Search Results for Category: Featured

Brainwavz S5 In Ear Headphones


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Music is an important part of my life and at 45 years old I’ve been around the block with just about every genre of music.  While I’m not a huge fan of certain genres I am still eclectic; I can find a song in just about every one of them that I like.

Let me start this review with the fact that I am NOT a high end audiophile. I don’t own an oscilloscope. I’ve never paid more than $30 for a pair of headphones. Most of my music is encoded in 192kbps MP3. This puts me on the playing field with probably 90%+ of my audience. If it is “FLAC or nothing” for you or you would be insulted by paying less than $100 for headphones – this might not be your review.

I’m a regular guy that happens to love all sorts of music – but it isn’t my religion. This is the most expensive pair of headphones I’ve ever used (I was provided a sample by the company). Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Featured, Gadgets, Slideshow

Dead Rising 3: Apocalypse Edition (PC) – A First Look


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Dead Rising 3 was originally released as an Xbox One exclusive, but now the PC version has shipped.  I picked it up on pre-order MONTHS ago for a really good price and it finally shipped yesterday.  I never played the Xbox One version, nor did I play Dead Rising 2.  However, I really enjoyed the original Dead Rising on Xbox (at least until the timed missions started). Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Smart IR Remote – Android Universal Remote App


Perhaps you just got your first Android device for Christmas; a nice HTC One Smartphone or maybe a gorgeous new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.  Sure, you’ve been scouring the internet for hot apps, fun games and some Android sites (like our very own Green Robot Gamer site) but what you may not have noticed about your hot new toy is that it comes with an IR (infrared) Blaster built in.

Hmmm … what COULD you do with THAT?

Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Plex – The (Near) Perfect Solution for Personal Media


I have a lot of media.  I own several thousand DVDs and Blu rays.  I have collected a lot of media from the internet.  I prefer to OWN (and store) the media I have.  I don’t like Netflix and I don’t like Hulu.  These aren’t solutions for me.  I am paying a lot of money a month for a fast internet connection and I have a lot of stuff I’m storing on my own – not the cloud.  I don’t want to have to UPLOAD my stuff to the cloud to get it …. I AM my own cloud.

… and I’m not alone.  Millions of others prefer to buy, store, rip and maintain their own private collections – for a variety of reasons (see my article on Digital Distribution for my thoughts).  Unfortunately, the issue with being your own cloud …?  Companies aren’t interested in writing top quality software to let you access it.  Your options tend to rely on some proprietary media friendly NAS (like a Synology Diskstation) which suffers from fairly immature software on mobile devices or some sort of specialized delivery system for ONE component of your media (like Subsonic; great music gateway – poor video gateway).

Worse yet, if you plan to SHARE your content with family and friends?  A whole new can of worms is opened.

Take all of these issues and then try to solve ubiquitous playback from TV, web, phone and tablet?  This has been a pipe dream for some time.

Enter Plex Media Server Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Wii on Wii U Gamepad: What Makes Off-Screen Play the Killer App


The Wii U Game Pad

The Wii U Game Pad

When we first heard about the Wii U’s “game pad” there were those of us who were skeptical about it.  It seemed like a likely “dual screen” implementation for a console – in line with the success of the Nintendo DS product line.  The obvious uses were speculated about at great length.  Heck, I even wrote an article here about how a personal screen would trump motion controls.  I outlined some pretty killer uses for that second screen.

Asymmetric Play finally done right

Rayman Legends: Asymmetric finally done right

Nintendo chose to focus on the concept of “asymmetric game play” with regards to the second screen – pimping out their own products such as NintendoLand and New Super Mario Bros. U.  EA took a stab at asymmetric game play too via their Need for Speed Most Wanted (which is gorgeous and a load of fun if you don’t already have it).  It took a long time for true, successful asymmetric game play to come to fruition with UbiSoft’s Rayman Legends.  I can truly say that we now have a SKU for showing off just what “asymmetric game play” SHOULD be (sad it didn’t come from Nintendo). Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Consoles, Featured, Nintendo

Taotronics Bluetooth Speaker TT-SK01


I wasn’t really in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, but my wife was interested in something for her classroom.  Something small, cheap, portable and easy to use – something she could take to school (she’s a teacher) and use to listen to music when class isn’t in session.  Since her students have light fingers, she really wanted something she could afford to lose.

Of course – she wanted all this AND it needs to sound great.

CIMG3554Looking for something under $30, I ran across the TT-SK01 at Amazon. The TT-SK01 (just TT from now on) comes in a box smaller than you think.  When you open the small box, you find a little black “egg”.  It’s little, solid but not too hefty and rather attractive as cheap electronics tend to go.

Further inspection of the box reveals a short, multi-language manual that actually tells you exactly what you need to know – in honest to goodness English.  Finally, there is a flat, USB cable included – again, remarkably decent quality for a cheap Chinese piece of electronics.  Mine is even red.  Nice compliment to the black egg. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Samsung Galaxy S4 (Verizon)


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Recently I moved “up” from the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (just Gnex from now on) to the Samsung Galaxy S4 (just S4 from now on) – both on Verizon. You can read my write up on the Gnex here.

I’ve been asked to give my opinions on the new S4 and while I covered it on my podcast, Passenger Seat Radio – I think a written review is in order.

Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Synology DS212j Network Attached Storage Solution


Storage. For almost everyone that owns technology, storage is the very fabric of life. It doesn’t matter how entrenched in tech you are – storage need eventually raises its ugly head. When it does, we scramble for a “storage solution” which is commonly equated to “more”; more GBs, more TBs (maybe even PBs for some). Some people are more worried about the format of storage; do I need a bigger old school hard drive or should I go for faster SSD solutions? Unfortunately, the “solution” part of “storage solution” is rarely looked at from an ever-growing need point of view; how do I access my storage?

Ah, yes. “The Cloud”. This decade’s biggest buzz phrase and an explosive industry all on its own. There are so many solutions it can make one dizzy and each one promises SOMETHING that “the others don’t have”; be it more storage, automatic syncing across devices – you name it. Unfortunately, they all have shortcomings – ensuring that none of them provide exactly what everyone needs.

Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

RAVPOWER WiFi Disk/Power Bank (RP-WD01)


I can barely contain myself long enough to write this review.  For the longest time I’ve been searching for the ultimate, portable solution for storage for my non-microSD slot Nexus phones and tablets.

We need more storage.  No matter how much memory your device has on board, you need more; movies, documents, music, personal files – whatever it is you need – there is never enough room for it all.  So you turn to cloud services to help ease the pain.  Of course, there is a problem with that.  What if you have no 4G?  No WiFi?  What if you’re on a plane?  The cloud doesn’t help you. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

X-Plore File Manager (Android)


This is what passes for file management on Win 8

This is what passes for file management on Win 8

File management is not a part time gig for me. If there is a storage medium attached to the device I’m using? I want the most power possible in accessing and manipulating it. It doesn’t matter if it is a local drive, flash drive, network drive, FTP site, Google Drive … if it stores files, and I have access to it – I want the best experience possible.

Let me start off by saying I am not a typical user. Not a typical cell phone user, not a typical tablet user – and certainly not a typical computer user. For you to understand this review from my point of view, you’ll need to understand my feelings on file management. If you are in a hurry, you can jump down to “Enter X-Plore” below. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+