Sony Xperia Z3 Hits Rogers

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 31, 2014 by itnerd

Rogers just e-mailed me to let me know that the Sony Xperia Z3 launched today on their network. The device is available for $179.99 on select two-year Share Everything plans and comes in black and copper. To sweeten the pot, for a limited time, when new or existing customers buy a Sony Xperia Z3 and activate on a 2-year Share Everything plan they’ll get EA SPORTS NHL 15 for PS4 free. Which is great because of what the Xperia Z3 can do in partnership with a PS4. It’s worth having a look

Moto 360, Moto X (Bamboo) And Sony Xperia Z3 Hit Telus

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on October 31, 2014 by itnerd

I just got an e-mail to let me know that Telus now has the The Moto 360, Moto X (Bamboo), and Sony Xperia Z3 as part of their lineup.

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As the first round-faced smartwatch to reach the market, the Moto 360 is one great looking wearable. Aside from its charming appearance, it also acts as the perfect companion device to the Moto X and syncs with any other smartphone running Android 4.3 or higher.

Here a just a few ways the Moto 360 enhances your active and fashion-forward lifestyle:

  • Android Wear:Google’s first wearable OS has been designed to deliver the information you need when you need it most. Get weather, news, appointments, tasks and more at a glance.
  • Voice Commands: Just saying ‘Ok Google’ to your Moto 360 will allow you to dictate message responses, check the weather or even run web searches.
  • Fitness Tracking:Reach your healthy lifestyle goals with daily summaries of your step count and heart rate.
  • Music Controls:‘Ok Google play some music’ is a quick voice command to listen to your phones music library. Play, pause and skip tracks right from your wrist.
  • Interchangeable Bands: Being able to change the Moto 360’s watch band allows users to match their own sense of style.
  • Smart Notifications:Any notification received and dismissed on your Moto 360 will also be dismissed from your smart phone, giving users a seamlessly integrated experience.

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Staying on the trend of stylish well-connected devices, the Moto X which comes in a beautiful bamboo finish, breaks the mold on what some might expect from today’s smartphone designs. Its genuine wood finish gives the device a sense of refinement without compromising performance.

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Last but certainly not least, the Sony Xperia Z3, is another eye-catching smartphone. The Z3 goes beyond its sleek appearance by being one of the first devices to be fully water-proof. Under-water photography anyone? Or maybe you would prefer some Playstation by the pool. With the ‘Remote Play’ feature you can stream your favorite PS4 games wherever, whenever.

The Moto 360 is available at Telus for $280. For more information on Moto X and Moto 360 plans and pricing, please visit telus.com/MotoX or telus.com/Moto360.

The Sony Xperia Z3 is available at Telus for $180 on a two year plan or $680 outright. More details can be found on telus.com.

I’ve put in a request to get these devices to review so stay tuned.

TAVES Consumer Electronics Show Is In Toronto This Weekend

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 31, 2014 by itnerd

If you’re in Toronto this weekend you might want to check out the TAVES Consumer Electronics Event which is being held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto. TAVES is the ultimate event for Canadians passionate about technology, showcasing the latest innovations and giving consumers unprecedented access to product prototypes shown only online… until now.  From the latest 4K TV sets to holographic displays and virtual reality devices, this show has all the gadgets Canadians have been dreaming about!

TAVES will feature hundreds of groundbreaking technology products and prototypes such as holographic displays, Oculus Rift, 3D printers, mind control devices, Google Glass, Tesla cars and more – many funded by Kickstarter and Indigogo crowd-funding campaigns.

I’ll be dropping by to have a look myself. You might want to do the same as it sounds very interesting.

BBM Introduces New Privacy and Control Features

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 31, 2014 by itnerd

Today, BBM announced a variety of new features to enhance the overall communication experience. New features include:

  • Timed Messages: By setting a timer you can control how long messages and pictures you share with contacts can be viewed within BBM. The message is hidden until the recipient touches and holds on the chat. Then, once the timer has expired (or if the recipient takes their finger off the screen), the message is no longer visible. The user also receives a notification if BBM detects that the recipient has taken a screenshot of the image or message.
  • Message RetractionUsers can now retract their message to remove it from their BBM chat before it has been read by the recipient or after it has been read so that it is no longer visible within the BBM chat.
  • High Quality Image Transfer: When a user receives a picture in BBM, they can quickly request an HD version to enjoy the image in full detail.
  • Faster Sticker Selection: It is now easier for users to browse BBM Stickers and quickly add them to their chats.
  • Discover New Music: See what music BBM contacts are listening to and show others what songs you’re playing. iPhone users can tap the song and be taken to iTunes for a quick and seamless purchase.

Timed Messages and Message Retraction are premium features that will be available free and without restriction to BBM users over the next three months. After this time, unrestricted access to these features will become part of a broader bundle of features that will be offered as part of a BBM subscription.

More details can be found here. Or you can watch this this video:

Things Are Almost Back To Normal

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 31, 2014 by itnerd

Well. This was an interesting trip. I got my MacBook Pro back on Tuesday and as of now, I’ve built a brand new OS X Yosemite environment (Carbon Computing gave me back the MacBook Pro with Mountain Lion because “we have to put on what it shipped with…. More on that in a second). and got myself back to the point where I can be productive for the first time in two weeks. If you want to get an idea of what I had to do, check out this post and this post from earlier this year as I basically had to go through that process after upgrading to Yosemite. That’s given me the opportunity to look back on this experience and see where things could have been better:

  • Let’s start with Carbon Computing. The people were nice enough and I feel that they did want to help me by replacing my drive. But I get the feeling that there is only so much that they can do unless the drive died. Thus they told me to go escalate to Apple myself. One thing that I talk about when companies hire me to do call center consulting is that agents on the phone have to take ownership and advocate on behalf of the customer when an issue is presented to the agent. That’s what Carbon Computing should have done here by escalating to Apple on my behalf. They didn’t, and it left me with a negative impression about Carbon Computing. Another thing. The Apple Store for a similar repair puts on the OS that the computer walked in with. So if you walked in with Yosemite like I did, that’s the OS you get back. So if they can do that, why can’t Carbon Computing?
  • Apple loses points for basically tossing Carbon Computing under the bus. By saying that Carbon Computing “is not Apple” and saying that I should have brought my MacBook Pro to an Apple store really tells you all you need to know about the relationship between Apple resellers and Apple. In other words, it’s not good. You might recall that I only went to Carbon Computer because I couldn’t get a Genius Bar appointment in anything under a week and a half. Thus my suggestion to Apple is that if they want people to come to their stores for repairs, open more stores, hire more staff and make it easy to either get an appointment within a day or so. Better yet,  have drop off repair service that allows you to drop off your Mac and it gets into a queue to get looked at. Also, if they have this much disdain towards resellers that they authorize, then eliminate them. The fact that they are so public about how they feel about their resellers reflects badly on Apple.

So, where do I go from here. I really didn’t exit this experience with a good taste in my mouth. This doesn’t make me want to buy another Apple product and it doesn’t make me want to do business with Carbon Computing. Perhaps I may feel differently the further I get away from this experience. But as of now, I don’t feel the love from Tim Cook and company.

BlackBerry Outs BlackBerry Classic Handset In Open Letter

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 30, 2014 by itnerd

If anyone was wondering if BlackBerry was still going to make handsets, wonder no more. BlackBerry CEO John Chen has cleared that up in an open letter posted online that outs a new BlackBerry handset called the BlackBerry Classic:

It’s tempting in a rapidly changing, rapidly growing mobile market to change for the sake of change – to mimic what’s trendy and match the industry-standard, kitchen-sink approach of trying to be all things to all people.

But there’s also something to be said for the classic adage, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

BlackBerry Classic reflects that. It is classic BlackBerry – complete with a top row of navigation keys and a trackpad. It’s the device that has always felt right in your hands and always felt right in your busy day.

Of course, we’ve made quite a few enhancements around the edges and on the inside. The screen is bigger and sharper. Our application catalogue is growing. The BlackBerry 10 operating system incorporates all the best productivity and collaboration features on any mobile device, including the BlackBerry Hub and our all-new BlackBerry Blend.

So it looks like on the heels of the Passport he’s doubling down on handsets. That’s a risky strategy. But by coming out with something that is (pardon the phrase) classic BlackBerry, perhaps it will work. Of course I’ll have to see one first to confirm if that’s true or not.

Lenovo Purchase Of Motorola Now Official

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 30, 2014 by itnerd

Though I had my doubts at the time that this deal was announced, it now seems that Motorola’s handset business is now owned by Lenovo. Here’s a snippet from an announcement that was posted today:

In Lenovo we have a partner that shares our mission and that brings global scale, a diverse product portfolio and a track record of seizing strategic opportunities and making the most of them. Together we will go farther, faster. With an impressive portfolio of smartphones, wearables and PCs, our two companies will be uniquely positioned to push the boundaries of choice and value, and bring exciting new experiences to people everywhere.

That may be true. Consider the following:

  • Lenovo also gains access to the North American smartphone market. That’s good for them. Though it also means that they will have a ton of competition to deal with.
  •  Motorola gets access to Asia. That will help to sell more phones.

Here’s the problem. Google never made a dime with Motorola. Thus I wonder if Lenovo can do better. I guess we’ll see.

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