All posts by Juan Carlos Bagnell

Juan has been obsessed with consumer electronics since before computers had GUI’s. Out of college he worked on a JIT computing contract which supported DOE facilities in New Mexico. He’s been featured on numerous podcasts and radio shows lending his tech insights. You can also find him in LA directing voice over actors and producing spoken word recording.

Review: The Kingston Digital MobileLite Wireless Flash Reader

kingson mobilelite wireless flash reader SD card somegadgetguySometimes the cloud isn’t enough.

While I find it fantastically helpful to have a couple gigs up in the cloud, there are still times I need to have access to files locally. I might need files which are too large to wait for a download, or I might need to easily share files with a couple users around me. I might just be in poor coverage without access to WiFi. For as good as our cloud solutions have gotten, I find I often still resort to “sneaker-net” to move files back and forth between different computers.

This gets even more complicated when I want to interact with a file on a mobile device, especially those pesky iOS devices which lack proper file managers. You can’t just load up a movie file on an iPhone while out and about for example. Plugging your iPhone or iPad into a proper computer and dragging a file over without iTunes means that file wont show up in any of the apps on your iDevice. Sure, there are other workarounds, funnily enough using iCloud for instance, but none have the simplicity of a point to point transfer.

kingson mobilelite wireless flash reader next to HTC One somegadgetguyKingston was kind enough to send over a MobileLite Wireless Flash Reader for me to play with. The dream of the MobileLite is to create a local wireless storage solution for multiple devices to utilize. Specifically up to three devices can log in and share the info on either an SDXC Memory Card or USB Flash Memory Drive.

MobileLite is a small grey/black brick about the size of two iPhone 5’s stacked on top of each other. It’s fairly light at 98 grams, and it comes with a USB cable to charge MobileLite using a computer or AC Adapter. Kingston also includes a MicroSD card adapter for those of you which pull Micro cards out of your phones, cameras, tablets, etc…

Continue reading Review: The Kingston Digital MobileLite Wireless Flash Reader

Courts agree with MPAA, Fair Use consideration unnecessary for DMCA take down.

Scale_of_justice_goldA digital lifetime ago, I used to co-host and co-produce a movie review show called Movies You May Have Missed. Each week we’d craft a video love letter to a film we wished had gotten more attention. We think we did our jobs well, with respect, and we were proud to stay spoiler free, assuming the film in question was “new to you”. We studied Fair Use to make sure we were operating within its bounds, and contacted lawyers who vetted our content. We loved these films, and wanted to share them with other like-minded cinema fans.

The problem? We used clips of the films in our discussion to illustrate things we liked about those films.

This meant Youtube was largely a non-starter. Every episode posted to that social network would get shot down in a hail of auto-copyright ID checks. We spent a significant amount of time fighting each one, with little support. Google’s tools for Youtubers are pretty hands off in regards to these kinds of claims. You’re guilty before you can prove yourself innocent. If you’re not already a big player and famous enough to make a lot of noise, you have little recourse to correcting those copyright strikes. We ultimately had to host episodes elsewhere just so people could see them. Even though we haven’t produced an episode in well over year, MYMHM still pulls in some small traffic from fans, last tally was over 350,000 channel views for August. On old content. None of it monetized, as most online rules for such behavior are draconian. Not only were we not allowed to profit from our hard work, even just to pay off our website hosting, we were barely free to even show people our show. The largest audiences were consistently denied us.

I continue to entertain bringing the show back some day, but our legal system has taken steps towards making that return even more unlikely.

TechDirt is reporting on a strange court case involving two incredibly obnoxious bloggers flinging abusive and stifling DMCA take down requests at each other. In previous cases regarding these types of filings, the MPAA has argued that Congress did not intend for filers to have to consider Fair Use when filing infringement take down requests. This would seem to be the whole point of Fair Use if you examine the laws surrounding our rights in interacting with copyrighted materials, unfortunately the courts reviewing this online squabble have sided with the MPAA’s arguments. This case between two people having an internet cat fight has now opened the doors for even more abuse of a vaguely defined set of protections for major media companies.

And this is why we can’t have nice things.

Techdirt also has a transcript of the court’s decision in PDF.

Caltech makes Richard Feynman Physics Lectures available for free!

richard feynman physics lectures free caltech somegadgetguySCIENCE!!!

No really. We can learn more about science, physics specifically, for free. The California Institute of Technology, home to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is opening up a wealth of lectures from Richard Feynman on a variety of subjects. Pages and pages of lectures, and related scientific materials. The first section alone is broken into 52 chapters dealing with subjects like relativity, light, color, time, quantum theory, and sound. Enough reading material to keep us science-y geeks busy for weeks. I’ve already started chewing into his lectures on acoustics… Gonna learn me some sound…

Did I mention free? It’s free.

The Feynman Lectures on Physics

(pic courtesy CalTech, via Reddit)

Free to play First Person Shooter ‘SuperHot’ bends time around your movements

superhot free bullet time fps first person shooter time bending somegadgetguyThere’s something to be said about a biting simple game mechanic being executed well. Some of my favorite games to play focus on one mechanic and hammer every piece of the surrounding experience to fit that mechanic. The indie gaming space is starting to really drive this point home in ways that larger developers and studios might be afraid to explore.

My new current obsession is ‘SuperHot’ a plot-less first person shooter which asks of you only a small understanding before throwing you into kill or be killed situations. See you have something of a super powered advantage over your enemies. Time slows to a crawl when you remain still, and speeds back up as you move. It’s like a heightened adrenaline backed perception of time. Like when people describe being in a car accident, their brains slow time down, yet the whole experience happened in the blink of an eye.  SuperHot captures this dynamic beautifully.

As you move through maps, picking off generic red assailants, you have the advantage of taking a breath to line up your next shot, dodge an incoming projectile, plan your next move. Don’t think this means the game is easy however, as sometimes that caution will inadvertently line you up for a kill which will only happen once you start moving again.

superhot free bullet time fps first person shooter time bending kill somegadgetguySuperHot’s graphics are super simple, which I dig. It’s all about focus. You have to know instantly what you’re trying to accomplish. The game’s tone plays into this. Instructions are near non-existent. Objectives are delivered by flashing single words on the screen at a time.  It quickly creates that “rat in a lab” feel I haven’t experienced since firing up the original Portal. That unknown quality. You’re doing something you have to do, yet you have almost no understanding as to why you have to. At once unsettling and darkly satisfying.

SuperHot was created during a 7 Day FPS challenge, and the developers have set up a Steam Greenlight Page to explore any interest in making a larger version of the game. In the meantime head over to SuperHot.com to give it a whirl for free!

(via Reddit)

Bring AT&T LTE compatible handsets to StraightTalk.

straight talk lte sim card 4g somegadgetguyThe prepaid phone market is getting really hot. As consumers shop various plans and services, prepaid solutions might be just the ticket for some shoppers. This has historically meant having a “last generation” experience, using a 3G service while the big boys trotted out real 4G LTE data. This is starting to change however, as AT&T has rolled out AIO nationwide utilizing their LTE network, and now StraightTalk is getting into the game too.

Starting now, you can bring an AT&T compatible LTE phone to StraightTalk and utilize LTE access. It will require a new SIM card to activate, but it looks like plan pricing will remain the same as their previous Faux G offerings, unlimited plans starting at $45 a month. Now while ST offers unlimited data, it’s been reported that heavy users will be throttled, but considering the price of this service, that’s not horribly surprising. Might still want to read up on those terms of service before porting your number over.

If you’re buying a new phone, and you’re not able to bring your own from another carrier, the two handsets current sold through StraightTalk which support LTE are the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5. Neither particularly exciting in this current market, but if you’re shopping a new phone plan, prepaid might be something worth checking out.

(via StraightTalk)

SomeGadgetGuy CONTEST! Toast iPhone 5 cases to giveaway!

vlcsnap-2013-09-13-01h22m19s150Contest time!

You all have been so great in supporting my new tech blogging adventures, I HAD to give a little something back! To celebrate the announcement of the iPhone 5S and 5C, I thought it would be appropriate to show iPhone 5 users a little love. I’m giving away to funky-fresh iPhone 5 cases from Toast in Portland. All natural wood and leather, and Toast makes all of their cases using renewable energy! Hit the video for details on how to enter, and thank you for supporting SomeGadgetGuy!

Check out my interview with Matias, and for more info on Toast product, please check out: http://www.toastmade.com/Home.html

Giveaway details:
Contest starts September 13, 2013 at 1:30am Pacific time, and submission deadline is Sunday September 15, 2013 at 11:59pm Pacific time. Valid entries must answer the question asked in the video. Open to residents of the United States. Must be 18 or older. Comment all you’d like, but only your very first comment will count as an entry.

Amazon to finally receive second batch of Google Chromecast HDMI streamers?

google chromecast in stock amazon somegadgetguyChromecast is an incredible little gadget. For $35 dollars you get a fantastic stream-to-TV experience in a gadget little bigger than a USB flash memory drive, and controlling your TV with your phone or tablet feels like the future.

I got mine at launch, but since then they’ve been a little tricky to get a hold of. When a store stocks them, the $35 price tag all but guarantees they’ll sell out quickly. If you’ve been wanting to schnag one on Amazon to take advantage of Prime free shipping, you’ve largely been out of luck. The best we’ve seen for the last several weeks has been “Out of Stock” with no time estimate on when they’ll have more.

Well, looking up the little wunder-gadget this morning, the time estimate is now “Usually ships in 7-10 days”! Hopefully this means Amazon is due to receive another proper shipment soon, and those of you who were hoping to shop one there can now finally push the button.

Happy hunting!

Google Chromecast (Amazon)

Weekend Distraction: Cat Plays Theremin!

Absolutely no good reason for me to post it other than it’s a cat video on the interent. I’m specifically doing this to torpedo an practical reasons you might be online at the moment. It’s utterly nefarious, I know, but HEYLOOKATTHATIT’SACATPLAYINGATHEREMIN!!!