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Have Blackberry got the Math right?

April 26, 2010

34 – 20 = 14.
Right?
Perfectly so.
It might just be that this very simple sum launches RIM, makers of the infamous Blackberry range, into the consumer stratosphere.
Note I said Consumer, not Business.

Take the much loved standard 12 button keypad found on a standard mobile phone.
Add just two more buttons.
Now, be really clever and keep the casing size the same as a standard (small) keypad phone … and pack everything Blackberry into it.
And I mean everything.
Blackberry email, Blackberry Messenger, all the app’s (Facebook as standard) – the whole breathtaking lot.
Ensure connectivity is second to none.
Oh, and throw in a 624Mhz processor.
For a little extra “wow”and complete peace of mind for the Size Geeks, ensure the system can take 32GB SD card.
Of course there’s the camera with zoom, autofocus, flash & video.
Talking of video, I watched one on the 300 x 400 sharp Res’ screen, with the sound via the built-in Speaker Phone. Ha, the hoodies would love it.

In the UK,  Touch Screen & Qwerty Keypads have only tempted roughly 25% of us.
75% of us still love the Óld Style’  keypad.
Blackberry seem to have finally realised something that still escapes our politicians – they’ve listened to the people.
Taking the best of themselves, RIM’s Mohammed’s come to the peoples Mountain, walking the talk and offering the new Pearl 3G (9105) as a gift.

The Blackberry Bold 9700 has 34 keys – the Pearl a blissful 14 yet still it matches the Bold 9700 punch for punch on tech’ spec’s!
However when you pick it up and play, as I did today at the launch, it feels like a cute text and ring mobile phone – not a big meaty workhorse for the business World. Beautifully however when you check the menu of offerings then there’s no doubt whatsoever that this is a Smartphone for the genuinely savvy consumer.
Oh, and I sent a text, using that old style keypad and the RIM predictive text makes T9 system look unbelievably clunky.
For the fashion affectionados amongst us, RIM have heard you too – there’s going to be colour! ;-)

I’m impressed.

PS. Don’t go getting yourself confused with the 9100 – that’s the American version (a 20 key QWERTY Pearl 3G)

Full review to follow shortly on TakTikTech.

AVATAR Plastic Con – the 2010 non-event

April 26, 2010

I’ve never wanted to slap a celebrity before.
Especially not one I admire.
However when I saw the so-called “Tree of Souls” (‘real life’, they said) at Hyde Park yesterday, I wanted to get hold of James Cameron personally and give him a royal kick up the bum.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been disappointed.
Yet I was and worse still, so were the 20 or so friends I had so enthusiastically encouraged to come along on a raining, grey Sunday evening.

The “Tree of Souls” in AVATAR is the life line of the planet and the people. It is beautiful and inspiring; vast & alive in it’s energy.
Life Like” the PR behind 20th Century Fox exclaimed as they announced the one-off ‘replica’to be built in Hyde Park. A replica that was to use 20 miles of fibre optic cabling, was fully interactive, that would shimmer and throb with the energy of us mere mortals (as we connected our phones by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, anyway. Still sounded good to me)
I raced to organise my friends attendance – wanted them all to know about this amazing creation, built to celebrate the launch of AVATAR on Blue-Ray.
A ‘replica’ that was only going to be in place for three days.

I jumped about on various forums – AVATAR fan pages etc and found the Americans were up in arms; disappointed & envious that Londons Hyde Park had been chosen to host this ‘spectacular’ event.
Rest easy, my American friends, for the joke – a tasteless plastic one at that – is on us.

James Cameron, 20th Century Fox, AVATAR.
These three names – brands – have come to represent quality, entertainment, yes?

We couldn’t have stood further from these things yesterday. On the asphalt corner of Speakers Corner yesterday stood a plastic tree. Halfway down the trunk a 17″ screen was attached. From the six or so branches (I may be being generous – it might have been four or five branches) hung a few strands of fibre optic cabling. It looked like string blowing in the cold grey light of a damp Sunday.
The promises of being able to attach our mobile phones to the tree and send a message, of being able to sponsor a planting of a tree failed – at least for Blackberry & HTC owners. My iPhone fan friends had more success.
The crowds listening to the Speakers ranting at Speakers Corner were bigger than those at the Tree – and were indeed more enthused.
I typically, had rocked up with my camera but on seeing the Tree didn’t take a single snap shot.

James, if either yourself or one of your close advisor’s should read this, please get hold of the so-called brain behind this ‘non-event’ and sack them. They failed, beyond belief, to do anyone – 20th Century Fox, yourself, AVATAR or even a fans enthusiasm – justice.

My friend summed it up beautifully on my Facebook when she wrote and thanked me for the “most disappointing experience of her life“.

Geek Apparel – Look Cool & Be Cool

April 1, 2010

We’ve had enough of weird clothes this week and I thought we’d do some more sensible. Considering how much time we spend on our laptops, phones, PDA’s etc., it is pretty much safe to say that our eyes aren’t in the best of shape. This problem incidentally can be solved with the application of a little science.

The thing is that most fluorescent lights have a large percentage of blue in them, and this blue isn’t very healthy for the eyes. (Stare at a blue LED or something and see for yourself..) If only we could have something, possibly goggles that would shift the light to the warmer part of the spectrum, then the toll that the light would take on our eyes wouldn’t be that great. And this is exactly what these goggles, called the GUNNAR goggles do.

Specially built for computers, these look pretty cool too. These are light weight, comfortable and come in five different varieties, Edge Onyx, Edge Ash, Weezer Onyx, Marley Mercury, and Rocket Mercury.(Quite a mouthful no?) The lens is yellowish in colour and acts like a blue light filter. (See Pic).

Buy this from Thinkgeek for about £ 50 – 60.

Geek Apparel – LED belt? (My number is …)

March 31, 2010

If you’ve been following our blog for sometime (No? You should, it’s super cool!), you’d know that we’ve been looking to do things differently for some time.
We began with just gadgets, weird gadgets in fact, and this week we’re doing weird apparel. And we’re doing all this to get rid of monotony. Say for example, you buy a nice T-Shirt or something with a nice quote on it. Over time, you get bored of it because you can’t change what it says. Or wait, can you? In a sense, yep, you can!
The deal is, simply put, a LED belt buckle. Now while that might not sound so grand, think of the possibilities.
Because, what you can do is,

  • a) store up to 6 different messages that scroll across the belt,
  • b) choose 9 different scrolling speeds, and
  • c) choose one of 9 different brightness levels.

All this using a computer to which you need to connect the device. Even if you don’t have something cool to tell the world, we’d still recommend getting this nifty device, just because it looks so awesome (uh-huh)
“TakTikBitch rocks” scrolling across, a step too far?… :-P


Get this from glowproducts.com for a price of about £12.00.

Chainmail… T-shirt!

March 30, 2010

So well, what do we do next?

We’ve promised we won’t make a Star Wars reference so we’ll have to stick by it, otherwise we could just talk about a Jedi deluxe robe or something *longing sigh*.  And while we were scratching our heads browsing the internet, we came upon this gem.

In simple words, a chainmail T Shirt! And before you say “Whoa! Heavy!” , listen up. The entire thing is actually very light, (well, with respect to chainmail, not as a T-Shirt!). The whole thing is made of thousands of anodized aluminium rings and weighs just about 20 pounds. Apart from wearing it at costume parties or such, you could also use this as an undergarment and protect yourself from all sharp objects (Disclaimer: not sharp tongues..) in the big bad world. Plus, the royal and medieval aura that you’ll have around you, trust us the feeling will be better than having your own soundtrack! (yesterday’s T Shirt)
PS. Does wonders for the chest … ;-)

T-Shirt with Tunes!

March 29, 2010

Okay, so a geek like me wears or rather should wear geeky clothes too. This in fact, would be ideal. But sadly, the big bad world looks down sceptically upon geeks, and we are forced to wear what is accepted (not that I even manage that particularly well!).
If we could however get away with wearing anything we fancy  what would we wear?

This week, a geek’s apparel wishlist :-D

"Da de dah! De Da dadeda!"

First up, we begin with a T-Shirt. A one of a kind! And trust me, its geek credentials are exemplary!
Anyway, to get to the point, how many of us, at some point or the other, have wanted our own background music? (Remember Peter Griffin in a Family Guy episode when he asks for background music as a boon from a genie…?) Might sound a little crazy but sit back and give it a thought, how sensationally cool would it be?
And now this is actually possible? How, you ask…well, the answer’s simple, a T-Shirt! This T-Shirt has a speaker at the front, and a slot which allows loading SD cards. It’s also possible to make playlists and stuff. If you think your life’s dull when compared to movies or TV shows, this is what we recommend.
Get this for about £ 15 on Thinkgeek.

Opinion Corner: Game Ratings

March 26, 2010

Not only does the Opinion Corner give me a fantastic opportunity to rant about something, it also lets me address recent matters of interest behind the scenes of TTTech. For example we’ve just reviewed one Alienware Gaming computer and are currently trialing a 2nd model – but what about the games themselves? My particular focus this week is Game Ratings..

To begin with why’re we doing this? Why even have a rating system? The reason primarily is that different games are targeted towards different audiences. A 2D platformer might not appeal to teenagers and a gory shooter might not be appropriate for children. Let’s look at a few examples shall we?

Even recently if you’ve fiddled about looking for news on the internet, you might have come across the Call of Duty 6 controversy.
The deal is that in a particular mission you get to play an undercover cop in the guise of a terrorist. You’ve seemingly infiltrated a terrorist group and are part of an attack that the group launches on a Russian airport. What’s shocking is that the game lets you kill civilians too, just like the other terrorists. And the fact that all this looks pretty much realistic adds to the shock value.
Many critics feel that this was just a stunt, something shocking would make people curious and want the game more. There was debate as to whether the developer ought to edit the portions out before releasing further copies of the game. This was due to the concern that the game might affect children and maybe even adults adversely.
Infinity Ward, the developer, however maintained that COD6 was not a game for kids, it was rated accordingly (we’ll come back to the ratings shortly) and if people could go to the cinemas and watch films with far greater amounts of violence etc., games probably shouldn’t affect them so much.

Another example is one of the earliest cases where a need for establishing proper ratings for games was felt, namely, Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas. (Surprised? You wouldn’t be if you’ve played any of them…) Anyway, a particular patch was the primary cause of concern there. This patch let you play a sex minigame, something pretty much unthinkable, not to add shocking and highly inappropriate in a video game.

So we’ve established that games need to be rated. And there needs to be various parameters too when a game is rated, for example, how much of modding is possible for a game (The GTA incident) etc?
The USA board that does all this is called the ESRB. (The Entertainment Software Rating Board).
Ratings are given after taking into account a variety of parameters. For example, Oblivion was to be rated Teen, but when it was known that using Mods, all female characters in the game could be made to appear nude, the rating was changed to Mature. Ratings awarded are: -

  • RP (Rating Pending),
  • E (Everyone),
  • E 10 + (Everyone Ten Plus),
  • T (Teen),
  • M (Mature) and
  • AO (Adults Only).

This rating is displayed prominently on the box cover of games and parents are advised to consult this before purchasing the game for their kid. There’s also a good list of games and their content guidelines on the ESRB Wikipedia Link.
In the UK, the regulatory body is … the British Board of Film Classification.

The next time you buy your kid a game, keep an eye out!

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