Posts matching the query string: Tag=Gadget.

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  1. How to set tax rate on Kensington keypad calculator TAGS: Cool. Funny. Gadget. Hardware. Kensington. My Stuff. TECH.
  2. Browse the Artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker's Library TAGS: Beauty. Books. Cool. Gadget. Images. Inspiring. Space. TECH.
  3. How To: Make Stacking Plyometric Boxes TAGS: Conditioning. CrossFit. Gadget. Health. How To. My Stuff.
  4. Kindle 2.0 by Amazon TAGS: Amazon. Books. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Engineering. Gadget. Google. Hardware. TECH. Text.
  5. Amazon Announces Kindle 2, With Slew of New Features TAGS: Amazon. Books. Cyber Life. Gadget. TECH. Text.
  6. BB Video: The Flaming Bacon Lance of Death, from Theo Gray's book "Mad Science" TAGS: Chill. Cool. Crude. Food. Funny. Gadget. Pyro. TECH. Videos.
  7. A New E-Paper Competitor TAGS: Books. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Hardware. Reading. TECH. Text.
  8. Looking at the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1) TAGS: Apple. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Google. Hardware. My Stuff. TECH.
  9. A New Breed of Netbook? TAGS: Computers. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Google. Hardware. Open Source. Software. TECH.
  10. Kindle DX: Amazon's 9.7" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation) TAGS: Amazon. Books. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Hardware. Images. Reading. TECH. Text. Wikipedia.
  11. Head in the clouds TAGS: Amazon. Books. Cyber Life. Gadget. Google. Hardware. Images. Photos. Reading. Software. TECH. Videos.
  12. Digital Media and e-Books TAGS: Amazon. Apple. Audio. Books. Computers. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Family. Gadget. Google. Hardware. Inspiring. Kids. Music. My Stuff. Reading. Software. Standards. TECH. Text. Videos.
  13. Kindles yet to woo University users TAGS: Amazon. Cyber Tech. E-book. Gadget. Hardware. Reading. Text.
  14. Apple iPad TAGS: Apple. Audio. Books. Cyber Life. Gadget. Hardware. Software. TECH. Videos.
  15. The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash TAGS: Apple. Audio. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Hardware. Images. Operating System. Software. TECH. Videos.
  16. Multitasking the Android Way TAGS: Cyber Life. Gadget. Google. Operating System. TECH.
  17. Pressure sensitive Wacom stylus for Lenovo ThinkPad X230t in Windows 8 TAGS: Design. Gadget. Hardware. My Stuff. Software. TECH.
DateTextLinkSourceTagsNote
20090305 210129 Z This is the Microsoft I want to see venturebeat. … t-i-want-to-see/ digg.com/mic … microsoft_vision Cool, Cyber Life, Gadget, Microsoft, TECH, Videos Ubiquitous Internet/cloud-enabled, touch pads. I'm surprised Microsoft hasn't been putting out more videos like this, because they've shown them at conventions before.
20090413 173537 Z The Pursuit of Laziness blag.xkcd.co … uit-of-laziness/ www.reddit.c … _to_read_in_bed/ Amazon, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Kindle, Reading, Text I'm afraid that if I show this to my wife, then she'll want me to make it for her and her Kindle. If on the other hand I had my own Kindle, then I'd make it just for kicks.
20090620 000619 Z Divided Salli saddle chair seat www.youtube. … ch?v=NMj4R5PeOvI www.reddit.c … d_chair_ad_ever/ Ad, Crude, Funny, Gadget, Health, Live Action, Videos I can't help but giggle when he says "genitals"! There are so many good lines in this video. On the other hand, a split saddle seat is good, especially for biking.
20090621 133558 Z The Coolest PC Game Gun Mod www.gossipga … pc-game-gun-mod/ digg.com/pc_ … ame_Gun_Mod_Ever Activity, Cyber Life, Engineering, Gadget, Hardware, Live Action, Video Games, Videos Interactive immersion play is the way to go. Gryoscopic and motion detecting technology is key, but I like this guys innovation where the screen moves around with you so you get the an even fuller gryoscopic experience from your inner ear. Plus McGuyvered the thing with cheap parts from Walmart. Brilliant!
20090807 170519 Z Waterloo Labs: FPS with Real Guns - Episode 02 waterloolabs … -episode-02.html games.slashd … l-Guns?art_pos=7 Chill, Cool, Crude, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Live Action, Software, TECH, Video Games, Videos Slap some accelerometers on a wall, feed it to LabVIEW, project your game onto the wall, and bam! All hits on the wall are fed into the game. Up voted for dudes in lab coats.
20090807 171827 Z Poll: E-readers Need to Reach 'iPod Moment' to Catch On www.editoran … nt_id=1004001327 Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, TECH, Text Yes, critical mass or an iPod moment will happen with e-books. Finally someone acknowledging that Sony may have a reader but needs more content.
20090821 151022 Z Windows 7: The OS that launches a thousand touch-screen PCs? www.computer … ouch_screen_PCs_ hardware.sla … Market?art_pos=8 Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Reading, Software, TECH Finally some real tech news. I'm past bored with all the rumors for the Apple tablet. "In the past three weeks, five leading PC makers have announced or been reported to confirm plans to release touch-screen PCs running Windows 7, which will provide built-in multitouch features, as well as enable touch applications written for it." These will be great as netbooks. If they want to be great as e-book readers, then they need long battery life, a good store, and some way to read in bright light conditions. Where are the multitouch tablets from Dell, IBM, etc.?
20090923 191345 Z Courier: First Details of Microsoft's Secret Tablet gizmodo.com/ … ts-secret-tablet www.reddit.c … s_secret_tablet/ Amazon, Books, Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Images, Microsoft, Reading, TECH, Text, Videos Some details about the tablet by Microsoft called "Courier". More details than we've ever gotten from Apple about their potential tablet. While I'm biting my nails over the potential choices, my wife is simply enjoying her Kindle. She's so smart.
20091005 172516 Z Bathrooms of the Future www.home-des … ms-of-the-future Beauty, Cool, Gadget, Images, Photos, Sustainability, TECH The one that uses graywater tech (reusing water) is the most important, but the others are cool too.
20091014 015245 Z Clever New Fan Has No Blades www.livescie … 3-dyson-fan.html digg.com/gad … an_Has_No_Blades Gadget, Hardware, Science Absolutely brilliant and elegant! This new fan design by James Dyson and his company is a simple spinning hollow ring with a cross section like an airplane wing. It creates turbulent free (laminar) flow and won't need a safety grill. The http://www.dyson.com/fans/ page also has a video of people reacting to it --which is essentially like seeing magic. By coincidence we recently bought the Dyson DC25 Animal vacuum and it is so well engineered: Clearly the best vacuum we've ever gotten.
20091119 161957 Z Kindle for PC www.amazon.c … docId=1000426311 Amazon, Books, e-Book, Gadget, Kindle, Reading, TECH I told myself that I wouldn't poke into the e-book reader thing until things settled down but Kindle for PC is a good thing. Amazon has the best store, but they need to open up to read more things from more sources. I still want improvements like color and note taking.
20100125 194712 Z Boogie Board writing tablet costs $30, features ‘no power LCD technology’ www.crunchge … -lcd-technology/ news.slashdo … ablet?art_pos=32 Gadget, Images, Text, Writing I'm all for digital scribble boards. I find myself scribbling all the time on my Sony Reader. I'd like ones that I can share over the Internet too.
20100203 165946 Z New Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth To Transmit Sound singularityh … -transmit-sound/ science.slas … Sound?art_pos=43 Gadget, Hardware, SSD, TECH A non-surgical, non-visibile hearing aid. It's also nice to see them mention Single sided deafness (SSD), or what some call Unilateral Hearing Loss (UHL).
20100213 132816 Z These tablets do what the 'iPad don't' news.cnet.co … -10452930-1.html Apple, Cyber Life, Gadget, TECH I've seen some of these iPad-like devices before but it's nice to have them in one post. The whole area needs more polishing.
20100308 194945 Z IdeaPaint http://www.ideapaint.com/ Stephen K. Chill, Cool, Gadget, Inspiring Paint which, when dried, can be used as a dry-erase surface.
20100310 190540 Z Transform Your Hoodie into a Computer Sleeve www.youtube. … ch?v=sNiP953SCOg lifehacker.c … %28Lifehacker%29 Gadget, Live Action, Make, Videos I up-voted this at YouTube, but it was so good I thought I'd log it here too.
20100322 204545 Z Quantum Cell Phone Camera Tech: Doom for Digicams? www.pcworld. … or_digicams.html Gadget, Images, Nanotechnology, Photography, TECH So in around 2 years cell phone cameras will be able to get 90% of the light instead of the 25% they get now!
20100621 210313 Z Toshiba Libretto W100 laptops.tosh … ps/libretto/W100 www.informat … RSSfeed_IWK_News Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, TECH This is 25th anniversary Toshiba is getting closer to what I want! "Hybrid mini-notebook / e-reader has dual touchscreens, runs on Windows 7, and has built-in Bluetooth 5 and 802.11n wireless networking." 1.5 lb (0.68 Kg) clamshell design with built in web cam that works in portrait or landscape. USB port and card reader.
20100724 132257 Z India's $35 PC is the Future of Computing www.pcworld. … g.html?tk=hp_pop Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Inspiring, News, TECH A $10-35 Internet capable tablet for the masses of India! Intense, a game changer.
20100818 172603 Z Google launching a Chrome OS tablet on Verizon, goes on sale November 26 www.download … ovember-26-2010/ Cyber Life, Gadget, Google, TECH And my birthday is in October too!
20110111 191505 Z A Simpler Page www.alistapa … /a-simpler-page/ Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Design, Gadget, Hardware, TECH A tablet in bed, on your knee, and at breakfast. Yes, this stuff should be explored.
20110511 153923 Z Android Makes the Jump to Home Appliances www.dailytec … article21600.htm Gadget, Google, TECH I like the idea. Just the other day I was looking at Google TV and the idea of using my Android phone as the remote control would solve the problem of the missing remote control!
20110620 181206 Z Build Your Own 3D Printer Workshop: June 18 pumpingstati … a-build-june-18/ Gadget, Hardware, Make, Open Source, Software, TECH I was at Sacha's place this weekend and got to checkout his RepRap 3D printer in person. Amazing what you can make with a few bills what once used to cost thousands!
20110916 172441 Z Textbooks of tomorrow [infographic] holykaw.allt … rrow-infographic Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Education, Gadget, Hardware, Kids, Text Yes to digital textbooks! 53% cheaper, saves trees, easier to transport, etc., etc.
20111021 153302 Z Microwave arcing fixed Funny, Gadget, Hardware, Home, TECH My microwave started arcing when used --even when it was empty. I observed that the arcing was coming from the panel covering the waveguide. I took out the panel out and noticed fraying and arc burns on the panel. I applied a bit of duct tape and, voila!, microwave fixed! In theory I should order another panel.
20130929 152518 Z Work It - Ylvis [FULL HD] [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO] http://youtu.be/R_AF1qBd2BY Biology, Chill, Cyber Life, Funny, Gadget, Live Action, NSFW, Saucy, Science, Videos Music vid that has stem, sex, & lol!
20131126 182334 Z Raspberry Pi FAQ http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs Cool, Gadget, Hardware, Inspiring, Kids, Programming, Software, TECH If you have a hands-on techie kid/adult, then Raspberry Pi makes for a seriously excellent gift for just $35.
20140110 204516 Z Display Resolution /docs.google … RZlE&usp=sharing Computers, Gadget, Hardware, Images, My Stuff, TECH, Videos I've decided to publicly share my my "Display Resolution" spreadsheet in honor of all the high resolution displays I've been seeing lately.
20140131 153610 Z Apple patents solar-powered MacBook www.computer … _powered_MacBook Apple, Computers, Cool, Gadget, Hardware, Solar, TECH Once someone makes a solar laptop, then everyone will! Yay!
20140528 220338 Z A First Drive http://youtu.be/CqSDWoAhvLU Chill, Cool, Gadget, Google, TECH I would settle for cruise control and automatic lane alignment, but it seems like Google self-driving car is pretty decent.
2008-08-15t01:30:11 Z | TAGS: Cool, Funny, Gadget, Hardware, Kensington, My Stuff, TECH
How to set tax rate on Kensington keypad calculator

A few days ago I ordered and received a "Kensington Notebook Calculator with USB HUB", Model K72274. It's a wonderful piece of hardware that truly just plugs in and plays. It only works when it's plugged into a computer and the laptop is on, which is just fine. My laptop's NUM LOCK button had to be off in order for the keypads NUM LOCK to work, which is also fine. The buttons on the Kensington are typical for a keypad (0-9, 000, ., /, *, -, +, BS, ENTER, NUM LOCK) as well as for a typical for a calculator (M+, M-, +/-, MR, MC, %, TAX+, TAX-, TAB, AC/ON). There are two buttons not typically found on a keypad or calculator: A "PC/CAL" button that switches it from PC-mode to calculator-mode, and a "Send" button that sends the current value to the computer as if you had typed it in and hit ENTER.

Kensington Keypad Calculator

All good. However, setting the tax rate for use with the TAX+ and TAX- buttons is a process that varies between different models of calculators. I spent perhaps 20 minutes trying to figure it out myself but the I had to go. Later I decided to just search for the answer instead of wasting my time trying to figure it out.

I consulted the manual that came with the Kensington but it had no help. I dug up the manual [http://files.acco.com/KENSINGTON/K72274US/K72274US-24882.pdf] but it was exactly the same as the printed manual. I scoured the Kensington site for any FAQs, troubleshooting, etc. I searched Google for stuff like "how to set tax+ tax- calculator" or "how to set tax rate keypad", which turned up results such as holding down the % button for a few seconds, enter the tax rate, and then press the % button via something like ftp://61.218.39.140:1000/Manual/CKP-70H%20manual.pdf. I tried all that but nothing. Eventually I went to the Kensington site and started a trouble ticket.

Their first was response was to tell me to call them. So I called --several times. The support was obviously overseas. There were a few disconnects which (I felt) occurred because the issue was not in their knowledge base so the support staff pulled the plug. The one woman who was finally brave enough to see the problem through a bit further decided that she would send me a new one. Well, that's nice but the thing isn't broken --it just needs a better manual. So I continued the trouble ticket at the site and got an email giving me the same instructions that I pulled from Google!

AAAARRRRGGH!

So I was back to square one with trying to figure it out and hoping that the engineers actually made it possible at all. I was on the right track on my first attempt a few days ago, so it only took me a few minutes this time.

Here is how to set the tax rate on a Kensington keypad calculator:

  1. Click AC/ON.
  2. Click Tax+.
  3. Press and hold Tax+ until the display flashes.
  4. Enter the tax rate.
  5. Click Tax+.

Boo-yah! In your face Kensington! Don't get me wrong, I love the product but the manual needs a bit more info.

2008-10-08t23:25:20 Z | TAGS: Beauty, Books, Cool, Gadget, Images, Inspiring, Space, TECH
Browse the Artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker's Library
Browse the Artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker's Library [http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-10/ff_walker?currentPage=all] [VIA: http://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/75znf/hm_contender_for_the_most_improbably_awesome/]
Don't we all construct our houses to accommodate our personal libraries? Wonderful.
The personal library of Jay Walker
2008-12-10t22:20:45 Z | TAGS: Conditioning, CrossFit, Gadget, Health, How To, My Stuff
How To: Make Stacking Plyometric Boxes

I got into crossfit.com just last month and it's fabulous. I've been doing their Workouts of the Day (WOD) daily for a few weeks now. I've been gradually accumulating the gear needed for CrossFit. I've bought a pair of Olympic barbell bars, some smaller plates, a kettle bell, and bumper plates will arrive soon. I already had a pull up bar but I'll probably upgrade soon. There are, of course, more things I want to get, but I think it's cool (and cost effective) when you can build your own (BYO) or do it yourself (DIY). I've already made the parallettes as per http://www.drillsandskills.com/skills/cond. One CrossFit fellow, Lincoln Brigham, already designed a BYO/DIY polymetric box for box jumping (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=12749&page=1. The thing is I have kids and I need boxes of different heights. Separate boxes would just take up too much room.

Thus I designed these: Stacking Plyometric Boxes.

BYO Stacking Plyometric Boxes, stacked

The cost for parts is under $30! Commercial ones costs hundreds plus shipping. (BTW: American measurements follow. My apologies to my fellow fans of the metric system.)

The tools needed are minimal!

The design and construction is quite simple!

Sand liberally for safety. Apply rubber matting to the top piece if you want. Paint if you want. Please note that these pictures used a base length of 18" instead of 16", but I'm posting 16" measurements because I think the smaller top would have less flex.

While my plyo boxes are heavier than the typical set, they are adjustable. My younger kids might use just the top piece, or the top and bottom pieces. I'll probably use all three pieces or throw in more middle pieces for more height.

2009-02-10t16:48:11 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Engineering, Gadget, Google, Hardware, TECH, Text
Kindle 2.0 by Amazon
Kindle 2.0 by Amazon [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00154JDAI?tag=georgehernand-20] [VIA: http://www.technologyreview.com/business/22085/?nlid=1764&a=f]

Sweet! I think this version of electronic books will burst the dam, and we will finally see a shift away from paper books. This is different from the fading of paper newspapers because that was due to the Web. The Kindle 2.0 will succeed because of the confluence of wireless 3G technology, cloud data technology, Web integration in a light and natural way, paper-like rendition, the right physical size and weight, longer battery life (4 days to 2 weeks), Apple-like design, and, most importantly, commitment by a big player with big bucks, and a core strong interest in seeing this thing through.

At Amazon, we've always been obsessed with having every book ever printed, and we know that even the best reading device would be useless without a massive selection of books. Today, the Kindle Store has more than 230,000 books available, plus top newspapers, magazines, and blogs. This is just the beginning. Our vision is to have every book ever printed, in any language, all available in under 60 seconds on Kindle. We won't stop until we get there.

Kindle 2.0 by Amazon: Easy to readKindle 2.0 by Amazon: Many books in oneKindle 2.0 by Amazon: Thin as a pencil

Google has been working on scanning in millions of public domain books, and they are working on getting those and other books available for mobile devices ("How Google Is Making Books Mobile" [http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/22665/?a=f]), but the cell phone form factor is too small.

Amazon is the right company for e-books. Kindle accounts for 10% of what Amazon sells --I had no idea that Kindle was that big! I also like how they understand the reading experience of the "disappearing book":

The most elegant feature of a physical book is that it disappears while you're reading. Immersed in the author's world and ideas, you don't notice a book's glue, the stitching, or ink. Our top design objective was to make Kindle disappear--just like a physical book--so you can get lost in your reading, not the technology.
2009-02-12t16:19:03 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Gadget, TECH, Text
Amazon Announces Kindle 2, With Slew of New Features
Amazon Announces Kindle 2, With Slew of New Features [http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/02/09/1610254]

I just posted the following comment at the Slashdot thread:

I don't want a Swiss Army knife eReader: I want a dedicated eReader of the right size, which (very important) disappears when I read --just like a book disappears. I wouldn't read a paper book if it were the size of a phone.

When I'm reading and I'm involved, the most I want to do is a quick look up in a dictionary or encyclopedia (both of which Kindle provides). I don't want to do much else: Not check my email, not get a phone call, not watch a video, not play games, not SMS, not a thing.

The one time cost of $359 is nothing. Just like a phone, the HW cost is nothing compared to the recurring service costs. I feel fine paying authors for good writing. The DRM issue will work itself out over time. Plus there are free eBooks available too.

I love the idea of saving my precious shelf space for books that need to be on paper.

We're still in the early stages of eBooks. Other features will come later, but in the mean time Kindle is the best dedicated eReader, with the most current books.

Personally I love the idea of not having recurring costs for the 3G service, but only for books.

2009-04-21t16:01:11 Z | TAGS: Chill, Cool, Crude, Food, Funny, Gadget, Pyro, TECH, Videos
BB Video: The Flaming Bacon Lance of Death, from Theo Gray's book "Mad Science"
BB Video: The Flaming Bacon Lance of Death, from Theo Gray's book "Mad Science" [http://www.boingboing.net/2009/04/15/bb-video-the-flaming.html] [VIA: Oscar]

They have discovered but one portion of my fire-breathing technique! Yes: I consume the bacon/prosciutto and store it about my waist. (Krispy Kreme will do as well)

However they missed two key parts: I have learned special breathing techniques that allow me to expel pure oxygen, and I am also able to generate a spark in my mouth by using strawberry flavored Pop Rocks. Thus I can, upon command, combine the bacon with the pure oxygen in my sinuses, then I light it with the Pop Rocks spark as I rapidly expel it.

The effect is almost as good as laughing while chocolate milk is coming out of my nose.

2009-04-27t15:00:17 Z | TAGS: Books, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Reading, TECH, Text
A New E-Paper Competitor
A New E-Paper Competitor [http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22545/?nlid=1979&a=f]

Real ink and paper has a reflection rate of 85%, but it can't be changed electronically or do video.

The E Ink technology, used by devices like Amazon's Kindle, moves black and white microcapsules in a liquid medium. Resulting in reflection rates of 40% and a refresh rate of tens to hundreds of milliseconds. See How It Works by E Ink.

CRT, LCD, plasma, etc. technology emits light but are not as portable and are not as good in settings with lots of background light. LCDs have a refresh rate of a few milliseconds.

This new technology draws out actual ink from ink wells resulting in reflection rates of 55% and a refresh rate of less than a millisecond. Faster than LCD! Furthermore, the resolution is 300 dpi, and it should be able to do color which E Ink can't.

This electronic inkwell technology, led by Jason Heikenfeld [http://www.ece.uc.edu/devices/] seems very promising. I look forward to the technological and economic feasibility testing.

In their pixels, the researchers use aluminum layers that reflect light and carbon black ink for a deep black color. First, a polymer layer is patterned with wells that contain the black ink. An aluminum film is deposited on the polymer and topped with an indium tin oxide (ITO) transparent electrode layer. A voltage applied across the aluminum and the ITO electrode pulls the ink out of the well and spreads it over the entire pixel area.
2009-04-30t15:47:13 Z | TAGS: Apple, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Google, Hardware, My Stuff, TECH
Looking at the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1)

My phone contract is up for renewal this May. I'm either going with a minimal phone that can phone, text, and takes pictures, or I'll go with a full smart phone.Here's the most in-depth look at the T-Mobile G1 phone: THE DEFINITIVE IN-DEPTH REVIEW: Optus HTC Dream with Google Android [http://apcmag.com/australian-review-htc-dream-optus.htm].

I've also gathered basic stats to compare the G1 against the Apple iPhone:

FeatureiPhoneG1
Price200180
Height4.5"4.6"
Width2.4"2.16"
Depth0.48"0.62"
Weight133 g158 g
Display3.5" 480x3203.2" 480x320
Camera2 Mpix3.2 Mpix
KeyboardSWHW
Trackballnoyes
CPU620 MHz ARM 1176528 MHz ARM 11
RAM128 DRAM192 DDR SDRAM + 256 MB Flash
Storage8 or 16 GB built in1-8 GB microSD
Data Port30 pin dock connectorUSB
Audio Port3.5 mmUSB or USB with 3.5 mm dongle
RechargeDock to USBUSB
Battery Talk5 h5 h
Battery Standby300 h130 h
Battery Replacementdealer onlyyou or dealer

The G1 is appealing because I make heavy use of Google for email and calendar. Since my name is George, having a phone called "G1" has some ego appeal. It is also a pleasing coincidence that the G1 was released on my birthday in 2008.

2009-04-30t15:52:10 Z | TAGS: Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Google, Hardware, Open Source, Software, TECH
A New Breed of Netbook?
A New Breed of Netbook? [http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22561/?nlid=1991]

It's a netbook running on a cell phone chip thus it's cheap, energy efficient, and it runs on Google's free (libre and gratis) Android operating system.

Currently, many netbooks use Intel's Atom processor, which is built using the x86 architecture found in most of the company's desktop, laptop, and server chips. Most netbooks get about an hour of power per battery cell. On an ARM-based notebook, Solis says, it could be possible to get eight hours from a three-cell battery. Of course, while long battery life is appealing, there is a definite trade-off. "If you're looking for a powerful speedy laptop, then these netbooks aren't for you," Solis says. "But if you're looking for something that can last you all day without recharging, and that's at an even lower cost than most netbooks, then these might work."
2009-05-06t17:15:50 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Images, Reading, TECH, Text, Wikipedia
Kindle DX: Amazon's 9.7" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)
Kindle DX: Amazon's 9.7" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation) [http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-DX-Amazons-Wireless-Generation/dp/B0015TCML0/ref=amb_link_84277971_2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=gateway-center-column&pf_rd_r=1E3NVYH4V8DVJ7PEYA3M&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=476565871&pf_rd_i=507846]

After days of teasing us, the Kindle DX is finally here! My wife loves her Kindle 2, so now if I get the Kindle DX, it will be which is whose.

Here are basic stats to compare the Kindle 2.0 against the Kindle DX:

Feature2.0DX
Price389489
Height8"10.4"
Width5.3"7.2"
Depth0.38"0.38"
Weight10.2 oz18.9 oz
Display6" 800x600 167 ppi9.7" 1200x824 150 ppi
Storage1.4/2.0 GB ~ 1500 Books3.3/4.0 GB ~ 3500 Books
Content Formats Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion. Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
Auto-Rotating ScreenNoYes
Battery4 days reading. 2 wks standby.
PortsUSB for Data and Recharge. 3.5 mm for Audio.
ConnectivityEVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT. Amazon Whispernet for 3G high-speed data with no monthly charge.
Text-to-SpeechYes
ReferencesThe New Oxford American Dictionary with over 250,000 entries built in. Wikipedia over the wireless.

The Amazon Kindle 2.0 and Kindle DX

It would have been sweet to go through high school and college without lugging all those heavy books around. The smaller screen is good for reading straight text, but anything with pictures, even Wikipedia, needs a larger screen and this one is 2.5x larger. As far as whether Kindle DX can help the ailing newspaper and magazine industry, maybe. The real thing issue is if they can produce high quality content with such consistency that people would want to pay for it.

2009-07-22t15:55:16 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Gadget, Google, Hardware, Images, Photos, Reading, Software, TECH, Videos
Head in the clouds

I've always been a "head in the clouds" sort of fellow. I'm forgetful and my mind wanders off and follows threads that catch my eye. So it's no wonder that when it comes to technology, I'm ready for the cloud.

Google already has a lot of my personal data in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Documents, Google Notebooks.

Surprisingly Google is not generous with storage space at Picasa, because then I might dump all my photos there. Perhaps they're still working on that GDrive or they're worried about the massive amounts of porn pictures people would upload. Perhaps Flickr is the way to go. I don't make many videos, but we need something similar for that.

Intuit or Quicken handles my personal finances. I already pay most of my bills automatically online.

I'd like to Amazon (or Barnes and Noble) to sell and store digital media like ebooks, videos, and music. There are some books that are so beautiful or big or both that I'd prefer a print copy, but for most books, an ebook would do. I don't want physical media disks at my house getting scratched and broken. I don't mind them using some consumer-mindful form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to ensure that I'm not stealing. I'd like to supplement the DRM digital media with DRM-free media from other sources like Google Books and the Gutenberg Project, PDFs, MP3s, etc. Perhaps I'd store it at GDrive. In any case, I should be able to stream digital media (if I'm online) or download them (at least temporarily) for access either on or offline.

I'd like to have my Personal Health Record (PHR) at some place like Google Health or Microsoft Health Vault. I'd like to be able to manage my family's PHRs too. I'd like to be able to import/export my PHR and import/export data from any health provider's Electronic Health Records (EHRs).

Journals or blogs already exist. I'm not so much into the social aspect of blogs but others are. For social two-way "journaling", I think short and fast via Facebook works fine, or a group mailing list. Twitter works for even lighter talks with the masses. RSS readers are OK, but they don't rank like Digg or Reddit.

Apps that are on or offline, smart phone, netbook, or desktop are in the flux and sort of annoying. Phones need bigger and better lenses: We don't need SLR lens but something bigger than a pinhole.

Yada, yada, yada. All this computer cloud stuff still doesn't compare to following the clouds that float by in my own head.

2009-07-28t16:42:14 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Apple, Audio, Books, Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Family, Gadget, Google, Hardware, Inspiring, Kids, Music, My Stuff, Reading, Software, Standards, TECH, Text, Videos
Digital Media and e-Books

In my post Head in the clouds, I stated the following:

I'd like to Amazon (or Barnes and Noble) to sell and store digital media like ebooks, videos, and music. There are some books that are so beautiful or big or both that I'd prefer a print copy, but for most books, an ebook would do. I don't want physical media disks at my house getting scratched and broken. I don't mind them using some consumer-mindful form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to ensure that I'm not stealing. I'd like to supplement the DRM digital media with DRM-free media from other sources like Google Books and the Gutenberg Project, PDFs, MP3s, etc. Perhaps I'd store it at GDrive. In any case, I should be able to stream digital media (if I'm online) or download them (at least temporarily) for access either on or offline.

The whole topic of digital media is a big topic. These days I'm focused on digital books but they're all related.

Before I continue, let me just quickly jot down the sub-topics:
  • Media types.
  • Physical size.
  • Device features.
  • Content and Money: Creator, seller, and buyer.
  • Social media.

Media types

Media types is a seemingly easy sub-topic. The media types are essentially text, pictures, audio, video, and apps. Simple enough. That's the media that the user receives (and the device outputs). The user however also sends "media" (and the device inputs). This includes text, voice, movements, and selections. There are other nuances such as the streaming aspect (EG: radio), the asynchronous aspect (EG: email), and combinations (EG: comics). A lot of sight, sound, motion, and time sensing, but not much in the way taste, touch, or smell. Things like the Wii do some motion and momentum input/output too.

Physical size

This is actually seemingly simple too.

Device features

Device features will vary greatly between makers and models initially, but as the technology matures, the differences between makers and models of the same class will become more subtle.

Content and Money: Creator, seller, and buyer.

This is the real heart of the issue. The users/buyers are most concerned about the content, but these days the content is tied to the money.

Users have three kinds of content:

There have been three stages of content:

How do the creators and sellers control the copying of the media? And how can they ensure that they get their fair share of the buyer's money? In the digital media industry, the first medium to face this problem head on has been the music industry. Pirating (or illegal copying) of music still occurs. For a while it seemed that the answer was digital rights managment (DRM), but this seemed to hamper on the buyers right to legally copy media for which they had paid for. So far it seems that the answer is not DRM, but to trust that people will honor copyright laws and pay the seller (and hence the creator) their money. A comparison of online music stores [W] shows that the most successful don't use DRM. The available formats (such as mp3, aac, m4a, aiff, wav, ogg) are trivial given all the available converters.

Copyrighted digital text is in the news lately because e-book readers started becoming good enough and popular enough that major books are being sold in digital format. The different e-book readers are using DRM and different files.

Here's a quick review of different e-book formats. See also Comparison of e-book formats [W]. Some of them can implement DRM.

  • .txt. Simple text. Preferably UTF-8, but Unicode, windows-1252, iso-latin-1, or even ASCII will do.
  • .htm. Simple HTML. Variants include .chm, .lit, and plucker.
  • .pdf. Portable Document Format. Practically universal. Many things can be exported or printed to PDF.
  • .rtf. Rich Text Format.
  • XML based:
    • .opf. Open eBook
    • .epub. Supercedes .opf
    • .mobi, .prc. Mobipocket. Based on .opf. Available to the iRex/Philips iLiad e-book reader.
    • .azw. Amazon Kindle e-book. Based on .mobi.
    • .arg. Arghos Diffusion.
    • Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY)
    • .fb2. FictionBook.
    • Text Encoding Initiative.
  • .tr2, .tr3. TomeRaider.
  • .ps. PostScript.
  • .djvu. DjVu. Especially for images.
  • .pdb. eReader (formerly Palm Digital Media/Peanut Press). For ereader.com. Also used by the Barnes & Noble Plastic Logic e-reader.
  • .lrf, .lrx. Broadband eBooks. For the Sony Reader.

Here are the major e-book readers (see more at List of e-book readers [W] and their primary formats:

Just to make it explicit, one of the issues is that with DRM and no standard format, if you buy stuff from one store, then you have to use their reader. If you want to buy stuff from two stores, then you need two readers, and so on. In contrast, you can buy a CD from any store and play it on any CD player.

The digital music industry went through this DRM issue, i.e. it was a real world experiment done with real creators, sellers, and buyers. The result is that overwhelming majority of buyers are honest folk who will respect copyright laws and will pay the sellers and the creators their money. DRM tried to control illegal copying, but actually it was a stumbling block for buying and fair buyer use of media that they legally paid for. I guess that the print media has a years of physical media experience that it has to over come in this digital media world. Copyright laws still apply. Just because it is easier to copy, doesn't make it legal, and the numbers show that the greater sales without DRM are worth the losses due to piracy. The print media probably also has a psychological issue of going without DRM because digital songs are $0.99 while digital books are $9.99. In any case, print media will experiment with using digital print, and, like digital music, may drop DRM after they run through the same experiment but with text instead of audio, and with different prices and different uses.

Social media

Let me gripe a bit about some of the hoops I, as a buyer, have to go through:

My wife bought a Kindle 2 and then the price dropped. Learning from her experience, I want to get a Kindle DX --as soon as the price drops. We each have our own accounts at Amazon. A DRM protected Kindle book must be associated with an Amazon account and can be accessed on up to 6 Kindle-compatible devices, where each device is registered to the same Amazon account. A Kindle-compatible account can only be registered with one Amazon account at a time. This gives us several options:

  1. Buy Kindle books via both of our separate Amazon accounts. If I wanted to share a Kindle book with her (or any one else), then I'd have to lend someone my Kindle DX, or have an extra Kindle registered to my account that I could lend. Neither option sounds very good. She could also just buy the same book on her own account but that's not sharing something I own --it's buying it again. Separate accounts does have the advantage of privacy in that we could each purchase Kindle books that we don't want the other to know about.
  2. Buy Kindle books via just her Amazon account. My Kindle DX would be registered to her account. We would be able to share books, but we would have the same Kindle book list, plus I would also be able to see her non-Kindle book purchases and info at Amazon.If we got a 3rd Kindle for the family in general, then we could put particular books on that Kindle, but they could also connect to Amazon with the Kindle and see all our other books.
  3. Create a new family Amazon account and use that for buying Kindle books. Our Kindles would then be registered to the family Amazon account. This scenario is exactly the same as the previous scenario except that we could continue to use our separate Amazon accounts for non-Kindle purchases and thus have privacy for that stuff from each other.

FYI: The scenario is roughly the same for Barnes & Noble, where the e-books are tied to an account. There is the added difference that Barnes & Noble uses .pdb, whose DRM scheme is also tied to a credit card.

In actuality, my wife, my kids, and I are pretty open and we don't care who sees whose books or Amazon purchases so we're going with option #2. With non-DRM e-books the scenario becomes much easier. We can share copies of e-books that we bought within our family. We know that it would be illegal to copy it and give it to others. Perhaps we should be allowed to lend copies to friends that expire in a week. That should whet their appetites so they might buy the book for themselves. On the other hand wouldn't all those broke college students find some way to get free copies of the books they need? People have to realize that if the sellers and creators don't make money, then how can they continue to give us good content?

In one sense digital print has been around for a while: The Web has lots of text! Social digital print has also been around for a while: Email! Blogs! Groups! Facebook! The "social" aspect of digital media as in songs and books however, is only just starting. It's not just a matter of finding out what's hot as in Pandora, Spotify, etc., but of discussing, note taking, excerpting. Of the e-book readers, only the iRex/Philips iLiad has serious note taking features. Each e-book should have at least one site that's a jumping point for discussions centered around the book.

Closing

Anyhow this post is getting a little long. What I do with books is find them, buy them, read them, bookmark my place, take notes, look things up, share them with folks, and reference the books. I'd like to be able to do the same thing with e-books, but with the advantage of portability, some connectivity, and digital notes. I'm tempted by the Apple tablet because it has color, video, and can take notes, but it would also need a big book store, free connectivity, and better battery life. Amazon and Barnes & Noble should continue to compete against each other for a cheaper e-book reader that can take better notes and can read e-books from more sources. The big thing is that more and more books should be digitized. The World Wide Web is amazing, Google is amazing, Wikipedia is amazing. The ability to access all the books, old or new, from anywhere would be amazing too!

2009-09-29t15:12:16 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Cyber Tech, E-book, Gadget, Hardware, Reading, Text
Kindles yet to woo University users
Kindles yet to woo University users [http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2009/09/28/23918/] [VIA: http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/09/29/0133221/In-Trial-Kindles-Disappointing-University-Users?art_pos=13]

Not surprising that the Kindle isn't interactive enough. Here's Aaron Horvath, a student in the study:

'Much of my learning comes from a physical interaction with the text: bookmarks, highlights, page-tearing, sticky notes and other marks representing the importance of certain passages — not to mention margin notes, where most of my paper ideas come from and interaction with the material occurs,' he explained. 'All these things have been lost, and if not lost they're too slow to keep up with my thinking, and the "features" have been rendered useless.'

The students also had difficulty citing the work without page numbers.

2010-01-27t20:38:38 Z | TAGS: Apple, Audio, Books, Cyber Life, Gadget, Hardware, Software, TECH, Videos
Apple iPad
Apple iPad [http://www.apple.com/ipad/]
Beautiful, powerful, and well priced. I noticed was that its browser had problems with Flash but they're probably working that out. There's no camera or video camera, but that's minor to my concerns about multitasking and openness. Minimal ports as expected but no USB? I may wait for USB 3. I haven't seen how it works as a plain old computer, as in say directory management. With a $499-$829 price and a 10 hour battery life (with 1 month standby), this should beat most of the eBook readers. While eInk is good for hi-light situations, I find that I often read in lo-light situations. I assume that Amazon and the other eBook sellers will compete with the new iBook Store, and probably make apps for reading their eBooks on the iPhone --one eBook reader to read all the eBook formats. A data plan at $15-$30 per month is reasonable. Now I just want to be able to use it as a phone too so I can ditch my phone (maybe use a Bluetooth wireless headset). It's 9.56" x 7.47" x 0.5", with a 9.7" screen of 1024 x 768 @ 132 ppi, and 1.5#; i.e. it's 242.8 mm x 189.7 mm x 13.4 mm, with a 246 mm screen and 0.68 Kg. I don't think people appreciate intuitive multi-touch enough. No comment on iWorks, other than I don't want another file format. Available in 60-90 days. I assume that they chose to have "Star Trek" as a sample video on purpose.
iPad with Star Trek on
2010-05-04t15:49:37 Z | TAGS: Apple, Audio, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Hardware, Images, Operating System, Software, TECH, Videos
The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash
The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash [http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/04/why-steve-jobs-hates-flash.html]

Well yes. The article states some stuff that's obvious to some of us, but I support erring on the side of stating the obvious. There are many times where I assumed certain things were obvious and then later I end up wishing that I had said something sooner.

Obvious #1. Yes Mac has always been about a captive audience. They have always wanted to control the hardware, the operating system, the apps, the design, the look-and-feel. Apple equals proprietary. I personally prefer open.

Obvious #2. Hardware, software, and Internet connectivity is getting cheaper, faster, and cooler. Monetizing and staying on the curve is business. Ubiquitous HW with 4G+ and cloud storage and apps is the way to go. Beautiful, powerful, intuitive interfacing is the way to go. Ubiquitous media capture (txt, pic, aud, vid) and geolocation is the way to go.

Obvious #3. For most users the following apps will suffice on an iPad: Media Players (pics, audio, video, books), Browser, Office-like suite. There will of course be hundreds of apps that users want, but the emphasis should be on what users need. What should come soon: Skype/phone-like communications, FTP. Specialized tools that may never come but should: Power editors (text, pics, video, etc.), Remote Desktop access, Development IDEs, Database and Sys Admin tools.

Personally I'm itching to buy a tablet but the iPad is too weak to replace a smart phone and my laptop.

2011-05-10t17:59:40 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Gadget, Google, Operating System, TECH
Multitasking the Android Way
Multitasking the Android Way [http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/04/multitasking-android-way.html]
One of the first things that the Verizon person did on my new phone was install "Advanced Task Killer". I let it happen but a task killer is not necessary because Android handles it automatically. You can do it manually if you feel like it: Settings, Applications, Manage Applications, Running, click an app, then Force stop.
2013-02-04t03:15:38 Z | TAGS: Design, Gadget, Hardware, My Stuff, Software, TECH
Pressure sensitive Wacom stylus for Lenovo ThinkPad X230t in Windows 8
(Posting this becuase this info has a limited shelf life): If you have the Lenovo ThinkPad X230t and upgrade it Windows 8, then your stylus will not be pressure sensitive. However if you go to http://www.wacom.com/en/support/drivers and download the Tablet PC - Enhanced Graphics Driver 7.1.0-8 zip, it has the 7.1.0-9 driver zipped within the first zip, which will make the stylus pressure senstive again! Now I'm ready to rock and roll with MyPaint, GIMP, and Inkscape!

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