Paypal is the granddaddy of online payment platforms, at least on the Internet. We’re been Paypal users ever since our first Ebay purchase way back in the day. Now Paypal is expanding it’s sphere to include payment not much for online purchases but also for in-store purchases face to face. So how does it compare to the competition such as Square or Stripe? Read on to find out.
One of our favorite ultrabooks is finally on sale from Microsoft store. This is the Acer S7 ultrabook with third generation Core i5 processor and 13.3 full HD touchscreen. The computer is brand new with Microsoft signature service, meaning no bloatware. It may just be the time to upgrade that laptop.
It’s been years since a game genuinely piqued our interest and held our attention throughout the entire experience. We’re glad to say, the revamped Tomb Raider is one of those games that must be experienced. The game features a young Lara Croft on her first adventure, it’s an origin story in the way of Batman Begins. The controls were excellent and borrowed a few elements from the God of War series. However, what put this game over the top was the engaged storyline. The writing was top-notch and reminded you of a hollywood film versus a traditional game. The cut-scenes were seamless with the action to blend action and play. We don’t want to spoil the storyline for you but you should experience it for yourself if you like logic and old school adventure games.
Google has always designed beautiful web experiences and lately, they’ve extended that skills to the hardware side as well. Between the Nexus 7 and Nexus 4, they’ve been able to upend the market for phones and tablets. The one sore area for the company is the TV arena, where their Google TV devices has been lackluster as best. However, their recently released Chromecast take a different tack to this problem.
Instead of the trying to be the one box to rule them all, or at least in the living room, they’re going for the simpler is better approach with Chromecast. The $35 devices plugs into a HDMI port on your tv and is powered by the included micro-usb adapter. So what can you do with it? Well, not much at this point, you can launch Youtube or Netflix videos on your phone or tablet and then “sling” it over to the Chromecast to watch it on the big screen. You can also push Chrome browser websites to the big screen as well.
While you can’t do Amazon video or the other stuff that a full box like Google TV or Roku can do, the $35 price tag and simplicity in operation may just make this a good device for the living room tv. Check it out for yourself if you’re inclined.
We recently got our hands on the hottest wifi security camera on the market – Dropcam. If you don’t know the name, then you’re probably not in the market for a cheap wifi based security camera system. The camera retails for $150 and provides with free web-based viewing of the footage from the Dropcam website. While the live viewing service is free, most people pony up for the $10/monthly fee to be able to record the footage for up to 7 days on Dropcam servers. Afterall, what good is a security camera if you can’t show the footage to the police or other sources after something happens? In fact, there is a 14 days of the DVR service free trial for new users who set up a Dropcam account.
So does the camera live up to its hype? Let’s review our experience.
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We have the Nexus 7, the one released in 2012, which still serves as our daily e-reader and video player. However, we’re almost tempted to pick up the new one just released last week. In addition to the awesome beyond HD screen (1920×1200) that is sharper than your HD tv, it also contains the quad core process that is inside the Samsung Galaxy Note II. The interface is buttery smooth and the HD camera front and back round out the perfect package. If we didn’t already one, we would pick this up in a heartbeat for $230.
Another day another virtual mobile operator on the scene. This time from the long time unlimited text operator TextNow. They do bring some new features to the table, the service is similar to Republic Wireless, which we covered before.
The key here they also offer cell phone service with no contract for only $19 a month. In fact, they even have a better selection of phones – Nexus S or Galaxy II. The service prefers to run on Wifi but you do get coverage through Sprint’s 3G and 4G network when out of wifi range.
The caveat is that you’re limited to only 500MB data when using the Sprint network per month. Unlimited text and 750 minutes are included with the plan and the minutes do rollover month to month. While we like the phone selection, we still can’t recommend the service over Republic Wireless when Republic offer unlimited data, minutes, and text for the same monthly cost.
If you’re interested, you can check it out yourself.
Gym memberships are some of the most overpriced and restrictive contracts in the consumer world. The only offenders worse are probably the cell phone contracts. However, look like a new chain is looking to change that – Blink Fitness. Each new club in the NYC market are properly stuffed with the standard amenities with the best feature being the low monthly cost of $15-$29 for membership. There is no long-term contract and only $30 initiation fee.
While the name is new the company backing the chain isn’t – Equinox. Blink is a subsidiary branding of the pricy Equinox chain. No doubt in response to upcoming chains such as Planet Fitness. Either way, the consumers win in this battle for new members. If you’re interested and live in NYC, you can see the site for addition details and sign ups.
All of the carriers are toting their own horns about allowing subscribers to upgrade to newer phones faster than the 2 year contract. However, all of the plans are laden with fees and gotchas that raise the price of the plan or phones. Consumer Reports did an objective comparison of the two plans between AT&T and Tmobile (Next versus Jump). Their conclusion, AT&T is over charging you $300 for the privilege of the upgrading every six month.
You can read their take below. For our own recommendation, we don’t recommend any of these plans and instead buy unlock phones such as the Nexus 4 and keeping it for at least one year. You’re reap the greatest amount of saving and you’re get higher resale value by directly selling it on Ebay or Amazon when you upgrade to newer models.
Everyone deserve to have some type of home security system. However, most people forgo it due to the cost of system and maintenance. There are few companies out there that take advantage of the ubiquitous web infrastructure to develop a lower cost system – Dropcam. Today, another start up is entering the market with some unique feature sets – Canary.
While Dropcam only uses cameras for security. The Canary system integrates HD Webcam, Microphone, night vision, and most importantly passive infrared motion detection that can also detect temperature changes such as fire. They’re raising funding for an initial manufacture run now on Indiegogo. So if you’re in the market, think about supporting them and get your own Canary system for $150.
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