The night is filled with the pop-pop-pop and occasional, ever satisfying thud of fireworks. For someone who has spent every Fourth of July with a punk in his hand since he was old enough to shoot off fireworks, those sounds seem a bit out of place tonight. None of them were coming from my fireworks.
Have you ever had the experience where you had a conversation that seemed relatively ordinary until after the fact? Most of us have experienced this sort of retroactively meaning in our lives. Life would be different now, because what was normal ended.
Here we find ourselves on Christmas day yet again. This year the meteorologists have forecast the weather in St. Louis at 50 degrees for later today – less than ideal for any dreams of a white Christmas, though certainly closer to what one might find in Bethlehem. Christmas is here, but with the warmth of much of this December, it almost feels delayed.
In our general smartphone guide, we laid out the basic smartphone situation and then looked at Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and Apple’s iOS. In this piece we move on to a sampling of Android phones available this holiday season. Whether you are looking to give someone an Android handset for Christmas, or are thinking about picking one up for yourself, these contenders cover a good deal of the Android landscape this season, ranging from the impressively affordable AT&T Impulse 4G to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S II.
Trying to pick out a smartphone for someone for Christmas is a difficult task. There are now dozens of potential contenders, priced from free to hundreds of dollars. How can you pick out one that will delight your recipient and serve him or her well for years to come? OFB Labs has thoroughly tested ten of the most recent smartphone offerings from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to help you sort out which are best for your gift giving this year – or for picking up as a gift to yourself with some Christmas money.
With the Kindle Fire’s impending release adding yet another interesting dimension to the tablet market, selecting a tablet to give as a gift this season has become all the more complicated. More than likely, Amazon’s entry will dramatically change the playing field, but other tablets continue to have significant merits that make them worthy of gifting consideration this year. We look at the cream of the crop of those other tablets in light of the new Kindle, below.
When news broke of Steve Jobs’s death, their was an outpouring of sadness from both those who knew the man and those of us who knew only the products his farsighted perfectionism had helped to mold. Amidst the mourning over a technology pioneer and visionary, there was a contrary opinion from another technology pioneer and visionary known for his nearly 30 year long campaign against proprietary software. Richard Stallman was glad Jobs would not be able to create any more “jails” to lock people in.
I remember as a boy shopping with my parents for our first computer that didn’t hook up to a TV. In the stores, there was the “open world” of PC’s and then that odd little section for people who insisted on closed, strange — gasp — Macs. Such a view was more a sign of a general misunderstanding of Macs than anything else, but the reputation has persisted for many. A new product launch from Adobe, however, shows just how wrong that reputation is.
I find myself inside a fireworks tent two days before opening at the beginning of the fireworks selling season. In this particular city, fireworks legally go on sale in temporary locations starting June 20 of each year. Sitting down a bit from me on the still bare table is an enthusiastic Chris Sander, the 28-year-old proprietor of Powder Monkey Fireworks (which, he carefully points out, is styled “powder monkey FIREWORKS”). I found myself here on a quest to learn more about how the fireworks business works, though as I listened to Sander’s insights, it became clear he was dispensing business wisdom applicable far more broadly than just his own market.
In many ways, 2011 is shaping up to be the year of 4G. Although Sprint launched its 4G network several years ago and Verizon went live with its own next generation network late last year, this is the year that phones and other 4G devices have finally become widely available. With each of the major carriers claiming to have a 4G network, Open for Business investigated to find out who offers the best choice for fast Internet access on the go.