The Return Of Gizmodo Gallery!!!

23 09 2009

That’s right, people, the 2009 Gizmodo Gallery is here! As I’m sure you have read, it’s bigger and better! Guess who got to go to the media day today?! That’s right, The iLife!


Take a look after the jump, and get a sneak peek at whats inside.
Read more…



Military Application of Consumer Goods

27 04 2009

ipodmissle

In the United States over the last half century a large amount of consumer goods were originally government sponsored military devices that trickled down to the consumer market. Think GPS, handheld radios, Toughbooks, Nextel cellphones, Roomba, the internet, and modern computers started originally as a military project. All of these things started out in the hands of Uncle Sam, and then went on to the consumer market to become what we know today.

However, now the military has started to look at consumer goods and apply them for military usage. The iPod Touch is starting to become integrated into the US military. They can be used (soon) to help soldiers communicate with the local population. Snipers use a calculator on the iPod to make better precision shots. The reason they are looking into consumer products is because consumer products are made to be cheap. To have a military standard device capable of less than what a $230 iPod can do can be twice or more the price purely because less of them are made. Because iPods are made to be mass produced, they end up being cheaper to configure the iPods (like add a screen protector or case) then it would be to have a military specific device.

This of course benefits us as consumers because if the government starts buying something on the cheap, it requires less of our national budget to buy military goods, which in turn means either less taxes, or more welfare for the needy.

The US military has always had a problem with their development cycles for new products they need. If the military wanted a iPod touch like device for soldiers to use in order to communicate with locals, they would put out a contract to engineering firms around the country to design something. The thing would end up being bulky and durable, but would most likely be limited to just communication features. And on top of that, it would take 5-10 years until the device was finalized and accepted by the branches in order to start deploying them. This is on top of what I said earlier, compared to the consumer market there would be a very limited number of these things made, meaning their price would be through the roof. And if they ever wanted to upgrade or modify it, that would be another 5-10 years cycle of intense research and development with a large amount of expenditure.

At this point, hardware isn’t the issue, software is all the military really needs to worry about. There are plenty of things we at home already use day-to-day that can be retrofitted to survive in harsh environments and that only really need new software to do what they need.



Flip Mino HD Review

25 03 2009

I had the opportunity to get a review unit of (Recently acquired by Cisco, see last week’s Roundup) Pure Digital’s Flip Mino HD.

Flip Mino HD a

The entire Flip line is known for their ease of use, quality, and portability, but this is the first Flip to be High Definition capable, with a resolution of 720p. Since the Mino boasts a rather small size of 3.94″ x 1.97″ x 0.63″, and a light weight of 3.3oz, it’s really easy to throw into your pocket when you go out. It’s really great as a day to day video camera, when you just want to get together with some friends and throw something up on YouTube. It’s also a great starter camera for a tween, so that they can make their first home movies. It even includes some basic video editing and sharing software called FlipShare, which comes right on the camera. FlipShare is really nice, because it allows you to do some basic editing, like trimming and combining clips together, or adding a background audio track, and upload it directly to YouTube. However, if you want to use the clips in another program, like embedding a video into a PowerPoint, or cataloging them in Picasa, you will have to convert them first.

Overall, the Flip Mino HD was really fun and easy to use. All you have to do is hit the big red recording button, and you’re ready to go! You line up your shots, and playback your shots on the built in 1.5″ screen. Personally, I think it would have been nice if it was a little bit bigger. The camera also had battery life, you get about two hours of recording off a single charge, and you can record about one hour of HD video using the cameras built in 4 GB of storage.

Read the rest of the review, after the jump.

Read more…



Apple Releases Revised MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Models

20 10 2008

Writer Geoffery Kaicher explores the latest notebook offerings from Apple.

Next Generation of Notebooks

Last week, Apple released their new MacBook’s and MacBook Pro’s. Both notebooks feature a number of new innovations including aluminum cases, faster processors, better graphics cards and an all glass multi-touch pad that has no dedicated button. Along with the MacBook and MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air was given a small speed bump. The MacBook Air now has a 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor upgradable to 1.86 GHz. It was also given a new NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card.

The MacBook went through the most drastic change going from the plastic white or black case to a new aluminum case with a black, glass screen which resembles the screen from the iMac. The aluminum case comes from a single block of aluminum machined to perfection. Even the sleep indicator was taken in to account being carved by a CNC to thin the metal before a laser make small perforations to allow the LED Light to shine through.

While the MacBook and MacBook Pro look similar with the exception of screen size, slightly different port configuration and the tags on the bottom of the screen, their tech specs make them seem like there is no relation. The MacBook comes in one size, 13.3″, but has two options of processor power. With the new computer, you are given the option of a 2.0 or 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The 2.0 GHz comes with the option of upgrading to a 250GB HD, 320GB HD or a 128GB SSDfrom a 160GB HDD wheres as the 2.4 GHZ comes standard with a 250GB HD with the option to upgrade. Both options come with 2GB (Two 1GB SO-DIMMS) of SDRAM but can support up to 4GB. The new graphics support is a NVIDIA 9400M graphics processor 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM. As usual it still comes with an iSight, Bluetooth, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The MacBook Pro, as usual, is similar same, but faster. The redesigned Pro again only comes in one size, 15.4″ (17″ apparently will follow eventually) with two processor speeds. The options are a 2.4 GHz or 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo upgradable to 2.8GHz. The 2.4 GHz model comes standard with 2GB of SDRAM, 250GB HD, and a NVIDIA 9400M 256 MB or 9600M 256MB. The 2.53 GHz model comes with 4GB of SDRAM, 320GB HD, and a NVIDIA 9400M 512MB or 9600M 512MB. Both can hold up to 4GB of SDRAM and have an option of a 128GB SSD. And as before, they both still come with an iSight, Bluetooth, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The new models have been given a complete makeover both internally and externally. While the MacBook has been given the biggest makeover going from the plastic casing, both have been given a refined look. But in case you decide you don’t like the new laptops, Apple still offers the old 17″ MacBook Pro model and 13″ MacBook model.

Editors note: Commenting on this article does not make you eligible for theiLife birthday celebration raffle.



Apple’s October 14th Event Confirmed! Redesigned MacBook’s and MacBook Pro’s expected!

10 10 2008

New Apple laptops are on are their way!

Thursday, Apple sent out invitations to the media for the rumored October 14th event. This event is expected to contain the release of new MacBook’s. Rumors have been flying around for about 2 months that the new MacBook’s will have aluminum casing similar to the MacBook Pro’s and earlier PowerBook cousins.

The event is to be held at 10:00 in Cupertino at Apple Town Hall. Apple Town Hall has been used for other special events such as the introduction of Aluminum iMac’s in July of last year.

Invitations were set to different media personnel with a picture of the supposed new MacBook’s with what appears to be aluminum casing, and a caption saying “The spotlight turns to notebooks.”

Stay tuned to The iLife for more information on the event.



How They Compare: Dell Studio 15 vs. 15” MacBook Pro

21 09 2008

My name is Keith Hobin, and I’m the managing editor here at theiLife. I originally joined theiLife back in June, but now I’m making my first post. I grew up in Montclair, NJ with Matt, Sidney, and a few of the other iLife writers. I graduated from Montclair High School this year and will be attending Drexel University as an Information Systems major. I prefer the Microsoft side of computers and plan on adding a little diversification into this blog. You will be hearing from me from time to time with new stories and information about the goings on of the blog. If you want to contact me, you can email me at keith@theilife.com . For my full biography, check out the about page section.

In getting ready for my attendance of Drexel, I have recently purchased one of Dell newest Laptop, the Studio 15. The Studio line is intended to have a mix of features from the XPS and Inspiron line at prices starting around $650 and around $750 for a decent configuration. For my Studio 15, I paid $ 1,839.94 with a 4 year warranty, accidental damage protection, and lojack, before tax and shipping. A PDF of the invoice / configuration will be posted along with this (Here). Just the price difference of $460 alone, a MacBook Pro being $2,300, is a good reason to consider another brand. But let’s delve into the features of each computer.

NOTE: All Comparisons made will be between MY Dell Studio 15 and the 15″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro. However, I will note the optional features I selected for my dell and will note higher features that I opted not to get. When I discuss option prices, the price increase will be from the cheapest configuration available to the general public at the time of writing. To be fair, both of the base prices of the computers are with educational discounts and I received an extra discount for taking the 4 year warranty.

Read more…



The First Android Phone Appears

20 09 2008

The first “Google phone” is rumored to be introduced into the market early next week.

An article in the Wall Street Journal on thursday announced Google’s plans for their first Android based phone. It is the first commercially available phone to run Google’s Android operating system since the announcement of the project in November of 2007, almost a year ago.

The phone is said to be priced at $199 to directly compete with the iPhone 3G. Service and data is rumored to be through T-Mobile USA. At this price point the hopes are to make it more appealing to those considering the iPhone. The phone is said to be released on September 23.



Apple Rocks Out with Updates to the iPod Nano and Touch Lines (and colors for the iPod Shuffle)

9 09 2008

At an event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts today, Apple announced revisions to both its iPod Nano and Touch lines. Both updates were in line with what many analysts and journalists had predicted, including Digg founder Kevin Rose’s predictions for the new widescreen Nano. Additionally, prices across both lines were dropped substantially.

The all new iPod Nano 4G

The all new iPod Nano 4G

The new Nano has returned to the taller and narrower shape of its 1st and 2nd gen predecessors. Taking design cues from both the iPhone and the current gen Aluminum iMacs, the Nano is aluminum and glass, and features a new widescreen display that pushes the click wheel to the bottom of the device. In addition to the new display and design, Apple has dramatically improved the UI, which mimics the look and feel of the iPod Touch and iPhone interface. In line with these changes, an accelerometer has been added that switches the display from landscape to portrait, from song list view to coverflow, and allows the iPod to be “shaken” to shuffle. Finally, the new Nano’s come in the widest array of colors ever offered, a total of nine, including newcomers to the Apple line yellow and orange.

The new iPod Touch G2

The new iPod Touch G2

Updates to the iPod touch were not as drastic, but did include a few new features. The look of the device has been changed slightly, tapering off the ends and thinning down the body in general. It is also has a new contoured stainless steel body, possibly made to differentiate itself from the more plastic based body of the iPhone. New features include a built in receiver for the iPod + Nike software that has been touted at many a Jobs keynote, integrated hard button volume controls and a built in speaker.

Both of these new models include Apple’s new “Genius” playlist system that automatically creates a playlist based on your personal music tastes. The iPod Nano 4g will sell for $149 and $199 for the 8 GB and 16 GB models respectively. The iPod touch will now sell for $229, $299 and $399 for the 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB models respectively.

Finally, while not announced, Apple has added four new colors to the iPod Shuffle lineup. The price still remains unchanged, however, at 1GB and 2GB for $49 and $69 respectively. Stick with theiLife.com for continuing coverage!



Thoughts on leaked MacBook case pictures?

5 08 2008

The MacBook & MacBook Pro haven’t seen any major revisions since their release date of 2006. With redesigns long overdue, there is word that Apple will be releasing new MacBooks and MacBook Pros this September. I think we all figured that the new MacBook design would be very similar to the MacBook Air, but is that what the buyers really want? With the release of the new iMac about a year or so ago, many people said over and over again how they disliked the new look, but we adapted to it over time. Apple is known for trying to keep unreleased products under tight control, so that makes me doubt that these new pictures are real. Also, if you’re a college student, don’t forget about Apple’s student deal! Now, one of the only pros of getting a MacBook before the highly expected MacBook 2.0, is that you can still get that iPod of your desires.

“Are these really leaked pics of a redesigned MacBook, widely expected later this year? Probably not, as Apple has always done an excellent job of keeping its new designs under wraps. But the Interwebs are abuzz with this series of shots that generally fit in with the conventional wisdom–that the MacBook line is getting an aluminum makeover, to look more like the high-end MacBook Pro.”

[Via: Crave]



The Phone To Beat The iPhone: Meet Google’s Android

8 07 2008

With the new iPhone 3G coming out later this week, take a look at what some other companies are doing to compete with the iPhone.

The iPhone is considered by many, to be the most revolutionary phone to ever be released. It is a totally new experience for may users, with it’s 3.5 inch touch screen; mobile web browsing with Safari (Apple’s web browser), using either WiFi or the AT&T mobile internet services; a full built in iPod for music listening and more. On top of all these amazing features, it also functions as a phone! The iPhone was the first “smartphone” that slickly combined many features in a manor that only Apple could pull off. However with every revolutionary product, competitors come out of the woodwork, most of them are clearly cheap knockoffs, and some of them are somewhat acceptable replicas, however, every once in a while someone comes out with a product that clearly out does the original. As of yet, however, no one seems to have come out with a real “iPhone Killer”. So far, the most notable iPhone doppelgänger is LG’s VX10000 a.k.a. “the Verizon Voyager”, which is available on the Verizon Wireless network. While the Voyager is an okay competitor, the iPhone still tops it for many reasons, not the least of which is that the Voyager runs on a poorly designed Verizon platform, which is somewhat lacking, while the iPhone runs on a derivative of Apple’s powerful OS X.

Clearly something is missing here, really one of the most significant things keeping all iPhone competitors down is the lack of a solid grounding in the OS and UI department. Apple has years of experience, as well as a solid OS to work with, while every other manufacturer has to start from the ground up and basically reinvent the wheel. But what if there was a company with a solid background in designing intuitive interfaces, that could design an OS as elegant as Apple’s OS X. Then perhaps the major phone manufacturers could concentrate on what they do best and build phones. Perhaps from this marriage of elegant software, with efficient hardware, would come a phone that could truly rival the iPhone. Well one of the most well known technology companies is working on just that, an elegant open source operating system. You know this company as one with a history of recognizing the potential in small projects with sufficient funding, as well as being the company that reinvented search. Google has stepped into the mobile phone ring, and for real this time, not just integrating services with other mobile operating systems, but with a whole new mobile operating system, called Android.

Google, the worlds biggest and most well known search company, has recently teamed up with Andy Rubin, the creator of the Sidekick, to create an operating system for many mobile platforms, called Project Android. While many people have been talking about a “Google Phone” for as long as they have been talking about an “Apple Phone”, Google is not expected to release any specific hardware to run Android. One might make the comparison to the so-called OS wars between Apple and Microsoft: on one hand you have Apple with their tightly controlled hardware, which depending on your viewpoint, is either a Pro or a Con; while on the other hand you have Microsoft which currently dominates the OS usage rates, (though not for long) because of it’s “open” Operating System, meaning it isn’t tied to any specific hardware, the only requirement is that the machine has to be capable of running it. Google has taken the more open road here as well, opting to not make the limiting factor the hardware, but the ingenuity of the person attempting to install it.

Android also has a SDK that has already been released for developers to play with. Using Java, developers can make applications from scratch that do anything from enable you to check your email, to playing the hottest new game. Along with its operating system, Android relies on Linux 2.6 to run its core services such a security, memory, and any other behind the scenes work a computers operating system would normally do.

So while many companies have tried to accomplish the task of making a phone that is sleeker, faster, and just better than the iPhone, Google has come at it from a different perspective. Instead of spending all their money on building a sleek phone, Google has spent their time on making an operating system and letting the companies and people install on the phones they like. And by allowing developers to make applications for Android before it has been released, they have allowed the people to make the operating system they would like instead of letting Google’s development team spend many tireless hours guessing how to make it perfect. So with Android’s expected release to be sometime later this year, many wonder if the iPhone will be able to stand supreme among its competitors. Or will phones running Android become the Phones to beat the iPhone? We will soon find out.