Welcome to Broke Man's Tech. On this blog I will discuss technology companies, product reviews, and current trends. I will do all this will keeping budget in mind in an attempt to give you the best bang for your buck. Please never hesitate to comment and if you like me enough, please follow. Once again, welcome!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's About Damn Time, the Samsung Galaxy S II finally lands in the US of A

If you've followed my blog at all, you know I've had almost a hawk's eye for anything relating to the Galaxy S II.  Well, it seems the time has finally come and they are finally here.  Today Samsung announced these three phones

All three phones will pack a 1.2 GHz dual core Exynos processor, a 8mp camera around back, and 16gb of internal storage.  The differences seem to be between the AT&T variant and the other two.  The Sprint and T-Mobile versions will be packing a 4.5 inch Super AMOLED Plus screens while the AT&T version will be using a 4.3 inch similar to the international version. The 4.5 variants will also house a larger battery with the AT&T branch packing the same size as the international version as well.  In fact it seems that the AT&T variant is almost identical to the international Galaxy S II from these features down to its actual form factor.

So far only Sprint has stated a launch date in addition to price setting September 16th as their launch at a price of $200.  The other two are expected to follow shortly.

I personally can't wait to go and try the Sprint version once it hits stores.  Still part of me is more curious to see what bigger guns are waiting on the horizon.

Great News for HP Touchpad Owners, new Updates!

From my last post you can see that I am now the happy owner of a brand new HP Touchpad after the massive fire sale that HP just underwent.  When I first placed the purchase for the device, I honestly felt that I was "buying as is" and that what I got from the device when I opened it up and booted it up for the first time would be what I was stuck with for the life of the device.

Well, HP was quick to prove me wrong.  Yesterday they announced an update to their Quickoffice app finally allowing editing to Microsoft Word and Excel documents.  While this may not seem like a big deal to some people, it is actual fantastic (for some of us at least).  While being able to view a document is great, being able to edit the same document is even better.  My work involves a lot of people sending me documents to either fill in or edit and sending it back to them.  Having this handy new feature further adds to functionality and overall worth of the Touchpad.

However, this isn't the biggest piece of news coming from HP.  While the Quickoffice was one that was previously announced, the thing that HP did the next day showed us that while they might be out of the hardware game when it comes to WebOS, they still seem to be showing it some love on the software side.  HP sat down with CNET today and told them that they had seen large jumps in users for the Touchpad.  Obviously this was expected after such a drastic price drop (it is estimated that between 750,000 and 2,000,000 users came on board world wide).  More important, however, HP told CNET:

"We expect that HP TouchPad owners can look forward to an over-the-air update that will enhance the platform and add functionality and a growing applications catalog."

While they did not say exactly what they were bringing to the table, it is a sigh of relief to know, that at least for the time being, HP is going to continue to support its WebOS products of the software side.  To reaffirm these feelings, HP also said:

"HP is fully committed to the ongoing support and service of customers who purchased webOS devices...We plan to continue to investigate the best ways to leverage WebOS software and grow the applications."
Lets hope that HP continues this way and brings updates for a time to come.  

Source:  HP , CNET

HP Touchpad, First Impressioins

After countless calls to all my local brick and mortar calls, I was finally able to purchase an HP Touchpad via OnSale via Amazon at the fire sale price.  A few days later I received my shiny new toy in the mail and have been tinkering with it ever since.  While I have decided to not run a custom ROM or overclock the device, I have ran the needed updates and grabbed some of apps from the catalog to improve my experience.

So far, I am really enjoying the device as it has fulfilled everything that I wanted from it:

1) Cheap price (you can't beat $99)
2) Web Browser
3) E-book reader
4) Time wasting games

While I was/am in love with Android and would have loved a Galaxy Tab 10.1, at a price of $99 I simply couldn't pass on this offer.  I made the impulse purchase and don't have any regrets.  In my short time with the device it has filled the needs I want in a tablet with a few complaints here and there.  While they complaints could be remedied by jumping over to an iPad or Android Tablet, the price point keeps me happy.

Once I spend over a week with the Touchpad, I will begin writing my review of it covering everything from the hardware to software to the future of the device.  In addition to this I will start covering WebOS news as well as anything that pertains to the Touchpad itself.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Steve Jobs Steps Down as CEO of Apple

Today Steve Jobs has officially stepped down as CEO of Apple.  The news comes after an extended period of medical leaves related to pancreatic cancer.  Apple has placed the previous COO Tim Cook to take the position of CEO.  Though it was going to happen sooner or later, it is still a heavy blow to not only the company but to the entire technology field as a whole.

Steve had this to say:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.


On the business side,Jobs is still with the company (As a chairman of the board) and even if he was not it is a safe bet that he was not simply working on one task at a time. You can best believe Apple has at least a 5 year plan that they will not deviate from. After that time period, anything can happen but up until then, I don't see them changing too much.

As to Jobs himself, while I personally do not like Apple products as well as him as a person for touting them off as if they were something that god created himself but I have to respect the man for what he has brought to the field. His decisions have completely directed how the business works. Even if you don't think Apple products are the best around, you must be blind if you can't look around and see that the consumer electronics aren't has been shaped by them. Whether it be the Apple products directly or the goods that were produced to compete against them, the market has been dictated in a large way by the decisions that Jobs made in the fields of : Mobile, Tablet, PCs, and Music.

To that, I give him my respect and I hope that if he is ill, that he can overcome this. I would never wish pancreatic cancer (or any cancer) on anyone and my regards go out to him and his family.  In addition to this, I hope he will continue to bring innovation if not competition to the world of technology.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Latest Rumor for the Sprint Epic Touch 4G, the Release Date

SprintFeed just got tipped on some fresh information on the upcoming Sprint Epic Touch 4G, its release date.  According to their tipster the Sprint variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II will be coming to the carrier on September 9th a shy 10 days after Samsung is expected to announce all the US Galaxy S II phones.  This is fantastic news.  While the launch has been long awaited (the international version has been out for months), it is nice to know that is is on the horizon.  The question for me personally now is if I am going to get this phone or wait for the Nexus Prime.

Source:  SprintFeed

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google Acquires Motorola, the Gears of War are Turning

Though it is already old news in the tech world, I would feel terrible if I didn't post this up.  As many of you already know, Google announced via its official blog that it would be acquiring Motorola Mobility at a price of $40 a share for a total of $12.5 billion yesterday.  The entire industry is talking about this massive power move and what it will mean to the future of Android.

The biggest concern is that Google is entering the hardware game.  They are walking in the shoes of Apple now with control of everything from software to the physical components of cellular devices coming out of this new mobile acquisition.  With Android being an operating system that is used across multiple manufacturers ranging from HTC to Samsung, does having their own hardware producer mean the death of Android for the other manufacturers?  Shortly after the announcement CEOs from the previously mentioned companies gave their "blessing" saying they welcomed this new purchase and saw it as Google defending its partners.  Behind these scenes, you have to wonder if they are actually afraid beyond belief at the idea that the OS that has brought them so much financial success might actually either be taken away from them or that they will no longer have access to the top of the line build of Android.

Through all of this Google has said that they will still be completely committed to all of its Android Partners and that it would continue running Motorola as a separate entity.  Google will obviously have to step in and fix a lot of holes in the hull of the battered ship that is Motorola.  The company posted millions in losses in the last quarter and you can best bet that Google is going to try to stop that from happening again.  Still it would only be natural if Motorola phones all became a standard for how Android should be built.  Also now with a hardware builder in its arsenal, Google can truly fine tune its software to specific hardware specifications.  Hopefully Google stays true to its word and does not close off Android and becomes the walled garden that is iOS all while backstabbing all the companies that made Android as successful as it is today (Not saying Motorola didn't play a major role, especially here in the states with the DROID lineup).  If anything I hope the phones that come out of Motorola will be standards that the rest of the industry should meet as minimum requirements.  Hopefully it will follow the path of the original Nexus One.  Though it was not financially successful, it did send out a message to the industry that basic requirements should be met.  After the Nexus One, the market was flooded with large screen phones with powerful processors.  Hopefully this pattern will continue in the future.

The possibility of Google using Motorola as a flagship phone maker is not the only buzz surrounding this deal. There is a lot of talk that this deal was simply about Google getting all of the patents that Motorola owns.  Android and its manufacturers have recently been under constant fire from other companies, including the likes of Microsoft and Apple, over alleged patent and design infringements.  Motorola controlled a treasure trove of patents that now Google can use to defend its partners.  HTC, for example, has had to pay Microsoft royalties for every Android phone it has made.  If Google stays true to its word, this move could finally give HTC the ability to shake the burden off its shoulders and start collecting the money that is rightfully theirs.

Google is quickly gearing up to defend itself from the storm of litigation quickly approaching.  I like to think of Google as pre-WW2 US, a country that was ill prepared to take on the mammoth German war machine and no ability to defend its allies.  With time and preparation it would in short time transform itself into a world power.  While Google is already a powerful company, this move will further solidify their ever rising growth and a ever powerful ecosystem both in finally entering the hardware game and having the weapons it needs to protect itself and its allies.

Source: Official Google Blog

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Popular N9 Won't be Coming to the States

The Nokia N9, which when finally shown gained an extreme amount of positive feedback will probably not be coming to the United States according to Nokia.  The swan song device for the OS MeeGo has been praised as the device Nokia should have built a long time ago instead of completely kicking out of the door and getting in bed with Microsoft for their Windows Phone 7 OS.  Almost everyone who has tried it has loved everything about it from its beautiful hardware to smooth operating system.   It's a shame that this device will probably be the last of its kind as Nokia attempts to stop their ship from sinking.  While it's hardware will survive in the form of the W7P sea ray the software will not unless some other manufacturer picks it up or if Nokia has a change of heart.

Even if it may be the last of its kind, people here stateside are upset that they may not be able to get their hands on it directly from a carrier and instead will probably have to buy the device unlocked and at an unsubsidized price.  When questioned as to if the device would actually come to the US by Engadget, Nokia answered with:

"After the very positive reception to the launch of the Nokia N9, the product is now being rolled out in countries around the world. At this time we will not be making it available in the US. Nokia takes a market by market approach to product rollout, and each country makes its own decisions about which products to introduce from those available. Decisions are based on an assessment of existing and upcoming products that make up Nokia's extensive product portfolio and the best way in which to address local market opportunities."

It makes sense in a twisted way. Lets be honest, the US has always neglected the high end nokia devices. While they dominated the rest of the world (before iOS and Android), they never really picked up steam here in the states. When the N97 came out a few years back, I wanted one like a mad man but no one had even heard of it which was the norm with most Nokia devices here.  However, this isn't really the US customers fault since it was actually Nokia who failed to play by US rules.

Not many people here actually go out and buy an unsubsidized phone for over $600. Nokia never really worked with the carriers to bring it to their networks and bring phones to the masses for a more respectable price. While their system worked throughout the rest of the world, it just wasn't the norm here in the US.

Once they get WP7 on this thing, this pattern is going to obviously change. Microsoft isn't going to make such a big partner and then fail to bring it to their home country.  In fact, Sea Ray has already been through the FCC carrying AT&T bands with it.

Source:  Engadget

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Epic 4G Touch Gets One Step Closer to Official and Brings Along Company

The fellows at Engadget just got the picture above from a tipster.  I posted about BGR's drop of the name first but it seems the title is actually the Epic 4G Touch as opposed to the Epic Touch 4G (Oh the insanity!).  While this doesn't reveal anything new about the device, it is still nice to see and brings the hope of an approaching launch.

The Epic 4G Touch, however, is not the only news with this piece.  The picture also reveals the HTC EVO Design 4G which is expected to be similar to the EVO 3D minus the 3D and the dual-core processor.  In addition to this, the photo also outs a new device all together, the Motorola Admiral.  It doesn't seem to be carrying the 4G tag which makes me wonder if it were just not a feature of if this device were more a mid-tier phone for the masses.

We will most likely see a lot of new information on these phones within the next coming month(s) and until then, I can't wait.

Source: Engadget

T-Mobile Samsung Hercules is Their Galaxy S II

TmoNews just released pictures and information from a private source of the Samsung Hercules.  It will be the first HSPA+ 42Mbps device for the carrier.  While this alone is impressive and makes the device unique to the lineup of T-Mobile devices, something else makes it fantastic.  Pictures given to the site clearly mark this phone as a Samsung Galaxy S II phone.  While we already know that the popular devices are finally coming to the US, this leak is yet another tidbit indicating that their is an imminent release.

The Hercules, however, is going to be a bit different from the international version of the phone.  It will be rocking purely capacitive buttons as well as a giant 4.5 inch display.  The source also said that everything on the phone was extremely fast which means, performance wise, the Galaxy S II is still going to be awesome when it comes stateside.

I can't wait for these devices to finally launch and introduce the US to the phone the rest of the world is already going crazy about.

Source: TmoNews

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Broke Man's Guide to Being Homeless

From time to time I actually wonder what life on the streets would be like.  If I lost everything and no longer had the basic necessities of shelter and food, would I be able to survive and make it?  While I hope this will never happen to me (or you for that fact), here are a couple of interesting tidbits I've learned in my short time on this earth.  If ever put into this situation and I had no way out but digging my way out, this is what I would probably do.

Okay lets cover some of the basics:

  1. Sell anything of value that is a luxary: electronics, jewelry, expensive clothes, etc. Sell plasma,sperm, etc.  If possible use your former address for this since places will most likely not check.  To get rid of this problem all together, go to a local post office and get a P.O. Box.  This will cost you money but the benefits/necessity make it a must do move.  
  2. Head to the local public library and open up a membership.  This will give you access to a lot of resources from newspapers with job listings to computers where you can have access to email, docs, and the internet.
  3. Use this money to buy a cheap tent, foam pad (trust me), and sleeping bag. This should cost you no more than $20-$30. Find a area you feel comfortable that is secluded but not crazy and set up "home."  However, if you can try couchsurfing and hope some strangers will house you one short period at a time.  
  4. Next buy a bike for no more than $40-$50, this will be your transportation. Try to set up home somewhere that leaves you close enough to society by bike.
  5. Next, go to a local gym and sign up for a free trial membership. They usually last a month but you can move on to another gym every month never having to pay. This gives you access to showers, pools, and possibly a locker. Keep yourself as clean as possible.
  6. For food, go to holiday inns in the morning and just act like you have a room there. Grab as much grub as you want. No one checks, seriously. For lunch and dinner go to Costco and say you dont have a membership but would like to look around before you get one. Eat samples like it's going out of style. For both these locations try and do it when different people are working the front. If you have money, keep it cheap but try to keep it healthy.  You can buy fruit pretty cheaply as well as breads and grains. For protein try peanuts or peanut butter   
  7. For money, seriously check out product road shows on craigslist. They usually pay at least 10 an hour (I'm working one now at 14 an hour). Companies like to show case new products either at Costco or other big venues and they pay people to display the product to the public.  Many even include bonuses if certain sales numbers are met.  It's an easy job to do (minus the hours spent on your feet) and is usually done by people doing it temporarily and trying to make a buck.  
  8.  Save enough until you save up enough and from there its up to you. Find affordable housing and try to maintain a money flow. 
Once again, I hope you never have to use this but if you do, I hope this will help.  Always take advantage of resources from soup kitchens to shelters if possible and above all, never give up hope.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Nexus S is Free* for a Day at Best Buy! (*With a two year contract)

Best buy just announced that they will be selling the Nexus S for $0 with a 2 year contract agreement for AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile but only for tomorrow, Wednesday August 3rd, 2011.

I personally am going to keep my eye on the horizon for the next Google Flagship phone but this is an amazing deal. This is a brilliant phone and for that price, this deal is almost a no brainer for anyone on the market for a phone that will meet the majority if not all of their current requirements. For those wanting the bleeding edge and a dual core phone, I would probably wait for the Galaxy S IIs to come but we all know they are not going to be free (At least not at launch). 

Grab the deal while you can because after tomorrow, it will return to its normal price of $100.  

The info straight from BB:

One-Day Exclusive Offer: Best Buy Mobile Offers All Versions of Nexus S from Google for Free on Aug. 3
Available on AT&T, Sprint and T Mobile at Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile specialty stores and online. Offer runs from Aug. 2 at 11 p.m. CST to Aug. 3 at 11:59 p.m. CST

MINNEAPOLIS, August 2, 2011 - Best Buy Mobile today revealed an exclusive one-day sale on Nexus S from Google phones valid on all carriers who support the device - AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Customers can receive a free Nexus S phone, either as a new phone or an upgrade purchase, with two-year activation at all Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile specialty stores, and online at BestBuy.com/Mobile.

Nexus S is a pure Google experience phone and runs Android 2.3, Gingerbread, the fastest version of Android available, and will be offered free starting tonight at 11:00 p.m. CST, through  Aug. 3, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

In addition to the most smartphones under one roof, including all three versions of Nexus S, Best Buy Mobile offers an array of services aimed at improving customers' experience, including Walk Out Working, Upgrade Checker, Happy 24 and a full array of accessories for customers to protect and personalize their device.

Source:  Best Buy

Transformer 2 Almost Already Here? Possibly Packing a Quad Core Processor

Forbes recently sat down with Asus Chairman Jonney Shih and received some delicious bits of info about the companies next tablet,  the next Transformer.  The Transformer is one of the best selling Android tablets pushing upwards of 400,000 sales a month.  When it launched, Asus completely underestimated the popularity of the device and was plagued with supply issues attempting to keep the things on the shelf.  Now, only a four months later, the company has revealed that its successor will be coming in October of this year.   

When questioned on the new tablet, Mr. Shih only said that it was "impressive."  It should be interesting to see what the new model will pack and whether or not it is even a major upgrade from the original.  The area that brings up the most interest is if the "Transformer 2" will be carrying Nvidia's next generation chip, the quad core Tegra 3.  Nvidia has gone on record saying that the new chip would be available in tablets in September.  With an October launch, it is completely possible that the Transformer will be have a quad core heart.  

Many are upset at such quick launches, but this is simply the way the world of technology works. Even when products launch, there is always talk of when the next will come out or what device will soon pop up and trump it only to be trumped by yet another device.  

If this thing trims a bit of weight while bumping up the battery life, all while picking up these new specs, I will be all over it (If I can afford it of course).  I hope they will maintain the same price points as the current models and that Staples throws out another awesome coupon deal. Here's to hoping though.  

Via: Engadget
Source : Forbes

Samsung Epic Touch 4G, the Samsung Galaxy S II for Sprint

How BGR continues to get this many leaks on the US Galaxy S II phones amazes me.  The guys there just recently got another tip about a Galaxy S II phone variant.  Their tipster says that it should be launching in September which is a month later than expected or at least a month later than AT&T is bringing their variant to the market.  Being a Galaxy S II phone, it will be very similar to the international version.

While I too am upset about the modifications and name changes to the international Galaxy S II phone, it is nice to see that Sprint is at least keeping the Epic name alive and creating a brand/line instead of completely starting anew and calling it the Within.  In addition to that, they will probably still be expanding the brand with the actual Epic 2 or whatever they decide to call it that will continue the QWERTY keyboard heritage from the first device.  

Still, I wish all the American carriers would simply just pick up the international version with the respective radios inside.  Updates would probably be a lot faster and we wouldn't have to wait months after the rest of the world to actually get the phone.  

I will be keeping a close eye on this phone, that is until the Nexus Prime is announced.  

Source:  BGR