functionality

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review: a messy marriage of smartphone and camera

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/12/samsung-galaxy-s4-zoom-review/

DNP Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review the crowning achievement of Androidpowered mediocrity

Android on a point-and-shoot? Last year we learned that it could be done. But with some features that duplicate the functionality of a smartphone without an ability to make calls, Samsung’s Galaxy Camera was a confusing mix of form and function. It was very much a first-generation device, and while they may have regretted it later, some curious early adopters did drop $500 for the soon-to-be-obsolete hybrid. The cumbersome compact, with its massive 21x lens and power-hungry 4.8-inch touchscreen, may not have won over the photography community, but Samsung’s 2013 approach has a much better chance at success.

With a design that’s based on the Galaxy S4 Mini, the Galaxy S4 Zoom adds a fair amount of heft to accommodate the feature that sets it apart from every other smartphone on the market: a 10x 24-240mm optically stabilized lens. But it’s still pocketable, believe it or not, and it functions quite well as a phone. While the Galaxy Camera was first and foremost a camera, the Zoom’s primary function is as an ordinary Android smartphone — albeit one with a larger sensor and a powerful lens. Can it replace both devices? And will you want it to? Shoot past the break for our take.

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Friday, July 12th, 2013 news No Comments

People will pay for what they value

Compared with the monolithic software packages of old — like Microsoft Office — where most users use only 1 – 5% of all the functionality, apps for smartphones are being purchased in droves for $0.99 – $2.99. Users will buy apps which have very specific functionality that they want and use. 

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Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 news No Comments

NYC awards six Reinvent Payphones finalists, asks public to select favorite via Facebook

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/06/nyc-reinvent-payphones-finalists/

The payphone. Despite how connected our world has gotten in the last decade or so, the majority of the 11,000 payphones in NYC stem from a 1999 contract. Due to expire and renew in October 2014, the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) has been actively figuring out how and what type of modern solution it wants to replace roughly all 11,000 of them with. You’ve heard about a small number being retrofitted with WiFi hotspots and SmartScreen information portals, but those have essentially been tests.

Last night at Quirky’s offices, the city picked out finalists for five categories that could possibly help “Reinvent Payphones” here in the Big Apple: “connectivity, creativity, visual design, functionality and community impact.” Well over 120 entries were submitted since this design challenge kicked off last December at the NY Tech Meetup, with a total of 11 semifinalists having gotten the chance to present their ideas last night for judging. As it turns out, there was a tie for community impact, leaving six finalists overall. Better yet, out of those six, the public can take to Facebook from now until March 14th to select a “popular vote” winner. Curious for more insight? We got to chat with the city’s Director of External Affairs at the Department of Information, Nicholas Sbordone, about the project and he talked about how it went down and what it means for the future of payphones in NYC.

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Source: Reinvent Payphones (Facebook Popular Vote), Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge, NYC Digital

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Thursday, March 7th, 2013 news No Comments

the whole story, regardless of where you jump in

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/30/follow-the-saga-engadget/

Over the years, stories have become more than just single bursts of information. These days, there’s as much drama in the consumer technology world as there is sports, politics or your average episode of Days of our Lives. Take SOPA, for example. We’d be remiss of our duties here if we simply reported on what it was, without ever following up on protests, delays, judgments and other vitally important developments. In fact, it’s tough to think of too many stories covered today that don’t correspond with some sort of saga — even the departure of RIM’s co-CEOs represents just a single slice of a far larger tale. For those that follow this stuff 24/7, jumping in at any point in the story is no issue; piecing together the past with the present is second nature. But if you’re actually working during the day, hopping aimlessly into an ongoing saga mid-stream can be downright disorienting. Painful, even. We’ve been working hard to come up with an unobtrusive solution, and we think we’ve found it.

We’ve actually had our Follow The Saga functionality since January of last year — we quietly debuted it with the launch of Verizon’s iPhone 4 — but today’s iteration is far more interactive. We’ve been testing these out over the past few weeks, and today we’re happy to officially introduce them. If you see the badge shown after the break in any post that pops up here at Engadget, just give it a click to be taken to the full saga, and scroll up and down to see related stories before and after the one you happen to ! be looki ng at. We’re hoping it’ll be particularly helpful to those who happen to stumble upon a saga somewhere in the middle, but want to get caught up on what happened prior and where we stand now. As with everything we do, we’ll be continually tweaking and evolving the tool in the months ahead. Enjoy!

Psst… want to see it in action? Have a look under the body of this SOPA post to see how we got to where we are today.

Continue reading Introducing ‘Follow The Saga': the whole story, regardless of where you jump in

Introducing ‘Follow The Saga': the whole story, regardless of where you jump in originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 Jan 2012 14:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 news No Comments

More and more tools to block ads and other “distractions”

As more and more users adopt tools to de-clutter web pages and remove all distractions (such as ads) the effectiveness of display ads will continue to decline, despite innovations and advancements in targeting technologies.

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5568752/add-safari-reader+like-powers-to-firefox-and-chrome

Add Safari Reader-Like Powers to Firefox and ChromeThe Safari 5 feature that’s caught the web’s attention is the Reader button, which strips down articles and blog posts into an ad-free, highly readable format. Two add-ons for Firefox and Chrome do a good job of recreating that convenience.

Add Safari Reader-Like Powers to Firefox and ChromeIf you missed our round-up of what’s new in Safari 5, the short explanation of Reader is that, while many bookmarklets have come along to offer a simplified, less-cluttered reading experience, Safari is the first major browser to go ahead and offer that kind of feature by default, as an address bar button. If you’re a fan of bookmarklets, and your bookmarks aren’t too cluttered to lose them in, we recommend the tools from arc90’s Readability, the Instapaper Text bookmarklet, and the Readable app for highly customized formatting.

But maybe you want your Firefox or Chrome rig to offer that kind of button-click functionality. You’re in luck. First off, here’s the Top 10 feature we’ll try our reading tools out on—click the image for a larger view:

Add Safari Reader-Like Powers to Firefox and Chrome

Now here are two add-ons for Firefox and Chrome, and a look at how they do at getting all minimalist with the text and pics. Click any of the images below, too, for a larger view

Readability (Firefox)

Add Safari Reader-Like Powers to Firefox and Chrome
Baris Derin rolled the Readability bookmarklet into a full-fledged add-on for Firefox, but also added in a pretty neat auto-scrolling feature for the true lean-back-and-read experience. Readability tends to keep more of the text and formatting in and around the page, but strips out all the marketing and navigation material. It places an “R” button in the lower-right status area of Firefox, which isn’t the most convenient spot for our use, but some may prefer having it hidden away until needed. Notice the transparent icons, too, that provide printing, email, and refresh functions for live-updating posts.

iReader (Chrome)

Add Safari Reader-Like Powers to Firefox and ChromeMhd Hejazi’s iReader is directly inspired by Safari’s Reader function, offering the same kind of pop-out white box that darkens the rest of the page, a button right in the address bar, and very, very minimal decoration—as you can see, it pared down our Top 10 feature quite a bit. There are also keyboard shortcuts for Windows and Mac to activate iReader, and options to change the background opacity, font and formatting, and add a “Send with Gmail” link to your articles. Neat stuff.


Both add-ons are free downloads. Know of another reading/simplifying extension that gets the job done? Tell us about it in the comments. Thanks to emmikkelsen for the inspiration!

Readability [Add-ons for Firefox]
iReader [Google Chrome extension gallery]

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Monday, June 21st, 2010 news No Comments

Sony LCD 3DTV Gets Disappointing First Look

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5561454/sony-lcd-3dtv-gets-disappointing-first-look

Sony LCD 3DTV Gets Disappointing First LookGary Merson at HD Guru has seen Sony’s new KDL-55HX800 LCD 3DTV live and in person. His first take? Even a slight tilt of the head makes you see double and lose the 3D effect. Uh oh.

Merson found a whole range of things to be troubled about in his time with the Sony: double-vision, color shift, relatively shallow depth. But the main issue—as Mark reported at this year’s CES—is that LCD and OLED screens just aren’t up to 3D. At least not in the way that plasma displays clearly are.

It’s also worth mentioning that the HX800 Merson viewed is actually the lowest end 3D model Sony offers, and in fact is technically a “3D-ready” set, meaning that it uses a separate sync transmitter instead of the integrated 3D functionality of the LX900 series. We won’t know how big, if any, a difference that makes until we’re able to compare the two side by side. But for now, the early returns suggest that plasma’s still the early king of 3D technology. [HD Guru]

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Sunday, June 13th, 2010 news No Comments

the American phone subsidy model is a RAZR way of thinking in an iPhone world

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/23/editorial-the-american-phone-subsidy-model-is-a-razr-way-of-thi/

The concept is simple enough — pay more, get more. So it has gone (historically, anyway) with phone subsidies in this part of the world, a system that has served us admirably for well over a decade. It made sense, and although it was never spelled out at the customer service counter quite as clearly as any of us would’ve liked, it was fairly straightforward to understand: you bought a phone on a multi-dimensional sliding scale of attractiveness, functionality, and novelty. By and large, there was a pricing scale that matched up with it one-to-one. You understood that if you wanted a color external display, a megapixel camera, or MP3 playback, you’d pay a few more dollars, and you also understood that you could knock a couple hundred dollars off of that number by signing up to a two-year contract. In exchange for a guaranteed revenue stream, your carrier’s willing to throw you a few bucks off a handset — a square deal, all things considered. So why’s the FCC in a tizzy, and how can we make it better?

Continue reading Editorial: the American phone subsidy model is a RAZR way of thinking in an iPhone world

Editorial: the American phone subsidy model is a RAZR way of thinking in an iPhone world originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 23 Feb 2010 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 digital No Comments

no, twitter will NOT be the next google

Every year around SXSW, there’s a surge in interest about twitter. This time around people have even gone as far as to proclaim twitter to be “the next google” or “the future of search” etc.  Bullocks!

Here’s why:

1) distant from other social networks – While we are seeing a massive surge in interest and usage of twitter, it is still a long way off from the number of users of other social networks; it will take a long time to get to critical mass; and this is a prerequisite for twitter to assail the established habit of the majority of consumers to “google it.” — Google’s already a verb.

2) no business model – It remains to be seen whether Twitter can come up with a business model to survive for the long haul. Ads with search are proven. Ads on social networks are not. And given the 140-character limit, there’s hardly any space to add ads.

3) lead adopters’ perspective is skewed – Twitter is still mostly lead adopters and techies so far; so the perspectives on its potential may be skewed too positively. As more mainstream users start to use it, we’re likely to see more tweets about nose picking, waking up, making coffee, being bored, etc….  This will quickly make the collective mass of content far less specialized and useful (as it is now).

4) too few friends to matter – Most people have too few friends. Not everyone is a Scott Monty ( @scottmonty ) with nearly 15,000 followers. So while a user’s own circle of friends would be useful for real-time searches like “what restaurant should I go to right now?” the circle is too small to know everything about everything they want to search on. And even if you take it out to a few concentric circles from the original user who asked, that depends on people retweeting your question to their followers and ultimately someone notifying you when the network has arrived at an answer — not likely to happen.

5) topics only interesting to small circle of followers – Most topics tweeted are interesting to only a very small circle of followers, most likely not even to all the followers of a particular person. A great way to see this phenomenon is with twitt(url)y. It measures twitter intensity of a particular story and lists the most tweeted and retweeted stories.  Out of the millions of users and billions of tweets, the top most tweeted stories range in the 100 – 500 tweet range and recently these included March 18 – Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 preview event; #skittles; and the shutdown of Denver’s Rocky Mountain News.  Most other tweets are simply not important enough to enough people for them to retweet.

6) single purpose apps or social networks go away when other sites come along with more functionality or when big players simply add their functionality to their suite of services.

twitter

twitturly

Am I missing something here, people?  Agree with me or tell me I’m stupid @acfou :-)

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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 digital, social networks No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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