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After many years of absence from this blog I have decided to once again return and share my gadget experiences with you. Four years is quite some time however it can be said that university life is quite challenging in terms of availability of time. I spent some time thinking what to write about and it came to me. What does a student use every day except for a laptop or pc? A student will use a pair of headphones quite often, therefore this post will look at my experience with headphones during the past four years.

ImagePreviously I have written a post on how amazing my Skullcandy Black Denim G.I. headphones were from every point of view. After using them for quite some time my opinion has clearly changed with regards to this brand. The pricing is not so competitive anymore when you compare it to other brands such as Sennheiser. However, the main and most important problem with these headphones is the build quality. The build quality is quite hard to notice during the first few days of usage, however this pair is built from a very cheap and weak plastic. This resulted in both extendable parts cracking and eventually breaking rendering them unusable. Might I add, that I don’t even need to use this extending feature since they fit my head exactly as they come out of the box? The cable connection to the driver also managed to break which resulted in just one speaker working.

ImageThe customer service at Skullcandy was quite helpful and changed this pair with a newer model without any questions asked. If I remember correctly you do get life time warranty, however it’s best to check before purchase if this is still the case. The new pair performed very similarly from a sound quality point of view. They even look better to be honest. However, Skullcandy is still using the same cheap plastic which resulted in cracks on both extendable parts again. This is quite unacceptable from a quality point of view. I do not use this extendable feature and they both break, imagine having to use them on a daily basis. Quite sad. Both ears still hurt after prolonged use.

ImageAs a result, I have decided to buy a much simpler pair from Creative for around 10 pounds. To my surprise, this pair is still in 100% working condition and undamaged after more than 3 years of intense usage. They came in a simple, white and eco friendly box with an instructions manual and a few different sized ear buds. I guess Skullcandy uses fancy packaging and design but compromises on quality whereas Creative does the opposite. I will take quality and sturdiness over fancy packaging any day.  They are very easy to store and do not hurt my ears after prolonged use. Highly recommend these if you are not willing to spend too much money on the label.

As a conclusion, I am highly disappointed with the Skullcandy headphones and will most probably avoid them in the future. Do not mistake a good pair of headphones based on their packaging or price. Price does not translate into quality anymore, it just reflects your ability to afford well know labels to society. Same goes for most products out on the market nowadays. So choose wisely and if possible try them out before purchasing whilst also checking the build quality. 

LAS VEGAS — Motorola launched its third Android smartphone, an attractive, compact device with some surprising hardware innovations and a user interface that aggregates social networking feeds, e-mail and contacts.

The phone called Backflip has a 3.1-inch touchscreen, a QWERTY physical keyboard that opens up in an unexpected way, a touch-sensitive navigation panel on the back and a nifty mode that allows it to be positioned on the tabletop to act like an alarm clock.

The device is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of the year, but the company did not disclose pricing or a telecom partner for the device.

“This is a phone with a great keyboard, a big screen and integration with social networking,” says Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha.

Since Google debuted the open source Android operating system in October 2008, Android devices have flooded the market. More than 10 Android handsets are currently available with more waiting to burst into the spotlight. AT&T announced Wednesday that it will offer five new Android smartphones this year. On Tuesday, Google introduced its own Android handset, the HTC designed Nexus One running the latest version of the Android OS, Android 2.1

Motorola is trying to stay a step ahead, says Ross Rubin, an analyst with The NPD Group. “We have seen a lot of Android models appear quickly on the market,” he says. “So it’s starting to become more important for manufacturers to differentiate themselves.”

Source: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/01/motorola-introduces-backflip/

Avoid turning your computer off with the power switch until Windows has shut down. This rule should be followed in order to avoid any damage to the hard drives, which are used by the computer. Even in case of a system freeze, try to use ctrl + alt + delete rather than immediately pressing the main switch off button as maybe there is still a chance of unfreezing the system. If there is still no luck, try to shut down the computer using the ctrl + alt + delete trough windows task manager and going to the shut down tab. You can also make a habit out of backing up your system or at least of the files and data in order to eliminate the chance of loosing precious data. Cd’s, DVD’s, Zip disks etc. could be used as a storage medium. Defragment at least once a month. This will keep your hard drive healthy and prevent crashes. It may also increase the processing speed of the computer. Never unplug peripherals from the computer when it is powered up. Unplugging with the power on can short out the connector socket or the motherboard.

If you want to read more about computer manitenance tips read my first post or go here https://3milian.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/computer-maintenance/

Size and weight
Height 119mm
Width 59.8mm
Depth 11.5mm
Weight 130 grams w/battery
100g w/o battery

Display
3.7-inch (diagonal) widescreen WVGA AMOLED touchscreen
800 x 480 pixels
100,000:1 typical contrast ratio
1ms typical response rate

Camera & Flash
5 megapixels
Autofocus from 6cm to infinity
2X digital zoom
LED flash
User can include location of photos from phone’s AGPS receiver
Video captured at 720×480 pixels at 20 frames per second or higher, depending on lighting conditions

Cellular & Wireless
UMTS Band 1/4/8 (2100/AWS/900)
HSDPA 7.2Mbps
HSUPA 2Mbps
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
A2DP stereo Bluetooth

Processor
Qualcomm QSD 8250 1 GHz

Operating system
Android Mobile Technology Platform 2.1 (Eclair)

Capacity
512MB Flash
512MB RAM
4GB Micro SD Card (Expandable to 32 GB)

Location
Assisted global positioning system (AGPS) receiver
Cell tower and Wi-Fi positioning
Digital compass
Accelerometer

Graphics, video and audio

Audio decoders
AAC LC/LTP, HE-AACv1 (AAC+), HE-AACv2 (enhanced AAC+) Mono/Stereo standard bit rates up to 160 kbps and sampling rates from 8 to 48kHz, AMR-NB 4.75 to 12.2 kbps sampled @ 8kHz, AMR-WB 9 rates from 6.60 kbit/s to 23.85 kbit/s sampled @ 16kHz., MP3 Mono/Stereo 8-320Kbps constant (CBR) or variable bit-rate (VBR), MIDI SMF (Type 0 and 1), DLS Version 1 and 2, XMF/Mobile XMF, RTTTL/RTX, OTA, iMelody, Ogg Vorbis, WAVE (8-bit and 16-bit PCM)

Image JPEG (encode and decode), GIF, PNG, BMP
Video H.263 (encode and decode) MPEG-4 SP (encode and decode) H.264 AVC (decode)
Audio encoders AMR-NB 4.75 to 12.2 kbps sampled @ 8kHz

Language support
Display: English (U.S), French (France), German, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Korean, Japanese, Russian,
Keyboard: English (U.S), French (France), German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil)

Source: http://www.google.com/phone/static/en_US-nexusone_tech_specs.html

Me, personally i am going to meet up with family friends in a weird looking room :)) and we will enjoy some music while having a nice, hot, delicious meal from Crown Plaza… I hope the music chosen by them wont be really boring, as music can actually have a great impact on my mood, hopefuly it wont haha:)). So i wish you all a Happy New Year with great achievements and succes plus a very healthy life for the coming new year. Waiting for your comments and ideas!!

Emilian