Jun 30, 2010

One Company to Rule, Your World?

I like media in the form of digital format.  Recently some of the big tech companies want to own all of your media and more.  This can be a good thing, or a really bad one.

Remember those old DVD movies that you bought?  With those you can enjoy them at home, let your friends borrow them, make a digital copy and enjoy it on your computer or put it in your portable device.  If you get bored with the DVD you can just sell it.  That's going to change with digital distribution.

Digital distribution has a neat advantage and that is that you can download the file and not have to worry about scratching your stupid disc.  You also don't have to worry about a compatible disc player.  It just works on the device and all it takes is a bit of storage space.  It's the most portable it can be.  The problem is that your big collection of movies cannot be resold like you can with DVDs and CDs.  In a way you can't make money back and all money goes to the company who sold you the movie. They dictate how you can use your movies, music, ebooks and games.

Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are in a fight for your dollar.  Who will you choose?

The Big Companies

I hate the idea of one of these telling me how to manage my media or what of their devices I must have.  I haven't bought music since Linking Park Meteora CD and some MP3s at Amazon.  I just go to youtube and find some awesome indie music maker and get their free mp3s from their sites.  For movies, audiobooks and ebooks I do need one company to have all my media centralized.

Known for Operating Systems and Microsoft Office
Sidejobs: Xbox, Zune, Bing, Email

Known for Computers, portable media devices.
Sidejobs: Bashing Microsoft

Known for Search Engine
Sidejobs: Youtube, Blogger, Android, Email

Known for online retail of everything
Sidejobs: Kindle, Audible

Content delivery systems

All of these companies are tech businesses and while they might have started at doing one thing they have branched onto lots of very similar services. So what do all of these have in common? All of these companies want to distribute media such as music, movies, games, books and so on. They also have systems for the media to be delivered to such as cell phones, media players, computers and TVs.

Cell Phone Market/Media Player Market
Apple iPhone, Microsoft Phone 7, Google Nexus/Android

Operating System
Microsoft Windows/Windows Mobile, Apple Mac OS X/iPhone OS, Google Chrome OS/ Android

Gogle TV, Apple TV, Microsoft Media Center, Amazon On Demand

Amazon MP3 Downloads, Apple iTunes, Microsoft Zune Marketplace, Google Music

Books/Audio Books
Apple iBooks iPad, Amazon Kindle, Zune Marketplace, Google Books

It's super easy to make money out of digital distribution. When I was 16 I made a program and sold 10 copies at $10 which gave me $100 profit. The time of development took no more than a few hours. I used email to distribute the files and it took seconds to make money through Paypal. Now imagine having the catalog of everything media and an audience of millions if not billions of people? How much money can you make? Even if you pay royalties to other companies the delivery method is so cheap that profit is assured.

Which one are you going to choose? Who gets your money? These are the conditions that I need:
1. Ability to copy the files to any device I want
2. Redownloading is a must
3. No digital rights management

Why are these important?
1. I have a desktop pc, two netbooks, one cell phone, and one iPad and I want to have a copy of my favorite media in all of them.  I must be able to copy files to all of them.

2. Maybe I sell those devices or my house burns, hey I still want my media! I have to be able to redownload those files. As far as I'm concerned all of the companies fail at this.  You cannot redownload Amazon mp3s, and iTunes is kind of yes or no about it, with Microsoft you don't really own the mp3s (you borrow them).

3. DRM is a joke, it doesn't prevent any "stealing".  People who bought the media need to be able to play their media and DRM prevents offline playing. One clear example was my precious Zune which had my Zune Pass music.  As soon as my unit got to Iraq during 2009 I needed to connect the Zune to the internet. Well guess what? No internet. I could not play my music at all. What a waste of money. Never bought a Zune Pass ever again.

The only reason anyone would want to buy from any of these companies instead of the "cheaper" piracy versions should be because of an easy and seamless experience, higher quality media, and the ability to have your media anywhere.  Give me a good experience and you got my money.

Jun 28, 2010

The Netbook of the Future

The netbook of the future is getting closer and closer. It's going to be interesting. I currently own a Lenovo S10-3T and the iPad, and in the future the HP TM2T. All of those devices are good systems but they are still not the future device that everyone is looking for. What's interesting is that the technologies are almost here and whoever puts it together will get at least one purchase from me.

I'm a big fan of netbooks.  Before netbooks even existed I used to browse the internet for small computers.  I came across a lot of UMPC devices from Japan with english keys and always found them to be interesting.  I couldn't afford any of them but I always followed them. When Asus started releasing Eee PC netbooks I absolutely wanted one, but I knew there was going to be something better. A little later the MSI Wind showed up and I almost got one if it wasn't for the cheaper Acer Aspire One.

I decided to go for the Acer Aspire One and since I have owned four of them. The first one I modified the internals and got it to be a touch screen with a kit, I also added an internal hub for my Logitech mouse, and man that was sweet.  The problem is that I broke it right before deploying to Iraq in 2009 and therefore needed another one.  When I was in Iraq I needed a netbook to create a server for my Platoon.  I ordered another netbook.  It was great stuff.  The fourth one was for my sister.  Iraq really showed me how much portability is a must, I mean with all that military gear you need portability and I'm sorry for those guys with big giant laptops that were heavy and bulky.  A lot of my Marines also got netbooks.

Now I have a Lenovo S10-3T which is phenomenal and has been great all these months.  I have learned lots and have posted content at http://www.lenovos103t.com   Then came the iPad which was supposed to change everything and in a way it kind of did.  It's a great device too but I can't do everything that I can with my main computer or my netbooks.  However it does have elements that I want in the "future netbook".

These are the pieces that can make the future netbook:
1. Power
2. Convertible style
3. Form Factor
4. E-Paper
5. Touch Features
6. No booting up
7. Long Battery Life
8. Wireless Docking
9. Operating System and Software
10.  Price

1.  Power
Usually netbooks are associated with underpowered components that create a very limited experience compared to a full on desktop. This is changing. The Alienware M11X is a very good example of a small and powerful system at a small size. It can be considered a netbook but they are still calling a laptop.  Another really good system that can be considered a netbook is the HP TM2T.

Alienware M11X Review

2.  Convertible Style
The classic laptops are limited, and the slate tablets are limited. Classic laptops don't allow creative people to make things on the fly like you can with a touch screen, so the future netbook must convert to a tablet for some situations. Slates like the iPad are limited too because when you are done touching the screen and need to type you have to use the virtual keyboard or pair it with a bluetooth keyboard. You don't want to separate keyboard and screen and the convertible style is the way to go.

3.  Form Factor
Powerful systems are usually chunky and not easy to carry around. The iPad's is very easy to carry around but it's not a convertible. The system that has impressed me the most on this subject is the Viliv S10. The form factor of this device is the way the future netbook will be. It's slim and a convertible.

4.  E-Paper
The problem with lot's of laptops and iPad is that they are useless devices in intense light conditions. Glossy screens are the enemy of the sun too. Now wouldn't you want a screen like the Kindle for that? yes but then you only have black/white/gray color and refresh rate is slow. So what is the solution? Pixel QI is what the solution is. They have a great screen that works well in bright lighting and it includes color! It's something that will be out at the end of 2010.

5.  Touch Features
If you have been using a touch device for a while like the S10-3T or any tablet then you know how easy it is to begin always wanting to touch the screen. So yes the future netbook must have touch capacitive screens so you can do things with your fingers. But then you run into the problem of poor precision with graphic editing, this of course is fixed by a stylus. Then you run into another problem, when you write with your stylus usually you rest your palm on the screen which might throw off precision. Good thing is that all of these technologies are present already and only need to be implemented.  The trackpad/touchpad is a bit of a joke and it's an old technology that should be eliminated.  Everything should be touch on the screen.

Palm Rejection

HP TM2T Sketching and Coloring (mute the audio if you can't stand it)

6.  No Booting Up
There is one feature on the iPad that I love and every device should have and that is the ability to wake up and be able to work without booting up. This feature is a must on every new device.

7.  Long Battery Life
If you have a laptop then you know how much battery life you can get out of it, which sometimes isn't much. A lot of them you have to constantly be plugging in because the battery doesn't last that long. In a way they are portable desktops more than an actual "laptop" and that's why I love netbooks, they can give you lots of hours of battery life. One of the reasons I bought my S10-3T was because of the awesome battery life (with the 8 cell version)  It gives me plenty of hours to do things without plugging the system to a wall outlet. But there are even better systems out there such as the MSI Wind U115 and the ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1005PE.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid (17 hours battery life)

The MSI U115 got banned by Microsoft because of hybrid storage SSD stuff and XP.

8.  Wireless Docking to Everything
Why are we still using cables? USB for your phone, firewire for your camera, VGA for your projector, HDMI for your tv, 3.5mm for your headphones, power cables. This is all retarded.  There are ways to do all of these things wirelessly today.

Bluetooth can do wireless keyboard and mouse, headphones, stereo systems and file transfers.

Wireless video transmission systems exists from Warpia, IOGear, and Intel. Intel has some laptops able to wirelessly connect to your TV and stream 720p content without a problem.

Wireless power can be done via something like Powermat. Maybe in the future we'll put the netbook on the powermat and that turns "dock mode on" enabling "desktop mode" so you can connect to monitor, tv, or projectors and automatically connect to your wireless keyboard and mouse and stereo system.

Another thing that I would like to see is connection from PC to PC ad-hoc style so you can share files or play games (you can do this on Windows computers but it disables connection to your wireless router)  I used this system to set up a server from my Acer Aspire One to share files in Iraq (no need for a router). One little example:
So you made that killer power point presentation and after the presentation someone else wants a copy.  You both don't have a usb thumb drive and you don't have a wireless router or 3G, how do you share that file? well use Ad-Hoc and you send the files to each other in an instant no matter what the device is. Netbook to netbook, netbook to cell phone, netbook to iPad, PSP, or any device. (bluetooth can do this too but it's slow)

Wireless VGA + Bluetooth Stereo

Intel Wireless Display

Some laptops with wireless display include: Dell Studio 15z, Sony Vaio S Series, Toshiba Satellite E205.

Wireless Charging

File Sharing with Zunes (Equivalent to Ad-Hoc with laptops/netbooks)

Infinitec Dual Networking (basically wifi + ability to transfer to another pc)

9.  Operating System and Software
XP is not finger touch friendly.  Win 7 is a lot more finger touch friendly.  Maybe Windows 8 can do it.  Lots of the programs that have been developed to cover Windows and make the interface more "touch friendly" are slow and horribly unoptimized.  They need to look at what Apple has been doing and add some of the touch features.  Explorer offers the users a neat way to organize files how they want them via Folders, it makes sense.  Navigating through things is very easy with Win 7 but there are certain functions like copy, paste, delete, and undo should be somewhere in Explorer like they had in XP.  Flicks are a neat way of doing things and I use them to do some of the functions I mentioned.  I don't want to do those features with flicks.  The virtual keyboard also sucks on Windows, the iPad's is better.

Web Browsing - smooth huh?

Flicks for easy navigation on Windows 7

10.  Price
Most Tablet PCs are overpriced and offer low specs.  The TM2 has a mobility graphics card but offers a slower Core i5, the Lenovo X201 doesn't have a good mobility graphics card but it offers up to Core i7 processing power.  Obviously options will add to the price and so far the TM2 is the closest to a reasonable $1000 tablet.  The iPad is very well priced and it enables more people to have it, and therefore it creates a bigger buzz on the internet via community and "social media" sites.

Almost all the elements exist for the "netbook of the future" but they just need to combine those elements.  Other things like TV Tuners, FM receivers/transmitters and 3G/4G wimax are nice but not needed.  For my Marines netbooks provided tons of entertainment for our down time in OIF 2009. To demonstrate how popular netbooks are becoming this is the breakdown of the 4 hooches we had in Iraq.

Hooch 1 - 1 Netbook, 3 laptops (element leaders, Sgts)
Hooch 2 - 5 Netbooks, 5 laptops (vehicle commanders, Cpls)
Hooch 3 - 4 Netbooks, 3 laptops, 1 Macbook (WTF)  (drivers, gunners, gibs, LCpl and below)
Hooch 4 - 8 Netbooks, 2 laptops (drivers, gunners, gibs, LCpl and below)

Totals: 18 Netbooks, 13 Laptops, 1 Macbook

I really believe in portable devices and prefer the netbook size compared to the chunkiness of laptops.  I bet they will have something that combines all of these elements by next year (2011).  We got some exciting stuff happening in the world of technology.  It's going to be good!  When that device arrives I will be the first one to put cash down.  Enjoy!

Jesse B Andersen
Technology Enthusiast

Jun 25, 2010

iPad in your car, not a good idea.

Well I was cruising around in my killer Nissan Maxima to Barnes and Nobles to read Jason Fried's Rework book and I decided to bring along my iPad to listen to some podcasts by Jason Calacani's This Week in Startups. Within a few minutes the podcast stopped and I thought that it had reached its end or the iPod app had crashed (yes it does that too every once in a while). I ignored it and turned the FM radio.

When I reached Barnes and Nobles I was going to hide my system under the seat when I noticed a nice yellow icon on the screen. What the heck?

I'm guessing the system attracts a lot of heat fast and it gives this Temperature notice.

I quickly turned the AC full blast and cooled the system until it was fine.  Nothing worst than spending $$ on a system and fry it within a few weeks of owning it.

Hiding it under some shade.

Open the sunroof to make sure that heat is going out.

If you have an iPad in your car you better park in the shade or else your iPad will melt.

You can view more about overheating issues of the iPad with a google search for "iPad Overheats"

Now, when I was in Iraq we used to have these crappy computers called Blue Force Trackers and they seemed to hold pretty good at over 120 F degree weather and that's without the heat from the Humvee and AMRAP vehicles. How come this high piece of tech can't deal with about 90 F degree Utah weather?

Note: no that BFT image is not of me, it's from google images.

Jun 23, 2010

Protect your iPad with Invisible Shield

Yes you need some kind of protection for your iPad's screen. There is no argument about it.

I have owned many other touch screen devices and usually I end up scratching them. With the Invisible Shield I feel like my iPad's screen is protected. You could also get a case for the iPad. Better safe than sorry on this one.

Gear on the video:
Apple iPad
iPad Invisible Shield

Jun 21, 2010

Toshiba Libretto W100 Dual-Screen Netbook - Pictures, Videos and Specs

This looks like art to me.

The Toshiba Libretto W100 is one interesting concept and actual device that offers two touch screens.  In a way it's like the deceased MS Courier and it kind of reminds me of a Nintendo DS.  Now if they can manage to do the software right then we might really have something special.  Check the pictures, videos and specs.



Promo video by Toshiba

Video by Toshiba


Toshiba Libretto in use Part 1

Toshiba Libretto in use Part 2

Toshiba Libretto in use Part 3

Engadget's Hand's On Video of the Libretto W100

I love the hardware but I know that software is what will break this system.  Windows 7 is not optimized for touch screen devices but it's an OS that can be modified to do lot's of touch things.  The potential is there if we can get the programs right.

Libretto W100 Specs:
- Dual 7.0-inch diagonal multi-touch displays7 (1024 x 600)
- 6-mode virtual keyboard with haptic response
- Windows® 7 Home Premium operating system
- Intel® Pentium® U5400 processor1 (1.2GHz)
- 2GB DDR3 memory2
- 62GB Solid State Drive3
- 1.0 megapixel HD Webcam with Toshiba Face Recognition
- 802.11 b/g/n wireless4
- Bluetooth 2.1+EDR5
- MicroSD card slot
- One USB 2.0 port
- TOSHIBA Bulletin Board, ReelTime™ and PC Health Monitor software
- 8-cell battery (about 4 hours)
- 7.95" (W) x 4.84"(D) x 1.2"(H)
- 1.8 lbs.6

Launch date will be end of August, 2010 in Japan.

More information at:
Librettoo W100 Homepage
Toshiba's website

Jun 18, 2010

URL Shorteners (Screw that, I'm making my own). aCite.info

Don't trust tiny fishes, they are the most dangerous.

For everyone who has used a URL shortener such as bit.ly or tinyurl.com and do any commercial links such as an amazon referral links I'm deeply sorry for you.  These url shorteners strip your referral code and you end up making zero dollars.

This came from noticing that my father after a few months of use had been creating zero dollars.  He was using bit.ly links and that was also my system.  In fact I have answered thousands of questions using these links.  I investigated and to my horror I found that these services were stripping the url.  This makes all of your effort worth nothing and generates the url shortener companies lots of money.  In fact they probably have gotten over half of what I should have earned and I could have spent the referral income on more products to create buzz and help users at some of my blogs like http://www.lenovos103t.com

So what was my solution? I began removing all of my bit.ly links and now I'm using my own system which guarantees that my links won't be modified.  From some services I could not remove the links so bit.ly will make money off me.

My new domain:
http://acite.info - nothing here to see

Since I'm not a big web coder on the php, asp, and javascript fields I decided to create my own program that will create the links locally. I used BlitzPlus to generate the files and used Allways Sync to manage the FTP side of things.  Those files are uploaded to the internet and now I have my own url shortener.

The end result is not as smooth as bit.ly but it gives me ownership of my links.  I also now have to spend about $60 a year on hosting and domain expenses but owning your system keeps my mind at ease.  I primarily use these shorter links on services like youtube and anywhere were excessive link length is unwelcomed.

If anyone's interested in further details about my system please send me an email and maybe I can develop something that will work for you.  Its quite simple once you have it running.  View some of these links on the descriptions of my videos at http://www.youtube.com/jessebandersen

Do you use url shorteners?  There's fishy things on free services.

Jun 16, 2010

3D Without the Glasses - Netbooks on the way?

The Nintendo 3DS is creating a lot of buzz about producing 3D images without glasses. The 3DS will make things mainstream but there are technologies that do this already. Maybe we can see it on netbooks?

The announcement of the 3DS

For netbooks please!

The games will be fantastic and will add a "new dimension"

You have to be in front of the display to see it, but the effect is there.  Can you imagine some touch netbooks using this?  It would be interesting to see and experience.

I did get me a domain name for a 3DS game:

Jun 11, 2010

iPad - Single Tasking Good or Bad?

A nerd missing out on life around him while deeply focusing on the single tasking iPad.

So I loaded my iPad with a few video podcasts and decided to type while I listened to the podcast. This is a no go. You can't have video running in the background or an app like Pandora while doing anything else. You can jailbreak this device but then that is not what Apple wanted you to do. So, is this single tasking a good thing?

I felt like an old person. Not that old is bad, but being able to do only one thing is sometimes frustrating. Especially because I'm used to running several applications at the same time with my desktop pc, my S10-3T netbook, and even my Palm Pre. Where is multi-tasking alright and where is single tasking best?

Multi-tasking alright when it compliments work flow and affects mood. Example:
Repetitive tasks enhanced with tempo of music

Through my automated work at BurrellesLuce I found that music enhanced my ability to deal with monotonous repetitive tasks. It actually made my job more enjoyable. Sometimes a killer soundtrack would come on my mp3 player and enabled me to quickly go through things without slowing my brain.

Bad example of multi-tasking:
Watching a video while reading or writing a document

Both require the same human component, your eyes. Jumping back and forth gives you less than half of each content's value. You are not getting anything done. I quickly noticed that the iPad forced me to watch a video and focus on just that. The end result is achieving better comprehension.

I'm guessing I can turn some of my video podcasts into audio so I just listen to them in the background and still manage to go through email and web stuff at the same time. The iPad's single tasking might just be what I actually need.  Especially with books and movies.

What is right for you?  Single tasking or multi-tasking?

Jun 7, 2010

Apple iPad Unbox with Extras

The iPad is Apple's answer to netbooks.  I decided to get one to compare things and enjoy some Apple flavor.  Here's the unbox video:

Gear on the video:
Apple iPad 64GB
iPad Dock
Apple Wireless Keyboard

Jun 6, 2010

Project - S10-3T vs iPad Blog

Hey everyone I just wanted to show one of my latest projects. I started a website called S10-3T vs iPad and I will show one task at a time and see if the other can do the same. Whoever does it best gets a point!

For those interested in following with this project check http://www.s103tvsipad.com

Jun 5, 2010

Project - HP TM2T

The HP TM2T is a convertible tablet that offers almost the complete package.  It's a convertible like the S10-3T so it offers both touch and keyboard capabilities, however it does more than the S10-3T.

What I like about it:
Both finger touch and pen capabilities
Roomy keyboard
Long battery life (up to 10 hours)
Dedicated mobility graphics card (Radeon 4550)
Good screen with a nice resolution (1024 x 800)
Processor power (Core i versions)  - can replace lot's of what I do with my desktop computer
HD video editing and 3D gaming
Small form factor (almost like a netbook or a 12 inch ION)

You can view and follow this project at http://www.hptm2t.com.  As of right now I don't have the system yet because I'm waiting for the Core i versions, but there are plenty of videos and information out there and i'll be posting what I find and eventually my own video content at hptm2t.com

Project - Viliv S10

I began http://www.vilivs10.com to gather news about the Viliv S10.  I was hoping that I could get a sample unit from Dynamism and Viliv but they denied me.  Because of I couldn't get a sample unit I could not create content.  Therefore the blog did not catch up as much as my other project http://www.lenovos103t.com   For those curious both lenovos103t.com and vilivs10.com started at the same time.  I could only afford one device and the Lenovo S10-3T was more affordable at that time so I went for it.  I did several attempts of getting a sample unit and it was a no go.  Dynamism and Viliv both lost major amounts of publicity and now the blog struggles to get new content.  I have to search for anything that is out there on the internet and see if it has value, then I can post it on the vilivs10.com site.

If you are interested or own the the Viliv S10 please visit vilivs10.com because there are some tips and tricks that can help you.  Enjoy!

Jesse B Andersen
Technology Enthusiast

Jun 3, 2010

Awesome screen technologies by Pixel Qi

Thanks to JKK for taking this video.  Pixel Qi has the "e-paper" or "e-ink" technology that I think will be super useful for tablets.  They offer the ability of having color screen or classic ala Kindle style screen with great refresh rate.  As of now tablets are for the most part useless outdoors, Pixel Qi can change this soon.

For more details about Pixel Qi check:

Jun 1, 2010

Free case, sleeve or any item that is $20 or less


Get a free case, sleeve, or any item that is $20 or less if you buy through one of my referral links.

Referral Link to Lenovo S10-3T at Amazon:
Yes you can buy the 1.83Ghz version at the Lenovo site, but you must go through the Amazon referral link and then click on the 1.83Ghz item.  I'm positive that it will register.

To get this deal send me an email at [email protected] with:
Print Screen of your orders page (jpg and png images)
Name and shipping address
The item that you want (must be from Amazon.com, a link would be helpful)

To print screen your orders page you could use the Print Screen key and Paint and save the image as a jpg or png.  However, if you want an easier way then try Free Screen Capturer.

US Only (I'm sorry rest of the world but shipping would be too much)
I don't collect and sell your info.  I usually delete all emails after I'm done reading them because I don't want a cluttered inbox.
I will send the items once I collect enough orders to save on shipping expenses and when the deal ends.
If you Photoshop your orders page I will know because of the referral page, so don't try to play games
The deal goes from orders made from June 1st to June 15th.  If you ordered items earlier than that then I'm sorry but I cannot send you anything because I have not kept track of items.
I'm doing this because I was planning on doing it for a while, so I decided to just do it.  Then I thought that my referral commission my go from an incredible 4% to a 5%!  No I'm not making millions.
No I'm not sponsored by any company.  If I did then I would have way more videos on youtube.


Jesse B Andersen