WSJ On Computer vs Tablet

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch property posted an article called “10 things not to buy in 2014” by AnnaMaria Andriotis.  Hey, it’s the end-of-the-year and lists are sprouting up like mushrooms in the morning dew. I wish they held as much value as those edible fungi. Still, I suppose there’s little point in being listless at this time of year.

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3D Wallpaper: An Affordable Approach to Better Office Acoustics

mio_paperforms2013_acousticweave_angleLacking for any specific consideration of acoustics, many workplaces simply sound bad. Hard surfaces like drywall, glass, tile, stone and hardwood floors combine with arbitrary dimensions to create boomy, boxy sounding spaces where sound bounces around a lot. This creates a muddled sound that can make it more difficult to understand conversation. Sadly, this is also true of a lot of meeting small spaces and home offices.

This acoustic reality impacts how we work, especially the quality of our communications. Speakerphones and conference phones suffer in sub-standard acoustic environments. Intelligibility of conversation can be significantly degraded. You may not notice, as you are in the space and accustomed to that environment. However, the person at the far end of the conversation may find it more difficult to understand what you are saying.

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Coming Soon: Rock ‘em Sock ‘em DoorBots!

DoorBot-ALGO-8028You may recall that I was eagerly awaiting the arrival our DoorBot, the Wifi-enabled, video capable doorbell that calls a smart phone app when the button is pushed. Well, our DoorBot arrived early in December. Since then I’ve been pondering if, and exactly how, to share my initial experience with the device.

To be blunt, our early experience with DoorBot has been disappointing. It doesn’t meet our needs for a couple of reasons. The software is still a little rough. To be fair the company is reported to be working on the issues reported by early users. However, they’re not doing the greatest job of reporting their progress.

All of this has me thinking back to when I first considered putting the DoorBell Fone at our gate, and the alternatives that were available at the time. The most attractive option was ALGO Solutions model 8028 SIP Door Phone. However, at $500 it was just beyond my budget at the time.

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Why is wireless charging progressing so slowly?

Nexus Wireless ChargerAs you may know Stella and I both carry  Nexus 4 cell phones. Under the Christmas tree there happened to be a Nexus 7 tablet to add to her gadget mix.

Since the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 are both capable of wireless charging I also bought her one of the Qi-compliant wireless chargers. Stella has a well-documented disdain for wires, so the wireless charger holds considerable appeal.

The Qi standard was created by Wireless Power Consortium in 2009. It’s simply mind-boggling how stupidly rare and costly wireless chargers remain, even though the technology should be by now well-established.

Google’s own Nexus wireless charger, a single position model, costs a whopping $50!

Looking on Amazon I find that there are a number of Qi wireless chargers offered. Single device chargers run $20 – 50, with many in the $30+ range.

Two position Qi wireless chargers, the most practical solution for someone with multiple devices, run from $50 to over $100!

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Deal Alert: E4 End of Year Promo on Polycom VVX Series

Just in case you don’t get exactly what you were hoping for under the tree, E4 Technologies is doing a year-end promo on the outstanding Polycom VVX Series desk phones.

My early experience with the VVX-1500 dates back to early 2009. Since then I’ve had the VVX-500 and VVX-600 around my office. The promo prices for these video-capable phones are $214 and $269 respectively.

The VVX-600 (pictured right) is without a doubt the finest SIP desk phone that I’ve ever used. The 4.3” touchscreen makes it easy to use, as well as supporting the use of video when mated with the optional VVX camera.

The VVX range has be extended to include a number of lower-cost models, reaching all the way down to $124 for the VVX-310. While specific features vary by model, every last VVX is capable of HDVoice.

*Disclosure – I have  no connection with E4 Technologies beyond being a satisfied customer.

Deal Alerts: BT Headset Revisited & Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Stand

Tis the season, etc, etc. This has me watching the daily bargain sites a little more than usual. Today’s email flood brings two items worth a mention.

Back on December 5 I told you about the Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth headset being offered for just $39. That was a short-term deal that expired after just 24 hours. Today I find that the same company is repeating the offer, but this time it’s at a section of their website that sustains the offer until the inventory is gone. If you were indecisive and missed the earlier offer you can still get one. It’s unlikely to arrive before the holidays, so it’s more of a self-gift than a stocking stuffer.

The Daily Deals site has an offer of an Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Stand for $30. Normally this sort of thing would not catch my eye. In this case the very fact that the seller has provided a number of supporting images is key to attracting my interest.

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