Recent Articles By Jeff Gamet [RSS]

TMO Daily Observations 2015-01-09: CES, Cool Gear, and Elvis

1:29 PM, Jan. 9th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Daily Observations Podcast

The Mac Observer is on the ground at the Internation Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, and we still have some cool products to talk about. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to look at a few more products Jeff enjoyed seeing, a Bluetooth toothbrush he did his best to avoid, content for 4K televisions, and Kelly's brother and his Elvis impersonating adventures.

Cocoon gets Hip with Waxed Canvas Laptop Organizer Backpack

11:25 AM, Jan. 9th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

LAS VEGAS -- Cocoon already has several stylish products for on the go tech, and the company is expanding its lineup to include even more, like its new waxed canvas laptop organizer bag. Along with a padded laptop sleeve and built-in Grid-It gear organizer, the bag also includes a padded back and a padded lumbar compartment to hold your Beats headphones. TMO checked it out at CES 2015 and it lives up to Cocoon's well-earned design quality. Cocoon plans to ship the new bag in blue, black, and green soon for under US$80.

Griffin Goes Both Ways with its Reversible USB to Lightning Cable

10:41 AM, Jan. 9th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

LAS VEGAS -- Griffin Technology is hoping to make our lives a little easier with its new USB to Lightning cable for the iPhone and iPad that sports a reversible USB Type A connector. Along with a plug you can't insert upside down into a USB port, the new cable is coated in braided fabric for added durability, and includes reinforced points where the plugs connect to the cable wires. It also comes in three colors to match your iPhone or iPad. Griffin showed us the cable at CES 2015 and said it will be available soon for about US$30. A durable Lightning sync and charge cable with a USB connector that's always right side up? Yes, please.

Judge Dismisses Defective MacBook Logic Board Lawsuit

10:04 AM, Jan. 9th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · News

U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup has dismissed a lawsuit against Apple alleging the company knowingly sold consumers MacBook laptops with defective logic boards. The Judge ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show the laptops were sub-par because they were able to use the computers for two years.

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A Mac should last longer that two years, but if the plaintiffs weren't able to show Apple knowingly shipped defective computers then Judge Alsop was right to dismiss the case.

Nextivity Promises to Boost Cell Signals without AT&T’s MicroCell

6:39 PM, Jan. 8th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

LAS VEGAS -- Bad cell signals don't have to mean the end of your conversations, and now devices like AT&T's MicroCell aren't the only option for getting your calls through. Nextivity showed The Mac Observer its Cel-Fi at CES 2015, and instead of relying on your broadband Internet connection, it deconstructs weak cell signals and rebuilds them into stronger and usable signals. The Cel-Fi can take a poor 1-bar connection and turn it into a solid 3-bar signal without simply boosting a crappy connection that isn't any better than the original weak signal it comes from. Nextivity supports GSM-based services like AT&T and T-Mobile, but its planned LTE voice support means Verizon customers will have some hope for better signals soon, too. Cel-Fi costs about US$500, but may be free depending on whether or not your carrier offers it as a loyalty incentive.

Your Lights Are Your WiFi Network with Sengled’s Boost

5:04 PM, Jan. 8th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

LAS VEGAS -- Sengled thinks your lights should do more than simply illuminate rooms, so they packed a WiFi signal extender into their LED Boost bulb. The Boost packs a Wifi network extender into the bulb base, so you can get your signal to reach farther without needing to give up power outlets or take up shelf space with extra Basestations. Sengled also showed us their other LED smartbulbs at CES 2015 with built-in cameras, speakers for your audio system, and more. The Boost costs US$49.99.

Bass Egg’s Verb Turns Your Table into a Speaker

4:38 PM, Jan. 8th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

LAS VEGAS -- It's easy to find Bluetooth products that turn solid surfaces—like your desk—into a speaker. Finding one that sounds really good is a harder task, but Bass Egg thinks it has that covered with its new Verb. The Verb vibrates to bounce air off hard surfaces that converts to sound waves, making your wood, metal, stone, or glass surfaces act as omnidirectional speakers. It's anodized aluminum body holds up under abuse, the audio range it offers goes beyond what we've heard from competing products. The Bass Egg Verb is priced at US$99.95, and the crew we spoke with at CES 2015 told us that soon you'll be able to gang them up for stereo audio, too.

CES 2015 - olloclip Intros new iPhone 6 Photo Lens Adapter Case

3:25 PM, Jan. 6th, 2015 · Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

LAS VEGAS - When Apple changed the form factor for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, that means olloclip's add-on camera lenses and cases wouldn't fit any more. The company took care of the lenses, and now it's almost ready to release updated cases, too. The olloclip case has a special cutout to fit its camera lenses, has a hard plastic body for durability, and rubberized edges for grip action. The cases are sleek and good looking, plus they do away with the flip-out panel the previous version needed to give you access to your iPhone's cameras. Final pricing hasn't been set yet, but the company did tell us at CES 2015 it's very close to shipping.