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Daniel A. Begun

Daniel A. Begun

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With the early 2011 refresh of the MacBook Pro family, Apple came out with both guns blazing. Not only is the entire lineup now powered by Intel’s second generation Core i5 and i7 mobile processors (commonly known by its codename, Sandy Bridge), but the new MacBook Pros also feature the brand-new Thunderbolt I/O technology (the official... Read more...
In early September, Steve Jobs took to the stage and unveiled the new-and-improved Apple TV. What was once considered a “hobby” device was reworked, streamlined, made more affordable, and aimed squarely at the masses. It enters an increasingly crowded market of devices that offer near-instant access to libraries of recent movies... Read more...
The most popular and powerful Android phones currently available are quite possibly members of the Samsung Galaxy S line. Powered by Samsung’s very own 1GHz Cortex A8-based Hummingbird processor and featuring a four-inch Super-AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diode) capacitive touchscreen with a 480x800 resolution, it’s... Read more...
When it comes to Android devices, there are two inevitabilities. The first is that its popularity is unstoppable. Twice as many Android smartphones are sold now than were only two months earlier; Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, claims that about 200,000 Android devices are sold every day. The second given is that an onslaught of Android... Read more...
While trying out the VueZone iPhone app, I consider the ethics of having my two-and-a-half year-old daughter under surveillance. By Daniel A. BegunA number of months ago I was watching one of the final episodes of 24. (I was never really much of a 24 fan, but I started watching it during the final season because Battlestar Galactica babe,... Read more...
With the latest iteration of its 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro laptops, Apple finally jumped onto the Intel Core i3 and Core i5 bandwagon—bringing its flagship line of laptops up to the same performance level as the Windows-based competition (the 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops still use Intel Core 2 Duo processors). With a starting price... Read more...
The original Drobo direct-attached-storage (DAS) device hit the scene in summer of 2007 and took the tech world by storm. It represented a new paradigm in how you could implement external, redundant back-up storage with much of the same goodness that RAID offers, but without a number of the headaches and the complexity that also comes with... Read more...
Lately, it feels like the good, old, reliable hard disk drive (HDD) doesn't get any respect. When it comes to storage, Solid State Drives (SSDs) are getting all the attention these days--and it's no wonder, considering the speed, durability, low-power, and silent-running attributes of current solid state drives. But SSDs are also very expensive... Read more...
If you could design your own laptop in an effort to have the perfect balance of performance, price, size, weight, and features, what would you include and what could you live without? As part of its Blue Label program, Best Buy asked that question of its customers--accepting as much feedback as its customers could give and then channeling... Read more...
For the last couple of years, Dell's foray into the small-form-factor desktop market was its successful mini-tower (with the emphasis on "mini") Studio Hybrid. But with Dell's latest small-form-factor entry, the Inspiron Zino HD, out goes the vertical mini-tower and in comes the horizontal square--7.8-inches wide by 7.8-inches deep to be exact,... Read more...
With a claim of “nearly 30-years of touch innovation” under its belt, HP is no stranger to touch-input technology. The company has recently integrated touch input into a number of its consumer and business product lines, such as tablets and displays and perhaps is most well-known for its line of TouchSmart all-in-one desktop PCs. In fact,... Read more...
NVIDIA invited members of the press to a briefing at the Las Vegas Hilton so that the company's fearless leader, Jen-Hsun Huang, could unveil their latest highly integrated mobile processor.  Dubbed only "the new Tegra processor," but known now as the Tegra 250, NVIDA's CEO spoke of their commitment to improving the mobile computing experience... Read more...
Perhaps one the more significant defining digital attributes of the first decade of the the 21st Century could be the size of the ginormous digital media collections so many of us have amassed--media collections made of up a disparate assortment of video, photos, and audio files from a wide variety of sources. The advent of digital... Read more...
By Daniel A. Begun Those who know me well enough, know that I’m not much of a phone person--which is to say I don’t like to talk on the phone much… I’m more of a talk-to-you-in-person, eye-to-eye, kind of guy. But then again, as my wife likes to point out, I’m not much of a talker to begin with... She says I’m... Read more...
Sorenson Squeeze is a name well-known to video professionals. For many, it is the only go-to application for video encoding, as it has earned its reputation primarily for the advanced algorithms it uses to generate high-quality video encodes. So videophiles should be happy to learn that the software's next generation, Sorenson Squeeze 6, is... Read more...
At a recent tradeshow, while I was walking by the BitDefender booth, a BitDefender representative literally shoved a copy of BitDefender Internet Security 2010 into my hands. Never one to say no to free software, I was grateful and actually stopped to talk cybersecurity for a bit--I guess I felt I had to earn that... Read more...
Back in February, I met with some very smart folks from a San Diego-based company called Avaak. They were demonstrating a wireless camera system meant for remote video monitoring. What impressed me the most about the technology behind the wireless camera system is that it used a mesh network, which is based on... Read more...
Network-attached storage (NAS) devices come in all shapes and sizes; some even come without hard drives--with the intention that the users will add the drives themselves. There is even a relatively new category of NAS devices that don't have any internal drives at all, and instead use USB-attached drives as their storage source. These NAS... Read more...
Hard-core gamers are all about squeezing the best performance they can out of their rigs, while ensuring that the visual quality of the games they play are at the highest settings possible. As desktop PCs typically have access to higher-end components than notebooks--and are also far more configurable, upgradable, and tweakable--the vast majority... Read more...
One of the hottest new product categories of late is the inexpensive, high-definition (HD) pocket camcorder--and sometimes it feels as though  almost every day another company  starts making them. Pure Digital Technologies--manufacturer of one the very first pocket camcorders to come to market--isn't resting... Read more...
With the near ubiquity of widescreen high-definition TVs (HDTVs) in so many homes, the desire to consume media on them that was traditionally relegated to computer displays is starting to gain popularity--especially since a growing proportion of this media is HD video. To meet this growing desire, Western Digital has just released the WD TV... Read more...
Four weeks ago, HP announced a bevy of new products that were arriving for the fall season. It turns out, that announcement was just part one of HP's fall lineup, with part two arriving today. Today, HP is announcing a number of new laptops, docking stations, all-in-one desktop PCs, a few more-traditional form-factor... Read more...
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