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9:12PM

Logitech amps up videoconferencing with Logitech GROUP

Unless you just exited a stasis pod from 1999, it should be beyond obvious that videoconferencing rules when it comes to communications, and collaboration.

You just cannot beat video!

Over that period, Logitech has developed from being a purveyor of basic webcams to becoming a manufacturer of several affordable desktop and mobile videoconferencing devices, several of which we have not only reviewed, but continue to use within Logikworx across 4 countries every business day.

PNG 72 dpi (RGB)-ConferenceCam Live Family Square F

In fact, we recently glossed the Logitech ConferenceCam Connect with the SmallBizWindows Absolute Best Award for its versatility, power, app compatibility, and downright usefulness.

Today though, I can reveal the latest from Logitech to you: the Logitech GROUP.

Logitech GROUP is a new videoconferencing solution created for mid-sized conference rooms. In fact, it is designed for conference groups of up to 14 participants.

JPG 72 dpi (RGB)-5_ GROUP_Lifestyle_Mics_View from Far end

Out of the box, Logitech GROUP gives users a videoconferencing solution that delivers high resolution video, high fidelity audio, is affordable, is expandable to four beamforming(?) microphones, and is compatible with just about every video conferencing or web conferencing solution out there.

This really brings HALO-type videoconferencing down to the smallest of small business!

Logitech_GROUP_Lifestyle _PNG72Dpi_1

This Logitech GROUP solution is going to drive a lot of high-priced pretenders out of the market!

Product Page
Logitech GROUP

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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9:08PM

I would gladly pay for a Windows 10 version of Outlook for iOS

$0.99? $1.99? $4.99? $9.99?

Heck, I would gladly pay $19.99 for a Windows desktop application or Metro app that mimics the UI and user-friendliness of Microsoft’s Outlook for iOS.

WITHOUT THE OVERBEARING HEAVY-HANDEDNESS of Microsoft Office Outlook!

Think about it.

Outlook_c_Cyan300Microsoft Outlook for iOS, both for iPad and iPhone, is lightweight, incredibly easy to use, very user-friendly, and just works. Well, when you don’t have to constantly clear out the cache, though they seem to have solved that issue.

For Windows, you have Microsoft Office Outlook, or that brain-addled Mail Metro app.

For connections to Exchange, you really can’t do better than Outlook. It does it all.

Outlook is, after all, Outlook. The ne plus ultra when it comes to email clients.

However, pre Windows 10 devices happily used the Windows Live Mail application, which is/was a part of the Windows Essentials suite. A suite that has NOT been updated since, well, forever, the current version being Windows Essentials 2012.

The Accompli purchase, and the subsequent substitution and rebrand of the former iOS Outlook client is simply, genius.

Microsoft took a rather excremental app, and with the wave of a magic in-place update, delivered a truly delicioso app that does it all: user-friendly, a great user experience, unobtrusive, everything!

I may be wrong, but I believe I read somewhere that it is the mI' wa' (Klingon) third-party email app in the Apple App Store. Yes, it is that good!

You would think that [the execs at] Microsoft would stub their collective big toes on proverbial rocks, and have an epiphany: “Let us deliver the same Outlook for iOS experience to Windows 10 users.”

No.

What Windows users have, is a rehash of the rather crappy Mail app that shipped with the late, unlamented Windows 8x.

Folks, that app is a piece of bovine dung!

I can hear the fanboi chorus clearing their throats, readying the mantra, “Antitrust, Antitrust .”

Calm the funk down, nitwits.

Please tell me that Mighty Microsoft cannot create an interstitial that enumerates the benefits of an enhanced and worthy Outlook client for Windows when users first start up the infernal Mail app!

And then proceed to help users seamlessly migrate their email accounts to that free Outlook client.

I don’t even want free.

I will gladly pay for it!

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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2:37PM

Celebrating Black History Month 2016: Robert L. Johnson

Bob_JohnsonRobert Johnson is owner of several firsts, of which these two stand out: the first Black billionaire worldwide*, and the first Black majority-owner of a US major league sports franchise.

Robert Louis Johnson made his fortune in broadcasting, as the founder of Black Entertainment Television, popularly known as BET.

It was groundbreaking in several respects, and quite lauded for bringing rich TV experiences to the Black and African community globally, a far cry from the absolute bullshit it now is.

He sold BET to Viacom in 2001, where the decline was initiated once all original programming became focused on reality television, and the making of fluff.

Still, Bob rode off into the sunset with his loot, which is good. In 2004, he used some of that money to purchase a controlling interest in the Charlotte Bobcats**, a new NBA franchise.

He is also founder of RLJ Companies.

*That is, the first non-dictator or governmental-thief dictator.
**He has since sold all of his ownership interest in the Bobcats to Michael Jordan.

Today’s Blaxploitation Movie is Cleopatra Jones (1973), starring Tamara Dobson, Bernie Casey, Don Cornelius, Frankie Crocker, Michael Warren, Antonio Fargas, and Brenda Sykes.

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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9:10AM

The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect Review

I have been using the Logitech ConferenceCam Connect for the past seven weeks, and I tell ya: this product will continue to be used by yours truly!

Like most of you, I have a commute to the office. However, my commute is somewhat longer. Moreover, I also make several visits to clients, from where I either have to initiate a conference call with staff or our external consultants.

mariner-main-feature (6)

I have tried to mitigate that somewhat by the use of videoconferencing.

My daily driver had been the really nice Logitech ConferenceCam BCC950. Reviewed here, the BCC950 is a delight; it is powerful, very useful, and works with all videoconferencing solutions I have tried it with.

However, it is not really meant to be portable, or mobile.

Then, comes the ConferenceCam Connect.

The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect
This is a single-piece videoconferencing product.

It is very portable, full of connectivity options, and like every Logitech device I have used in the past 18 months, boasts full compatibility with Windows, be it the Windows client, or Windows Server.

Logitech ConferenceCam Connect is an elegant 2⅔” tube that houses not just the videoconferencing device, but also the remote, which serves to protect the ConferenceCam Connect’s lenses when in ‘storage mode’.

It comes with the following features:

  • A 1080p camera with a 90-degree field-of-view,
  • A built-in battery,
  • A Full-duplex mic,
  • In addition to the wired USB, it has a plethora of wireless options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and Miracast/Screen Mirroring.
  • An HDMI port

Using The ConferenceCam Connect
mariner-main-featureThe ConferenceCam Connect, as mentioned earlier, is a well-designed, single-piece device that is cylindrically shaped. Light – weighing less than the Sunday New York Times, this videoconferencing solution easily fits into a backpack or largish briefcase.

At the time I got it, it was a godsend, as the end of year/start of year periods see me traveling quite a lot. This allowed me to use it in various locations with all the issues present there.

ConferenceCam Connect’s versatility meant that at any given time, I was able to initiate conferences between myself and my clients at their home location, and my senior staff in Los Angeles.

Completely worth it.

The benefits of visual communications are legion.

I would add to that: the benefits of visual communications between a client and several consultants collaborating to create new solutions for them are astronomical.

ConferenceCam Connect was used with Microsoft Skype for Business (Lync), Skype, and GoToMeeting.

As with the previously reviewed BCC950 and CC3000e devices, ConferenceCam Connect did not disappoint: it just worked.

I even had it on slow overseas videoconferences over poor lines. ConferenceCam Connect came through admirably. Making me look good.

I am thinking of using it to set up a quasi-HALO room at the Orbiting O’Odua in order to utilize the projectors here to some extent. Once I have some downtime, I may do just that, and post a mini review.

Conclusions
4In my review of the SmallBizWindows Superstar product the Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e, I found only one fault with it: it was not a portable solution.

Well, it seems that Logitech was listening to me.

The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect, though not in the same spec league as the very versatile CC3000e, has something that works for us that the CC3000e doesn’t have: built-in portability.

Add the battery, the light weight, NFC, Bluetooth, and Miracast, and the ConferenceCam Connect demands that it reign supreme.

And it does: we are bestowing the SmallBizWindows Absolute Best Award on it.

We already have four teams lugging the devices around.

Highly recommended.

Product Page

Logitech ConferenceCam Connect

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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7:00PM

Celebrating Black History Month 2016: Ed Dwight, Jr.

Captain_Edward_J._Dwight_Jr._in_US_Air_ForceCaptain Edward (Ed) Dwight, Jr. was a USAF test pilot, and an aeronautical engineering graduate of Arizona State University.

He would have been the first African American in Space, selected in 1961 by the John F. Kennedy administration to be an astronaut trainee.

Instead, his career was derailed by an unsafe work and training environment, which were most unpleasantly exacerbated by threats from government officials. This lead him to request reassignment out of the astronaut corps, and eventually to his separation from the United Stated Air Force in 1966.

Thankfully, he had more in him, and became an accomplished sculptor, including the seminal “Black Frontier in the American West” series of bronzes.

He would have been our first Space Rider.

His website is here.

Today’s Blaxploitation movie is Let’s Do It Again (1975) starring Sidney Poitier, Calvin Lockhart, Jimmie Walker, John Amos, Denise Nicholas, Lee Chamberlain, Ossie Davis, Mel Stewart, and Rodolphus Lee Hayden as '40th Street Black'.

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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12:36PM

Celebrating Black History Month 2016: Reginald F. Lewis

ReginaldFLewisThe late Reginald F. Lewis broke several barriers.

He was the first Black person to be featured in the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 1992.

He dined with the Big Boys, being part of the upstart tong of leveraged buyout artists mostly financed by the Mike Milken and his Beverly Hills-based team from Drexel Burnham Lambert.

His TLC Beatrice International was also the first Black majority-owned firm to report greater than $1 billion US in annual sales.

And he always seemed to be having fun, as noted by his sartorial elegance, and present cigars.

Sadly, he passed away from brain cancer at the tender age of 50 back in 1993.

I looked up to the man back then, and I still do, as his accomplishments remain relevant, twenty-three years after his demise.

His book, Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun, is a treasured tome.

Today’s Blaxploitation Movie is Uptown Saturday Night (1974), starring Sidney Poitier, Calvin Lockhart, Johnny Sekka, Rosalind Cash, Harry Belafonte, Flip Wilson, Richard Prior, and Paula Kelly.

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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6:33AM

The Lookeen Search Review

Instant search results.

Just like that.

That is the holy grail of desktop search, and one that I have been searching for in what seems like, well, forever.

Now, I believe I have it in Lookeen Search.

I have been using Lookeen for about six weeks, and this use has been over several PCs, ranging from laptops and tablets to a couple of souped-up HP z640 workstations that each have about 7TB of local storage.

Installation
I went over to Lookeen.com for my copy of their eponymous application.

The download payload was small, installation on the first device – a Dell XPS 15 laptop – was fast and easy, and went off without a breeze. That install experience was consistent across all devices I tried Lookeen on.

Using Lookeen
I customized Lookeen to index the physical drives I wanted indexes, and let it go to work.

Lookeen is a desktop application which sports a pleasant, functional UI.

While it is bereft of bells-and-whistles, the UI is easily navigable, with needed controls exposed to users across a few tabs.

Even as indexing was going on, I was able to perform searches that presented results.

Once indexing was concluded, the presented results were accurate, refreshingly relevant, and speedily delivered.

I like that.

Conclusions
1 - 300 pxThe readership of both The Interlocutor and this blog are quite aware of my travails with Windows Desktop Search.

I have the same issue with Cortana in Windows 10: the results are largely irrelevant, cannot be easily customized to exclude the web, and would rather be a jack-of-all-trades that perform fast, relevant searches.

Lookeen does not pretend to do anything else but search.

Again, I like that.

Pressing me search results before my attention wanders away is important.

For the ease of use, speed, and alright goodness of this application, we have presented Lookeen with the SmallBizWindows Business Ready Award of Excellence.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Eric Ebert for bringing Lookeen to my attention, which now allows me to stop pulling my hair out in annoyance with Windows Desktop Search!

Systems used

  • HP z640 Workstation
  • HP z440 Workstation
  • Dell XPS 15
  • HP ZBook 15 Mobile Workstation
  • HP EliteBook 1020
  • HP EliteBook 1040
  • HP ElitePad 1000

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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1:52PM

Google Docs is a pile of Steaming Excrement. At any price!

“Microsoft Office killer”

I’m sure you have read or heard this somewhere before.

Even if you have not, don’t worry: it is pure BS.

At this time.

But, I seem to be putting the cart before the horse, so let me start at the beginning.

Yesterday, I was asked by one of my nieces to help edit a paper she had prepared.

I agrees, and asked her to send me the document.

She sent me a link to a Google Docs document.

The insanity I have been seeing, and one that I strenuously object, and loudly complained about, is the use of Google Chromebooks by educational institutions.

People, it is BULLSHIT!

Your kids’ schools have sold, and/or are selling whatever little privacy your kids have left to Google for a low-low fee of cheap.

The cheap here refers to the initial capex of obtaining the devices. Little do these institutions know that whatever meager monetary gains they enjoy are almost instantly obliterated by the significantly higher opex that is required by Chromebooks.

“Kiddo”, I tell her, “I don’t do anything Google. So send me the document in [Microsoft Office] Word format.”

Sadly, the middle-schooler did not know how, since she only uses true, Windows-based PCs at home.

So she sent me a PDF.

Since the document was due within an hour, I decided to suspend my moratorium on Google products, and help her. Because family.

The UI
Wow, this is the Google Docs user interface?

All the while since some folks have been touting their use of it, I was under the impression – thoroughly mistaken, as I found out – that it would be easy, and intuitive to use.

It most certainly is NOT!

Wow!

B-a-s-i-c.

Everything is basic: editing controls; the control afforded users by those edits; the UI; everything!

Wow. It was like if I had blipped into 1987, and was forced into using Aldus PageMaker v1.0!

This is the crap that schools have sold out their student’s privacy to Google for?

I am almost incentivized to revisit this issue with one of my kid’s schools.

At least, schools, by the very dint of their being, need money, and try to be cheap.

However, businesses that go Google Docs because of the seemingly zero capex, are insane.

All your information is exposed to Google.

All of it.

I haven’t even delved into compatibility issues with the gold standard, Microsoft Office!

Ask yourself: how cheap should you be.

Then go get Microsoft Office 365.

Completely worth it!

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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5:17PM

Microsoft Research makes the connection

Between research, products, and the corporate bottom line.

Reading this Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, How Microsoft Plans to Beat Google & Facebook to the Next Tech Breakthrough yesterday got me thinking about Microsoft Research.

For years, I have admired Microsoft Research, especially when it was run by Rick Rashid.

Their mission then, seemed to conduct bleeding-edge research aimed at improving computing as a whole.

They were (are?) impressively resourced, with bullions poured into their endeavors.

And boy, did they deliver!

The sheer amount of patents and really wowing inventions an innovations created at and by Microsoft Research were just amazing.

However, as time went on, it seemed to me at outside perch, that all Microsoft Research seemed to be doing, was compete with IBM (and a Japanese firm I cannot readily identify right now) for the incredibly useless crown of most patents awarded for the calendar year.

The most shocking thing about their research was that there didn’t seem to be a nexus to actual shipping products, or worse yet, leading to breakthrough products.

Worse yet, none of the reported research seemed to have delivered a true moonshot!

A read of the article above shows how Satya Nadella’s Microsoft is making their research labs pivot from these inventions that bring nothing to the company’s bottom line, into a BU that creates innovations and inventions that help current products, deliver new ones, and maybe someday, drop a moonshot that truly stuns.

That, is ‘A Good Thing’.

And I can’t wait.

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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3:06PM

Microsoft Edge is NOT ready for Prime Time

Microsoft-Edge-logoMicrosoft Edge is a mess!

I still don’t like it. I don’t trust it either.

It crashes EVERY SINGLE DAY!

It is not as easily customizable as the unlamented Internet Explorer.

In fact, compared to IE, it isn’t customizable at all.

And I don’t mean plugins. I have zero need for them in my regular daily life!

It almost always throws up a 404 and hangs there. Opening up another browser brings up the very same site with no problems.

Returning to Microsoft Edge means returning to an unresponsive page.

It still comes across as half-baked, and as a beta foisted upon the unsuspecting [Windows user] populace.

I have instructed my staff to make sure that all further web development is browser-agnostic.

Again, Microsoft Edge is a mess!

Folks, please remember that this is a feature that Microsoft is touting as an improvement, and a need for upgrading to Windows 10.

While I agree that you should  upgrade to Windows 10, it shouldn’t be because of Microsoft Edge.

At this time.

It just can’t be!

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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11:01PM

Does Dell Buying EMC open the door for Microsoft recruiting?

Earlier today, rumors of a rumored VMware force reduction of a minimum of 5% smoked the Twitterverse.

Almost immediately, Keith Townsend, @CTOAdvisor, asked the following question:

That got me thinking.

Prior to his question, I had only looked at the pending acquisition of EMC by Dell from purely financial and efficiency viewpoints.

Keith’s question made me ponder the need for employees to think about employment stability, retention, and, for recruitment.

He’s right.

The four companies listed above are at the forefront of developments in enterprise computing. However, three others were left out: IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle, in alphabetical order.

Now, you have a ‘Sordid Seven’ of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Dell/EMC/VMware – assuming the sale goes through, Google, HPE, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle, of enterprise computing.

However, getting back to Keith’s question, the top dog here has to be Microsoft.

Why Microsoft?
Good question.

Microsoft has the entire stack: a client OS, a server OS, a mobile OS, a cloud OS, and heck, even a cloud OS. They also have a common codebase between the operating systems, a common hypervisor across the operating systems, a public and private cloud.

Moreover, they have embraced containers, popularized by Docker. Containerization is now a very integral part of Windows Server 2016, and the next iteration of Hyper-V, Microsoft’s hypervisor.

If you mix in the fact that Microsoft has gone past their layoffs, then Microsoft looks very good.

Standing in Microsoft’s way, are the traditional strength of EMC and VMware: they are extremely – extremely! – friendly to evangelists! In simply words, people just love to work for them!

As I have blogged on these pages before, the VMware ecosystem is vibrant, engaged, and quite helpful.

This is in contrast to the Microsoft Hyper-V ecosystem which is comparatively cold, unhelpful, and absolutely full of themselves.

Those Microsoft failings though, are nothing when it come to the specter of losing one’s job, or the more evil looming change of a job loss.

This, is where Microsoft wins.

And I believe, where it wins this discussion.

Am I wrong?

Please post a comment below, or tweet why you think so to me at @johnobeto, or send me an email john.obeto@absolutevista.com.

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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10:20PM

The Business Challenge Webinar series

Real-world problems are the bane of any business. As they span the gamut for all types of businesses of all sizes.

These range from customer service, to business optimization, to utilizing the power of social media.

To help out, there is a new webinar series, The Business Challenge, sponsored by HP Inc.

In these seminars, which start tomorrow, a group of subject matter experts are selected that will, through their real world experience, help divulge secrets that should help you solve these issues.

The really good thing about this is that if you register and participate live in the webinar, you can ask questions that would be answered. In fact, I believe that all questions asked during the session would be answered, even if answered offline.

Furthermore, and thanks to HP’s involvement, the webinar contents will be recorded, and widely distributed, allowing for offline viewing to your heart’s desire.

The following topics will be broached.

Webinar 1; January 21, 2016

Enhancing the Customer Experience

Rieva Lesonsky and Monika Jansen.

  • Rieva Lesonsky; @rieva;
  • Monika Jansen; @monikacjansen;

Please register for this webinar here
 https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7604564737574029313

Webinar 2, February 4, 2016

Business Collaboration

Bob Stein, John Obeto, and special guest, Ruth Wepfer.

  • Bob Stein (@activewin) is the Director for the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also founder of ActiveWin, and has been a Microsoft MVP for several Years. He can be found at ActiveWin.
  • John Obeto II (@johnobeto); John, is well, me. I
  • Our guest for this webinar is Ruth Wepfer. Ms. Wepfer has been CIO at several businesses, and brings that experience to our webinar. We are quite pleased she has agreed to be on it.

Webinar 3, February 11, 2016

Business Optimization

Sarah Austin and Jake Ludington

  • Sarah Austin (@sarahaustin), most famous for her appearance as a co-star of “Startups: Silicon Valley,” is also the creator of the world’s first Artificial Emotional Intelligence engine. As a Johns Hopkins certified data scientist, Sarah uses Big Data and Cognitive Computing to help startups, enterprise, and SMB’s grow their business. Sarah is also the founder of CodingFTW, a not for profit organization dedicated to the advancement of female inclusion in technology, and diversity in the workplace.
  • Jake Ludington (@jakeludington) has been a pioneer in online marketing and messaging since the early days of the Internet. Jake was one of the first performance evangelists, first content development strategists, and first affiliate marketers. Jake has helped companies of all sizes grow their business through online story-telling, videos, how-to’s and relationship management. Today Jake is co-founder with Sarah at BroadListening.com, which uses emotional intelligence data to help companies find the right people to grow their business.

Webinar 4, February 18, 2016

Using Social Media to Grow Your Business

Judie Stanford and Paul Strauss

  • Judie Lipsett Stanford (@geardiary) is a rancher, a blogger, a technology expert, and a gadget lover. As the founder, Editor-In-Chief, and co-owner of Gear Diary, Judie helps introduce new technology, software, and gear to thousands of people every day. As a consumer electronics expert, Judie has been invited to consult with a number of major tech companies who value her insights and experience. As a contributing writer, she has been featured in several international publications and sites, and as an early adopter she can always be found with the newest gear.
  • Paul Strauss (@theawesomer)  is the Owner, Editor, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer for Awesomer Media, a network of lifestyle, technology and entertainment websites, covering everything from the latest gadgets and video games to cars, movies, music, art and design. Paul has been in the Internet space for over 20 years, and is an entrepreneur at heart. Prior to his current role, he was SVP of Online Operations for Playboy Enterprises, where he oversaw all of the technology and back office operations for the Men's Entertainment brand's online properties.

This webinars will be quite illuminating.

If you develop any questions prior to, during, or subsequent to any or all of the seminars that do not get answered to your satisfaction, please tweet at me or any of the moderators above, and/or at the hashtag #BusinessChallenge.

I can be reached at john.obeto@absolutevista.com.

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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5:31PM

Is Continuum enough to Save Windows Phone?

When Windows 10 Mobile was announced, one of the most exciting proposed features it was supposed to have was Continuum, a way for users to utilize a Windows Phone as a quasi-terminal to deliver desktop experiences to larger screens, including the use of a keyboard and large screen monitor.

While the downside was that it would require new hardware.

As I saw it, Windows 10 Mobile devices would go up against the Intel Compute Stick for ultraportable devices my staff can tote around, especially in situations where personal security is paramount.

AI was okay to wait for new devices.

Now that new Lumia devices have actually landed, and with five of them in the hands of my testing staff, my ardor for the Lumia devices, and by proxy, Microsoft’s whole Continuum scheme has been somewhat cooled by the reports of the wonky integration between the phones and the feature.

This is not good.

For, as with rumored errors with Surface Book devices, Microsoft is having unnecessary issues in creating seamless integration between its hardware and its software.

It needs to do better.

Not only that, I find the device to be completely visually unappealing.

My first though was, “This, is what took Microsoft TWO FREAKIN’ YEARS to bring to market?”.

It doesn’t bode well for the fortunes of the Windows 10 Mobile market, and I am almost at the point where I would have to vote against the platform!

For my staff, that is.

Personally, I have already decided against it for personal use until there is a seismic shift in the functionality, usability, and aspirational appeal of both Windows 10 software, and the Windows Phone platform.

I again ask, is Continuum enough to make you or us want Windows 10 Mobile?

© 2002 – 2016, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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11:05AM

Shiny New Thing to Review: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 3D Projector

There are those times when a 70-inch television set just won’t do.

My kids’ newfound, and increased, familial and social networks, have made this plain.

As a result, a projector is needed.

Epson-Home-Cinema-3500_Drama_thumb3

In this case, a Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 2D/3D 3LCD projector

Since I asked nicely, it came with a 125” 16:9 motorized drop-down projector screen, a Sony home theater receiver, and a Bose 5.1 surround speaker system.

I have had it set up. A 3D Blu-Ray player, an Xbox One, an Xbox 360, and HDMI cable box are connected to the home theater receiver.

Disappointingly, the speakers have an incompatibility with the legacy in-wall wiring, so I am awaiting a time when the installer can come by to fix that.

A promise made to my kids was that they would get to have their own home theater setup, so this is their current setup for the duration of this review.

Hmmm… I wonder if I could try creating my own sort of HALO room using this setup combined with the Logitech ConferenceCam Connect….

 

20151012_023906505_iOS_thumb120151012_023948363_iOS_thumb12015-12-08-Canon-Projector-005---p2_2015-12-08-Canon-Projector-004---p1_2015-12-08-Canon-Projector-005---p3_

This entire projector/home entertainment setup is an ongoing review series for a home automation company* based in SoCal. Projectors and multimedia equipment will be rotated out as they see fit. I will post my reviews here, and a more detailed series to their website, if I have the time.
*The company is owned by my brother.

Product Pages

© 2002 – 2015, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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6:49PM

Shiny New Thing to Review: Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home

Logitech Harmony remote control devices are regarded worldwide as the ne plus ultra in that space.

Which, undoubtedly, paints a target on the devices.

Whatever dethrones them would instantly be recognized as a winner, and take sales, market share, and profits, from Logitech.

It sure the specter of that keeps the wonks at Logitech up all night, and they strive to improve the devices.

Logitech even has a touch-screen device in the Harmony series called the Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home.

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I have it here at The Ponderosa*.

The Harmony Ultimate Home now controls more than entertainment units: lights, locks, thermostats, and home control platforms are now in its repertoire.

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I will download the iOS app, and go from there.

*Watch Bonanza Open-mouthed smile

Product Page
Logitech Harmony Ultimate Home

The Interlocutor - 350

3:51PM

Shiny New Thing to review: The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect

Logitech produces some of the finest multi-OS, and multi-platform webcams and web conferencing devices.

I know it from experience: the Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e and the ConferenceCam BCC950 have been reviewed here, to great success.

In fact, I use the BCC950 Daily, and have units in my offices in Lagos and Los Angeles. We have also placed a good number of ConferenceCam CC3000e units at client locations, the last being an impulse buy from an overnight Amazon.com order.

Oh yes, the Logitech ConferenceCam CC3000e won the SmallBizWindows Collaboration Product of the Year 2015 award.

I like companies that do not rest on their laurels.

Even with their splendid lead in this space, Logitech has continued to improve their offerings.

The ConferenceCam Connect is their latest product.

conferencecam-connect-red-lrg

It is a portable, single-unit video conferencing device compatible with every solution, and with every major operating system.

I have thought up quite a few use cases to try it out with.

Product Pages

© 2002 – 2015, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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7:19PM

Shiny New Thing to review: HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation

Sometimes, you cannot lug a workstation around.

However, you need the power.

For that, there’s the HP ZBook line of mobile workstations.

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An immediate need has me being in possession of the G2 version of this instead of waiting for the even more awesome (spec-wise) G3 version.

This baby is loaded with RAM and SSDs.

It now has to perform against the other mobile devices here.

Product Page
HP ZBook 15

© 2002 – 2015, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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6:12PM

Shiny New Thing to Review: HP z440 Workstation

Even since Edelman’s Amy R. introduced me to HP’s workstations, I have been a fan of the devices.

Superbly engineered, HP workstations are completely without peer in every usage scenario when extremely powerful desktop (and mobile) computers are needed.

I currently use the HP z640 workstation as my daily unit here at my NWOH offices.

This Shiny New Thing is the HP Z440 workstation.

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It is very well kitted out, with 32GB of RAM, dual 256 GB SSDs, a 1 TB spinning disk and NVIDIA Quadro graphics.

I’m looking forward to beating this device against my max-spec HP Z640.

Hehehehe

Product Page
HP Z440 Workstation

© 2002 – 2015, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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1:43PM

Shiny New Thing to review: Logitech K380 Multi-device Keyboard

These days, we all have multiple devices.

For old fogeys like me, it increasingly becomes a step out of our comfort zones to use those itsy-bitsy touch keyboards.

Logitech has what could be the answer: the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Keyboard.

Logitech K380 keyboard

It is good across Windows, iOS, OS X, Apple TV, and Google’s Oss.

I would love to see if it works with both Xbox One/360, and the Amazon Fire Stick/TV.

I will keep you informed.

Product Page
Logitech K380 Multi-Device Keyboard

© 2002 – 2015, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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1:42PM

Shiny New Thing to review: Dell XPS 15

About a year ago, I initiated my testing of the delectable Dell XPS 13 laptop.

As reviewed here, the XPS 13 is the class of the entire 13” laptop space, trampling very roughshod over the carcass of the former leader in that size category, the Apple Macbook.

Well, Dell decided not to rest on those laurels.

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They have upsized the ante for Christmas 2015!

In my possession is the new Dell XPS 15 with that oh-so beautiful screen, and equipped with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD. An Intel Core i7 rounds out this package.

Ahhhhh! Sweeeet!

Let’s do this!

Product Page
Dell XPS 15

© 2002 – 2015, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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