Category Archives: gadget

HTC EVO 3D – OTA Update And 3D Games Galore

This is the promised (and much delayed) video of the recent OTA update from HTC, for European unbranded HTC EVO 3D’s. The OTA update installs 3 3D games; “Ultimate Spider-Man Total Mayhem 3D,” “Need For Speed, Shift 3D” and “The Sims 3D”  – and apparently also includes an important security update. I originally blogged about this update here: http://goo.gl/zAyMl.

Chances are that by now most EVO 3D owners already have this update (or found it was already installed on recently purchased EVO 3D’s), but just in case anyone hasn’t received the update or is considering buying this phone and wants to see what 3D content is available for it – I thought I would still post this vid. πŸ™‚

The French site on which the original information was posted: http://goo.gl/Tzy6f

Thanks for watching,

Gadgemeister.

Follow me, ask questions or suggest vids on twitter: @GadgemeisterUK

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HTC Sensation Unboxing Video (Sim Free, Unbranded Version)

Welcome to my HTC Sensation unboxing vid. The Sensation has been available in the UK for over a month on Vodafone now, and has just gone cross network and unlocked, sim free. There have been some serious possible issues identified which may be of concern to punters considering getting this phone – specifically the possible β€œDeathgrip,” signal loss issue. Therefore I thought it might be time for a new glut of vids that seek to address and clarify this issue – as well as give info on other things that are always a worry, such as battery life etc. Don’t expect spec details or device tour (you’ve seen all that anyway) – instead just trimmed down vids giving you a good look at the phone, addressing issues and answering questions.

Blown away by this phone so far!

Good news! So far no matter how hard I try I have utterly failed to replicate the β€œDeathgrip,” signal loss problem. Will be posting a vid demonstrating this very soon.   If you’re after a much more detailed unboxing/review click here for Sam J Pullen’s video reviews. 

To Root or not to Root?

After a long time of deliberation I’ve decided I’m going to root my phone.

Apparently rooting gives you full access to your phones capabilities, over-riding the manufacturer’s restrictions and allowing you to do all kinds of things that you couldn’t do before – as well as being able to run all manner of cool and useful apps that will only run on rooted phones.

I’ll expand on this topic in a full post soon. This is just an on the fly update posted from my phone as I’m all over the place atm.

Full details later.

Gadget Show Follow-up

Much more like it!

Last night’s Gadget Show was a vast improvement – a return to TGS of old. It had all the elements that I pointed out have been sorely missing from the show of late (even if Jason and Suzy couldn’t resist boasting at the beginning about how all their challenges are adrenaline fuelled head-to-heads) – Don’t they understand that’s not what we want?

The show featured an item assessing 3DTV, a budget feature on pay-as-u-go mobile phones for under 50 quid, and a future-tech feature on the developing capabilities of domestic robots. It ticked all the requisite boxes – even the challenge segment was spot-on relevant (a “cloud” vs hard drive based computing, toe-to-toe) – all current issues or trends in technology.

It seems from your responses that I’m not the only fan of the show that has been less than enthusiastic about the direction it seems to be taking lately (although I wish some of you would share your comments in public as replies to posts). Either way thanks, it’s good to know that I’m not just being a total twat!

Anyway, I was pleased with last night’s show. Gadget Show – Please! More shows like this last one and less of the outward bounds stuff.

Cheers.

What Has Happened to the Gadget Show?

Ok, so what has happened to The Gadget Show?

Let me start off by saying that I’ve always been a big fan of the show – but I just don’t like the way it’s been going lately. It seems every week to feature more and more of the “challenges,” and focus less and less on the actual gadgets. In fact I’d even go so far as to say that the gadgets have become nothing more than bit-players in ridiculously overblown, insultingly contrived and ultimately un-entertaining, over-produced challenge extravaganza’s! As well as failing in the entertainment stakes, these challenges also offer absolutely NOTHING in the way of consumer information – unless (as on last Monday’s show), you have a real need to know which portable device is best for texting and tweeting while paragliding!!!

The nature of the challenges – usually something in the order of adrenaline fuelled cross country races – mean that most of the gadgets featured are of the “extreme sports” variety. The type of gadge I’d wager that are not exactly at the top of the interests or wishlists of the vast majority of gadget and tech enthusiasts. This results in a situation where the Producer’s have to try and shoe horn mainstream gadgets into the challenges in the most pointless and pathetic of ways (as in the above example).

Classic Gadget Show challenges used to be interesting sidelines – an adjunct to the meat of the programme, but now they seem to have become the main event. Because they used to be less frequent and take up a smaller proportion of the total running time, they were welcome diversions. They did, also used to be more interesting and somewhat more relevant. There have been some great challenges and ventures in the past – such as the water bottle jet buggies, the hoverboard and the Worthing birdman project’s to name but three. But now all we get are frenetic, shouty and pretty fake seeming farcical races, contests or collaborations.

Perhaps the producers mistakenly believe that kinetic energy always translates into exciting TV? If that’s the case then they certainly prove that wrong! Or maybe they’ve been influenced by the success of Top Gear? In fact many of the challenge segments do seem to resemble half-arsed copies of previous TG features – right down to the use of tanks and helicopters and all manner of other blatant attempts at emulating Top Gear-like bombastic-ness. Somehow though, these attempts at upping the ante just don’t seem to work. Top Gear is a completely different type of programme – it manages to get away with it, as it hasn’t been a consumer show in a long time. If TGS want to be Top Gear but with gadgets instead of cars, then they should just go the whole hog and get rid of any allusions to consumer info (by doing things like telling us the price of the ridiculous tandem BMX’s or other rubbish featured in the challenges) – and just become a knock-about entertainment show like Top Gear or Scrapheap Challenge
instead.

A real Gadget show should be keeping us up to date on the latest mobile phones, TV’s, MP3 players and other such gadge – and the latest developments in the associated technologies – as well as giving us a tantalising glimpse of what’s just around the corner. On the increasingly rare occasions that TGS do this, it’s always a woefully inadequate effort. They start enthusing about some phone that’s been around ages and is yesterday’s news – totally ignoring what is currently cutting edge. Or they feature old news that most of us are already well aware of – such as the recent LittleDog & BigDog feature, and the feature on the latest ep about thought controlled computing. When this feature came on I thought it was going to show some latest breakthrough in what is an exciting and interesting field – but one which we’ve all seen many time before on many other features in other shows (often not even technology shows). But alas no – it was just a brief re-hash of what we’ve seen all over the place many times in the past. The show is currently recruiting a new researcher – although the current researcher featured in the associated video seems more like a runner – perhaps this explains the obvious lack of research that exists on the programme. If recent features such as the “BigDog” one are anything to go by, it seems that the level of research for the show consists of looking on YouTube and doing a feature on some old vid from there!

If the challenges weren’t annoying enough, it’s in this last aspect of paucity of research, and lack of quality gadget news that the producers really show a total lack of respect for their previously loyal viewer base. They’ve committed the worse sin and act of laziness that any technology programme can commit – they’re guilty of being less well informed and offering poorer insight, than is already possessed by the audience. And that, for a technology show, is unforgivable.

The trailer for tomorrow’s show though, does seem to be much more gadget-news based. So maybe they’re about to go back to real technology journalism and everything I’ve said above is unwarranted. Let’s hope so.

Interesting Stats on Smartphone Usage

Interesting Infographic to be found here.Β  It seems that Iphone and Blackberry are still popular – but Android growth is outstripping everything .Β Β Which do you favour in the battle of the Smartphone’s?Β  Vote below.

Tiny Problems – Massive Frustrations!

Why is it that when it comes to technology, it’s often trying to perform the simplest little tasks that cause the most frustration?

I’ve just bought a brand new laptop: EasyNote TJ71 and I’m very happy with it. Great spec for the price, looks good, great keyboard and everything seems to work fine. Like most new laptops these days though, it has no built in Bluetooth. Not too much a problem I suppose. I use a Belkin Mini Bluetooth Adapter with my Netbook and find it pretty good, although I do sometimes have probs connecting my BT (Bluetooth) headset to MSN or Yahoo Messenger for voicechatting, although I suspect that’s due to probs with the messenger apps rather than the BT device or adapter.

It is a bit of a puzzle to me though why manufacturers have stopped including inbuilt BT? Anyone out there know why? Surely most of us still use BT devices – especially with the increasing use of mic and cam chatting – the easiest way to chat on your computer is with a BT headset. Personally I use 2 BT devices regularly; the Logitech Cordless MediaBoard PRO
and the Jabra BT125 Bluetooth Headset, and I often have to use these together. So of course I needed to buy a new BT adapter for the new machine. Although I like my Belkin, after a quick look on Amazon (not trying to advertise for them btw, but I do buy a lot from them – they’re easy, well priced and fast with a massive range – so why not), I thought I’d give this adapter a go: Micro Bluetooth USB Dongle EDR Version 2.0 – the price is amazing! This item arrived with no packaging or branding (just came in a tiny plastic bag), no software, instructions, drivers or anything – but I plugged it in, it installed with no bother and seemed to work fine. The only thing that narked me a little was that there wasn’t any option for turning it off – you have to settle for it being constantly on. Sure, you can unplug it but the thing is so tiny, that if you’re out and about, you’re likely to lose it. If I’m using battery power I’d like the option to turn it off when it’s not in use. I’m not that techy myself so I don’t know if BT uses up a lot of power, but on a full spec, full size Windows based laptop, you’re lucky to get 2 hours use, so any way you can save a bit of power is important.

That aside the adapter was working as expected. That is, until I tried to use both my BT keyboard and BT headset together. Try as I might I couldn’t make it work – it had to be one or the other. Solution? …install the Belkin in my Easynote, and the unbranded in my Netbook. Obviously the Easynote is now my main computer, and the Belkin when installed in my Netbook, does have an ‘off’ option and is able to run both BT devices at the same time. I’d only be using my Netbook when out and about – when I obviously wouldn’t have my BT keyboard with me – so, problem solved.

Or so I thought. I am able to use both devices together on my Easynote through the Belkin adapter now, which is the main thing – but for some strange reason the option to turn Bluetooth off has now totally disappeared! Now I suppose this isn’t exactly a major tragedy, but stupid little things like this really bug me!!! It’s one of the most annoying things about computers – when something just doesn’t work exactly the same way as it did before!!! These things annoy me – and I can’t let it go until I sort it out. So for 3 hours I searched on the internet and tried various things but all to no avail.

So here I sit irritated and exasperated at my inability to solve such a piffling little yet annoying problem. But I can’t be the only one who finds these things infuriating? This is just one example of the many little everyday annoyances that our love affair with technology brings. Do these things happen to other people just as much? Am I right in sometimes hating technology? Or is it just that technology – hates me?!!