Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


Smart Phone Critical Mass

Posted by tomwiles at 4:34 PM on July 12, 2010

The smartphone is a concept and an evolving device that has been around for a few years, though until now mass consumer adoption has been slow.

The introduction of the iPhone in June 2007 marked a radical improvement in smartphone interface design, usability and device capabilities. The iPhone caused a big upheaval in the then somewhat sleepy cell phone market. Even though the iPhone was an instant hit and unquestionably successful product, Apple’s choice of tying the iPhone exclusively to AT&T in the United States likely slowed the pace of faster smartphone adoption. In a way, this slowing of smartphone adoption has been good because it has allowed carriers to beef up their networks in the interim.

Google entered the smartphone market announcing Android in November of 2007. Initial implementations of Android-powered devices demonstrated promise, but it has taken a while for Android itself to be improved, and smartphone manufacturers such as HTC and Motorola to come up with highly-desirable devices that take full advantage of Android’s evolving and and advanced features and capabilities.

We are now in July of 2010. The iPhone 4 has been introduced. Alongside the iPhone 4, highly-desirable and functional devices such as the HTC Evo 4G, Droid Incredible , Droid X, and other Android-powered devices have either arrived or are shortly to come on the market. Now there’s suddenly a new problem – all of these devices are in short supply, and manufacturers such as HTC are scrambling to ramp up production to meet the demand that seemed to come out of nowhere.

Where did all of this smartphone demand come from? There are several pieces of the marketplace puzzle that have finally come together all at the same time. The new smartphone devices are finally at a point where they are highly usable. Multiple competing cell networks are finally at a point where data connectivity and speed make them usable. Also, millions of consumers over the past few years have become intimately familiar with “dumb” phone models that have had smartphone-like features embedded into them, such as integrated cameras, limited Internet browsing, gaming, text messaging and GPS functionality. They make regular use of these features, and are ready to move up to better devices with larger screens.

The smartphone has reached critical mass and is ready to continue the march towards maturation. Smartphones are becoming a very mainstream product. People who a few years ago would have never considered any phone labeled with the smartphone moniker are now readily embracing the new devices.

As a result of this mass consumer adoption of the smartphone that’s now underway, the market for highly-specialized smartphone apps will continue to explode to a degree in the future we might consider surprising even today. Multiple millions of consumers have millions of different needs and expectations. This exploding smartphone app market lends itself to the development of highly specialized niche applications.

Virtually any type of personal or industrial use a computer can be put to can likely also be done with a specialized app running on a modern smartphone. One tiny example of this is already in use is the area of automotive diagnostics. For many years, automotive technicians have used laptop computers in conjunction with special software connected via a cable to an automotive diagnostic port to onboard vehicle computers. Such software already exists for the iPhone to be used in place of a laptop computer, able to replace the cable connection with a Bluetooth connection. Imagine this realized potential multiplied a million times and you catch a glimpse of the future potential for smartphone apps and the uses these devices can and will be put to.

Waiting for a new Geek Toy

Posted by Mike Dell at 10:30 PM on November 6, 2009

waiting for the draftIf you are like me, when you get the *need* for a new geek toy, it seems that’s all you can think about in your spare brain cycles.

I’m in that boat now. As I posted before, I’m planning on getting the new Droid from Verizon. Well, I thought that my contract had ended last month on the 16th. So I went to the Verizon Store today and found out it’s not until the 16th of this month! ARGH! Of course, they wouldn’t just let me slide for the 10 days. This would have been the first time I could walk into a phone store and walk out with the latest phone. That was not to be today. So I sit and wait.

I get this feeling every time I get (or am about to get) a new piece of technology. When I ordered my Macbook from Apple, every day, I was looking on the FedEx website, tracking the progress of my new computer. When I got my GPS Device (a TomTom One) I had to go for a ride in the car just to check out all it’s options and to see how lost I could be and hit the “home” button to find my way home.

How many of you get this amazing feeling when you are about to get a new geek toy errr.. Tool? I’m sure (or hoping) I’m not the only one that gets this way.

Ok, these gizmos are just things. We lived just fine without them before. Why is it that we get what feels like a NEED for some new thing? I’m glad it works this way. It’s sort of like waiting for that special gift for Christmas or a birthday when you were a kid.

I for one am a Geek Kid at heart! How about you?

Pimp Your MP3 Player

Posted by GNC at 11:04 AM on October 4, 2008

I just saw a cool open source product to freshen up an old mp3 player from Rockbox. It is a firmware product to improve the user experience if your outdated player needs a kick and it is free of course. It supports a lot of Apple’s players obviously but also does not leave out the less popular players which is a huge positive for me. I have a Creative Zen which is not on the list yet but my daughter has a Sansa which is possible to upgrade. My experience has been that the player may die before I get tired of the firmware but I am very rough on my players. To be honest though, I have never even thought about the possibility of changing the firmware on a player. Good thing this internet thingy is still around for ideas to flow every which way. There may even be a different firmware that is available for my Zen so I will have to start a search. I am pretty happy with what I have but there is no harm in window shopping.

All this being said, be careful & if you don’t know what you are doing you should leave well enough alone. It can void your warranty but chances are that it is out of date anyway if you need new firmware. True geeks won’t have much fear though. Some of the screenshots I saw over at Lifehacker were very nice. So give this software a try on that old ipod that is collecting dust in your drawer. I think I will experiment on my wife’s Nano today since it is jacked up anyway and will not turn off.

Extreme home automation

Posted by todd at 6:06 AM on February 15, 2008

An Australian developer and technical director has gone overboard with automation of his home. Not to say that does not have a geeky coolness, but connecting his curtains to ethernet (to control their opening and closing of course) is maybe a little over the top.

Taking it to the real extreme though is his RFID controlled door. The idea of a door controlled like this is all well and good. I cringe a little at the idea of embedding a RFID pet ID tag under my skin though!

A lot of his automation is enabled through the Arduino open source microcontroller, which allows a wide range of inputs to be used as initiation, and also has a range of options for what it can initiate. It can also connect through ethernet, USB, serial or Bluetooth. A pretty cool device in itself.

PBS Nerd TV Show to be Broadcast on Internet

Posted by geeknews at 4:24 PM on July 14, 2005

Nerd TV let me think on that a spell. I cannot imagine a more entertaining TV show for geeks. I don’t watch much TV these days in fact I watch very little. Maybe a movie once in a while but I really don’t have the time. I may have to make some room in my schedule for the Nerd TV Show! [ArsTechnica]

Attention Geeks your Chance to be on Tyra Banks Show!

Posted by geeknews at 6:27 PM on July 6, 2005

Notice: Geek News Central has not been paid to provide this announcement consider it a opportunity from the Geek here at Geek News Central. Big Thanks to Brooke!

I was going to spill this on the Podcast Friday, but I was informed today that the deadline has moved up, and I need to spill the beans early. Here is the deal if you are between 21, and 35, single, male, and are a geek that has had trouble in the dating world, aka you have had some dating disasters or just don’t get out from behind the computer monitor long enough to meet people, their is a opportunity for you so read on!

The soon to Premier Tyra Banks Show is offering you a expense paid trip to Los Angles, were you will have a life changing experience. Here is what you need to do, get your digital camera out, comb your hair, smile, and take a picture of yourself. Compose an e-mail with that picture outlining a dating disaster or explain that your spending to much time surfing the net or whatever the issue may be, in finding a quality date. You will want to definitely mention in that e-mail that you read Geek News Central and you are self proclaimed Geek. Send that to the linked e-mail address below.

If you want to be real cool and, let your geek side out, you can take a short video (keep it short) of yourself explaining a dating disaster or whatever your pitch may be. If you produce a video upload it to your website and provide a hyper-link to it, do not attach video to any e-mails.

Let’s think about this Free trip to LA, New Clothes, radical haircut and you may even get hooked up on a date by Tyra Banks. Best thing is you get to be on National TV with Tyra and have your 30 minutes of fame. That will be worth some major bragging rights when you get home. Send your e-mail as soon as possible no later than Friday. You will have to provide a contact telephone number and your Real Name. Deadline July 8, 2005

Single Geek’s will want to tune in to Fridays Podcast

Posted by geeknews at 6:07 PM on July 5, 2005

Ok fellows I just got off the phone with a representative from the Tyra Banks Show which is taping now to premier this fall, and they are on the hunt for Single Geeks, on Friday I will be announcing how you may be able to get a chance to be on the Tyra Banks Show. You have to listen to the Podcast to get the details.

Do you remember when I told you, on a earlier podcast that Geek’s are in, and that Geeks are the hottest commodity on the market today. Well Tyra knows this as well, this is an opportunity for you to get some exposure on National Television and to possibly get hooked up on a date by Tyra herself, only Single Geeks will be able to apply. So make sure you listen to the Podcast. As a precursor to the show you will need to start digging around for a picture and have pen and paper ready!

Sorry Ladies this offer is only going out to the guys.