Archive | May 2011

Mathmos Blimp Review

For those of you unfamiliar with the work of Mathmos, they are a British company that specialise in producing high quality Mood Lighting and Lava Lamps.  Check out their Website. This is a 2 year review of the Mathmos Blimp.

The Mathmos Blimp phases through the full color spectrum to create mood lighting that is relaxing an beautiful. This product is currently priced at £33.45 on Amazon UK or $49.95 on Amazon US. This price is very reasonable, as this light is very long lasting, very high quality and of beautiful design.

Whats Good About It?

The Mathmos Blimps colours are produced by very bright Red, Green and Blue low-voltage LEDs. Above the LEDs there is a small cover of Frosted glass that ‘joins’ all of the colours together, so that by the time the light hits the outer shell it is fully merged and not in any way ‘blotchy’. This is a feature that is not yet common place in the LED market, so it makes the Mathmos Blimp stand out from the crowd in terms of light quality.

The lamp still looks good during the day whilst it is switched off. This is due to the high quality White frosted glass. This means that it looks like an ornament during the day as opposed to a horrible looking mess of cables and circuit board.

The Mathmos Blimp is built to last. I have owned the light for 2 years and it is still in the same condition it was in when i purchased it (and given my reputation for breaking things that is an achievement). This is due to the thick layer of glass that forms the outer shell, the long lasting LED lights and a unibody design.

Whats Not Great About It?

This may be rare, but I actually can not find any negatives to this product! I genuinely believe that there is no reason why you should not buy the Mathmos Blimp, other than the fact that I think they would be better off calling it the ‘Mathmos Sphere’.

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Xbox Live Review

Its been a year since I bought my Xbox Arcade edition, so I thought i should do a full review of Microsofts online service, and I believe that Microsoft has done a very good job of Xbox Live, and I do honestly believe that you get what you pay for.

Faults With The Service-

In the case of connecting to online games Microsofts service is very fast and efficient, although one dis-advantage (whilst not actually Microsofts fault) is the fact that it is up to games wether they host games via their own servers or through gamers connections. This is Bad because if game studios choose the later option, you are much more likely to experience laggy connections and obscure glitches.

Content seems to be something that Microsoft does not offer enough of. I would love to see brand new games immediately on offer via the Marketplace. At the moment the lack of this option puts the Xbox way behind the PC, which has services such as Steam. I would also love to see a dedicated section section for Wallpapers (and ones that are not just game related).

It would be great to see a web browser built into the xbox so that it can be an alternative to the Google TV. If they introduced a web browser (and support for bluetooth mice & keyboards) then we could use tv catchup services online. This would also be a bullet in the head of the Apple TV, as the Xbox would then have even more content and features.

Positives of The Service-

Xbox live parties are truly the best part of Xbox Live. When you compare it with services such as Skype, which charge for chats over a certain amount of people it makes the Xbox a brilliant social network. These days I use it as a replacement for a telephone call with people.

You never have to worry about games going out of date with all of the downloads that you receive from Xbox. This means that you do not have to find downloads manually or play games that have loads of glitches that have no patches.

Will Chromebooks Ever Replace The Traditional PC?

Today I have been pondering this question quite a  bit. I am yet to try out a Chromebook, but I already use the Chrome web browser, and google docks for some documents, so I have a fair idea of how the OS will feel.

I can not see the Chrome OS taking much market share away from Microsoft or Apple. People still seem to like their traditional software and heavier users could not survive entirely in the clod, at least i couldnt. But I can see it taking a bit of fame from the Macintosh because Google can ost even bettet ease of use. Once I get my hands on a Chrome OS device I will give a full review here

Speck Satin Macbook Case

Aboout a week ago I purchased a black Satin Case for my Macbook white unibody from the Apple Online Store, and this is my review.

Apples shipping service for standard delivery was truly excellent. It was dispatched within 24 hours and arrived a mere two days later. It arrived in perfect condition. So, I would fully suggest that people orfer their priducts from Apple. Now, on with the hardware review

The Good

The case fits the Macbook perfectly and locks on so well that there is no chance of it falling off.
It looks very nice. There is nothing that stands out on it other than the artistic logo.
It is very tough. I dropped the Macbook with it on and there was no damage caused at all.
It does not Get in the way of any of the ports, your cables, or gadgets.

The Bad

Any greace or finger prints actually stand out worse on this than on an unprotected Macbook.
Whilst not especially heavy, it does add considerable bulk to the laptop, which can be annoying.
You can only see the Apple logo faintly.

Windows Phone 7 Update

So, Engadget has put out a story today saying that they are expecting the release of Windows 7.1 – This would be the next major release of the OS. It would presumably come as they prepare to release the first Nokia Windows Phones.

What I Want/Expect To See In This release

  • Internet Explorer 9 – This has been hinted by other Tech Bloggers
  • Better Multi-Tasking
  • Better Stability of 3rd Party Applications
  • More Apps In The Marketplace
  • More Customisation Options
If they incorporate any of the above they will have the ability to successfully compete with iOS and Android, which it has not quite managed so far. I will be buying a windows phone later this year, so I will do a full review then. I believe that Windows Phone has positioned itself in a very clever price range;
  • It is as ‘closed’ and ‘reliable as iOS, but about half the price
  • It has better accessibility to services such as Office, Windows live than Android, but a bit more expensive

Orange San Fransisco Review

So, I finally caved into the pressure from my friends and bought a smart phone, but not just any phone, the cheapest Android phone there is.

I am now in my second day of owning this phone, and l can safely say that it is far better than any other phones in its price range, and i may even go so far as to say it is better than some phones of an even higher cost

The Good
This phone runs Android with ease. Its 500mb ram is definitely good enough to power the OS
It has a screen resolution that is far superior to my MacBook, so no complaints in that department.
the screen is just big enough to use the touch keyboard nicely.
Its built-in WiFi is fast and easy to set up.

The Bad
Its battery life means that if you are a heavy user, you have tl keep recharging it.
It comes loaded with terrible apps that you don’t want and can’t easily delete, which brings back horrible memories of Windows
It is made by Orange, so it gets a few laughs from people based on the brand alone.

iPad 2 Plant Explosion – Slave Labour Anybody?

Sadly we live in an age where we rely on the far east to produce our technology through slave labour and poor safety. Today we saw the result of this in the form of the catastrophic incident at the iPad 2 factory which saw the death of 2 people and injury of 16.

This incident has also brought to light issues around staff well-being in the factories that supply the American Giant. It has been said that this follows a number of suicides amongst the staff of the factory. This is naturally a gutting thing to hear for most, but even more so to Apple fans and users who have been purchasing products that have been made in this and other factories like it. As an Apple user I will be pressuring Apple to look into ways that they could improve the working conditions and pay of these Chinese workers. I would urge anybody who uses or is intending to purchase an Apple product to send an email to the company or its employees.

It is important to stress that this factory does also supply a multitude of computer companies such as HP, it is not run by Apple, and that Apple does strive to improve conditions.