Author Archives: admin

Using my smartphone like an FM transistor radio: Success! And some advice/tips.

Unlike my prior smartphones (an iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S5 and S7), my newish Lenovo Moto G5 Plus smartphone includes an unlocked FM radio chip — meaning I can use the phone as an FM radio, tuning into and listening live to local broadcast stations for free, data-plan-wise.

(And daily listening via wireless data can add up — the NPR app used nearly half a gig during one recent billing period, and as I write this, nearly 300MB so far.)

So over the past month or two, I’ve gotten the hang of using my Moto G5+ as an FM “transistor radio.”

Moto FM Radio app "favorites"

Moto FM Radio app “favorites”

Moto FM Radio app tuned to a "favorite"

Moto FM Radio app tuned to a “favorite”

Short answer: it works, but so far, I’m still more likely to burn data plan bits (i.e., listen via streaming or download), or keep using one of my old but still working perfectly SanDisk MP3/FM players.

If you want to try using your smartphone as an FM radio, here’s what you need to know, and some other tips. Continue reading

Trying To Find Technology In Order To Try Before Buying: The Case of the Unprintable Printer, And Other Stuff

One of the presumed/potential benefits of buying tech at brick’n’mortar locations rather than via online is the opportunity to see, touch, and try before buying (or deciding to not buy). (Other p/b b’s include helpful sales people — particularly at Micro Center, and getting the product then and there.)

Sometimes this works out — leading to my buying, or confirming that it’s not what I want.

But other times, not so much. Continue reading

CES 2016: Tuesday, January 5, Some Nifty Stuff Already Seen

The show floor doesn’t open until Wednesday morning, but thanks to the Pepcom’s Tuesday evening press/media-only event, and also to Discover Blue, the Bluetooth press/media event, ShowStoppers’ LaunchIT, and the general miasma of Press Day (press conferences the day before the floor opens), I’ve already seen a bunch of interesting stuff. Here’s a highlight handful. Prices and other info subject to my having taken notes badly, I’ll recheck when I can… Continue reading

It’s January 2016 — Time To Consume Electronics In Vegas Again!

With New Year’s Day now a few days old, it’s time once again for me (and thousands of my press/media colleagues) to head to Las Vegas for the annual CES (which used to stand for, and continues to be referred to as the Consumer Electronics Show), where thousands of vendors and resellers will hawk new and recent stuff to potential buyers and resellers, and to us press/media types. Continue reading

Trying (Tech) Stuff Ahead Of Time, Always A Good Idea

In part as as part of getting ready to go to CES 2015, and also because having, or being able to do, these things should be part of my “mobile toolkit,” I’ve been trying a bunch of things, and, true to the name of this blog, they’ve been trying, in particular:

1) Tweeting from my phone.
2) Posting to my WordPress blog(s) from my phone.
3) Having a mobile device good for writing in trade show/travel circumstances.

Continue reading

Wrangling Photos: A Picture Gallery from Readercon 25

Digital cameras make it easy to take not just dozens, but hundreds of photos at an event like a graduation, wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, reunion, or convention, at, unlike “analog” photography, no “cost per click” for film or developing. Wrangling these batches of photos — culling duds, naming the keepers and batch-naming a collection, turning into a postable set — takes time. I’ve been exploring and experimenting with some of the free/cheap tools.

Continue reading

Off to Consume Electronics! (at 2014 International CES in Vegas)

And so off to this year’s (2014!) International CES, the show formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, or, as I refer to it, “Consume Electronics!” I’m packing a camera, my iPad and Asus Nexus 7 tablets — plus, for most of my note-taking, if the AC charger still works, my trusty old NEC MobilePro, which flips open ready for being typed into faster than anything else I’ve got. Continue reading