Leap Motion + Fleksy is Genius Typing in the Air

A post showed up on Engadget this morning that caught my eye.

Laser projected virtual keyboardsSo 2004. These days, tech firms are dreaming up completely invisible typewriters, or at least Syntellia is. By marrying a Leap Motion sensor with its own Fleksy predictive keyboard, the company has created a system that seems to let you type on thin air

Yet another crazy-cool thing coming out of SXSW this year. You might say I predicted this. Last week I wrote posts about each of these companies and how I was excited about the work they are doing. I ended my Leap Motion post remarking on the promising future the miniscule device has. I suggested it could read sign language and allow people with arthritis to control computers without the joint pain, to control of a television without a remote.

Then, in my Fleksy post I suggested ways Fleksy could make the move out of touchscreen devices and incorporated into computers. I wrote specifically how it could be used to speed up typing and allow a dramatic increase in accuracy.

But what I neglected to put together was what would happen if Fleksy worked with Leap Motion. Well, turns out they were already thinking about this and have announced Fleksy integration with Leap Motion, and it’s pretty brilliant. Imagine controlling your AppleTV with the Leap Motion, swiping in the air through videos and songs. When it came time to do a search in the Netflix app, you’d have the ability to simply type in the air using Fleksy integration instead of the traditional, and painfully slow, method of input with the AppleTV onscreen keyboard.

I’m not sure if I’m a genius for thinking abstractly of these two ideas or dense for not thinking of combining the two. Either way I’m even more looking forward to the delivery of my Leap Motion. Apple being the silo that it is, we might have to work with some XMBC hackers to get the above integration working but it would be worth it.

ZAGGkeys PROplus iPad Keyboard Case Review

Last year I reviewed another iPad keyboard case from ZAGG. I loved the case but felt it was a bit too thick and heavy especially when compared to the space the iPad took up on it’s own. Ultimately though I grew to find it an indispensable accessory for my iPad. So did many people I encountered on my flights and at coffee shops. Since then ZAGG has released several other iPad keyboards but it’s the $129 ZAGGkeys PROplus (let’s be honest, that name is a mouthful) that I’m writing about today.

For the most part an iPad keyboard is an iPad keyboard. The differences, generally speaking are just a handful of variables.

  1. Bluetooth vs dock connector
  2. Size of the keyboard
  3. Chicklet keys vs rubber keys
  4. Case vs stand vs portfolio case standalone

This keyboard connects via bluetooth, is just smaller than a full-sized Apple keyboard, has chicklet keys and works as a stand for your iPad, as well as a case. What differentiates this keyboard from almost all other keyboards is the feature made popular by Apple’s MacBook Pro. This keyboard lights up! Before we get to that, let’s cover the basics. Continue reading

Ghosting Retina MacBook Pro is a Known Unknown

Just yesterday I noticed while editing some Illustrator and Photoshop documents that there was significant ghosting on my August 2012 Retina MacBook Pro screen. You know, the screen known for its brilliant resolution and eye-popping color. And also for this particular flaw.

I absolutely love my Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Screen (rMBP). It is the most powerful computer I have ever owned, the thinnest computer I have ever owned and has the longest battery life of any computer I have ever owned. It is so amazing that I plan on putting my iMac out to pasture, replacing it with this computer and a 27″ screen.

But there is this issue with the ghosting. When I went to my Apple Genius appointment today the tech told me something I couldn’t believe and reminded me of this famous Rumsfeldism…

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

Oh those were the days… Here is an approximation of how it went down.

Continue reading

The Perfect Hackintosh Mac Pro

When Apple announced the new Retina MacBook Pro I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Thin, light and powerful plus there’s that amazing “Retina” screen. What more could someone ask for at $2,799?

Well in my case, I ask for twice the RAM (16GB) for an additional $200. Then there’s the processor which is fabulous at 2.6GHz but I’d always wonder how much faster my video would render with that extra 100MHz so another $250. The stock hard drive is a hefty 512GB SSD, which was enough for me since once my video/photo is edited, it all goes back onto my Drobo. Since it is 100% non-user repairable, I have to add AppleCare, $350.

The total, after tax, is now $3,911.83. Luckily I have a situation where I can get it for about $700-1,000 less, especially if I drop the CPU to 2.6GHz. That’s still a lot of cash and in the end, is the Retina MacBook Pro the best option? Continue reading

ZAGGfolio iPad keyboard case review

I believe that Apple created the iPad, at least initially, to be a content consumption device. It’s fabulous for reading magazines, watching video and playing games. However, when it comes to actually being productive, I found the onscreen keyboard practical only for short-form content like tweeting to friends, updating my Facebook status and short replies to emails.

Enter the ZAGGfolio Keyboard Case, a device that tackles these issues with ease.

This $99 bluetooth keyboard case changed the way I use my iPad.  Continue reading

iPhone 4 won’t update to iOS 5.1

UPDATE: It’s been fixed! Thanks to my friendly and always helpful Twitter friends @jdyates, @mrfrank505, @ropiko, @richmackey, @josephjaramillo, @Apple9511and @shuether for their suggestions.

Turns out the fix was as easy as using a different computer. Turns out (and I only sort of know what I’m talking about here) the issue came from when I used an iOS jailbreak tool to unlock an iPhone for my trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia. It redirected the activation from Apple to Cydia which is why I got the error message below.

There are two fixes, either edit the host file through Terminal or just do the update on a different computer. Since the command I had to fix through terminal didn’t work, I tried the update on my MacBook Pro and it worked like a charm!

So I have this iPhone 4 which is in absolute perfect physical shape, only has three months of use yet after around iOS 5 Beta 3, the phone stopped working correctly, the digitizer stopped working reliably. That is, sometimes after unlocking the phone, you could not swipe to unlock, the screen was remapped and a swipe to the bottom didn’t do anything, sliding across other parts of the screen would move the unlock button to a degree but never enough to unlock.

I had to keep this phone unlocked 24/7 or risk having a phone that was unusable. I eventually was forced to buy the iPhone 4S. Since I was running a beta version of iOS and couldn’t undo that after Beta 4, Apple would not honor the warranty.

Do you have any suggestions? DFU restore and regular iTunes restores do not work. I’ve tried numerous times to upgrade this phone to the latest version of iOS 5 and 5.1 with no luck. I have even wiped it from its built in restore feature but that hasn’t worked.

Hopefully someone reading this will have an idea as I am all out of them!

Kanto Yaro speaker review

So you took advantage of Black Friday and picked up a sweet 50 inch HDTV, a Angry Birds-toting Roku 2 XS and a great Xbox bundle. But what good are all these new toys if the audio coming out of them is flat, boring and anemic?

In November, I received an email from the people at Kanto Speakers asking me if I would be interested in reviewing their new speaker system. It’s called the Kanto Yaro, a two-channel audio system, made especially for owners of streaming setup boxes like the Apple TV, utilizing audio technology by the venerable Bang & Olufsen (the makers of beautiful speaker systems I could never dream of affording). I of course said “YES!”

Kanto Yaro digital stereo system

The Yaro is a breeze to setup, dramatically improves on the stock audio from your television and does it with panache. But does its performance match the $330 price tag?

Continue reading