Stories by James A. Martin

  • Mobile social networking tips

    In the past few months, I've reconnected with friends from kindergarten through college and beyond. I've discovered thought-provoking online articles and videos I probably wouldn't have found on my own. I've also read meaningless updates from friends, such as "I'm getting in the hot tub," or "just received a special gift from a special friend."

  • Location-based service helps you remember

    Location-based services that remind you about to-dos when you're on the go are exactly what busy mobile professionals need. A new service, ReQall Pro (US$3/monthly or $25/yearly), gives you reminders that are tied to specific locations. Unfortunately, in its current incarnation the service doesn't go as far as I'd like, because it's hampered by some technological limitations beyond ReQall's control. Even so, it's worth a try.

  • Netbook or ultraportable for the job?

    Netbooks are starting to look like ultraportable laptops, while some ultraportables are beginning to resemble netbooks. In a tight economy, the question arises: Should you keep costs low by buying an inexpensive netbook, or spend a few hundred dollars more to get a full-featured lightweight laptop?

  • Three iPhone apps you can't live without

    Today I read about a free iPhone app called Email 'n Walk. There are tons of iPhone apps out there, of course, many of them for free or super cheap. But this one caught my eye, in an oh-no-they-didn't kind of way. The app's goal is to make it possible for you to see the ground you're walking on (via the iPhone's camera) as you type an e-mail on your iPhone and walk at the same time.

  • Hackintosh netbook, anyone?

    It seems unlikely that Apple will enter the netbook market, though Mac OS netbook rumors continue to circulate. Apple COO Tim Cook dissed the hot product category and suggested those wanting a Mac netbook should just buy an iPhone or iPod Touch instead.

  • RAM-based rug rats

    The Learning Company's Mindscape Entertainment division last week announced it will start selling the "world's first virtual baby" in Q3 for $US29.99 -- which is a steal, given the high cost of adoption these days.

  • If it fits, wear it

    People wear the funniest things in Las Vegas: Roman togas, feathered headpieces, sequinned jumpsuits, and soon, personal computers. During the giant Comdex show in Vegas this week, Xybernaut plans to unveil its latest product: a PC that clips onto a belt.