Monday, October 16, 2023

Google Play Now Lets You Play [Some] Mobile Games on Your PC

For those of you that love your mobile games but hate being tied to that small screen, Google has just launched a new offering that will allow you to explore and play mobile games on your PC or laptop.

Google Play Games Beta allows you to experience bigger, bolder versions of select mobile games on Google's gaming platform for PC.You can use your mouse and keyboard to gain agility and boost your performance and accomplish a few more feats in games than you might be able to just using you phone.

 As this is in beta only there is currently a short list of games that you can enjoy - you'll see many of your favorites like Angry Birds 2, Asphalt 9: Legends, Jackpot World - Slots Casino and Rise of Empires: Ice and Fire. While the list might be short, for now, it does offer plenty of options to test out. However, those that might want more option might want to checkout Bluestacks (see our previous post). This cool little app allows you to run almost any Android app and isn't limited t just games.

Monday, September 25, 2023

AI Regulations and Why Companies Welcome Them

As the adoption of AI, more directly generative AI, we see more companies calling on the government to step in and step up with regulations. For some this seems counterintuitive. Why would an AI company seek regulation in their own industry that would slow down adoption of their tools right? There are two schools of thought on this.

  • Companies are truly concerned that their tools are being used for nefarious activities (scams, hacking cheating ect)
  • Companies are concerned that the pace of the market means they will become irrelevant before they can make a market impact

As much as we'd like to think that tech companies are altruistic. Historically speaking, this hasn't been the case. So while some of their calls to action might be rooted in a desire to steer things down the 'right path' it is more likely that they are worried about their massive investment and potential returns.

The AI movement/generation is very quickly becoming what the DOT-COM era was. Startups are hitting amazing valuations and being gobbled up by the big boys in tech. Amazon recently spent 4b investing in AI Startup Anthropic. While Google, NVIDIA, Apple and others are not far behind. If AI continues to evolve at the pace it is now, many of those investment could be outdated and loose overall value well before they produce something that is marketable.

As a comparison Siri was first released in 2011, Alexa in 2014 and both are precursors to the large language models we see rapidly advancing today. It too more than a decade for their widespread adoption. Whereas ChatGPT broke into the market this past year and set off a firestorm and created a free for all in the market and development space. So while we are seeing companies actively petition for some government oversight, what we aren't seeing is those very same companies exhibiting a measure of self control!


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Friday, June 30, 2023

The AI Take Over Has Begun! A New HR Revolution

As someone that has always stayed updated on the newest technology and how it it utilized it isn't surprising me to see the rapid adoption of AI. How and where it is being adopted is though. AI for marketing, fundamental chats and communications, and remedial tasks. That I fully understand. AI as an augmentation to other certain task, again I see that.

AI doing screenings, employee assessments and virtual interviews. I'm not sure about. That seems to hands off for me. Basic CSR, yeah I get because most questions are repetitive. Hands on customer retention is entire different and I'm not sure with AI that happens!

I bring this up only because I just drop a resume and I was asked to opt in/out of it being reviewed by AI. Granted I've worked on that side of things and fully understand that has already been happening. It was still an oddity to see that.

So now my question would be:

  • As an employee do you feel put off if you have to be prescreened or only screened by AI?
  • Do you feel a company isn't going to take you personally into account with just machine learning judging you?
  • Do you think that company is going to treat your resume or prescreening the same because of AI?

Many people think the application and interview process is tedious and intimidating already. AI and the none 'personal' interaction might help those of us that aren't the best at interviews. Many companies use outside hiring agencies or offsite HR. So you aren't being hired by them, but for them. So that cancels some of the in-person element out as well.

For me I'd hope there is some sort of balance. My own (or any) resume shouldn't be treated as an SEO page that only hits on the keywords that triggers the best AI response. It should been seen with merit and function.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Create and Post Instagram Reels From Your PC

If like me you aren't always happy having to create and post Instagram reels from your phone I have a new way (new for some that is) that will allow you to quikly andd easily do it from your PC or laptop. Some of you may or may not have heard of BlueStacks. BlueStacks App Player is a simple tool that allows you to was run Android applications on computers running Microsoft Windows or macOS. 

With BlueStacks you download and run the app player, install the traditional verssion of the Instagram App grom the Google Play Store and run things just like you woould from your phone. You can drag and drop videos and pictures from your dekstop. Even add your text, audio or stickers just like you would normally do on your phone. 

I'm working on a quick how to and tutorial from more info. For now though I recommened trying it out and posting any questions in the comments below!

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Review: EZVIZ C6CN and C1C Home Security Cameras

In our uncertain times security may be more important than ever! More and more of us are turning to online ordering and deliveries while we are stuck at home. And with the kids being out of school it is important to keep track of the whole family both while we are away or while we are stuck in our home offices. This past few weeks we've had the chance to test out two offerings from EZVIZ. The fully featured EZVIZ C6CN and the smaller more basic (yet just as capable) EZVIZ C1C.

EZVIZ C6CN Features and Benefits

The EZVIZ C6CN boast industry leading video clarity and complete 360° panoramic coverage of the area around your camera. Auto Motion Tracking & Notifications and automatic Day to Night mode switching mean that you should never miss a beat. There is even an option for simple one-touch Panoramic Photo Navigation for taking a full 360° photo around the camera.

EZVIZ C6CN Specifications

  • Video Resolution: 1080p with 8x digital zoom
  • Field of View: 340° horizontal, 120° vertical
  • Night Vision: 2 infrared LEDs
  • Network Connectivity: 802.11bgn (2.4 Ghz only) and Ethernet
  • Smart Home Connectivity: Google home hub, Amazon Alexa
  • Audio: Full-duplex, two-way live audio
  • Local Storage: MicroSD card up to 256GB (not included)
  • Security: 64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK
  • Mobile Devices Supported: Android 5.0 or higher, iOS 9.0 or higher
  • Dimensions: 3.45" x 3.45" x 4.43"
  • Weight 9.1 oz

EZVIZ C1C Features and Benefits

Looking for some basic functionality at a lower cost? The EZVIZ C1C is such a camera. It delivers most of the same features as its bigger brother but in a smaller more concealable package. For about $20 you'll get standard customizable motion detection, Full 1080p HD video, night vision and two-way audio. Mounting is made easy with a magnet built-in base so it can be easily mounted to almost any metallic surface, a metal plate is also included. The C1C offers many of the same features as the EZVIZ C6CN. The C1C will automatically switch to night vision mode when the lights dim. You also get the same Smart motion detection zones and notifications draw specific zones within your cameras field of view where you would like to detect activity, when activity is detected, you will receive a notification in real-time.

The C1C’s 130-degree wide-angle lens provides excellent video quality. The image is sharp with little distortion even in night vision mode. Colors are accurate and vibrant. I found myself fairly happy with the default image settings. However, should you need to you can lower or boost the color saturation using a couple of presets in the settings menu. There’s also a backlight mode that, when activated, lets you tap overexposed parts of the image to see more details.

EZVIZ C1C Specifications

  • Video Resolution: Full HD 1080p with 40 ft. super night vision
  • Field of View: 106° horizontal, 130° vertical
  • Audio: Full-duplex, two-way live audio
  • Local Storage: MicroSD card up to 256GB (not included)
  • Security: 64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK
  • Mobile Devices Supported: Android 5.0 or higher, iOS 9.0 or higher
  • Dimensions: 2.4" x 2.28" x 4.04"
  • Weight: 3.4 oz

EZVIZ App Setup with the C6CN & C1C

Setup of the EZVIZ app is pretty straightforward. You simply unpack your camera, use your phone to scan the QR code and pair your two devices. From there things are pretty self explanatory. One great feature is the ability to see and control multiple cameras right on your device. For those wanting several zones of coverage you can use the advanced control setup with the EZVIZ PC studio (available for windows PC only). The app will unlock advanced configurations of your network and video settings as well as increasing the number of cameras able to view simultaneously from 4 to 25.

Conclusion: Two good entry level cameras!

In my testing the EZVIZ C1C proved that you didn't need to spend a mint to get a full featured camera that, for most home users, provides everything you need to effectively monitor your home while you’re away. While it was a very capable camera. For those of us that like to track ever little detail having the pan and tilt option included in the EZVIZ C6CN is going to be a must and is definitely worth the extra cost. Fortunately the EZVIZ app allows you to run multiple cameras from one device so I strongly suggest buying them as a tandem.

If I were looking for faults I could say I found a couple. Firstly I would have liked to have had an option to use either camera as a webcam, especially in these days of telecommuting. The C1C would have been ideal to place on my desk or a shelf in order to communicate with my team. For the C6CN I wasn't overly impressed with the video tracking. This could easily have been due to my use rather than a fault with the camera.

Both cameras offers a trio of storage options: You can record event-detected video locally to a microSD card, use EZVIZ's network storage or store your video offsite with an EZVIZ CloudPlay subscription. The cameras come with a free one-month trial of 7-day storage. EZVIZ CloudPlay starts at 7-day playback: $5.99/month/camera or $59.99/year/camera. 30-day playback: $10.99/month/camera or $109.99/year/camera.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Review: XY Findit XY4+ Bigger and Better

Readers of our blog know that we have tried out most of the more popular Bluetooth trackers on the market today. While most of those devices were labeled as acceptable in performance, only one device (the XY3) actually performed up to our expectations. This past week we got to test out XY Findit's upgraded version of their Bluetooth Tracker the XY4+.

While we were impressed with the XY3 we felt there were a few areas that could be upgraded for better performance and from what we have seen from the XY4+ XY Findit addressed all those and more!

Upgrades Were They Are Needed Most

One of our biggest complaints about the other trackers we've used was device volume. When trying to locate your belongings in any space, let alone a noisy room, being able to hear your tracker is a must. With the XY4+ XY Findit was able to boost their volume to a whopping 112db. That is 4x what the XY3 had, and we thought that was better than most of the competition.Another great addition is the ability to change your buzzer tones. In some cases I couldn't hear certain audible tones as well as others, and having that function really made a notable  difference!

Another great upgrade is effective range. According to XY Findit the effective range on the XY3 was about 210 ft with a suggested maximum of 150ft. With the XY4+ XY Findit was able to boost that range 300ft. Wider effective range means a much greater chance of recovering your devices!

Lastly, but certainly not least, is an improved battery life. According to XY they have added a much more powerful replaceable battery to XY4+ in order to increase its battery life. Combined with the extremely efficient Dialog 14585 Bluetooth chip, the XY4+ can reach up to 5 years of battery life for your finder.

The Trade-off, Size Does Matter

All these upgrade come with one rather minor trade-off, an increase in tracker size! The XY4 measures roughly 1.5" x 1.75" x 0.39" slightly larger than the XY3 that measured just 1.46" x 1.26"x .32". This might not sound like much of an increase to most, and most won't notice it, but if like me you like to keep things at a min it will be noticeable!

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

While we didn't have enough time to do as thorough of testing with our XY4 as we did with the XY3 we stand by our original conclusion that XY Findit is producing some of the best Bluetooth trackers on the market. Effective range and tracking are extremely impressive and highly accurate! As mentioned the improvements to the audible alerts are amazing and definitely impressed us. Overall for anyone in the market for a new BT tracker I'd highly recommend looking at the XY4 before anything else on the market..and if you need more effective tracking XY Findit has the XYGPS, which we hope to test at some point soon!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cyclist Can Ride Smart with SmartHalo

Are you looking for a way to step up your urban cycling experience? The urban mobility technology innovator, SmartHalo Technologies Inc., may have just launched the perfect product for you - the SmartHalo biking system.

SmartHalo, is a smart device that attaches to any type of bike handlebar and pairs with your phone via Bluetooth with the SmartHalo app. The device gives you Precise and intuitive navigation designed to take the safest and fastest routes, while allowing you to keep the eyes on the road.

The interface also features a powerful front light that makes night rides and journeys safer and more enjoyable. An alarm designed to trigger a loud sound when the bike is tampered with, to prevent bike theft. A series of enhanced fitness features that automatically track and analyze fitness metrics and a personal assistant notifies you of incoming calls with a simple blue dot at the center of the interface.

SmartHalo took the cycling world by storm with its Kickstarter and pre-sale campaign with 10,000 units sold and delivered. It is now available for $149 in the US and Canada online at If you want more details look for our review in the coming week and happy cycling!