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Thursday, July 29, 2010

An iPad competitor for $150! No. Wait. Really?

Yep. Well- kinda. Sort of. Not really...well OK, it kinda is.

The Augen Gen Touch is a 7" screen that is loaded with Android software (Google's answer to Apple's iPhone software) and it retails for about $350 less than the Apple. This means that you could buy 3 Augens for the price of ONE iPad. It has a few basic apps pre-installed and allows you to go to the Android apps store and browse/buy more than 60,000 additional apps (some free, some cheap, some pricey).

How can they do this? I don't know, but the screen is smaller and Android is pretty much free to developers. I originally saw this in a Kmart Sunday ad on my kitchen table and thought it would be a joke, but there is a video review of the product over at Engadget and it seems to have a fairly positive opinion of the device. The review isn't written by Engadget staffers, but by a Engadget reader who submitted his own video. He turns on the Augen, performs a web browse and even shows his iPad next to it for comparison's sake.

Does it work? It seems to work just fine, but with the caveat that $150 won't buy you the same speed and battery life of an iPad. But for the money, it seems to be a decent buy. Don't expect grantite-like build quality or a glass screen- that costs money, my friend. But, if the video review is any indication, $150 might just get you something that works OK.

And for many of us, that's money well spent.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cracked- not for the faint of heart!

After working in news for the better part of 20 years, I've always thought the audience was treated like a bunch of seven year-olds. Any "bad" words or stories that might "offend" the delicate sensibilities of the viewer was avoided like the plauge.

Then, along came shows like "All in the Family",  "Family Guy" and "Saturday Night Live" who assumed the audience was smarter, more mature and capable of accepting grown up concepts and encountering the occassional bad word used within the context of the storyline.

The humor website Cracked is like that. Written to the mind and sensibilities of those over 16, this website is definitely not for anyone who has yet to shave. Not at all offensive, it insteads assumes the reader is not a prude and is open to hilarious examination of history, pop culture and other news topics that need a good lampooning.

The articles and essays contained within the site are often short and breezy, but they're not above dropping a grown up word here or there or discussing a topic that some might consider for mature audiences. Rarely does the site stoop to poop jokes or to the lowest common denominator, instead they choose to write to a level of intelligence that assumes the reader has something more than a 12th grade education.

If you like your humor smart, to the point and free of political correctness, then the Cracked site is for you and you should make the jump to it here. However, if this kind of humor is not your cup of tea, then maybe this site is better suited for you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm back and let's get to it.

After a nasty virus attack and some work issues have been ironed out, I'm finally back up and running.

Work has quieted down significantly and the new computer is like having a new car, although the pine tree air freshener keeps slipping off of the monitor.

Anyway, I have a new service for you and it's free! Well, it's not really new, but it is an amazing service that makes you ask, "Why didn't someone think of this long ago?" Google Voice is a new way to get and handle telephone calls and the messages people leave that you may or may not get.

For instance, most of us have a work, cell and home phone number. GV allows certain callers to ring through to all three phones at once.

Don't want that ex-girlfriend to call anymore? GV can block them.

What about messages? If you ask it to, GV will email you a text version of the voicemail recording.

There's a great video explaining all of this at that explains it better than I can write it.

No cost, tons of options and the ability to improve your life? Ain't technology great?