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As addictive and fun as Angry Birds is to play on your Apple iPhone or Android, it's really just a great way to waste time. On the other hand, there are some useful apps that can help you shop, stay healthy and be fit. 


 

The expression "walking around with your head in the clouds" is used to describe a person lost in a perpetual fog of revelry. Such people, while usually harmless, tend to be unreliable.

Clouds also bring tidings of bad luck. Think of Pigpen from the "Peanuts" comic strip, with his black cloud lingering ever-presently overhead.

So perhaps "cloud" isn't the best word to describe a concept that some believe is on its way to changing desktop computing as we know it. 

 

It's a wonder how my folks ever made it through all those long road trips in the family car.

We would try to spot as many different license plates as we could or play the I Spy game. Today, there are all sorts of distractions, from portable DVD players to game systems - and the in-car technology is about to get even better.

 

I was given the task of creating a list of must-have gadgets for this month's column. Being the techno-nerd that I am, my first thought was, "I don't want to be without any of my gadgets."



 

Have you ever shown up to an event with your big, bulky, digital SLR camera around your neck and felt like some sort of creepy paparazzi trying to get shots for US Weekly?

Are you tired of people thinking you're a member of the press when you take that huge camera out to photograph flowers in the park? No? That never happens to you? Well, it happens to me. Oh wait, I am a member of the press. Anyway, my point is that there's a new standard in town, and its name is the Micro Four-Thirds System. It's here to rescue me and just make photography a bit easier on you.

 


Microsoft once owned the market when it came to mobile operating systems. Research In Motion stepped up with its Blackberry and took out a big chunk of that share, and later Microsoft let Windows Mobile go stagnant. Apple released the iPhone, and Google now has Android. Microsoft finally got its act together and went back to the drawing board to create a fresh new mobile operating system from the ground up. The result is Windows Phone 7.


When it comes to your personal health and wellness, a lot of questions and information are involved. What did I eat for dinner? Where is that insurance information? What medications am I currently taking? When was that knee surgery? Google is set to help you keep track of that information with Google Health.



The Web makes it easier to keep up with new foodie trends. You can get free recipes from some of the top chefs in the country, and the biggest bonus of them all: real-world pedestrian reviews of the recipe.

This is where the iPhone comes in.


As of late, you might have noticed a large push toward the third dimension. If you are to believe the major manufacturers of video equipment, 3D is the new hotness, and you had better be upgrading soon.


It happened. I never thought it would, but it finally happened. A company made a smart phone, nay a superphone, that I finally want. I’m not just talking about liking this thing, I’m making plans to switch networks just to have it. The device I am referring to is the newly announced HTC EVO 4G for Sprint. One could safely say this is the best spec’d phone to ever be built, and as you read on, I think you will agree.


I have been on the hunt for a nice set of in-ear monitors that won't break the bank for a while now. I can't stand the cheap ear buds that come with the majority of mp3 players, including Apple's famous white ear buds. I swapped those out for a cheap set of Skullcandy Ink'd headphones the day I got my iPhone. Since then, I have managed to go through five pairs, and it's getting tiresome.


A co-worker and I have the Canon vs. Nikon debate all the time. I am the Canon fanboy, and he loves his Nikon. We, however, are talking about digital SLR cameras. When it comes to the more common point-and-shoot units, who cares, right? I sure didn't - until now, that is. Nikon has piqued my interest, and judging by the "sold out" on most Web sites, they have done so for many others, too. I am speaking of their newest innovation, the Nikon Coolpix S1000pj. It's a radically new point-and-shoot with a built-in projector.

The holiday season is here. It's time for food, family and giving.

While I love good food and family, the text that follows is going to focus on giving. Giving to loved ones during the holiday season can be a rewarding experience. Putting big presents under the tree for them to ponder over is a fun and playful form of torture that most enjoy. My personal favorites, though, are the stockings.


The holiday season is here, whether we like it or not.

Some people choose to live by the motto: "If you have it, flaunt it." After all, the one with the most toys wins, right? And boy, do I have some toys for you.


As a homeowner, the desire for a whole house video system may not be at the top of your renovation list. Avaak and their Vue Personal Video Network may cause you to rethink that notion.


On Feb. 23, Amazon began selling the second version of its electronic book reader, aptly named the Kindle 2. This go-round, it seems that Amazon has made a really beautiful, well-thought out device for reading on the go. But is it really worth the price of $359?


While I consider myself "green," I don't have a green thumb. In fact, I think I have killed just about every plant I have ever had, including my poor cactus.

During the Christmas season my landlord left a poinsettia out for each of his residents. Nice guy, eh? Well, I decided that this time I was going to do my best to keep this one alive, and I think I found just what I need. The DIY Botanicalls Twitter kit.


The Peek e-mail device was introduced in September 2008. Its job, to send and receive e-mail. That's all. The first time I read about the device, I thought to myself, "Man, what is the point?" I didn't even give it a second thought. Then I saw several tech Web sites publish reviews of the device. Out of curiosity I read the reviews, and I still didn't get it. A device that only does one thing, check e-mail, could never survive in today's marketplace. Then, Time magazine named it gadget of the year, beating out the T-Mobile G1 phone and Apple MacBook laptop. Maybe I should give this thing a chance after all.


Computers are nothing new to the doctor's office. When I visit my doctor, he walks in with a tablet computer, pulls up my file and starts with the questions.

 


Try as it might, digital just can't kill analog. Analog has managed to keep itself alive just fine in the music industry through the continued popularity of vinyl records. DJs and audiophiles seem to cherish the things.

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