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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for the ‘The Technologist’ Category

Technologist Tuesday: 4K to Stay

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

4k logo

Smartphones were around for a while before Apple brought us the iPhone.  What then happened to the Smartphone industry? It exploded.  Apple’s product became insanely popular and the competition began to mold new products around this newly energized Smartphone market.

When we look to the current market of Televisions, we see so many different kinds of TVs.  Most choices are easy to filter through:  LED vs. Plasma, Do I need built-in Wi-Fi for web apps? How big should I get…etc.   What about 4K? Should I buy a television with a 4K resolution?  For some, the price tag of a 4K TV will quickly answer that question.  Others may simply be asking why should they spend the money on a TV with a resolution that broadcasting companies haven’t yet embraced.

Here’s a quick 4K (Ultra HD) review:  When a 4K camcorder has recorded video and you watch it on your new Ultra HD TV, the resolution is 4 times higher than a 1080P television.  You have to see it.  The quality is amazing. The Abt demonstrations we have showing you 4K qualities will leave you in a frozen gaze.  When programming that wasn’t recorded with 4K cameras plays on your 4K TV, it will look better than a 1080P TV.   How much?  When you’re close to the screen (8-10ft) you’ll notice it.  What about content?

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Technologist Tuesday: Hurray for Comcast IMAP!

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

url

Do you have multiple devices to check your email?  Do you wish that when one device reads, deletes or moves a message that all your other devices automatically sync to these behaviors?  iCloud, Gmail & many Yahoo email customers already experience this.  Then again, many of you Comcast emailers that have just cleared an inbox of fifty messages off your Smartphone cringe at the fact that then you get in front of your computer; you have to do it all over again.

People that have Comcast email address are on POP email.  That means that when I email your comcast.net email address, a copy of that message goes to the server (checking your email on a browser) and every other device that has access to receive email on your account.  If you delete the message from your Smartphone, it still will show unread on your computer and tablet.  If you mark 100 messages as read from your computer, they’re still unread on your tablet and Smartphone.  Annoying isn’t it?  Comcast has finally caught up to all the big boys.  Just go to https://xcsignup.comcast.net/onboardingapps/imap, enter your Comcast email address and password.  24 hrs later (they say, my transition took about 10 hrs) you’re POP services were transferred to Comcast’s new IMAP servers.

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Technologist Tuesday: Technology Forecast

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

Welcome to the Abt Electronics technology forecast.  I’m your Technologist, Josh Davis.  There’s lots of change in the air so let’s get to it.  We’ve got a massive eruption of new Google product and software on its way from Mountain View, CA.  The new OS 4.4 Kit Kat will really hit the Smartphone and tablet industries hard.  You’ll also see the excitement of the new LG Nexus 5 Smartphone & Asus Nexus 10 Tablet last all throughout the week and into Tuesday.

Come Tuesday we’ll have a 99% chance of a new iPad series announced alongside the new Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks  and maybe even a sprinkling of new Macs.  The fog Apple’s announcement cast should clear just in time for those that bought their just released Microsoft Surface 2 & Surface 2 Pro tablets.  However, just when you think this technology typhoon is going to give, Nikon’s new D610 and Asus’s Transformer Book T100 are going to appear all throughout the country followed by a seriously needed and much anticipated update to Windows 8.  You can expect to see a great deal of sunshine and smiling faces when Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 (free for Windows 8 users) brings backs millions of start buttons on PCs across the country.  Right when windows users feel the warmth of familiarity, a front of new Windows hardware will sweep across the nation.  A slew of Nokia & other company Windows phones and tablets will be on all our radars.

And now, your extended forecast: November should start off with heavy amounts of preorder customers receiving their new Fitbit Force bands, HTC One Max & LG’s new G2 Smartphones.  Still within early November, Apple’s new products will temporarily flood the market followed by frustrating availability conditions prior to holidays and possibly lasting into January.  Meanwhile, Microsoft’s new Xbox One and Sony’s new PlayStation 4 will be the talk of the town.  These systems haven’t seen a refresh for 7-8 years!  We can all most definitely expect large scale parental fighting spread like wildfire across the US deep into the holiday shopping season.

You’re umbrellas are going to have to be made out of cash to weather this storm.

Good Luck,

The Technologist

Technologist tuesday- iPad Rumor Roundup

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

To make sure you’re up to date, here’s a current iPad overview:

Today’s full size iPad is known as the 4th generation iPad.  It is the only Apple product to feature the Oct. 2012 A6X processor.  This processor has twice the speed and twice the graphics as its predecessor the A5X (iPad 3rd Generation).  These iPads hit our shelves November 2012.  The iPad 4th generation has a 9.7” screen and comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB & 128GB capacities. They are due for an upgrade.

When these full size iPads came out, a new iPad was also launched:  The iPad Mini.  The iPad Mini features the A5 processor (same as the new iPod Touch).  The iPad Mini has a 7.9” screen and comes in 16GB, 32GB & 64GB capacities.  They are also due for an upgrade.

What should we expect these upgrades to be?

No one ever really knows what Apple will unveil.  Apple has been criticized of quickly losing themselves as the mainstream, innovative leader they became.  That’s debatable.  There’s no doubt that Apple’s 2013 business year hasn’t exactly shocked the consumer electronics world with a new successful product line or major update (yet).  However, there’s one thing that Apple has always done well.  They know how to keep a secret.   The following information is a result of scouring Apple rumor websites and looking to the internet to shed some light on what we should expect to see in the next week or so.

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Behind the Abt Curtain!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

By reading this I’m confident that you know the store Abt.  You may also know that we’re one of the largest independent single-store appliance and electronics retailers in the country. Our history on our site also breaks down how we were founded and who we’ve become.  Here are 15 things we don’t talk about:

1) Bob Taylor and the Amazing Woodshop

abt woodshop

Abt is a store that’s always changing.  We’re always building.  One thing about Abt is that we try and keep everything under one roof.  We staff people that can sell, support, service & deliver everything we offer.  Behind the curtain, we act the same way.  We have our own maintenance shop (we call “the woodshop).  This staff is made up of a crew skilled to fix or build just about anything in our store or on our grounds.  To manage this team of skilled craftsmen, Bob Taylor sits at the helm.  The woodshop he runs is second to none.  There’s even a dedicated part of our warehouse that’s stocked like an aisle of building supplies store.  There’s really nothing this department can’t do.  They can take on just about any project.  The strength of this department is almost as fascinating as the strength of Bob Taylor’s Arms.  He has a glorious history of not only dominating any opponent in an arm wrestling competition, but most of these battles somehow have ended with some surface of glass shattering.

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Technologist Tuesday: Consumer Cloud

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

Ironically, the sources of all cloud-based services are giant data centers plastered to the Earth.  However, the obvious “cloud” element to these services resides in their wireless capabilities.  Do you own an iPhone, Android or Windows phone? Do you have important information stored on your home computers?  If you do, Apple, Google or Microsoft and many cloud based backup companies offer you a grocery list of cloud services.  These cloud-based services have come a long way.  Massive updates in the last few months have really pushed them to new limits.  Knowing your Smartphone’s cloud based service options and picking out a cloud based home backup service are two good simple ways to take advantage of the mighty cloud.

Smartphone Cloud Service breakdown(Apple/Microsoft /Google)

Apple’s iCloud Core Services: 

icloud

 

The Good:

  • Photo Stream is an amazing and fully automated solution for ensuring your pictures easily flow among all devices and can be shared.  Also, the sharing quality is better than most big software photo companies.
  • Contacts, Calendars, Notes, Reminders & your iCloud.com Email sync seamlessly throughout your Apple hardware

The Bad:

  • If you’re Apple ID doesn’t end in “icloud.com” then you’ll find some limitations to this service.  Notes & Mail primarily (however, it’s usually not a big deal as there are ways around it)
  • Also, This system is just fantastic if you have all Mac product.  Throw a PC with Outlook into the equation and it starts to get sloppy

The Ugly:

  • When Apple turned “Mobile Me” into “iCloud” they got rid of idisk.  So now, Unlike Google’s Drive or Microsofts Skydrive, Apple’s data hides inside it’s apps.  Word docs hide inside Pages, Excel files hide inside Numbers, Powerpoint presentations hide inside Keynote and PDF files hide inside iBooks.  Want to save something other than that in your 5GB of storage?  Too bad.  Want to organize your docs into nice categorizing folders?  Think again.
  • 5GB Free total storage for below services
  • Backup:  Cloud based backup system for iOS devices
  • Mail, Contacts, Notes, Reminders & Calendar syncing: affirmative
  • Find My iPhone: Cloud based app to find, message, lock or wipe iOS device(s)
  • Pages, Numbers & Keynote: Cloud based apps similar to Word, Excel & Powerpoint.  Each App is also going to store its corresponding file types. Exa:  you can store your word docs inside the app Pages.
  • My Photo Stream&Shared Photo Stream: Automatic Photo syncing cloud service

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Technologist Tuesday: iPhone 5S Camera: Focus Beyond Hardware

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

iphone 5s camera

One of the most touted iPhone 5s improvements Apple discussed was its amazing new camera.  The new 64-bit A7 brain behind the camera and dual LED smart flash are a first of their kind.  They stressed the importance of the camera’s new 15% larger image sensor & increased f/2.2 Aperture.  It’s these core elements that significantly affect the quality of a smart phones image.  I took a look at the many phone cameras out there and compiled some info.  Compare Apple’s new iPhone 5S to the HTC One (one of the best camera phones made) that came out 6 months ago.  HTC has not only a higher max aperture but already features the same size image sensor and even adds optical image stabilization.  Nokia’s Lumia 1020 not only has an insane 41MP camera, but it’s image sensor is double the iPhone 5S!  It’s very clear that these Apple improvements to the camera are significant compared to previous iPhone models.  Although, it’s also clear that compared to the industry, this technology is already getting stale.

Comparison

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Technologist Tuesday-Football Tech Talk

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

1)      Camera Technology:  Have you seen the techie fight scenes when two rivals are flying toward each other in slow motion and then the camera begins to circle around them?  Well, Thanks to Replay Technologies’ proprietary freeD technology, you’ll see this on the field.  In fact, you may have already seen it in the 2012 Olympics, 2012 PGA Championship and Yankee Games.   If you’re a Cowboy fan or a fan of an NFL team that will visit Arlington Texas’ At&t Stadium, then be excited when a review is needed.  There are 12 Cameras stationed on both ends of that field.  They will be able to provide some pretty serious reviews from the end zone to the 20 yard line.  They use Teledyne Dalsa Falcon 2 cameras that are all synchronized to record a moment from all different angles.  The freeD technology considers this group of 12 4K equivalent cameras acting as one.  The result is the sci-fi ability to re-position your view in ways the traditional cameras won’t.  The data from the cameras courses into a brain room where you have the right staff ready to provide you a quick replay that will definitely impress you.  I polled Abt employees to see if anyone witnessed some freeD reviews in Sunday night’s Cowboys vs. Giants game.  Some of those I asked said they watched some of the game and none witnessed any freeD action.  It would be nice if they used this technology all throughout the game instead of the limited review moments.  https://vimeo.com/66628788     http://vimeo.com/73813078

2)      Protection Technology:  We used to sell Tech21 iPhone & iPad cases.  They use D3O material inside their products.  They were even cool enough to send us a vat of raw D30.  We had a blast.  We wrapped up our thumb and took a hammer to it (just like their videos) and to our amazement, it worked!  This gooey orange stuff is made of molecules that, upon shock, lock together.  They absorb the impact and spread the shock across the D3O.  Today, over 20 sporting good brands have partnered with D3o Technology.  One of these brands, All-Star, already sells d3o integrated Girdles, Shoulder Protective Base Layers, Crash Pads for forearms and Lineman Gloves.  Schutt Sports just created the first sport helmets lined with d3o for baseball and softball.  Perhaps football helmets are next?  D3o goo  On a related note, Professor Vijay Gupta from UCLA has been getting a lot of attention for his shock absorbing polymer.  Hope these scientists entered the NFL Head Health Challenge II.  This NFL Sponsored program is awarding millions of dollars to those that participate in this quest to reduce brain injuries.  Meanwhile, I wish the 2013 NFL season the best of luck handling the average 1600lb force the average tackle brings.

3)      3D TV!: Eye popping amazing graphics flying at your face and changing the way you experience the big game is…….not going to happen (yet).  ESPN 3D channel is apparently shutting down by the end of the year.  Don’t worry though; our 3D favorite Avatar has a sequel that’ll hit the theaters in 2016.   By then we’ll probably have enjoyed a 3d Super bowl.  I’m sure the future will help to ease the burdens associated with broadcasting a live 3D event. Once technology gets us over that hurdle, we’ll see more 3D TV broadcasts.  Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy some really cool 3D movies.

4)      LASERS!  Laser projected First Down lines? Seen at the stadium or on TV could be a laser projected line instead of the old school chain measurement.  NFL still not sure if this is going to be a reality.  Seemed to be a hot topic in January 2013 and suddenly, no one is talking about it.  First Down Laser Systems, LLC seems to  have a positive attitude.  I can hear the sportscaster now, “Ooooh, looks like a close one Roger…Oh Yea!  They’re firing up the lasers!”

nfl lasers

5)      Microsoft & NFL: New Xbox One delivers us a new way to watch the game?  Microsoft and the NFL struck a deal that enables Microsoft to get hands on with how people enjoy the game.  I have a feeling that this will be most important to fantasy football fans.  We’ll see. It does look very cool.

nfl xbox 1

6)      Full Field View:  64:9 720P Ultra-Wide Cameras that can record the entire field at once?  Can you image hanging’ out a bar to watch your favorite NFL team play and instead of a big screen TV there’s a wall of 4 monster HD TVs?  Your team’s end zone is off on the TV on the left and on the 4th TV to the right is the End zone of your opponent.   As silly as that may seem, I’d visit that bar at least once.  Panasonic’s already built this recording beast.

full field view

Da Bears!

-The Technologist

Technologist Tuesday: LED Motion Processing

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

I asked veteran Abt salesman Shahab Astabraghpour “LED or Plasma?”  He said, “Plasma.” Then he said the following whilst twirling his mustache: “Of the fish in Technology Sea, the plasma is the Megalodon.” I agreed.  When I bought my TV 3 years ago I too chose Plasma.  If I was in the market now, I’d go plasma again as OLED is simply too much for my budget and I prefer plasma’s picture over LED TVs.  Many people love the LEDs brighter screen and maybe even need an LED because of the glare issue a Plasma TV can exacerbate.  I was talking with salesman Sean Hardesty about how I just couldn’t stand watching the movie that was playing on a big screen Sharp 240hz LED.  I found that the movie quality was replaced by home video/soap opera quality and it just looked artificial.  Sean laughed and told me that the customer he was with before talking with me wanted to know why the same Sharp LEDs picture was so amazingly clear.  The customer couldn’t believe how great it looked.

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Technologist Tuesday- Want the new iPhone…for Free?

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

josh davis-technologist

I just witnessed a 16GB iPhone 5 Verizon model with a completely smashed front glass sell on eBay for $365.  The used iPhones on eBay that are in good condition are all selling over $400.  You just got to love the fact that Apple iPhones resale value is so high.  If you’re willing to go through the process of selling your used iPhone through eBay or craigslist, then like many of us, you may acquire the next iPhone for free.  For those of you that don’t want to deal with that process, you can just go to our trade in program and cash in. http://www.abt.com/tradein

Whether you’re going to plunk down full price, get the upgrade price or make out like a bandit by selling your old iPhone, here’s a roundup of what technology your new iPhone may have:

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