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K. T. Bradford

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On ChipChick: Siri vs. Cortana – Which Can Tell Me Chris Evans is Sexy?

Cortana loves Chris EvansOne of the most hyped features of Windows Phone 8.1 is Cortana, a digital personal assistant that’s Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now. And Microsoft wants you to know that they can build it better, stronger, faster. Well, better at least. Cortana’s feature set is supposedly guided by what real flesh and blood personal assistants say they do for clients. It’s not just a digital voice that can search the web and interact with apps; Cortana really gets to know you.

I spent a week with Cortana and Siri testing the strengths of each to see how well Microsoft did out of the gate. It might not seem like a fair comparison since Siri is almost three years old now, but Cortana already does most of the things Siri can and a few she’s not capable of just yet.

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On ChipChick: ASUS Padfone X is a Productivity Road Warrior: Review

ASUS padfone XThe ASUS Padfone X, available now on AT&T for $199 (with contract), is a smartphone that transforms into a tablet that sort of transforms into an Android laptop. It’s an intriguing concept, especially if you want or need a tablet with productivity chops and you don’t want to pay extra for mobile hotspot service. That use case only covers a specific type of user. If you mostly use a tablet at home, the Padfone X may not be the device you need.

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On xoJane: FOR THE LADIES: Why Bluetooth Speaker Purses Are My Least Favorite CES Trend

This woman had to wear that dress with that speaker while holding a bowl of Valentine's candy all day.Tech/Fashion combos are not all ridiculous, but enough of them are that it hurts. Major case in point: a growing number of Bluetooth speakers that are also purses except they’re not real purses because you can’t carry anything in them. The first one I saw just made me roll my eyes. When I caught a glimpse of the second, I knew I was witnessing the beginning of a trend. A horrible trend… for the ladies.

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On xoJane: “OH MY GOD IT’S SO HUGE!” “I Could Never Handle Anything That Massive!” Why I Love My Big, Big Phone

KT and the galaxyMy favorite piece of tech is one I can’t keep in my pocket. At least, not when I’m sitting down. So it’s usually hanging out on the table or the bar in front of me even when I’m not obsessively checking Twitter or Google+. When people see it, their reactions tend to fall within a predictable range:

“Oh my god, it’s so huge!”

“How do you even use something so big?”

“I could never handle anything that massive!”

“I can’t even wrap my hand around it!”

No, they’re not talking about some giant dildo, they’re talking about my phone.

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On Digital Trends: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2013) review

Kindle PaperwhiteOn the outside it looks much the same as last year’s model. On the inside it sports a faster processor, improved E-Ink display, and brighter, more even reading light. All this plus several new software features, many aimed at younger kids, make the new Paperwhite a very desirable e-reader. Is it improved enough to get you upgrading for the 2012 model? Read our full review and tell us if you’re tempted.

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On Liliputing: Hands-on: Dell Chromebook 11 is intended for the classroom [Video]

Dell Chromebook 11Dell is positioning this laptop specifically for K-12 education markets, something it also did with netbooks a few years ago. The look isn’t meant to catch your eye on a Best Buy shelf (even though it does look like a slight modification on the Windows-powered Inspiron 11 3000 Series notebook, which is a consumer device).

It’s not ugly, it’s just more functional than fashionable. It’s not too heavy at 2.9 pounds but isn’t the lightest nor the thinnest Chromebook around. This size and weight will be easy for even first graders to carry around without starting early on back problems.

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On Digital Trends: Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight review

Nook GlowLightIt’s slimmer and lighter than before, the display is sharper and more pixel dense, and the reader now lacks physical page turn buttons and a MicroSD card slot. This distilled approach makes the Nook look more like the competition, namely the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kobo Aura, thus making it feel like a “me too” device instead of an innovative one.

Should you stick with your Nook Simple Touch or spring for the new hotness?

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On Liliputing: Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Review

Galaxy Note 10.1Priced at about $550 the Note is at least $50 more than it’s closest tablet competition. The higher price isn’t just because of the HD+ resolution display, the octa-core processor, or the ultra thinness every tablet is trying to achieve these days. It’s also due to the S Pen and the Wacom technology behind it that allows for a pen and paper-like writing experience.

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On xoJane: When It Comes To FITNESSING, Which is Better, A Psychological Boost or More Accurate Data?

fitness dataThe folks behind the Basis B1 Band are the most vocal about how accurate their product is compared to others. The claim is that people who think they’ve been walking 10,000 steps a day because the FitBit says so apparently aren’t because most trackers over-count. …

I decided to test this myself. I wore the Basis B1 Band for a week and compared it to my experience with the FitBit One and the Withings Pulse fitness trackers.

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On Liliputing: 5 Tablets that changed the Android landscape

Galaxy TabYou can’t swing a dead cat5e cable around without hitting an Android tablet these days. It’s almost hard to believe that tablets weren’t always part of the Android landscape.

I mean, there were some attempts to put Android on all kinds of platforms in those early days. Later there were a few large-screen Android tablets that actually launched… to a less than enthusiastic marketplace. Then the iPad came along and things got real in a hurry.