Blackberry Protect Is A Must Have App For Your Blackberry

Last night I had a slight panic when I realized I had misplaced my phone while at law school.  I use ‘slight’ to describe my level of panic because I had previously installed Blackberry Protect on my beloved Bold 9930.  Blackberry Protect is an application that provides a host of features, like cloud backup and restore, GPS location of the phone, remote lockout, remote wipe, and remote messaging and audible alerts.  I had never used Blackberry Protect’s features beside cloud backup until last night.

When my federal income tax ended, I mistakenly left my phone on the seat adjacent to mine.  I then went to my debtor/creditor rights class and ten minutes after sitting down I realized I didn’t have my phone.  Luckily, I had access to the internet (I take notes on my laptop), so I logged into the Blackberry Protect website.  Below is a screen capture of Blackberry Protect, showing what you can do to locate your phone or take other measures to remotely secure it.

I viewed the location of my phone and saw that it was likely at my law school (there may be a discrepancy of where the GPS says the phone is and where it actually is).  I then locked it remotely, meaning that someone could not use the phone or access and information on the phone without a password I designated.  Thanks to Blackberry Protect, I now had the peace of mind that if I could not find my phone, someone else couldn’t use it or the information on it (personal logins, emails, etc).  The screen capture doesn’t show the final step a user can take if he or she cannot recover the phone.   Blackberry Protect allows users to remotely wipe the phone, thereby removing all personal information, email accounts, etc. from the phone.

I waited until my debtor/creditor rights class was over and returned to the classroom where my federal income class is taught.  I couldn’t find the phone when I looked for it, so I logged back into Blackberry Protect through my laptop, and sent a message to my phone, instructing it to play an audible tone. My phone played the tone, even though I had set the ringer to silent.  I then easily found my phone and left the classroom greatly relieved.

If you are a Blackberry owner, you should install Blackberry Protect on your phone.  It’s free and simple to use.  If you don’t have a Blackberry, you should see if a similar application exists for your phone.  Blackberry users, do you use Blackberry Protect?  Android and iPhone users, what apps are available to help you locate your phone?

I’m Impressed with the Monster Clarity HD Precision Micro Bluetooth Speaker

My wife returned from a business trip with a bunch of goodies in a “swag bag” she received at her conference.  I put dibs on this one as soon as I saw it.

If you’re looking for a bluetooth speaker that has awesome clarity for hands-free calling and/or conference calls while also great sound for your music library or streaming apps, the Monster Clarity HD Precision Micro may be for you.  Since it uses Bluetooth, any device so equipped should work fine with the Clarity HD.  I use a Blackberry Bold 9930, and pairing the phone to the Clarity HD Precision Micro was a snap.  I streamed music using the Pandora and Slacker Radio apps on my Blackberry and also placed a few calls using the Clarity HD Precision Micro.  The music sounded great as did the calls.  While I may not have much use for it now, I would have bought this in a second if it was available when I traveled for my previous jobs.  I also would pick this up if I worked somewhere that has a BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) policy and used smartphones as the primary way for employees to communicate with each other or with clients (places with remote offices, etc.).

You can find the Clarity HD Precision Micro on Amazon, Best Buy (and probably lots of other places).  You can read more about it here and here.

Are there any other products you would recommend similar to the Clarity HD Precision Micro?

The Camera That Water Doesn’t Kill

I love my Canon T3i.  I mean, I really love my T3i.  So much that I’ve invested a small fortune in external flashes, lenses and bags.  Unfortunately my affection for my T3i means I now live in constant fear that my dear DSLR will meet an untimely fate.  So I wanted to find a point-and-shoot camera I could use with my kids that I wouldn’t be afraid of dropping or getting wet.  Moreover, I wanted a camera that recorded video pretty well so I wouldn’t have to lug around my camera and one of my “flip” style camcorders like my Samsung W200 or Flip Mino HD.

After reading several blogs and reviews on various websites like Amazon, I decided to purchase the Nikon Coolpix AW100 pictured above.  I’ve owned several Nikon cameras and are generally impressed by the quality and capabilities of Nikon products.  I’m still getting the hang of the camera’s quirks.  Reinforcing the camera to withstand considerable shock (by falling) and water definitely has led to compromises on the camera’s optics and images captured by the camera.  However, where the AW100 has really shined so far is in recording video.  Below is a montage of videos I took with the AW100 at an indoor water park.

I’m generally impressed with the video the AW100 takes.  I actually prefer it to video recorded by my W200.  My only concern now is how to take good pictures with the camera.  If anyone has any tips on how to maximize still image performance, please feel free to post them below.