Live-Tweeting Apple’s Announcement today: @SomeGadgetGuy

8da6092d74e03c349d0da576ef22f54cJust a quick heads up folks.

If you’re going to be following along with the Apple keynote today, and would like some up to the second commentary, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Twitter as @SomeGadgetGuy. I’m hoping to be impressed with some new Apple gear, but it’s also just as likely that I might bring a little snark to my commentary.

Who knows? Anything could happen. Join me on Twitter to talk it out!

Glendale School District tracking 13,000 students social networking activity.

geo listening social network monitoring service, glendale public schools somegadgetguyWont someone please think of the children!

Administrators for Glendale public schools in California are facing some heavy criticism following announcement that they are retaining the services of a company called Geo Listening to track the public activity of some 13,000 Glendale students. This is of course being done in the name of student safety, though it’s always going to feel invasive finding out about a monitoring program after it’s been put in place. This program was actually instituted last school year, and parents are only just now finding out about it. I’m sure that lack of transparency regarding which companies are actively monitoring their offspring’s online activity wont ruffle any feathers…

After collecting information from students’ posts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, Geo Listening will provide Glendale school officials with a daily report that categorizes posts by their frequency and how they relate to cyber-bullying, harm, hate, despair, substance abuse, vandalism and truancy.

And if this really is for the public good, one has to question what criteria Geo Listening is ranking this publicly collected data. What exactly are they looking for, and what are they doing with the information they’ve collected after it’s been deemed “safe”?

Supposedly, they’re only monitoring public posts, so you can be sure a couple thousand Glendale students just figured out how to set up their privacy filters.

(via TechDirt)

App review: 6tag brings a near perfect Instagram experience to Windows Phone 8

6tag instagram client windows phone 8 app review lumia 1020 somegadgetguyThe lack of an official Instagram app for Windows Phone has long been held as proof of the lack of quality apps for the WP8 ecosystem. “I mean, windows phone doesn’t even have Instagram? AmIRite! High five!”

The problem with not developing an app for a popular service? Someone might develop that app in your absence. There are a couple different solutions for getting pics off of your gorgeous Lumia camera, and on to Instagram’s servers. As of today, my favorite is now 6tag.

Developed by Rudy Huyn, who has produced a number of popular apps for Windows Phone, including mobile 9Gag and Wikipedia clients, 6tag offers up every feature and filter of available on Instagram with a Windows Phone twist.

6tag instagram client windows phone 8 app review lumia 1020 somegadgetguy screenshot 1

All of the favorites are here. Upon logging in, you’re presented a page full of square pics from all the people you follow. The same interactions are available, being able to like by double tapping the pic for example. To leave a comment or tag someone in a photo, you swipe across the photo to get access to these other options. It keeps the photo stream a little more focused on photography, and it looks a little less cluttered. Plus lateral sliding squares is just so Metro.

6tag instagram client windows phone 8 app review lumia 1020 somegadgetguy screenshot filters

Pics and videos can be uploaded and edited using the same tools and filters as you would find on the official Instagram app. Happily, all of the sharing services are also included, giving you one touch sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, and Flickr. Unlike the official Instagram app, Huyn also included sharing support for VK, the second largest European social network behind Facebook.

You can also access your likes and lists of people who have liked and commented on your pics. If I have a complaint here, it’s that the live tile doesn’t seem to update those likes very often. I’ll jump into the app and be surprised that my pet picture recently got a dozen likes. It’s a small smudge on an otherwise great experience.

6tag instagram client windows phone 8 app review lumia 1020 somegadgetguy profile

6tag is free to use, but ads are served on certain screens like your profile or when commenting.

It really is unfortunate that Instagram continues to ignore Windows Phone. Some of the most camera phone passionate consumers are Nokia fans, and Instagram is excluding a base of potential users who have sided with a company producing some of the best cameras ever built into smartphones. Seriously. No Lumia 1020 pics?

Of course, this means an industrious developer can step in to fill the void. Until we get that official app, 6tag will do just fine. Plus if you use instagram, you can find me there as SomeAudioGuy.

6tag on the Windows Phone app store.

PSA: The LTE version of the New Nexus 7 (2013) now available on Google Play

nexus 7 2013 lte version google play store somegadgetguyJust a heads up for you tablet shoppers looking for a mini tablet with LTE capability. FourGees is now available as an option on the 2013 edition of the Nexus 7!

This little tab is rocking the most current version of the Android OS, and it’s completely unlocked and ready to jump on T-Mobile’s small (but growing) LTE network. As expected, the price is $349 out the door with 32GB of storage on board. This is a pretty killer hardware deal as the 16GB WiFi-only version of the iPad Mini is currently selling for $329. Google is offering quite a bit more tech for only $20 more.

Check out the Google Play store for more info!

Seagate to ship 5TB drives next year thanks to a case of the Shingles

seagate smr tech announcment slide harddriveI couldn’t help it. Sorry folks. I just couldn’t walk away from a bad chickenpox joke.

Anywho, this is actually cool new tech. Seagate has been working its SMR process to increases data density on hard drive platters. SMR stands for Shingled Magnetic Recording, and it works pretty much like how it sounds. By shrinking the space between tracks, and then staggering them like roof top shingles, you can increase the amount of storage on a surface.

Starting in 2014, Seagate will move from 1TB per platter to 1.25TB per platter, and shipping four platter drives means we’ll see 5TB storage next year. Pretty exciting stuff as I seem to increase the amount of digital content I create logarithmically each year…

Full PR after the jump.

Continue reading “Seagate to ship 5TB drives next year thanks to a case of the Shingles”

Verizon and FCC addressing Appellate Court today over Net Neutrality

Verizon-logoI’m not sure that’s how the First Amendment works Verizon?

Verizon is suing to halt the Open Internet Order enacted to protect net neutrality. To oversimplify, it prevents ISP’s from prioritizing their own services or degrading the services of their competitors. Verizon has taken umbrage to this directive, and they think they have a First Amendment argument to striking this type of regulation.

To oversimplify again, they feel the government is interfering with their First Amendment right to interfere with the quality of other companies’ communications and services.

What’s sad is that from a legal perspective they might not actually be wrong here. What powers the FCC might have in regulating the internet still haven’t been expanded or properly defined by Congress, so Verizon has an argument in questioning whether the FCC overstepped its bounds. From Verizon’s brief:

“Broadband networks are the modern day microphone by which their owners engage in First Amendment speech. The FCC thus must identify an actual problem and narrowly tailor its solution to solve that problem. The FCC’s ‘prophylactic’ rules cannot pass that test. The Fifth Amendment likewise protects broadband network owners from government compulsion to turn over their private property for use by others without compensation, especially in light of their multi-billion-dollar investment-backed expectations.”

Today, both Verizon and the FCC will be given 20 minutes apiece to address the appellate court hearing this case. The FCC has also posted a detailed response to all of Verizon’s claims. Lot’s of legal-speak, but it’s an interesting read if you’re into net neutrality.

How the court decides on this case will have far reaching impact on what powers the FCC has to regulate internet communications, and what rights and responsibilities ISP’s have in handling their own and competing internet traffic.

(via Ars)

Microsoft Event on September 23rd to introduce Surface 2

surface 2 media event microsoft somegadgetguyThe invites went out this morning!

So you should all know by now how I feel about writing up rumors (I hate writing up rumors), so thankfully we wont have to wait long to get the full scoop on Microsoft’s next-gen Surface. Come September 23rd, we’ll finally have confirmation on all the hardware deets, like whether it will use a Tegra 4 chipset, if it’ll have a proper 1080p screen, and how that new kickstand will work.

Thankfully we do know that MS will be dropping that confusing “RT” label. So that’s already progress.

Until then, we must find other ways of entertaining ourselves… If only there were other tech stories out there to distract us until the 23rd… If only…

ZAGG Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard Case for Galaxy Note 8 now available

zagg bluetooth slim keyboard for Galaxy Note 8 somegadgetguyI liked the Note 8 when I got to play with it. Tablets have always been good solutions for media consumption, and they’re getting better at media creation. For writers using a Note 8, ZAGG might have just the accessory for you.

The Ultra-Slim case connects to your Note 8 with a new hinge system, turning your Note into a small Android clamshell. The case also offers full protection of the back plate of your tablet. Connecting over Bluetooth, ZAGG estimates the keyboard should last up to three months of regular use on  a single charge.

Also a nice touch, the keys are backlit, and that back lighting is customizable with seven different colors at your command. The combination of a proper keyboard and S-Pen should make the Note 8 a mini writing powerhouse.

Available today on for $99.