Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Position Art Genius

As a fellow artist (and self proclaimed genius) it is my duty to present one of the coolest artists of our time. The Position Art Genius, Stavros has recently produced his greatest piece to date in the heart of Rome. Stavros uses a Nokia N82 to geotag his position to create various shapes and even more complex pictures.

I must thank Stavros and WOM World for sending NET9 the awesome T-shirt with a portrait of the genius on the front. I will wear it with honor for the world to learn of Stavros. Also for the signed and numbered super duper limited edition poster. And of course, I can't thank Stavros enough for the one of a kind, framed and signed NET9 position art piece.

For those who are unfortunate not to know the phenomenon that is Stavros, you can become fortunate by learning about the genius at The World Is My Canvas site. Also view some of his great works and photos too. Now please excuse me while I continue to gaze at the great position art Stavros has blessed me with.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nokia N95: Gaming, Serving, Streaming

I've been checking out a few cool services and apps for the N95 these days and I continue to be amazed at how fast this device is growing in its capabilities.

First, I have to admit to grabbing the unofficial version of the N-Gage First Access app, and have been having a blast with some of the Games. N-Gage is certainly shaping up to be an awesome gaming solution, and I think I speak for many when I say I can't wait for N-Gage to "officially" appear on the N95 and other supported phones. Looking forward to some fun challenges in the N-Gage Arena.

The next app I got around to checking out is the Nokia Mobile Web Server. This app has been out for some time, but there's been a recent update to 1.2 beta and it is still pretty cool to be able to access your phone from any web browser. Contacts, calendar, messaging, images, etc. is manageable through the web. There's even some cool blogging options in there.

And finally, I stumbled on the cool PocketCaster app that works great for live video streaming from the N95 to the ComVu site for viewing. This could be an awesome way to do live shows on the go. And it works very well over a 3G connection too.

There's just so many great S60 apps and services these days, it's a challenge just to keep up with it all.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

N81 8GB and Bose QC3 Headphones

The Nokia N81 8GB has been reviewed to death and I think it's an okay device by itself, but the special edition kit with the Bose QuietComfort 3 Headphones set it off very nicely. Oh, and the packaging of it all was quite cool also. I'll quickly go over my thoughts about the N81 8GB, but it's the Bose Headphones that will get the best of this review.

N81 8GB
A very sleek Nokia phone with a great music experience and a pretty fun gaming experience, the N81 8GB has what it takes to kick out a nice amount of tunes and even some N-Gage gaming action the way it was meant to be. The slider is solid, and feels even sturdier than the N95-3. However, the plastic back cover felt a bit cheap and made some creaking noises that annoyed me to no end (thank goodness for those noise canceling Bose headphones).

The battery life was pretty good, the Navi Wheel function of the direction pad was fun to play with, but I never saw myself wanting to use it much at all. The camera was sub par and I was disgusted with the image quality I got with it. The wifi and EDGE only connection is enough to browse the web in comfort, and the built-in speakers were excellent. I loved that the screen was flush with the rest of the face of the device, unlike my N95-3 which has that traditional beveled frame for the screen. Scratches may be an issue for the N81 in the long run with a screen like that though.

The button placement has to be one of the worst I've seen to date. It looks as if the designers couldn't decide where to put the music keys so they opted to cram them all at the bottom of the screen with the other keys and hope no one would notice how retarded it actually was to use. Come on Nokia, 16 freaking buttons in an area the size of two stamps is ridiculous! Crowded is not the word for this monstrosity. This should have been a dual slider like the N95, period.

Finally, the last things I dislike about the N81 8GB is that there's no way to expand the storage capacity past the built-in 8GB and no TV-out functionality. For a device that will be primarily a mobile music and gaming machine and more, 8GB is laughable. For a $400+ Nokia phone I expected more than what the N81 has to offer. The styling and durability is spot on, button placement is all wrong, and the expandability is off by a mile. This phone had potential to be so much more than what it is. I hope Nokia can fix it or bring the best parts to future phones.

Bose QuietComfort 3 Headphones
These things are simply awesome! They make up for quite a bit of what's lacking in the N81 8GB for sure. I've never heard a more clear sound of music come from headphones in my life. There's really not much I can say about headphones, but I know I have to get a pair of these when I get some extra cash. They feel great over my ears, have all the adapters needed for travel, and of course the noise canceling feature is top notch. Simply put, these headphones make the difference in any music listening experience. Bravo Bose, Bravo.

Sonic Rush

This game is pure speed as usual for the classic sonic experience. This time however, theres a dash of 3D action thrown into the mix along with a hip new female character. And if you thought one DS screen would be enough to contain the chaotic speed of Sonic, you would be sorely mistaken. It takes a lot of coordination, patience, practice, and flat out stubbornness to get through some of the insanely complex levels at a break-neck pace.

I honestly don't remember the Sonic games from days of old being anywhere near as hard as this game. Trying to keep track of the super fast blue hedgehog across two screens may give you epilepsy or some sort of motion sickness, but the game is loaded with fun twists and turns that will have you yearning for more. Of course the Sonic fans will love all the new and unique levels that bring a pretty good challenge to the game, but the storyline could surely use an injection of energy. It's possible that the speed and action of the game play just completely overshadows the story and other aspects of the game though.

There's a new playable character, very cool boss levels, and more. I'd recommend this game to anyone with a need for speed and any fan of the Sonic franchise. I like Sonic Rush and will keep it in my collection for the challenge, but I'm more of a Mario kind of guy.

Games To Go Rating: 3 out of 5