Friday, May 31, 2013

Kobo eReader Growth

Kobo Inc. says its e-reader customer base grew by 2.5 million in the first quarter despite weak predictions for the digital book industry.

The Toronto-based, Japanese-owned e-reader company says it now has 14.5 million registered users, with 15 per cent of its new users coming from the United States.

Kobo’s customers were also reading 34 per cent more in the first quarter compared with the same time period last year.

Sales of the new Kobo Aura HD accounted for more than one in four e-readers sold at retail stores and sales of Kobo Writing Life self-publishing titles made up 10 per cent of revenue.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Special Camera Deal- Today Only!!

Need a gift for a dad or grad in your life?
Ultra Zoom Bundle (save $92):
Waterproof Bundle (save $144):

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Crayola Experience

The Grand Re-Opening of the Crayola Experience this Memorial weekend in Easton, PA animates the blending of art and technology. Eager participants are introduced to a fusion of color and digital media through various attractions spread over four floors of Crayola's newly renovated facility. Eighteen captivating exhibits inspire creativity, hands-on computer exploration and interactive learning.

Jumping out at visitors is the new Art Alive! exhibit where you can create digital works of art. Simply walk up to one of the many Tryten iPad kiosk stations set up with the Crayola DigiTools app. Then watch as your creations are broadcast onto huge background walls and come to life with the touch of a hand. The larger than life screen senses motion and reacts to your movement with a variety of responses. For example, children standing at the kiosk can design and color a fish character that joins a huge ocean scene wall display. The fish will interactively move through the ocean based on the motions of the artist.

Another Crayola Experience exhibit that inspires budding digital creativity is the "Be A Star" coloring page photobooth. Simply push a button, pose with your favorite Crayola character, and watch as your image appears as a coloring page on a display screen. This image can then be printed onto a t-shirt, puzzle or canvas of your choice.

Although Crayola has been making crayons for 110 years now, the vision of this company is to embrace new trends in design and technology that further spark artistic experience. No detail has been overlooked in this multimillion dollar renovation that encourages the use of interactive tools for self-expression. Mike Perry, CEO of Crayola emphasizes that "this brand and this business is fundamentally about sparking the creative spirit that we believe exists in the heart of every child... creativity has to be experienced. And that's what this place is all about."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Changing Face of Reviews

We have been publishing our monthly review and commentary product for many, many years. Our publication started out as a print (meaning paper and ink) monthly newsletter associated with a unique computer user group, the PHL HUB PCUG.

In case you aren’t familiar with acronyms, PHLHUBPCUG means the PHL (Philadelphia International Airport) HUB (the airports under their management which included PHL, PNE (Northeast Philadelphia), TTN (Trenton Mercer airport), ACY (Atlantic City International), ILG (Wilmington, DE), ABE (Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton), AVP (Wilkes-Barre) and IPT (Williamsport) User Group. That facility structure has changed drastically since then but that’s how we started out back in the early 1990’s. Today their structure is NOTHING like this and most of those facilities are closed.

The change in availability of review products has been even more dramatic. What? Even more? Yep.

Back in the 90’s review software (and to some extent hardware) flowed like wine. What do you want to review? You got it! But then the bubble burst and things slowed down.

Since then, we’ve had a few minor recoveries in hardware for review based on the new “hot” products. For a while Netbooks were hot, now they’re dead. Tablets remain a mixed market. Other products continue to be hot and cold.

As for software......, sheesh. There is no more software. It’s all apps now. The day of the $1000 software package with dozens of disc/CDs is over. The $0.99 app is the software of today!

What does this mean for our readers? We have changed many, many times over the years. We went from a paper and ink publication to an ePub and we’re ready for the next change. Watch for continued changes as we adapt to the ever changing industry we cover.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Never Forget

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, the day when we remember all of those brave men and women who gave their lives to preserve our freedom.

To all of our friends, brothers and sisters who have given their all for us, we say thank you for your sacrifice. Freedom is far from free, it takes the sacrifice of many to keep the rest of us safe.

You will never be forgotten.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

SugarSync Review

By George Harding

Is your hard drive running out of space? Need more storage area? Try SugarSync. You can get a 30-day free trial, but chances are that you will want to stay beyond the 30 days. It’s only about $5 per month for a personal account.

Here’s what you do: go to and sign up for a free trail. You will download an app on your computer or laptop that will save all the files you specify to SugarSync’s cloud storage. I specified my desktop files, my documents and my pictures. I could have selected more, but those are the ones I use most frequently.

The selected files get uploaded. Next, you can access any of these files from any other device that has Internet access. You log into as before, select Log In and you have access to your files!

If you make any changes to the files, they are not only saved in cloud storage, but also synced on your device from which they came.

Another feature that can be really valuable is version saving. SugarSync keeps up to five versions of each file, so you can go back to a prior one if you need to.

The smallest storage ($5 per month) is 30 GB, which may be all you need. Larger storage spaces are available at higher cost.
Price for 30 GB about $5 per month

Saturday, May 25, 2013

MSFT Xbox One

Once again MSFT has an “innovative” new product being introduced, the Xbox One. The new Xbox replaces the ancient Xbox 360 and is exactly the kind of product MSFT loves, none of your old games will work on the new Xbox One! That means you’ll have to buy a slew of new products if you want to use the new console you bought. How nice (for MSFT and game makers).

I’ve read a lot about how the Xbox One will be your one device for video consumption. Uhhhh, not so much. It turns out that you’ll still need to have a cable box in order to access content. You’ll also have to switch back to your cable box from the Xbox if you want to watch DVR content or video on demand. Since many people watch DVR content more than they watch programing when it’s aired I can’t see much use in using the Xbox as a fancy remote control.

To me it sound like MSFT has just created a new game system that won’t be used for much else. I’ve never been much of a gamer so I’ll pass on this “one”.

Friday, May 24, 2013

New Win8 Games

G5 Entertainment is thrilled to announce that G5 games are now available on Windows Store. Two award-winning time management games – Supermarket Mania® 2 and Stand O'Food® 3 hit Windows 8 and Windows RT. With millions of players enjoying these superior strategy experiences on various gaming platforms, Supermarket Mania® 2 and Stand O'Food® 3 are both undoubted must-haves for casual game fans.

In Supermarket Mania® 2 you move to Tinseltown with Nikki and her friends to run a supermarket chain. You'll be busy stocking shelves, making milkshakes, brewing coffee, baking croissants, squeezing fresh juice, serving fresh pizza, checking out customers, and keeping the store clean. The customers are also quite diverse in their needs and desires. The most important customers are the celebrities. Every other customer freezes in their tracks, taking snapshots while the celebrity zooms around the store, and demands everything they want be in stock. This is where the power-ups come in handy. Energy drinks make you move fast as everything around you slows down, a cookie plate makes everyone in the store happy and the cleaning solution makes your store shine in an instant. Utilizing these items at the correct time is crucial, if you're shooting for the high score. Join Nikki once again for hours of fun … just remember to keep an eye on Mr. Torg's dirty tricks!

In the fast-paced Stand O'Food® 3, Ronnie the Chef extends his operations to Hollywood; there he meets Nikki and Mr. Clarence and disrupts Mr. Torg's plans for revenge. Open restaurants around Tinseltown, and serve clients fast and healthy food in 25 restaurants under his management. Improvise refining recipes with different flavored sauces like curry, chocolate, spice or blueberry. Keep in mind that customers now have different food preferences and plan your moves in advance. Do your best and you'll be able to purchase various items: buy new and better French fry machines, soda fountains, jukeboxes and extra plates. Play over 75 levels and 12 bonus levels to unlock over 33 achievements and obtain expert status. An exciting and fast-paced time management/puzzle game, Stand O'Food® 3 will definitely entertain and challenge you!

Supermarket Mania® 2 and Stand O'Food® 3 are developed and published for Windows Store by G5 Entertainment.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

PlayOn, PlayLater Review

By George Harding

These innovative services allow you to view streaming videos on your TV or connected device.
There are two ways to use this service. One way uses your WII, Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 over your home Internet connection. The other way uses your iPhone, iPad or Android phone to stream videos to it.

There are two elements to PlayOn: a program on your PC, and an app on your iPhone or other device. I tried out the system with my iPhone. I downloaded the PC program and installed it. Then I found and installed the iPhone app from the iTunes store.

When I had both running, the iPhone app found my computer program on its own. From there, I could select on my iPhone from a list of choices: All, Movies and TV, Comedy, News, Sports and more.
Under Movies and TV, for example, I could choose from Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon VOD, NBC, ABC and more. Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go and Amazon VOD require an account, which may involve a cost. NBC, ABC and others are free, but the content is limited.

There is a large selection from which to choose. One of the concerns is the cost of streaming videos. They are advertised as being sent over your home WiFi network or 4G. There should be no cost using these methods.

The media server for your PC costs about $40 one time, but there is a 30 day money back guarantee. The iPhone app is a free download.

PlayLater is a similar product, allowing you to record programs and view them later.

PlayOn and PlayLater               or    
Cost: about $40

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

MSFT Bid to Buy Nook

MSFT has made a $1 billion bid to buy all of the Nook assets from Barnes & Noble. Would would that mean to loyal Nook users, you know, the people who really love to read books.

If MSFT’s history is repeated it will mean the total death of Nook hardware and software in no time. Does anyone remember the Zune hardware and download service that was supposed to compete with the iFruit iPod and music store? How about their short lived smartphone debacle of a couple of years ago. I could go on but why bother.

If we don’t learn from history then we are doomed to repeat it. The lesson to be learned from MSFT history is they experiment in markets and then totally shut whole divisions down when they don’t meet expectations. I’ll miss you Nook.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Android has 75% of the Smartphone Market

Smartphones running Google's Android are dominating the market, according to the latest figures.

Gartner's numbers show that during the first quarter of 2013, Android smartphones accounted for 74.4 percent of global sales. This represents more than 156 million devices and a jump of nearly 20 percent in market share year-on-year.

Apple lost some of its market share compared to the same time past year, dropping to 18.2 percent from 22.5 percent. The firm sold just over 38 million iPhones during the first quarter of the year.

"Worldwide smartphone sales totaled 210 million units in the first quarter of 2013, up 42.9 percent from the first quarter of 2012," said the Gartner report.

Like Apple, BlackBerry lost market share dropping from 6.8 percent to just 3 percent as it continues to struggle against its rivals. It shipped 6.2 million devices in the first quarter compared to nearly 10 million in the same quarter last year. (Competing analysts at the Yankee Group, however, expect iPhones to make a resurgence.

Microsoft, on the other hand, was the only operating system to gain market share other than Android. Windows Phones made a small growth from 1.9- to 2.9 percent, shipping 5.9 million units in the first quarter.

It's unsurprising that Android has a dominant position since so many manufacturers make smartphones running the OS. Samsung remains the top vendor for smartphone and feature phones, regardless of platform with Nokia and Apple in second and third respectively.

Monday, May 20, 2013

June Issue

Our June issue went out today and it is a great one, if I say so myself. As usual there are some excellent opinin pieces and a whole bunch of great reviews.

This month we have reviews of hardware and software are ther should be articles of interest to everyone. If any of our blog followers aren’t subscribers just let me know and we’ll add you to he subscriber list.

Thanks to all of our writers and contributors for a job well done.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Thoughts on Technology

One of the biggest advantages of being the editor of this daily blog is that I have to stay up to date on technology (more or less, that is). I will admit there are times that I fall behind, sometimes far behind, but I do my best.

One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the past few years is the rise of the Phablet and the fall of desktops and laptops. This paradigm shift has had a serious impact on the value of company’s stock.

Ever since the late Steve Jobs returned to running the iFruit company after his initial ouster, there was a steady climb in their stock price. They were producing great products and were doing magnificent marketing. People actually believed that Apple was an innovative company and couldn’t wait to spend BIG bucks on their products.

It didn’t matter that the iFruit folks didn’t make the first MP3 player, people believed the iPod was the first. The iPhone was a late arrival in the Smartphone arena but people believed they were the first. There were PDAs and Tablets LONG before the first iPad came out but people believed Apple was first.

The result of this mind warping was that the price of iFruit stock went sky high. A year ago people were talking about the potential of iFruit stock going to unheard of levels. There were pundits predicting $1,000 a share (or much higher!!). How far off can anyone get?

Without the slightly crazy mind of Steve Jobs leading them they are in the doldrums. Their stock price continues to drop, it is now only half the price of Google stock. Since Google is their main competitor (along with Google’s partner Samsung, of course) this doesn’t look good for their iFuture.
I’ve never been one of their FanBoyz but I wish them well. We need competition to stay healthy.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Olympus is Dropping Under $200 Cameras

When was the last time you bought a no-frills camera? Exactly…

Seeing as how most people now carry a phone with a pretty good camera built in, compact cameras have to significantly up the ante to attract an upgrade purchase — and they can’t do that too well at the low end of the market. What does a $100 camera do that your phone doesn’t — except hurt your wallet less when you lose or break it?

So the general online response to the Wall Street Journal’s report that Olympus will halt production of <$200 models was a resounding lack of surprise.

The elimination of the V series of compacts comes after the company’s camera business posted a loss in the last fiscal year through March, “because demand for compact cameras turned out to be weaker than expected, the company said.” What were they expecting? Well, they did sell 5.1 million cameras last fiscal year, but in light of recent weak sales now look to move only 2.7 million this year.

Olympus says it will concentrate on its well-received mirrorfree interchangeable lens models.

Friday, May 17, 2013

PC Sales in Europe Decline

PC shipments in Western Europe declined by 20.5 percent during the first quarter: The only vendors to see shipments grow were Lenovo and Apple, which returned to the top five.
Shipments during the quarter dropped to 12.3 million, compared to 15.5 million units in the first quarter of 2012, according to market research company Gartner. That is the worst quarterly decline the company has seen since it started tracking PC shipments in the region.

The wide availability of Windows 8-based PCs was again unable to boost consumer PC purchases. Users still wonder about its suitability for traditional PCs, according to Gartner analyst Meike Escherich.

All market segments were affected by the first quarter drop: Mobile and desktop shipments fell by 24.6 percent and 13.8 percent respectively. Shipments in the professional PC market declined by 17.2 percent, while those to consumers decreased by 23.7 percent.

The two biggest vendors, Hewlett-Packard and Acer, both saw volumes decline by over 30 percent. Despite shipping only half as many notebooks to consumers as it did a year earlier, HP remained the market leader by approximately 1 million PCs. It shipped 2.4 million units while Acer totalled 1.4 million

Lenovo, on the other hand, grew shipments by 7.2 percent, and was only 6,000 units behind Acer, according to Gartner's data. The vendor continued to expand in the consumer PC sector by winning share from both Acer and HP, and competed closely with HP and Dell in the professional PC market, Gartner said.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Huawei Sweepstakes

Huawei W1 'Make it Yours' Music & Mobile Sweepstakes

Check Out the Video:

How the Sweepstakes Works:
·         Participants will be required to “like” the Huawei Device USA Facebook page
·         Entry will require an email address and feature an option to opt-in to receiving further email communication from Huawei

Huawei W1

Key Features of the Huawei W1:
·         A speedy 1.2GHz dual-core processor
·         A 1950mAh battery
·         A VGA front-facing camera with a Single LED flash
·         A gorgeous 4” IPS LCD touch screen made of Gorilla® Glass that looks great even in sunlight
·         5MP auto-focus camera with LED Flash, 4X digital zoom, quick access button and 0.3MP front-facing camera

Consumers can now purchase the Huawei W1 at select Walmart stores and on beginning on May 20.  The Huawei W1 is competitively priced at $229.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Laplink 30th Anniversary Free Software

Today marks the 30th Anniversary of Laplink Software. To celebrate this milestone, Laplink is giving away their new product, Laplink Sync™, for free on May 15th only. Laplink Sync is a revolutionary new way to sync between PCs, Macs, and mobile devices, including Android, iOS, and more.
Laplink Software, originally known as Traveling Software, was a driver of innovation in the infancy of the PC, beginning with groundbreaking products, such as: T-Word (1984), the first word processor changing font sizes on a LCD screen; WizardLink (1987), the first synchronization tool for Casio’s Personal Information device; and LapDOS (1986), the file transfer application that provided then-groundbreaking transfer speed over serial cables.
Other innovations included ViewLink (1989), the first technology enabling files to be associated with applications; and, of course, the original LapLink. In the early days of the PC, LapLink was the only way to copy files directly between PCs. Back then, it was a simple copy process that allowed a user to migrate everything needed from an old PC to a new one.
“In thirty years, we’ve learned a lot. The tech industry has made tremendous advancements in this time and has brought new concepts to the users,” stated Thomas Koll, Laplink’s CEO.
With the introduction of the more complex Windows PC, users needed a new tool to move from an old PC to a new one, and one that would move everything – gigabytes of data, millions of files, settings, applications, and the entire “personality” of the user. The top-selling Laplink PCmover® was created to meet this need and is now the world market leader for PC migration software.
PCmover saves an entire weekend of PC setup and configuration tasks, reducing the PC setup process to just a few mouse clicks. All e-mail, address books, pictures, music, videos, and even programs like iTunes and Microsoft Office are automatically copied over from the old PC and installed, ready-to-use, on the new PC.
“Most software companies don’t get to celebrate 30 years of production and advancement in the field,” added Koll. “We are working hard for you, today and in the years to come.”