MacBook Pro gets processor boost and memory doubled

MacBookPro

Ahead of the Fall release of the latest Mac OS reincarnation, Mac OS X Yosemite, Apple has refreshed the MacBook Pro with Retina display models by upping the processing speed and doubling up on the memory on both of the entry-level 13-inch and 15-inch models.

“People love their MacBook Pro because of the thin and light, aluminum unibody design, beautiful Retina display, all day battery life and deep integration with OS X,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The MacBook Pro with Retina display gets even better with faster processors, more memory and a free upgrade to OS X Yosemite this fall.”

13-inch Model

The 13-inch model with Retina display will now start with 8GB of RAM upgradeable to 16GB along with a 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz, 128GB PCIe-based flash storage and Iris Intel Graphics for $1399 and with 256GB PCIe-based Flash storage $1599.

Read more…AT CANOE TECH BLOG

eBay to auction pristine 1938 #1 Superman comic

eBayAction1

If you’re a comic junkie with very deep pockets, you might want to get ready to bid on this ultimate find – Action Comics #1, from June 1938 and the first time Superman is featured in a comic book. The item goes up for auction exclusively on eBay starting August 14th for 10 days.

It’s estimated there only 50-100 (fewer according to some) unrestored copies of this issue still in existence and this one is being touted as being the finest known copy available.

According to a recent announcement, the comic received a rating of 9.0, the highest ever received, from the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC), a leading 3rd party grading service.

Read more…at CanoeTech Blog

Smashing line-up for September iTunes Festival 2014

iTunes Festival 2014 signFor many, September means back-to-school, but for others, it’s iTunes Festival time and it’s back again for an 8th year, with 30 incredible nights of live performances from London’s historic Roundup stage. If you can’t be there, you can still experience the event by streaming it over iTunes or Apple TV. And best of all, it’s still free.

Apple announced today some of the biggest artists that will be headlining this year, including; Maroon 5, Pharrell Williams, Beck, Sam Smith, Blondie, Kylie, David Guetta, 5 Seconds of Summer, Calvin Harris, Chrissie Hynde & many others.

“The iTunes Festival in London is back with another stunning line-up of world class performers and tremendous new acts,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “These live shows capture the heart and soul of iTunes and we love bringing them to our customers in the Roundhouse, as well as to the millions of people watching all over the world for free.”

Read more… At CANOE TECH BLOG

Square mobile payment system gets invoicing

Square invoices

Strolling through Old Strathcona last Saturday during Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue Art Walk 2014 I noticed something different this year.  More vendors were accepting payment by credit card – VISA, MasterCard, American Express – many through the magic of this micro-payment system called Square. It’s changed the way small businesses do their transactions. And now here in Canada, they’ve taken it one step farther with the introduction of invoices allowing complete secure payment transactions when not dealing face-to-face.

Invoicing is certainly a logical extension to the Square payment system with many potential benefits. In fact, people like Kat Doell, an emerging artist and illustrator finds Square payments handy, particularly for high ticket items welcome its extended functionality.

“I haven’t used the invoices yet, but all the new options look perfect for small business,” says Doell.

Read more…At CANOE TECH BLOG

USB powered air purifier and fan cleans and cools

Satechi Purifier

I do keep my office reasonably clean, but truthfully my office is usually covered wall to wall with gadgets, cables, books, magazines, manuals, boxes and more. I’ve never really thought about all the dust bunnies and other allergens that might be lurking in the dark crevices behind and beneath all my gadgetry. Enter the 2-in-1 Satechi USB Portable Air Purifier & Fan. It can eradicate the bunnies, remove those nasty allergens and provide for a little breeze or air circulation.

It looks like a small desktop speaker, measuring 11 x 11 x 9 cm, small enough to be portable and weighs a mere 350g so you can use it in the home, in the office, on the road and even in your car.

No drivers to install; it’s plug and play and runs off 5V USB, so you can power it from a USB compatible wall charger or even your computer.

It has two modes – compressed and expanded.  When compressed it takes on the role as a purifier, designed to grab those ultra-fine particles like dander, dust and pollen from the air; when expanded by pulling out the front, it runs like a personal fan.

Read more…AT Canoe TECH Blog

Applebee’s quietly going “No Tech Tuesday”

ApplebeesPresto

If you’re tired of hearing the people on their smartphones at the next table yelling at the top of their lungs, you’ll be happy to know that one restaurant chain in the U.S. is planning on doing something about it – at least for one day of the week.  Applebee’s plans to introduce “No Tech Tuesday” to all of its 1,800+ restaurants in the US.  In fact, according to reports, the company is filing an application to trademark the phrase.

Installing 100,000 Tablets

What’s perplexing is that back in December 2013, just over seven months ago, the company announcedthat by the end of 2014, it would have completed installation of 100,000 Intel-based E la Carte Presto tablets in their restaurants, so customers can order their meals, pay their bills, play games and have other social media interactions.

There doesn’t appear to be any detailed information as to how the scenario will play out and whether of not those tablets will go dark – on Tuesdays only.  I do find it interesting that on one hand the chain is taking a leap forward embracing new technology but on the other hand, totally doing away with it for one day of the week.

Read more…AT CanoeTech BLOG

 

Skype 5.2 for iPhone adds Voice Messaging Support

Skype 5 pic

It seems that since the release of Skype 5.0 for iPhone less than a month ago the good folks at Skype have been really listening and taking user feedback to heart.  According to their blog, Skype 5.1 for iPhone added some additional capabilities including the ability to edit a message, delete a conversation and add a contact filter that selects Skype contacts only. And now, the newly minted Skype 5.2 for iPhone adds a few more features and returns old ones that people have been asking for.

The first is voice message support, something that was lost with the revamped 5.0. When you get a new voice message it will automatically show up in the conversation. All you need to do to listen to it is press play.

Read more…AT CANOE TECH BLOG

The perfect pouch for the TruRunner

TruRunner_Layout

As the mercury climbs, we do away with the hoodies and tracksuits and opt for T-shirts and shorts we find ourselves with fewer pockets and places to keep our keys, smartphones and the like as we head out and about for a walk or a run. One solution to avoid a knapsack or a bulky fanny pack is the TruRunner by Bracketron, a sturdy diminutive lightweight waist pack to store the necessities you need to carry.

TruRunner has a fully adjustable elasticized belt that hugs nicely to your body.  Its pleated in-line pocket, may not look like much, but actually expands quite nicely allowing you to store things like your iPhone, keys and perhaps another small personal item or even a granola bar. It’s lining is weather resistant to keep your electronics dry and a weatherproof sealing zipper can help avoid leaks.

I wholeheartedly resist calling TruRunner a fanny pack, for the simple reason that that term conjures up images of the 1990s humongous multi-zippered leather pouch that looked more like a life preserver than a portable storage pack.

Read more… At CANOE TECH BLOG

Survival Sidekick might just save your life

 RCEP100FL_ALT3_MEDToday, in a suburb just outside Minneapolis, Bob Renning, a Good Samaritan, somehow found the strength to pry open the door of Michael Johannes’ burning Chevrolet TrailBlazer and saved him from certain death.  Now after seeing the footage at Canoe cNews, it made me rethink the usefulness of features on today’s emergency gadgets that we think we’ll never use, but in actual fact could one day save our life.

One such feature is the glass breaker found on the new Champ Survival Sidekick 8-in-1 (Emergency Preparedness) Multitool by Voxx Accessories. Johannes had mentioned that he was unable to get out of his vehicle as the electrical system was disabled and he couldn’t unlock the door. And without his good fortune that someone like Renning just happened to be around, he may not be alive right now to tell about it.

The Survival Sidekick 8-in-1 actually looks like a very large flashlight, and a flashlight it is. It features three LEDs that can keep shining brightly for up to five consecutive hours.      Read more…AT CANOE TECH BLOG

iPod touch prices down as Apple refreshes 16GB model

iPod touch five colours

While all the Apple talk seems to be focused on the rumoured big screened iPhone 6, there was good news out today for many iPod touch fans as Apple introduced slight changes to the iPod touch lineup. This is a good thing, as the iPod touch in essence gives you a number of features of the iPhone, like the ability to use apps, but without the phone.

Read more…AT CANOE TECH BLOG