I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.
The rise and fall of Canadian technology giant BlackBerry is a well known story. But what you might not know is that BlackBerry’s climbing back up into popular culture once again with the release of its brand new phone, the BlackBerry KEYone.
The phone is BlackBerry’s first new offering I’ve paid attention to since I ditched my old Curve about ten years ago. Can it woo back business users and those for whom physical keyboards are a must have? I received one of the brand-new devices to test and review. Continue reading “BlackBerry KEYone smartphone review”→
Whether it’s the bus, train or even Uber, sometimes commuting can be a pain. You need to be well armed when you head out for the day; all your papers and gear, your technology and devices, and maybe even lunch thrown in for good measure. Having the right accessories —and the best way to carry them — can make your daily commute easier.
This month on CTV Tech Talk we checked out some great new gadgets that would also make good gifts for Father’s Day.
Fugoo Speakers: Fugoo Style, Style XL, Tough
Fugoo makes a variety of Bluetooth speakers in varying sizes, different levels of portability and several styles; we checked out the Style, Style XL and Tough.
The Style speaker is one of the chicest, but its good looks conceal a tough and durable interior. Fugoo says the speaker has a “fiber-reinforced resin shell and waterproof cloth covering that gives this speaker the protection it needs to last long past cocktail hour.”
The speaker is about the size of a small clutch purse or a portable coffee mug, and though it’s lightweight, it doesn’t feel cheap; it feels like it has some durability and heft behind it. it has a built in speakerphone and connects with Siri or Google Now.
It also has a changeable jacket, which is removed by pushing a release tab on the base. Without its skin, it looks very industrial, and still cool. Keeping the jacket on provides some measure of water or spill protection, so it’s probably best kept on.
The Jam Xterior Max which is a rugged Bluetooth speaker designed for the outdoor enthusiast. The speaker claims to handle rough and tumble conditions while still providing superior sound quality.
The Jam Xterior Max lives up to its name when it comes to durability. When I first picked up the speaker it had the weight of my trusty old Sports Walkman back in high school.
While speakers seem to be trending towards smaller and lighter, the Jam has a sturdy feel to it. Despite its beefy five pound girth the Jam is built for portability and has a super grippy exterior to help prevent accidental drops.
Pairing the Jam Xterior Maxwas very simple. As with most Bluetooth pairings these days, a typical long push of a button along with that oh-so-pleasant sounding voice and you’re off to the races. I tested the pairing on both iOS and Android without any issues.
I’ve recently changed my tune on printers. I used to think they were rather unnecessary in our digital world. Then I had a chance to test a couple, and found myself printing all kinds of things.
For starters: photos. All our photos tend to live on our phones, but when you print them they become keepsakes. Printing photo magnets and stickers are also quick and easy. A fun idea for Father’s Day is to print iron-on transfers for T-shirts and make a cute project or gift.
Today I showed off the Epson Workforce WF-4740 Inkjet Printer which gives you heavy-duty performance plus the fastest color print speed in its class. It holds 500 sheets, so you won’t need to refill that often. Plus, its 4.3″ color touchscreen offers easy navigation.
The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is a sexy piece of work. It’s ultrathin and very light. In a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the phone has a larger front screen — a 5.5” ‘Infinity Display’ which fills almost the entire space. Gone is the S7’s lower control panel on the bottom end and the logo panel along the top edge. Now the screen covers most of that real estate. (For you iPhone 6 users, all that white space on the front is basically eliminated.)
The camera on this phone is a game changer. Smartphone cameras have replaced point and shoot and DSLR cameras for many of us. It’s just too convenient to use your smart phone for photography when it’s always in your hands or pocket. Plus, with smartphones, we can upload pictures to social media, and share with family and friends instantly.
The biggest problem with some smartphone cameras has been quality. Samsung has been paying attention and appears to have poured everything they’ve got into the camera on this device.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will take outstanding selfies, thanks to the 8MP F1.7 Smart autofocus front camera. Or do as I did, and enjoy snapping photos, panoramas, and even easy 360° views using the 12MP F1.7 Dual Pixel rear camera, which also features outstanding low-light, zoom and anti-blur technology with enhanced image processing. Samsung also makes it easy to snap away since you can access the camera quickly by double tapping the power button.
***PLEASE note the contest is now CLOSED. Congratulations to winner Lisa Douglas. ***To enter, please write a (preferably nice!) comment in the comments section below.
Don’t forget to use they keyword(s) I gave out on TV.
You may enter today until midnight. Contest closes at 11:59pm MT Tuesday June 13th, 2017. One entry per person. Duplicate/additional entries on the same day will be discarded.
The Fine Print:
I’ll get in touch with the winner via email. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours. If I do not receive a response/acknowledgement of the win, your entry is forfeited/discarded and I’ll redraw under same 48 hour timeframe until I get a winner to acknowledge.
I’ll pick one winner at random from among all the website entries. Only 1 entry per person, per day please; duplicate entries will be discarded.
Contest closes at 11:59pm MT Tuesday June 13th, 2017. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Not valid in Quebec.
1 winner will receive 1 Fugoo portable speaker, exact mode of which is to be determined by Fugoo Inc. and is at the company’s sole discretion, and subject to availability.
Erinlyyc.com bears no responsibility for prizes not delivered, delayed or misdirected, or not claimed after 30 days. Prize has no cash value. Fugoo has the right to substitute a similar prize, so the prizes may not be exactly as shown.
Winner’s name(s) Will be posted to this website and/or social media after the drawing.
If for any reason the internet portion of the contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of this website which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this contest, erinlyyc reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest. Prize may not be exactly as show in accompanying photographs. Prize are supplied to erinlyyc.com by a third party, as such erinlyyc.com bears no responsibility for prizes delayed, misdirected, adjusted, substituted, or otherwise not supplied.
By entering this contest, you must supply an email address to erinlyyc.com. You may receive future content emails from us, and you may opt out of these emails at any time by following the unsubscribe procedures contained within. By entering this contest you agree you have read and accept the rules and will abide by them.
Drying your hair is one of those chores that’s necessary, but you’d be hard pressed to find people who say they enjoy it. In fact there was a time where women used to use washing and drying their hair, as an implausible excuse to turn down a bad date. Fortunately, the technology in drying your hair has come along way since the Mad Men era.
I recently had a chance to get to know some beauty gadgets from T3 Micro. You’ll want to check out my review of their smart curling iron – the Twirl 360 – that curls your hair with a gyroscopic barrel. This time, I’m looking at one of their newest models of hairdryer the T3 Micro Featherweight Luxe 2i is one of the brands newest offerings. Continue reading “T3 Micro Featherweight Luxe 2i hair dryer review”→
SAN JOSE, California — June 5, 2017 — Apple today announced HomePod, a breakthrough wireless speaker for the home that delivers amazing audio quality and uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust the audio. Continue reading “Apple HomePod smart speaker announced”→
Spending quality time with our family and friends at home is important. What if technology could make the most of those special moments by helping us get things done?
Google Home – Canada finally gets the device
Google Home is a voice-activated smart speaker powered by the Google Assistant that does just that. Whether you want to get results from Google, turn up the music, manage your everyday tasks or control compatible smart devices in your home, all you have to do is say “Ok Google.”
Now, Google Home is coming to Canada, and with it we’re bringing the Google Assistant to Canadians in both English and French.
What can I do with Google Home Canada?
With Google Home, you can:
Get help from the Google Assistant: Ask your Assistant on Google Home a question, and it will tap into everything Google has to offer —Search, Maps, Translate and more. You can get the latest on weather, traffic, finance, news, sports, and local businesses when you need them most.
Enjoy your music: Whether you’re in the mood to listen to a podcast or dance around the living room, Google Home helps you enjoy your favourite tunes. With a simple voice command, you can play songs, playlists, artists and albums from Google Play Music, Spotify, and more.* Plus, you can enjoy news, podcasts, and radio.
Manage your everyday tasks: There’s never a shortage of things to do in the home and we could all use a little help sometimes. With your permission, the Google Assistant will help you with things like your daily schedule, commute, and more. Plus it’s a whiz at setting alarms, starting timers, and adding items to your shopping list.
Control your smart home: If you have smart devices in your home, you can use your Assistant to control your lights and switches from brands including Nest, Philips Hue or Samsung SmartThings and more.
A speaker designed for any room: Google Home’s high excursion speaker delivers Hi-Fi sound quality. It can also hear you reliably thanks to far-field microphones and sophisticated natural language processing. Crafted to fit naturally in many areas of your home, we designed the top to be clean with a hidden LED light ring to blend in.
Google Home will be available starting on June 26th from the Google Store, Bell, Best Buy, Indigo, London Drugs, Rogers, Staples, The Source, Telus, Visions, and Walmart.
*Google Home is optimized for selected music services only. Subscriptions/payments may be required. Google Home requires a Wi-Fi network, a nearby electrical outlet, and a compatible (Android, iOS) mobile device. Minimum OS requirements are available at g.co/home/req.
It’s hard to believe but toothbrushes have gone high tech. So much so that I’ve put together a series on the blog and the YouTube channelwith all the options. This next one I’m reviewing has to be one of the most unusual. Blizzident is not a connected toothbrush and it doesn’t vibrate or send you data, but it’s one of the more high tech toothbrushes I’ve seen in a long time. Here’s why.
I love testing out beauty gadgets, so when I heard about T3’s new curling iron which it says will create, “flawless curls, powered by science” I was more than a little interested.
The T3 Micro Twirl 360 is a 1.25″ barrel ceramic curling iron. While it looks like most standard curling irons, its lovely white sheathing makes it look ultra modern. But behind the nice styling is some serious technology, because this curling iron can curl your hair virtually by itself, because it has a built in gyroscope that whirls the curls for you. Continue reading “T3 Micro Twirl 360 smart curling iron review”→