The Future of TV Isn’t Anytime Soon

There’s a rumour going around that HBO will be launching its new HBO Now with Apple as a partner, via the Apple TV. This is exactly what cord-cutters have been waiting for: access to premium content without a cable or satellite subscription. And it’s exactly what the cable companies have been dreading. But it’s not all roses for cord cutters, and it won’t be for a while.

I want to cut cable, but I watch HBO shows and live sports, and I often like to watch things when they’re on – like the Oscars, certain TV shows, and local news. Netflix, Crave, Showmi and all the other on-demand services don’t solve those problems. They’re great for legacy content, and original shows (especially Netflix), but they’re not enough for a lot of folks. Continue reading “The Future of TV Isn’t Anytime Soon”

The Apple Watch is Another Great Opportunity for Apple

They’ve been in this position before, but never quite like this. Next week, Apple will host a media event called “Spring Forward” where we will most likely hear more details about the  Watch and its release. Like several Apple products before it, this watch is not the first product to the market, but it has a good chance of becoming the market leader.

The MP3 Player

Rewind to 2001. There were lots of mp3 players on the market, but there wasn’t really a market leader. Most had Terrible UI, none of them had a good ecosystem, and they weren’t made incredibly well.

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Stop Freaking Out About the Facebook Messenger App

Facebook Messenger Icon

There has been a lot of noise about Facebook’s move to remove messaging from its main app and “force” people to use the Messenger app on mobile devices to send messages. Today, no less than four people on my Facebook feed made proclamations about not using the app. Here’s why you shouldn’t be freaking out.

Issue #1

The first issue here is that Facebook is removing the messaging features from its mobile apps.  Many people use their inbox regularly, and many are still using the Facebook app to do this. Personally, I hate the little chat bubbles and found them intrusive, but I do agree it is convenient to be able to do all your Facebook-related activities within one app.

So, everyone that had avoided downloading the separate Messenger app can it avoid it no longer if they want to perform messaging via Facebook.

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Keeping Your Smartphone Charged on the Go

Mophie PowerStation Duo White

Many people rely on their cell phones, and many are disappointed with the poor battery life currently on offer. It doesn’t seem to matter which brand you go for – Apple, BlackBerry, Samsung, etc. – you’re lucky to get a day’s worth of decent use out of these powerful devices. Battery technology is improving and changing all the time, and some of the biggest improvements to Apple’s products in the past few years have been their custom batteries that help drive high-resolution displays and fast graphics processors. But it’s still not enough. Until there is a sea change in the tech, we will be worrying about getting through the day with our smartphones.

So, what are the options?

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As Heard on Maritime Morning: Weekend Edition (Jan 26, 2013)

This week was focused on some retail products, how we buy them, and the volatile nature of Apple’s stock.

Amazon Prime in Canada

First up, Amazon Prime was recently announced for Canadian users on $79/year gets you unlimited two-day shipping to most Canadian locales, regardless of the price of the item. That means you can buy a $9.99 CD and have it in two days without paying $3-4 for shipping. No more adding items to your cart to reach $39 and get the free Super-Saver Shipping that takes 5-8 business days.

Light Amazon users will balk, but this could really change how some people shop.’s catalogue has been expanding rapidly over the past couple of years. You can now grab kitchen appliances, gifts, electronics, and other goods along with the staples like books, movies, and music. Amazon’s prices are often hard to beat, so throw in free, fast shipping, and that $79 Prime account is looking pretty good.

More Information

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The NTSB is Swapping BlackBerrys for iPhones

The US National Transportation Safety Board is dumping RIM devices for iPhones.

The BlackBerrys have been “failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate,” according to the NTSB’s notice.

9to5 Mac

Yep. I worked in telecommunications for nine months and over that time I could not believe how many BlackBerry Curves and Bolds came back for service. Not with small issues either. Complete failures or unusable devices.

RIM’s Nosedive

The story of RIM and its iconic BlackBerry devices reads like a fairytale – complete with a dramatic twist that leaves the hero in a sticky situation. It all started out so great. RIM essentially created the smartphone market, cornered government and business customers with its innovative network and technologies, and then finally began releasing phones for the masses. Then the competition woke up and started breathing fire.

Unfortunately, the co-CEO’s (yes, they share the CEO moniker – just about the only company in the world that has this arrangement) have not been up to the battle. That is most likely because the battle is not with one specific dragon or evil maniac – it has almost become an inward battle, with the company unable to get out of its own way to bounce back and be competitive.

Once the king in the government and business sector, RIM’s share has declined and the iPhone now commands the lion’s share of business users.

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iOS vs. Android

Several months ago, I wrote Part 1 of what I thought was going to be a 4-part series comparing the HTC Desire to the iPhone 4. Those other three parts never got written. Here’s why.

The HTC Desire HD was announced soon after that post, so I thought I might wait until its release to compare all three. I also quickly realized the HTC Desire did not hold a candle to the iPhone 4. With such a small amount of internal memory, the phone became very sluggish once apps were installed. The ability to transfer apps to the SD card came with a software update, but the process does not work for every app. There is too much required of the user to move apps and try and clean up the phone’s memory. If you install even just a few apps, you can easily fill the phone and get low memory warnings.

This is the complete opposite of the iOS experience. A big benefit most Android users talk about is the ability to insert extra memory, usually SD cards. Please tell me what good this is if you cannot move all of your apps to the card? I could not use the Desire as I wanted to because I kept hitting a wall with the internal memory.

Though the Desire is a great phone, the limitations of its hardware have really showed. The Desire HD fixed a lot of these problems, but its size and other software and wifi issues have made it a non-competitor as well. I dumped the HD for an LG Optimus 7, and more recently an LG Optimus Black. I still have yet to use an Android device that would really sway me from using an iPhone.

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My Photography Workflow Pt. 1: Import to Editing

Earlier this year, I registered my photography business, fadetowhite photography. I have been messing around with photography for as long as I can remember, and I finally started taking it seriously a couple of years ago. Moving from hobby to paid gigs presents several challenges and brings added costs. The financial costs have been mostly covered by the income, but the time costs are the biggest struggle. Juggling home, work, hobbies, and paid photography means I need to streamline as much of the process as possible.

In this first post of four, I will detail my current photography workflow from import to basic editing. In the subsequent posts I will touch on HDR, retouching, sharing, and I will also talk about a few of the other tools I use to stay organized. All of this helps me concentrate on the photography, and spend as little time as possible on the time-suckers that take away from enjoying the craft.

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HTC Desire vs. iPhone 4 – Part 1

I have been an iPhone user since the 3G came to Canada in 2008. At that time, there were simply no other mobile phones that could hold a candle to the iPhone. Fast forward to 2010. I stood in line for five hours to pick up an iPhone 4. It is the most amazingly piece of technology I’ve ever used. I was still of the opinion that no one could come close to touching Apple’s stranglehold on making amazing mobile devices.

My opinion is slowly changing. After some failed attempts like the Palm Pre, Blackberry Storm, and the Samsung Instinct, other manufacturers are finally making phones that are nearly worthy of the “iPhone killer” moniker. What has changed? Well, the main reason competitors weren’t able to keep up was because of the rock-solid, innovative iOS that Apple built from the ground up (basing it on OSX). The operating systems still being used in most phones were just too dated and needed an overhaul. So that’s what most companies have done.

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Calvetica – Gorgeous Calendar for iPhone

As a MobileMe user, I rely heavily on the various calendar apps Apple provides – iCal, Calendar for iPhone, and their web-based offering on All data remains in sync across all of my devices, and I have access to it via the web as well. The only downside to Apple’s offerings are their appearance. They are mostly easy to use and quite functional, but they could all use a facelift.

The MobileMe calendar recently got such a facelift, along the lines of the new iPad calendar app. This is a welcome change, but I use the iPhone app the most, followed by iCal. Using the iPhone app daily has led me to see its faults. Although I am fairly adept at using it, I can’t help but feel the experience could be more pleasant, and faster overall.

Enter Calvetica – a gorgeous app from a company called Mysterious Trousers LLC.  For only $2.99, you get an incredible calendar app replacement that fully syncs with your calendar data.

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