The Drill Down 339: Ice Ice Baby (preview)

bill-gates-has-the-best-ice-bucket-challenge-by-far

This week, Steve Ballmer says goodbye to Microsoft, Tesla puts their money where their cars are, Google gets ready to welcome kids, YouTube plans a subscription service, and the internet gets cold and wet for charity.

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Geeks Of Doom’s The Drill Down is a roundtable-style audio podcast where we discuss the most important issues of the week, in tech and on the web and how they affect us all.

Hosts are Geeks of Doom contributor Andrew Sorcini (Mr. BabyMan), marketing research analyst Dwayne De Freitas, and Box tech consultant Tosin Onafowokan. Occasionally joining them is Startup Digest CTO Christopher Burnor.

The Drill Down 337: Monkey Selfie (preview)

Celebes crested macaque self-portrait, photo by David Slater(?)This week, will cellphones be banned from airlines?, Russians hack over a billion passwords, malware in your USB, a camera that can decipher sound from silent video, the Sprint/T-Mobile merger is dead, and…if a monkey takes a selfie in the jungle, does it own the copyright?

See the full post here at Geeks of Doom

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Geeks Of Doom’s The Drill Down is a roundtable-style audio podcast where we discuss the most important issues of the week, in tech and on the web and how they affect us all.

Hosts are Geeks of Doom contributor Andrew Sorcini (Mr. BabyMan), marketing research analyst Dwayne De Freitas, and Box tech consultant Tosin Onafowokan. Occasionally joining them is Startup Digest CTO Christopher Burnor.

The Drill Down 335: An Extra Hour in the Ball Pit (preview)

Dashcon 2014 ball pit

This week, Greg Davies from the Blendover podcast joins Dwayne & Andrew as we discuss: Chinese hackers break into US govt employee records, Hulu gets South Park, a shakeup at Microsoft, Apple & IBM join forces, a new vehicle from Tesla, and…Worst. Con. Ever. All this and much more…

See the full post here at Geeks of Doom!

Subscribe!

The Drill Down on iTunes (Subscribe now!)
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The Drill Down on Facebook
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Geeks Of Doom’s The Drill Down is a roundtable-style audio podcast where we discuss the most important issues of the week, in tech and on the web and how they affect us all.

Hosts are Geeks of Doom contributor Andrew Sorcini (Mr. BabyMan), marketing research analyst Dwayne De Freitas, and Box tech consultant Tosin Onafowokan. Occasionally joining them is Startup Digest CTO Christopher Burnor.

The Drill Down 334: Targeted and Profiled (preview)

AFP Photo / Getty Images / Mario TamaThis week, Google fights on Amazon’s turf, the collateral damage behind NSA target searches, the TSA’s new rule for electronic gadgets, we think we know what the iPhone 6’s screen looks like, and more…

See the full post here at Geeks of Doom!

Subscribe!

The Drill Down on iTunes (Subscribe now!)
Add us on Stitcher!
The Drill Down on Facebook
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Geeks Of Doom’s The Drill Down is a roundtable-style audio podcast where we discuss the most important issues of the week, in tech and on the web and how they affect us all.

Hosts are Geeks of Doom contributor Andrew Sorcini (Mr. BabyMan), marketing research analyst Dwayne De Freitas, and Box tech consultant Tosin Onafowokan. Occasionally joining them is Startup Digest CTO Christopher Burnor.

The Drill Down 333: Two-Faced (preview)

fb-mood

This week, Google buys into music and shuts down their oldest social network, Did T-Mobile swindle customers out of millions of hidden fees?, Facebook’s secret mood manipulation study, and is the NSA’s first transparency report just one big oxymoron?

See the full post here on Geeks of Doom!

Subscribe!

The Drill Down on iTunes (Subscribe now!)
Add us on Stitcher!
The Drill Down on Facebook
The Drill Down on Twitter

Geeks Of Doom’s The Drill Down is a roundtable-style audio podcast where we discuss the most important issues of the week, in tech and on the web and how they affect us all.

Hosts are Geeks of Doom contributor Andrew Sorcini (Mr. BabyMan), marketing research analyst Dwayne De Freitas, and Box tech consultant Tosin Onafowokan. Occasionally joining them is Startup Digest CTO Christopher Burnor.

The Drill Down 332: Google I/O 2014 (preview)

google-cardboardThis week, is your cellphone safe from unwarranted searches?, a new ruling on mobile rebroadcasting of over-the-air video, another major player enters the smart home market, a late-night show on Netflix? and all the best from Google’s I/O developer conference.

See the full post here at Geeks of Doom!

Subscribe!

The Drill Down on iTunes (Subscribe now!)
Add us on Stitcher!
The Drill Down on Facebook
The Drill Down on Twitter

Geeks Of Doom’s The Drill Down is a roundtable-style audio podcast where we discuss the most important issues of the week, in tech and on the web and how they affect us all.

Hosts are Geeks of Doom contributor Andrew Sorcini (Mr. BabyMan), marketing research analyst Dwayne De Freitas, and Box tech consultant Tosin Onafowokan. Occasionally joining them is Startup Digest CTO Christopher Burnor.

Garmin Vevofit – Where Tech & Tastes Diverge

 

By Dwayne De Freitas

If there’s one site I really enjoy, it’s The Wirecutter.

Usually.

What makes them different from other technology sites is the way they use the “meta review” (A review of a product with significant findings based on other people’s opinions of a product) to determine what the “best” item of a particular segment is.

The idea’s great if you’re looking for something simple, The Wirecutter can save you a lot of time and energy researching one item or another. But every once in a while it’s clear that the people that they’re working with to write the reviews of products are out of touch with my opinions (happens all the time) along with the opinions of many of my colleagues.

Such is the case with the Garmin Vivofit fitness tracker. For The Wirecutter, Garmin’s new fitness tracker unseated the Fitbit One device they once called “The Best Fitness Tracker” because :

“There’s also a “move bar” that flashes red anytime you’ve been inactive for too long—a feature we, along with other reviewers, found highly motivating. It is currently the only fitness tracker that combines these features with the added benefit of never having to be hooked up to charger. Unfortunately, since the Vivofit relies on disposable battery power, the display is not LED or backlit for low-light conditions and the current mobile app/desktop software is still pretty basic. But we have four words for you: one-year battery life.”

This is a description of a device that I would never want. We’ll go from the bottom up–

1. Battery Life. A year is great. But having to:
  • Go to a jeweler to get the device re-sealed after you’ve replaced the battery isn’t worth it.
  • Find the exact-right battery to replace the current battery with isn’t worth it.
  • Pay a high premium for that via Garmin’s site (or anyone else’s site since they know it’s the only batt to work with the device) isn’t worth it.

Where those hassles are concerned I’m OK with needing to charge my Fitbit One every now and then. Especially because I don’t think the fact that I have to charge the device every two weeks makes it a hassle.

2. Software. I don’t want basic software. Fitbit gives me an excellent desktop (Web) and mobile (app) experience. It’s robust, functional and far from basic. In a world where Google Fit and Apple’s Health Kit API suite and Health app are showing the mainstream just how sophisticated wellness software can be, taking a step back on the software side doesn’t make great sense. Ecosystem is everything and Fitbit’s built a pretty good one. On the other hand, Garmin’s disappointed. Garmin should have been a leader in this space and on both the software and hardware side they’ve been consistently behind. Their track record doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that they’ll ever get the software right.

 

3. The display is not LED or backlit for low-light conditions. Huh? How can a technology enthusiast, who’s bent on using the wrist-based wearable device want to lose ground in this category. The lack of low-light access means that yes, you might be able to wear it inside of a movie theatre without bothering someone else, but other than that, I’d like to see my data anytime I want.*

 

4. The move-bar seems interesting. But honestly, if I’m locked in thought or otherwise focused elsewhere, a vibration would be best. Fitbit doesn’t provide a random vibration but others do. A flashing bar? That’s just not good advice!
Now the Wirecutter does include an honorable mention for the Fitbit One, but given the hyperbole about the Vivofit being “he Best” from The Wirecutter, a brand that’s so quickly become esteemed, I’m left confused. It’s either the dreaded Clickbait or just bad advice. Either way, I’m left feeling disappointed. Especially since this Garmin device, at $130 is nearly a third more expensive than the well thought out Fitbit One’s $100 price.

 

When I joined The Drilldown it was because Andy offered me an opportunity to get to the truth of the matter about the day’s tech. And since its launch, I’d always thought that The Wirecutter was on the same mission. Now I’m forced to re-think that. It’s a little like losing trust in a close friend.

 

*One might remark “Well, the Jawbone UP doesn’t include any display!.” The difference here is that Jawbone made a distinct stylistic choice, paired to a fantastic piece of mobile software. If I’m going to wear something with the visual heft of providing me (and apparently anyone else next to me) with a readout, then it better provide that information on request – regardless of whatever light I’m in.

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