Monday, 30 June 2014

What to make of Google I/O Cardboard?

Used to more prominent gifts from the hosts of the event, some of the participants of the Google I/O conference were downright surprised when handed out rectangle cardboard pieces for gifts. Not only that, but one has to go through a tedious and quite an unintuitive procedure of folding the thing. The end result? Well, according to Greg from TechCrunch its darn freaking amazing. Plastic lens, magnet button and a handful of 'experiences' to choose from. Is there a better way to immerse yourself into the world of virtual reality (VR) in the vein of Oculus Rift, than with this truly 'Mockulus Thrift' reinterpretation.

If you haven't been to Google I/O, have no friends at Google, but are still curious as to what the fuss of VR devices is all about, head over here to order your copy from DODOcase. You will also need an app, which will happily run on Android 4.1 devices.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

The First Space Espresso Machine

Is there a better way to start a week than with some unrelated awesome hi-tech, lifestyle and space-travel-inspired news. So, here goes it. Apparently, Italian cofee company Lavazza teamed up with Argotech and the Italian Space Agency to design and build the first ever espresso machine to actually operate in space, at the International Space Station. The coffee maker measures 17 by 14 inches and weighs just a tad over 44 pounds.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

A Pebble Steel vs Pebble comparison

Riding the wave of hype for smart wearables on the week Moto 360 and LG G Watch were presented on Google I/O, we'd really like to look back at the original Pebble and its rad successor Pebble Steel. Well, what not to like about these? From cool design of the original Pebble to the way Pebble Steel nails a sleek, traditional timepiece look. Worth mentioning is that from the hands-on reviews of the new Moto 360 and LG  G smartwatch devices, it kind of seems that whatever Pebble sacrifices in display and functionality, it really makes up for in its presentation.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

How good is HTC One E8?

HTC One E8 is apparently a big thing. Not only does it sport the same specs as HTC's flagship M8, but managed to pull it off at about half the price of its bigger brother. Well, I know what you're thinking, there's plenty of smartphones in the AUD350 range, but rush your conclusions not. Let me tell it to you like it is once again: all of the specs of the flagship M8 at half the price! Stay tuned for more reviews of affordable and incredibly cool smartphones in the coming weeks. For now though, enjoy the hands-on video review of HTC One E8 above, as well as more photos after the cut.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Intel NUC mini-PC, New Unit of Computing

One of the smallest PCs ever produced by the Intel corporation is the Intel NUC. Designed to simply attach to the back of a display stand, NUC, which stands for New Unit of Computing, can be ordered with a range of memory and processor options. As a result, the price too will vary, from quite affordable to a little bit pricy. Those of us who watch movies on YouTube or otherwise, need not worry, the on-board integrated graphic controller will more than suffice for HD video reproduction and browsing. It seems like with Intel NUC personal computing just got a lot simpler, and a whole lot more compact!

HTC One Users Get Android 4.4.2 Kitkat Update

HTC One owners in Australia have reported that their device can be updated to Android 4.4.2 since yesterday. The new update brings a "flat" UI look that does away with bevels and curves - and this results in a much more beautiful design.

Although the colour theme is still dominated by black, its change is noticeable with the introduction of green and blue colours, and for the better too.

Most HTC built-in apps don't change much apart from the improved appearance, except for the Camera app. You can now switch between the front and rear cameras with a simple sideways swap. Previously this was buried under an obscure option requiring multiple taps to accomplish.

Overall this is a very nice update and we definitely recommend you to get it. As always, keep your phone charged while the update is in progress.

Monday, 23 June 2014

The Moto 360 design face-off

Apparently, Motorola has launched a contest, accepting about 1300 different facial designs for their much anticipated Moto 360 smartwatch. Now, its down to the best 10 and its up to us, the people, to decide which of the lot will appear on the front of the factory-spec model. Basically, the contest is taking place on Motorola's Google Plus page and the face that wins the privilege to bear OEM designation will be the one with the most +1s. So, why not go ahead and pick your personal favourite? Currently the leading design is the one pictured above.
We shall be receiving Moto 360 at ShopJoy upon its release but for now, check out our awesome selection of the best in smartwatches, from Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo to Pebble.

Friday, 20 June 2014

A simple guide to Bitcoin

If one is ever to approach an issue that is new and complex at the same time, a simple explanation of the concept is an invaluable, priceless thing. With Bitcoin becoming a widespread social phenomenon, not everyone understands the concept of virtual currency. In fact, some people might be confused, pointing to an inherently scientific approach that defines its core functionality. Although, that, in fact, may be true, the concepts behind Bitcoin are elegant and simple, which the above video is a useful testament to.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

LG isai LGL22, a Japanese water-resistant LG G2

LG isai LGL22 is basically one of Japanese versions of the phone many of smartphone aficionados know and love, the LG G2. The differences in the specs between the two may seem subtle to some, but drastic to others. One of the most notable changes is the reduced battery capacity, a sacrifice made to gain a removable back lid and an ability to easily access and replace the battery. This is not the only benefit of the architectural redesign with the LGL22 also receiving a microSD card slot, an IR port, TV reception and IPX5/IPX7 water-resistance. Other than that, this affordable Japanese-spec LG isai LGL22 is similar to the G2, which is precisely the reason why we include an awesome After The Buzz review of G2 above.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Bell labs' picture phone from the 1950s through 1970s

What does it take to envision the future? While the feat in itself is distinguished, imagining a future does not necessarily equal creating one. As sad as it may sound, there's definitely a time and place for everything. But for one thing, we at ShopJoy believe that Bell labs' experiments with videophone were not futile, leading to insights and discoveries in closely related and overlapping areas of the company's expertise. Speaking of expertise, we tip our hats to the author of this incredible video and agree that the path to the future is often unlocked through the details.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Olloclip, iPhone 5 four-in-one lens attachment

Sometimes little goes a long way. Such is the case with iPhone's renowned Olloclip lens. As the name implies, Olloclip is a small attachment for your iPhone that allows to extend and improve on the functionality of OEM lens. With Olloclip one no longer has to rely solely on built-in filters and effects. Instead, you can have your friends wonder at how exactly did you manage those telephoto, wide-angle, fish-eye or macro shots. Readily available at your disposal, compact and versatile Olloclip has got what it takes to spice up the day-to-day life of your iPhone.

Buy Vinyl Records with Bitcoin

Bitcoin was introduced to the world not too long ago - on the 9th of January 2009, to be exact - and up until last year only a very small number of online stores accepted Bitcoin, most of which were small-time shops set up by technology enthusiasts. However that changed very quickly. This year massive outfits followed suit, led by Overstock almost exactly 5 years after Bitcoin's introduction. The most recent big-name website adding Bitcoin support is Expedia, though currently it's only for hotel bookings.

While it's great to see such adoption from big players, Bitcoin supporters should not forget the real pioneers of Bitcoin e-commerce: small enthusiast-run stores. One such store that we discovered recently is . This site has a good collection of records, from Chopin to Bob Dylan to Taylor Swift. If you're looking to do something cool, you can try buying old technology with new technology.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Zooming into a microchip by Nanoscale Informal Science Education

Ever wondered what does an actual layout and architecture of a computer chip look like? Well, kind folks at NISE (Nanoscale Informal Science Education) have actually worked out a way to provide us with a glimpse of precisely that. Needless to say, we live in some pretty amazing times and this wicked video right here is a real testament to that. Not only does it provide a way to marvel at the internals of a microchip, but does so in an impeccable and delightfully detailed manner. We just want to say a few words of appreciation to all the people out there passionate about science and education, making this kind of accessible insight possible.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Bitcoin Phenomenon, the documentary on world's most popular cryptocurrency

In this wonderful installment of its visionary series, SQ1 business tv presents us with a closer look on the origins and evolution of Bitcoin. This incredibly well put together movie includes history, ideologies and insightful interviews with many influential leaders of the Bitcoin movement. Some notable names from among the latter include Gavin Andersen, Erik Voorhees, Jeremy Liew, Fred Ehrsam and Peter Vessenes. More perks can be accessed on the developers web-site, as well as the video section of their page on vimeo. For now, we hope you enjoy this amazing documentary and the magnificient effort SQ1 has put into making it happen. It will definitely help to shine a light on how Bitcoin really came to be and the extraordinary people behind it.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

SwiftKey, Google Play's best selling keyboard app now available for free

A smartphone is a wonderful device. Not only does it offer rich functionality right out of the box, but also allows one to alter user experience and tailor it completely to one's preferences. And what can be more fun than trying out something tried and true for free, let alone keeping it. Such is the case with the feature-rich SwiftKey, one of Android's best selling keyboard apps of all time. Indeed, from now on Swiftkey is available as freeware, while the company will go on to charge clients for payed upgrades to the core functionality. At the moment, these upgrades include a number of customized themes, a feature that's been requested by SwiftKey users the most. If you're a proud owner of an iPhone, though, by all means do not feel left out as SwiftKey will be releasing a version of its popular app for the iOS 8 later this year.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A look at HTC One (M8), one of the world's leading premium smartphones

The veritable HTC One (M8), as evidenced by our 'Sensible guide to choosing your next smartphone', is in all confidence one of the best smartphones available in the world today. What could be said about the HTC and its flagship HTC One (M8), without dwelling too much on the company's operational activities? In short, the latter involve a sorted out supply chain and a recent marketing overhaul. Both of these strategic efforts have been championed by the company's newly appointed chief operational and chief marketing officers, respectively. As to the HTC One (M8), for one thing it's an incredibly solid product that just happens to exude the feeling of quality far suppressing that of its nearest competition, Samsung S5 and Sony Experia Z2. It looks and feels like it means business with the performance to match.

In a sense, HTC One (M8) is a unique smartphone with a message of appreciation of the best things life has to offer. It will serve well to satisfy demanding consumers with a keen eye for design and a longing for solid build quality. In a world of evolutionary improvements, HTC One (M8) smartphone somehow manages to impress even the most reserved of experts, conveying the notions of class, elegance and a sense of achievement. Within the multitude of smartphone choices, each of which has its own merits, HTC One (M8) is a testament to innovation and persistence. It is a symbol of a larger breakthrough, lead by a smaller company in a David versus Goliath kind of setting.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

A sensible guide to choosing your next smartphone

Tackling the complexities of modern life is not always easy. With lots of areas of professional specialization, it is definitely worthwhile to consider expert opinion and advice when on the lookout for an upgrade to your beloved consumer electronics, both household and handheld. With that said, there's no denying few electronic devices have the presence and functionality of a smartphone. Although we advocate for a sustainable culture of consumption, once every few years the time to upgrade your handheld companion does come. So whether you're on the lookout yourself or know somebody who could benefit from these tips from TechRadar, check out their insightful Smartphone Buying Guide above, as well as Best Smartphones 2014: Top 10 rating below.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Pepper, the emotion-sensing robot

The gradual evolution of technology in the time we happen to live in seems pretty amazing. In this particular case, history unfolds before our very eyes. For the first time, an advanced robot is announced to be made readily available to consumers worldwide, priced at about AUD2000. According to Pepper's developers, in the future these robots will become as indispensable as smartphones. Healthcare and attending the elderly is what we hear the developers are aiming for as well. Allegedly, Pepper will be connected to the cloud, where it will store its gained collective experience, making the process of learning quicker and much more comprehensive. Take a look at a great video report and discussion on Pepper, the emotion-sensing robot, below.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Why is bitcoin the next generation, open-source, P2P currency of choice?

The business of cryptocurrency is hot on its heels and its coming to Melbourne in a month, on July 9-10, 2014. The event is going to take place at the Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre, where participants will be joined by a host of industry experts and visionaries as well as those in the know. The purpose of this event, in short, is to make sense of the first digital, decentralized, open-source, peer-to-peer currency. Will bitcoin emerge as a mainstream payment technology? Which of the regulatory policies aid and which ones prohibit its advancement? What will the impact of bitcoin on the global economy be in the foreseeable future? Register here to receive an early-bird discount and find the answers to these questions in person at Inside Bitcoins Conference in Melbourne on July 9-10, 2014. You might also want to have a look at the TEDxTalks video above for a little bit of insightful reference.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Unanticipated public signs from the future

Progress is a weird thing. For once it is greatly desirable, but then again the uncertainties it brings are creeping people out. What will the future be like? How soon are we to expect the advancements and how will they impact our lives? It's these questions that are central to a themed visual exploration by Spanish creative designer Fernando Barbella. Here we highlight the most interesting pictures, while the project in its entirety can be found over on tumblr.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Pioneering Pebble smartwatch receives a Steel upgrade

It seems only recently Pebble have pioneered the smartwatch market with their original, funtional and simple design. Now, with its sales reaching almost half a million units, most of the major companies, including Samsung, Motorola, Sony and LG are turning their view to this promising market niche. With the more premium smart wearable offerings slated for release this summer an upgrade to Pebble in the form of Pebble Steel only seems logical. Is it worth it? Have a look at the video review above and let us know what you think.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Sony QX100 to compete with Oppo detachable camera lens

Oppo, one of China's famed smartphone manufacturers, is readying a competitor for Sony's pioneering QX100 detachable smartphone camera lens. While Sony QX100 is a ground breaking and innovative product that takes detachable smartphone lens to the next level, its usability leaves much to be desired, as seen in the above video. What is amazing about QX100 is the entourage it creates and the reaction it elicits from the crowd. That is precisely the reason why we shine a light on Oppo's newest endeavour, as seen in the pictures below.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Google acquires Titan Aerospace

Hot on the topic of exciting news, Google and Titan Aerospace have made an announcement that the two companies will be joining efforts for the sake of humanity's technological advancement. According to Wall Street Journal, Google plans to utilize Titan's competencies to build up to 180 small satellites that will orbit the Earth at low altitudes. The ultimate purpose of this would be to provide various parts of the world with better internet access and update Google Maps data in a manner that's more timely and accurate.