Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Recently I was looking up phones. This is my new thing since getting an android phone and realizing that an Apple iPhone is not the end all for a smart phone. Now I love my Android phone, but there are limitations to it. I mean it is now made for my T-Mobile prepaid network.

LG DoublePlay™

I came across the LG doubleplay™ which is a REALLY nice looking phone. This is a new phone on the T-Mobile network. Initially, it looks like a normal Android cell phone with a 3.5″ main display and running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which gives access to all the apps available on the Android Market… and there are TONS of them on there. It also has 7 customizable home screens for organization as well as 9 shortcuts on the touchscreen display for easy navigation. (My current phone only has 5 and I have them customized for Games, Work, Social media, etc.). I like a nice thin, small phone because I work in an ER and need a phone I can keep in my pocket for convenience since I input my patients vital signs into my phone until I can put them in the chart as well as house my drug book for reference.

The more I looked at this phone; it seemed it had a very odd slide out keyboard. The slide out keyboard is essentially cut in half as it also houses a customizable 2.0″ display making this phone great for social networking. You can play Angry Birds on the 3.5″ display while keeping up with twitter or text message on the lower display. Or surf the web one display while scanning emails on the other. And both screens are touchscreens for added ease of operation.

Of course, the phone also comes with the built-in virtual Android keyboard which also uses Swype® which, if you haven’t used it is a GREAT feature. What Swype® does is allow you to enter text on your phone by running your fingers over the keyboard to the letters you want and it is about 95% accurate in choosing the correct word you were looking for. If it is confused about a word, which I have found to be more active with 3 letter words, if shows a pop-up box with choices of words it thinks you may have meant. It even learns from your choices and makes your last choice the first choice should the same swype ® and confusion occur. I love this feature in my current phone as it makes text input much easier and faster.

Android also has voice-to-text as well. When you are looking to input text, the text box has this little microphone next to it. Click on the microphone and then just talk to the phone and it will translate the speech to text. For longer texts this is VERY convenient. Unfortunately, this feature also requires connection to the internet via cell connection or Wi-Fi connection to work.

Now, I also take a TON of pictures especially of my gorgeous 6-month old daughter so a camera phone and video are also important to me. My current phone has a 3.2 megapixel camera. No flash. So when I need to take a picture for my daily picture of MJ to my wife, I have to make sure I have good lighting or I have to turn on lights to make sure the shot is good. The video on the phone is not very good, but since I always have a pocket camcorder on me I do not fret about it much.

The LG Doubleplay™ has a 5.0 megapixel camera, which is MORE than adequate for the shot you need and is has a flash. For video it has the ability to recorder up to 720HD. Now, everyone likes the “bigger numbers means better” cameras, but a 1080HD video takes nearly twice as long to load as a 720 video and the quality is not very visible with the naked eye. All I ever look for in video is 720. In fact, both my pocket camcorder and bigger camcorder can both handle 1080HD recording, but I have them both always set to 720. It makes uploading to Facebook, YouTube or sending video via texting easier and faster.

If I could get a new phone, I think the LG Doubleplay™ would be the phone for me. And since the phone is exclusive on T-Mobile, which is my current provider already, I know the service and quality is there. My T-Mobile has coverage in my job where other, bigger named providers who I will not name, do not have any service.

Further, for social networking this phone offers CloudText™ and GroupText™ which allows users to have the ability to send and receive texts for a PC or Tablet or create chat-groups for faster, more efficient content sharing. So for social media and content sharing, the LG DoublePlay™ seems to be the ultimate Social Networking phone.

Now, I do send texts and pictures via messaging but it’s not really that excessive. Do you text a lot? If so how many texts do you send each month or how many hours a day do you spend texting or keeping up with your social networks? And, of course, never text and drive. Also, how many hours do you spend with social networking whether it’s your blog or reading someone else’s, Facebook or YouTube. I am sure the LG Doubleplay™ would make your experience much better, but how do you think this phone would change the way you interact with your social networks? Whether it’s your subscribers or playing catch up on your favorites. Let me know in the comments. You know we all love to hear from our readers and feedback ROCKS!!

The only way I think this phone could be any better is if they sent me one for free! Which it esentially is on the T-Mobile network with a 2 year contract.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

For the most part my Blog is about my personal feelings or topics I want to discuss, but I will – from time to time – do a review of technology or Items I have purchased.

This is one of them!

For Christmas I purchased a new camera for my wife. The old camera I had still works great, but I bought it about 5 years ago and I felt it was time to upgrade to a new camera with a higher pixel rate and video capabilities.

Most people just look at cameras and get one they think looks great and then wind up liking it but not loving it. After being in the computer field for over 13 years, I have learned there is SO much more to it even BEFORE you head out the door to look… or go online anyway. I take into account what I will use it for, what I do with my camera and how I take pictures and features my old device has which I like or features it doesn’t but I wish it had. So here was my criteria:

  1. Since I take a lot of pictures and share them on my facebook, I wanted a camera that had at least 10 mega-pixel rating

Now most people just think a higher mega-pixel means better picture. For the most part you are right, but what it really means is the higher the megapixel, the clearer the picture will be at a larger size. So, if you print out a picture that was taken at 6 mp, it will look good up to about 8″ x 10″ where as a 10 megapixel will look more crisper and clearer up to 11″ x 14″. Although I will probably never print anything out this big, should I choose to its their.

  1. I also wanted to get up and running on YouTube like I have been trying to get my nerve to do for the last 5 years so I wanted HD video.

Even if I don’t do YouTube, I wanted to take good quality videos for personal use. Especially since we were expecting our baby soon. Now 720p is all I wanted but if it did 1080p I would accept it.

  1. I wanted to be able to take multiple pictures in quick succession without having to wait for the picture to save before I took the next one.

My old camera, at the highest setting, would take about 10-15 seconds to save the picture before I could take another one. For the most part it was really not a big deal, but for certain things (such as my niece’s communion) that 10-15 second delay would mean I would miss really great pictures.

  1. For a point-and-shoot(PAS) camera I wanted it to be compact so it could fit into a pocket easily.

My old camera was small but it did not fit into a pocket easily because of the shape and thickness. (That’s what she said!) For a DSLR camera, which I do not own yet but definitely want to obtain one, the size is expected to be much bigger but a PAS camera I wanted it smaller.

  1. I also wanted a decent OPTICAL zoom as opposed to digital zoom.

Most people just look at the overall number of the zoom, which is what the manufacturers WANT you to look at. But the overall is not what you want. An optical zoom means the lens zooms in to bring you closer to the object you are photographing. A Digital zoom is exactly like zooming in on a picture you took that you are editing on your computer. The more of a digital zoom you use, the more distorted the picture will be. You can usually edit a picture on your computer and zoom in with better results than you can with a digital zoom.

My old camera had a 6x optical and 4x digital zoom giving 24x zoom, but at 24x zoom the picture was not very good quality and I had to use a tripod to use that because even a slight shake made the entire picture blurry.

 

So after these basic criteria I then thought about other things I wanted but do without if I didn’t have them.

I wanted:

  1. Regular batteries. This way, if I am out and about and the batteries die I can just run into a drug store and buy new ones and keep on filming/photographing
  2. Features I would use. Sometimes I use filters and such like B&W or Sepia but I wanted some other ones which I may use from time to time like time-lapse or slow motion.
  3. Touch screen. Having touch screen means the camera may have more smudges but it also means there are less buttons and dials so the footprint is smaller and slimmer overall.
  4. Memory cards that can be easily purchased. If I ran out of memory cards, which I know is fairly impossible as the old camera could take 700+ pictures on a 2 gig SD card and I have about 4 cards!

Now, my old camera is a Panasonic Lumix, which has takes REALLY great pictures. I also own a cellphone made by Samsung which only has a 2mp camera but the pictures it takes are REALLY nice!

I also know SONY cameras take great pictures but they are much more expensive because of those four letters S-O-N & Y, and they also only use Sony’s patented Memory Stick for film.

After looking at all Panasonic and Samsung cameras I decided on a couple so I went to a retail store and checked out the ones I liked. After checking the cameras out I found a Samsung camera which boasts Dual screens! I thought this was REALLY amazing as there are quite a few times that I took pictures which out hiking or my signature shot which is me taking a picture of everyone there and I usually blindly pointed and had to take the picture like 3 or 4 times before I had a good one that I could use. The 2nd screen definitely helped but it had to take good pictures and it took AMAZING pictures.

The one I looked at was a TL-220, but I wanted the 225 because it had bigger screens and was 12.2 megapixels! I looked and the price was around $249 so I decided to buy this one and see what I could find it for online.

While looking around the Samsung site I found out they were releasing a newer model, the ST-600, which was more compact, some extra features, bigger screens, 1280 x 720 HD video and 14.4 megapixels. The one thing I could not find out about it from the site, the manual nor the email I sent to the company, was whether the front screen would work in video mode. Since it was a feature I wanted but could live without I bought it anyway and this camera has been a GREAT investment since we bought it.

The picture quality is AMAZING! I usually take pictures at only 12 mp and that is more than I need. The video DOES work on the front facing screen, however, you must active the screen BEFORE you record. Another thing I thought would be helpful (which is especially if you have kids) is there is a CHILD MODE. What this does is on the front LCD screen, an animation plays and makes some sounds to attract your child’s attention so they look at the camera and you can get that good picture. The default was a clown, but you can connect to your computer and download different animations. Since some kids are afraid of clowns I downloaded a dancing bear.

I bought this camera for my wife so that when the baby comes (July 1st, but I think he is coming sooner) she could take pictures and take as many as she wanted to send to her parents who live in Maine.

Out of all the requirements it met all these:

  1. Was over 10mp. At 14 mp it would be MORE than sufficient. I keep it at the 12 mp setting.
  2. It takes HD video at 720p, which is al I wanted. PLUS I can use the camera to Vlog and use the front LCD to see myself recording!
  3. I can take pictures and the wait time between pictures at 12 mp is <2 seconds. If I set the Quick view to 3 seconds, then I have to wait those 3 seconds but at 0.5 seconds it is still <2 seconds.
  4. This camera is smaller by a little but MUCH slimmer than the old one. I usually put the camera in my pocket when we go out so I can take a picture any time.
  5. The Optical zoom is 5x and since the old camera was only 6x I found this to be more than sufficient and at 14.4 mp I doubt I will ever have an issue.
  6. It does NOT use regular batteries such as AA or AAA. It uses a Li-ion battery pack special for this camera but it recharges fast, is inexpensive and lasts quite a while. I have taken about 200+ pictures in an outing and the battery still had some juice left in it. (To be on the safe side, I did purchase a 2nd battery pack with 1000mah as opposed to the stock one with 780mah)
  7. It has all the features I wanted and a few others.
  8. It has touch screen on BOTH screens. In camera mode, just taping the front brings the front screen on and in video mode it’s the same thing as long as you are not recording.
  9. It uses MicroSD cards. It has been tested up to 32 GB and I don’t think that I would need more than and 32 GB card and MicroSD cards are becoming the norm since they are 1/4th the size of regular SD cards thus making the devices able to be smaller.

When I bought this camera I found it online for $219 and it came as a package of the camera, a monopod, a camera case and a 4 GB memory card. So I purchased all of this from Adorama Camera.

So, if you are in the market for a new camera, definitely check out the Samsung camera. As of this writing, the camera model is ST700 which is identical to the ST600 except it boasts 16.2 Megapixels and is slightly smaller.

Read Full Post »

This is going to be my first entry for the Mama’s Losin It writing workshop. I know I am a guy and all, but some guys like to Blog as well!

Anyway, I went through the list and the only thing which appealed to me was #5 a good or bad experience with social media. I am not completely sure if this justifies in the category but I am going to use it anyway!!

I do watch a lot of YouTube (and hope to get myself on there soon, but first things first). But the only social media which has had an impact at all in my life was Internet Dating. I mean it IS interaction with another person which I met through the internet. There were exchanges of emails, IMs and even webchats so I think this justifies.

About 4 years ago I moved back to Long Island to help my Dad grieve and then get past the death of my mom. After a year and a half, dad was feeling better and starting to get out on his own doing rather than sit home and watch TV so I decided it was time for me to find my own place to live. I looked in the local paper but there weren’t any apartments catching my attention especially with the prices here on Long Island being CRAZY!!!

I was on AIM talking to a friend and she suggested Craigslist so I looked. I looked for about 2 hours and, although there were a ton of apartments to rent, nothing seemed decent and they all seemed to have agent fees associated with them. So I went to the home of Craigslist and noticed they had personal ads. I had no idea so I check them out. I mean I wasn’t dating anyone and since I was looking to move I figured, why not.

The first ad I clicked seemed the typical Long Island girl I have had the most interaction with. It went something like this:

I’m young and hot so if you are rich and want to be seen with me, send me a picture and MAYBE I will email you back. Yeah, this is someone I am going to contact. Someone like this is DEFINITELY someone to bring home to meet the family and hope my nephew throws up when she is holding him. Needless to say, I was very turned off by this, as anyone with any self-respect and common sense would be and was surprised that dating had become this.

The next ad I clicked was really good. She seemed very sweet and down to earth. She had a picture and she was very cute so I wrote to her. I think she wrote back the next day and we wrote back and forth a couple of times, then she gave me her number and we talked on the phone. Less than a week later we went out for the first time and about 10 months after that we were engaged and now we are expecting our first child!

At first I was a little embarrassed to admit that I met my wife online but my best friend met her now husband online. They were even married a week after us.

So not only does this tell me how Social Media can help change your life, as mine has changed in a major and GREAT way, but it also shows that love is found wherever you look and to never be embarrassed but what you find or where you find it!

Mama's Losin' It

Read Full Post »