Tech news, gadget reviews and how-tos on just about anything and everything.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Nokia Express Music 5300 - a Good Mobile Music Player

BY: Philip Silva

If you're after the iPhone for its music playing capabilities but you don't have the cash to buy one, I suggest you go for the Nokia Express Music 5300. The Nokia 5300 is not packed with all the smart phone features of an iPhone but for a music player, I think it's right up there with the music playing capabilities of the iPhone.

The Features and looks

The Nokia Express Music 5300 has a 1.2 megapixel camera, Bluetooth that supports A2DP, a mini USB (first time I've seen in a Nokia phone), and 2.5mm jack. It's a slider phone and weighs about 3.6 ounces. The Nokia 5300's form factor is a little bit bulky for me and it always seems that the top is a lot heavier than the bottom slider. The phone's screen size is about 2 inches and has a 320x240 screen resolution.

The side of the Nokia Express Music 5300 has a somewhat rubberized feel which makes it easy to grip. The easy to access music menus are also located at the left side of the phone and is also rubberized. The buttons are slightly protruded which makes it easier to find when you're not looking at the phone. The music controls allows you to pause, forward, or rewind your music, unfortunately, I still haven't found the controls that would allow you to stop the track. This has become quite troublesome for me coz every time I open up the music player, it always starts at the track I've previously paused. On the right side of the phone is the volume control and the camera button which lets you shoot pictures in landscape mode.

One thing I hated about the design is that, like previous Nokia models, the micro SD slot is located at the back of the battery. I wish they would just place it outside like what they did with the N series models.

Applications that came with this phone are a voice recorder, alarm clock, calendar, to-do list, notepad, calculator, countdown timer, and a stopwatch. The Nokia 5300 also supports Push-to-Talk but the service will depend on your carrier. Games that are included on the phone are Snake III, Pro Snowboard and my favorite, Music Guess. The object of Music Guess is to match the tunes with the song on your playlist, not particularly hard since you probably know your playlist by heart but nevertheless, it's a fun game.

What I like

Like all other Nokia models, what I really like about Nokia is their camera feature on the phone. The 1.3 megapixel camera on the Nokia 5300 delivers good quality images compared to other camera phones in the market. Unfortunately, the Nokia 5300 has no camera flash but it has a 10 second self-timer, adjustable white balance and 8x zoom. The phone also has a video recorder and saves video clips in 3ggp format, a function that is lacking on the iPhone. But this is not a camera phone, as the name suggest, the Nokia 5300 is a music phone and though I'm not a music connoisseur, its music playback capabilities is by far, the best amongst other Nokia models that I've encountered.

The music playback on the stereo speakers is really good and you won't realize that you're listening to music over the phone. The Bluetooth supports A2DP which allows you to listen to your music over Stereo Bluetooth. The music player can play MP3, WMA, AAC, and AAC+, has repeat and shuffle mode, an equalizer and can let you save tracks to use as a ring tone.

What I didn't Like

My only complaints about the phone is that the top slider is really heavy compared to the bottom which makes texting a little bit uneasy for me. I also had trouble with the soft keys on the front of the phone since I always interchange the top from the bottom. Call quality is also not that good, or maybe it's just the network that I am on. There's always some kind of static in the background and I don't know for what reason but it seems that when using the speakerphone, the voice of the person on the other end of the line is not that loud compared to music blaring from the speakers.

Bottom Line

All in all, this is a great phone if you're in the market for a phone-slash-music player. It beats having to carry around two devices; MP3 player and mobile phone.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sony's First Multi-Channel SA-CD Audio/Video System for the car

Sony has just unveiled its first Super Audio CD–based car audio/video system centering on the new XAV-W1 in-car video head unit. The XAV-W1 has an SA-CD audio format, a 5.1 channel surround sound option, and a 7 inch video screen, supports Dolby® Digital surround sound and dts® Digital Surround Processing playback, JPEG video format, WMA and MP3 audio formats. This system also comes iPod and satellite radio ready and can playback DVD, DVD-R/RW, SA-CD, VCD, CD and CD-R.

Drivers can personalize the XAV-W1 by changing the screen's wallpaper or by changing the sound settings. The XAV-W1 will cost $800 and will be available starting August.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Safari-like browser for your Pocket PC or Symbian phone

With all the hype that the iPhone is getting, I still haven't jumped unto the bandwagon. Mainly because I think that the only reason to love the iPhone is its Safari Browser. Well, I could further scratch the iPhone from my to-buy list this Christmas and the main reason --- Opera Mini Beta 4.

With the Opera Mini Beta 4, its like having the Safari Browser on your java-enabled phone, be it on a pocket pc or a symbian phone. The interface is great and the animation seamless. You have to try it for yourself. But since it's a beta version, there are still some kinks to fix, like the application suddenly freezes when used on my pocket pc using the built-in midlet manager. But the Opera Mini beta 4 does work seamlessly on my Motorola E770 phone. For pocket pc users, try visiting the Opera mini forums for a solution, I think they already posted one.

To see the full review, visit: Another Reason Not to Buy the iPhone

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The World's First 19" Widescreen Digital Picture Frame

If you're looking for a very high tech home decor, then you might want to take a look at PhotoVu's 19" Widescreen wireless Digital Picture Frame. This is the World's first 19" wireless widescreen picture frame, so that's another reason to buy it if you're one of those must-be-first-to-have-that-watchamacallit type of person.

Aside from being wireless, which makes it more easy to mount on your wall, PhotoVu's PV1965w can also be customized to match your home decor. You can change the frame, matboard and the power cord to match your desktop or wallpaper. It's also Wi-Fi and ethernet ready and has an optimum resolution of 1440 x 900. The PV1965w costs $1199.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The New Blackberry 8820

Research in Motion has recently announced the launch of its newest Blackberry model, the Blackberry 8820. The Blackberry 8820 is RIM's thinnest smart phone and also its first smart phone to have Wi-Fi and Dual Band capabilities.

The Blackberry 8820 has a built-in GPS so you can easily pinpoint your location, a 320x240 display, trackball navigation, media player, Bluetooth which supports A2DP and an expandable micro SD slot. In Blackberry's press release, there was no mention about the phone's camera and rumor has it that it may not have one. The Blackberry 8820 is due for release late in the Summer.


Garmin Nuvifone

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Cheap back-to-school PC

Only weeks to go and its time for school again. There's good news for parents who're trying to come up with the dough to buy their kids a new PC for the coming school year, Everex has just introduced their $298 back-to-school pc.

Don't expect a great performance from this PC. The specs that come with the $298 price tag are: a VIA energy efficient C7-D processor that takes out an average of 2W to a maximum of 20W and has a processing speed of about 1.5 GHz, 1GB DDR2 533 MHz SDRAM, a VIA Chrome9 HC IGP graphic card, Realtek High-Definition Audio, 10/100 Ethernet LAN, 6 USB ports, Microphone and headphone jack, as well as VGA, Ethernet and RJ-11 ports. Keyboard, mouse and stereo speakers are already included.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sony's iPod clock radio and iPod boombox

"If you can't beat them, might as well support them," is probably Sony's latest motto. The electronics giant who pioneered the portable music device through the introduction of the Walkman ages ago, is now raising the white flag. Sony's latest line of Walkman devices has failed to catch up with the iPod sales and the Company's own directors admit that consumers are treating the iPod as a format much like the compact disc which is the main reason that Sony is making products to support it.

The two new products are; a clock radio and a boombox. Both can charge the iPod while docked and has a wireless remote that can access the iPod menu. iPod lovers can now wake up to their favorite tunes or simply bother everyone around them within listening radius by playing their iPod at top volume using the boombox. These products will be available in August and will cost around $100.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Spacesuit of the future

When you think about spacesuits, the first image that comes to mind are those overly stuffed white suits with large helmets that makes astronauts look like that Marshmallow guy from Ghostbusters. I bet a skintight suit is the farthest image from your mind, but researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is hoping to change spacesuits forever.

MIT's BioSuit hopes to depart from the traditional spacesuit by using nylon and spandex to create a skintight spacesuit to keep astronauts pressurized in space. This suit allows astronaut more mobility when exploring the moon and soon, hopefully, Mars.

MIT researchers hopes that the BioSuit will be ready just in time for the first Mars exploration, maybe in ten years time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How to Get the iPhone Without the Contract and Turn it into an iPod with Wi-Fi

If you don't want to get tied down to a two-year contract but you still want to get your hands on that yummy iPhone, here is a way to get the iPhone without being tied down to AT&T's two year contract. Please note however that even though you can get out of the two year contract, you still can't use the iPhone with another mobile carrier's sim card since as of writing, hackers still haven't found a way to unlock the iPhone for use with other mobile networks. I don't actually own an iPhone but I've been following up news about the iPhone and I have read about how other people are able to get iPhone without the contract because of bad credit rating.

See the full tutorial here: How to Get the iPhone Without the Contract and Turn it into an iPod with Wi-Fi

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The first Mp3 Karaoke

First it was just a stereo, then it went to tv, then a microphone, and now, Karaoke on your MP3 Player. Outrageous International, maker of toys, entertainment and consumer electronics has produced the world's first interactive, handheld MP3 karaoke player. the i-Sing allows users to listen to MP3s, or sing along their favorite song, and even record their own voices.

The i-Sing can create personalized karaoke files of their favorite songs without waiting for it to be released on a Karaoke CD. Users can add their own lyrcis and produce instrumental karaoke music by reducing or eliminating the artist's voice track.

You can get the i-Sing at Wal-Mart stores in the greater Denver,
CO area and will soon be available nationwide for Back-to-School shopping at
Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, QVC, Meijers, Sears Wishbook, Hammacher Schlemmer,
Linens N Things,,,,, Toys R,,, and other retailers nationwide.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sony PSP to sport a new design

Sony Computer Entertainment America has announced that it would be introducing a new look for the PSP.The new Playstation Portable (PSP-2000) will have a sleeker look as well as a video output port and will be available in stores starting September in Japan, North America and Europe.

The new PSP will be 33 percent lighter and 19 percent slimmer than the original Playstation Portable game console. The new video output port will enable users to watch their UMD discs on their television sets. The new PSP will also enable gamers to charge their unit on their PC through the USB cable. The PSP will also come in three basic colors, "Piano Black", "Ceramic White", and "Ice Silver".

SCEA also announced limited edition entertainment packs for the new Sony PSP. The new entertainment packs are the Daxter PSP Entertainment Pack and the Star Wars Battlefront PSP Entertainment Pack. The Daxter entertainment pack will be first released on September 10 and will include a PSP "ice silver" in color, the award-winning game, Daxter, Family Guy - The freakin' sweet collection on a Universal Media Disc, and a 1GB Memory Stick Pro Duo. The limited edition Star Wars Battle Front Entertainment Pack will be released on October 9and will include a "ceramic white" PSP with a silk-screened image of Darth Vader on the back of the device, the game Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron is also included. This latest game from Lucas Arts is the next chapter of their best-selling Star Wars Battlefront series.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Myvu iPod solo edition

If you're in a public place and you're watching your iPod videos, chances are, someone is probably looking over your shoulder, trying to sneak a peek. If you've always hated that situation and you have $200 to spare, you might want to check out Myvu iPod solo edition. The Myvu personal media viewer lets you watch your iPod videos on the big screen--without the screen.

The Myvu personal media viewer is a special video glasses compatible with your iPod. The Myvu creates an illusion that you're watching a video from a large screen from several feet away. This is a definite must-have for rich iPod geeks.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

How to have the iPhone feel on your ordinary cell phone

By: Philip Silva

For those of you who didn't get in line for an iPhone but wants to avoid the envy, has an article on how to dress up your cell phone to avoid any iPhone envy. Some of the applications would cost you around $30 or less but you don't have to worry about shelling out $500-$600.

iPhone's Visual Voicemail

iPhone's Visual Voicemail lets you choose which voicemail you will listen to by listing it without the need to hear the voicemail first. If you want to have visual voicemail on your cell phone, callwave, according to the pcworld article, is a free service that sends copies of your voicemail messages to your e-mail. The caller's name and the message length is displayed in the subject line so you can select which voicemail you will listen to. The software creates a contact list on your PC and notifies you of new messages through SMS message on your mobile phone.

GotVoice is a web-based service that grabs your voicemail messages, records them as MP3 and then sends it to your email address. GotVoice will work with any phone be it your mobile phone, home phone and even your work phone. The service is free but expect to see advertisement. They have a premium account which will cost you $10.

iPhone's syncing capability with iTunes and your PC

The PocketTunes 4.0 can let your phone connect to internet radio stations plus lets you download music from popular subscription services like Yahoo Music, Napster To Go, and Rhapsody To Go. The application will cost you $38 and is compatible with Palm Treo phones.

For your Windows Mobile smart phone, you can download the M music player which lets you access songs on your PC and lets you receive Internet Radio broadcasts. The service will set you back $5 per month or $50 per year.

For phones that support Java, for $10 per month, the MobiTV application lets you stream live TV on your phone as well as receive radio broadcasts.

iPhone's 4 to 8 GB memory capacity

The iPhone's memory is restricted to either 4 or 8 GB capacity. Most phones nowadays have an expansion slot that supports memory cards, SD cards, microSD and miniSD. The highest capacity for multimedia cards is at 4GB but according to pcworld, that capacity can double.

iPhone supports Google Maps

Pcworld reports that Google Maps has a mobile version for any cell phones that are capable of connecting to the internet. And if your mobile phone has GPS capabilities, you can one up the iPhone since it can only view static maps, according to pcworld, major carriers offer GPS mapping and traffic updates.

For other tips and applications that would make you forget about the iPhone and stay loyal to your old phone, visit the pcworld article below.


Michael S. Lasky, iPhone versus Your Phone: Tips to Avoid iPhone Envy. PC World.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A new universal battery charger

Tekkeon has recently announced a their new product, the MyPower ALL Plus MP3450. The MyPower ALL is an external laptop battery that can also be used to charge other devices through USB ports.

The MP3450 provides up to 19V of power and can power almost any device any time, anywhere. If your device is not included in the supported models, the company also sells additional adpaters on their website.

Monday, July 9, 2007

How to Detect if Your Computer is a Zombie

Every year, millions of companies fall prey to "denial of service" attacks that cripples their whole system. You might not be aware of it yet but your computer might be one of the computers that caused these attacks.

If you're computer is infected with a "bot", someone might be controlling it remotely to spam other people or attack other computers through a "denial of service".

Signs of an infected computer might include poor computer system performance, slower response times and longer start-up and shut-down times, dramatic loss in Internet connection speeds, loss of hard disk space, web browser frequently closes for no apparent reason, browser's home page resets and cannot be changed, new desktop icons and applications, like toolbars, suddenly appear, access to various computer security-related Web sites is blocked, pop-up ads appear even when the Web browser is closed.

To know more about other symptoms, cure and prevention of a bot infected computer, visit: How to Detect if Your Computer is a Zombie

Recent How-Tos:

How to install themes on Nokia Phones

Friday, July 6, 2007

This day in History widget for the iPhone

There's a perfect iPhone application for history buffs who owns this sleek gadget. Software MacKiev has already released This Day in History. This Day in History is a new widget for iPhone's Safari browser that shows significant historical events corresponding with the current day.

This Day in History is already available at the Company's website free of charge. To access This Day in History on your iPhone, just enter: on the Safari Browser. Like all other widgets for the iPhone, this will only run on the Safari Browser if you have an internet connection and would not be available for use offline.

The first writeable Blue-Ray Disc

Panasonic has announced last Thursday that it will be introducing the World's first write-once Blue-Ray Discs with a 4x writing speed. The discs will be available in 25G and 50GB capacity and will be out in the market in July for the 25G and September for the 50GB disc.

The new discs have a maximum capacity to transfer data at a speed of 144mbps and has a low error rate because of the newly developed film forming technology which minimizes dust generated in the sputtering process.

Visual Voicemail for your mobile phone

One of the cool features of the Apple iPhone is its visual voicemail. The iPhone's visual voicemail allows users to view their voice messages without listening to prior voice messages so that they can select the messages that are more important to them.

Now, ordinary cell phone users can use the visual voicemail on their phones using SimulSays Beta. SimulSays Beta is a free visual voicemail application for the Blackberry 8800 series, Blackberry Pearl, Blackberry Curve and Windows Mobile Devices. SimulSays Beta lets users scroll and click through their voicemail messages, choosing the order of priority they can listen to their voicemail, saving them time and money.

What's more, when the SimulSays Beta is combined with the Simulscribe voicemail-to-text service, users can also read their voicemail messages in the application. Simulscribe's voicemail-to-text service converts voicemail to text and delivers it via e-mail or SMS. The message is delivered in real time and includes the caller's phone number in the subject line, the transcribed voice message and an audio file of the original message. The SimulSays Beta can also combine with your mobile phone's phonebook so you can reply to the caller's voice message by phone, text message or email.

For more info, visit

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Nokia's first speakerphone

In a press release, Nokia announced it's first speakerphone, the Nokia speakerphone HF-300. The HF-300 is a bluetooth speakerphone that has enhanced audio quality and has an auto power off when the device is not in use.

The Nokia Speakerphone HF-300 only weighs 80g so you can take it anywhere with you. It has a sunvisor clip so you can place it on your car or you can easily mount it on a surface with its rubber feet. The HF-300 is compatible with Nokia products that supports Bluetooth 1.1 or higher and will be available in the third quarter of 2007.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Verizon boasts of its multimedia services and network capacity to lure back customers

If your competitor is luring in 700,000 customers in less than 3 days because of their new cell phone, what better way to lure back your customers than bash your rival's network?

Verizon Wireless, probably in a last ditch attempt to lure back its customers has issued a press release announcing its wide variety of phones to fit anyone's lifestyle as well as their wide range of multimedia services. They even boasted their $37 billion investment for network expansion.

In what could probably be a sour-graping moment, Verizon said in their press release, "A mobile phone is only as good as the network it's on. While some carriers may boast that their handsets are sleek, investigating the type of network the phone runs on is crucial before purchasing any device." Jealous much?!

AT&T customers are already complaining about how the EDGE network was down because of the hundreds of iPhone users trying to tap into the system.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Apple iPhone applications

With the iPhone's release, many users are probably looking for applications for their phones. Two companies, have recently announced the release of their applications that are compatible with the iPhone while one company has almost every iPhone app under their site.

Funambol has announced that they will be releasing the first over-the-air contacts application for the iPhone that lets users make calls, send email and even map locations using Google Maps. myFUNAMBOL can facilitate a user’s migration from his old device to the iPhone over-the-air.

Unbound Medicine announced that they will be releasing medical content for the iPhone. Among the medical products that will be available are Harrison's Manual of Medicine and Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests from McGraw-Hill, 5-Minute Clinical Consult from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Red Book(R) from the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Davis's Drug Guide and Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary from F.A. Davis. Users can also access and search through hundreds of medical journals online. on the other hand, has just about every variety of iphone apps on their website and new ones are added everyday.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Wanna see what's inside your throat?

Medgadget, the internet journal of emerging medical technologies, reported that the FDA has just approved the PillCam ESO 2, a capsule endoscope from Given Imaging Ltd. of Israel. The camera capsule will be marketed in the US by Johnson and Johnson through InScope.

The PillCam capsule is designed to view the inner lining of the esophagus. The capsule is the same size as a multi-vitamin, about a centimeter in width, so it can be swallowed easily.

For the full story, see: A Camera in Your Throat