Technology

dncc_logo_dnc2008_1_500.jpg Tons of events, corporate sponsors, dedicated fans, traffic, people descending from all parts of the country and world, and lots of bright lights. Super Bowl?  No, it's a political convention. I'm on my way to Denver for the DNC convention, and it feels like I'm going to a Super Bowl weekend.

I've been to Super Bowl a few times and the weeks leading up to it are always spent figuring out which events to go to, how to snag a hotel room, securing a rental car in a scarce market, and coordinating with friends and acquaintances who are going to be in the event city.  This week has been no different and I'm amazed at how similar the lead-up to the two events has felt.

Former veterans of their craft are everywhere, talking heads will abound, and the real bigwigs are determined by who can get tickets to which events and parties. Sounds like Super Bowl to me.

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ios-7-concept-simply-zestyMy look at the top features I’m loving in the new iOS 7 update to my iPhone 5.

Notification Center with Weather and Stocks – great to wake up in the morning and even with the screen locked you can swipe from the top and get a little summary of the day’s happenings. This screen just keeps getting better with each update.

Control Strip with Light and Calculator – They added a new pop up when you swipe from the bottom up and you get quick access to a calculator (awesome), Flashlight (super handy), Wifi, Bluetooth, Timer, etc. Again it works when the screen is locked so you can easily use the flashlight to find your way without having to enter your lock screen code.

Folders – Am loving the new look and multiple pages for icons. You can now store unlimited apps inside a folder. It shows 9 on the screen at a time, swipe right to left and see the next 9.

Safari Rocks – Much faster now with a great interface for open tabs, the ability to enter search items in the address bar, quick way to send a link via text, e-mail or social sites

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ipad3It is no surprise to anyone who knows me, that I received a 3rd Generation iPad on Friday. One thing I immediately noticed in the media upon its release, is how so many people were quick to say it wasn't that big of an upgrade. They could not be more wrong. Late in the day, I heard people say they saw Walmart had them in stock so they must not be selling. People don't lineup at Walmart or Target for an iPad. They go to an Apple store. Smart people order it in advance and have FedEx deliver it right to their house. Why waste your gas and time?

Upon first perusal it looks the same as the iPad2. I say, why change perfection.  Under the hood I think there's a lot of amazing features that have been added to this version that make the upgrade worthwhile.

The Screen: It initially looks like what's on the iPad2; however, it will quickly make you remember the day when you first saw HDTV and realized you could never go back to a regular television. It's even more apparent if you compare the new to the old.  Even two days later it's amazing to see they were able to get such a crystal-clear screen inside this small device.

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apple_logo_rainbow_6_color.jpgFor geeks everywhere today is the day we finally see the device we have all been talking about for the last year. For the last week I’ve seen prediction pools where you get 1 point for each correct answer. Seven or ten inches? Verizon or ATT? Stylus or finger?

All these questions and many more will be answered today at 10am when Steve Jobs strolls on stage in SF and announces to the world the product many of us didn’t think we needed in our daily life.

I’m the tech guy for all my friends so in recent weeks they have turned to me and asked what I think will be announced. “No idea what it will do or how it will work,” I reply, “but I’m saving my money because I’ll order it on the first day.” No computer company has made a tablet anyone wants, but then again no one got a phone right until Steve Jobs pulled that iPhone out of his pocket.

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applevswin2.jpg The real issue is the phone. I am almost at the end of the contract that binds me to Verizon and to my pink Blackberry Curve. It hasn’t been a bad run; I’ve never had an issue with Verizon aside from their draconian tendency to declare a payment “late” five minutes after it’s due, and I mostly like the Blackberry. It has limits, though, the Blackberry – I would like a bigger screen, faster connections, and the ability to play music from my iTunes library. I have long dreamed of a single device that would replace the Blackberry/iPod Touch combo that I now carry everywhere I go for more than five minutes, and that dream could, of course, be answered by an iPhone. That slender, shiny object has long been the Holy Grail of technology about which I have barely allowed myself to dream; we are a Verizon family, I had A Contract, it was Terribly Expensive.

In a world filled with war, poverty and oil spills, it seemed beyond petty to spend time thinking about a phone, even a phone that would play my music, offer me Doodle Jump when my oral surgeon left me in the chair, and allow me to use my index finger to scroll swiftly to the last comment on a post. I do think about it, though, growing faintly fevered as I contemplate the possibilities. No more juggling the Blackberry and the iTouch while driving. No more endless scrolling with the little ball to get to the bottom of a screen. The end of receiving calls asking me if I had intentionally made a phone call when I had, in fact, dialed accidentally through pocket or purse.

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