Archive for the ‘Tech buzz’ category

So you think your iPad is one-of-a-kind?

September 27, 2010

If you’re one of those people who have to have those top-of-the-line, brand new technological gadgets the first day they come out, you were probably one of the 300,000+ who camped out for days awaiting the release of the new iPad. The allure of this one of a kind touch tablet was too much for you to bear.

But was it worth it? The iPad did market itself originally as a breakthrough in new, one-of-a-kind technology, hopefully one day replacing the personal computer/laptop altogether. Although at the time this might have been true, it is not true anymore. Other companies have come up with iPad-equivalent technologies, but more appealing to those loyal PC users. Here are our top 3 iPad alternatives and how they measure up to the iPad itself.

ExoPC Slate
Rumors might be true that this critically acclaimed “iPad Killer” is the next best thing. With Windows 7 Premium Home Edition and a comfortable 11+ inch screen. Add on a 32 GB memory, 8.9-inch multi-touch screen, webcam, and full browser with flash support. It also has an Ethernet port as well as a way to hook up your bluetooth. What sets this apart from the iPad? The ExoPC Slate’s keyboard is supposed to flow with ease. It is super smooth and doesn’t give you all of the problems of the iPad’s faulty keyboard. Pre-orders for the ExoPC Slate began at the beginning of September, with a competitive price to the iPad.

NotionInk’s Adam Android
Add this to your Christmas list, since that’s when they’re planning on releasing this $129, 24-hr long battery tablet. But that’s not all that’s super cool about this tablet: add to that a 10 inch transflective screen–yes, that means you can take it outside, unlike the iPad which has terrible glare. There is also a 180 degree swiveling camera and a complete content eco-system at the fraction of the cost of the iPad. What are they waiting for for the release? Well, to stabilize flash, of course (which iPad has failed to do). Tablets like Adam, which run on Windows 7, plan to be as functional as the PC in terms of an operating system. All reviews point to Adam giving the iPad a run for its money, because, as far as I can tell, they’ve done it better.

WeTab
Say “guten tag” to the German alternative to the iPad. Hey, if they’re as good at making tablets as they are at making cars, then we should all be jumping on the bandwagon to buy one.  With clever tag lines like “we’ch out and touch faith” coupled with an 11.6 inch touch screen and 1366×768 resolution, the WeTab seems to out-do the iPad in more areas than one (aside from the 6 hr battery life). There is a 1.3 mega pixel camera as well that allows for taking photos and video chatting.  You can even make an inquiry on their website about being notified first when the WePad gets released.

The verdict: Unfortunately, at the moment, nothing has been created that you can buy that is even comparable to the iPad. Nonetheless, there will be a time (very soon, in fact) that you can buy these tablets that run on Windows 7 and have all of the compatibilities of a PC. It’s quite fantastic how Apple has revolutionized the tablet world. However, time may show these other competitors picking up the slack where the iPad lacks.

Advertisements

Google Chrome is my homeboy

September 2, 2009

chrome crownGoogle Chrome celebrates its one year birthday today, and there seems to be news to herald this happy occasion. Yesterday Computer World shared that in the web browser wars, Google is closing in on Apple’s Safari. While Safari increased its browser market share just a tad, Chrome is climbing rapidly, jumping 0.3 percent to claim 2.9% of the browser market.

At this pace, Chrome is a contender to replace Safari as the #3 browser that people are using within a year’s time. After that, there’s only #1 Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (66.6%), and #2 Mozilla Firefox (23.3%) to defeat – which is by no means a small task since the gap between market browser preferences is still so wide.

Ah Chrome, how I adore thee.

I switched to Chrome as my primary browser a couple months ago from Firefox, my former number 1. I’m impatient and a speed demon online so the most important thing when choosing a web browser for me is the loading time and the browsing speed. That’s why when Firefox started hanging for me, I dropped it like it was hot.

(more…)

iPhone apps that spice up reality

August 28, 2009

It’s beyond virtual reality. iPhone currently has 3 Augmented Reality apps available in their App store.

If you’re not familiar with augmented reality (nicknamed AR), it’s basically technology that blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s computer-generated. (Doesn’t that sound eerie? Very Matrix-like.)

With augmented reality, you’re overlaying computer graphics onto the real world whether it’s text, images, or whatever. In the iPhone sense, this means that these 3 AR apps incorporate layers of data on top of the camera view on the iPhone. AR uses the iPhone’s GPS navigation and compass to display businesses, restaurants and bars on top of the camera view. You can look through the camera on your iPhone and see blocks of text or images hovering around your real-life environment. It’s pretty neat.

Right now the 3 AR apps available are:

Metro Paris Subway iPhone app

What the Paris app looks like (courtesy of ReadWriteWeb)

1. Metro Paris Subway: While you’re looking through your iPhone camera, images of Paris businesses near you will pop up, along with the distance it takes to arrive there (in both meters and miles!).

2. London Buses: Using this bus-tracking app now pulls up “Point of Interest” databases which allows the user to see food & drink, leisure, attractions and accommodation POIs all over the UK.

And for those residing in the US…

Yelp monocle (courtesy of RWW)

Yelp monocle (courtesy of RWW)

3. Yelp: On the latest version of this app, users have to shake their iPhone 3 times to access this Easter egg feature called “the monocle.” (Well officially the site says shake 3 times but watching other people trying to open the monocle resulted in watching people viciously shake their phone for what seemed like 10 minutes. Since shaking the iPhone for so long can get frustrating, the good news is once you unlock the monocle it will be there forever so it’s a one-time thing.) (more…)

Google vs Microsoft: Online Apps Throwdown

August 25, 2009

Has anyone seen these Google billboards?

Google billboard campaign

Apparently during the entire month of August, they’ve been on display on four major U.S. highways around the country: the 101 in San Francisco, the West Side Hwy in New York, the Ike in Chicago, and Mass Pike in Boston. Google went back to old school marketing methods with this creative billboard campaign. They even kicked it up a notch by striving to put up a new message each day on these four boards. The spotlight is on Google Apps, their Enterprise Productivity Suite.

For those unfamiliar with what Google Apps mean, you probably use (or at least heard of) it in the form of Gmail or Google docs, etc. Though these Apps are very useful on the individual level, the “Going Google” campaign is really targeting enterprise or business customers to adopt their online Google App system.

…And targeted towards taking down Microsoft. (Of course.)

Throwdown!

Throwdown!

Not surprising, Microsoft has their own brand of online applications to match Google’s list called Microsoft Online Services (or if you like things that are really long: the Microsoft Online Business Productivity Suite).

(more…)

Fingerprint Authentication for Facebook?

August 19, 2009

TrueSuiteIEEE Spectrum tells me about an upcoming software by AuthenTec that makes me feel like our world is finally moving toward Spielberg’s “Minority Report.”

Fingerprint authentication technology is no longer going to be reserved for secret high clearance government facilities – instead for us Average Joes, we get to use fingerprint clearance for accessing email, logging into social networks like Facebook or Twitter, and anything else that requires a password.

AuthenTec’s TrueSuite software is adapting fingerprint authentication into a means to make our computer activities more convenient. How? Picture this scenario: Your laptop is installed with this software. On your laptop, you swipe your ring finger (right hand), your Gmail pops up. It’s already logged into your inbox. You swipe your index finger (right hand), you’re looking at your Facebook newsfeed. You swipe your ring finger (left hand), you’re looking at your eBay bidding account.

Different fingers can be used to authenticate different accounts with TrueSuite. On its own, any of these functions are multi-step. (For example, even checking Twitter requires that 1) you wake up your laptop, 2) start your OS, 3) navigate to a browser, 4) go to the Twitter site, 5) login with password. On laptops more than a couple years old this can mean you’ve aged 20 minutes before you find out what was in Ashton’s latest tweet to Demi.

TrueSuite reduces this into a finger swipe.

(more…)

Windows 7 Coolest Highlights

August 17, 2009

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

It’s so new and shiny!

windows7shot

Welcome to a fresh and hip look for Windows 7 – it’s popularly anticipated as the best OS that Microsoft has created thus far. Comparable in look and feel to Mac OS X Leopard, the user experience with Windows 7 will be akin to play-time with a new toy.

A lot of people are talking, writing, blogging and even making videos of the new features available in 7. After checking out Wired magazine’s in depth “First Look” on this new OS – we were inspired to give a shout-out to the features that we’re most excited to play with. Join us in the fun waiting for it’s official public release on October 22, ’09.

These clever new Windows management tools will make the user experience very pleasant:

Aero Peek: An outline display provides a thumbnail preview of all your open windows behind your active window. Very convenient since you don’t have to remember what content is kept in the minimized window tabs anymore.

Aero Snap: So useful for those who like having split screens to multi-task. You can use this Snap feature to drag and snap your working window into place on either sides of your screen.

Aero Shake: Such a fun and unique idea! When you click on a window and shake it (yes, shake it) – all the windows behind it will minimize. No more going through and having to minimize each one separately. Minimizing windows is also made more exciting since they turn into small squares on your task bar, each with representative shiny little icons.

(more…)

5 Best iPhone Apps for IT

August 10, 2009

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

There’s a smorgasbord of iPhone applications in the world – which can only lead to a download-happy user community. Don’t get lured into downloading or (worse) spending money on an app that turns out to be a mind-numbing waste of iPhone space.

For IT professionals, there’s always going to be iPhone enterprise mobility to help business flow, but these extra applications help spice things up and definitely add ease to work. AND they’re just so darn cool.

After sifting and review, here are our 5 picks for the best iPhone apps for the IT professional:

#1. FTP on the Go ($10)

Next time you’re away from your desk and your boss calls with a web site bug that needs immediate attention – no sweat – pull out your iPhone and go to this app. “FTP on the Go” is a must for any IT professional or Webmaster. It allows you to access your website and fix them through a built-in text editor in a safe and secure manner. For the low price, this is a great investment to keep you connected with your business.

(more…)