Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh My! What Happened to the Comments?

Photo by Search Engine People Blog
UPDATE:  Old comments have been imported successfully.

You might have noticed that all the comments on this site have been wiped.  First let me apologize for doing so.  Your comments are important to me and they were not wiped because they weren't important.  They were wiped because I needed to upgrade the commenting system on this blog.

While Blogger is a great and free platform to setup a blog, it does have some aspects that need a lot of work.  One of those aspects is the default commenting system.  Basically that system sucks.

My biggest and your biggest gripe has been that the system had no way to reply to other people's comments.  It was starting to become very frustrating for users who wanted to start a threaded conversation about a post.  It was also very difficult for me to reply to folks in a way that was understandable to all.

For those reasons I decided to upgrade the commenting system to the Disqus platform.  Disqus has all the features you have been asking for.  Users are now able to reply to other's comments and they are also able to like or dislike other comments.  In addition to those features you can also login and comment from a variety of services including Twitter, Yahoo, and OpenID.

This new platform will make it easier for your voice to be heard on TBone's Mind and also easier for all of you and myself to interact with one another.  Let me know what you think of the new system in the comments below.

PS - I am working on importing the old comments.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

TBone's Holiday Gift List - Tablets and eReaders

Photo by mmlolek

Over the next couple days running up to whichever holiday you happen to celebrate, I will release a new post concentrating on a specific category of gifts with products that I recommend.

In each section I will be limiting the amount of products I recommend to only a select few.  I only recommend products that I own, have used, or have significant knowledge about.  Even though I am recommending these products, I still encourage you to shop around and pick gifts that fit your needs and are within your budget.

If you chose to purchase any of these gifts, then you can click on the link and purchase through Amazon.  I have written before on my thoughts about Amazon and I still think they are one of the best option out there to get the products you need for a great price.  Also if you purchase any of the products using the links provided below, then I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price, which will go into making TBone's Mind a better blog for all to enjoy.

Click the link to see the products that are selected for this post's category.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

TBone's Holiday Gift List - Cameras (Photo and Video)

Photo by mmlolek

Today I am kicking off my first section of my holiday gift guide.  Over the next couple days running up to whichever holiday you happen to celebrate, I will release a new post concentrating on a specific category of gifts with products that I recommend.

In each section I will be limiting the amount of products I recommend to only a select few.  I only recommend products that I own, have used, or have significant knowledge about.  Even though I am recommending these products, I still encourage you to shop around and pick gifts that fit your needs and are within your budget.

If you chose to purchase any of these gifts, then you can click on the link and purchase through Amazon.  I have written before on my thoughts about Amazon and I still think they are one of the best option out there to get the products you need for a great price.  Also if you purchase any of the products using the links provided below, then I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price, which will go into making TBone's Mind a better blog for all to enjoy.

Click the link to see the products that are selected for this post's category.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Verizon Reveals 4G LTE Launch Details - 5 Things You Need to Consider

Verizon announced their launch details (finally) for their 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) data service today.  While there weren't any surprises, it did finally deliver what most people wanted to know, the date and pricing.   This news is certainly exciting, but should you go out and buy a new 4G LTE device this weekend?  Click the link below to find out.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How OnLive Can Be a Success

Photo from centralasian
There hasn't been a new contender in the gaming console market in a long time.  It's a tough market to break into with the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony dominating the market for years.  But recently a new company has emerged with a home console that takes a vastly different approach then the big three.

This company is OnLive and they made a pretty big splash with their idea back at the 2009 Game Developer Conference.  They have already released their gaming service on the PC and Mac, but does their home console strategy have what it takes to succeed?  Click the link to read what I think OnLive needs to do in order for their home console to be a success.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Photo by floodllama
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my US readers out there.  Today I give thanks to my beautiful wife, my family and my friends.  Oh, and also all the lovely technology, gadgets and video games that exist.  What are you guys thankful for?

To all of my international readers, it might not be Thanksgiving for you today, but I hope you all have a enjoyable day too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Worthwhile Black Friday Deals

Image Source tshein
Black Friday is upon us and all retailers are going to be fighting for your hard earned cash.  Most years people camp out the night before and wait in long lines in the cold weather.  I am sure this year will be no different.

Now I personally don't go and camp out in the long lines the night before.  If there is a deal I am interested in, I take my chances that I might be able to get it during the day.  I just do not think that there are any deals that are really worth all the trouble to ensure that you get it.  But I know that I am the minority here, and most folks enjoy Black Friday.  So I have complied a list of products that I recommend and that have good deals.  Hit the link to check out the list

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Participate in the TBone's Mind Community

Image from Scott M
One of the main reasons I started this blog was because I wanted to have a place where I could go and discuss my thought's on technology with others.  Not just discuss tech news and announcements, but also discuss industry trends and changes that should take place in the technology we all love. 

Creating and maintaing an online community is one of my success goals for TBone's Mind.  The only way I will be able to achieve that goal is with your help.

At the end of each post is an area for folks to comment.  I encourage everyone who comes to this site to leave a comment on a post that interests them.  If you have a question, please feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer.  Or if you know the answer to someone else's question, then please feel free to answer.

We will all benefit from having different folks give their insight and perspective on topics.  Many of the readers of TBone's Mind are from outside the US and can provide a completely different perspective then me.

All points of view are welcome in the comments.  If you do not agree with my opinion, feel free to let me know yours.  I will not remove anyone's comment unless it's derogatory or is what I consider spam.  So let your opinions flow and lets build a diverse online tech community.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    We shouldn't blame Apple, we should blame ourselves

    At 10 am EST you could hear the moans of disappointment across the internet.  People were outraged because Apple's major iTunes announcement was that The Beatles entire song catalog was now available on iTunes.  There was no announcement of iTunes Live Streaming, no cloud storage solution, no canceling of Ping, and no redesign on the hated iTunes 10 logo.  But I am here to tell you that the only people we can blame for this disappointment is ourselves.  Read on to find out why.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Facebook's Idea of Email

    Image from MaximumPC

    To no one's surprise, Facebook announced their new email/messaging service today.  If you have no idea what I am talking about then stop right now and read this post first.  If you do know what I am talking about then continue on past the break to see if the rumors were true and if anything unexpected was announced.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    No One is Going to Poke Facebook Email

    On Friday the internet exploded with news that Facebook is going to reveal their new email service, that some have called a gmail killer, tomorrow.  Not much is known about this new service and what exactly Facebook has planned, but some seem to think that Gmail is doomed.  We won't know for sure until after the event on tomorrow, but I am here to tell you that Gmail and other mail services have nothing to worry about.  Click the read link below to find out why.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    What Twitter Can Do For Your Blog

    I admit I was a little slow to get on the Twitter bandwagon.  As a technology lover I usually jump all over new things, but I just didn't feel an urge to join Twitter.  Maybe it was because Twitter was so popular and was everywhere in the media, or maybe it was because I just didn't get the point.  But now that I started blogging, I am starting to understand the power of Twitter.  I am also starting to understand that Twitter has a bit of a learning curve.  Click the read link to find out what Twitter can do for your blog.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Why Can't we Print From Our Smart Phones?

    Image credit: Databazaar blog
    Now I know there are apps you can buy on the iOS App Store and in the Android Marketplace that will let you print from your phone, but why isn't it built into the operating system itself?  If smart phones are the next phase in evolution for computers, it should be a standard function.

    Now honestly I admit, the need for me to print something from my phone doesn't popup very often, but when it does it becomes an issue.  Not enough of an issue to buy an app, but enough to make me wonder why this hasn't been solved by now.  I do have some theories why I think this is a feature that hasn't become a standard yet.  Hit the read link to see what they are.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    7 Reasons Why Microsoft's Kinect Will Fail

    Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect?  I give it less then a year.  Once the initial launch craze dies down we won't see another positive news story about it until Xbox owners rejoice when Microsoft announces it will stop supporting Kinect.  At least we will have a couple of months of hilarious Kinect injury videos until that happens.

    Welcome to the second post in my series of why Kinect will succeed or fail.  In this post I will discuss seven reasons why I think Xbox 360 Kinect will fail.  If you want to read the seven reason why I think it will succeed then click here.  To read the seven reasons why it will fail, click the read link below.

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    7 Reasons Why Microsoft's Kinect Will Succeed

    Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect will be a smashing success.  In one years time we will forget about the PlayStation Move and Nintendo's Wii will be stumbling to figure out how to make the next Wii to reclaim the success they once had.  Why do I say this?  Because Kinect is advanced motion technology that doesn't require silly glowing orbs to work.

    Ok that might be a strong statement, but in my first of two posts I will discuss 7 reasons why I think Microsoft's Kinect will be a success.  I will shortly follow this with 7 reasons why I think it will fail, but for now click the link to see my 7 success reasons.

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    This Helped Me Buy a Good Mattress

    Not my actual room or mattress

    So I know this is a bit off topic and doesn't really fall into the category of technology, but I think it was helpful and I want to pass it on.

    My wife and I just got our mattress delivered today, and we are pretty happy with our selection.  If you have ever bought a mattress you should already know this, but companies make it as complicated as possible to compare mattress brands.  They basically have a different mattress name for each store they supply to, so there is not an easy way to compare.  Oh, and they do this on purpose, those bastards.

    Thankfully one of the blogs I read, Get Rich Slowly, has a great post on buying a mattress.  Some of you might have read this info before, but this is the most consolidated info source I could find.  The writer walks through brands, terminology, what to look for in a mattress, stores, and other things.  It was very helpful to us and hopefully it will help you guys.  Check the link below.

    How to Buy a Mattress

    P.S. - Get Rich Slowly is a great personal finance blog.  I read it frequently and it has helped me out a lot over the years.  J.D. Roth runs a great blog over there.

    Save Money Everyday with Amazon Deals of the Day

    Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.
    Image from

    Amazon has a great site feature which is well publicized but honestly took me years to discover.  Ever since I have discovered it I have been able to score some of the items I have wanted for great prices.  It has honestly changed they I shop for items on the web.  Now I don't use it to buy things everyday, but I do check it everyday to see if something I want is featured and on sale for a good price.  The feature is called Amazon Gold Box Deals.

    The easiest way to check out the current deals is to look on my own page.  For your convenience I have included the Amazon Daily Deals widget on the right side of my page.  To be honest this is a quick and consolidated way to get access to all the daily Gold Box deals on Amazon.  finance

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    XBOX 360 Kinect Review Round-Up

    Review Round-Ups are a collection of reviews for a product from sites that I read before I decide on going ahead with the purchase or not.


    • Reviews seem generally mixed.
    • You will need a lot of space to use Kinect.  Most sites noted you need at least 6 ft for single player games, and 9 ft for multiplayer local games.
    • Gotta move those coffee tables so they are not in front of the TV, otherwise Kinect won't be able to see your feet
    • Most sites said the voice commands seemed to work really well, but current implementation is limited
    • Navigating the XBOX Dashboard with Kinect (read: using hand motions) is limited and needs work
    • Almost everyone was pretty excited about the future potential of the product.  Microsoft just needs to work out some bugs and expand functionality.
    • Launch lineup of Kinect games is pretty weak with the pack-in Kinect Adventures and the sold separately Dance Central being the stand outs. 

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Facebook's Mobile Event was a Snooze Fest

    Image from Engadget
    Most people were thinking that today's Facebook Mobile event would finally reveal the speculated Facebook phone.   Well, it did not.  In fact Mark Zuckerberg flat out said they would not be making a phone.  Instead he said that Facebook was a software company and that they would be concentrating on a software mobile platform.  As you can imagine, this lead to a pretty boring press event.  But there was one thing that caught my interest, hit the read more button below to see what that was.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Why Aren't We Able to Vote Online Yet?

    For those of you not aware, today was voting day for midterm elections.  I am sure most of you voted today, but I am gonna be honest, I did not.  Why?  It's not because I am one of those people that doesn't believe in voting.  I am proud that I have the right to vote, and believe if you don't vote then you lose your right to complain.  But the actual process of voting needs to move into the 21st century.

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    With the iPad and New MacBook Air, is Apple Confused? Cause I Am.

    Honestly I am surprised no one has really talked about this yet.  When Apple first announced the iPad, they made the argument that the user needs three product categories, a phone, a laptop, and something in the middle.  That something they said was the iPad.  Bigger screen and more horsepower than the iPhone, made especially to consume content.

    The MacBook is meant to be used to create content since they have desktop like processors, dedicated graphics cards, and full size keyboards with multi-touch track pads.  But the new MacBook Airs have all  of those things too, or at least some version of them.  They also have many of the same features of an iPad like a long battery life/standby time, instant on from suspend state, and portability.  So where do the new MacBook Airs fit?

    I don't think Apple is trying to create a new fourth category of device, but it doesn't really fit in the iPad or MacBook category.   Most people would just say that it fits in the netbook category, and I kind of agree with them, but Apple has said many times they don't see the point of netbooks.  So who is Apple trying to target?  Is this just what they think a laptop should really be? I think the answer to that question is yes.

    The MacBook Air is just a temporary placeholder for what all MacBooks will be once the chipsets and batteries get small enough.  For the time being I think they are just targeting the netbook crowd; Steve Jobs just never wants to go back on previous statements that he has made.  So the real question is, do you see a need for the MacBook today?  Or will you just rather have a full featured laptop and an iPad?

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Review: Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

    Review: Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

    Kotaku reviews the latest DLC for Red Dead Redemption.  I am a big fan of how Kotaku does reviews; they review the experience instead of relying on assigning a score.  I hope to use a similar approach when I start reviewing games.  But for now check it out.

    The PlayStation Phone -- Engadget

    The PlayStation Phone -- Engadget

    I know I am a little late on this, but Engadget broke a major story about details of the Sony Playstation phone earlier in the week. Seems like a mix of a PSP Go and a Sony Xperia phone. Also of note is the touch sensitive strip which is supposed to mimic dual analog sticks. I will be writing a post later on to discuss my thoughts on the subject.

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Barnes & Nobles Announce The Nook Color: My Thoughts

    Image from Barnes & Noble

    Today Barnes & Noble held an event in their Union Square store in New York City.  At that event they announced their new version of the Nook call the Nook Color.  Here is a quick summary of the specs and features:

    • 7" IPS LCD Touch Screen
    • 1024 x 600 screen resoltuion with support for 16 million colors
    • Screen lamination film to prevent glare on the screen
    • Weighs 15.8 ounces
    • Built in WiFi (b/g/n), no support for 3G
    • 8 GB of storage with further expansion through microSD cards
    • Android OS, though no confirmation on version and no access to Android Marketplace
    • 8 hours of battery life with WiFi turned off
    • Support of previous Nook features like LendMe
    • MSRP $249
    • Launches on or around Nov. 19th


    I was never a big fan of the original Nook.  While I thought the concept to have a small touch screen to support a larger e-ink screen was great, it was never implemented well on the Nook.  The touch screen interface was hard to use and overall performance of the device was not good.  I can understand why Barnes & Noble would go for a completely new design.

    I think the new device looks slick. I think the dimensions fall right in the sweet spot.  The screen size and less than 1 lbs weight makes it perfect for one handed reading.  I don't think not having 3G is a big deal, I would rather have the cost savings then the added radio for a feature I would rarely use.  I think storage is plentiful and it's nice they give folks the option to expand and load music/video on a microSD card.  I wish they would release more info on the chip set being used, cause initial hands on reports have indicated that the device is sluggish.  But that could be related to a software issue.

    I think its a big benefit that they still build their software on top of Android.  However not having access to the Android Marketplace stinks; that's one of the best features of Android.  The new support for color books, magazines, and newspapers is a big add for the Nook.  Its something the Kindle does not have, but time will tell if the implementation is any better then the iPad.

    I still think the Nook's biggest problem is its competitors.  Amazon sells a great single focus device for a much lower price with the newer Kindles.  The iPad has much of the same features and content partners as the Nook, but has a better battery life.  The iPad also supports both the Barnes & Noble book store (though early indications are they will not sell magazines and newspapers for the iPad) and the Kindle book store.  I will reserve final judgment until the device is released and I can get some hands on time with it, but unless you have a love for Barnes & Noble, it might be tough to get excited for the Nook Color.

    Amazon Associates Program Associates Central
    Image from

    I want to be upfront about one of the ways I generate revenue on this blog.  I am part of the Amazon Associates program.


    The program is an affiliate program that allows website owners to partner with Amazon so they can link directly to products being sold on  Amazon gets product marketing by having products either displayed or linked to on a variety of different sites.  In return for this Amazon gives the site owner a percentage of the sales that are generated from users that buy products from the links on those sites.


    Well I am sure the first thing that popped in your head was to make money.  And that is true, it is one of the possible revenue streams for my site.  But I chose Amazon because I like Amazon and I use it frequently.  I think they have a great selection of products, and more importantly they competitively price their products.   Amazon consistently has the lowest prices for products that I buy, and they also have great deals and specials.  It is also my first choice to buy video games because of these deals and specials; I will write more about this in an upcoming post.


    I told all of you because I wanted to be open and honest.  I also wanted to emphasize that I will only be linking to products that I am featuring or recommending.  I won't be adding fluff posts just because I want to make a buck.  I think the links will be able to provide you the opportunity to check out prices from a competivie retailer and also give you the chance to check out some user reviews of the product.  If at any time you have concerns or questions about my use of the program, just feel free to let me know.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Sony Google TV Blu-ray Player Hands On

    I stopped by my local Sony Style store yesterday to checkout the Google TV products.  I am pretty excited for Google TV so I was expecting their store display units to be packed with people, they were not.  I was happy about that though since I wanted to spend some serious time with Sony's Blu-ray Google TV player.

    For those unaware of what Google TV is, click on this link for some information and videos from Google.


    The unit was a lot bigger then I was expecting.  While not as tall as a PS3, the footprint looked bigger to me.  It is a nice looking piece of hardware.  The sides are wrapped in glossy white plastic, and the top is covered with blue reflective plastic.  I know in pictures it looks like the top is black, but in person it has a pretty deep blue tint to it.

     The front of the box has a USB port, a power/eject button, and a connect button which is used to reconnect the remote as far as I can tell.  The back has your standard ports that you would expect.  Two HDMIs (one in, one out), optical out for audio, ethernet, IR blaster, and three USB ports.  The large fan that other sites have talked about is there.  You  have to remember though this is closer to a home theater PC than it is a blu-ray player.  It also has WiFi built in.

    The much talked about remote was actually a lot more comfortable then I would have thought.  In a bit of irony it actually feels like an xbox 360 controller, just much lighter.  While the remote is comfortable to hold, it's an absolute mess to use.  While the QWERTY keyboard isn't so bad, its still hard to type something without looking down at the pad.  There are way to many buttons on it, and its hard to understand what they all do.  You spend most of your time in the dark grey area using the two directional pads.  The left pad is your standard four way directional pad with an ok button to select things in the middle.  The right pad is actually an optical touch pad.  Around the touch pad are your standard android buttons with the exception of search; this has been replaced with the Dual View toggle, more on that later.

    The touch pas was responsive, but something i was surprised by is you use this to navigate almost everything.  The left directional pad doesn't really do much.  When using the touch pad, the screen doesn't not scroll automatically when you reach a screen edge.  You actually have to hold down the scroll button on the top of the controller to enable scroll.  I think this was a smart design decision given the frustration users might have when trying to select something near an edge.  The only other thing I found odd was the placement of the search button.  For a product that is based on a Google platform and has search as one of its main features you would think the search button would be front and center.  Instead, it is at the bottom of the controller next to the space bar.


    I didn't capture any pics of the software because I think you can can a good idea of the look and feel of the interface on Google's site.  Instead I will just give you my impressions of the software.  I thought the performance of the box was pretty good.  I wouldn't call it snappy, but I would say it is on par with the PS3 XMB.  The only real difference between the TV with Google TV and the blu-ray player is the extra app added to watch blu-ray movies.  All the built in apps work just like you would expect.  Chrome is just like chrome on the any PC or mac.  Netflix looks and works like it does on all the other platforms it is on.  The apps really do have an android feel to them, which is expected given that Google TV is built on android.

    The search feature is very helpful.  I tried generic search terms and got back what I was expecting.  For example I searched football and got back all the current college games that were on DirectTV along with the NFL channel.  The only problem I had was that I couldn't get any HD channels to return back.  Though this is most likely do to how the store had DirectTV setup and not the box's fault.   I should note  though that I did have trouble getting back to live TV.  It is easy to launch into the Google TV menu, but it was pretty hard to return back to live TV.  I couldn't get the back button to do it and for some reason the live TV button didn't work all of the time for me.

    The only other issue I had was getting the Dual View to work.  Dual view is supposed to allow the user to view the Google TV software and live TV in picture-in-picture, but I kept getting an error on the blu-ray box.  It seemed to work fine on the TV sets, but every time I tried pressing the Dual View button on the remote I got an error.  I tried this on two different boxes and got the same error on both.


    I walked into to store pretty excited about GoogleTV.  I left the store more excited about the future of the platform then its current state.  I think once they open the platform up to app developers and once Google works out issues with network TV and Hulu then it could really take off.  But at $399.00 its a bit hard to suggest given that it is basically a standard blu-ray player with some added software enhancements.  Sony will either have to lower the price, or Google will have to update the platform more to make it worth it.

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    New 11.6" MacBook Air Shutdown Time

    I was also able to capture a video of the shutdown time.  This was actually a lot faster then I was expecting.    

    New 11.6" MacBook Air Boot Up

    Just got back from the Apple store and was able to play around with the new 11.6" MacBook Air.  I captured a video of the boot up sequence and also show putting it into sleep state and then waking it up.  As you can see the boot up is fast, but I was expecting faster.  It is a very nice looking machine though, small and light.

    Things Are Changing

    Since I am just starting out with this blog, you will notice that the look and feel of the site will be changing over the next few weeks (and hopefully for the better).  I am not the best with color choices, so if things start to really look ugly just let me know.


    I created this blog as a one stop shop for all of my interests.  The most common things discussed will be technology, gadgets, video games,  and movies.  But I will also be throwing in some random things like roller coasters, amusements parks, and some personal finance topics.

    Things will be kept pretty informal.  I plan to try and write some feature pieces that revolve around a specific topic and and will also have posts that chronicle my time with a specific product or experience.  I will of course have some quick posts on things in the middle to keep you coming back for more.

    Please feel free to comment on posts, but try to keep things on topic when commenting.  I am also open to feedback and questions so feel free to get in touch with me.  I hope you enjoy my blog and keep coming back for more!