Passing the 100,000 e-signature mark necessary for an official white house response, legislation on the legalization of unlocking cell phones is now in the fore front of government attention. Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota(D), Mike Lee of Utah (R) and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut (D) are the three individuals mobilizing the legislative efforts of the Wireless Consumer Choice Act. This bill would call on the Federal Consumer’s Commission to warrant that consumers can legally unlock their cell phones and switch mobile providers at any time they so choose.
No doubt this bill is necessary not only for the rights of consumers, but also for its potential to provide a global market boost and promote healthy competition. It is only fair that consumers should have the choice flexibility over who their wireless provider is no matter what mobile phone they obtain. Although this bill would open up the door for healthy and necessary competition on the wireless market, what repercussions would this cause for cell phone manufactures and their innovative processes? For such a new bill, the backlash this could create is uncertain but as it develops (and most certainly after the March 12th hearing with the FCC), consumers and manufacturers’ worldwide will gain a clearer perspective.
Source: pcmag.com, engadget.com
January 23, 2013 02:18 by Jeremy
Although CES officially ended more than a week ago, many of us remain in the grips of its luster. In the next few months, crowds will finally be able to get their own versions of the new gadgets that were only just recently unveiled.
Cell phones took a bit more of a back seat this year around in comparison to last year, but the tradeshow didn't leave us completely empty-handed. Sony and Huawei are two champions of the smartphone category; their flagship phones, the Xperia Z and Ascend W1, are currently two of the most highly anticipated phones.
The Xperia-series is no small name amongst phone enthusiasts. Sony has so far produced a long list of Xperia-branded phones, from entry-level to high-end. The latest model, the Z (along with their other flagship phone, the Xperia ZL) boasts a 5-inch screen, 1.5-Ghz processor, 16GB of space (more available due to a microSD slot), and a non-removable Li-Ion 2330mAh battery. What really makes this phone shine, though, is its ability to survive underwater by a little over 3 feet. Your phone can take the occasional tumble through a washing machine or accidentally drop into a sink, and you won't have to worry about it suffering major damages.
Huawei, while not new to the cell phone industry, hasn't been a popular name under high-end smartphones. It's certainly aiming to change that with the Ascend W1. Already available in China, the Ascend W1 is Huawei's first attempt at a Windows 8 phone. It boasts a 4-inch screen, 1.2 Ghz processor, and a Li-Polymer 1950mAh battery. With the rising popularity of Windows 8, this smartphone brings about a new appeal to those looking for a little change in the current meta.
January 17, 2013 23:24 by Jeremy
Recently, a consumer sent in a picture of one of our very own Powerpack 600 products being used. As you can see for yourself, he is making use of all three AC outlets at the same time! And while not currently being used, the jumper cables are definitely present in the photo as well.
Many customers have been asking: how long does the powerpack last? The answer varies, depending on the amount of accessories you're using and how much power they consume. For example, if one were to plug in a television that takes 100 watts to run, the portable power supply would likely last shorter than if you were only charging your cell phone or laptop. Also factor in that this powerpack battery can be drained from its own devices as well, such as the built-in flashlight and radio.
For more information on how long this backup power supply will last, consult your accessories' user manuals to calculate the wattage consumed, and compare it to the power ratings of the Powerpack 600.
And if you, just like our consumer pictured above, are in need of a powerpack battery and charger, then be sure to view our wide range of portable power accessories to handle your emergency power needs. You can also view our video tutorial on the Powerpack 600 below.
January 11, 2013 00:08 by Jeremy
It seems CES has created a new category this year named "Wearable Tech," which features, you guessed it, technology that you can wear. This has come in the form of mostly wrist accessories; whether they tell time or measure your heart rate, however, depends on the product.
One of the more popular items is the Pebble Watch, claiming itself to be the "first watch built for the 21st century." Funded through Kickstarter, this smart-watch will sync to your phone and provide a multitude of functions, from displaying messages and caller information, to custom alerts. Depending on the app that you use, the Pebble Watch can even function as a bike computer (to display distance traveled or change songs playing on your phone) or a golf rangefinder. Pre-orders are available now in 5 different colors for $150.
Other watches are a little more health-oriented, however. The Basis Band, for example, serves as a sleep tracking and heart monitor. On top of measuring your blood flow and skin temperature, it can also take logs of how many steps you've taken and calories you've burned, all while keeping the simple functionality of telling you the time of day.
To see more products like these, check out CNET's video recap of the Wearable Tech category.
Sources: CNETtv, Pebble, Basis
January 10, 2013 20:09 by Jeremy
What has tons of batteries and chargers available, and is currently present at CES? eBatts, of course! We're roaming the halls of Las Vegas, seeing what fancy new gadgets are coming out from the woodworks.
What caught our eye on this particular morning, you ask? Not one tablet, but four! Archos has introduced their Titanium series, consisting of the Archos 70 (7-inch), 80 (8-inch), 101 (10.1-inch) and 97 (9.7-inch). Each tablet will tout a 1.6Ghz quad-core processor, and will range from $119 to $250 depending on which size you get. Fairly good pricing, considering what you're getting.
If you lean towards Windows-products, don't feel left out - CES has already seen some intense Windows 8 tablets snatching the eyes of gadgeteers-on-the-go. For those that believe bigger is better, Vizio's 11.6-inch aptly-named Tablet PC will be running a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1080p screen. Also in the running for new 11" tablets are Gigabyte's S1185 (for consumers) and S1082 (for businessfolk).
Of course, you could be entirely different and aim for a slider, courtesy of MSI. The Slider S20 was actually seen even before CES began (having been seen at Computex last year), but nonetheless impresses with its admirable specs: 11.6-inch 1080p screen, i5 processor, USB 3.0 and 720p front-facing camera.
CES isn't over just yet, though, so perhaps we'll see even more of these portable inventions!
Sources: engadget (Archos) (Vizio) (Gigabyte) (MSI)