Search Results for Category: Gadgets

Nintendo’s Road to Salvation Starts Here


Unless you’re dead on a beach somewhere or possibly locked in a bunker on an island typing in codes every hour – you’ve read at least ten articles about Nintendo in the last week.  Most of them discussing how Nintendo is as good as dead.  Nintendo should get out of hardware.  Nintendo MUST make iPhone games to survive.  The Wii U is so dead it’s decomposing on the floor.

Articles of this nature.

Of course, everyone knows exactly what Nintendo should do; despite not understanding for a single minute how Nintendo does business (and more importantly, why).   They downplay the global, insane success of the 3DS (or at the very least, using it as the life support system for the struggling Wii U) – a portable handheld system that still prints money (despite all the “no win scenario” competition of mobile/tablet gaming) and was the top selling system in 2013.

Sure, a few people out there are trying to make the world understand – some of which has some damn fine writing too.  Like this article and this one.

Unlike those complaining about Nintendo without offering a real, viable solution (iPhone or die?  please …) I’m going to address the elephant and 900 pound gorilla in the room and suggest a method that Nintendo could shut all your mouths (well, most of them) and continue to do business the way Nintendo does. Read more

About Shane Monroe

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

Ten Tech-Related Things I Hate


Certain things about technology make me mental.  I constantly get asked, “What is your problem with x?” or “Why do you hate y?”  I figured it would save time if I could just link to an article that explain what makes me crazy about tech-related services and concepts.

This is the mind-numbing technology that I would change in a heartbeat if I were In Charge(tm); in no particular order. Read more

About Shane Monroe

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

Women Love 8″: Why Size Matters (for Tablets)


I Love My Nexus 10

I love my Nexus 10 Android tablet.  It wasn’t my first tablet – nor will it be my last.  I love everything about it – I love the size, the weight, the battery life.  I use it for almost everything.  I watch media on it.  I game on it.  I read on it.  Heck, I’ll even remote the PC across the room with it if I suddenly feel the urge to be productive.

The Impulse BT Controller

The Impulse BT Controller

The Nexus 10 comes with me everywhere (I even bought a man purse to assist me in carrying it and the various little accessories around with me; I have a tiny OTG drive, an OTG cable, a stylus, a backup battery (with power to spare) – heck, I even have a tiny little wireless Bluetooth game pad (the fun little Impulse controller) in case I need some Mr. Do on the go.

I’ve worked my way through the tablet world to get to this point.  I started with a hacked 7″ B&N Nook Color running a full AOSP-type Android rom.  I moved to a 10″ Asus Transformer 101 complete with docking keyboard, gave the TF301 a go, invested in a Nexus 7 and finally ended up finding what I wanted in the Nexus 10.

What I could NOT work through was why I couldn’t get my wife to buy into the tablet lifestyle. Read more

About Shane Monroe

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

RAVPower PB-13 Portable Power Bank


Every year, our power needs grow. Tablets get bigger, phones get more needy. Portable power is pretty much a must for anyone travelling or for someone that works away from a power source all day.

The good news is – there are hundreds (if not THOUSANDS) of choices for portable external battery chargers. The bad news is – they are not created equally and may not reasonably meet the needs you bought them for.

When buying an external battery like the RAVPower 14000 mAh PB-13 (from now on, just PB-13; about $40 from Amazon), you need to consider four major things; how long it will last, how powerful is the output, what sort of quality of battery are you getting inside – and finally, how long will it take to recharge? Read more

About Shane Monroe

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

Filed under : Gadgets, Smartphones, Tablets

HooToo 3-in-1 Wireless Router/NAS/Power Bank (HT-TM01)


DSC00003After my review of the RAVPOWER WiFi Disk/Power Bank (RP-WD01) I was asked to take a look at another, similar product, the HT-TM01 (from now on, just HT) – this time the promise of actual ROUTER ability was added, making this device useful in all new situations.

The HT promises four main functions; a 5200mAh power bank for refueling your USB charged devices, a wireless access point/bridge to share one wifi connection with multiple people, a router (R-45 connector) for wired connectivity and finally a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution – allowing you to wirelessly share a portable USB drive wirelessly.

Read more

About Shane Monroe

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

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+

Google’s “Breakfast with Sundar” Wrapup


Everyone is being like Nintendo these days; forgoing the “all in” during big conferences – instead, setting up multiple, smaller conferences and demos regularly spaces throughout the year.

On July 24th, Google presented “Breakfast with Sundar Pichai” to reveal new hardware, software and services. Let’s take a quick look at everything in a nutshell, and we’ll give you our two cents too. 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+