals, making it appear that someone is home even when the house is vacant. Away mode is a useful security tool and provides greater peace of mind when traveling.
  • There is now a sunrise/sunset offset so users can program lights to turn on or off at a preselected interval before the scheduled sunset/sunrise time for their particular zip code. This is extremely useful in circumstances where the house gets dark before the sun sets in the evening.
  • The programmable backlight dimmer allows users to dim the backlight that illuminates on the WeMo Light Switch wall plate when the switch is turned off.
  • The WeMo App now features a new benefit exclusively for users of IFTTT, a customizable long press option. The long press lets WeMo users program an additional setting for a press longer than two seconds on the physical light switch button. This feature is programmed through the IFTTT WeMo Light Switch channel and allows users to create recipes that can interact with other IFTTT channels. For example, program the long press to automatically send a text to your phone when deployed or have the long press control lamps plugged in to WeMo Switches in other parts of the house at the same time.

The updated app is available now for iOS and Android. Check it out.

Rogers Lights Up 700Mhz Spectrum

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 18, 2014 by itnerd

Rogers yesterday announced that they have turned on their 700 MHz spectrum in areas of in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary. It means better coverage in deep basement apartments, concrete office buildings, underground parking garages, elevators, high rise condos. This rollout will continue into 2015 and will give Rogers customers across Canada access to more services in more places which means that those customers can stream videos and get customers in places they never have before. This should force others who bought 700 Mhz to start to roll it out or risk giving Rogers a huge advantage in the marketplace.

Here We Go Again…. Telus Wants To Acquire Mobilicity

Posted in Commentary with tags , on April 18, 2014 by itnerd

Much like Freddy Kruger or Jason, word of a Telus/Mobilicity hookup will not die. A press release went online late last night announcing a proposed deal. Here are the key facts:

The Transaction provides for a complete continuation of Mobilicity’s business for the benefit of its stakeholders:

  • the vast majority of Mobilicity’s one hundred and sixty five thousand active subscribers will be able to seamlessly migrate onto TELUS’ advanced HSPA network after the transition.
  • no foreseen changes to employee staffing levels as a result of the proposed transaction;
  • all of Mobilicity’s retail landlords and licensors will have their contracts honoured;
  • all of Mobilicity’s landlords and licensors who provide space for placement of Mobilicity’s dealers and their employees who sell Mobilicity’s products will continue to benefit from those arrangements;
  • all service agreements with Mobilicity’s business partners will continue uninterrupted; and
  • the trade claims of Mobilicity’s creditors will continue unaffected against the restructured Mobilicity and will be addressed in the ordinary course.

While the court approved monitor recommends approval of the deal, one wonders if it will be shot down seeing as previous attempts of a Telus/Mobilicity hookup have been shot out of the sky by the Canadian government. In any case, whatever the outcome is going to be, it has to happen before June 30th. Mobilicity has asked for an extension of the stay of proceedings that would expire on that date. I can see it being extended. But I suspect it will not be extended beyond that.

BlackBerry Announces Mobile App Development Award at Canada-Wide Science Fair 2014

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 18, 2014 by itnerd

Budding scientists across Canada are taking part in regional science fairs in a bid for a coveted spot to compete in the national championship event – Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) in Windsor on May 10th to 17th, 2014.

CWSF is the largest science-based competition in the country, and has captured the imaginations of thousands of students since 1962 (approximately 25,000 students compete each year).

This year, CWSF launched the BlackBerry Smartphone App Development Award. This continues CWSF’s tradition of fostering interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) among Canadian youth, preparing them to pursue STEM careers, especially in the rapidly growing field of mobile computing.

Students can compete at one of 102 regional science fairs happening across Canada from now until April 30, 2014. To find a local science fair, please visit:

Reader E-Mails Me About Apple’s Lightning Cable Quality

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 17, 2014 by itnerd

I have written twice about the quality of Apple’s Lightning Cables. It now seems that I am not alone in this. A reader of this blog reached out to me with this story:

Hello IT Nerd. I tripped over your blog via Google when looking for information on how bad Apple’s Lightning cables are. Twice in the last two months, I’ve had the cable housing separate from the rest of the cable. The the cable becomes inoperative because the wires separate from the Lightning connection. To show you what I am talking about, I’ve enclosed a picture. Perhaps if you and others keep writing stories about this, Apple will finally do something to make these cables better. 

Thanks for reading.

Here’s the picture the reader sent me:

IMG_0001Well, that’s not good. Clearly this is yet another problem with these cables. Apple has to know that there are issues with these cables. But one has to wonder why they haven’t addressed these issues.

Have you had problems with Apple Lightning cables? If so, drop me a note and let me know. I’ll put whatever responses I get into another post.



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