How to Send a Postcard in the 21st Century

Monday, September 6th, 2010 | SMASH Technology with No Comments »

postcard

My nephew and I have a long-distance postcard relationship. For a couple of years now he and I manage to see each other rarely but instead send each other postcard dispatches in which I will describe a cool attraction I visited and he will get excited about a local dish or delicacy from a vacation spot around the US. I travel a lot internationally so I have sent him postcards from places like Singapore and Paris, and even more obscure places like rural Massachusetts (the homemade pasta e fagiule soup at Il Forno in Fitchburg = to die for) and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This latter spot was memorable because in the middle of 98-degree summer heat, a woman who was missing a front tooth was selling Siberian Husky pups outside on her pick-up truck bed. $400 in cash and that precious pup could have come home with me in a bag on my flight back to SFO –ah, the things I regret in my travels. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ones and Zeros: Why doesn’t Nokia name its phones?

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 | SMASH Pop Culture, SMASH Technology with 2 Comments

[Video: Why Doesn't Nokia Name Its Phones]

What’s in a Name?

Not too terribly much according to the folks in Nokia’s R & D Department.

Or, perhaps the technological mavens at our favorite Finnish phone manufacturer feel that their handsets transcend the pedestrian markings of a common name, and prefer instead to assign a string of ones and zeros to their beloved mobile multimedia devices.

*Update 7-13-09* Nokia is launching the “Surge” Smartphone!!

Nokia Prototype AEON

But for many, a high-end cell or smart phone is an object of desire.  It would be virtually impossible to deny that on the whole, we see devices like these as extensions of ourselves — we customize our ring tones with our favorite songs, substitute our original face plates with ones that offer a bit more pizazz, and install applications that reflect our contrasting lifestyles and personalities, and to top it off, we buy lavish accessories that further increase the appeal and functionality of our devices.

Yes, the stuff of dreams.  But who dreams of numbers? Read the rest of this entry »

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Voice to Text: Transcribe Your Voicemails with SpinVox

Thursday, September 18th, 2008 | SMASH Technology with 1 Comment

Spinvox Message

If you use a cellphone, you use voicemail.  And if you use voicemail, you know the unfortunate pitfalls involved in its daily use:   dialing in costs you minutes, it takes time to wade through multiple messages (you’re forced to listen to the messages that are drivel or spam in nature), and you are forced to press your ear to your mobile device or have your bluetooth headset on in order to retrieve your messages with any degree of privacy.

SpinVox has an answer for those of us who dread the daily doldrums of message retrieval.  It’s a voice-to-text program that makes voicemails easier to use.

The service monitors your calls and turns what’s spoken into a text message.  It then Read the rest of this entry »

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