Review: Native Union Moshi Moshi Solo Handset

By Richard V. Burckhardt

The Native Union Moshi Moshi 05 Solo Handset is aimed at cell phone users who want the feel of a regular, old fashioned telephone handset. It features a sleek design that fits comfortably against your face and even cradles up against your neck and chin easily like we used to do in the old days.

The Moshi Moshi Solo 05 Handset

The Moshi Moshi Solo 05 Handset

I got the black handset, which came with the expected coiled black cord and and adapter for use with a PC or laptop. I tried it out on my iPhone 3GS, plugging into the top headset plug using the native 3.5mm jack and the sound was nice and clear. There is an “Answer” button in the center of the handset that allows you to answer and hang up. On some mobile phones, this apparently will allow you to redial the last number you called with this button, too, but on my iPhone, it just started playing tracks on the phone.

The handset features noise reduction, is supposed to eliminate over 99% of phone radiation and work with most mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.).

The Moshi Moshi 05 Solo handset weighs about the same as my iPhone, which leads me to wonder why anyone would want to use this with most mobile phones (unless you are worried about radiation from your phone). It’s actually heavier than many and, unless you have your phone anchored securely to a charging base or maybe in your pocket, you run the risk of dragging the attached phone around as you swing in your chair or get up. Continue reading

Review: Time Warner Cable TV iPad App

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Being a Time Warner Cable TV subscriber, I naturally snagged the new TWC iPad app to try out immediately on release. As someone considering cutting the cord at some point, I wanted to see what my cable company might have up its sleeve to entice me to stay on board.

Installing the app was, not surprisingly, a snap, as is usually the case with iPad apps from the Apple app store. Once installed, I had to go to a web site and register as a Time Warner Cable subscriber. The darned thing wanted my account number, which was a pain, because I am enrolled in auto-payment, so I haven’t seen an actual bill in over three years. I had no idea what my account number might be. So, off to the local TWC web site and a quick chat session with a rep, who quickly and easily provided that info.

Time Warner Cable iPad app logo

A sharp looking Time Warner Cable logo in the iPad app.

Once registered, I simply logged in with the app and was presented with a very sharp looking TWC logo and then the picture from a channel with a channel overlay covering the left side of the screen. Continue reading

When Syfy isn’t Enough Sci-Fi, Go Online

By Richard V. Burckhardt

I remember when The Sci-Fi Channel was announced in 1991. I was in geek heaven at the thought of a channel devoted completely to science fiction. My excitement was dashed somewhat when I was informed that the local cable company in Houston, where I lived at the time, wasn’t going to pick it up when it launched.

I’m stubborn and decided that I would find a way to get my sci-fi fix, regardless of the idiots at the cable company. At that time, the only satellite service available was through a huge 10-foot dish, which I purchased and installed in my backyard where neighbors wouldn’t complain. I locked into the channel weeks before it launched when they just had some weird graphics displaying and no programming.

One of the things I absolutely loved about the satellite TV service at the time was the ability to buy channels a la carte. I bought a basic package and could add individual channels as I desired. It was fantastic, not like the garbage I pay a fortune for in bulk these days in a cable package with no options and 90% channels that I have no interest in. But, this rant is for another post. ;-)

When The Sci-Fi Channel launched, I was in absolute ecstasy. The channel lineup was mostly classic shows like Lost in Space, Dark Shadows, Dr. Who and the original Battlestar Galactica, along with old movies in the sci-fi and horror genres, but it absolutely filled the bill for this sci-fi geek. Continue reading

iPad – Personal TV Anywhere

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Netflix iPad App


The free Netflix iPad app allows you to watching streaming movies or TV shows from the Netflix catalog anywhere you have an Internet connection.

The CEO of Qualcomm recently admitted that the company’s FloTV mobile television sevice, which delivered a paid form of cable TV to mobile phones, has not done so well. Folks (like me) want the content, but why pay for it when there are so many ways to get TV services without the monthly fee?

I have been using my iPhone as a pocket TV for a couple of years and now that the iPad is here, mobile TV has come to a new level thanks to those wonderful apps, some free, some paid.

Here’s a rundown of some of the great iPad apps that let you take your TV wherever you have an Internet connection.

iTunes – Naturally this is included with the iPad. You can purchase or rent TV shows and movies and watch them through the Video app (also included). The videos look outstanding on the iPad screen. Yes, my first post iPad movie purchase was the JJ Abrams Star Trek. There is a reason it is used in the iPad promotions. It looks GREAT on the iPad screen! Free

YouTube – Again, this app is included with the iPad and the videos look great. Unfortunately, the YouTube app is just a viewer. It appears that you still have to go to the web site in a browser to favorite videos or share them. Even more unfortunate, you can’t access the new TV show and movie content that YouTube is now offering. They are in Flash. Get with it Google! Free

Netflix – This is my absolute favorite iPad app! I can stream available Netflix videos with terrific video clarity. Just imagine having video on demand wherever you can connect, something we only dreamed of a short time ago. Alas, the app isn’t perfect. You can play videos in your queue or browse through the catalog for stuff to play, but you still have to go to the site with your web browser to add content to your queue. Free
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