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Garmin Forerunner 225

Impressions of the Garmin Forerunner 225

The situation:

I’ll admit I’m a bit of a fan of heart rate monitors. While I’m not a crazy runner personally, I do like my boxing and the occasional jog with the dog or a run on the gym treadmill. So when I got the chance to check out Garmin’s new Forerunner 225 I was excited.

In the box:

Receiving the Black model to checkout, it comes in it’s cute little red packaging with images of the display on one size and the data it can collect on the other. Opening the box (see pictures below) it came with:

  • Quick Start Manual (in a number of languages)
  • The Garmin watch/monitor/wrist apparatus
  • USB to watch cord and connector

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What happened: (Short note – it’s good, but nothing stood out)

Well it ended up being way to big for my little wrist. Not terribly surprising as this is quite a common situation with sport watches. Most of the time, they are built big to fit all the components in, decent sized interface and such things. However, given how big it was, I ended up passing it on to my partner in crime J, who took it to gym on my behalf.

While it was quite easy to set up and to use, the watch itself tended to be a little unreliable – with the heart rate jumping up and down significantly showing heart rates that would probably otherwise be requiring an ambulance. While I don’t expect any heart rate monitor working off a pulse from the wrist to be amazing (as this tech isn’t quite to that degree yet), it ended up being so unreliable that J ended up only using it a couple of times. The interface, while reasonably simple and easy to use, it sported hard to read text colours which neither J or I could read by quickly glancing at it during exercise. If this doesn’t bother you, then you’ll be fine – but it was the biggest issue for us overall.

All that said, it was a sturdy build for a smart sports watch, with a rubber band that was durable. The size would be suitable if you don’t tend to pull out all of the links on your watch. And if you can deal with it jumping all over the place with your heart rate long enough for it to get to know you (as we only had it for a short amount of time to review it), then it’s a groovy watch to have. I don’t want to be negative and say the experience was horrible – because it wasn’t. However, personally, we won’t be rushing out to buy it – or any other wrist heart rate monitor too soon.

-Kim
@kimnflowers

Review of the Duet Display App

The Duet Display mac app costs its free and the ios app costs $18.99

The Duet Display is one of the best apps I have ever downloaded for my iPad. To get the app all you need to do is buy it from the App Store, install it on your iPad and Apple Mac, then plug your iPad into your Mac.

Having your iPad as a second screen next to your Mac is very handy and cool, particularly if you need to do two tasks at a time. I really like how you can move a web page from your MacBook Pro to iPad Air 2.

Another brilliant feature is being able to open various apps on your MacBook from the iPad. With the Duet Display app you will be more productive, having two screens that are going to get the job done more efficiently. IMG_3781

By Belinda Demy-Geroe

Twitter: @bdemy

Facebook: Belinda Demy-Geroe

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Spotify review by Hanna Silver

I’m going to go ahead and start with a TL;DR (“too long, didn’t read” for anyone not down with the lingo type speak). Because I have one clear message I’d like to send out about Spotify.

Spotify is great (provided you are not an audiophile who can’t stand mp3s), but you should choose to not use it. Artists are paid fractions of peanuts for listens.

I’m a musician, so this issue is close to my heart. I had to ask myself, if I’m comfortable streaming tv and film, why am I uncomfortable streaming music? It’s because when I watch tv and film, I usually only watch it once, and never again (or not for another 10 years). Plus, in tv and film, production companies pay their cast and crew respectfully for their hours of work, before distribution.

But with music, the revenue generated from sales is an important part of the artist’s income. I tend to seek out music that I love and then listen to it over and over and over again. Then put it away, pull it out a few months later, listen again, and so on it goes.

If you find someone’s music on Spotify that you like and you listen to it, they are getting less than between 0.6 and 0.84 OF A CENT per track play. Spotify says this is what they pay rights holders – so in most cases, the record label gets this money, takes a cut, and gives what’s left to the artist.

You just need to ask yourself, do I love this artist? Do I wish they would make more music? If the answer is yes, THEN GO AND BUY THEIR MUSIC. Musicians need to eat and pay the bills. Translate your love and appreciation into financial support for the artist, not a fat CEO. How much do you pay for a drink at the bar? If you were able to meet an artist or band you love, would you feel honoured buying them a round of drinks?

To conclude my rant and really start the review, here are some links that further discuss Spotify’s payment system:

Ok, so, what does Spotify have to offer? It breaks my heart that they don’t pay artists enough, because their platform is SO GOOD. I can’t deny that for many people, streaming is the future, and Spotify do it so well.

You can either pay for Spotify Premium ($10 in the USA, $12 in Australia per month. There’s even a $5 US student discount), or use Spotify for free, with some differences in service. The biggest differences are the ads you’ll hear on Spotify free, and that it only plays in shuffle mode in Free. Spotify offers a 30 day free trial of the premium service.

You can build “your own music library” – save artists, albums and tracks that you love, so you can find them quickly. If you have Spotify Premium, you can make playlists available offline for yourself on your device (seriously, how is this legal??). You can listen to Spotify either on your mobile with the app, or on your computer through the app.

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The streaming quality is not great, so if you prefer to not listen to mp3s, give Spotify a miss and stick with your wav files, CDs and vinyl. (mmmmm, vinyl….) From their website:

“Spotify uses 3 quality ratings for streaming, all in the Ogg Vorbis format.

  • ~96 kbps
    • Normal quality on mobile.
  • ~160 kbps
    • Desktop and web player standard quality.
    • High quality on mobile.
  • ~320 kbps (only available to Premium subscribers)
    • Desktop high quality.
    • Extreme quality on mobile.”

You can log in with your Facebook login, or with a new username. If you login with Facebook, sure, Facebook has more information to use and sell about you. But you’ll get to see what all your friends are listening to! And they can see what you’re listening to! 😀

There’s also plenty of suggestions from Spotify of what you might like. Particularly as you do searches and add things to your “library”, it makes suggestions: “Because you like this guy, you might like that guy.” You can also listen to pre-prepared playlists, for example, music playlists designed to help you sleep, study or exercise.

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And you can make your own radio station based on an artist you like.

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As you listen to a radio station, you can “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” tracks played, so Spotify improves the station based on what you like.

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I don’t know about PC or Android, but I can tell you that with Mac and iOS, the music controls are integrated with your iPhone and Mac. So on iPhone, you can swipe up the control centre and control Spotify playback from there. On Mac, you can use the music control buttons on F7, F8 and F9.

You can follow artists or playlists, and then see what they have been listening to.

Those are the main functions that you want out of a service like this. There’s more, but I won’t go on about them.

So try Spotify if you want, but let a feeling of guilt follow you as you listen to tracks on the service. Because, what’s the one thing Spotify provides you with? And WHO gets the millions…???

FIND PART 2 OF THIS REVIEW HERE


Find Hanna in these places:

hannasilver.bandcamp.com
theprinceofseagulls.bandcamp.com
youtube.com/astrobic

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff review by jacob jones

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free app from TinyCo, Inc.

My review of the Peter the family Guy app from Fox entertainment and so far now it’s on iOS works great on the iPad the iPod touch my big hands don’t hit the right function right for me on my iPod touch fifth-generation basically again here Peter gets in a fight with the chicken I guess it’s the chicken Pres. again and all your characters on it basically so whenever you get on there the free app so basically be careful if it will ask for all of your money it will take hours and hours and hours even though I had it for a few days so all your characters from Meg and quagmire and all the other well-known characters that were in the show that was in the family Guy episodes.

So basically the plot is you have to rebuild warthog from the ground up because when Peter in the roaster chicken guy got into it they destroyed quahog so you’re going to have to rebuild the whole entire city so people you’re probably going to have to find people on the houses that you start off with Peter and Chris and as the game goes on you have to unveil all the characters so basically all the people on there are going to you be found as it might be hidden in other buildings that have been demolished

what i like about the game so far it’s so easy and all the comical references to the show there is some cussing in it but it’s censored and also this game uses like a thought but bubble my method and so funny it’s actually show you how all long it takes the characters you get done with that action basically you could have Peter go around the town doing the roundhouse kick going around the city yelling roundhouse and quagmire running around doing panty raids running around yelling giggity giggity

But on the not so good side most of  the apps are free apps that have you to pay to get some power ups

Cheers jacob

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