Nybbles and Bytes...

loves good coffee!

Nybbles and Bytes...

wants to know if you need this button on your keyboard...?

Nybbles and Bytes

...loves exotic places...

Nybbles and Bytes

is occasionally old school...

Nybbles and Bytes

loves smartphone debates...!

Monday, August 4, 2014

We review the Turtle Shell 2.0 Bluetooth Speaker, and it's one decent piece of kit...

So I was fortunate enough to get my grubby paws on a pretty funky piece of techno gadgetry recently, in the form of the Turtle Shell 2.0 Bluetooth Speaker.
Everything today is going wireless - I don't even want to start thinking of all of the wonderful things that are probably happening to our brains as a result, but the reality is that people don't really want to use cables unless they absolutely have to.

Wireless audio just makes life so much simpler.
Step into any electronics or audio store today, and you will be amazed at the choice of Bluetooth speakers available, when compared to just a few years ago.
Trouble is, there are a lot of downright cheap and nasty products on the market - great in terms of convenience and portability, but when it comes to performance and sound quality, just not up to scratch.

While one cannot really expect a small Bluetooth speaker to be capable of window smashing bass, it is still possible to achieve a respectable level of audio quality, while retaining portability and decent aesthetics.
The ability to take a beating would also be nice - after all we often want to take our music with us, don't we?

Enter the Turtle Shell 2.0, by Outdoor Tech:

I don't need to be Patrick Jane, to know that you are already hooked by the look of this thing alone.
Outdoor Tech have paid particular attention to design - the angles actually remind me of the Stealth Fighter - I wonder if it is invisible to radar? :)

So is it any good?
Well I won't venture too far into the tech specs now, as much as I usually love to pretend that I know exactly what they mean.
Instead, you can check out all the important details here, while I proceed to provide a first hand account of my experience with the Turtle Shell 2.0.

From the outset, I was not expecting anything tremendous from something so small - the Turtle Shell 2.0 comfortably sits in the palm of your hand (or hands, if your hands are particularly small :)).
It happily travels wherever you need it to, thanks to the nifty carry bag supplied with it, and you don't have to stress about accidental drops or spills - this thing is built tough (it is IP65 dust proof and water resistant - apparently that's good). :)

Bluetooth pairing is beyond basic, and you can expect up to 16 hours of audio (depending on how loud you pump the bass, that is).
If you still don't know what Blueteeth are, there is also a 3.5mm audio port on the side, where you can plug in a walkman, iPod or other audio player.
Charging is via Micro USB, which is fast becoming one of the most popular charging methods - another thumbs up there.

Moving along - once paired up with my Nokia Lumia 920, the thing that (pleasantly) surprised me most about this speaker, is how well it "threw" the sound, even at soft volumes.
That has to be down to the way that Outdoor Tech designed it - apart from the funky look, those angled surfaces serve to direct sound omnidirectionally (I just Googled that to make sure it's a real word).

Bass, mid-range and treble were all of high quality when considering the device size, and I noticed that the speaker volume maxxed out more or less just short of any distortion, without sounding "tinny", like those walkman speakers of old.

3 simple buttons on the side allow you to navigate through your tracks and control the volume, and a standard camera mount underneath allows for various mounting options.
During my time with the Turtle Shell 2.0, I also found myself setting it up wherever I went, just to have some quality sound in the background.
Soft or loud, this little gem excels.

Of course, once the party is over and it's time to get back to business, you can always use the built in microphone to conduct wireless conference calls - another nifty feature thrown in, just to sweeten the deal.
I have to say that in the congested world of Bluetooth Speakers, the Turtle Shell 2.0 totally stands out from the crowd on several fronts:

  • High quality audio
  • Seriously rugged - dust, water and shock resistant
  • Portable
  • Funky design - available in a range of funky colours
  • Feature packed
So here's what you get in the box - they even throw in some cool Outdoor Tech stickers :):

Get in touch with us by clicking here to fill out an enquiry form - get one for your next braai, or why not order a few as Christmas gifts for your clients - they will love you for it!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A lot of soccer fans can relate to the Google Doodle today I suspect... :)

I kinda got bored watching the daily Google Doodle every day since the beginning of the Soccer World Cup, but the one today probably hits home with soccer supporters everywhere:

Go take a peek and have a giggle during your coffee break...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

4 years on... the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup kicks off tonight!

What is it about the Soccer World Cup that gets the world so pumped up?
I mean any sports world cup event is a big deal, but there is something extra special about the Soccer World Cup that just gets people into a frenzy.

Memories of the 2010 event which was held here in South Africa are still fresh in my mind, and what an amazing event it was.
I can hardly believe that today, 4 years on, the next one is here already - Google just had to get in on the act of course :)

Don't miss live coverage of the opening ceremony on SuperSport 3 tonight @ 20:15.
It's going to be awesome - which team is your money on?

Friday, June 6, 2014

We all love Cadbury's, but that won't stop this rant...

For as long as I can remember, Cadbury's chocolate has always been one of my favourite treats.
I have never actually tested this, but I am pretty certain that I could go through a few slabs in one sitting... :)

So you can imagine how I felt when I discovered some rather sneaky changes that Cadbury's made to their slab sizes at the end of May.

Check this out:

Large slab (May 2014):

Large slab (June 2014):

Ok, so they reduced the slab size by 30 grams - that's approximately 16%.
Now the reduced slab size alone is a big enough issue - less chocolate is never a good thing!

The part that adds insult to injury here is the fact that the smaller slab pricing has remained unchanged, somewhere around the R19 - R21 mark, and I'm sure that this is even set to rise soon, given the current rate of inflation.

Hell Cadbury's, what a way to slap your customers in the face.
Of course it's pretty difficult for me to say I won't buy Cadbury's anymore, since I love their chocolate so much, but at the very least your company image has taken a serious knock in my book.

So in closing - @Cadbury's, don't forget that we now have things called "social networks", where everybody knows everybody, and where one small post or tweet can be propagated millions of times over.
I, for one, will be spreading this all over my social network pages.

As the late, great Douglas Adams once wrote:

“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Heartbleed - don't panic. Just follow this checklist...

There isn't much that I can add to the current hype about Heartbleed - the recently-discovered flaw in OpenSSL which puts a tons of online resources at risk.

What I did find online however, was this incredibly useful infographic, courtesy of www.ivpn.net.
It provides a brief summary of where the problem areas are, and where you should be thinking of changing your passwords:

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Whatever happened to the COOL Kinder toys?

This is probably going to sound like one of those "When I was your age..." type stories, but for those of you who know what I am on about, it will make sense :)
Kinder Surprise eggs were a huge part of my childhood - they were a treat to be enjoyed on 2 fronts - the awesome tasting chocolate egg, and of course the great toy inside the egg.

kinder surprise
kinder surprise (Photo credit: black.zack00)
I still don't know why we don't see the original chocolate eggs in the shops here in Johannesburg - instead we now get Kinder Joy, which quite frankly is no match for the original Kinder Surprise - you don't get the chocolate egg, and I have to say that the toys nowadays are pretty lame to boot.

Although mine are all probably packed away or donated to a worthy cause by now, I can still remember a selection of some of the nifty gadgets I used to get in Kinder eggs as a kid:

- friction-driven cars and trucks;
- tiny airplanes;
- cool mini action figurines;

...to name but a few.
They were just cool toys, and as kids, we played with them and they lasted.
Today however, we get this:

Which is... what exactly?
Well according to the instructions, it is supposed to be a tracing toy of some type, with a vague Smurfs theme.
I even tried to humour them on this one, but I didn't get very far.
Maybe my patience levels just aren't up to scratch, or maybe my boredom levels went into meltdown with the prospect of such a mind-blowingly fun activity, when all I really wanted was a cool racing car or something along those lines. Must be the kid in me!

So in the unlikely event that anyone from Ferrero happens to read this - I would love to know why South Africa doesn't get Kinder Surprise eggs anymore, and why the toys inside the eggs are just not what they used to be?
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Autumn skies - a feast for the eyes... :)

Summer is slowly slipping away over here in the Southern Hemisphere, and each morning is starting to feel just a hint more chilly than the last.
As our Autumn approaches (that's "Fall" for our American audience :)), this is an awesome time to start snapping random photos of our changing environment.

Just loving our clouds at the moment...:

More to follow as I randomly snap away, day by day...
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