Tech Blog

Displaying articles for: 09-30-2012 - 10-06-2012

Wii U Comparison: 8GB or 32GB?

by Blogger ‎10-06-2012 02:11 PM - edited ‎10-06-2012 02:29 PM

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If you missed Paul's Wii U Launch Announcement last month, there's a few things you might want to consider when purchasing your Wii U this holiday season.  Set to be released November 18, Nintendo announced that the console would be available in two different models, the 8GB priced at $299.99 and the 32GB priced at $349.99.  While it might be a no-brainer for some of you, there may be those that are a little conflicted considering the price jump.  Is the upgrade worthy of your time and money?  I think so. 

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Toshiba's U840W Ultrabook with the 21:9 screen

by Blogger ‎10-06-2012 01:38 PM - edited ‎10-18-2012 05:39 AM

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Right away, when looking at this computer you can tell that its going to be very different than what you’re used to. In the ultrabook world thats certainly not an easy feat to accomplish. A lot of them, while nice, can often look pretty similar at a glance. Everything about the Toshiba U840W begs for  your attention. You just want to pick it up, touch it, and use it.

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Pro Evolution Soccer 2013

by Blogger on ‎10-06-2012 12:53 PM

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Its a great year to be a fan of soccer video games. This year looks like we’re getting one of the best annual crops ever with everyone stepping up their game (no pun intended) and giving us something dramatically better than before. One of the titles to keep an eye on this year is Pro Evolution Soccer 2013, also known as PES’13. Lately the FIFA series has been battling them for dominance, but this isn’t the highlander. There can be more than one. Often this sort of game franchise competition can muddy the waters, resulting in several games that seem more or less the same. Not this time. PES is distinct from FIFA in its particular brand of depth.

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Microsoft has made it all but official now that there will be a launch event on October 29 to finally lift the curtain on Windows Phone 8. This will also mark the first time Microsoft shows off what the new operating system is capable of. 

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What’s cooking for Thanksgiving Dinner? This weekend, it’s time to indulge.

by Blogger on ‎10-06-2012 08:29 AM - last edited on ‎12-12-2012 11:03 AM by Retired Administrator

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Happy Thanksgiving Weekend! To my fellow Canadians, it’s the time of year to over-indulge with turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Fall is the best season, right? Are you looking to add more variation to Thanksgiving dinner? How about a Turkey wrapped with cheesecloth, or sweet potatoes with marshmallows, or pooovers, and pecan pie? Sounds mouth watery, right? If so, I’ve gathered lots of fun recipes to test out this weekend. Have a wonderful celebration. 

 
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Why upgrade to Windows 8?

by Blogger on ‎10-06-2012 06:47 AM - last edited on ‎10-09-2012 10:24 AM by Administrator

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On October 26th we’ll finally get to enjoy Microsoft’s latest operating system. Windows 8 has a lot of buzz around it, though there are also a lot of questions among consumers who aren’t quite sure what to expect. Having played for early builds of Windows 8 for the past few months I’m looking forward to installing the final version. Lets look at some of the changes that might encourage you to make the upgrade.

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This week Ubisoft treated us to a look at Just Dance 4 at a launch preview event in a big nightclub packed with professional dancers in downtown Toronto. We had a great time trying out some of the choreographed tracks from Call Me Maybe to Moves like Jagger.

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A Sony for Every Season

by Blogger on ‎10-05-2012 04:40 PM - last edited on ‎01-23-2013 10:53 AM by JorgeM Recognized Expert

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As the holiday season fast approaches, some of us may be reconsidering the components of our home theatre systems. This leads to dinnertime debates about what kind of performance we’d like to be enjoying in the coming months – a conversation which may result in a Christmas request or two. Let’s spend a moment exploring Sony’s current line-up of impressive televisions… and determine if they can deliver the performance and quality that you’ll be seeking this winter season.

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Resident Evil 6 Is Out Now!

by Blogger ‎10-05-2012 02:38 PM - edited ‎10-05-2012 02:38 PM

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Looking for a little more horror in your life?  Capcom is proud to announce the next thrilling game in the Resident Evil series, Resident Evil 6.  Released this past Tuesday, Resident Evil 6 features four interwoven campaigns delivering terror on a global scale unlike any Resident Evil game yet. If that weren't all, the game's main protagonists (Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Helena Harper, Piers Nivans, Jake Muller, and Sherry Birkin) face a new horror, the deadly C-virus.

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Iron Up. Add a Dash of Cocoa Powder

by Blogger on ‎10-05-2012 02:34 PM - last edited on ‎10-18-2012 12:02 PM by Administrator

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Dark Chocolate has become a popular health benefit due to its antioxidant component. Of course everything in moderation, I think life would be awesome if we could indulge dark chocolate all day, everyday. But there is a low caloric option to add into your foods, and that’s cocoa powder.

 

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Happy 30th birthday, Future Shop! A 'retro-riffic' look back

by Blogger ‎10-05-2012 09:59 AM - edited ‎10-05-2012 10:23 AM

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Happy 30th birthday, Future Shop! This weekend commemorates 30 years of business for Canada's largest retailer and etailer of consumer electronics. 

 

We have a blast with Future Shop's past. Check out the retro photos.

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10214236.jpgI’m a big fan of cameras that I can beat up. Hiking, biking, climbing, and swimming are all things that shouldn’t be done with all but the toughest of cameras. JVC has submitted the ADIXXION Action Cam for our approval. Aside from it’s 90s-era EXXTREME name, the ADIXXION is pretty awesome, and lives up to the title of action camera.

 

So this little ditty has the usual handful of -proof suffixes: waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, freezeproof (and by proxy: idiotproof and clumsyproof). The different here (as opposed to some other brands) is that you don’t need to put a casing or a housing on it; ADIXXION is ready for battle right out of the box. 

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Review: audioengine A5+ Premium Bookshelf Speakers

by Blogger ‎10-04-2012 07:58 PM - edited ‎10-04-2012 08:06 PM

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When audioengine's A5+ Premium Bookshelf Speakers first arrived, I was immediately struck by how heavy the box was. Although not a universal rule, weight is usually a good sign when it comes to high quality speakers. The larger a speaker’s magnet, the more air it can push – which translates into the ability to generate impressive, low-end tones that resonate with depth and warmth. So did the audioengine A5+ live up to its first impressions?

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Happy Turkey Day! 3 Thanksgiving apps to download now

by Blogger ‎10-04-2012 05:56 PM - edited ‎10-04-2012 06:04 PM

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Whether you're cooking Thanksgiving dinner (on your own) for the first time, looking for the perfect bottle of wine to go with your fine-cooked turkey, or simply overwhelmed with how much planning you have to do, there is an app to help.

 

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Review: The Linksys EA6500 802.11ac router

by Blogger on ‎10-04-2012 05:03 PM - last edited on ‎10-19-2012 11:04 AM by Administrator

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Linksys now has a hot new top-of-the-line router out and we’ve got the scoop on it. I had the chance to spend some time with this new unit and take it for a spin and see how it performed in the real world. 

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Top 5 Weather Apps for iOS

by Blogger on ‎10-04-2012 01:44 PM

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I’ve been into weather since I was a kid. It’s something that I got from my dad. In college I spent a lot of time learning weather signs that I could use when I led kids on back country trips (ah summer jobs). In grad school I took a great meteorology class and I really learned the science of weather. Heck I ever have a weather station in my office so I can track what’s going on outside.

 

It would make perfect sense, then, that I’d be addicted to iOS weather apps. And, I assure you I am. My favorite apps range from simple free apps to some pretty innovative apps with unique UIs that will certainly get your attention. Want my top picks? Well here you go…

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A Sneak Peek at Fable: The Journey

by Blogger ‎10-04-2012 09:11 AM - edited ‎10-25-2012 07:44 PM

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Ever since the Kinect was released I always hoped for a more substantial motion-control game to be released, something fun, accurate and more expansive.  It seemed my wish came true once Lionhead Studios started working on their next instalment in the Fable series, Fable: The Journey.  For the first time, you can immerse yourself in a first-person motion-control experience while embarking on an adventure of a lifetime.

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In the latest update to Netflix’s apps for iOS and Android, they’ve included the ability to use the mobile devices as remote controls when streaming a movie or show on the PlayStation 3. This is the first time Netflix has unveiled such a feature, and it provides a glimpse of how different devices can interact when connected to the same service.

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Blu-Ray Review: The Avengers

by Blogger on ‎10-03-2012 11:44 PM - last edited on ‎10-05-2012 09:57 AM by Administrator

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Marvel’s The Avengers was’t just the most awaited movie of the Summer. The all-star superhero epic, looks to be the movie extravaganza of 2012. A ‘years-in-the-making’ multi-story arc that began in minor installments in earlier Marvel hero movies, The Avengers Blu-Ray and DVD combo package delivers myriad experiences on various levels making it a compelling addition to any collection.

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LG's Dual Play Technology has Arrived

by Blogger on ‎10-03-2012 08:42 PM - last edited on ‎01-23-2013 10:54 AM by JorgeM Recognized Expert

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Passive 3D technology uses a single screen to display two interwoven images simultaneously. Each lens of your 3D glasses is calibrated to see only one of these pictures. When your brain combines these two images, it creates the illusion of three dimensions... but did you know that Passive 3D also has a second use? It can display two entirely different 2D video feeds at once. Meet LG’s amazing new Dual Play technology. It’s going to change the way you think about televisions, especially if you’re a game enthusiast.

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A Sneak Peek at Dishonored

by Blogger ‎10-03-2012 06:26 PM - edited ‎10-03-2012 06:26 PM

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As I'm sure you've already noticed, Bethesda did a hell of a job marketing this year's big stealth-action game, Dishonored.  Whether it was developer documentarieshow-to gameplay videos or chill-worthy picturesque stories there's been a lot of hype behind this game.  To be honest, Dishonored deserves it too -- the presentation is extremely impressive. It can be enjoyed by just about anyone, whether you're a stealth vet waiting anxiously for the next Thief game or the enthusiast who may not be the biggest stealth gamer, but still wanting to explore a world rich with possibilities.  

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet with S Pen hands-on video

by Retired Blogger on ‎10-03-2012 02:47 PM - last edited on ‎07-11-2013 01:44 PM by JorgeM Recognized Expert

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The second device in Samsung’s pen-enabled Note family of Android devices, the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, is now available at Future Shop, and I have had a chance to spend some quality-time with one over the past few weeks.

 

When the Samsung Galaxy Note was announced in 2011 it was at first considered a curiosity. What Samsung had created was an Android smartphone with a HUGE 5.3” screen, and what many scoffed was a throwback to an earlier time of smartphone technology - a stylus! If you’ve been using smartphones for as long as I have (my first was an HP iPAQ h6300 way back in 2004), you’ll fondly remember that the stylus was the de facto method of input on these early devices that used resistive screen technology. The stylus was a lot more accurate than fat fingers on those screens. However, with the advent of the iPhone (which uses capacitive screen technology), everyone thought the special dialing wand was extinct. Surprisingly, the Galaxy Note (quickly dubbed the world’s first ‘phablet’) proved to be quite a popular device. Styli are making a comeback!

 

Check out some pictures of the Note 10.1 after the break, along with my hands-on video of Samsung’s latest tablet.

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Learning Apps and Toys Abound!

by Blogger on ‎10-02-2012 08:55 PM

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Again, my biases are going to come out here. I received an email this week from a company and makes an iOS flashcard app called Flash Card Elite (free) and it got my wheels turning. The app’s focus is learning language, but actually it really works for learning just about anything. Which led to a sidebar discussion around the Tech Blog water cooler (aka email) about a post on this topic.

 

Now, beyond the cool stuff you can find in-store for learning (I’ve always wanted to try Rosetta Stone to improve my German or really learn French) and the cool kits to make a variety of solar-powered vehicles (and bugs!), let’s look at some of the things you can find in the App Store.

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Acer Aspire S7 Windows 8 Ultrabook

by Blogger on ‎10-02-2012 06:51 PM - last edited on ‎10-09-2012 10:29 AM by Administrator

Acer_Aspire_S7.jpgWindows 8 is just around the proverbial corner, and with it will come a bunch of exciting new hardware by PC manufacturers. One of the first of these new units we’ve managed to get an up-close look at is the Acer Aspire S7 Windows 8 Ultrabook. 

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Enjoying Facebook & Evernote with the Sony PRS T2 eReader

by Blogger ‎10-02-2012 12:39 PM - edited ‎10-02-2012 12:46 PM

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We’ve already taken a quick look at the new Sony eReader PRS T2 and run down some of its hardware specifications. Today lets take a closer at this eReader and some of it’s software features.

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Forza Horizon music list revealed

by Blogger ‎10-02-2012 08:30 AM - edited ‎10-02-2012 08:31 AM

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If you’re a fan of racing games, you’re probably already quite familiar with the Forza Motorsport series from Microsoft Game Studios and Turn 10 Studios. The series has become one of the biggest names in car games and appeals to enthusiasts and novices alike. Despite that established success, they’ve decided to shake things up a bit this year with their new title. Forza Horizon takes players away from the world of motorsports, off the track, and into an emergent open world driving experience.

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X-E1&X-Pro1_P19.jpgFUJIFILM’s high end X-series is getting an update in a lot of good ways. The Japanese company announced at Photokina that it would be introducing two new cameras, a lens adapter and a smart software upgrade to their critically-acclaimed XPro 1. Let’s take a look at the breakdown.

 

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Nikon’s popular 1 series of mirrorless digital cameras has evolved, bringing us the J2 compact camera. It’s the next step for Nikon, featuring their legendary optical quality pair with smart controls and powerful software to get the job done.

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Fujifilm’s F800EXR is coming to Future Shop with a cool new feature: Wireless Image transfer that’s smarter than ever before.

 

The F800EXR looks a lot like the F750; same compact shape, same great 20x optical zoom. It has the same soft-touch finish, with a 3” screen, and 1080p video recording. The difference is that the F800EXR is now WiFi enabled. 

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AMD Announces New A-Series CPUs

by Blogger on ‎10-01-2012 09:13 PM

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Okay, umm, home builders (?) AMD has some new chips out that tout the balance of power and affordability. Look, I’ll come clean. I’ve never built a PC from scratch. I know, it’s my geek shame. Fine I might have boot DVDs and USBs for more than a couple Linux distros on hand, but…nope never built a PC from scratch.

 

So the fact of the matter is that while I know this announcement from AMD is cool (for me anytime CPUs and graphics chips can do more with less power, I think it’s cool), I couldn’t put it into context for you. However…

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Once the generally accepted leader in iOS camera apps, Camera+ has a lot of competition these days. Last week the folks at tap tap tap released Camera+ for iPad—which is a completely different app than Camera+ (for iPhone)—hoping to bring a completely native iPad editing and photography experience to the iPad.

 

I bought the app over the weekend and…well I’m glad it was only $0.99.

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Duracell Now Giving 10 Year Power Preservation Guarantee With Duralock

by Blogger ‎10-01-2012 12:57 AM - edited ‎10-01-2012 12:57 AM

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Duracell held a press conference in Toronto this past week to announce Duralock, a new power preservation technology which will keep properly stored batteries fresh for up to 10 years.  The announcement was part of a pre-centennial party to celebrate 90 years of providing portable power to consumers and industry.

 

To showcase just how widespread portable power has become in recent times, Duracell had on display a range of gadgets that consume battery power, starting from the year the company was founded, 1922, all the way up to present day.  Included in the mix were a number of my personal favourites, the classic portable gaming handhelds Nintendo Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance, and Sega Game Gear.

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Add to your netTalk Duo with iOS and Android apps

by Blogger ‎09-30-2012 11:57 PM - edited ‎09-30-2012 11:58 PM

netTalk app screen.jpgThe netTalk Duo is a VoIP device that basically gives you a phone line with calling coverage across Canada and the U.S. for as little as $40 per year. It’s great to have all that at your fingertips while you’re at home or travelling with your Windows PC (the VoIP dongle won’t work with a Mac, but will work in a hotel with an Ethernet cable plugged in one end and into the phone on the other), except you can now extend that using your iPhone or Android handset.

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Getting smooth, fluid video of gadgets or figurines, or getting nice tracking shots of people walking or moving, or even getting a clean slider-like pan can be really hard without the right gear. And the right gear usually means big bucks… unless you’ve got something cool like the Pico Dolly.

 

The Pico Dolly is one of those “why didn’t someone think of this sooner!?” ideas, but unlike a lot of the cheap and cheesy executions you’ll find online, it’s extremely well built and super-simple to use. It comes in a thin cardboard box, and looks like a rollerskate. Good for DLSRs, Mirrorless Cameras, and Camera-equipped smartphones, this thing is the key to really fun, fluid video.

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Cameras don’t have to be the kind you take with you, and they can do more than just take pictures! Logitech’s new TV Cam HD is a new device that’s bringing a smart feature to almost every TV out there.

 

Smart TVs are all the rage, but you may not want to add one to every room in the house. Still, wouldn’t it be great if you could do some of the smart stuff, like video conferencing, from any HDMI-enabled TV? That’s the question Logitech asked, and they’ve answered it themselves with their TV Cam HD. It’s a Skype camera that adds Skype functionality to any TV with HDMI.

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If you’re a Sirius or XM satellite radio subscriber, you may already know what’s coming, but even if you don’t, or even if you’re thinking about signing up, new features and service expansion might sweeten the deal. The new features bring in Internet connectivity into the mix, and make it more possible than ever to listen to content you may have missed.

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Have you ever wondered what is actually in those funky sounding ingredients?  There's an app called INRFOOD that aims to decode and provide context to the foods we eat as well as decipher the all the funny named ingredients in your favorite product. 

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World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria - Future Shop Launch Photos!

by Blogger ‎09-30-2012 09:49 PM - edited ‎09-30-2012 09:49 PM

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This week saw the release of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, the latest expansion pack for the world's most popular online role-playing game, and 61 Future Shop stores across the country opened their doors early to celebrate the occasion.  I had a chance to visit the flagship store in downtown Toronto to chat with fans, see all the Mists of Pandaria giveaways, and of course take photos of this much-anticipated gaming launch. 

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Popcorn is a popular snack. For many, it’s best enjoyed when watching a movie. For some, they like to munch on it throughout the day. Wouldn’t it be cool if you had a personal popcorn feeder? Yes, no need to grab a handful of buttery popcorn to get your hands all greasy. You’ll have it placed in your mouth. No joke!

 
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Coke's High-tech Vending Machine

Coco-cola introduces a new vending machine with many high-tech features. It makes me want to buy a six-pack of Coke Zero only to see how it dispenses. I just hope the cost of soda doesn’t go up, as a result of this technology makeover. Right?

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How to: get the best results from panorama mode on your camera or your phone.

by Blogger ‎09-30-2012 06:03 PM - edited ‎09-30-2012 06:03 PM

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Everyone’s crazy for Panorama these days; it’s in point and shoot cameras, it’s in DSLRs, and yes, it might even be in your phone… So why do you want to start shooting wide or tall with panoramic shots? There are a few reasons, so let’s take a look at them, and how to get the best results.

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Mounting your TV on a Wall with the King Canada 12V Cordless Impact Driver Kit

by Blogger ‎09-30-2012 07:44 AM - edited ‎10-03-2012 09:22 PM

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Congratulations on the purchase of a new television! Once you’ve got it unpacked and leaning against your couch, it’s time to formulate the perfect strategy for mounting your TV to the wall. Today we’ll walk you through the process, review which tools you’ll require to complete the job safely, and introduce you to the King Canada Performance Plus 12V Li-ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit.

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