Hello! It's been a while, and I'm so happy to say, we are going to be back and better than ever. We will be changing just a little bit- bringing you more frequently updated content, in a somewhat abbreviated format- more than 140 characters, but usually not more than 140 words. We will still have longer reviews, which we will be structuring into comprehensive buying guides. We will have new voices, as well as some familiar ones, and lots of great giveaways.
Where have we been? In a nutshell, I had a baby, and I thought I'd be able to keep running Popgadget with a newborn and I was so very very very wrong.
If you haven't heard of it yet, Gmail has recently introduced the "Undo Send" feature to recall an e-mail that you've sent.
This latest tweak allows you to reclaim your sent mail if it happens to be within 5 seconds of hitting the "Send" button. And that’s nothing short of an official manna from heaven as far as habitual offenders like me are concerned - my entries to the e-mail hall of shame are one too many as I most often end up clicking the "Send" button on my e-mail instead of the "Save" button.
Go on to your email settings and enable the feature if you need a helping hand to undo your e-mail gaffes.
The Kindle 2
was just released a few weeks ago, but already there's another way to read the hundreds of thousands of e-books available in the Amazon Kindlestore- the Kindle for iPhone application. You don't have to own a Kindle to use the application; all you need is an iPhone or an iPod Touch, and an Amazon account. If you do own a Kindle, though, the iPhone Kindle reader syncs with your Kindle, so you can seamlessly switch back and forth, from phone to Kindle, with an auto-bookmark feature which remembers the last page you've read.
I have an original Kindle, and haven't felt the need to upgrade to a Kindle 2, so it's nice to have the option to carry my books with me in an even more portable package. Also, the Kindle isn't backlit, so for a quick read before bed, the iPhone is perfect. I think it would be more useful as a Kindle accessory- because I imagine you'd quickly run down your battery if you tried to read an entire book (as the screen is small, you don't get a lot of text per page, so there's lots and lots of page turning, and unlike the Kindle's e-ink display, the iPhone display continues to eat battery time, just by displaying the page) but it's perfect for subway rides, long lines, and traffic (not that I read in traffic, no way, eyes on the road 100%).
When you open up Kindle for iPhone, and register your device- you have immediate access to the books you've already purchased for your Kindle. There's an archive, and you click to download the books onto the phone. You can't buy books directly from the application- you need to go to the phone's Safari browser to get new books.
We've long been big, big fans of the online shop Dynamism, home of the newest and greatest technology products from Japan so it's with huge excitement that we're helping to announce the opening of a new store by the founder, Douglas Krone: Gizmine. Gizmine is also full of the latest products from Japan, but instead of focusing on bigger ticket items like notebook computers and amazing phones, Gizmine has everything from cool cell phone straps to unique clothing (knife-proof shirts!) as well as the usual tech suspects like cameras, watches, and speakers. Even cameras, though, aren't the same ones you'll find anywhere else.
This Tomy Xaio Digicam is a cute, compact 5 megapixel digital camera, but it has a built-in printer, like an updated polaroid.
Any Apple event brings about endless speculation and anticipation, which crash sometime during the event when the photoshopped images of fake products don't end up being introduced. Today's Apple event announced new MacBooks and MacBook Pros and a new Cinema display.
1.- Are there significant changes from the prior generation of MacBooks or just small incremental changes in design or speed? Answer: Pretty significant but not killer.
2. Will people be able to tell that you have the newest MacBook, therefore entitling you to a couple months of envious glares? Answer: Yes, but only from pretty serious geeks as the new models don't look dramatically different at a glance.
3. Is there something so ground-breaking and new (like the iPhone, which changed the game for a mobile Internet device) that you should go grab a sleeping bag and camp out in front of the Apple store now, before the shipments even arrive at the store? Answer: No, mercifully no.
Details on the new MacBook Pros:
As rumored, the MacBook Pros are fashioned out of single piece of aluminum, for a sleeker, more streamlined design. The 15.4" backlit LCD is now even slimmer, although it's a glossy finish, which won't please some people who constantly fight glare. Battery life is the same, 5 hours, when you're using the wireless connection. The graphics chip is updated to the NVIDIA Geforce 9600, with 256 or 512 MB of video memory. The Intel Core 2 Duo processor comes in speeds from 2.4 to 2.8 GHz. You can get 2 GB or 4 GB of RAM and a 250 GB or 320 GB hard drive with an option for a solid state drive.
Perhaps the most striking new feature is the larger, glass touchpad which now supports more touch functions and gets rid of the mouse button as the whole touchpad is now a large, hardware button which can be pushed, not merely tapped.
The new 13.3" MacBook also has improved graphics, faster processor, and the larger, glass touchpad. The higher end model also has a backlit keyboard like the MacBook Pros. The MacBook, like its bigger sister, also is made from a single piece of aluminum.
The size and weight of both the MacBook and MacBook Pro remain unchanged. It's a pretty big overhaul, both inside and out, but the end result doesn't look too different.
The new MacBook costs $1299 for the 2.0 GHz model, and $1599 for the 2.4 GHz. The older white MacBook is still available for now.
The MacBook Pro is $1999 for the 2.4 GHz model and $2499 for the 2.53 GHz.
The MacBook Air is also getting a small makeover (insides only) with a faster NVIDIA graphics card and more storage, but they won't be shipping until November. The MacBook and MacBook Pro should be available in stores tomorrow.
Ever since the October issue of O, The Oprah Magazine came out, we've been getting numerous mysterious emails from readers telling us they found out about Popgadget in the magazine. At first, we replied, "What?" Then we noticed a huge spike in our website traffic that hasn't been seen since that crazy Bar 89 bathroom post.
What a thrill to find out that Popgadget, indeed, is mentioned in the latest issue of O Magazine - page 72. Goes to show - even the smallest mention in O Magazine can have an enormous impact.
So, while we have your attention, dear O Magazine readers, let us direct you to our email sign up page, where you can subscribe to our free emails to get weekly tips and Popgadget highlights, and to win great gadgets from our sponsors. Here are some of the few products we've given away recently.
Have a look around. Don't forget to come back to see our holiday gift guides!
Have any questions? - we love to hear from you. Email our editor Mia at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us here.
I've just updated my iPhone 3G with the just-released free upgrade to firmware 2.1 and while the interface looks the same, no cosmetic changes, there have definitely been some improvements in performance. Backing up the phone is much, much quicker, I have two additional bars of reception, and the battery life is supposedly much improved as well. That we'll have to see, but just the reception boost alone is enough to warrant doing the update. A listing of the fixes:
- Improved call reception and fewer dropped calls.
- Better battery life
- Faster and more reliable email fetching
- Improved SMS performance
- Fewer crashes and freezes in 3rd party apps
- Faster installation of 3rd party apps
- Faster backup of iPhone when syncing
Also: Genius, the playlist creator, is included and creates on the fly playlists from music that's on your iPhone. Pick a song, hit Genius, and you'll get a playlist of songs that Genius thinks will sound good together. So far, so good. Works quickly and is fun, especially if you don't have a lot of playlists and resort to using "shuffle" mode most of the time.
I've never had 3G reception in my home, and now I get two solid bars. Yay! Wait, wait, make that three bars! No, two. Uh oh, just one. Well anyway, I've never seen the 3G signal at all before in this location, so the reception is much improved, I think.
No apparent upgrade in the Maps app, but there are still rumors that full function turn-by-turn navigation is possible, either through a future upgrade or through a 3rd party app like Telenav.
If you've had any issues with bugs or slowdowns, run, don't walk to iTunes to the upgrade. Just hook up your iPhone, open iTunes, and hit "check for upgrade." It's a fairly large download, over 200 MB, so it might take a while and make sure you let iTunes do a backup before upgrading so you don't lose any settings or data.
Running between the vegetable counters and self-service scales while trying to print out the correct price label for your groceries may soon be a thing of the past. Provided the smart weighing scale graces your local supermarket.
For now, this common shopping irritant of having to remember the number tag for your groceries at the supermarket is out of the lives of some lucky folks in Europe. And that's attributed to the smart self-service weighing scale, which promises to give these shoppers a unique “weighing experience.”
Developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Information and Data Processing IITB in Karlsruhe, this device can automatically recognize the fruit or vegetable that is placed on it and brings up the most appropriate icons on its touch screen interface for you to print out the price label. How so? The weighing scale is equipped with a supremely intelligent built-in camera that can recognize not only the difference between an apple and a tomato, but say, even different types of tomatoes. Or any other fruit or veggie - even if it is within a cloudy plastic bag! Pretty impressive. The smart scale is currently being tested in supermarkets around Europe.
This is how super-satisfied shoppers are made. And retained.
In June NBC announced that it would be making the Olympics competitions available on the Web only to users of Vista, shutting out Macs, Linux, and even Microsoft's own Windows users.
They appear to have relented, I'm happy to report, at least admitting those of us still using Windows XP. I can't testify about the other OSes from personal experience, but if you do Mac or Linux, give it a try and drop us a line to let your fellow users know if it works.
Lots of this is available in real time. But if you miss the competition in a favorite sport because you have a life, here's a chance to catch up in those moments when your life has quieted down. I have just watched part of the U.S. sweep of women's fencing, and as soon as I finish writing this I'm going to watch the hour-long video of the opening ceremonies, which I missed on Friday but keep hearing is truly the greatest show on earth ever.
You will need Adobe's Flash to see much of anything on the site, www.nbcolympics.com. For some features, such as widgets that let you keep up with events without leaving your favorite site, you will need the latest version of Flash. In an apparent move to compete with Adobe, there's also a browser plug-in for a beta 2.0 version of Microsoft's new Silverlight, which does quite cool things with video as well, such as PIP. Get all the plug-ins here and the widgets here.
If you're craving the Olympics but you're mobile, NBC provides several cell phone possibilities: the website, TV, and video, plus alerts on results. I haven't had a chance to try any of them, but find instructions for all of them here.
I still can't decide whether packaging a news and politics site aimed at young women in pretty fuschia and black, and giving it a very Sex and the City-inspired theme is a good move that should get girls interested in current events . . . or more than a little patronizing.
British TV presenter (and ex-politician's girlfriend btw) June Sarpong obviously hopes it's the former, as she has just launched her pet project, Politics and the City, a new site for the Cosmo crowd, which so far seems to be a big success. As you'd expect, it has a British slant, but there's enough about Barack Obama and Amy Winehouse's husband to keep an international audience interested, too.
But is this the best way to get young women passionate about politics? I'd love to know what Popgadget readers think. Leave your comment below or join the Popgadget community to join the discussion.