Category Archives: Opinion

Bose’s Quiet Comfort Line

My thoughts:

The Bose QuietComfort line has been around since 2000. Since then it has evolved greatly into the QuietComfort 3, and QuietComfort 15. I had bought a pair of the QuietComfort 3 headphones back when they first came out in 2006, and have used them moderately for 6 years. At the time they sounded better, and had better noise cancelling technology than the QC2’s and I personally found them more comfortable. As the years went by (5 years), the ear cushions started to lose their comfort and the battery started to lose it’s ability to retain a charge as well. This was not a deal breaker, because both the ear cushions and battery is replaceable replaceable, but the headphones started to emit a high frequency sound whenever the ear cushions were to be compressed, so that I had to shelve them. These headphones are great from the short term to the mid term (1-4 years), but beyond that, the quality of the sound becomes strained and purchase of a new pair is advisable.

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Best Beginner Drones for Filming

Low Cost: Cheerson CX-20

Price: $300

A great drone for anyone starting out. When I first got my Cheerson CX-20 I beat, dropped, and slammed into walls. Eventually the drone broke after a few months, but this was a great way to learn how to fly. The Cheerson lacks a high end interface and auto pilot controls, but through this lack of technology I became a better pilot. Having moved on from my Cheerson onto more advanced drones (that basically fly themselves), I would have never gotten to my skill level had it not been for the Cheerson. The Cheerson is a basic quadcopter with similar resemblance to the older DJI Phantom. The UAV does not come equipped with a built in Camera so you will have to snap on a GoPro. Incase you would like a more advanced drone without the price, you can always upgrade your CX-20 with a POV monitor, gimbal, and other accessories at $50 to $100 at a time.

Note: Cheerson has updated to the CX-22 (but it costs twice as much)

Medium Cost: Xiro Xplorer

Price: $800

Probably one of the best valued drones on the market is the Xiro Xplorer. There are two models sold by Xiro including the Xplorer G equipped with a 3-Axis gimbal for your GoPro, or the Xplorer V equipped with an in-house camera created by Xiro delivering crisp 1080p video. The Xiro Xplorer is a very durable and well made device that looks like it should cost twice as much as it does. It also includes much of the technology expected from higher end drones like video streaming, a specially design app, orbit mode, follow mode, and many other features. This is a high end drone, without the high end price tag.

Note: Watch out for the Xiro’s new Xplorer2!

High Cost: 3DR Solo

Price (UAV): $1000

Price (Gimbal): $400

Deemed the smartest drone on the market, it is hard to disagree after my first flight. The 3DR Solo has a noticably sleek and clean look as compared to its ugly competitor the DJI Phantom. Compared to the DJI Phantom the 3DR Solo only lacks in its range, but can be fixed for $20 dollars by buying range extenders and ends up bettering the Phantom. 3DR put time in to developing one of the best applications for their drone, so that a beginner will have the ability to take professional quality shots. The Solo is able to keep itself very steady in the wind, launch itself, orbit, follow, cable follow, and much more (not to mention the updates). If you have the cash, the 3DR Solo is worth the investment as a beginner drone as it is not very difficult to fly.

Note: Don’t worry about model updates as the 3DR Solo has updates that change its dynamics and expansion bay allows for extra accessories to be attached.

What’s in it for Apple? A financial outlook:

Let me preface this article by saying that I am by no means an expert in finance, risk calculation, or the current state of the stock market. That said, I think there has been a lot of jumbled advice being thrown around about Apple (AAPL) in the past few weeks, and I mean to throw in my two cents about the company with a little bit more resolve. Take it how you please.

Apple Stock 2009 to 2013

As most investors know, for the last 4 years Apple has been an incredibly profitable company to invest in, provided you invested correctly.  The stock was at a 52-week low in 2009 at about $90, shooting up to a high of $705 in 2012. However, since 2012, the stock price has plummeted to what seems an improbable low of around $450 for what once was the most valuable company in the world. Provided you bought apple in 2009 and sold in 2012, you would have made 780% of your initial investment. But what caused Apple to shed over 35% of its value over the last few months? That is the most important step to figuring out what to do with the stock.

I’d like you to picture Apple in 10 years. Go ahead; close your eyes and picture where you see the white knight in the year 2023.

For some, Apple is dead. Crushed under the weight of behemoth companies such as Samsung in a rivalry for market share, without its captain of creativity, Steve Jobs, at the vanguard – unable to compete in an increasingly competitive market. For others, whom I like to call the ‘dreamers,’ Apple has regained its near monopoly in the gadget market, despite no longer being the clear leader for high tech niche products.

I am currently sided with the former opinion in the long-run, as much as I’d like to be a dreamer. However, in the short- to-medium run (the next few months), I’m actually quite optimistic about Apple. Provided Apple doesn’t throw a curveball at investors, I see Apple rising moderately through these unstable times. From March 13th to March 22nd, Apple consistently beat out companies such as Google (GOOG) and Dell (DELL) and made gains on bearish days where almost every tech company fell in value. Popular opinion has Apple at a ‘tentative buy,’ and other sources advocate a vehement avoidance of the company. Why am I buying Apple?

Well, we should look to two reasons: trends and context.

Trend-wise, Apple looks good. The company has fallen from it’s previous high but looks to be on track for some serious gains. Context-wise, Apple has been facing serious rivalry from Samsung, but I believe the current overwhelming popularity of the iPhone in countries such as China is not adequately reflected in its stock price. Therefore, I believe the company is undervalued, and is a “buy.”

However, I’d like to remind you that I’m talking short-run to medium-run here, meaning over the next month or two, I expect Apple’s stock to reach  500 to 550 dollars a share, which is when I will sell, ceteris paribus.

After that, I likely won’t be touching the company with a 50-foot pole, depending on the exact circumstances of the company’s outlook.

 

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of Therealmacgenius.com. However, we encourage you to take caution with your investments and therefore we hold no liability in losses. Material taken from this article is to be cited as from Therealmacgenius.com. Stock graph extracted from Yahoo! Finance 2013.

Day 1 as an Apple Employee

According to Business Insider, the typical goal of a new hire orientation at most companies is to excite the employees with the new company. Employees are typically greeted with a shiny new computer and company swag. While some of this is similar to Apple, day 1 as an Apple employee requires you to setup a shiny new Mac.

That’s right, no tech support. Apple assumes that if they hired you, you must be smart enough to setup a new computer. This unique way of approaching technology helps break the ice by having employees help one another.

Apple has been notoriously know for their secrecy. The head of security tells the new employees that they will be fired if they leak information. Apple has even been heard to have place employees on “fake products” before they think they can trust them.

The unique part of Apple’s culture can be linked to the success Apple has had over the past few years. Does revolutionizing industries such as the phone and music industry require this magnitude of strictness to produce results?

What do you think about Apple’s unique culture? Can you argue with their unique ways if they produce phenomenal results?

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

A previous article said Lion would be released July 14th. That date has come and gone, but where is Lion? Steve Jobs in his presentation at WWDC said Lion would ship “some time in July.” When in July? Guesses from July 6th to July 14th to July 26th have all been thrown in the air. Even the best Apple pundits have been stumped.

I think an unintended consequence of releasing software as download only has presented itself: there is no physical stock of install discs to tip the Apple community as to when a release will definitely happen.

What does it matter? Well, for one, Mac Geeks such as myself are forced to check the rumor mills constantly for some sign of Lion approaching. It also shows just how much control Apple has over its products. I must admit that they have been playing their hand very close to the chest to have fooled so many websites. Another implication is that those wishing to prep his or her Macs for the upgrade have no idea when they’ll need to get it done by.

However, sources are now guessing more confidently that July 26th will be it.

What do you think? Will uncertainty cloud the release of future download only upgrades, or does it not matter to know when an OS upgrade will release?

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