See you in San Francisco

March 29, 2008

Watch out San Francisco – I’m coming back! Seattle is nice and all, but it’s not where my heart is…

Anyway, I apologize for the radio silence – life’s just been a bit more stressful than normal lately.

I’m currently evaluating the Nokia N81 8 GB which arrived last week. Expect some good stuff soon :)


Etymotic Research ety8 review

March 16, 2008

I have to admit, I’m often biased… There are some manufacturers whose products I’m more likely to value by default – I’m an unabashed Apple, Nokia, and Honda fangirl, for example!,

Etymotic Research is another manufacturer whose products I’ve used (and liked) for years. Who is Etymotic and why should you care? Etymotic is relatively new to consumer and personal audio but very well established (and respected) in hearing research and professional audio circles.

Long before Ultimate Ears and Shure, when it came to canal earphones, Etymotic was the name of the game.

Their in-ear (canal) transducers are known for their ultra-accurate frequency response, and have been used in audiology for years – I discovered Etymotic while working in hearing research 15 years ago.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nokia N82 camera

March 12, 2008

A few months ago, I compared three 5 megapixel camera phones with auto-focus and flash – the i-mobile 902, the Nokia N95, and the Sony Ericsson K850i.

I concluded that:
– The i-mobile 902 was the best camera overall
– The Nokia N95 was the best camera for my purposes
– The Sony Ericsson K850i was the best camera for most people

Enter yet another 5 megapixel camera phone with auto-focus, macro and flash, the Nokia N82.

Now that I’ve used the N82 camera extensively (see pictures above), how does it fit into the picture (pun intended)?

Well it definitely improves upon the N95 camera in terms of features by offering a xenon flash, faster startup time, and faster auto-focus (as well as providing a lens cover, which is missing on the Nokia N95-3).

It matches the K850i camera in terms of features with the brighter xenon flash and quick operation, and beats it in terms of performance with the better Carl Zeiss optics and richer colors.

However, it still lags behind the i-mobile 902 camera in terms of sensor noise and low-light performance.

The N82 beats the K850i in video performance (VGA vs. QVGA resolution), but the K850i trumps the N82 when the time comes to upload pictures (tri-band HSDPA). Also, the N82 is a smartphone, whereas the K850i is a feature phone.

So ultimately:
1) The i-mobile 902 is the best camera overall, but is limited in terms of phone features
2) The Nokia N82 is the best camera for people who want a smartphone with a xenon flash – the Nokia N95 is the best camera for people who (like me) want a smartphone with (US compatible) HSDPA
3) The Sony Ericsson K850i is the best camera for people who want a feature phone

I’d seriously consider retiring my N95-3 for a version of the N82 with US-compatible HSDPA. Are you paying attention, Nokia?

15 years of Mac

March 8, 2008

What can I say? I was feeling artistic and nostalgic just now :)

15 years of Mac – my sexy MacBook Air (1.6 GHz, 80 GB HD), my upgraded Power Mac G4 Cube (dual 1.2 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB HD, Radeon 7500, Superdrive), and my recently acquired Macintosh Color Classic (16 MHz, 10 MB RAM, 80 MB HD, Ethernet, CD-ROM)…

3 generations of Mac – Intel Core 2 Duo, IBM PowerPC G4, and Motorola 68030!

I snapped these in low light with my Nokia N95, and tweaked them in Photoshop.

The iPhone SDK was worth the wait

March 6, 2008

iPhone software roadmap

Oh yeah, it was definitely worth the wait. The iPhone SDK is here and is even more exciting than I expected :)

Here’s a quick summary:
– iPhone SDK and emulator available now (beta)
– Intel-based Mac required
– Microsoft Exchange/ActiveSync support coming (oh hello there, RIM)
– IM client coming
– Sega games coming (Super Monkey Ball)
– EA games coming (Spore)
– Apps available on iTunes App Store (both on iPhone and Mac/PC)
– Developer fee of $99 to publish in iTunes App Store (includes support)
– Developer sets price (paid or free)
– Developer keeps 70% of profits
– Firmware 2.0 required to use iTune App Store (available in June)
– iFund: $100 Million Dollars VC fund for iPhone software startups

For more information check out this play-by-play and this other summary

So, I’m very excited about the iPhone SDK and I’m going to play with it ASAP! I think it’s another major wakeup call for RIM, Nokia, Google/OHA and Microsoft.

What do you think?