After a very exciting year in gadgetry, I'm proud to present the best (and worst) of the tech I've tinkered with in 2010 in our first annual Tech Review Awards -- THE CAREYS! Filmed LIVE from The Miami Herald Theater:
You can read the breakdown of why the winners were chosen in today's Miami Herald: The year's most memorable gadgets
Technorati Tags: 2010, Adidas miCoach Pacer, Awards, Barbie Video Girl, BlueAnt S4 BlackBerry Torch, Careys, Dyson Air Multiplier, Flo TV, Google Nexus One, GPS Angel, iPhone 4, iPhone 4, Kindle, Microsoft Kin, Samsung Galaxy S, Tech, The FinePix Real 3D W3 Camera, TungstenW biometric wallet, Vizit Frame, Windows Phone 7
Have you noticed a bunch of your Facebook friends have cartoon characters as their profile pictures? It's part of a trend to raise awareness on child abuse -- or at least that's what some people are saying in their status messages.
The call to action is often worded like this:
"Change your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday, Dec 6th of 2010, there should be no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories! This is for a campaign against violence on children."
Phrases with cartoon characters are top searched terms now -- in Miami alone, it's the third fastest growing search term this past week according to Yahoo!
While the thought is cute, I'm not sure really what it does other than display your favorite childhood cartoon character. If you want to show your power to make a difference, instead of spending time staring at a picture, take a few minutes to donate to a worthy children's charity and post about it on Facebook.
Because knowing donating is half the battle.
The online group coupon craze now as a new player that targets kosher clientele: Jewpon.
My collegue Ina Cordle has the story in today's Business Monday about the new site that's currently in soft launch, started by Zalmi Duchman, founder and chief executive of The Fresh Diet, based in North Miami.
Jewpon sells vouchers from kosher and rabinicaly supervised restaurants and food establishments. But it's not just food -- it includes a wide variety of areas like events, activites, stores, hotels, and fashion.
And it won't feature any deal from Friday at sundown until Saturday at sunset. Right now Jewpon is available in Miami, Baltimore, and New York, and is soon expanding to include Chicago, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, Montreal, Philadelphia and Toronto.
Daily coupon site LivingSocial.com added deals for Coral Gables and South Miami this week. The site already provided deals to the greater Miami area, as well as Fort Lauderdale and the Palm Beaches. But Miami sales representative Karen Anderson said since Miami is so vast, "it becomes almost essential to divide the territory, making it hyper-local.''
"Like real estate, it's all about location, and the biggest concentration of subscribers is in the South Miami market, which encompasses Coral Gables, Pinecrest, Kendall and Doral,'' Karen Anderson, LivingSocial sales representative for Miami, wrote in an e-mail to the Herald.
There are "hundreds of thousands'' of subscribers to Miami's daily deal newsletter and smartphone apps, Anderson said. LivingSocial's deals for Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach each have "tens of thousands" of subscribers.
The free website gives users 24 hours to buy a discounted voucher to a different business and has offers for 121 markets in the U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland and Australia, with more than 10 million subscribers.
Cahn is founder of Moniker.com, a domain-name registration and management provider in Pompano Beach that began in 1999. It was was acquired by Los Angeles-based Oversee.net in December 2007.
"We respect his desire to part ways and look forward to working with him in new capacities,'' Oversee CEO and President Jeff Kupietzky said in a statement released Friday afternoon.
Cahn organized the first domain name sales over $1 million and $2 million, wallstreet.com and autos.com, respectively. He has sold over $200 million in domain names in his career, including slots.com for $5.5 million and porn.com for $9.5 million.
Cahn will leave Oversee when his contract is up on Dec. 31.
Verizon will have 4G wireless data speeds for customers in South Florida starting Sunday, the company announced Wednesday.
Although there are no smartphones that work with Verizon's 4G network for sale, it will work with two mobile USB modems that give portable Internet access to notebook computers.
The new 4G compatible USB modems (made by LG and Pantech) will go on sale Sunday for $99.99 each, after rebate and a two-year contract. Data plans are $50 a month for 5 GB of data, and $80 for 10 GB. If a customer goes over, they are charged an additional $10 per gigabyte, and will be warned via text message when they approach their plan's data limit.
"Virtually all our customers will find their usage fits into these two plans," said Tony Melone, Verizon's senior vice president and chief technical officer.
The 4G technology Verizon uses is called LTE (long term evolution). Melone said it is 10 times faster than the current 3G network, allowing for a 10 megabyte presentation to be downloaded in 10 seconds.
During the press conference, Melone said Verizon will sell smartphones that can use 4G by mid 2011.
South Florida is among the first 38 metro areas Verizon is deploying 4G speeds. A street-level map of 4G coverage will be available on Verizon's website starting on Sunday.
Sprint launched its 4G network on Monday, which uses a different technology called WiMAX. T-Mobile launched its version of 4G, called HSPA+, to South Florida in August. AT&T will begin offering LTE 4G in mid 2011.
Now that Clearwire's 4G WiMAX network is up and running, Sprint and Comcast (who both partnered with Clearwire) are both using it for 4G WiMAX wireless services.
Today Comcast introduced Xfinity Internet 2go, a way to keep your computer connected anywhere you go with a wireless data card (a USB stick) that can connect with 3G (Sprint's network) or 4G (Clearwire's network) speeds. It's available for Florida customers in St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Indian River, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
Both your home wired Interent and outside-the-home wireless Internet from Comcast are sold bundled together as a "Fast Pack." There's two different data cards with two different prices:
- The cheaper one is Fast Pack Nationwide that only uses 3G wireless speeds, and that starts at $54.99 a month for 2GB of data, or $64.99 for 4GB. You get Xfinity Internet service for the home with speeds up to 12 Mbps, a free home WiFi router and nationwide 3G mobile network access.
- The upgrade is Fast Pack Nationwide Preferred that can use the faster 4G WiMAX service when you're in an area with 4G, and that starts at $69.99 a month.
If you don't want to do that Fast Pack bundle and just want to add the Internet 2go to your current Xfinity Internet plan, it starts at $40 a month for just 3G, and $55 a month for both 3G and 4G speeds.
Those prices will go up after the first 12 months of service, and you can see details on pricing and the data limits on each package at comcast.com/2go.