Make all of the gadget lovers in your life happy this year
Overview: This is the big list of Electronics and Gadgets Christmas gift suggestions. Find the perfect Christmas present for any techie, geek, or nerd in a variety of categories in every price range.
Why do I have to take a full day off from work and sit in my house while some goon drills holes through my new oak floors, freshly painted walls and staples an ugly white cable along my baseboards? All this to get a video signal from the hole in my baseball wall to my TVs a mere 10 to 20 feet away.
He went on to gush about how incredible his majesty at Apple has made it. The new iTV is supposed to be the biggest game changer in the living room since the invention of the color television. He also says that it will spell the sudden “Death of Cable TV”.
First, let’s start with Kevin Rose’s credibility regarding Apple commentary and predictions.
Does anybody else see him as an overly biased Apple fanboy/appologist?
Wow, he got Copy and Paste and iPod Nano right. Only every single writer in the world was begging for this. I’m shocked that Apple decided to address their biggest feature omission. There is a leaked Apple product published every hour. Somebody is bound to get one right.
Will iTV OWN the Living Room?
First of all, there have been a handful of half-baked products fumbling around in this space for a while now. None of them have exactly distinguished themselves. I think that it will be the best attempt yet at a living room media center. That being said, Apple’s ridiculous Nazis Lawyers will probably cripple it into being not that awesome. That being said, I hope that it is cool enough to force Microsoft and Sony to kick their consoles into high gear.
Is iTV or Anyting Else Poised to KILL Cable TV?
Don’t be so fast to cut your cable bill. Who do you think you’re going to get your broadband from? That’s right, the Cable and Phone company. Maybe you will be able to do that, but your broadband bill will go up to $100/month. They own the TV and Internet, do you think that they are going to give up their cash cow and let you have it’s replacement for nothing? I live in the New York Metropolitan area and the three broadband options avaiable are FIOS, Cablevision (Optimum Online) and Comcast. Each of their standalone broadband products START at $50 per month. Then throw in the cost of an iTV ($99), iTunes downloads, Hulu Pro, Netflix, Amazon On-Demand, and other services and where are you? Right up around the price of Cable. Plus, you have to buy, configure, search for, and download this half-assed new TV replacement on your own. Yeah, my parents and their friends should all be super psyched to do all of that.
More likely, you will probably see them finally start to offer A La Carte channel purchasing.
Broadband Providers do not have the bandwidth to simultaneously stream American Idol to every house on your block in High Definition. Despite all of the articles that you read on these tech blogs, broadband companies will not have the necessary bandwidth for a while either. (Think 5 years or so.)
Ask yourself this: “Has a YouTube video stuttered or paused on my this week?” Exactly, and they’re the BEST at streaming video. And a lot of it is not in HD.
Despite everybody’s complaining, Cable, Sattelite, and Fiber TV actually works. You turn on the TV and pick from tons of channels of video that instantly and flawelessly flow into your house. If you turn on 5 TVs in your house, they still all work fine. Try that over broadband.
The devil you know. Everybody I know already has their TV solution in place. Most people don’t dump something that they know for something that they don’t know. Especially if the thing they already have pretty much works. Think about it: are your parents going to ditch cable for a media pc, Apple TV, Google TV, or Roku player? No, mine neither.
What Could Prove Me Wrong?
The one thing that could make this more feasible is if other providers get into the residential broadband delivery game.
Cell Phone Companies – Verizon and AT&T keep beefing up their 3G networks, but I’m thinking that they need to be more like 11G. Sprint could also be a player with their much ballyhooed and troubled WiMax rollout. Tmobile – nevermind.
Sattelite Providers – If these clowns ever figure out how to use their base of installed hardware to transmit realistic broadband signals up and down, they might be players.
Dark Horse Candidates
Teir 1 Internet Service Providers – There area a handful of companies that actually carry all of the internet traffic over long distances. Think of them as the Interstate Highways that deliver traffic between the neighborhoods that your ISP (Level 2 or lower) serves.
Here are the major players: AT&T, Cogent, Level3, NTT, Qwest, Savvis, SBC, Sprint, Verizon, and XO
Some of these player “could” trow up some sort of wireless towers on heavily populated network “end points” and deliver broadband to large groups of people. This is possible, but somewhat unlikely.
OVERVIEW: Comparison of 6 of the top Twitter apps for the iPhone. Echofon, Tweetdeck, Tweetie, Twitteriffic, Twittelator, and Hootsuite.
There are tons of Twitter applications for the iPhone. I took a look at 6 of the most popular ones to see which one is the true champion.
Here are the Twitter apps that I tested:
How I Tested
I installed all of the applications below on my iPhone and used them fairly heavily. Over the course of two weeks, I used one application as my only Twitter interaction for two straight days. I tried to test every situation that I could think of to see how well each application worked. I also took detailed notes on things that caught my eye as good, bad, or weird as they occurred.
Disclaimer: I have been using Twitteriffic Premium for several months and LOVE it. I think that my work on this blog demonstrates my passion for free software. So if my cheap ass springs for the most expensive app on the list, you should take note.
Echofon used to be called Twitterfon until Twitter’s copy write lawyers got involved. I tested the free, ad supported version of this client. I generally liked everything I saw. Reading, retweeting, creating of tweets all was very nice. Everything functioned exactly as I thought it should. If I had not already bought two of the premium apps on this list, I would definitely consider Echofon. iPhone App Store
Pros: “Nearby Tweets Map” is awesome! Instapaper Support. Smooth interface.
If you want to keep track of your Facebook and Twitter presence from the same app, than this is the one for you. I don’t love the interface. It seems like you’re always clicking left, scrolling down, swiping right, etc. It’s all over the place.
Tweetie 2 is constantly labeled as the “best twitter app for the iPhone”. Well, I’m just not sure at all. I constantly felt like I was clicking all over the place to get things done. I just doesn’t feel quite as smooth as I liked.
I wanted to love this one so badly. Mostly for the cool egg logo. Sadly, I’m just not that into it. When you see a tweet that you like which has a link in it, guess what? You can’t open the link! Done! not even close to good enough.
This is my absolute favorite of the whole bunch. I love how solid the interface is. Love how you can save tweeted web pages with Instapaper for later reading. Yes, it’s tied for the most expensive app in roundup, but if you use Twitter a lot, it is worth every penny.
Pros: Very smooth, clean interface. Everything works just like you expect it to.
Cons: No Nearby Tweets map feature
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
iPhone Twitter Application Feature Comparison
The following table breaks down some of the main features for all of the contestants.
Which Twitter Client Do You Use?
Show some support for your favorite Twitter App in the survey below.
As always, please leave your thoughts, questions, or feedback in the Comments section. Also, if you use a great Twitter app that is not listed here or is on a phone other than the iPhone, let’s hear about it.