Author Archive | Dave Z

Twitter and Southwest Need to Check Their Security

At every available opportunity, I partake in airborne WiFi services. Yeah, I know public wireless isn’t the most secure form of connectivity. But, at the same time, I haven’t been bothered to set up a personal tunnel. And I’ll do just about anything to pass the time on a cross country flight… as I did when returning from CES last week. Southwest’s wireless service runs a mere $5 during testing and linking up on my LAS>BWI flight (3140, 1/8) was a no brainer – especially as I hadn’t loaded up my iPhone with content and my Kindle was left at home.

Unfortunately, there’s something not quite right with their Internet connection in relation to Twitter. As you can see, I wasn’t the only one in my account:

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This Old House: Fiber Arrives

If you recall, we recently picked up a new (old) house and our plate is full of projects – including some relevant to a digital media blog. So, on with the story…

I’ve continued to make progress removing and recycling speaker and aerial antenna wire as I encounter it. There’s no way I’ll extricate it all, and fortunately I’m not quite OCD enough to have to. But it’s no longer an eyesore in various built-ins and closets.

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The Case for (Not) Jailbreaking Your iPhone

The simplest and most expansive iDevice jailbreak was released last night. In the past, and prior to Spirit, most jailbreak solutions required a computer intermediary running software locally to get the job done. It wasn’t difficult, but it did require research and could be somewhat intimidating to the uninitiated. Whereas the new jailbreakme.com website offers jailbreaking to anyone who can simply navigate to a URL. But I wonder how big the need or interest in jailbreaking is these days.

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Hands on With the Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung’s making a splash with their new, high-end line of Android ”Galaxy S” handsets. And while they’ve already launched overseas, the US variants with custom enclosures and functionality, started rolling out yesterday:

As part of the launch festivities, I was provided a stock Galaxy S to evaluate. Media outreach and spec sheet highlights have led with Samsung’s 4″ 800 x 480 Super AMOLED screen. And while I initially found it oversaturated, even garish (combined with Samsung’s Touchwiz skinning), I’ve landed somewhere else entirely. In fact, I’ve concluded that the Galaxy S utilizes the most pleasing mobile display I’ve encountered — striking an excellent balance of resolution, size, and vibrancy. The Galaxy S obviously isn’t as high res as Apple’s iPhone 4 pixel-dense “retina display” … but with uncorrected sub-20/20 vision, it’s not like I’ve been bothered by aliasing at 18″. So, ultimately, I find myself in the same camp as Harry:

if all other phone features were equal, I’d take more square inches over more pixels

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Wanna Watch YouTube on Roku Today?

Are the more obscure content offerings not doing it for you on your Roku? If so, perhaps the limitless video (of varying quality) found on YouTube makes for a better channel. I first caught wind of YouTube on Roku over a year ago. But it then seemed that Google changed their YouTube API and/or licensing terms. Followed by nothing. Until today…

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Goal! Goal! Goal! (World Cup Mobile and Online)

It’s that time of decade… FIFA’s World Cup competition is in full effect. And it’ll be one of the most watched events in human history – given the seemingly universal love of soccer (er, futbol), national pride, and widespread viewing technologies.

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Renewing Satellite Radio One More Year

About a month of terrestrial radio was all it took…

My XM subscription lapsed in March, but they kept the music flowing an additional month or so while leaving me regular voicemails to renew service before I experienced an “interruption.”

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Best Buy and TiVo Developing Non-DVR HDTV(s)

For years, I’ve pined for a TiVo-fied television. In fact, Humax was set to deliver a TiVo solution way back in 2005. Unfortunately, the 26″ LCD TV with TiVo DVR capabilities and integrated DVD recorder never made it to market. Last summer, when TiVo and Best Buy hooked up with a pretty expansive dealio, it looked might we might see another attempt at an integrated TiVo+television solution:

As part of the deal, the companies also said that Best Buy would finance an effort to bring TiVo’s software and search tools to Best Buy’s own brand of consumer electronics, like its Insignia high-definition TVs.

And now we have confirmation that development is underway. However, somewhat surprisingly, the Best Buy TiVo product will not include DVR functionality. Which may not be an entirely bad thing. For example, my favorite DVD player of all time was actually a TiVo (the Toshiba SD-H400). This is obviously Best Buy’s method of competing within the connected television space while is provides TiVo a platform to expand their brand and market. But I’m hopeful the companies choose to support streaming multi-room viewing (MRV) from TiVo DVRs and enable basic trick play functionality, in addition to the other connected features and UI. If so, I could see this easily being a killer kitchen or den television and DVR extender. Otherwise, meh?

From the press release:

TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO) and Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) today announced that development is underway to integrate TiVo’s software and advanced television services into broadband-connected Insignia televisions. The new Insignia televisions will provide Best Buy customers with an exceptional, intuitive user experience for accessing online content by utilizing the latest TiVo non-DVR software and advanced television service. TiVo’s easy-to-use platform will give the viewer a one-stop-shop for delivering and searching content right on the television.

(This post is republished from Zatz Not Funny.)


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Yes, Virginia, Hulu Hates You

OK, so maybe we can’t ascribe hatred to Hulu, an emotionless corporate entity and online pawn of the studio system. Let’s just say Hulu exhibits something akin to disrespect or disdain and clearly calls the shots as they reach into our homes and devices to decide what web browsing technologies are permissible. They talk about content licensing challenges, and I bet that is the primary factor driving their behavior. However, as content consumers, most of us don’t care on a conceptual level. All we know is that Hulu blocks select, legit Web browsing software and hardware from accessing their website. Which makes this a net neutrality issue.

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Hands On Slacker 2.0 for iPhone (Caching!)

At long last, Slacker Radio 2.0 for iPhone is nearly here! Of course, the most notable and eagerly anticipated feature is the ability to cache stations for offline playback. Slacker’s updated app was submitted to Apple for review yesterday and, barring any show stoppers, should be available in iTunes in the next day or so.

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