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Latest Technology / How to Get Windows 8.1 on Your PC Now
« on: August 03, 2013, 02:37:12 AM »
It's no secret that Windows 8 has met with only a lukewarm reception, but life in the tech world moves quickly, and now Windows 8.1 is on the way.

If you've installed Windows 8, it's worth downloading the recently released free preview version of Windows 8.1. By doing so, you will be able to take advantage of the updated OS's personalization and services improvements. The final build will be out later this year.

Curious Windows 7 users can also check out 8.1 by creating and installing an ISO file from the Microsoft website. I've written about ISO-creating concepts before.

Windows 8 users update to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store. Here's how to go about it if you've already got Windows 8 installed.

Step 1:

Verify that you have a recovery partition on your hard drive. Access the Command Prompt from the Windows 8 Search charm by entering the term Command. Right click on the result and choose Run as Administrator from the options.

Confirm at the prompts, and then enter the term "recimg /showcurrent" at the Command Prompt to identify if there is a recovery image present.

Step 2:

Create a recovery image if, in the previous step, a "no active recovery image" error appears.

Create the image by creating a folder called Refreshimage at the Command Prompt and then entering "recimg -createimage c:\refreshimage" and Enter.

Tip: The create folder command is "mkdir c:\refresiimage" and then Enter.

Step 3:

Create a USB recovery drive. This will allow you to revert back to your previous install from external media if you need to.

Enter the term Recovery in the Search charm and touch or click Settings. Then choose Create a Recovery Drive and the tool will open.

Choose Copy the Recovery Partition from the PC to the Recovery Drive checkbox and choose Next. Then insert a USB drive, choose it from the options presented and touch or click Next followed by Create. Allow the file transfer to take place and then choose Finish. Then remove and store the flash drive.

Step 4:

Browse to the Windows 8.1 Preview Web page and choose the Get It Now button. Then follow the prompts to open the file and allow the install to take place.

Tip: Back up your personal data before updating any operating system. An update to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8 should retain Windows settings, personal files and most apps.

Step 5:

Restart the PC when prompted, and then open the Store by touching or clicking on the Store tile. Then choose the Update Windows tile or any Update Windows prompt.

Step 6:

Select Download and allow the download to proceed. Follow the prompts to restart and allow the setup to proceed. Follow the prompts to set up the account, including entering a security code that can be sent by email when prompted.

Step 7:

Explore the new features, which include navigation arrows where there was previously white space, and other navigation tools, like a Windows icon for flipping between classic desktop and Windows 8 Start page.

Latest Technology / Facebook's Latest Mobile Strategy: Dumbphones
« on: August 03, 2013, 02:33:29 AM »
In a nod to developing nations like India and Brazil, Facebook will unveil plans for "Facebook for Every Phone," which is designed to make Facebook accessible on technologically humble feature phones.

Facebook, which already boasts more than 1.1 billion users, now wants to target the 100 million people worldwide who access the site on feature phones -- dumbed-down devices that cost as little as US$20. iPhones, they ain't.

Feature phones are popular in India, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, among others -- countries that are now viewed as the fastest-growing market for the Internet and social networks.

Last year, Facebook made tweaks to cater to iPhone and Android users, improving mobile access and introducing new advertising methods. Alas, iPhone- and Android-using countries already have extremely high Facebook penetration, leaving emerging markets as the new focal point.

Facebook spent an estimated $70 million to acquire Snaptu, an Israel-based company specializing in tailoring apps, including Facebook, for use on even the most basic mobile phones.

[Source: The New York Times]

China Releases Real-Name Registration Regulations

Starting Sept. 1, new fixed-line and mobile users in China will be required to provide real-name identification when signing up for online services, according to regulations announced by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The regulations will require telecommunications operators to conduct annual reviews of registration data. Should the telecoms not carry out their end, they could face fines ranging from RMB 10,000 to RMB 30,000 (about $1,600 to $4,800) per offense.

China has been kicking around the real-name registration idea for a while, so this rollout comes as no shock.

[Source: Marbridge Consulting]

iTunes Users in China Find Loads of Apps They Didn't Download

Numerous iTunes users in China are reportedly finding apps downloaded to their iTunes accounts that they didn't actually download.

The undownloaded-yet-downloaded apps are primarily domestic mobile games. The phenomenon was first mentioned on a discussion forum called iApps. While the scope of the phenomenon is not clear, Chinese-language outlet Sina Tech says that it's not an isolated incident.

Editors at iApps claim that many of the downloaded items rank highly on Apple's China app chart, which, according to them, suggests that the so-called phantom downloads are the handiwork of an app promotion company that somehow wiggled into users' accounts.

Apple -- which is dealing with a Chinese PR mess that includes accusations of substandard service and, much worse, reports of iPhones electrocuting people -- did not immediately comment on the situation.

[Source: ]

Internet Technology / Google Wants Its Web TV
« on: August 03, 2013, 02:21:38 AM »
Google is considering the possibility of launching an Internet-based TV service, according to numerous media reports.

Specifically, the company has approached several media companies about the possibility licensing of content for an Internet-based TV service that would stream traditional TV programming, The Wall Street Journal first reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Google has reportedly also talked with programmers about the initiative, including providing a demonstration.

Google did not respond to our request for further details.

'Over the Top' Services

Google is not alone in its Web TV plans. Earlier this year, Intel confirmed it was working on something similar, and both Apple and Sony reportedly have like-minded initiatives under way.

Online-video providers including Hulu and Netflix as well as online retailer Amazon, meanwhile, have been competing for eyeballs with their respective on-demand TV services.

This is not the first time Google has considered rolling out such a service, however. Two years ago the company reportedly began discussions with media companies with that goal in mind. That plan was shelved, but the changing marketplace for "over the top" services -- those delivered on top of existing broadband connections -- as well as growing interest from corporate rivals could make for a very different landscape this time around.

Then, too, there's Google TV as well.

'Increased Competition'

It almost seems as if Google is hedging its bets when it comes to delivering video.

"That is one way of putting it," Dan Cryan, director of digital media at IHS iSuppli, told the E-Commerce Times.

It also has the potential to be highly disruptive in the ever-changing market for video content.

"The prospect of launching an over-the-top play would create increased competition in the market," Cryan said. "There are those that aren't too anxious for this to get off the ground."

Whether that happens, however, will depend at least in part on the many issues that will still need to be resolved. Perhaps most significant are the fees that any service provider will have to pay for the content.

'Different Business Models'

"It is a significant barrier to entry," Erik Brannon, senior analyst for U.S. television at IHS iSuppli, told the E-Commerce Times. "If you think about the fact that carriage fees are likely to continue their upward trajectory for the significant future, then it could take a while to reach profitability."

Most of the major TV providers, including cable, telcos and even satellite, now offer bundled TV and Internet services, and those bundles are increasingly being taken up by consumers.

"As a general rule, buying services in a bundle is cheaper than buying services broken into their various offerings," Cryan noted. "Google, however, is already in the content aggregation business as they own YouTube."

Of course, while Google does have YouTube, it is trying to be more of a Comcast or a Time Warner in its ability to deliver a slew of channels, while the likes of Amazon and Netflix are looking to deliver content.

"While these are obviously competing for time and money, they have different business models," Cryan explained.

National Possibilities

For Google, though, the potential benefits are many.

"It is important how it ties to YouTube and to Android and how it ties off to any Android living room device," Cryan suggested. "There is the potential for a rich ecosystem for Google."

National reach could be another key factor.

"Google is an international brand, but they could be nationwide from day one as an OTT service," Joel Espelein, senior analyst at The Diffusion Group, told the E-Commerce Times. "Even today the various service providers are only in select markets."

The Search Connection

Last but not least, integration with Google's core services -- namely search -- could make Web TV a particularly natural fit.

"Searching for a show today doesn't mean you can actually get it," Espelein pointed out. "You can search for a particular show, but can't necessarily get it and watch it. This limits the value of search and the search engine thus becomes meaningless if the TV content is behind the paywall."


You too can set up a personal wireless Internet connection of your very own over distances of up to several miles. All you need are two microwave antennas; some long Ethernet cables; a couple of photographic tripods; a laptop; an old WiFi Router; and a power supply. The total cost to you? No more than $200. The sheer geeky satisfaction? Priceless.

Around this time of year some buddies and I usually pack up a bunch of our brick-like ham radios, a few unwieldy 30-foot masts, a helium balloon antenna and some pop-up shade shelters and lug it all over to a local mountaintop near our suburban Los Angeles homes.

We traipse up the baked hillside with this gear each year to perform a nonstop radio experiment that lasts over a weekend. Its purpose? To see how many other fanatical radio-heads we can contact around the world, bouncing signals off the ionosphere and the like -- all off the grid using batteries instead.

One technology we've lacked -- until now -- has been useful Internet up on that scorching hill: wireless carrier signals have been spotty.

This year, however, we've been successfully experimenting with a point-to-point Ubiquiti Networks bridge product. The founders of Ubiquiti were behind early Motorola wireless Internet products, and Ubiquiti now makes an US$80 antenna that the company reckons will bridge a WiFi signal 30 kilometers.

We've been sending the signal about half a mile no problem.

This is a project that would have cost thousands of dollars to do just a few years ago, but it can now be achieved for less than $200.

Here's how to approach the project if you have a similar application. Like-minded uses could include sharing an Internet service between home and outbuilding or even a home and workspace over miles.

The secret is to get a line-of-sight signal.

Step 1: Obtain the parts

You will need two microwave antennas; some long Ethernet cables; a couple of photographic tripods; a laptop; an old WiFi Router; and power.

I recommend the Ubiquiti AirGridM 5 GHz microwave broadband antenna, which is what we used. The radio is integrated in the antenna feed.

Step 2: Survey the application by eyeballing the path that the signal will take

The key thing to remember about 5 GHz WiFi is that it's a minuscule wave and is line-of-sight at distances. This kit won't work if you have a ridgeline in the way at short distances, or even tree limbs at long distances. We used a friend's home to supply the Internet because it is in sight of our mountaintop.

Step 3: Set up the hardware

Mount the two antennas onto photographic tripods using the antenna-included hardware.
Then align the two antennas at their prospective locations by pointing the antennas at each other. The shorter the distance, the less accurate you need to be.

Tip: For a permanent install, use the included hardware with optionally available masts.

Step 4: Set up the access point network (the side with Internet)

Connect the included Power Over Ethernet injector to a power source near the incoming Internet router. Internet can be supplied by a normal domestic modem or router.

Then connect an Ethernet cable from the POE injector to the Ubiquiti access point antenna, and from the POE injector's LAN port to a laptop with another one of the Ethernet cables.

Assign a static IP address to the laptop. Use the address provided by the antenna manufacturer -- it will be in the documentation. Then save the settings, open a browser and navigate to the IP address provided. The access point's dashboard will open.

Enter the User ID and Password -- Ubiquiti's is always "ubnt." Then open the Wireless tab, set the Wireless Mode to Access Point WDS and create a unique SSID.

Set the security to a preferred mode, like WPA2-AES or similar. Use PSK for authentication. Enter a key.

Then choose Bridge from the Network tab and enter the network settings provided in the antenna's documentation.

Tip: Ubiquiti recommends some point-to-point mode changes for long distances, like one called No Ack.

Access these settings in the first tab on the dashboard. The documentation will advise what to use. Don't worry about this if your link is less than 17 km.

Step 5: Set up the station network (the side at the remote location)

Follow the same steps that you performed with the access point, except that the wireless mode should be set to Station WDS, not Access Point WDS. Then lock to the access point's SSID that you set up earlier.

Step 6: Deploy the access point

Switch off the incoming Internet modem or router and POE. Then unplug the laptop cable and plug that cable into the Internet supplying router. Turn everything back on again.
Step 7: Deploy the station

Follow the same deployment process as with the access point except plug the configuring laptop cable into a now nonstatic IP-addressed laptop or a configured 2.4 GHz household WiFi router.
Tip: Use an automotive 12-volt battery and inverter to provide power at the remote site if necessary.

Step 8: Test

Internet will be available on the laptop or WiFi network at the remote location.

Tip: Run the channel selector utility under the Tools menu to find a clean channel if results are poor. Look for swaths of color representing pollution on the waterfall graphic.

Internet Technology / Facebook Extends Its Reach With New Embedded Posts
« on: August 03, 2013, 02:02:49 AM »
Hard on the heels of its recent venture into mobile gaming, Facebook on Wednesday debuted its latest social networking innovation: embedded posts, a feature that allows users to add public posts from Facebook to their blog or website.

Embedded posts can be most any type of content seen on Facebook, including pictures, videos, hashtags and news articles. Such posts can be liked and shared directly from the embed.

To access the feature, users click on a new icon being made available in the top right corner of public posts. After clicking on the icon, users then copy and paste the code to their own webpage.

Facebook is initially working with CNN, Huffington Post, Bleacher Report, People and Mashable to make embedded posts available, but the feature will soon be enabled for other users as well, it said.

Facebook did not respond to our request for further details.

'Facebook Just Increased Its Value'

On one hand, Facebook's new embedded feature doesn't exactly break new ground in the social media sphere -- YouTube and Twitter offer similar functionality already. However, given Facebook's wide reach and daily user base, embedded posts will surely facilitate the spread of content from the site in exponential fashion.

The feature will certainly be a win for journalists, Matt Rednor, chief innovation officer at MRY, told the E-Commerce Times.

"Embedded posts will have great appeal and value to news organizations, as it makes their job easier," he told the E-Commerce Times. "Journalists can just freely grab quotes from Facebook rather than actually having to create their own content. Content is currency, and Facebook just increased its value by becoming even more of a go-to destination for it."

'Easy and Quick'

As the new functionality becomes available to a wider group, however, it will almost certainly be picked up on a broader scale.

"Much like how blogs and sites embed YouTube, Twitter, Vine or Instagram, embedded posts offer sites an easy and quick way to enhance the content on their site," Ben Foster, senior vice president and digital strategist for Ketchum and an adjunct professor at DePaul University, told the E-Commerce Times.

Users might also feel the site -- the blog or website -- is more engaging, as the embedded post offers the same like/comment/share features found on Facebook, he noted.

More Value

Indeed, "the more we can integrate the social Web with our own websites, and vice versa, the more value we can get out of them," Miriam Schwab, head of illuminea, told the E-Commerce Times.

There are a number of ways businesses and organizations could get value from embedded Facebook posts, Schwab noted, including featuring testimonials from customers on their sites.

Also, "many companies post valuable updates on their company Facebook page, but they are often short and personal, and don't quite work in the website format," she pointed out. "With embedded posts, these updates can be available to website visitors too."

A company could have a page that highlights its best posts, for example, Schwab said.

'A Win for Everyone'

Perhaps more importantly, embedded posts represent a future revenue source for Facebook as well.

In fact, users' ability to embed Facebook posts will allow Facebook to extend its reach and potentially attract new Facebook users, said William Ward, social media professor at Syracuse University.

"Although Facebook ads will not show up with embedded posts initially, in the future Facebook could have ads show up with embedded posts and then charge more for the additional exposure to generate new ad revenue beyond the platform," he told the E-Commerce Times.

Facebook could even mandate that an ad be included with the embed on other sites in the future, Rednor speculated.

"Facebook could make money on each embed while still making it 'free' to other sites," he explained. "So, as long as you don't mind having an ad appear in the middle of your story, then it's a win for everyone."


Email has been around since before the Internet, but while the technology itself hasn't changed much since the 1970s, the volume of it has. Some people, in fact, receive hundreds of messages a day. That's a threat to a human's ability to process information.

There are, however, ways to manage email. Here's how to go about it.

Step 1:

Shut down your in-box if you find emails are distracting you from productive work. You can still be alerted to important messages through an SMS text message.

Set up a "from-based" filter within your email client, such as Gmail, to forward important emails to your phone's text account. That way, you'll see the initial 140 characters on the phone as the message comes in and know that you need to open your email client to address the email. Yet you won't get distracted routinely by less important email.

Tip: This method will only work if you keep your phone's SMS message functions exclusively for important stuff.

Check your wireless carrier's website for the email-to-SMS messaging syntax. Sprint's, for example is, where the number is your phone number.

Step 2:

Hit the Unsubscribe link embedded in legitimate mass emails and then delete the email without reading it. Gradually your daily volume will decrease -- some of those lists are bombarding you frequently.

Tip: Be careful here, because some unscrupulous marketers use the Unsubscribe link to identify your email box as being live. I've written about identifying dodgy emails before in How to Identify Bogus Banking Emails and How to Do Your Part in Foiling Spammers.

Step 3:

Avoid distributing your email address, but if you do, use a Burner email.

Unfortunately, marketers looking for prospects to harass have wised-up to the use of completely fabricated email addresses when signing up for services, and won't let you register for services without a legitimate email.

Burner email addresses are disposable addresses that let you sign up for services and click on the verify link in the sent email; the addresses then vaporize after a predetermined period, like an hour. is one such Web-based solution.

Step 4:

Look for newsletter marketing preferences options whenever you give out your email in a Web-based form and uncheck the boxes.

Tip: The only emails you'll ever need are the ones related to the account itself -- an option often with its own check box. If you ever feel the compunction to learn more about a company, browse to the website instead.

Turn off email notifications from social networks. Look for the options within the account management page.

Step 5:

Take advantage of triaging tricks offered by email services.

Clients like Outlook let you set up hierarchical folders. Add project folders with action and archive subfolders, then drag-and-drop from the in-box as emails come in, for example. Then deal with the email on a project-by-project basis rather than a hit-and-miss chronological one.

Alternatively, use filters to send messages to the project folder, then address the email content as you work on that particular project.

Look for category options within email clients and take advantage of them. Gmail's newest client on some Android 4.0+, iPhone and iPad devices, for example, lets you categorize by people you actually know. Look for the new Primary tab there.

Tip: Mark certain message senders as Important if your email client lets you do that.

Step 6:

Try some email management software.

Boomerang, a plugin for Gmail, lets you set up reminders if no one replies to your message, so you don't have to retain tickle items in your in-box.

ActiveInBox, a Gmail extension for Chrome or Firefox, creates professional status and prioritization project management-like elements within Gmail.

Step 7:

Turn the whole process into one big game with The Email Game. This Gmail- and Google Apps-compatible game gives you a score. The faster you clear your in-box, the more points you get.

Internet Technology / Google May Drill Down to Neighborhood News
« on: August 03, 2013, 01:51:51 AM »
Google might be thinking about invading the hyperlocal news field.

It is testing a local news card in its Google Now service, Quartz reported. The beta service dishes up location-based information to owners of mobile devices, and it could possibly work well with Google Glass.

"I love the idea that when we eventually all have our Google Glasses, [our] award-winning journalism, events calendar and wiki will be popping up in front of eyeballs throughout town," Brian Wheeler, executive director of hyperlocal publisher Charlottesville Tomorrow, told TechNewsWorld.

Google did not respond to our request to comment for this story.

Do Hyperlocal News Sites Work?

Online local news sites have not done very well since the hyperlocal news frenzy began back in 2009. NBC shut down EveryBlock in February, The Daily Voice filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, and AOL's Patch has been hemorrhaging money and staff.

However, "The local news industry is strong, healthy and growing," Dylan Smith, chairman of Local Independent Online News Publishers, told TechNewsWorld.

Patch and other networked plays are "not local" because "they seek to profit from communities rather than being invested in them," Smith continued. Giant chains "trying to templatize the production of news" does not work.

"The premise of getting news about your community is that your community is special and unique," remarked Ben Ilfeld, founder of the Sacramento Press. "You are associating your personal identity with a local tribe. This is something corporate plays always mess up."

Going Local, Thinking Global

It could be argued that Google's position as an Internet search powerhouse, and its strengthening geo-location capabilities, would positively impact its move into hyperlocal news if that should come about.

Google recently added live incident reports on road closures and on-the-go rerouting to Google Maps, for example. Google News already uses geo-location to provide readers with relevant local news, and the GPS is turned on by default when mobile device users go to Google Maps.

However, Google is facing a complaint in the EU from FairSearch, a coalition consisting of 17 global businesses including Microsoft, Oracle, Nokia and TripAdvisor over its mobile strategy.

If this evolves into an investigation, it might put a crimp in Google's plans for hyperlocal news.

We Love the Big G

Local independent online publishers appear to be enthusiastic about Google's possible entry into their field.

"Google's exploration of new push technology for local news ... sounds like a great concept," Lion's Smith said. "Google executives have long been responsive to the concerns of local news publishers, and we're confident that good working relationship will continue as independent publishers become an even larger force within the news industry."

Google "will be looking for content, and we have that in spades, and it's all geo-tagged," Charlottesville Tomorrow's Wheeler observed.

Hyperlocal publishers "know their communities and how to produce quality civic media," he continued. "That can't be replicated by Google without investing in boots on the ground for a long period of time, and that's probably not a scalable enterprise for them."

Still, it's not clear whether Google's venture into hyperlocal journalism will succeed. Staff at some of the sites that have failed have complained that local businesses have small-to-no budgets for ads, and local sites don't attract enough eyeballs.

Further, geo-location may not be the most efficient targeting mechanism for news, the Sacramento Press's Ilfeld told TechNewsWorld.

"Doing new media using old media benchmarks is a recipe for failure," Ilfeld explained. "Hyperlocal is about identity and engagement. It's expensive to do it right, and scaling has not proved to be the answer thus far."


Source :


Internet / Google launches new tablet
« on: June 30, 2012, 09:57:01 AM »
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) launched its Nexus 7 tablet on Wednesday at its Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco.
The tablet, which is made by Asus, has a 1,280 x 800 display. It has an Nvidia (Nasdaq: NVDA) Tegra 3 quad-core CPU with that processor's associated 12-core GPU.

The Nexus tablet 7 has a front-facing camera and supports WiFi, Bluetooth and near-field communications (NFC). It also has a gyroscope.

Nexus 7 tablets run Jelly Bean, or Android 4.1. They weigh 340 gm. They offer up to 9 hours of HD video playback and 300 hours of standby on a single charge.

Of Pricing and Heart Attacks

The Nexus 7 tablet is priced at US$200, with a $25 credit for the Google Play Store. It can be ordered from Google Play now. Orders ship in mid-July.

"I just got the specs on the tablet," Michael Morgan, a senior analyst at ABI Research, told TechNewsWorld. "I bet Amazon's (Nasdaq: AMZN) heart just stopped and its Fire just fizzled. I also wonder if Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) will be able to retain its price points with this on the market."

New iPads are priced starting at $500.

It's Not About Winning, It's About Fun

The Nexus 7 tablet is pretty much made for Google Play. The device is made to handle apps, videos, books and music, in addition to TV shows. Turning it on puts content from the Google Play Store up on the screen, and Google demoed two games, "Horn" and "Dead Trigger" at the launch.

Nexus 7 owners can either stream TV shows or download them. Google has struck deals with various content providers, including Disney (NYSE: DIS), Paramount, NBC and ABC. Owners of the tablet can now purchase movies on Google Play

Magazines on the Nexus 7 can be streamlined to show just the text and pictures. They will have interactive features so users can click a story on the title to open it up. Some magazines have a 14-day free trial period.

The Nexus 7 has a song widget that identifies the tunes users play and provide links to the Google Play store to download the songs. It also has a self-learning recommendations engine that recommends content based on what users have accessed previously. Its recommendations get better over time.

Appraising the Nexus 7

"At 7 inches and a $200 price point, [the Nexus 7] is making a value play for the core of where the iPad currently is," Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told TechNewsWorld. "Google is betting that a lot of folks are happier with their laptops for creation and would rather have a device that was focused on consumption, particularly if it was priced closer to a portable DVD player."

The Nexus 7 has "good performance specs and a good and reasonable price point, but I believe 3G and 4G capability will be a requirement and an early differentiator," Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research, told TechNewsWorld.

"My initial thoughts are, good specs, should be good build quality knowing Asus, and good price," Peter King, a director at Strategy Analytics, remarked.

Taking On Amazon

It looks as if Amazon is currently in Google's cross-hairs.

The Nexus 7's recommendation engine "could turn this tablet into a portal for online purchases, very similar to Amazon's approach with its Kindle Fire," Enderle said. "This could provide a significant additional revenue opportunity for [Google]."

There will be "no impact on iPad or [the Microsoft] Surface tablet, but Amazon might have a few sleepless nights," Strategy Analytics' King told TechNewsWorld.

However, Amazon might have the upper hand because it has the content, and, in the tablet world, content is king.

The Nexus 7 "is just another shiny new device," Tirias Research's McGregor said. "It does look like other tablets, and the difference will lie in the entire solution, especially the services and content."

Internet / Modbook, the Mac Tablet of Yore, Marches Back Into Action
« on: June 30, 2012, 09:49:07 AM »
The Modbook Pro, a converted MacBook Pro that has been modified by Modbook and is billed as the first Mac tablet, is set to return to the market later in 2012 after an absence of several years.

Its predecessor, the Modbook, which was based on a MacBook, was one of the best-of-show winners at Macworld 2007.

Modbook basically takes a 13-inch MacBook Pro, strips off its enclosure, including the display and the keyboard and trackpad assembly, and slips what's left into its an enclosure with a screen and stylus interface.

The modification voids Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) one-year warranty, so Modbook offers a limited one-year warranty of its own. However, it reportedly is still in the process of setting up authorized service centers. These will be announced before the device ships in early fall.

Modbook Pro Specs

The Modbook Pro's configurable base system has a 2.5 GHz dual core Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) Core i5 processor or a 2.9 GHz dual core Intel Core i7 processor. It also has up to 16 GB of RAM, a 2.5-inch SATA drive of up to 1 TB capacity, an Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset, an 8x SuperDrive DVD burner, a built-in 64.5 WH lithium-polymer battery, and a 60 W MagSafe power adapter. It supports WiFi and Bluetooth.

A Modbook Pro tablet has a 13.3-inch display with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution and a ForceGlass screen that provides an etched drawing surface that simulates paper. Its Wacom digitizer delivers 512 levels of pen pressure sensitivity.

The device runs all Mac applications. Users can also run OS X's Boot Camp app to install 32- or 64-bit Windows 7.

The Modbook Pro serves as a standalone tablet.

Just Another USB Peripheral

The Modbook enclosure links to a MacBook Pro through one of the latter's two standard USB 3.0 ports. The enclosure seals the connection and the port within the Modbook Pro. All other ports remain accessible from the outside.

The Modbook Pro closely follows Apple's design guidelines for USB high-performance peripherals, Modbook says. The Mac modifier contends the Modbook Pro is essentially a fully standards-compliant USB device.

Dibs on Bragging Rights

"Is this [Modbook Pro] cool? Sure," Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI Research, told MacNewsWorld. "But like anybody who makes custom enclosures for current laptops like jewel-encrusted ones, people will buy it because of that -- and I don't think it's going to be a good idea."

The Modbook Pro "has a very high cool factor, and Apple's base is filled with folks that chase stats," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "This product will carry a very high status aspect. Hell, I'm tempted to buy one."

Further, the Modbook Pro "is a device designed for the Mac OS and those who like to work with styluses," Enderle told TechNewsWorld. "It's a productivity tablet focused more on creation than consumption."

Too Much Focus Hurts

However, the Modbook Pro's extreme specialization might hurt its future.

"People are going to be asked to pay a premium for something that's going to have a very specialized purpose," ABI's Orr pointed out. "That's where I'm challenged. You could say this is a good OS, has a good application base, a good connection to the Internet, but how many people are there that really want it?"

On the other hand, the Modbook Pro's ability to run Windows 7 "also suggests it could run Windows 8," Enderle told MacNewsWorld. That "might provide a hedge if the user wanted to switch to Windows 8 either because they like it or because support sucked too much on this product."


Programming Competition / Improving Programming basics
« on: September 27, 2011, 02:48:02 PM »
Welcome everyone, learning programming is a essential task for CSE students. After completing structured programing usually students do  not get enough information on File I/O, Structures, pointers etc. Here are some links to help your C programming basics:

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