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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Farewell, and Thank You For Everything!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Status Updates" @ 01:59 AM

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss

Twelve years ago today, when I made my very first post on Pocket PC Thoughts, I couldn't possibly predict the journey I was taking the first step on. What an amazing, fulfilling, character-defining dozen years it's been! I'm so deeply indebted to all the people along this journey I've befriended, talked with in our forums, and yes, even gotten into rip-roaring arguments with. It all brought me here. So where is "here" exactly?

Back in September of 2011, I shared that I had taken a job with HTC, was moving from Canada to the USA, and was selling the Thoughts Media Network. Over the past year, I've had a truly amazing time working at HTC. It's a wonderful job - it's really amazing the things you learn/realize working on "the other side" of the blogger/OEM equation - but it's also all-consuming. My multiple attempts to sell this network all failed, partially due to my lack of time to really follow through. I won't bore you with the details, but let me give some advice to any business owners: when someone offers you a nice chunk of money for your business, and you're ready to sell, don't drag your feet on the paperwork - you never know when that offer will vanish! Oh, and sell when your revenue and momentum are at their peak; don't hold on too long. Evidently these are lessons I needed to learn the hard way. Lessons to teach my son I guess. :-)

So where are things at now? This won't come as a surprise to anyone who has watched what has happened to most of the sites in our network over the past year: all six sites across the Thoughts Media Network will go into a permanent state of hibernation effective tonight. This is the final post you'll see on all of them. I care deeply about all of the amazing content the Thoughts Media Team collectively created over the past dozen years, so my plans are to keep the sites online for as long as possible. One week from now, I'll shut down the forums so no new posts can be made. Right now only comments can be posted if you already have an account that has posted in the past - we've had to lock things down in that way to prevent spamming. If you have a message to share with me but don't have a forum account, please send it to me directly.

I'd be remiss if I didn't give one final thank you to the amazing team of people I had the honour of working with over the past twelve years. I don't want to list names, because I'll doubtless forget someone. Suffice it to say though that I've been humbled and blessed by the generosity and effort people put into this community. From the words you've read, the videos you've watched, the spam-free forums you've read through, to the designs of the pages and the code and server loading them when you visit - none of that could have been done without the gifted volunteers who collectively helped me create everything that these sites were. I'm deeply indebted to literally hundreds of people who walked with me on this awesome journey over the past decade. THANK YOU!

Also, a big thank you to the community itself. All you who came back here, day after day to read and watch our news and reviews, rants and raves. Thank you for your comments, your clicks, your shares, your views. None of this would be possible without you. Remember too the part you play in the success of any Web site: you matter, so support the sites you love so they can keep doing what you want to see.

And so, this is the end. If you'd like to keep in touch with me, please reach out on Twitter (@jasondunn) or check in on my personal blog now and then. What an amazing journey this has been...thank you!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Rest in Pieces Zune

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 01:21 PM

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/.../04/r-i-p-zune/

"Microsoft is sending Zune to the pasture where Microsoft brands go to die. It's the end of the road for a name that once symbolized Microsoft's grand plans to curb Apple's entertainment ambitions. In a flurry of announcements that Microsoft made Monday at the E3 games conference in Los Angeles, Microsoft executives said the company planned to introduce a new music service, Xbox Music, that would run on the Xbox 360 game console, Windows phones and Windows 8 computers. That service will come out sometime in the fall."

Just in case the past six months haven't proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Microsoft has given up on Zune, the news story linked here drives the point home: Zune as a service is going away, following in the footsteps of the Zune hardware going away.

Alas, poor Zune, I barely knew ye... :-(

Tags: zune, rip, ending, kaput

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

RCA's USB Wall Charger, Just Plug It In!

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 06:00 AM

http://www.macworld.com/article/165...l#lsrc.rss_main

"Most modern smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, and other gadgets rely on USB-based chargers. Some of these come with their own AC wall adapters, while others include nothing more than a USB cable-meaning you have to plug them into your computer to get them charged."

The nice thing about this thing is that you just plug it into the existing outlet, so it's basically a cover. No need to replace the current outlet so you don't have to worry about shocking yourself silly. And it goes for the small sum of $15.00 USD at Lowes (currently out of stock in my area), or you can get it at Amazon.com for $12.47 USD (currently in stock with both white and almond colored versions).


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Flygrip Will Ease Your One Handed Fears

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 04:00 AM

http://www.ubergizmo.com/2012/01/fl...e-handed-usage/

"So you're walking with your iPhone in one hand, and a Starbucks latte in the other, and granted it is possible to use the iPhone in one hand, it could prove to be "fatal" since one hand tends to offer less support compared to two, and we all know that heart wrenching feeling when your brand new gadget slips out of your hand and onto the hard pavement."

Basically very simple, as all this does is attach to the iPhone case or the iPhone itself and you slide your fingers in and can start using your iPhone one handed without fear of dropping it. I can also be attached to the back of your iPad, or any other tablet for that matter. As you can see from the photos, it doesn't have to be an Apple product to work. Three sizes (small, medium and large) depending on the finger size and you can get them for $29.95 USD each from the Flygrip store located here. That seems a bit spendy to me, and I think I would rather just spend that on a better case. What are your thoughts?


- ADVERTISING -

Friday, December 30, 2011

Isn't it Time to Recycle Those Old Electronics?

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 05:00 PM

http://dealnews.com/features/Out-wi...ics/535731.html

"This Christmas, there were reportedly nearly 7 million new Android and iOS activations (between December 24 and December 25), which was largely a result of smartphone gift-giving."

Great article on some resources so you know where to go to recycle, or get some cash for those electronics that you have replaced with newer, faster, better versions. I also find that putting them on craigslist seems to work pretty if they are still functional so someone else can get some use out of your newly replaced items. If they aren't functional, check with your local garbage/recycling company for ideas on where to take your non functioning items.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zune Music Pass Launches In Australia

Posted by Darius Wey in "Zune News" @ 06:40 PM

http://www.zune.net/en-AU/products/...ass/default.htm

Oh, yes, fellow Aussies. You'd better believe it. The Zune Music Pass has finally launched in Australia, which means 13 million songs and unlimited music video streaming are now at your fingertips on the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, PC, and web. You can get started now with a free 14-day trial; then, if it's to your liking, continue your subscription for $11.99 AUD per month, or go all out with an annual pass that nets you twelve months for the price of ten. Happy listening!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reminder: Audioengine A5+ Speaker Contest Closes on Friday

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 05:00 PM

http://www.digitalhomethoughts.com/...5-speakers.html

Just a quick reminder that our giveaway contest to win a set of Audioengine A5+ speakers (valued at $399) wraps up on Friday at noon, so enter now!


Friday, October 21, 2011

The Sweet Sound of Quality: Win a Set of $399 Audioengine A5+ Speakers

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 11:00 AM

http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Aud...5-Plus#overview

I may be selling these sites and working full time for HTC now, but who says I can't have a little more fun giving away a great prize before I go? Last week I posted about the new Audioengine A5+ powered desktop speakers; the generous folks at Audioengine have offered up a set of these new speakers for a contest. With dual inputs (3.5mm and RCA, the latter of which is easily converted to an addition 3.5mm input with a cable) and a USB charging port, the A5+ speakers are a great companion to an endless variety of devices: desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, and yes, even the humble Zune. Ringing in at $399 USD, these are high-quality speakers that I guarantee will blow you away.

How do you win this contest? Simply post a comment to this discussion thread (one entry per person) telling me what your current audio solution for speakers is and how the Audioengine A5+ speakers will be better. One winner will be randomly selected from amongst all the entries and they'll get to chose either a set of black or white A5+ speakers. Due to the size and weight of this prize, it will only be shipped within the continental USA. The contest will remain open until Friday the 28th at 12 PM mountain time (GMT -7).

Best of luck everyone, and I look forward to reading some interesting entries. :-)

UPDATE: The contest is now over, and the winner is ITforSmallBiz. Thanks to everyone for entering!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Audioengine Introduces A5+ Premium Powered Speaker System

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:31 PM

http://audioengineusa.com/news/Audi...-Speaker-System

"The Audioengine 5+ (A5+) active speakers deliver audiophile-quality sound and features at a price that continues to set the standard for affordable high-quality audio. Connect your iDevice, computer, TV, or any other audio component for great stereo sound. The goal of Audioengine is to give our customers a high-end listening experience at affordable prices with easy to use, high-quality products. The Audioengine 5 powered speaker system was Audioengine's flagship model and has become a best seller, winning numerous awards along the way. The new A5+ incorporates the same award-winning design as the original A5 but includes customer-requested upgrades and features."

Bar none, Audioengine makes the best speakers I've heard at any similar price point. They simply sound incredible - I reviewed the original A5's back in 2007, and they still sound as good today as they did back then (actually, even better since I bought an Audioengine S8 subwoofer and added it to the mix). With the built-in 3.5mm input jack, they make a great accessory for smartphones, MP3 players, laptops, tablets, etc. I love the sound of AudioEngine speakers so much I have three pairs of their smaller A2 units in my home office. You get the point. :-) AudioEngine's release of the new A5+ speakers brings with it a $50 price increase, making them a pricey accessory at $399, but a set of speakers like this will last for years, through multiple computer upgrades.

What's new about the A5+ over the previous A5's? To quote Audioengine, "advance tuned cabinet with rear-ported waveguide, improved thermal management, upgraded speaker connector binding posts,remote control, variable preamp line out, RCA and mini-jack inputs, and new stand-mount 1/4" threaded inserts". I don't see anything in that list that would make me want to replace my A5's, but if I buy another set of speakers, I'll take a serious look at the A5+ speakers.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Passing of Zune Made Official

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune News" @ 02:20 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/03/...long-live-zune/

"We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players. So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing. Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices."

The above statement is from the Zune support page, and the above image from Engadget tells the story. Microsoft will not be making any more Zune hardware. The Zune HD was, and is, a truly great audio player. When I travel I take mine with me because I enjoy having a dedicated audio device. I especially enjoy not caring if I run down the battery on it during a long flight - and I can't say that for my phone. I can't go out and buy a Windows Phone 7 device with 64 GB of storage either, so there's not a true replacement product on the market today. It's not like we didn't see this coming a long way out, but it's still unfortunate to see.

While there are adequate portable media players from the likes of Creative, Archos, etc. none of them have the simplicity of being able to sync with the Zune desktop software. Going back to the days of dragging and dropping folders and manually managing a music collection is a big step backwards in my opinion...the Zune software does a great job at making it easy.

Zune hardware, you could have been a contender. You'll be missed.


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