Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 in Pink

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Okay I just couldn’t resist posting this since anything that has to do with pink catches my eye. I know it has been awhile since I last posted in my blog, and coincidentally, my friend Wayne (Hi, Wayne!) asked me at work today about my blog mentioning that he hasn’t seen any posts from me in awhile.

xiaomi-mi-pad-2-pinkAnyway, I found this on Phone Arena today while comparing specs of phones that I was looking at that were on sale for boxing week. However, this device is not a phone, rather a tablet. It basically is visually similar to an iPad. Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 is available in pink starting tonight, December 21, 2015 at 9:00 PM EST! I wrote a blog post about a similar device also (Onda V919) awhile back in January 2015.

The Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 has been available since November 2015 in silver or gold, with aluminum construction. It runs Android OS, or Windows 10 if you prefer. Dimensions are 7.89 x 5.22 x 0.27 inches. Rear camera is 8 Megapixels and front camera is 5 Megapixels. Processor is Intel Atom, Quad-core, 2200 MHz, X5-Z850, 64-bit, with Intel HD graphics processor. System memory is 2048 MB RAM, with built-in storage available in 16 GB priced at C$238.50 (US$189) or 64 GB at C$339.50 (US$269). To compare, the Onda V919 cost C$196.85 back in January 2015.

If the price was C$189, I think I’d buy it. Too bad the CAD to USD currency rate isn’t doing so well at the moment. How about you, would you consider buying one? Let me know in the comments below.

Image Credit: Phone Arena via Xiaomi Today

Wireless Roaming in the U.S.

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20150515_AtCliftonSpringsI was south of the border last week for some R&R. Usually, while in the U.S., I would turn the data roaming off on my phone because I do not want to be charged with high roaming rates. Sometimes I would buy a data pass if I really needed to use data while on the road, if I could not easily find WiFi anywhere.

Well now, gone are those days of stressing out about whether or not to use data while roaming in the U.S. thanks to Roam Like Home with my wireless provider Rogers.  Since I have a Share Everything plan, I was able to take advantage of this feature. I would only pay $5/per day up to a maximum of 10 days  per monthly bill (that’s 21 days at no extra charge if you’re staying in the U.S. for the entire month). With this, I can basically use my wireless plan just like when I’m at home in Canada, including unlimited calling and texting to U.S. and Canada numbers.

Now, if I have to travel to Europe, I can make use of the same feature but with a different pricing. For Europe, it is $10/day up to a maximum of 11 days per monthly bill.

Using Google Maps, checking for which restaurants to eat, checking for deals/coupons, checking the weather… those were just some of the things I was able to do, thanks to being able to use my data while in the U.S.

To use Roam Like Home, text travel to 222. More information can be found on the Rogers website.

Disclaimer: I am a Rogers employee, however, the opinions on this site are my own, and do not in any way reflect my employer’s.

Who The Smartphone Revolution Left Behind

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I never really thought about how the disabled will be able to use smartphones. I do know someone who is considered legally blind, although he can still somewhat see if something is really up close to his eyes; he uses the option on a smartphone to make the text the largest size it is capable of. That feature would help the visually-challenged elderly too.

But for people with other disabilities, how are they able to use smartphones? Good news is that there have been a few companies who have developed devices that can primarily be used by the disabled. Read on to find out more.

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Oded Ben Dov is the co-founder and CEO of Sesame Enable, the world’s first completely touch-free smartphone, created for the disabled by the disabled. 

How many of us have been tempted to chuck our smartphones into the ocean while on vacation to stop the incessant buzzing of incoming emails and texts from interrupting what is supposed to be down time?

While many of us have become increasingly desperate to unplug – there’s even a growing industry of “digital detox” vacation spots – in our love-hate relationship with our smartphones, love ultimately conquers all.

We wouldn’t dream of cutting the cord for more than a day or two max. After all, mobile connectedness has become so critical to modern life that according to research by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, even people living on less than $2 a day reported owning a mobile phone – cutting back on food purchases…

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Google Turns On Google Now Cards For 70 New Apps

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Google has created Google Now cards for more apps. The list of third-party apps that have been integrated now include Spotify, Zipcar, Adidas miCoach, YouTube, Airbnb, Pandora, Shazam, TripAdvisor, eBay, Waze, Mint, Hailo, and others. There are also Now cards from Gmail mark-ups such as Booking.com, Urbanspoon, Stubhub, Vivid Seats, Air Canada, Avis, Hertz, Cathay Pacific, Priceline, and others.

The complete listing can be found on this page: http://www.google.ca/landing/now/integrations.html

TechCrunch

Google Now has been expanding the range and variety of its Google Now cards, with 40 third-party partners unveiled in January. Seventy are being added to the Google app on Android today, bringing the total pool of Now partners up to 110.

Some marquee partners from the new group include Zipcar, which will now display upcoming end times for reservations so that you can remember to get it back to the designated spot in time to avoid a penalty; Spotify, which can now offer up playlists based on your recent listening trends and other contextual info, such as time of day; ABC News and Circa for breaking news; delivery reminders for food ordering service Eat24; and fitness progress reminders from apps like Runkeeper. OpenTable will even let you pay your restaurant bill directly from Now.

Cards from these new partners require that you have the latest version of the official Google…

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This DIY Raspberry Pi Laptop Is Perfect For Your Weekend Machinations

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For techies that want to create a DIY laptop, here’s something that you can put together: a Raspberry Pi Laptop.

TechCrunch

My favorite DIY projects are ones that an idiot like myself can do in a few days. To wit, this Raspberry Pi laptop that lets you create a portable computer with keyboard and mouse with only a few parts.

The project uses the PiJuice battery module and a 5-inch TFT module. In this project you simply cut or print a case for the screen – this one uses laser cut wood – and an HDMI cable.

Slap in an HDMI cable, a wireless keyboard and mouse and you’re all set. Arguably this thing is far less complex than, say, the Pi-Top 3D-printed laptop but it could be a fun side project. You can also use a standard battery to power the whole thing and you can buy a tiny keyboard and touchpad combo to make things a bit smaller. While you probably won’t be doing much GIMP or 3D modeling…

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