Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Not the Apple headset

If you do not need your headset to match your iPhone, charge in the same dock, and have its battery charge status displayed on the screen of your iPhone, OR if you don't really need one and can't justify spending the list price of 129 USD, then you'd want to check out the Motorola HS850. I haven't put it through a battery stress test, but it gives no hint of losing a charge after casual use (an hour or two at a time) and charges super quickly.
  • Standby time: 200 hrs
  • Talk time: 8 hrs
  • Accessories: AC adapter (different voltage than phone)
  • Notable: Memory enables pairing with up to 8 devices (not simultaneously), but it only automatically seeks out the last device connected.
Although this probably originally retailed around the same price point as the Apple headset, you can get it at Buy.com for 35 USD including shipping.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Martha on iPods

Chances are that if you're reading this, you have an iPod or another portable audio player. Be sure to observer proper listening etiquette. In this month's WIRED magazine, WIRED staff interview Martha Stewart to find out 'how to make everything better'. For her home music setup, Martha suggests putting an iPod connected to wireless speakers in each room of the house, a simple and unobtrusive way to get the job done. She does have mixed feelings about digital media players, and when she was speaking the subject of blackberries and digital communication, she said the following:
[Martha] It's horrible. You can not forget human communication. When the Walkman first came out, I called it the Rudeman: Everybody who's listening to those is rude to me. I think part of the reason I got divorced was because of the Rudeman. [WIRED] Really? [Martha] Oh, yeah. I'd be in the garden, weeding and chatting away and no answer! ...
For more, check out WIRED's 'How to...' feature starting on page 101 in the August 2007 issue. On the cover, you'll see a photo of Ms. Stewart baking a Wii cake. FYI, the recipe is on page 119 but isn't attributed to her.

At the time of the post, I couldn't find a link to the article.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's been said that Facebook is the new Google

An ex-googler who managed Page Creator said that Facebook is "the Google of yesterday, the Microsoft of long ago". Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Page Creator, but when you think of the best places to work, Google is no longer the indisputable choice for most [new ]software engineers [forget Goldman]. Blake Ross, creator of the alternative browser Firefox, co-founded a startup called Parakey to develop a web-based operating system. Now, he's still doing that, but now he's [just ]working for Mark Zuckerberg.

SOURCE: DealBreaker [at which a blogger dramatically understates Blake's contribution to Firefox: "they surfed the net a lot using Firefox, not Explorer"]

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Apple TV's power consumption

The Apple TV is a nice addition to any HDTV setup. It's currently the hottest setup component we have next to the PS3. Taken literally, that's because the TV is always on and lacks any form of active cooling, leaving it very warm to the touch. While this is worrying from the perspective of power consumption, it turns out that I should be more worried about the 60 watt incandescent bulb above my head.

According to Apple Support forum-user rverwij, the Apple TV consumes about 14 watts in standby and between 17 and 19 watts while in use. The reason the Apple TV is always on is probably to increase responsiveness and to sync your content so quickly you don't have to ever manually intervene. Another reason might be to avoid startup times or even to reduce what could be constant wear and tear of booting and shutting down. This doesn't make it energy-start compliant, though, as rverwij also points out.

To be honest, I wouldn't mind going back in time to defer my purchase of the Apple TV, since clearly the best is yet to come. I also believe that to be the case with the iPhone, which I returned it unopened a week after purchasing it on release day.*

SOURCE: Apple Support Discussions

Updated 10:16 AM EDT: * The official reasons I returned the iPod[iPhone]: 1) I never really intended to buy it. 2) I just got a new 30 G iPod in February. 3) It doesn't have a killer feature like the Unix terminal. 4) I still have a contract with my current wireless provider Verizon Wireless that ends in October. 5) ...

Updated (March 28, 2011): This post applies to the First Generation Apple TV. The newer Apple TV is smaller and more more power efficient than the original and only consumes 6-watts (it only has a 6-watt power supply).