All posts by JaimeDavis

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Note 10.1 Ad with James Franco

Samsung recently unveiled the Galaxy Note 10.1, a larger version of the surprisingly popular overgrown phone that debuted earlier this year.  The tablet is available now for a starting price of around $400 and Samsung has begun pushing the device with a new ad that rolled out this weekend.

The new ad features actor James Franco of Spiderman and 127 Hours fame.  The ad, which is almost three minutes in length, shows off many of the things you can do with new Galaxy Note 10.1 in your everyday life, by showing Franco walking through the set of the advertisement itself.  It’s a unique approach, and rather Apple-like, although saying that brings up the specter of the whole lawsuit and reminds us of the cheeky Conan O’Brien skit from last week.

Check out the ad posted below and let us know what you think in the comments section.

Source: Samsung Mobile


Protecting Your Digital Assets

Two FactorMat Honan’s story (as covered by Todd in the latest podcast) showed me that the strongest password in the world is worth nothing if it can be reset by a straightforward social engineering-based attack. I’m sure Apple and Amazon will be looking hard at their policies and procedures but for the individual, there’s also much to learn from the episode.

i) Two-factor authentication. There’s no doubt that this is a good thing and I enabled it on my Gmail account last night. Turning it on is easy, but it’s a pain in the ass for the first few hours as you re-login to all your Google-based services. With several regularly used PCs, email clients and umpteen mobile devices, it takes a bit of time to get them all setup correctly. Touch wood, now that I’ve been through the re-login process, things are largely back to normal.

ii) Backup, backup, backup. For at least part of the story, Mat is entirely to blame. If there’s only one copy of any piece of data, it might as well not exist. Never mind hackers; theft, damage and accidental deletion make it all too easy to lose data, especially with mobile devices. Disk space is cheap, so even if you have just one PC, have a working set of folders, a backup set of folders and also make copies on a regular basis to a USB drive, which you disconnect from your PC when not in use and preferably store somewhere else.

iii) It’s your data. Convenient as “the cloud” is, remember it’s your data and your responsibility to keep it safe. If you push information directly to the cloud, don’t forget to include this information in your backup routine. Google has tools to download data from its services. Or don’t bother with someone else’s cloud and build your own, using a PogoPlug or similar.

iv) Download email using POP3. I use web-based Gmail and IMAP-enabled apps to manage my email and if email is deleted from Gmail…poof, it’s all gone. By using a POP3 email client like Thunderbird, you can have a copy on your PC as well.

v) Spread the load. Convenient as it might be to have all your eggs in one basket, either with Apple or Google, consider spreading your digital assets across different services, e.g. email on Gmail, work files on Dropbox, personal files on Box, photos on Flickr. If someone does compromise one of your accounts, all is not lost in one go. But don’t use the same password across all the systems.

vi) Remote kill-switch. The ability to kill mobile devices remotely is very handy if they are stolen but there’s a risk that the kill-switch can get into the wrong hands as in this case. However, the benefits probably outweigh the risks in that you are far more likely to lose your device than be hacked, so it’s perhaps better to focus on minimising the fall-out from both physical loss and a remote wipe.

There’s certainly plenty of food for thought there and even if you only take on one or two of the suggestions above, you’ll make yourself much harder to attack while lessening the impact.

Picture courtesy of Brian Ronald.

Ice Cream Sandwich Keyboard Available for All Android Devices

If you have been eying the new Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for Android, but aren’t sure if/when it will come to your device then this may serve as at least a bit of good news.  One part of Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the keyboard, is now available for Android 2.2 and greater devices via a port that’s available in the Android Market.

The new keyboard features a slightly different color scheme, with the keyboard being a darker shade of grey and the predictive text appearing in blue, instead of the previous green.  You can also now click the underlined (with three dots) predictive word to get a list of more options.  The keyboard settings also contain some additional options.

If you haven’t previously installed a custom keyboard on your Android then there are a couple of tricks you need to understand.  The keyboard doesn’t automatically become your default and it doesn’t appear in your installed apps.  To enable it, you will need to go to your device settings and click “Language and Keyboard”.  Click to enable the “Ice Cream Sandwich Keyboard”, and then go to “Input Method” and choose the “Ice Cream Sandwich keyboard”.

You can download the new keyboard from the Android Market Place.  Below is a great video tutorial posted by the folks at

Vivitar Vivicam-T135 and Vivitar DVR 790HD

ViviCam VT135Do you have a buddy photographer in the family or perhaps the next Steven Spielberg and are looking for a still or video camera for them for the holidays. Take a look at the Vivitar’s ViviCam VT135 or the Vivitar 790HD. The Vivitar ViviCam VT135 is a high-definition, 3D digital camera. It has 12.1 megapixel and 5x zoom. You can preview what you took in its 2.7” preview screen. It is HDMI compatible and operates with a lithium battery. I know what your thinking I can’t afford that, its got to be hundreds of dollar. Besides I know my kid the more expensive it is the more likely they are to break it within a week. How does $99.00 sounds to you, that’s right the Vivitar ViviCam VT135 is only $99 SRP. For $99.00 you can give a gift that will allow your kid or favorite adult to take beautiful pictures in 3D

Vivitar DVR 790HD

If you have a budding Spielberg then you may want to take a look at the DVR 790HD. It is 5.1 megapixel, 3D video camera. with 4x zoom. You have the ability to shoot and view all the action in 3D on a 2.7” preview screen. It also is HDMI compatible and operates with a lithium battery. Again it is available for $99. Vivitar the maker of both these cameras has been around for over 70 years and is constantly innovating and developing ways to create a rich heritage of photographic products. You can find these cameras and other Vivitar products at select Target stores near you and online.