I was on TV today! It was a minor appearance on Channel News Asia, the region’s leading business channel, on Tech-Know, an excellent Tuesday morning show.

cna interview

I was invited to speak about Kiosked, a tech company out of Finland that’s raised $13 million in funding. One of its principle investors is Kaj Head, chairman of Rovio, which of course created Angry Birds.

Kiosked works with publishers as a way to monetize their content. The company overlays ads on top of websites’ images that act as virtual storefronts, featuring products relevant to that content.

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Samsung unveiled a Bluetooth wireless headset a few days ago called the Gear Circle that can attach together to form a necklace of sorts. Which the press promptly made fun of.

Fast Company: Would you wear this dorky headphone necklace by Samsung?

Business Insider: Samsung’s new necklace is the strangest tech product we’ve seen all year.

I actually think it’s a neat idea, and will explain why in a bit. The subject of today’s post is not the Gear Circle per se but two of its predecessors: the Jaybird Bluebuds X and Valore VL-BTi25.

I was set on something wireless and was tempted to get a pair of Bluetooth cans. However, they aren’t portable and awful outdoors on a hot day.

So I decided on in-ear instead and opted for the Jaybird Bluebuds X. They connect wirelessly to your device – set-up was simple and it works with smartphones, tablets and PCs via Bluetooth. You can do all the usual stuff like phone calls, music navigation and volume control.

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I’ve only recently discovered this, but it’s already one of my most favorite things on the phone: it’s the Freakonomics Radio podcast and it’s awesome.

The podcast is by the same group behind the Freakonomics book, and the show is in the same vein. It tries to answer questions like “Why do restaurants give free bread?” and “Are people who tithe to church happier?” with data, research, economic theory and guests who specialize in the subject.

The show is produced — it’s not a bunch of guys riffing off their thoughts — and it’s not only educational, it’s downright entertaining. I can’t recommend it enough.

I’ve tried podcasts before and never found them compelling enough to make part of my routine. Freakonomics is the first.

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I’ve made it plain on this blog that I’m a fan of the Surface concept, despite its flawed unveiling. Yes, the same Surface that lost Microsoft over a billion dollars. This must mean the concept sucks right?

Well, no, it it’s not because the vision is flawed, it’s the execution and timing that weren’t right. The first and second Surface Pros were too early — the hardware wasn’t ready to deliver the vision. The first Surface RT was just plain bad. I thought the Surface 2 was ready for primetime, if not for its Windows RT roots.

Timing aside, I’m a fan of the concept because convergence will happen between laptops and tablets, just like the telephone, camera, MP3 player, GPS navigation and PDA converged into today’s smartphone. Microsoft absolutely has the right idea with the Surface; just a few years’ early.

So, does the Surface Pro 3 do it? I’ll want to use this bad boy for a few weeks before concluding anything. My initial impression is that it falls just short for the mainstream; it’s too expensive and the form factor is a hairline from perfect.

Fortunately, it still hits the mark for someone like me. I’m loving the Surface Pro 3 so far.

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While I was researching my story about Chromebooks for TechSpot last week (a synthesis of stuff I’ve written before), I found this interesting article from OMG!Chrome!, a Chromebook enthusiast site.

It’s a strong argument that the people buying Chromebooks in retail and online aren’t normal people with low computing needs — they are in fact tech savvy people looking for a cheap second device.

Based on past articles, it might seem like I hate Chromebooks. Nothing of the sort. Thin clients like Chromebooks are the future and I can’t wait for us to get there. However, that future is still far away, and the amount of hype and coverage dedicated to Chromebooks today far exceed what it deserves.

An excellent device for your grandma? I think not. A companion device for gadget lovers? Sure, I get that. Chromebook’s simple nature and fast boot times can make a great experience for specific use cases.

But I wouldn’t recommend Chromebooks to “normal” people. If you think Windows RT or 8 are difficult to comprehend, Chromebooks are worse.

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I’ve heard some depressing things as an entrepreneur in the mobile space.

  • This app has too many animations which drains battery, so I don’t use it.
  • Using Wi-Fi drains battery life, so I just rely on 3G.
  • Bluetooth drains a lot of battery life so I turn it off, even though I wear a Fitbit everyday. I just turn it on once a day at home to sync.
  • I don’t download apps because I’m afraid they will kill my battery.

The first is clearly ridiculous, yet came from an intelligent person. Your phone will actually last longer with a stable Wi-Fi connection, and Bluetooth doesn’t drain battery at all unless used. Even then, it’s minimal. The last complaint is such a sad thing for us in the industry to hear.

The fear of running out of battery wields such an extraordinary influence over how we use smartphones. We benchmark every task according to how much battery it takes. We are never too far from a charger, and many of us carry a heavy, cumbersome power bank.

I have good news: we are on the verge of true all day battery life.

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I was getting worried, but it seems like smartwatches are taking off after all. Research company Canalys estimated 6 million smartwatches and fitness trackers were sold in the first half of 2014, or a 684% increase compared to the previous period.

This doesn’t even take into account Android Wear devices, which will start to get counted in next quarter’s report.

And the best is yet to come. The Moto 360 was widely considered superior to the two Android Wear watches already on the market. Motorola will launch the device next month after its event on September 4.

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