Sunday, 1 May 2011

Gigabyte's S1080 Windows tablet undressed by the FCC

Looks like Gigabyte's S1080 tablet, which landed in Taiwan earlier this month, is getting ready to hit shelves here in the US. The 10.1-inch Windows 7 slate stopped by the FCC, where it got cracked open and had its silicon-packed innards exposed for the camera. There's nothing new to glean here -- specs are still the same (dual-core Atom, 320GB hard drive, etcetera) and we haven't heard anything about a much-needed price drop, but if you want a quick peak under the hood, check out the gallery after the break!

Video: Suuuperfast barcode scanner for S^3 – Even works EDoF and old S60 – demoed on Nokia N8/E7/N95

Barcode scanners – nifty little things if you can bother to open the app other than that gimmicky inspired moment when you try it out to see if it actually works. You need to get it in focus though to get the image right. That takes time for the focusing to get it perfect.
Some do some sort of continuous autofocus thing and adjusts by itself. You just have to hold the phone still.
Anyway, basically with this app, the barcode is scanned instantly. Somehow like those barcode scanner guns you’d see in the grocery store/shops etc. In the time it takes to beep, it’s scanned.
Another bigger plus is that it also somehow seems to work for EDoF cameras. The demo specifically mentions working with EDoF, working with different angles so you don’t have to be as precise as the old barcode scanner apps. Video after the break.

Leaked Windows 8 builds reveal Windows Store and its logo

Microsoft is working on something along those lines to deliver in Windows 8. In fact, some of the bits are already in place in the leaked Windows 8 builds which have been shared on private FTP servers and torrent sites around the Web.

As spotted by some Russian enthusiasts who were digging around in the system folders in the Windows 8 Milestone 3 build, a handful of folders exist which confirm the early stages of the Windows Store. On your Windows desktop, the store will be comprised of several components, including a runtime module, service, and licensing client — each of which is called out in a folder name.

The Windows Store logo is also hiding within the Windows 8 files, though it’s just a 24 by 24 pixel .PNG. The above is a photoshop image. It’s fairly consistent with Microsoft’s other logos, with its multiple stacked squares and rounded corners. Two .HTML pages are also nestled away amongst the files, and based on the font used on the error page it’s safe to assume that the Metro design language will once again be front and center in the Windows Store.


Apple preparing to introduce Sandy Bridge iMacs early next week

We will be expecting Apple to deliver a much-needed refresh to its iMac line of all-in-one desktops, adopting Intel's newest family of Core processors, Sandy Bridge and the latest in personal computing I/O technology. Apple Insider have sources saying that Apple plans to introduce the new models on Tuesday, May 3, swapping out the systems' first-gen Core i processors and miniDisplay ports for second-generation Core i chips and the company's new high-speed Thunderbolt port. However, rumors that 2011 would see changes to the iMacs' display panel size and the inclusion of 6000-series AMD Radeon HD chips, could not be confirmed with any degree of certaint. Let us wait for Apple to give us the eye-popping surprise.

SOURCE  Apple Insider

Crazy nose stylus lets you use your phone if your hands are busy

The problem with most touchscreen smartphones is that you need two hands to run them. This weird looking nose stylus solves that problem, by letting you peck away using your nose when your other hand is...uh...preoccupied.

Created by admitted bathtub smartphone user Dominic Wilcox using plaster wrapped around an existing touchscreen stylus, the extended proboscis is long enough to reach the screen at a distance where you can still focus on it.
My problem is that it instantly reminded me of the mask Alex wore in A Clockwork Orange, so imagine how your partner would feel if they came in and saw you wearing this thing. Still, it's not any nuttier than operating your iPhone with a Slim Jim.
I think Wilcox needs a catchy name like The Droog for his creation, then he would have something that would sell. More pictures after the break.

Game Over for Incentivized App Downloads

The business model of incentivized app downloads was recently dealt a death sentence by Apple.  Apple said incentivized app downloads were driving inaccurate rankings in the App Store, almost certainly because essentially paying consumers to download apps was a way of gaming a ranking system that used downloads as a key metric.  To be fair, there were many quality apps taking advantage of the loophole in the ranking system, but that era has ended. And so have the days of companies making money hand over fist in the incentivized downloads business, better known in the industry as Cost Per Install or CPI.

So how exactly did it work? Say you’re playing a game that offers you virtual currency; the game might ask you to download an advertised application in exchange for virtual credits within that game. You install the app and get your in-game currency. The app gets a new install and pays for that.  This quickly generates bursts of installs, immediately boosting an app’s ranking in the app store.

Looks like developers need to look for another loophole to gain ranks now.

SOURCE  Tech Crunch

Internet Entrepreneurs Are Like Professional Athletes, They Peak Around 25

“Consumer Internet entrepreneurs are like pro basketball players,” said a venture capitalist recently while discussing the prospects for a thirty-something founder, “They peak at 25, by 30 they’re usually done.” Why? Because young entrepreneurs are more creative and imaginative, and are willing put 100% of their lives into their startups, he said. “It’s not a guess, this is a data driven observation,” says the VC. However, there are plenty of founders that, like Michael Jordan, can peak way beyond 25 (and the peak basketball age is really probably at least a 27). “Those tend to be the repeat success founders,” he said, “the rules don’t apply to them.” 
Should a startup founder be looking to make a name for themselves before they hit 30, or give up?

SOURCE  Tech Crunch

Nanocones make solar cells more efficient, sinister looking

Going green is de rigeur, so the sun is becoming a much-preferred source of power. However, solar cells' inefficient harvesting of helical energies is a major reason they haven't usurped the power of petroleum. Good thing the big brains at Oak Ridge National Labratory are looking to change that with nanocone-based solar technology. The teeny-tiny cones are made of zinc oxide and create "an intrinsic electric field distribution" to improve electrical charge transport within solar cells. We aren't sure what that means, but we do know the prickly-looking design provides a 3.2 percent light-to-power conversion efficiency that's a substantial improvement over the meager 1.8 percent offered by today's flat photovoltaics made of similar materials. That's 80 percent more efficient, and 100 percent more awesome.

VIA  Engadget, Physorg

First Family Views Shuttle Atlantis

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia, left, Sasha, Mrs. Obama's mother Marian Robinson, astronaut Janet Kavandi and United Space Alliance project lead for thermal protection systems Terry White, walk under the landing gear of the space shuttle Atlantis as they visit Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.


Triton 36,000 submarine to plumb ocean's deepest depths, comes in yellow (video)

Richard Branson's not the only one eager to explore that other 70 percent of the world. Triton Submarines has designed a three-passenger sub able to dive 36,000 feet, reaching the deepest part of the world's oceans. And while Sir Richard envisions a spaceship-like craft, Triton's design evokes old school bathyspheres: it's a glass globe. Of course, water pressure poses a serious engineering challenge when you descend seven miles below the surface -- the last manned sub to reach that depth had only a single, small window made of plexiglass. The current design uses borosilicate glass (like those transparent displays we, um, saw through a while back) that actually grows stronger as depth pressure increases; it took eight months of careful heating and cooling to produce. Assuming the glass holds, it will take about 75 minutes to reach the bottom of the ocean. Anyone considering a test run should check out the PR video after the break, showing Triton's other submarines in action.

I-O Data's HDCA-UT3.0K drive offers USB 3.0 and 3TB of storage

If you've been on the hunt for the biggest, fastest hard drive around, it seems your options are expanding. I-O Data just introduced the HDCA-UT3.0K external hard drive, which offers USB 3.0 support and 3TB of storage, which, as the company notes, makes it an ideal companion for TVs with a USB recording mode. Struggling to resist the charm of its blue LED and the possibility of owning more storage than you'll ever need? Look for it in mid-May with a price of ¥26,400 ($324).

Royal wedding livestream breaks hearts, records

No frogs transformed into princes and no wicked stepmothers were vanquished -- not on camera, at least -- but today's royal wedding managed to capture the world's imagination. Thanks to partnerships with CBS, the Associated Press, UK Press Association, and Entertainment Tonight, the marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton broke viewing records on, maxing out at 300,000 simultaneous viewers and a total of "at least 2 million" unique users, according to Max Haot, the site's CEO. We reached out to YouTube and Facebook to see how they did on the streaming front, but neither site has a final tally -- though a Facebook spokesperson did tell us that 6,819,072 people have commented on the wedding in the past 24 hours. We don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but we hear News Corp. has secured the rights to the Royal Divorce -- just in case.

VIA  Engadget
SOURCE  Mashable