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  • Location: Sterling, MA
  • Age: 31
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Can you use a keyboard with the kindle fire


You'd consider that external keyboards for tablet pc's would be 'pretty much of a muchness' by now, wouldn't you? If only it was as easy as making sure the keyboard in question is similar with your OS and then, oh, I don't know, getting the damn thing...However it does not seem being that way, unfortunately.

Now, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD is well-suited with exterior keyboards, but not with most of them. And that means you'll perhaps be stuck rooting through an intensive list of keyboards (most of which don't seem to bother letting us identify whether they're 'Kindle friendly' or not).

The 'Amazon Basics keyboard' does not seem to work for each reviewer, either. Some like it, some do not.

Frustratingly, reviews are sometimes inconsistent when it comes to Kindle Fire compatibility, with a few claiming that individual products work and others furiously reporting sentiments akin to "do they b******s".

Though, all isn't lost, gentle reader. Customers on have claimed that the following models are compatible (to varying degrees) with the Kindle Fire HD:

Visibly, I cannot personally confirm these customer experiences, but online boards are generally a good way to find what is around and what tablets other people have used without spending any of your own money.

As I have said elsewhere on the internet, it really does pay to shop about. I robustly advise reading the reviews for each of these keyboards before you commit your heard-earned wonga to one of them.

On another interesting forum, I found that there's even some debate as to whether Amazon have protected against 3rd party keyboards deliberately. Amazon are well known for their (infrequently) restrictive hardware, so it is not really a massive leap of the imagination to think about the company blocking out external keyboards. Yet, I can find no official statement from Amazon about this way or another, so your guess is as good as mine.

For those who do decide to conduct an internet search so as to find out more, please keep in perspective the Kindle Keyboard may be a type of eReader that is essentially unrelated to that Kindle Fire or Fire HD. Articles, opinions and boards regarding this one will hamper any search containing the terms 'Amazon+Kindle+Keyboard'. 'Annoying' scarcely did it justice.

ADDENDUM: As it turns out, there's an official Amazon keyboard that works with Kindle fire, but it doesn't appear within the UK Amazon website. In my opinion, I'd suggest getting this one if you're a US-based customer. If Amazon promises that it will work, then it'll almost certainly work.

Within the UK, well, its essentially frustratingly unclear as to what keyboards will work and what is going to not. Another suggestion is to go down to your local computer store and ask them if you are able to try one out. That typically works.

Original Article

Rock Band 3, learn and earn whilst having joy


My neighbour 'Little' Chris, then aged around nine, once remarked that he wished there might be a 'Bass Hero', 'Drum Hero' and 'Singing Hero' to go along with 60/rock-band/ the 'Guitar Hero' video games he loved. Someone must have been listening that day, because one year or so afterward the first rockband game appeared on shop floor.

Now on its 3rd instalment, the immensely accepted rockband series seems to have eclipsed these guitar video games for good, forcing a spot amongst the most triumphant music simulators of all time in the process. Yes, rockband is here to remain even if you like it or not and sure, that is my friend Kieran playing bass on the case of rockband 3 (OK, maybe it isn't, however it really looks like him).

Ethical debates in the company invasion of rock n roll aside; people are purchasing and enjoying the new rockband game in record figures. Let's learn why.

Using the new rockband title, as many as seven friends can jam on well-over 2,000 songs, allowing for unparalleled longevity and replay value. rockband 3 even features a Professional mode, which is praised by musicians for its understanding to learning your instrument for real.

Specific tricks (like drum rolls) have been made simpler to perform this time round, and the game itself does seem a little more forgiving, this can only be a good thing, because who joins a rock band to be tense?

Original Article

Sena SR10: Wirelessly Add 2-way Radio to Your Motorcycle Ride


Update - It was said for a while, Bluetooth is the future for 2 way radios and earpieces. With so many different incarnations of the technology to try and adapt it for the 2 way radio market, no one has yet got it sufficiently small to use covertly enough. This analysis from a bike site may give us an indication of how the tech is progressing.

Sena SR10 Two-Way Radio Adapter Review with Midland Radio BT Next and Midland Two-Way Radio

I'm an admitted tech addict and enjoy looking for and finding new gadgets that enhance life's experiences. This is especially the case for moto-related kit and, lately, Bluetooth (BT) gizmos. While writing our recent BT headset reviews, I became interested in pairing a two-way radio to my helmet's headset.

Some riders to whom I've spoken eschew the use of any newfangled item that could distract them or in some way diminish ownloads/manual/UsersGuide_Sen a_SR10-v1.0.0.pdf the riding experience and I respect that.

Personally, I find only enjoyment and an extra margin of safety in being able to communicate with other riders, listen to music or FM radio, GPS instructions and make or take the occasional phone call.

Until now, to communicate with my buddies I've used the intercom function built into virtually all BT headsets on the market today. Most offer full duplex operation (like a telephone, all parties can talk at once without having to press a push-to-talk (PTT) button) and a line-of-sight range up to a mile but, often, much less.

I read that some headsets allow pairing to a two-way radio which offers not only greater range but the ability to have an unlimited number of participants on the conversation, unlike headset intercoms that have a limitation on the number of pairings.

Also eliminated would be the need to stop and pair the headsets to one another in advance. Wouldn't it be great if our group did this and agreed upon a certain radio channel? We could shout out to one another when heading to a meeting and converse during the ride. Changes in plans could be made on the fly without waving hands in some, often misunderstood, hand signals. Then there's "that guy" who always takes the lead on a ride just when there is a critical turn to make and he doesn't know the way.

The solution is easier than you might think. All you need is a two-way radio and a BT adapter since no consumer priced radios to date have BT built in (that's on the way but not yet). For this review I used Sena's SR10 BT adapter along with Midland Radio's BT Next headset and GXT1000 FRS/GMRS radio.

The SR10 adapter connects to most popular radios via a short cable unique to each brand, so check Sena's list to make sure they offer one for the radio you want to use. As an added bonus, the SR10 has two AUX ports that enable you to connect non-Bluetooth devices such as radar detector, GPS navigation and non-BT MP3 player but I didn't try that for this review.

Once all your devices are charged up the SR10 (which utilizes a micro-USB cable - my favorite for simplicity's sake) pairs easily with the headset with just a few key presses. One important caveat to note here is that the SR10 must pair with a BT channel that supports Hand-Free Profile (HFP) on the your headset. All headsets have at least on HFP channel but that is usually paired to the phone. Some headsets, like the BT Next, have more than one channel supporting HFP and that is a key feature, allowing the two-way radio to coexist with the phone and music player. If your headset only has one HFP channel you may pair it with the SR10 then pair your phone to the SR10 as well. I tried this and it worked but I could not use the music player built into my phone. There are often trade-offs to be made in the world of BT.

For this review my buddy Rick and I each placed a radio and adapter in our tank bag. The SR10 offers VOX (voice-actuated talk) but also has a wired PTT switch included. During our initial testing we found that the VOX worked well but usually required several loud spoken words to switch over so we opted to use the PTT buttons. We zipped our tank bags to allow the antenna to peek out and the PTT cable was routed to the left handgrip and attached with the included rubber strap.

We liked the ease of use with the PTT button which allows quick back-and-forth conversations. The GXT1000 produces a soft beep upon releasing g the PTT button and advises others that you have closed the connection. Better than having to say "over" each time you end a sentence.

Priorities are important in BT as they instruct the headset as to what devices override others. In this case, when receiving from the other rider, the headset quieted the FM radio or music player to allow us to hear the other rider.

As with all BT and other moto devices, my advice is to set them up, test and get acclimated to them before going near your bike. Once we were done with that we rode the freeways for 10 miles to some hilly back roads. Operation was easy and I let Rick head out while I waited near the on-ramp. At a range of about a mile or more I started to lose him even though the radios were set in high-power mode. This is still a far greater range than the intercom but illustrates the limitations of UHF radios. In our canyon segment of the test, range was reduced further but was always better than the intercoms.

The GXT1000 is rated to 36 miles range but Midland advises that this is greatly affected by the surroundings and we proved that. I chose this FRS/GMRS static-free UHF radio because of the relative quiet as compared to CB radios.

Range can be improved by mounting the radios higher up on the bike or by buying a radio with a connector to a better, permanently mounted antenna. CB, on the other hand, while producing more audible noise, is affected less by terrain due to the characteristics of the frequencies in which it operates.

When asked about range limitations, Midland's Emily Frame replied, "While they (FRS/GMRS radios) do have the capability to be used with the BTs, we find this is not our customer's first choice. Our CBs are made more for use in vehicles, such as trucks, and are great for communication on the road." Live and learn.

Our BT to two-way test was, everything considered, a success. We proved that one does not need a degree in electrical engineering to make this technology work for you. I am going to try to get my hands on a pair of CB radios and, when I do, I will do another review, hopefully, extolling their virtue.

Look for more reviews on BT headsets and gadgets in the coming weeks with Uclear's HBC200 Force headset with boom-less microphone technology scheduled for my next review.