Friday, July 30, 2010

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Collector's Edition

I got the special edition and just have to say the Dog Tags alone are worth the $40 difference the other stuff is cool but not nearly as nerd-worthy. The fact that it glows is just icing on the cake. The Art book is amazing as usual and the soundtrack is again sweet. I'm so happy I was able to spring on a Special Edition, it helped that although the game was $10 more expensive than normal but the special edition was priced the same as any other special edition I've purchased.

I assume if your looking at the special edition you are a fan boy or girl like myself so you are already aware of some of the drawbacks like the connection to B-Net. Again Broadband is listed as a requirement so that should be a clue.
If you don't meet minimum system requirements you should not be buying a game. For the record my little brother ignored this and got the game anyways and thanks to Blizzards lowest common denominator method of development he got it to play almost flawlessly on a $300 Walmart eMachine well below the minimum requirements.

For any of you who are upset about Blizzards attempts to stop illegal software you need to do your research and realize how pandemic the problem is. I have had both accounts stolen and CD keys stolen so the fact that it is tied to B-Net and I can encrypt my account with an Authenticator makes this one of the greatest points and I appreciate the security.

Ignore all 1 star ratings on the basic game the fine folks who gave it 3 stars are correct in there negatives and I commend them for there well thought out responses. However I say that the game is well worth any drawbacks and even with them is a 5+ star game.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sennheiser HD800 Premier Headphone

I am a speech recognition developer for [...] and isolating myself from my environment is essential to maintaining my concentration. My previous headset was the Senneheiser HD 650 which sounded good but like all other high-quality Sennheiser headsets, which completely surround your ears, I found the HD 595 and the HD 650 to be uncomfortable after about 20 minutes.

I'm pleased to report that the HD 800s can be comfortably worn all day and from a sound quality point of view, nothing comes close to the HD 800. Recordings sound as close to the original studio master as anything we've ever heard. My listening tastes run from Mozart to Folk to Rock. Although I used to own a recording studio, I'll refrain from the technical aspects and simply state that the off angle oversized speakers, oversized magnets and general construction (right down to the padding# are like nothing I've ever experienced.

There is a tendency to wear the headset backwards but it doesn't really detract from the sound quality. It's easy to appreciate the hand assembled German engineering right down to the serial number and the oxygen free audio cable that no longer slips out if you accidentally snag it, unlike previous Sennheiser models.

The only negative thing we can say is that the $1400 price is ridiculous and unacceptable. Although we can appreciate the fact that this headset is nothing like anything else Senneheiser has made #or any other manufacturer for that matter# and we suspect that developmental costs were relatively high, other than greed, there is no excuse for attempting to recoup the R&D with an outrageous $1400 price. A $599 - $699 street price would have been more than adequate considering that this headset is MAP priced #price controlled). We've also heard of limited runs of this microphone and people having a hard time to find them but a closer investigation shows that only a few thousand of these headsets have been manufactured to date. We believe that if Senneheiser were willing to pump up the production and lower the price, they would make a higher profit and the public wouldn't feel so much like they're being taken advantage of.

For me personally, the best high fidelity is of the utmost importance and obviously, at $1400, I'm willing to pay any price to accommodate my music addiction. I highly recommend this headset to anyone who appreciates listening to music the way it originally sounded in the studio and can afford the price because I can almost guarantee that you'll hear sounds in your recordings that you never heard before and in some cases, you might even hear things that the studio engineers never intended to be recorded but didn't pick up on their own equipment. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Best Samsung LN46C630 46-Inch 1080p Yet

The picture on this TV was stunning right out of the box. After a few minor adjustments it was as close to perfect as I could imagine. It came with the SQ01 panel and it would be hard to differentiate the color depth and quality from some of the plasma sets I looked at. The TV is in a very bright room and the matte screen cuts out glare with no picture degradation. The viewing angle is very good, though we are never more than 25 to 30 degrees off center. The picture is very stable from channel to channel with no change in the back lighting that I can see, and the standard definition picture is almost HD quality when using the 16:9 picture format.

It has separate settings for processing speed and anti-judder for motion blur when using the Custom view mode, unlike the majority of sets that combine both settings into one. I watch a lot of sports and really don't notice motion blur at 60hz so its certainly not an issue at 120hz. I'm not a gamer, so for my viewing habits I see no need to spend more for a 240hz option. The sound is very good for normal TV viewing. It can be connected to a home network and I have also hooked it up to my laptop using the VGA connection to watch Netflix and even that produces an acceptable SD picture.

There are multiple picture settings you can use to suit just about any programming source, including watching at 120hz without the "soap opera" effect that some people find so annoying. There are 4 HDMI and 2 USB connections, plus one for headphones. There is no S video so you may need cables to hook up older external equipment. UVerse is the programming source.

One thing about settings. The first evening the picture suddenly got much darker and even though I would reset the brightness, it would get dark again once I left the menu. I spoke with Samsung and they had no idea why this was happening. It turns out this set automatically adjusts the picture to your room brightness in the Standard viewing mode, which is the factory default. You can change this in the Eco portion of the picture menu to never go below a certain brightness level or you can turn it off completely. This is not an issue when using any other viewing mode.

The last time I bought a LCD I continued to look around in case I found something better. That will not be the case this time as I am completely satisfied. Pilot shipping through Amazon was great. They delivered on time, set up the TV and swivel stand, and had everything working in 5-10 minutes.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Garmin Forerunner 205 Wrist Worn GPS Personal Training Device

This is a very powerful piece of kit - I use it for road biking exclusively. The instructions that come with it are reasonably clear and in use it is very effective. However, it takes ages to lock onto satellites, and the Training Centre software that comes with it looks as though it was designed in the 1990s. I have an iPhone and run the Motion GPX app alongside this. Huge advantage of the latter - much better visual feedback, because it includes an onscreen map, and of course you can view it on a holder on the bike in front of you - you don't have to keep looking at your wrist and press buttons on the side of the watch to get additional readings. However, the Garmin has the big advantage of battery life - the iPhone with a juice pack attached lasts four hours at best. Another advantage of the Garmin, of course, is that it is relatively water resistant, so you can wear it in the rain. No way with the iPhone.

The latest version of the Training Centre at least allows you to save your tracks as GPX, so you can view them in a myriad of other mapping programs.

The included heart rate monitor seems to record very high figures - I haven't checked its accuracy, but it did record a maximum heart rate of 191 at one stage! That's unknown territory for me, although I was climbing a one in six hill at the time and, yes, I was breathing very heavily!

Interface is OK - it does seem a bit like an old-fashioned LCD watch in some respects and you have to press the buttons quite firmly. It's also quite bulky, but overall, highly recommended if you're serious-ish about your training. It does the business.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The latest Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR Camera

I just purchased this camera 7-15 and its the best DSLR for the money! I looked at D70 Nikon's and they couldn't touch this. I bought mine at bestbuy because they had it for $899.00 which is a great deal,also bought the camera bag and the 8 gb of sandisk extreme sd card. This camera takes some amazing photos.

I have a friend that has a Canon 7D as well and yes that thing is a beast, but this isnt about size. Its about pictures. As far as Im concerned and my friend as well, this camera takes just as good pictures as the 7D. And for half the price. Video takes a little getting used to, but WELL worth it. Im a prof. photog. and this was a big upgrade from my XSi. Well worth the price over the 7D

New Sanyo HD Video Camera VPC-HD2000EBK Full 1920x1080 High Definition Dual Video Camcorder & 8MP Photo Camera - Black

This new Sanyo HD Video Camera is the best! it has all the automatic point-and-click features to make this a great video and photo camera, plus the menu to change standard settings is real easy to use. You certainly stand out from the crowd at the school concert!

The grip style means you can easily hold the camera for long periods with straining your hand.
The size means you can carry it safely in your pocket and it has a real quick start up time when you are ready to use.

This is the second time I bought this Sanyo HD Video Camera; my first survived being dropped on a stone floor, but it didn't make it past a burst-drinks-bottle my baby son stuffed into my rucksack! If adventure is your thing try the waterproof versions, I just bought my Brother-in-law one for his birthday.

Top product and a great price - bought in preference to a hard drive competitor as SD cards are so cheap! and it looks better than anything else in its catagory, plus photos as well as video.

Who needs anything else?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 9.7" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally – Latest Generation

My wife has the Sony touch ereader, but I looked long and hard at the various options and settled on the Amazon kindle DX. While I'm a little upset (As I'm sure many are) about having just missed out on the newer version, the kindle is proving to be an excellent choice over the Sony. The biggest being the 3G roaming, coupled with the ever lethal Amazon one-click. The screen is absolutely gorgeous, and one comment I got was "Why can't all displays be like this!?"

The keyboard is not as intrusive as I first thought it might be, the device is quite light (like a mid-sized hard-back) and the screen is amazing in bright, full-on, sunlight. Battery life is ok, but even better with the 3G turned off. The new MP3 player is a really good addition, but definitely needs work, along with the experimental browser. For me though, being able to cart around Peter F. Hamilton's "Night's Dawn" trilogy in a device that weighs less than the paper-back version of the first book is just great.

I got the leather cover. Ironically this weighs more than the kindle does, and I end up removing the kindle from the cover to read, because it's lighter. made the mistake of getting the EU power adapter rather than the UK power adapter, but that was my fault at the store.

To be honest, I love my kindle. It's corny, and kitsch, but true. It was expensive, but you get what you pay for and the free international 3G is definitely worth it. I've done more reading recently than I have done in a long time. My only real gripe is not being able to download books outside the US that don't have rights. I really wanted Niven and Barnes's "Dream Park" but I can't download it without a US address. :( There's no warning until you attempt to purchase it through the kindle store. In which there could be more books made available. Preferably more out-of-print books.

Monday, July 19, 2010

FREE Dragon's Song by Blitzen Trapper

I just happened to bump into this free copy of latest Dragon's Song
by Blitzen Trapper and thought I would post it here. If you're a fan as well, rush down now and request a FREE copy of their latest work right now.

Good luck

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910 with 1080p Video

I have used several Logitech webcams over there years and I have placed them on the top 10 best headphones and webcam, so I was excited to receive the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910. I have always owned webcams that sit on the desk (you know, those little orb ones from Logitech) so this is my first experience with one that sits atop my monitor.

It does not have any clips or attachments to hold it there; it just sort of perches up there using the back hinge to "tighten/loosen" the grip. The actual width of the perch part is 1 & 1/4" from the front lip to the hinge at back. My desktop monitor is perfect for this, but I can see where some people with thinner-edged monitors (like laptops) would have a problem getting it to perch in a sturdy manner. On my monitor, it's a very steady platform.

Unlike those older orb style webcams from Logitech, there is no privacy shade to pull down over the lens. However, it does tilt, so you can tilt it towards the ceiling while not in use to prevent someone from spying on you (I was shocked to read, recently, that this is a real issue!). Or just unplug it!

Another first for me in a webcam--dual mics for stereo recording. They seem to do well masking out unwanted background noise while giving you crisp sound, or so I am told by the person I chat with. One sound issue I encountered during set up, worth mentioning, is that I had my USB headset plugged in at the time I installed the webcam, so the camera mic defaulted to my headset mic during setup. It was a simple fix to go into the webcam control preferences and set it back to the webcam mic, but at first I didn't know why I had almost inaudible sound. My fault, not the webcams.

The picture quality is the really impressive thing about this Logitech webcam. It sports an auto-focusing Carl Zeiss lens, the same as my digital camera! It captures both foreground and background images in amazing clarity, with video up to 1080p (selectable: 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p) and still images up to 10MP (selectable: 640x480, 1.2MP, 5MP, 10MP). Of course, that's local. When transmitting on a video call, you can get up to 720p, which is still pretty impressive. The C910 comes with Logitech Video Effects software for making filters, avatars, masks and fun effects etc. I have only used the webcam with MS Messenger, and it works perfectly.

About the only negative thing I have to say about the C910 is that the USB cable is rather on the short side--just shy of 5 feet in length, which for most users will reach from the top of their monitor to a USB port or hub somewhere on their desk (I plug mine into a hub on my desk). If your PC tower (and only USB port) is on the floor beside your desk, it won't be long enough to reach. Even though this was not an issue for me, I am knocking off a star for a short cable.

In conclusion, I'll just say that for such a small little camera, you get a big quality picture. This is definitely one of the best quality webcams out there and has gone on the list of the best headphones and webcams.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Michael Moore's Sicko (Special Edition)

Mr. Moore sometimes gets attacked for being a fatso socialist who doesn't really make documentaries.

In SICKO Moore leads a small film crew that shares the unravelled fate (of only a few of the 24,000) volunteered and desperate US health care victims who quickly replied to his call for attention.

Moore, as an artful dodger, sheds light on some of the the most outrageously unfair cases upon an international stage. It is this staging that provokes the outrage of staid documentary consumers who feel easily threatened by health care systems which are less driven by stock market greed.

I think Michael Moore is a movie angel US people must be grateful for the good job he is doing.He is helping to open eyes and minds to reality. Here's a clip from the movie you whet your appitite and give you a taster of what to expect. Get a copy of the movie is a good addition to one's DVD collections.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Third Man: Life at the Heart of New Labour (Hardcover)

The Third Man: Life at the Heart of New Labour - The hotly anticipated memoir of one of New Labour’s three founding architects.

Peter Mandelson is one of the most influential politicians of modern times. The Third Man is his story – of a life played out in the backroom and then on the frontline of the Labour Party during its unprecedented three terms in government.

Much of the book is devoted to the defining political relationships of Peter Mandelson’s life – with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Charting what he terms the ‘soap-opera’ years of the Labour government, his book is certain to ruffle many feathers.

Forced to resign from Cabinet twice in three years, Peter Mandelson has cut a divisive figure through British politics but his time as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland gained him many supporters. He was a highly regarded European Commissioner before being brought back into British politics by Gordon Brown in 2008 to serve as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and as First Secretary.

Containing a mixture of autobiography, personal reflection and political history, The Third Man draws heavily on detailed diary notes that Peter Mandelson took during the events, discussions and meetings that shaped the government and the Labour Party over 25 years. He began writing the book while serving as European Commissioner, and has been completing it since leaving office in May.

Much has been written about Peter Mandelson as the person at the heart of the New Labour project but this is the first time we have heard the unvarnished truth from the man himself. The Third Man is set to become the most talked about political memoir of the year.

See yesterday's interview about the book and other trailers.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cross-Platform Development In C++ – Building Mac OS X, Linux And Windows Applications

Cross-Platform Development in C++ is the definitive guide to developing portable C/C++ application code that will run natively on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux/Unix platforms without compromising functionality, usability, or quality.

Long-time Mozilla and Netscape developer Syd Logan systematically addresses all the technical and management challenges associated with software portability from planning and design through coding, testing, and deployment. Drawing on his extensive experience with cross-platform development, Logan thoroughly covers issues ranging from the use of native APIs to the latest strategies for portable GUI development. Along the way, he demonstrates how to achieve feature parity while avoiding the problems inherent to traditional cross-platform development approaches.

This book will be an indispensable resource for every software professional and technical manager who is building new cross-platform software, porting existing C/C++ software, or planning software that may someday require cross-platform support.

Build Cross-Platform Applications without Compromise

Throughout the book, Logan illuminates his techniques with realistic scenarios and extensive, downloadable code examples, including a complete cross-platform GUI toolkit based on Mozilla’s XUL that you can download, modify, and learn from. Coverage includes

  • Policies and procedures used by Netscape, enabling them to ship Web browsers to millions of users on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux
  • Delivering functionality and interfaces that are consistent on all platforms
  • Understanding key similarities and differences among leading platform-specific GUI APIs, including Win32/.NET, Cocoa, and Gtk+
  • Determining when and when not to use native IDEs and how to limit their impact on portability
  • Leveraging standards-based APIs, including POSIX and STL
  • Avoiding hidden portability pitfalls associated with floating point, char types, data serialization, and types in C++
  • Utilizing platform abstraction libraries such as the Netscape Portable Runtime (NSPR)
  • Establishing an effective cross-platform bug reporting and tracking system
  • Creating builds for multiple platforms and detecting build failures across platforms when they occur
  • Understanding the native runtime environment and its impact on installation
  • Utilizing wxWidgets to create multi-platform GUI applications from a single code base
  • Thoroughly testing application portability
  • Understanding cross-platform GUI toolkit design with Trixul

This book will be an indispensable resource for every software professional and technical manager who is building new cross-platform software, porting existing C/C++ software, or planning software that may someday require cross-platform support.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog (Smashing Magazine Book Series)

I consider myself to have a slightly better than a beginning understanding of PHP language. Even then, I found the book somewhat difficult to understand. The author uses his own blog theme (Notes Core) as the foundation for the exercises he uses in this book. I did like his coverage on theming Wordpress, template tags, hooks, and plugin's. I just wished the author would have clarified a little bit more in his examples. I feel I may have to read this book again just to 'get it' about customizing Wordpress. At any rate, I will be sure to rely on it as a referemce before I delve into the WordPress Codex.

One thing the book does illustrate very effectively, is using Wordpress as a Content Management System. There are several examples on how to create static pages, how to customize pages based on category tags, custom programming involving multiple Wordpress Loops and hooks, and much more. I needed to know this information, as I'd like to use WordPress as a starting foundation for my web designs, be they blogs or webpages.

One nitpick; the book has full color throughout? Why couldn't the code examples be syntax highlighted by color? I'm trying to parse the PHP code examples, but after looking at PHP code in my IDE, I just find it difficult to follow such code in any other way. Line numbers would be great, so that the content can refer to them in explaining the code. This way, this book could be a little bit more accessible to PHP programmers who have not had much experience. (Like me, for instance!)

Flight of the Conchords: The Complete First and Second Seasons w/CD

Jermaine and Bret are a pair of New Zealand musicians, living in New York City and hoping to hit it big. Yeah, "Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection" sounds like a terrible generic sitcom, but instead this series is one of the most hilarious comedies of the last decade -- a quirky, weird, tongue-in-cheek little show with hilarious dialogue. Think a musical version of "The Office."

Folk-pop group Flight of the Conchords is Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie (played by themselves), who came all the way from New Zealand to New York. They are being managed by the ineffectual New Zealand Consulate official Murray (Rhys Darby), and they have exactly one fan/stalker, Mel (Kristen Schaal). They don't have many gigs, and even fewer successful ones.

As they chase elusive fame'n'fortune, the guys have to deal with girlfriend woes (dating the same girl, a "Yoko", a girl who just wants to use Bret for sex), financial difficulties (Bret bought a cup!), jobs, muggings, anti-Kiwi racism, a problematic rock'n'roll tour, two new fans with impure intentions, a semi-professional actor/compulsive liar who makes Murray think they've got a multimillion-dollar deal, the Crazy Doggz, Australians, epileptic terriers, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, hair gel, and a stage musical based on their misadventures.

If I had to come up with a description for "Flight of the Conchords," it would be that they're the folky New Zealand love child of Spinal Tap and "The Office." No laugh track, rambling dialogue, and the main characters tend to spontaneously break into song-and-dance at pivotal parts of the plot. And it's brilliant.

The writing is brimming over with effortless weirdness, as the guys encounter everyday problems (threesomes, girlfriend woes, weird dreams) which soon turn into hilariously surreal situations (the disturbing children's show, "Albi the Racist Dragon"). The dialogue is amazing ("When I first met you you tried to have me deported from New Zealand because you thought I was an Australian"), and full of rambling conversations that just get stranger with every line ("Have you ever had a threesome?" "Nearly." "What do you mean, nearly?" "I've had a twosome").

The songs are gutsplitting as well, since they're all about homicidal robots, mermaids, toothpaste, hip-hop spoofs, hermaphrodites ("Oh you sexy hermaphrodite lady-man-ladies"), rappers, cannibalism, and the hiphop-potamus. Not to mention "Frodo, Don't Wear the Ring" and its accompanying music video, which are a nod to McKenzie's role as the elf Figwit.

But none of this would be even half as funny if it weren't for the actors -- Clement's self-named chatacter is stoic and kind of weird (he writes a song about putting a wig on Bret), while McKenzie's is more childlike, naive and likes to sit in a cardboard box. Darby rounds out the cast as their harried, rather pathetic manager (who isn't even supposed to be managing a band), and Schaal is also quite funny as a woman who has a creepy sexual fixation on the guys.

This edition also comes with the "Distant Future" EP, which is a nice addition if not a full soundtrack -- it has the hilariously faux-seductive "Business Time," the equally hysterical "If You're Into It" ("Is that what you're into/him and you, in the nude?"), the sad "Not Crying," and live versions of "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room."

"Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Series" is one of the rarest kind of comedy out there -- steady, hysterical, and only gets better with repeated viewings. And boy, are you sorry when it's over.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Sony MDR-V150 Monitor Series Headphones with Reversible Earcups

I'd been looking for headphones that weren't ear buds and that didn't look like Princess Leia's ear buns, and these fit the bill. The price was terrific, too. I used them on a long flight and they were perfect. The fit was great and I could hear everything quite well. Unfortunately, due to the confines of an airline seat, I accidentally snapped off the connector mid-flight and I had to use the airline headphones.

I could really tell how good these headphones were then. The difference between crappy airline headphones and these was astounding. I'm going to buy another pair just to make sure I have them available whenever I need them!

These are very VERY great headphones. I was going to buy some more expansive headphones, but ended up buying these at wal-mart (20 dollars, say 5 bucks buying it here.) I'm very happy, some complain about the base, but it seems fine to me. I'm also happy because if they break, I can buy a new pair for $[...] bucks.

These are the best voip headphones and audio headphones I have ever had. Sound quality is great and they are light weight. This is the second set I have owned.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Sanyo VPC-CG102 High Definition Camcorder and 14 MP Camera w/12x Optical Zoom

Whenever I record an event I start and stop the Camcorder several times. Most people do. On this Camcorder when you start and stop recording each time it will create a totally separate and new file. So let's say you are at a wedding and you start and stop recording 15 times...that means you have to spend a lot of time trying to join clips which are of the same event.

Also, when you join files you are limited to 9 files and it's another additional-job to join them. I urged tech support to work toward an option that would allow a choice of one continuous file even if you stopped and started the Camcorder. Who knows what they will do?

Overall this is a good camera but needs this update >>.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Sony HDR-TG1 4MP High Definition Handycam Camcorder with 10x Optical Super Steady Shot Zoom (4GB Memory Stick Included)

What's the point of having an HD camcorder if you don't use it? This unit is compact enough to carry everywhere so I can capture those random precious moments. Picture quality is sharp and it's a breeze to use. The videos come out amazing on my Sony HDTV. This is coming from someone who isn't exactly technically savvy. Two complaints though - 1) Shoots terribly in low light / indoor situations; & 2) The memory sticks are quite expensive. They use the Sony branded memory which carries a premium.

Overall, I wholeheartedly recommend this camera to everyone except the avid videophile professional who is more focused on the technicals rather than having a convenient take anywhere piece of equipment.

Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 9.7" Display, Graphite, 3G Works Globally – Latest Generation

I bought this after using a glossy screen MacBook Pro for reading for about a year, which resulted in me getting bigger prescription glasses. I was very delighted to hear about Kindle , apparently purpose built to not put a strain on the eyes.

After using Kindle DX for 2 months (daily reading) I must say it's not quite what I expected.

The screen doesn't reflect much light, but you still have to consider the angle if you want to enjoy a comfortable reading. The backlighting is way too dark. In fact, I think there is no backlighting on this device. A normal paper (book, newspaper, magazine) is far more visible than the Kindle under the same lighting conditions.

It requires one of those attached lights for consistent use, which I assume will considerably shorten its battery life.

The screen is quite sensitive. I didn't get a screen protector, nor a cover for the device, but I highly recommend them (especially the cover).

The global wi-fi works great even at the edge of its declared coverage area (I've used it in Eastern Europe) but it's only available for use within the Amazon store.

Battery life is also great. I recharged it three times in two months of daily reading (2 - 4 hours every day), although you must shut off the wi-fi to get the most of it.

The size of the screen is perfect, and so is its weight, even if you feel like resting your arms after a full hour of holding it up for a good reading position.

The ease of use is a five star, even if the response time of the device is very slow (only compared to a notebook), and I understand efforts have been made to improve this. It's not something you can't get used to, but it does feel strange after using a laptop all day long.

As I travel a lot and I do like to read just as much, this product is a valuable asset by replacing a couple of dozen pounds in my suitcase. But because of the weak lighting it will probably be used half the time it was intended to.

I still wouldn't buy a iPad for the same money, although many would not agree, but this device need more work put into before it becomes what it is meant to. So, I would say, for a second version, it's not bad, but it's overpriced.
I recommend it for reading only with an attached light.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella (Twilight Saga)

I personally believe that this is milking the cash cow when some many fans didn't want a book about a character who is such a minor character. Many fans wanted Midnight Sun to be published, but instead fans have gotten Bree. It also felt like a gimmick to advertise the new movie coming out.

Having read all the Twilight books, I was really disappointed with The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. There was little character development and the booked really dragged for being so short.

Her character was ok. She wasn't very shallow compared to Bella. There seems to be more detail put in this story than in the 4 other books of the Twilight saga.

This story was entertaining in some places. Personally though the talk of super hero characters was bland to me, but that's a such a minor detail really. It is a fast read, but it's not really impacting to the series.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Payingpost is a Scam

This is not the usual blog post about making money or that sort of thing. But it relates to it in more ways than one - but I would spear you the long boring and regurgitated story about making million in under a month on today's entry.

But what I'd not spare you however, is that most paid-to-blog companies out there are just scamming innocent users and bloggers for nothing. A friend of mine who will remain nameless was talking about how he wrote the usual initial blog post for PayingPost - that was over 3 months ago, and have not got any response from them after emailing to inform that he had written the test post they asked for.

I know, I know...things are hard, but how many of you out there can honestly say they've made something reasonable from PayingPost? There's none. Most of the people I've seen have either done one or nothing at all. The worst bit of it all is that your emails remain unanswered.

Now, if all these bloggers have each written one or two blog post for them, it means cheap and free publicity. According to their site, you'd have to earn $50 before you get your payment. That means all these bloggers would have to wait indefinitely before they can feel, touch or enjoy the fruit of their labor. Which in my book is insane.

Again, I didn't want to post this entry because I was worried I would be giving them even more publicity. So, I made the concious decision not to create an active link to their site. But I can only hope you don't sign up with them :(

However, if you are a blogger and have used them, and got any payments, please leave a comment here for people to see. And finally, if you're from PayingPost and would like clarify things to prove us wrong, we would love to hear it; and admit that we were wrong. In return, you will get a post for you free on this very blog. :)

That's a promise!
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