Sony Fangirl

Everything about Sony gadgets and some other stuff

Income Protection Insurance – Rising claims rates

A bit off topic but definitely on-topic with regards to current issues.

Earlier this year, Insurance companies announced that they will pay more claims for Critical Illness, Income Protection Insurance and Life Insurance where medical information has not been disclosed, unless the customer deliberately withheld it.

Where relevant information has not been provided, insurers will pay customers a fair sum, reflecting risk and premiums paid. In a small number of exceptional cases, premiums will be refunded if the insurer would not have taken on the policy if they had known the full facts.

This new commitment follows recent improvements in policy application forms and clarity of communication to customers. These are already leading to a fall in the number of declined claims for Critical Illness, Income Protection and Life Insurance policies.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s Director General, said:

“Customers want to know that their insurance claim will always be assessed fairly and paid without fuss. The industry wants customers to be able to take out insurance with confidence. Insurers have signed up to ensuring both of these happen. The number of income protection claims that are turned down will fall.”

This is most certainly good news as completing insurance application forms can be difficult and something that an applicant didn’t think important may be viewed completely differently by any potential insurer.

If you are in any doubt, it will still always be advisable to fully disclose any information that may affect your policy entitlement even if you think it insignificant – let the insurer make that decision!

September 30, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another Japanese innovation I admire

Okay, so as the title of my blog goes, I’m a Sony fangirl but I’m also a fan of Japanese innovation. Take Japan’s KIZUNA satellite. While the state of Satellite Internet in the US is not exactly poor considering that HughesNet, a satellite internet provider in the US can give its customers a guaranteed 3mpbs of bandwidth, you just have to envy those that will make use of the KIZUNA satellite considering they have around 1.2 Gbps bandwidth that they can make use of.

Whoa! Just imagine what you can do with 1.2 Gbps of bandwidth. You can download one MP3 in a second not to mention how it would help speed things up in the HD Internet viewing. Last I heard, the Kizuna satellite is still in the testing phase.

September 26, 2008 Posted by | Others | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Printer choices for your VAIO PC

It’s really too bad that Sony doesn’t make any branded printers. Though someone told me that you can probably find a “Sony” branded printer somewhere in China.

Anyways, here’s my top 3 recommendation for printers for your VAIO PC:

1. Samsung ML-1630 – If you’re looking for a printer to match your Vaio’s style this is probably the best choice. The samsung ML-1630 is a monochrome laser printer so this is best for your home office use. Since this is a laser printer, expect to spend more on toner than your average printer ink cartridges.

2. Epson DX4000 – this is a very reliable all-in-one printer plus it will save you on your ink buys since the ink for Epson DX4000 consists of separate cartridges for different colors so you only need to change the ink that badly needs changing.

3. Canon Pixma iP90v – If you’re a photo enthusiast and you just want a regular inkjet printer that does a pretty good job of printing pictures, the Canon Pixma is a good choice, plus it’s compact and won’t take much space in your office or home.

September 26, 2008 Posted by | Others | , , , , | Leave a comment

G1 vs. X1

Looks like the Sony Xperia X1 will be facing tough competition. Even before its release, the smartphone market already has the iPhone, HTC Diamond, HTC Touch Pro, and Samsung Omnia. Now, it looks like another competition has step up on the plate, the Google G1 Phone.

Like the Xperia X1, the Google G1 Phone also has touch screen and a physical keyboard, plus, both device are made by the Taiwanese Manufacturer, HTC. Let’s just hope that some of the issues that HTC devices are plagued with when it comes to Windows Mobile interface won’t be a problem with the X1 or it would be harder for SE to penetrate the smartphone market.

The Google G1 Phone runs on the Android OS so users will have the added benefit of getting help from dedicated Android forums though the X1 also has a dedicated forum since it is made by HTC over at xda-developers.com.

The Google G1 looks like a capable enough phone but I don’t think it will deter me from waiting for the X1.

September 25, 2008 Posted by | Sony Ericsson | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sony Bravia VPL-VW80 Projector

As if having a 46 inch LCD TV isn’t enough, Sony feels the need to burn a hole in movie enthusiasts’ pockets and gave us simple folks another reason to envy the rich: The Sony Bravia VPL-VW80 Full HD Projector.

Yep, you can now enjoy your favorite movie in your own home theater in Full 1080p HD. Yet another reason not to watch a movie and just wait for it on DVD or a much better choice: Blu-ray.

The Sony Bravia VPL -VW80 SXRD projector also features ultra smooth action using high frame rate SXRD with Motionflow Dark frame insertion and Bravia Engine 2 signal processing. All I can say is; if Santa’s real, I want this as my Christmas gift.

September 24, 2008 Posted by | Bravia | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK Computer Repair Service

While I was visiting Banbridge, UK, my Sony VAIO went on the fritz. I don’t know whether it’s a software related problem or hardware related. Since I’m not familiar with the city, I tried searching the net for computer repair Banbridge and came upon profixit.net. Like I said, I wasn’t very familiar with the city so I was tempted to try their Remote Assistance service. The service involves giving them access to your PC to repair any software related problems. It seemed safe enough as you’re the one who initiates the connection and you can cut it anytime but luckily, I got an answer from one of the forums I was frequenting. A simple driver update did the fix.

Anyways, I really don’t know any more computer repair service in the UK but the customer service personnel was very accomodating enough so it might be worth a try for those in the UK though it would probably be more safe if you just bring your PC to their shop.

September 19, 2008 Posted by | Others | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creating Playlists from music files on your home network

Scenario: You’ve upgraded to a new VAIO PC and you gave your wife/husband your old VAIO laptop, however, you have a bunch of music files saved on the laptop but transferring it on your new PC is not an option since you need to fill your new PC’s hard drive with new files and transferring your old music files will just eat up the hard disk space.

Problem: How to access your old music files without transferring them to your new PC.

Solution: The expensive solution would be to buy a portable hard drive or a high capacity USB memory stick so you can just carry around your music with you and use it from one PC to the other. The other solution is to just create a home network and access your old music files from your old laptop. You can use File-O-Scope, a powerful LAN search tool that doesn’t only search for files across your network but can also create a playlist out of music files from your LAN. You may even be able to use File-O-Scope to spy on your hubby and search for any hidden or arhived messages he may have saved from the dozens of free email accounts he may have created.

September 19, 2008 Posted by | Others | , , , , | Leave a comment

SonyStyle store in Canada

When I used to be based in Canada, during the time when there was no SonyStyle Canada online shopping, I always go stateside and purchase my Sony goodies from the nearest Sony Style stores. Of course, it also helps that shopping in the US side is slightly a bit cheaper.

I guess that’s the problem that most Canada online store is facing; US-based online stores always offer the same cheaper price and offers competitive shipping price as well. However, some US companies such as Amazon, Tiger Direct, and Barnes and Nobles feel that setting up a Canadian online store would be more to their advantage. Reduced shipping fees will always outweigh the slightly higher price of the products, plus consumers will feel more secured purchasing from a local online store as shipping the product back in case it’s defective would entail a lesser cost to them.

September 18, 2008 Posted by | Others | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making the Most of your VAIO laptop

Okay, so most VAIO laptops nowadays ship with Windows Vista and if you’re lucky enough to have or buy a Windows XP and replace the Vista Operating System on your VAIO, then there’s really no need for you to read this post. But like me, most of you will probably be stuck with Vista and though Microsoft has always been readily providing us with updates, none of them seems to improve Vista’s performance. So until the release of Windows 7, what are we to do? Well, make the most of Vista by using other software.

Take this Unofficial Windows Upgrade Software called Extensions for Windows. Extensions for Windows provide users with additional utilities to make the most out of Windows Vista and Windows XP. Some of these functions include an extended screen capture and desktop recorder which allows you to capture screenshots of live demos, image and document converters, a handy search and replace feature which allows you to search for text within files, PDF converter, and a Disk Usage Analyzer, among others.

There are a lot of stand alone utilities that could do this but buying each and everyone of those software will probably cost you more than $49.95, the retail price of Extensions for Windows. Anyways, you should try this software out and see how much easier Vista can be.

September 17, 2008 Posted by | VAIO | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sony a900

Whoa! I know what would be on top of my Christmas list: The Sony a900 digital SLR. So, what’s so good about this product you say? Well, it’s only the world’s first 24.6 megapixel full frame camera. The Sony a900 DSL is also equipped with a 3 inch high resolution LCD screen, enhanced steady shot, dual BIONZ image processor, 9 point AF with 10 focus assist points, and continuous shooting at 5fps.

The Sony a900 will be available starting October 2008. The price? Will probably burn a hole in Santa’s pockets.

September 16, 2008 Posted by | Sony Cyber-Shot | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment