Here’s a startling statistic: 69% of children aged 2-5 can operate a computer mouse, but only 11% can tie their own shoelaces. A Tampa 16-year-old jumps in front of a truck to save her iPod. Meanwhile, the U.K. government speculates that robots could one day demand citizen’s rights. Welcome to the Digital Lifestyle Ubertrend, the marriage of man and machine.
As technology become more tightly interwoven with the fabric of life, humankind is evolving rapidly with it. The computer is becoming us and we’re becoming the computer. Not convinced? When we get tired we “crash.” We love to multitask. And we tend to forget more, so we need “memory protection.” Those are three core traits of microprocessors, or the brains of computers.
Slim attaché cases have disappeared only to be replaced by carrying cases with wheels and retractable handles, better suited for that 10 extra pounds of digital gear you now carry. Feet sizes have also increased over the past 20 years to accommodate all that extra weight. In the past 20 years, the foot of the average woman has grown a full shoe size to an…
Rodney King’s 1991 beating was a watershed moment in modern history. Not only was it groundbreaking because police violence was captured on video, but it also helped propel a new Ubertrend, Voyeurgasm, which points to a future where just about everything will be captured by digital cameras or camcorders.
Since then, an explosion in high-profile events have been captured on video, including Beyoncé tripping on stage (since removed from the Web with Sony’s assistance), the Concorde crash, September 11, Paris Hilton’s “sex-capade” and President’s Bush’s shoe-throwing incident, O.J. Simpson’s infamous car chase, plus countless other police-car chases, and violent teen beatings.
Voyeurgasm dates back to the beginning of humankind itself, but with the assistance of manmade tools became a force over the past few centuries. The painting was the first device to help budding voyeurs catch glimpses of others, in robes or not. Then, in 1839 Louis Daguerre came along with his daguerrotype and ushered in the photographic revolution that allowed any consumer to capture images on film.
But it was high-definition camera technology that dramatically raised the quality of broadcast television and home videos, many of which are bound to end up on mass media. Expect these concurrent trends…
The J.Crew Abingdon Weekender
is a great weathered bag that you can take anywhere but also is loaded with style. Inspired by vintage hunting gear, the Abingdon collection focuses heavily on timeless fabrics and made-to-last construction. You’ll notice recurring details such as rugged waxed cotton canvas, burnished leather trim and brass-finish hardware. Think weekend getaways, jeep and landrovers, adventure travel and even a romantic getaway to somewhere rustic but luxurious.
The bag also has heavy-duty shoulder straps and added extra reinforcements to help it withstand repeated use.
- 8″ handle drop.
- 17 1/2″H x 26″W x 9 1/4″D.
- Adjustable shoulder strap fully extends to 49 3/4″.
- Waxed cotton canvas.
The bag comes in kaki, slate gray, deep olive, and dark navy and is priced at $198.
If you’re wondering what happened to Canon and Nikon, so do we. In the compact, non-DSLR category, Sony certainly rules, with the Alpha 7 and NEX-5T. And here we have the Sony DSC-RX100 II Digital Camera ($748), which is the most highly regarded pocketable digicam.
Sony’s best pocket camera packs plenty of technology into one small, portable product:
- Sensor – The DSC-RX100 II boasts a 20.2-megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor backed by a BIONZ Image Processor which offers high sensitivity and low noise by using a back illumination technology. It also offers beautifully defocused backgrounds, with optical zoom capabilities of up to 3.6x.
- LCD display – The DSC-RX100 II features a 3.0-inch 1.2-million-pixel LCD screen that displays your images clearly, even in direct sunlight.
- Optics – A 3.6x optical Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 10.4-37.1mm f/1.8-4.9 lens provides a flexible 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 28-100mm.
- Wireless – You can connect the DSC-RX100 II to your Android smartphone or tablet using the PlayMemories Mobile app, either via wireless or NFC connectivity.
- Interface – The multi-interface shoe lets you attach accessories, including a viewfinder and a remote control.
Accolades usually reserved for SLR cameras have been showered…
Once Nike jumped into the market, it was only a matter of time for other sportswear manufacturers to join the wearables market. Under Armour has now introduced its Armour39 wearable, which promises to improve your willpower.
The Armour39 tracks critical performance measures such as heart rate, intensity, calories burned and, ostensibly, willpower in real-time, which allows you to review your performance across workouts:
- Components – The Armour39 ($100) system consists of a chest strap, module, watch (sold separately: $200), plus mobile app. Body data collected is transferred to the module, which fits in the strap. When the module is synced with your phone the data is transmitted to your mobile device.
- WILLpower – One of the neat features of the Armour39 System is WILLpower, which determines what a user is capable of by sensing how one moves and recording heart beat and delivering precise measurements to the module. It then scores your performance and sets the bar higher to improve your score.
Like the Nike Fuelband SE we reviewed, the Armour39 measures your body’s performance, with Under Armour approaching it from a more sports approach.
When you see the Jenk1907 video posted on Vimeo, which shows his AR.Drone flying over Istanbul’s Taksim square before getting shot down, it sends chills down your spine. It also tells you a lot about the future of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).
When Paris, France-based Parrot launched its AR.Drone helicopter at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, it created quite a stir. Here was a quadricopter that could be controlled by an iPhone and was outfitted with a video camera that could be used to do some neighborly surveillance:
- Camera – The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 ($300) is equipped with a 720p HD camera that can live stream what it sees to your mobile device. You can take videos or pictures and have them instantly sent to your smartphone or tablet with low latency streaming.
- Mobile control – Parrot offers a mobile application, AR.FreeFlight, that is used to fly and pilot the Parrot AR.Drone. Director Mode allows you to program the quadricopter for automatic movements so that you can shoot better videos. You can also utilize the Flight Recorder GPS to improve the stabilization of the Parrot AR.Drone and to view your flights in 3D.
It was only…
One of the interesting quirks of my trip to San Francisco last week was I spent the time using an iPhone 5S in anger, as opposed to my regular Windows Phone device.
Cards on the table, this is not going to be a forensic review of the iPhone 5S. Seven weeks ago it reached the hands of the public, and since then Apple has struggled to keep their latest flagship smartphone in stock. It’s hard to disagree with those sort of sales numbers, and after spending two weeks with the iPhone 5S I haven’t found any reason to even try. The iPhone 5S is the best all-round smartphone on the market right now.
Yes, that’s a statement that’s going to raise a lot of eyebrows (and I can imagine the comments are already being mentally composed). There is a lot of choice in the smartphone market right now, and there is no right answer to the question of ‘which is the best phone to buy.’ Every handset and every operating system is a collection of compromises, and the iPhone is compromised in a different way to an Android, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry handset.
You can read…
Despite all the great reviews Macintosh computers have garnered over the years, we rarely see it stated that Apple’s groundbreaking platform has attracted some of the best designed software on the market today. In fact, we would venture to say that with few exceptions the Mac offers the best possible software for the task at hand.
And that’s from a former Windows user. That’s partly due to the fact that Apple was first on the market with an integrated smartphone design, pointing the way for Mac developers to create seamless synchronization solutions. But the real story is that the innovation the Macintosh GUI ushered in will celebrate is 30th anniversary next year.
Here are our picks for the coolest Macintosh software:
1Password can create strong passwords, organize them, and insert them in web pages with a handy browser button. Mavericks made me switch to 4.0, which is still in beta. Usability has been improved and the interface is slicker. But the iPhone version also needs to be upgraded for $18.
Publisher: Agile Bits
Adobe Creative Studio 6
Adobe’s Creative Suite includes four useful applications:…
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