CE Week Best of (1 of 3): “Get The Picture” With This Quintet of Snappy Tech Goodies

CE Week
Save for the restrooms, nearly everywhere you looked at this year’s CE Week, there was some sort of tech accessory being showed off, a dongle dangled in your face every ten paces and other high and low tech tech related goodies of all types vying for attention and coverage. I liked a lot of what I saw, so in a few parts today and into next week, here are a few photo-related suggestions for you potential gift givers out there or those of you looking to give a little or big something to yourselves at some point:

slideshow_5ZTYLUS Smartphone Camera Lens (iPhone 5/Samsung Galaxy S/Galaxy Note): If you take a lot of photos with that iPhone or Galaxy, you’ll definitely want a ZTYLUS sooner than later. Invented and designed by Tim Hsu, this lens attachment (with optional case that makes your phone look like something even more futuristic) has a 4-in-1 lens that expands your creative options, is relatively inexpensive and as the official site says, will help you take better smartphone photos. The Revolver 4-in-One Lens is $69.95 and the case is $39.95, but I say snap both up in a combo pack from the ZTYLUS web shop for $99.95 and get your friends wondering when you became a secret agent (who just so happens to take REALLY awesome camera photos).

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CE Week: Protection Is The Name Of The Game…

CE WeekIt really doesn’t matter at all how much you spend, have spent or will spend on that hot new tech gadget at all if you don’t take care of it, folks. Sure, there are those who dispose of stuff as soon as a new model ships out or if there’s even the hint of an issue with it, but I’d bet most consumers don’t have that luxury in this economy and would be more than happy to have their tech last longer and even work better in some cases. This year’s CE Week was packed with some really cool new and returning products I can highly recommend, so pull up a chair if you haven’t already and maybe take some notes or click away on the following links at your leisure…

stm-112-033P-16_largeSTM Bags: I’d only heard of STM about a year or so back from a friend of mine who said they were “the best made laptop bags you’ll ever see”, which I promptly took with a grain of salt, as I’ve seen plenty of well-made carrying bags in my day. Anyway, he showed me the new laptop case his wife got for his birthday gift and I had to agree after poking through it thoroughly that there was some merit to his hyperbole.

These Australian-designed bag, cases and sleeves just look like they’re going places, even if you’re just hoofing it a handful of blocks to the nearest coffee spot to grab a cuppa and work on that great novel you think will rocket you to fame and fortune. Of course, if you walk in with your gear in an STM, people may think you’ve already made it. I guess that’s a sign of accomplishment, that looking successful stuff, as some of us have trouble finding a pair of socks that properly match (raises hand and waves it around)…

STM actually gave away that same model this year as a freebie to anyone who popped up at their booth with either the postcard they’d sent out or a mention of the email they shot around to a bunch of lucky attendees. As my own laptop is bigger than the bag handed out, I ended up getting someone who’s birthday was coming up a little replacement for his bag when it finally needs replacing and I’m betting he’s going to be surprised. My eyeball is actually set on that STM Sequel bag in the photo above, as it’s got everything I’m looking for and then some.

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Death Rattle or Rather Atonal Finger Cymbals? Oh, Let’s Find Out Now, Shall We?

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Ruh-Roh. Turned on the laptop not too long ago to post some stuff and maybe a half hour later, I hear a short, sharp rattling sound that made me jump. I thought it was from one of the phones or computers of the people sitting nearby, but then it happened again and nope, it’s me. More specifically, my not so new laptop. Eeek. Well, it hasn’t happened again, but I’m going to shut it down for the time being and see what happens when I reboot in about an hour. Crap. I have a ton of stuff to do and a quick proofreading job to complete, so this definitely stinks. And I just installed iolo’s wonderful System Mechanic, too!

Back in a bit… (Eeek!)

CE Week 2014: There May Be An Elio In Your Future (and Sooner Than You Think)…

Elio_Screen-shot-2014-02-25-at-3.50.48-PMI think my eyebrow went up as soon as I saw the silver Elio (named after founder, engineer and CEO Paul Elio) tucked into its comfortably tight space at CE Week because I thought it was yet another electric car trying to capture some of that Tesla thunder. Of course, my eyebrow did a back flip when I found out it wasn’t a car at all, but more like a very sturdy American made gas-powered single door, two seat tri-wheeler that’s coming sometime next year for the ridiculous price of $6,800. Yeah, you read that correctly.

As an affable Joel Sheltrown, Elio’s VP of Governmental Affairs walked myself and The Other View’s Terry Lewis through his pitch, my initial wariness about the Elio vaporized as I realized that the company was trying to revolutionize the transportation market not with a luxury model only a few could afford, but an affordable ride for the masses that’s going to solve quite a few modern problems for almost anyone who wants one… Continue reading

CE Week Madness Of A Sort…

CE Week 
Short post today, as I’m at CE Week seeing some pretty cool stuff I’ll be covering over the next few weeks. I shoule be posting from the show floor or something, but it’s too loud and distracting and I can’t write with people yammering away around me. Oddly enough, I can draw just fine, as you may see in a bit after the folks from one booth I dropped by send me an email of the intentionally blurry tree I drew using their nifty app and drawing tool…

Anyway, back in a bit – I’ve been up since 4:45am and still have about two hours here to go. Eeek. Well, the coffee is free at least…

CE Week 2013: Westinghouse Digital’s 84″ 4K Whiteboard Has Much Better Potential Than Even They Think…

Westinghouse_LED_WBWith all the fuss and bother over 4K televisions as the *new* new standard at last week’s CE Week,I was actually quite bored by this latest in the resolution revolution. Sure, all those massive TV’s LOOK phenomenal, but the current problem here is they all fall under the “bigger is best!” and “early adopters will indeed pay MORE for this new technology!” categories more than doing anything actually revolutionary.

That’s right folks, you’ll need a room the size of a small classroom and above and an entire wall or equivalent floor space for these door and door plus sized higher-def sets that come in at thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. If that’s not enough to keep the folks with small apartments and smaller wallets away in droves, there’s not a single 4K ready program out there to watch, meaning you’re buying into a TV that’s TOO good for what you’ll probably be watching. Yes, I’m sure that high-high def TV programming is on the way, but you all KNOW it’s going to be a reality show cavalcade and more sports (and if you’re spending that much on a TV and not season tickets… um… oh, nevermind)…

Don’t get me wrong – the image quality on every set I saw was phenomenal and I had to admit that had I the space and funds, I’d probably dive right in feet first just for gaming purposes and to check out my current blu-rays to see if I could notice whatever benefits upscaling had. Then again, I’m not that discriminating video guy other than demanding that black are blacks and not shades of greyish or blob-like darkness found in off-brand and some major HD sets. Other than assorted internet functions that basically turn your TV into a wall-sized facebook page or super-crowded screen full of apps, none of these new and expensive sets seemed to offer anything game changing other than bigger screens and nothing to do with them but engage in the usual passive viewer behavior. However, as soon as I walked around to the Westinghouse booth and saw their new 84″ LED 4K Interactive Whiteboard being displayed, my head nearly spun itself off in amazement.

(thank you,MyTVcollection!)

You can DRAW directly on the screen. If you’re thinking or saying out loud “And?”, guess what – you’ll catch on eventually (I think). As my brain was whirling around from all the artistic applications of such a device, one of the reps started in with his pitch about how the TV is “a high quality alternative to projectors in many government, educations and corporate settings” and I was really wishing he was thinking as far outside of the box as I was…

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Oy, What a Week… I Need Some Animal Assistance!

 
Blib. Blub. Beelzebub. My head hurts (well not so much now). Maybe I’m missing something, but I can’t help thinking the tech world sometimes lives at the 1939 World’s Fair and occasionally flits forward in time to the 1964 one. Lots of cool stuff is on the way, but like the old days, it relies on spending lots and lots of money for some things that won’t e a reality until lots and lots more money is spent setting up circumstances for these products to work. Anyone know of a 4K television program or network yet? No? Well, you better get ready for TV’s that have colors and detail you might not want to see (and maybe the return of 3D. Again.). While this will be great for the demanding cinephiles out there, I can’t wait to see classics like Citizen Kane, The Gold Rush and many others re-re (and in some cases, RE)-restored in SUPER pore-counting detail and not a hair or scratch on screen (he said slightly snarkily)…

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Only Two Posts Today? I’m Slipping! OK, Not Really…

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Bleh. Long and tiring day, I lost my camera, so no CE pics to post with the stuff I’m going to be writing save for some stock pics I’ll need to grab at some point this weekend. That said, I fell head over heels for a super simple tablet carrier that’s pure genius, a camera mount that Apple only wishes it came up with, a stupidly expensive gaming PC, a crazy but simple exercise device and a massage chair, both also costing an arm and a leg. Add in the new Westinghouse (of all companies!) TV with a screen you can DRAW ON (Wha-whaaaaaat?), more 4K madness that you can shake a stick at (despite NO 4K programming to watch at all… yet), a bunch of other fun stuff (WATERPROOF phone/tech bags!) and yup. CE Week is pretty darn cool. My 2013 Holiday Gift Guide is going to be an easy one to write, that’s for sure…

Got a stupidly long conference to attend tomorrow, but we’ll see about that, as it’s all about second screen evangelizing and I know for a fact that we’re a good hack away from none of that stuff working as well as everyone wishes. Eh, well. maybe I’ll learn something interesting other than hearing “game changer” and “revolution” every sixteen seconds… back tomorrow. Good night.