The bem wireless Mobile Speaker is AWESOME!

, posted: 29-Oct-2013 02:30

I have been on a roller coaster ride of speaker options over the past few years but this appears to have come to an end. Last week I discovered in JB Hi-Fi the bem wireless Mobile Speaker for only $97!

This little beast offers a fantastic combination of sound and size for price. The branding and packaging is simple but striking with a few quirky additions adding a touch of personality. There are 6 colour options and a decent looking AC adaptor, mini USB cable for charging, 3.5mm audio lead and user guide included. There is even a bem sticker, how very Apple but don't hold this against them!

The size really has to be seen to be believed, how something so small can produce the sound it does amazes me. It has a solid feel indicating good build quality but a rubbery outer which makes it comfortable to touch and hold. The size and the inbuilt rechargeable battery makes it so very portable for music anywhere you want it. Dance party volume and bass is obviously an unrealistic expectation but I was genuinely surprised by the output volume and lack of distortion even at max volume. For 1 person or whole room listening through to background music for a picnic or BBQ, this is the way to go!

I have found the bluetooth audio to be rock solid with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3, from the initial pairing through re-pairing and continued streaming use. The play/pause button works as expected with the native music app and the LED indicators are informative and useful but not on the front panel where they would be distracting like on most devices.

I hadn't heard of bem before last week but a quick "Google" revealed glowing user reviews of this speaker and with my other requirements met I was quickly convinced. bem also offer a couple of other speaker products plus a small projector.

All told I can't fault this little miracle, keep up the good work bem!

R.I.P. Nokia

, posted: 3-Sep-2013 23:45

Today saw the final nail in the coffin for Nokia as we knew and loved it as it was purchased by Microsoft. This got me thinking of all the great Nokia phones I have had and how loyal I was to the clear leader in mobile phone technology for so many years. Oh how the mighty have fallen. --- Where it all began, the 918 on Gold Mobile from The Warehouse. --- The changeable covers of the 3310. --- The sleek beauty and colour screen of the 6610 --- The 6680, purchased the week Vodafone launched 3G in New Zealand. Why the integrated lens cover idea didn't take off I still have no idea! --- The E71, magnificent hardware and software. --- The N900, a great machine that started me on the path of no longer needing a computer as my phone could do it all. --- There were a few others of a less notable nature scattered in between making for many years of loyal Nokia fanboyism. R.I.P. Nokia.

The Phablet Is Where My Heart Is

, posted: 1-Jun-2013 23:39

Way back moons ago I lusted after the original Asus Padfone, then the Samsung Galaxy Note stole the show and was followed by the Samsung Galaxy Note II. More recently the third generation of the Asus Padfone, the Asus Padfone Infinity, emerged as the top spec device I expect. I've had the Padfone for a month or so now and I really like it. The build quality of the handset is phenomenal, the convenience of having a top spec (same specs as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One) handset for portability but also the 10.1" full HD tablet is magnificent. BUT. I'm on a mega minimalism bender at the moment and having 2 bits to cart around is doing my head in. I'm quite happy using the handset only for my day to day use but find myself feeling guilty about leaving the Asus Padfone Infinity Station at home. So I take the Station with me and then find myself using it only because I feel guilty about not. Or just not using it at all and therefore carting it around unnecessarily. First world problems huh. So the Padfone is on limited time in my possession and I eagerly await the arrival of the years phablets. The phablet form factor is the one that suits me by far the most. One device, big hands, I wear jeans that can pocket such a beast rather than skin tight ones that couldn't, the list goes on. But what is it going to be . . . So far, the HTC T6 sounds very appealing. Assumed to be a big version of the HTC One, here's hoping it will come with vanilla Android :-) Chances are the Samsung Galaxy Note III will find itself in my possession at some stage, but I'm not sold on the plasticness of the Galaxy series. The rumoured Sony Xperia L4 at 6.44" is another potential candidate. I like the design and build quality of the Xperia Z and Sony holds the brand loyalty I have the earliest memories of. Lastly the Nexus 7 II is what I have high hopes for. The vanilla Android experience is what I am after and if the Nexus 7 II has a slimmer bezel, full HD screen, iPad mini style design & materials and the ability to use it as a phone then it could well take the cake.

Deleting Internet Explorer passwords without administrator rights

, posted: 6-May-2013 23:43

A while ago I tweeted and made general enquiries about how to delete passwords from Internet Explorer in a corporate environment which has had the usual methods disabled.

There were a few suggestions made but ultimately the only option that worked for my situation was a brilliant little application called IE PassView. It is available from Nirsoft here I see they have similar applications for router passwords, email passwords and Internet Explorer history but I haven't tried them.

I ran it from a USB stick and it showed me all the stored usernames and passwords and allowed me to delete them. Quite scary really! It also allows you to export them for backup etc

I post this here in the hope that it will save someone else the hassle of searching. It does access and edit the registry so it comes with risks and anti virus/spyware programs alert on it but it seems to have a good reputation around the internet.

A whole new level of minimalism

, posted: 1-May-2013 03:20

Just over a year a ago I had reached what I considered a reasonable state of minimalism. I thought I was pretty much at the stage I wanted to be and was quite happy there. Fast forward 14 months and HOLY MOLY, I have gone CRAZY! Since the 15th of March I have sold 68 items on Trade Me (plus a few via Geekzone and word of mouth) and I currently have another 24 items listed, an effort which has seen me become a Trade Me Top Seller. This phase of my quest for minimalism has seen extreme ruthlessness, with sacred possessions such as gadgetry, Ducati paraphernalia and even my beloved Ducati Hypermotard motorbike put on the chopping block (oh ok, maybe that last one is related to a desirable new model being released ;-) ). My TV and associated appliances is on the list, it gets used rarely and when it does, only as a glorified radio to play C4 music videos and my tool box full of tools that seldom see the light of day can be easily replaced by a multi tool in most situations. This wasn't and isn't about making money but so far my Trade Me sales total $1,053.50 (with $90.52 of Trade Me fees which I don't begrudge at all). That is a whole pile of cash that is far more usable than a bunch of items I haven't used for years sitting around gathering dust! To date I have not thrown anything out . . . a few bits and pieces have been given to charitable causes or bartered, a few have been sold for $1 on a $1 reserve auction but even that is satisfying, to allow someone else to put to good use an item that I just don't need. Looking towards the future, I am working on a list of the possessions I NEED and this is what I am striving for. Essentially clothes and a one device does all piece of technology is all I want and need. Living in a fully furnished apartment assists greatly here but I see my future own residence being quite minimal in whichever form it takes (a tent maybe haha). I am the first to admit that I have reached a crazy level of extreme minimalism but it is making me feel so happy, so liberated. I am just a little scared to consider what I can sell next ;-) If you want a bargain, check out my Trade Me listings and feel free to judge me based on some of the quirky dregs that are currently listed :-) Everything must go!

INCOMING: Asus Padfone Infinity 64GB

, posted: 18-Apr-2013 06:30

Way back forever ago I fell in love with the original Asus Padfone when it was announced. I had my heart set on it for the following months but just before it was released, the Samsung Galaxy Note stole the show. The Samsung Galaxy Note II followed and it is a great machine but in February the Padfone flame was reignited with the announcement of the Asus Padfone Infinity. Featuring full HD screens on both pieces, a beautifully crafted handset, amazing specifications, a reasonably vanilla Android experience, large internal memory, decent camera. SOLD! Yesterday I ordered (from BuyshopTW) what appears to be one of the first publically available units (as did NZtechfreak). I hadn't felt this level of new toy excitement for years. We have a discussion thread here, feel free to ask questions/discuss/share my excitement :-) Come on Fedex!!

Generic Samsung Galaxy Note finally allowed Android 4.0 ICS update

, posted: 27-Aug-2012 06:30

Well well well, 2 days before the announcement of its successor (Samsung Galaxy Note 2), my generic Australian Samsung Galaxy Note has finally been allowed to update to Android 4.0 ICS. I will run the update later today.

I have no regrets about ditching iOS for Android and I love the form factor of the Note but I wish Google/Android took Apple's approach to software updates (I realise that OEM customisation is a factor).

Is this the 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848

, posted: 16-Jun-2012 14:44

There are a few spy shots kicking around the internet of the supposed 2013 Ducati Hypermotard 848.

I love my current steed, a 2011 Ducati Hypermotard 796, but I am always on the lookout for something to replace it when the time comes and until now that was the new Ducati Streetfighter 848. I do like the Streetfighter style a lot but the Hypermotard really is something and the rumoured Hypermotard 848 has a strong appeal.

Bring on the confirmed specs and pics!

All accessorised up and no Galaxy Note in sight (yet)

, posted: 28-Apr-2012 14:45

I have gone a little crazy in preparing myself for the purchase of my first Android device . . .

Procured to date:

Full size 2degrees SIM card to SIM swap from my microSIM.
Sandisk 64GB microSDXC card from Moby Memory in the UK

From Expansys (ex Singapore):

Design Craft Hard Case (Sky Blue)
Martin Fields Screen Protector
Samsung MHL MicroUSB to HDMI Adapter to allow display on a TV
Samsung USB Gender Adapter to allow connection of a USB flash drive

I am about to order my black Samsung Galaxy Note from Mobileciti which will be delivered to my parents in Sydney to await my arrival on Wednesday. Along with it I'll grab a couple of extra chargers for my various places of work plus a 12V (cigarette lighter) charger, both are genuine Samsung parts for a great price.

I will be on the look out for a nice (smallish) Bluetooth keyboard and mouse while in Australia as the Note is going to be my only computer (for now at least, will see how I cope).

Is there anything else I must have?

Padfone off the menu, hello Galaxy Note!

, posted: 16-Apr-2012 16:00

After years of wanting a device just like the Asus Padfone, now that it is so very close I have changed my mind Cool

The Samsung Galaxy Note is going to be my first Android device. With screen size and resolution my main priority (I no longer own a computer, my phone does it all) I have decided that the 5.3" 1280 x 800 screen is going to suit my needs the best. Provided I don't take a liking to skin tight jeans (not going to happen!) it is still pocketable and therefore the best device for me.

I am off to Australia in 2.5 weeks, I will grab one from Mobileciti over there as a 2 year manufacturer warranty in Oz plus the GST refund on departure makes it my favoured deal.

I have gone a little crazy in anticipation . . . ordered so far ex Hong Kong and the UK are a 64GB Sandisk microSDXC card, a screen protector, a hard skin case, USB OTG adaptor and MHL to HDMI adaptor.

Wheeeeeeeeee new toy!

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Scott Palmer
New Zealand