Halloween Costumes: Heroes or Villains?

Marvel VS DC

Every year at this time, people rush out to costume shops, arts and craft stores or rummage through the house for bits and pieces and ready themselves to hit the streets for Halloween. Whether it’s the kids going door to door for trick or treat or maybe a company or local party, a dress-up for school or work, lots of time effort and sometimes even money are put in to dressing up as the imaginary person or thing you want to be.

We see all sorts of costumes; they’ve certainly come a long way from the simple ghost and goblin type to the much-admired super-hero or often-despised villain outfits. And today, they’ve become even more sophisticated, some high-tech and often more expensive.  My best recollection of Halloween and probably my most memorable October 31st was probably when I was five years old and my parents bought me my very first superhero costume – the original Adam West style Batman outfit. Read more…AT CANOE TECH BLOG

Review: Fluance Fi30 Bluetooth Wood Speaker System

I’ve become so used to seeing speakers that are housed in cabinets made with plastic and metal that I almost forgot about speakers that come in wood grained cabinetry just like the ones I got so used to during my formative years. So I was pleasantly surprised when I had an opportunity to test drive one that reminded me of days gone by.

Fluance, a North American based direct-to-market speaker brand, has combined the best of yesterday and today with their high-performance Fi30 speaker system. It features wireless audio streaming via Bluetooth powered by aptX enhanced audio technology incorporated into a solid audio grade MDF wood cabinet.

Although it is wireless, it’s fairly hefty and not really designed to be portable, measuring 16.5″ x 5.5″ x 5.5″ and weighs a whopping 8.3 pounds. There’s no battery option as it runs purely on AC and the kind of device that would not seem out of place on a wall unit or mantle.

Under the hood it has two 3-inch woven glass fibre composite drivers with butyl rubber surrounds. There is no separate bass speaker, but in the rear you’ll find two respectably tuned bass ports that give you just about that you just the right amount of resonance without the need for a subwoofer.   READ FULL REVIEW at G4TV Canada

Satechi LightMate lights charges and breaks glass

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It’s not quite a mini Star Wars Lightsaber, but the Satechi LightMate, a 4-in-1 flashlight, emergency light, glass breaker and portable USB charger that can possibly save you in a time of need. And unlike the immortalized Hollywood prop, LightMate is a real product, solidly built – made from an aluminum steel alloy that the company says can withstand the weight of an average sized car.

The flashlight features fairly bright LEDs, putting out 220 lumens that can be seen, even in daylight. You can select from three different brightness levels – 100%, 50%, 15% as well as two emergency modes – strobe and SOS modes which cause the LEDs to flash in two different patterns.

Using it as a flashlight makes it idea for directional lighting to light up the way, but it also comes with a white screw-in light diffuser for area lighting, like for reading a map in the dark.   Read more… at Canoe Tech Blog

FoxL Dash 7 speaker offers big bass in a tiny bar

foxL DASH7 with Pen
A speaker designed by the legendary audio designer Dr. Guenther Godehard a former NASA scientist and former nuclear physicist would need to be somehow out of this world. Now it’s not something you would use out in space, but space is the operative word as it can deliver big sound and takes up little space. It’s called the FoxL Dash 7 Portable Speaker by Soundmatters and it’s designed for the discerning audiophile.

The Dash 7 is a small yet powerful, almost flat like a candy bar wireless speaker or perhaps more appropriately, a sound bar. It’s Bluetooth enabled, so you can use it wirelessly, but your can also use its 3.5mm input for direct connect.  It’s also configured with a echo/noise cancelling microphone so you can utilize your phone functions while listening to your tunes.  Read more…… at CANOE TECH BLOG

Apple refreshes iPad, iPad mini, iMac and Mac Mini lineup

It’s been barely a month since Apple’s iPhone 6 event in September and yet another has already come and gone. Now perhaps this last held one held yesterday might have been a little more anticlimactic than the iPhone 6 event but nonetheless there were some significant announcements about new iPad, iMac and Mac Mini models and of course the official announcement of Mac OS X Yosemite.

iPad Air 2

As expected, the iPad Air was refreshed and replaced with the iPad Air 2. The iPad Air was already pretty thin but this new model is even thinner now at just 6.1 mm thick and weighing in at less than a single pound. They’ve improved on the Retina display offering richer vibrant colors and a new anti-reflective coating that is designed to reduce glare by up to 56%. It’s also zippier, incorporating a second generation 64-bit and 40% faster A8X chip into its belly and adding 2 1/2 times the graphics performance of the previous iPad Air. It also includes the M8 motion coprocessor, which like the newer iPhones gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and an all-new barometer.

Read more……At Canoe Tech Blog

World’s smallest battery pack jumpstarts your car and your phone

JUMPR-Car

You can never have enough battery power for your gadgets but to be able to have a small compact lightweight device, that can also jumpstart your car in the rare case you need to do so and usually at the most inopportune time, is an incredible bonus. That’s what JUMPR by Juno Power is designed to do in a form factor that’s not much bigger than a couple of iPhone 6’s stacked on top of each other.

“We all know what it feels like to get caught with a dead car battery; you could be stuck waiting around for hours for a tow truck or friend to arrive. The JUMPR is a simple to use solution that gets you back on the road in minutes,” says Juno Power CEO, Dennis Lee.

Under its hood, pardon the pun, is a 6000mAH lithium polymer battery with a 12 Volt 150-300 AMP output designed to jumpstart a dead car battery. It has a two-pronged proprietary input to connect the positive and negative jumper cables as well as a 12V volt connector, which allows you to recharge with through your car’s cigarette lighter.

Read more…At Canoe Tech Blog

HUB-IT Sync and Charge review & giveaway

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Wouldn’t it be cool to have one device that can sync and charge up to seven devices regardless as to what type of connection they actually have? Well you can, with the new HUB-IT, an all-in-one sync and charge station from Eggtronic.

Designed by a former Maserati employee, HUB-IT is a funky desktop device (6.7” x 6.7” x 1.3”) that combines the aesthetics of Italian flair with USB 3.0 technology. And it actually looks like a hub in the traditional sense of the word, because you can connect your devices from all four sides of its perimeter. It has seven ports including three USB 3.0 super-speed ports and four cartridge connectors (Apple Lightning, Apple 30-pin, micro USB or mini USB connector) – a different one on each side. Each is fitted with about a 10” retractable cable which you can simply pull on to expand the cable and when it reaches a little tension at the end, simply let go and will spring back into place. There is also an LED indicator next to each port that displays its charging status.   Read more… and enter the GIVEAWAY at CANOE TECH BLOG

Runtastic Orbit fitness activity and sleep tracker review

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I spend a significant amount of time in front of some form of screen and probably not enough time at the gym, doing things that keep me in shape like walking which I strive to do at least three to five times per week. Now depending on whom you talk to, it can take 21 days, 40 days or somewhere in between to form a habit. Whatever that number is for you, having a device able to be with you 24/7 is a probably a good way to start. So I jumped at the opportunity to test-drive the new Runtastic Orbit, a real-time activity, fitness and sleep tracker.

Austria-based Runtastic is not a newcomer to the tracking game; they already have a whack of other apps on the market like Runtastic Road Bike, Pedometer and Wintersports. However, this is their first foray into providing their own complete hardware and software solution.    The heart of the Orbit comes in the form an interestingly shaped waterproof module. It’s designed to slip into one of the two wristbands provided or a clip you can attach to your belt or wear on a lanyard around your neck.   Read more…At Canoe Tech Blog

Drobo launches world’s highest capacity portable storage array

Drobo mini in hand

Storage arrays are something you’d probably expect to find in a server room but with technology being so portable these days, it would make sense for someone to come up with a storage solution for people on the go. So Connected Data the creator of the Drobo line of start smart storage solutions has unveiled the new Drobo Mini 8TB Bundle, the industry’s first portable protected storage solution.

The new bundle features four hot-swappable 2.5” drive bays that come factory preloaded with four 2TB Samsung Spinpoint M9T drives which are only 9.5mm thick. The system is configured with Connected Data’s BeyondRAID technology that allows the restoration of data in the event that one or two drives fail simultaneously.      Read more…at Canoe Tech Blog

VIKINGS SEASON 2 BEHIND THE SCENES (Bonus Feature)

VikingsScreen2If you are a big fan of VIKINGS, you might be happy to know that oOctober 14, 2014, season two of the hit HISTORY drama series will be released on DVD across Canada.  

Vikings is an international Irish/Canadian co-production created and written by Michael Hirst (The TudorsElizabeth). The show focuses on Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), a young warrior and family man who desires to find and conquer new lands across the sea and claim them as his own. Now he is an Earl, allied with King Horrik (Donal Logue). With more power than ever before, his desire to sail west and explore new kingdoms remains unappeasable.

Season two brings crises of faith, of power, of relationships. The action packed and emotionally charged season has brothers rise up against one another; loyalties shift from friend to foe; and has unlikely alliances formed in the name of supremacy.

If you haven’t seen the show, here’s a behind the scenes clip: