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Every Tuesday morning between 9 and 9:30 am eastern time I will join Brian Katrek for "Tech Tuesday" on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio - Channel No. 93

We'll talk gadgets and tech, on and off the course.

 

Tuesday
Jul162013

Tech Tuesday on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio for 7/16/13 - Where is Rick and Smartphone Camera Tips

 Rick joins Brian this week to talk about one of the best golf destinations in the U.S. and they talk smartphone camera tips and the British Open.

* TOPICS - Where is Rick?  and ... Tips for taking better pictures with your smartphone and tbe Open Championship App

*Rick is playing golf somewhere this week....
* It's Mississippi and www.visitmississippi.org



SMARTPHONE CAMERA Tips

1.   Crop, Don't Zoom

Many smartphone camera offer a digital zoom function, but you're almost always best served by pretending it doesn't exist. Even in the liveview preview, you'll be able to see how noticeably your picture blurs when you zoom.  Don't zoom.

2.    Edit, Don't Filter

If you want your images to be unique, the last thing you should do is paint them with the same filters that literally millions of other people are using. For the record, I'm not anti-Instagram. I think the sharing element is fantastic, but the the filters aren't that great.

3.   Fake Blur

Depth of field will always be one of the biggest challenges for a smartphone camera. Wide angle lenses and tiny sensors make any substantial background blur difficult to achieve. But faking it almost always makes th
If you want the viewer to focus on one specific thing, make it the central object in the frame. Try to keep your backgrounds as simple as possible, even if it means asking your subjects to turn around or move a few steps back. It's worth it.

4.  Ditch The Flash

The problem with many smartphone flashes is that they don't actually, well, flash. They're glorified LED flashlights. They are bright, but the color temperature can be gross and they miss one of the primary duties of a strobe: freezing the action in the frame. The actual "flash" duration is much too long, so you end up with an image that's both blurry and terribly-lit.
Often, your best bet is to seek out another light source. It likely won't be perfect or even flattering,.

5. Watch The Lens Flare

Adding lens flare is another trend in mobile photography right now that's getting more overdone by the minute. But, this one can actually work for you if you do it the natural way.
If you want to control the flare in your shot, move the sun (or whatever bright light source is causing the refraction-based mayhem) around in the frame. As you get closer to the edge, you'll often see the flare spread out and become more prominent


****The British Open App - Free app for the 142nd Open Championships
Put out by the R&A  for your iphone and Android


Brings you live scoring, video highlights, latest news, weather updates and Championship statistics for Muirfield.

Combined with an interactive course guide, player profiles, live radio and video highlights the app will bring you close to the action.
 

Wednesday
Jul102013

Tech Tuesday on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio for 7/10/13 - 7 Gadgets Not to Buy

I join Brian on Wednesday this week to talk about some gadgets you should NOT buy.

* TOPICS - 7 Gadgets to avoid spending your money on

1.   Bargain Basement Tablets  -  under $100
With a few noteable exceptions, you still need to spend around $150 to get a decent tablet. In our recent roundup of sub-$100 slates, just two earned as high as 3 stars on our 5-star scale: the $99 HiSense Sero 7 and the kid-friendly Fuhu nabi Jr. Overall, though, most dirt-cheap tablets suffer from very low-res screens, short battery life and sluggish performance.

Rather than staring at a dull lifeless disable while you're chained to an AC outlet and likely unable to access Google Play, spend the extra $50 to $100 and get at least a tablet with an HD screen, at least 7 hours of battery life and quad-core performance. If the extra money is too much to spend, delay your purchase.

2.   Republic Wireless Service

It sounds too good to be true. Instead of spending thousands of dollars a year on mobile service, startup Republic Wireless charges just $19 a month after you pay a $10 startup fee and $259 for its Motorola Defy XT smartphone.

Republic charges so little, because it expects you to use your home or office Wi-Fi most of the time, even for calls. However, when you're out of hotspot range, you're riding on Sprint's ancient, slow 3G network. Even worse, in the Defy XT, you're stuck with a phone that's so outdated and slow that it would have been considered a low-end device three years ago. And did we mention that Republic Wireless doesn't support photo or video SMS messaging?

Even if you're on a budget, you deserve a modern phone with decent connectivity. If you need a contract-free service, consider Virgin Mobile, which starts at $35 a month and offers better phones and 4G connectivity.

3.  A 300 MB Data plan for your smartphone
Imagine if you went to McDonald's wanting to eat chicken McNuggets for dinner and noticed that they appear on both the dollar menu and as a value meal. When you order off the dollar menu, the plate comes with just half of one single McNugget, not enough to be a meal and a lot less than the six full pieces you'd get for $3.

AT&T's entry-level data plan is even less fulfilling. For $20 plus a line charge for voice and texts, you get just 300MB of monthly data on your phone, barely enough to whet your online appettite and a lot less than what a typical AT&T user consumes. However, for just $10 more per month, you get 3GB, 10 times more data and enough to satisfy your video, gaming and VoIP cravings on the go.

4.    Budget or year old Smartphones

When you're shopping for a new phone on contract these days, you're presented with a dizzying array of options at prices usually ranging from free to $199. While many high-end phones eventually end up costing under $100, you need to watch out for the handsets that were made to be cheap at launch. The $99 Pantech Perception is a perfect example of a penny-wise, pound-foolish purchase.

For a two-year contract on Verizon, you get a phone with the way outdated Android 4.0 OS, a dull screen and battery life of just 3 hours and 55 minutes. Do you really want to live with a bad phone for two years when high-end devices like the Galaxy S4 cost just $100 more. You're going to be spending the same thousands of dollars on data for the next 24 months, so you might as well get a handset you won't hate


5.   Low Res Monitors

Whether you have a desktop or a laptop that you attach to an external display, it doesn't pay to buy a monitor that's any less than 1080p resolution. For under $100, you can find all kinds of 15-inch , 17 and even 20-inch monitors but all of these have displays that are well under 1920 x 1080 and often have resolutions as low as 1366 x 768.

With so few pixels on such a large display, you won't be able to fit much of your favorite web page, email or word document on the screen at one time, but you will be able to make out every pixel as clearly as you can see the dots in a Seurat painting. Considering that you can get a 23-inch, full HD monitor for as little as $110, there's no good reason to buy that $70, 15-incher with 720p.

6.  Low Capacity Solid State Drives
Every laptop user with a hard drive should upgrade to a solid state drive, because having an SSD will dramatically improve the speed of your computer and even save you battery life. Unfortunately, SSDs still cost quite a bit more than hard drives, so you might be tempted to purchase a low-capacity drive.

Today, you can purchase a 60GB drive for as little as $60, but you'll end up without enough space for even a few programs. Spend the extra money to purchase an SSD that's at least 120GB. You can buy one for around $120, sometimes less.

7.  The Robo Stir   - Save your $10
It's billed as an automatic stirring device for your soups, gravys, etc

This device is supposed to offer continuous stirring of your soup, gravy, or whatever while you're busy elsewhere. Stick with a proper wooden spoon.
 

Wednesday
Jul102013

Tech Tuesday on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio for 7/10/13 - 7 Gadgets Not to Buy

 

 

 

* TOPICS - 7 Gadgets to avoid spending your money on

1.   Bargain Basement Tablets  -  under $100

With a few noteable exceptions, you still need to spend around $150 to get a decent tablet. In our recent roundup of sub-$100 slates, just two earned as high as 3 stars on our 5-star scale: the $99 HiSense Sero 7 and the kid-friendly Fuhu nabi Jr. Overall, though, most dirt-cheap tablets suffer from very low-res screens, short battery life and sluggish performance.

Rather than staring at a dull lifeless disable while you're chained to an AC outlet and likely unable to access Google Play, spend the extra $50 to $100 and get at least a tablet with an HD screen, at least 7 hours of battery life and quad-core performance. If the extra money is too much to spend, delay your purchase.

2.   Republic Wireless Service


It sounds too good to be true. Instead of spending thousands of dollars a year on mobile service, startup Republic Wireless charges just $19 a month after you pay a $10 startup fee and $259 for its Motorola Defy XT smartphone.

Republic charges so little, because it expects you to use your home or office Wi-Fi most of the time, even for calls. However, when you're out of hotspot range, you're riding on Sprint's ancient, slow 3G network. Even worse, in the Defy XT, you're stuck with a phone that's so outdated and slow that it would have been considered a low-end device three years ago. And did we mention that Republic Wireless doesn't support photo or video SMS messaging?

Even if you're on a budget, you deserve a modern phone with decent connectivity. If you need a contract-free service, consider Virgin Mobile, which starts at $35 a month and offers better phones and 4G connectivity.

3.  A 300 MB Data plan for your smartphone

Imagine if you went to McDonald's wanting to eat chicken McNuggets for dinner and noticed that they appear on both the dollar menu and as a value meal. When you order off the dollar menu, the plate comes with just half of one single McNugget, not enough to be a meal and a lot less than the six full pieces you'd get for $3.

AT&T's entry-level data plan is even less fulfilling. For $20 plus a line charge for voice and texts, you get just 300MB of monthly data on your phone, barely enough to whet your online appettite and a lot less than what a typical AT&T user consumes. However, for just $10 more per month, you get 3GB, 10 times more data and enough to satisfy your video, gaming and VoIP cravings on the go.

4.    Budget or year old Smartphones

When you're shopping for a new phone on contract these days, you're presented with a dizzying array of options at prices usually ranging from free to $199. While many high-end phones eventually end up costing under $100, you need to watch out for the handsets that were made to be cheap at launch. The $99 Pantech Perception is a perfect example of a penny-wise, pound-foolish purchase.

For a two-year contract on Verizon, you get a phone with the way outdated Android 4.0 OS, a dull screen and battery life of just 3 hours and 55 minutes. Do you really want to live with a bad phone for two years when high-end devices like the Galaxy S4 cost just $100 more. You're going to be spending the same thousands of dollars on data for the next 24 months, so you might as well get a handset you won't hate


5.   Low Res Monitors


Whether you have a desktop or a laptop that you attach to an external display, it doesn't pay to buy a monitor that's any less than 1080p resolution. For under $100, you can find all kinds of 15-inch , 17 and even 20-inch monitors but all of these have displays that are well under 1920 x 1080 and often have resolutions as low as 1366 x 768.

With so few pixels on such a large display, you won't be able to fit much of your favorite web page, email or word document on the screen at one time, but you will be able to make out every pixel as clearly as you can see the dots in a Seurat painting. Considering that you can get a 23-inch, full HD monitor for as little as $110, there's no good reason to buy that $70, 15-incher with 720p.

6.  Low Capacity Solid State Drives

Every laptop user with a hard drive should upgrade to a solid state drive, because having an SSD will dramatically improve the speed of your computer and even save you battery life. Unfortunately, SSDs still cost quite a bit more than hard drives, so you might be tempted to purchase a low-capacity drive.

Today, you can purchase a 60GB drive for as little as $60, but you'll end up without enough space for even a few programs. Spend the extra money to purchase an SSD that's at least 120GB. You can buy one for around $120, sometimes less.

7.  The Robo Stir   - Save your $10

It's billed as an automatic stirring device for your soups, gravys, etc

This device is supposed to offer continuous stirring of your soup, gravy, or whatever while you're busy elsewhere. Stick with a proper wooden spoon.

Tuesday
Jul022013

Tech Tuesday on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio for 7/2/13 - Travel Gadgets

 Brian and I talk about Kanex travel gadgets and I giveaway one to a listener.

Also some Hilton Head talk...

 

 

Here are todays topics and how to enter the contest.

* TOPICS - RIck is putting in rough duty on Hilton Head and we'll take a look at some summer travel gadgets  and another giveaway

1.   Golf and summer travel to Hilton Head

www.hiltonheadgolfisland.com

Hilton Head Island is one of the premier golf destinations in the world. How about surprising Dad with a golf trip to the South Carolina Coast?

The island is also home to an assortment of leisure and recreational activities to enjoy after 18 holes- including deep sea fishing, boutique shopping, windsurfing and biking. Don't forget about all the restaurants.

Ranked top 10 in seven categories by Golf Digest including “Best Courses” and “Best Value,” Hilton Head Golf Island offers an array of exceptional golf course and accommodation options. There is a package to fit every budget.

For additional information, check out www.HiltonHeadGolfIsland.com.


2.  Kanex travel gadgets - and we'll give one away
Kanex is all about small gadgets for travelers


a.  Kanex DualRole

A must have for the power user. DualRole instantly adds gigabit ethernet and 3 USB 3.0 ports to expand your MacBook capabilities on the road. You will stay connected in every single way with the DualRole. All for $69.

 

b.  Kanex AirBlue  - **** I have one to give away  Follow @Kanexlive @RickRoswell @BKatret and Tweet a message to Rick telling your favorite travel destination

Want to listen to your favorite tunes on a long roadtrip? Kanex AirBlue enables you to wirelessly play, listen and control all your favorite music from your iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad or Android device when connected via Bluetooth to your car or a rental car sound system. A great price at $49.

 
c.  Kanex MySpot

If you are sick and tired of weak Wi-Fi or no Wi-Fi in your hotel room, you need a mySpot. The mySpot sounds like something a dog might do on a corner of the carpet, but it's an innovative gadget. The mySpot converts a live Ethernet connection into a wireless-g signal - giving you use of a reliable and safe connection for your laptop, smart phone or tablet.
 

d.   Kanex Travel Bud

It doesn't matter when you are when you have the Kanex Travel Bud. A great 3-in-1 intuitive design makes it a breeze to select the correct plug for power when traveling internationally. Includes plugs from the US, UK, EU and AU. You are all set when you have a Travel Bud. It charges everything for $29.
 

e.  Kanex Double Up

Charge two devices at once. Plug in DoubleUp and get a fast charge in one place at the same time. Sometimes it's hard to find power plugs in a hotel room – so get 2 chargers for the price of one. A bargain at $49.


3.    App of the Month   ATC Air Radio   $2.99


Ever wonder what goes on in conversation between air traffic controller and pilot while taking off and landing,  this app allows you to evesdrop.

Stuck in the airport terminal and want to know why you're delayed? Live near an airport or like plane-spotting and want to tune in to the pilots and the control tower? Have you always wondered what pilots talk to air traffic controllers about? Now you can stop wondering and tune in!

LiveATC Air Radio provides a quick and easy way to listen in on live conversations between pilots and air traffic controllers near many airports around the world. LiveATC Air Radio lets you easily browse by U.S. state, Canadian province, or by country to find an airport of interest. Once you find an interesting channel you just add it to your Favorites list for quick and easy access! You can also use the Nearby function to find airports right near you.


 

Tuesday
Jun252013

Tech Tuesday on Sirius/XM PGA Tour Radio for 6/25/13 - "Gadget Grab Bag"

 Rick joins Brian, who is at the Dogwood Invitational this week to do a "Gadget Grab Bag" and they are also joined by one of the top amateur golfers in the country in Peter Williamson.

 

Show notes:

 

* TOPICS - No particular theme this week, but Rick takes a look at some of the latest gadgets and tech that have crossed his desk for a "Gadget Grab Bag"


1.  iOpener  -  Open your garage door with an app on your iPhone
From :  http://www.hiqautomation.com.   $99

The iOpener, launched June 1, uses Bluetooth and not radio frequencies to open a garage door with a smartphone.
Uses an attachment to your existing garage door lifter and a free app to control the movements of the door.
The convenience is one thing, but safety was also part of the plan. The iOpener comes with a security feature that allows individuals to give a code to whomever they want, so they have access to their garage. Up to eight devices can be paired to a single iOpener.

Bluetooth technology eliminates the problem some homeowners have with radio interference randomly opening their doors



2.  PowerRocks Tarot  - Credit Card  sized charger
www.powerrocks.com   -    $35

The Tarot is the thinnest Powerbank in the world.  Just a tad thicker than a credit card and fits in your wallet
It has an unique business card design making it convenient to carry in your pocket or purse
Compatible with Apple products and other universal Micro USB charging ports
*Carries 1 full phone charge

 

3.    ScanStik  -  A scanner the size of a pen  $159.00
www.planon.com

ScanStik, the world’s smallest full page color scanner.  Pen-sized, fast and easy to use, ScanStik is the most compact, sleek designed full page color scanner available on the market.  It’s perfect for scanning on the go, at work, home, or school – an “Office in a Pocket.”  Unlike other pen-sized scanners that only scan a line at a time, the light-weight ScanStik scans the whole page at once just like a flat-bed scanner, but without the bulk.  For even more convenience, ScanStik also features a MicroSD memory slot that holds thousands of image scans from 150 to 600 dpi resolution in color or black and white.

 

4.     Golf Pain Away - Topical pain relief


–Pain Away, LLC, a leader in natural formulation topical pain relief products including Golf Pain Away
Suitable for users of all ages, provides topical pain relief for arthritis, neck and back pain, muscular aches and pains and golf and sports related injuries.  Developed in Australia using ancient Aboriginal bush herbal formulations, Pain Away utilizes a proprietary triple maturation manufacturing process that blends four, all natural, ingredients with complementing therapeutic benefits.
Nick Price, World Golf Hall of Famer and 2013 President’s Cup Captain, serves as Golf Pain Away’s worldwide ambassador.  “I haven’t enjoyed playing golf as much as I have enjoyed now playing pain free with Golf Pain Away.  After using Golf Pain Away, I will never play golf without it again,” stated Price. 
 

5. ATC Chameleon  -  Helmet type Cam  from Oregon Scientific $199

Similar to the Go Pro  - shoots in front of you and behind  - two cameras
Ever wish you had eyes in the back of your head? The Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon action cam gives you just that ability. With two cameras -- one on the front, and one on the back -- you can record your comings and goings simultaneously.


6.   Pokket Mini DJ Mixer  ($99.00)
www.pokketmixer.com


More and more people are recording radio shows and music right on their iPhones and iPads.  This is a mixer you can take with you.
The Pokket Mixer is a small DJ mixer, maybe about the size of a smartphone that you can connect any of your devices that play mp3s or audio files to.

You can connect a laptop, iPhone, iPod, or tablet and more.
Improves audio quality.  each channel has settings like hi, mid and lo EQs, and there also is a master volume control that is pretty sensitive. I like that.

I'm impressed by the number of controls and variable on the mixer. I was glad to see an EQ sensitivity button, a PFL select option and a volume control right in front of you for your headphones.

 

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