here are the 10 smartphones with the loudest loudspeakers from 2014

Like your music loud?

Trying to cover up that humming noise you hear in your head?

Well that’s your damaged ear drums screaming at you telling you to turn it down!

But do you?

..of cours not!

Who doesn’t love to shut out the outside world with music blasting away at your ear drums. Who cares if we can’t hear one another from 2 ft away. lists the top 10 loudest smartphones from 2014.

You can find it here.

And if your contracts not up you can always buy a portable speaker to connect to your phone. has a great list.

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

In Time for Hurricane Season: a Closer Look at Backup Generators

Global warming is a hoax. Psh.. Yeah right. Have you seen these crazy storms lately? Insurance Companies can’t seem to hang up the phones with all the claims coming in. From California to New York, it seems storms have wiped out power several times this yr.

generators for home

What can you do to keep up and running?

“Backup generators use advanced technology to keep power flowing to homes in case of an outage, and come in various sizes to suit different homeowner needs. The smallest option is a 10KW system suitable for 1,000- to 1,500-square-foot homes. Larger generators, 20KW and higher, are available and can power residences up to 5,000-square feet. The generators run on natural gas or propane, and start automatically when there’s a power outage. To help conserve and manage energy during an outage, generators can also be set to power only critical appliances.”

What are you going to do without your phone? lol Maybe it’s time to look into investing in a generator for your home.


Is Mobile Phone Radiation a Health Threat?

Reminiscent of the running news report on the classic Friday Night Live comediy show that “General Franco, dictator of Spain is still dead,” the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA), issued another report to an still unbelieving public that there was still no credible evidence that the use of mobile phones cause cancer. 

Its scientists looked at hundreds of studies of mobile exposure and found no conclusive links to cancer risk, brain function or infertility. Despite the fact that the probability of being so is infinitesimally small, they said monitoring should continue because little was known about long-term effects.

The HPA said children should still avoid excessive use of mobiles. It is the biggest ever review of the evidence surrounding the safety of mobile phones. There are now an estimated 80 million mobiles in the UK, and because of TV and radio broadcasting, Wi-Fi, and other technological developments, the study said exposure to low-level radio frequency fields has been almost universal and continuous.

A group of experts working for the HPA looked at all significant research into the effects of low-level radio frequency and said that the lack of results is “relatively reassuring.”

The study indicated that people – including those who believe they are sensitive to radio frequency emissions – who were not exposed above UK guideline levels did not experience any detectable symptoms.

Just as Franco is still dead, they also said there was no evidence that exposure caused brain tumours, other types of cancer, or harm to fertility or cardiovascular health.

Because very little was known about risks beyond 15 years, the review group said it was important to continue monitoring research. The HPA conducted a previous review in 2003, which also concluded that there was  no evidence of harm. But there is now far more research into the subject.

Despite the fact that that children and teenagers are more at risk by using cell phones while driving vehicles, the HPA experts said more work was needed on the effect of radio frequency fields on brain activity, and on the possible association with behavioral problems in children.

Despite the lack of evidence over the last ten years that indicates a health threat from radio waves, the HPA called for more investigation into the effects of radio frequency emissions from such things as smart meters in homes and airport security scanners.

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iPhones, iPods and David Norman’s Invisible Computer

I don’t think the long term future of the much-hyped iPhone will ever match that of Apple’s iPod or even the Macintosh, despite the spectacular early sales, the great expectations of the company and its investors, and the enthusiasm of a small group of early adopters and iPod groupies.

The great strength of Apple (AKA Apple Computer) has been in its ability to make computing invisible. According to Donald A. Norman, former vice president and Apple Fellow at Apple Computer as well as the author of “The Invisible Computer,” there are at least three elements necessary:

(1) A human interface that hides as much complexity as possible from the end user; (2) Keeping the underlying computer system as simple as possible and (3) Turning the computer into a dedicated appliance, something that is good at doing a few things very well.

On all three counts, the iPod, iNano and similar dedicated music players Apple has produced are prime examples of this strategy. And the sales of these devices reflect its success. From the builder of a desktop dedicated to a specific segment of the market, Apple has risen to a dominant position in the broader consumer market for music player appliances.

On the iPhone, Apple again has veiled the complexity of the underlying hardware and software processing that was needed to make it work, and so the iPhone has received high marks from almost everyone on style and the user-friendly interface and design. And with the iPhone’s touch-screen user interface, Apple has outdone its efforts on the graphical user interface (GUI) on the Macintosh.

But in “The Invisible Computer,” (subtitled “Why The Personal Computer is so complex and information appliances are the solution”), Norman qualifies the good things he says about the Macintosh and the use of a GUI to make the computing invisible:

 “In the GUI generation (of desktops), the primary philosophy is ‘ease of use,’ making complex machinery of the personal computer relatively easy to operate,” he writes. “And therein lies the rub: The machine is indeed complex, and the GUI goal is to sugarcoat this complexity so that it won’t be noticed.”

His prescient solution, written in 1999: rather than trying to make a complex machine easy to use, make a simple machine in the first place.

Apple’s introduction of the Newton, which spawned a generation of specialized handheld information appliances and its later creation of the iPod, triggering a flood of specialized handheld and network-connected audio and video media players, has proved that Norman’s insight was right on target.

Another example of the success of this formula is the original simple, limited function cell phone which had the single goal of providing users with a mobile, wireless form of communicating with one another – by voice, email or instant mail. It is this dedicated functionality that has driven the number of mobile phones in use worldwide into the billions.

But now handheld mobile device makers are moving away from this tried and proven formula for market success. In addition to Apple’s iPhone, the market is being flooded with handheld communications devices that suffer from what Norman described as “featuritis.”

Like the desktops that proceeded them, they all offer the ability to do any number of things, none of them particularly well, and certainly not as well as a dedicated device. These devices offer not only wireless phone service, but internet access, instant messaging, email, MP3, video capability, GPS, and built-in cameras.

Though Apple has done an outstanding job of hiding the underlying complexity of iPhone, Norman’s critique of the multipurpose desktop PC holds true for it as well: “Make a device do everything, and each task will be done in a manner that is adequate, but not superior,” he writes. “A multipurpose device cannot be optimized for any single task; it has to be a compromise.”

Despite this limitation, the desktop computer market was a success for two reasons. First, semiconductor manufacturers were able to get the costs of the basic hardware down to rock bottom. As a result, builders of PCs were able to include a lot of features – compromised though they were – at a price that appealed to a broad audience.

Second, because the desktop was based on a plug-in board modular design for most of its capabilities, a user – or an enterprising system integrator – could transform it from a compromised general purpose anything machine into a dedicated system with optimal characteristics.

Multifunction handheld devices such as the iPhone will be a long-term success only to the degree that such all-in-one compromise devices can be offered to the broad market of consumers at as low a cost as possible. The modular options users had with the PC are not available here. What you see is what you get.

When I am in the market for a new desktop or laptop. I look at all the new features and functions with four questions in mind: 1) Does it offer functionality that I really need? 2) Does it offer me the performance I need? 3) Will it be possible for me to modify the system at a later date if I need additional performance or specialized capabilities? 4) If none of the above, is it priced at a level that makes it worthwhile to accept compromises?

Often desktop and laptop vendors offer a range of features such as audio and video, wireless access, and 3GSM capability to make their offerings more attractive. If they come “free” – that is, if the price is roughly equivalent to a base system with all the functionality I need – I will buy it.

At the prices Apple and most of its competitors are charging for their mobile and handheld multifunction compromise devices I don’t think the vast mainstream of potential users – except for a few true believers – will go for the pitch. I know I will not.

Cloud computing – Return of the fat client?

In the very early days of the Internet and connected networked computing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the original relationship between a user device and the server “out there” on the World Wide Web was what is termed a “thin client-fat server” relationship.

In this paradigm, the local Internet-connected computing device (iAppliance) –  be it a dumb terminal in a corporate network connected to a main frame computer or a home computer running with a primitive 10 to 20 MIPS processor was connected to a vastly more powerful remote server for complex computing chores and data processing.

In the late 90s and through much of the early part of this decadee, with more powerful home computers and increasingly more connected and powerful handheld and network connected mobile information appliances, the clients have become fatter with as much compute resources if not more than most home computers of a decade ago.

However, if Nickolas Carr, an author and keynote speaker at the Directions Conference here is right and the fat and resource right server and much thinner client may be coming back with the emergence of what is called “cloud computing.”

“Cloud services,” he and other speakers at the conference say, are poised to take off and could radically reshape the computer industry, opening up new possibilities and threatening today’s dominant computer makers.

“We are moving to an assumption that more and more Information Technology assets will be supplied as a utility over the network,” said Carr. “This will represent big new challenges and opportunities [because it will lower] the whole cost base of computing.”

He said cloud services can effectively create a global supercomputer that can be shared in ways similar to the Internet today. “Figuring out how to harness this world-wide computer may be the big enterprise for this century,” he said.

“The price of computing will go way, way down and accessibility of computing will go way, way up,” Carr added. “That will force companies to re-think how they build their products and connect with customers,” he added.

The big promise of cloud computing is it may unleash new innovations just the creation of the electric utility grid did a century ago, said Carr, author of the 2008 book “The Big Switch” which compares the two trends.

The electric grid spawned “a complete re-thinking of manufacturing and the creation of the assembly line,” he said. It also “created an explosion of home appliances and a re-thinking of media as broadcasting and cheap media devices moved into the home.”

The movement to cloud services has already started among companies who are looking for ways to reduce costs during the down turn in the economy. Companies spent $16.2 billion on cloud services in 2008, a figure that will rise to $42.3 billion by 2012, according to International Data Corp., which hosted the Directions conference, about a four to nine percent increase, but a small fraction of the future possibilities.

At the conference, Frank Gens, a senior IDC analyst, said cloud services will make up as much as 25 percent of the new growth in IT spending by 2012, one of the few segments of the economy not affected by the downturn.

“The idea of service delivery through the cloud is of very high interest in the market right now,” said Gens. Companies and services such as Bechtel, ESPN, Facebook, Hulu, NASDAQ and Photobucket are already using cloud services.

In a survey of 244 users conducted by IDC about 15 percent of companies use the cloud services now and 30 percent said they will use them in three years.

“Big companies are making investments in cloud computing, but they haven’t figured out how to make money from it,” said Carr. “In the next five years or so we will see even greater economic disruption of the IT business and it will interesting to see which of the big guys can make the switch to the new world.” he said.

“It requires a totally new way to think about our offerings and who the customers are.”

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Is Mobile TV ready for prime time?

If the wide variety of new consumer devices supporting Mobile DTV introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show here last week, 2010 could be the year of mobile TV, running on every thing: smartbooks, smartphones, mobile DTVs, USB receivers, and WiFi access products.

On display at International CES were netbooks equipped with Mobile DTV, battery-operated Portable Mobile DTV Sets, mobile DTV USB “dongle” Receivers for Laptop Computers, Wi-Fi Access Points for one-to-one Laptop or Smartphone Mobile DTV Reception, prototype Cell Phones with Mobile DTV, Electronic Service Guide Demonstrations and Mobile DTV Interactivity.

“Mobile Digital TV is no longer in the laboratory or a technology that’s being discussed in a technical forum,” said Brandon Burgess, Chairman of the Open Mobile Video Coalition and Chairman and CEO of ION Media Networks.”It’s here now. It’s real.”

The CES demonstrations are made possible through the cooperation of a number of companies, including broadcast transmitter and infrastructure manufacturers Harris, Rohde & Schwarz, Axcera, LG Electronics, Triveni Digital, and Envivio; and application service providers Roundbox, Expway and MobiTV.

Companies exhibiting in the Mobile DTV TechZone at CES included consumer device manufacturers DTVinteractive, iMovee Corporation, LG Electronics, PIXTREE, Samsung, Valups, and WITHUS/Crestech; broadcast equipment suppliers Axcera, Lumantek, Rohde & Schwarz, Sarnoff Corporation, and middleware companies Expway and Roundbox.

Unlike current mobile TV offerings that are subscription-only and largely offer only pre-recorded shows, Mobile Digital TV from local broadcasters offers real-time coverage of local breaking news, local weather, and local emergency alerts in addition to favorite network programs shows that consumers really want to watch.

The introduction of new consumer devices comes just 12 weeks after the Mobile DTV standard was adopted by the Advanced Television Systems Committee. The broadcast transmission standard sets the stage for the rollout of hundreds of Mobile DTV broadcast channels throughout the country, with mobile device manufacturers now eager to deliver new products to the nation’s retailers.

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