When an Apple person reviews Oranges

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“This thing called Orange doesn’t look like Apple, doesn’t have Apple color, it doesn’t taste like Apple, an Apple can have a worm, but this Orange thing can’t even tolerate a worm”.

Here we go again. Another Microsoft Hardware/Platform launch, followed by rounds of Reviews from people who has little or no interest in Microsoft, neither do they use Microsoft’s products as goto tools in their daily routine. Continue reading

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Bing Wikipedia Browser — An Elegent App for your Windows Device

Hi, this is Nazmus, and I recently decided to download and try out a new app by Microsoft called “Bing Wikipedia”. At first, I was hesitant to download it because I wondered “why would I need a Wikipedia app when the website works well enough?” Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I did download the app. Continue reading

[Deal Over] Free for a Limited Time — Xbox Title Rabbits Big Bang on Windows Store

Rabbids Big Bang Store Pic 1

Update: The Deal is Officially Over

As part of the weekly red stripe deals, an Xbox title for Windows 8 is downloadable for free from the Windows Store. It is called Rabbits Bing Bang. It’s a puzzle game and worth checking out!.

Here’s the neat part: this game is available in many languages! Here are the languages it supports: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian. Continue reading

AppyMouse brings Awesome back to the Desktop on Tablets.

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If there is one aspect of Windows 8 that perpetually frustrates users on the new OS, it is the traditional Desktop. With the continued focus of Microsoft on the MX or Metro environment to the detriment of the desktop in Windows 8, users have been complaining. Of course the 180 degree turn of MS with the Start button is known to appease traditional users. Even with this and all the enhancements MS did to the desktop in v8.1 notwithstanding, there are still aspects of this OS that simply won’t go away in frustrating users. I.e. the ability to use the desktop of this OS on a tablet.

With tablets averaging 10” size and sporting ultra-HD resolutions, the desktop elements have been shrinking. There holds on rule, the more the resolutions you have, the smaller your screen elements become given the same Screen size. So when your 10 inch device sports a Full-HD resolution, your buttons, icons and text boxes shrinks to nothingness. You either need a magnifying glass to read text, or you resort to what everyone does now, increase the size of screen elements with the Display tools in the System, an action that defeats the need to have a high resolution screen on a small device in the first place.

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But even with increased screen elements, there is still the problem of targeting this small UI elements with the finger on a Touch device. Missed touch-activations is the result. When Yes and Cancel button stand next to each other on a dialog, you have the chance that you’ll hit Yes, while you meant Cancel on a Delete dialog box with all consequence thereof. So this is where Appymouse comes to the rescue. To give traditional desktop users a familiar UI operation back on a Touch device like Surface without having to increase screen elements to ugly sizes. Anywhere a desktop is presented, this tool is your hero.

See AppyMouse in action

AppyMouse is a tool published by Ostudiolabs and can be downloaded free of charge from their site. It is an executable, which means you can only install on the desktop and not in the MX environment. Installation brings the control to the lower right corner of your device where with the movement of the Thumb you can move the mouse on the screen, and tapping performs a click. Two-taps is your double-click as expected. See the video above to convince yourself. A picture is worth a thousand words right?

The publisher have of course taken your convenience into consideration by making the Control deck transparent so you can still see your work. And when you don’t need AppyMouse anymore, you can dismiss it to the Taskbar. You can also move the control to left side if you’re left handed, or it is just convenient. Look Mama, Photoshoping on my tablet, hands only!

This is something Microsoft self should have thought up and added to the OS instead of this coming from third-party developers. Consequence is that this app of course can only be installed on an x86 devices, you can’t install it on WindowsRT devices like SurfaceRT. So if you’re a SurfaceRT user, you are for now out of luck on that device desktop. If MS built this, it would have been included in the WindowsRT OS.

Coincidentally about a month ago I implored TeamViewer publishers to introduce this very feature on Windows 8 because they already have the very same feature as AppyMouse on the Windows Phone 8 devices with their TeamViewer client for WP8. There you can control a remote desktop sessions just like AppyMouse, and you can Zoom too. Now my request to AppyMouse publishers is to add Zoom function to generally zoom on the Desktop where those shrunken displays is a pain. I have even asked MarkRuss to add this zoom functionality to his ZoomIT tool. Hopefully they’ll be able to implement this. But in the meantime, we welcome this awesome tool to the desktop. It definitely makes life easier for the already frustrated Windows 8 Desktop users on a Tablet.

Source: Appymousing.com
CC: @Ostudiolabs

Seriously Compromised with SurfacePro – A Public Plea to Microsoft

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This week, Microsoft announced the pricing of the SurfacePro to the whole wide world, and reception of the news has been mixed to put it mildly. Its not even the price that broke the deal for me, I don’t mind the price since its work/play device. What broke it for me is the Battery Life of the device. I must confess I am seriously compromised right now in my decision for this device. What were you thinking Microsoft, 4Hrs battery life these days is just not acceptable on a Tablet device. I know it’s a Core i5 device, don’t get me wrong, I can see the need for power for some people, but seriously?

Look, I already have a Core i5 tablet that came with Windows 7, that was announced for 4Hrs battery life when I got it, but actually was pulling 2.5Hrs max in reality. Installed it with Windows 8 DP and my battery life jumped to 3hrs, now with Windows 8 RTM I am getting average of 3.5Hrs on this awesome device. So here I am waiting patiently for SurfacePro in January, and MS announced 4Hrs battery, sorry, but that is disappointing. I was expecting something that will match SurfaceRT battery life if not surpass it. Core i5 with 4Hrs battery life is almost what I have right now with my current Win7/Win8 tablet, I don’t see what’s the improvement, that extra 30 minutes doesn’t cut it for me; not for $1000 price point.

When MS announced 3-months-later for SurfacePro, I was actually hoping that they did that to get the latest and greatest CPU from Intel to capture the same battery life as SurfaceRT, as all kinks with CloverTrail would then have been ironed out etc etc. Ok, they said 3rd generation core i5 CPU, whatever that means, I don’t see its effect if it slurps the battery empty in 4hrs.

So, this is my plea to Microsoft: Please, please, make a third option for SurfacePro with CloverTrail Atom CPU! If HP and Dell could promise 9Hrs on their CloverTrail devices right now, it is a shame for Microsoft to come in the year of the Lord 2013 with a meager 4Hrs battery life device. You know, I have this Core i5 device right now, I am not doing any monster work on it, I am not doing video editing, not installing it with Photoshop or AutoCAD software even if I could. All those are on my Desktop where the power is when I need it. I have chosen this device to be my companion device, I need it to be always available when I need it, not to be looking for the next plugin socket each time. I use it lightly, that is the intention the whole time, the need to be able to run standard desktop apps and be highly mobile. That is the promise of CloverTrail, that is why we wait, so why should we end up with something in January that I can have now; that I have now?!

So, either you come with an announcement before the mid of December Microsoft, else I’ll be forced to shop at HP and Dell for my next CloverTrail device with a Pen. Thanks for listening as always Microsoft.

[Update: Corrected OakTrail to CloverTrail in the post. Sorry people, getting old here Smile. Thanks Voleheart buddy!]

Your buddy,

Denny McAkins

What Will Windows 8 Tablet Devices Look Like?

At the time of this writing, Windows 8 hasn’t come out yet; therefore, there are no Windows 8 tablet devices in the stores. But, if you are curious about what to expect with Windows 8 tablet devices in terms of hardware, read on!

Microsoft has published the tablet device requirements for Windows 8 that manufacturers need to follow to have their device certified. You can read the official document if you want to get technical and are bored. But we are going to give you the gist of the things you might find important as a consumer.

What Does Certified Windows 8 Device Mean?

You may wonder what is meant for a device to be certified by Microsoft as an Windows 8 device. Well, for consumers, it is sort of a guarantee of a great user experience. Windows 8 has great features that need to be well integrated with the hardware. If the hardware doesn’t have a certain requirement, some features in Windows 8 will not work or work poorly. For example, without a magnetometer compass apps in Windows 8 won’t work!
Also, if a device is certified, Microsoft will put the manufacturer’s logo in the device’s boot screen. This has never been done before! When Windows boots, we see the Windows logo. But with Windows 8, certified devices will have the manufacturer’s logo. For example, a HP tablet will feature the HP logo.

Difference Between Windows 8 ARM and Windows 8 x86 Devices

Before moving on, I am going to clarify the difference between an ARM based device and an x86 device. If you are already familiar with these types of devices, skip this and the next paragraph. ARM based devices run on a processor type called ARM and the iPad and Android tablets are examples of ARM tablets. These tablets, though not as powerful, has a great battery life and do not need fans to cool. Windows 8 will be the first version of Windows to run on ARM devices. The drawback of these devices is that they will not run Windows programs designed to run on Windows 7 and earlier. Only Windows 8 “Metro Style” apps will work on these devices.
An x86 device is a device that runs on x86 processors by chip makers, like Intel and AMD. These are the devices that we today call traditional PCs, like laptops and desktops. Windows 8 will run on these devices as well. These devices will be more powerful and will be able to run all Windows programs made for Windows 7 and earlier. They will also run Windows 8 “Metro Style” apps. However, many will require a fan to cool (making device thicker and hotter), and battery life will be less than that of ARM devices.
With the background information out of the way, let’s get to the beef and find out what the Windows 8 devices will be like

All Windows 8 Tablets (ARM and x86)

  • Five-finger multi-touch: the screen must be able to respond to at least up to five fingers simultaneity; that is, I should be able to virtually paint on a tablet with at least up to five fingers at the same time
  • 720p Cameras: These are high definition resolutions
  • Screen resolution of at least 1366 by 768. This resolution is required for all features of Windows 8 to work, notably, the ability to run two metro style apps side by side.
  • Five of the following buttons:
    • Power
    • Windows Key (This will take you to the start screen)
    • Volume up and volume down
    • Rotation lock (we may not always want to accidentally cause our screen to go portrait or landscape when we tilt our screen.)
  • Ambient light sensor (perhaps so the device can adjust brightness accordingly)
  • Gyroscope and accelerometer for rotation inputs
  • magnetometer (useful for apps needing compass functionality)
  • 10 GB of free storage space at the least
  • At least 1 GHz processor
  • At least 1 GB RAM (2 GB for 64 bit Windows)

x86 Devices Requirement

  • Two-second resume: if the computer is asleep, it must awake by or quicker than two seconds
  • Switching on and off Secure Boot must be an option. Secure boot is a security feature that helps fight threats during system boot. However, because it blocks unsigned OS, many many not be able to install some Linux operating systems with secure boot enabled.

ARM Devices Requirement

  • Secure boot must not be able to be switched off

Other, Interesting, Notes

It is required that holding the power button and the Windows key must bring up the Ctrl+Alt+Delete feature present in Windows since day one.

Tablets for Kids

We all want our kids to be well educated, and we have been striving to make our children’s education better for centuries, from finding the best written books to hiring the most renown teachers. But are teachers and books generally the only primary means of education? Until very recently the answer had always been yes. The innovation in computers and the internet has completely shifted how we communicate, share, and learn, and for the first time in thousands of years, we have seen a revolution on how we can teach ourselves and others. With their small form factor and good portability, tablet computers provide huge benefits for the learners by providing instant access to vast number of knowledge bases, interactive books, and accessibility for the disabled, instructional videos, and hands-on experiments. As such, it is very important that tablet computing becomes an integral part of children education.

 

The first thing that might come to mind when thinking about using tablets in education is the skepticism that it is another attempt to try and replace textbooks from the classroom. These questions have been raised in the past: “will TVs replace books?” or “will videogames kill books?” But the answer has always been no. Books have always been the primary means to spread knowledge because once writing was invented, people gained the ability to share their wisdom with more people that ever possible with verbal communication. Therefore, the answer to the question “will tablets kill books?” is “no, it will not”. But a better question would be “will tablets make books even better?” Now, this is an interesting question, and one that is worth exploring for the sake of better education.

Books can now become alive and offer a far better experience and result through the use of tablet computers. There are several ways this can happen. Firstly, tablet computers allow books to become connected with the rest of human knowledge, something seen as magical not too long ago. Readers can tap on a word and quickly look up its definition, synonyms, and translation. Readers can also instantly and conveniently research, in other sources, the subject they are reading about. These things were possible to some extent in the past. People could get up and look up a word in a physical dictionary or research the subject in an encyclopedia. However, not only do tablet computers yield a broader range of search results with less time, but it is also much more convenient. And the mere convenience of doing so using a tablet computer will likely mean that the reader will actually look up the definition or do the research. Having to get up and physically grabbing a dictionary greatly reduces the likelihood of looking up a word, for example. Secondly, books on tablets have a greater potential to effectively explain difficult material or to let readers be more immersed in the content than physical books could ever hope to do.

We have imagined future cars, future robots, but rarely did we imagine “future books”. Nevertheless, the future books are almost at our fingertips with tablet computers becoming mainstream. Leo Laporte, from the podcast MacBreak Weekly, believes that books will soon no longer be composed of only texts and images. He believes that eBooks will soon contain interactive content, like videos clips and audio clips. Laporte gives an interesting example of a biography eBook that could include audio clips of famous interviews or an imbedded YouTube video about the person (Laporte). I would like to add that besides videos and audios, books have the potential to include built-in interactive applications! Continuing with the example of the biography, I think it would be very neat and informative if the eBook contained, say, a virtual home of the person. It would be quite exciting to be able to virtually walk around the home of a famous person. And it doesn’t have to stop here. Educational eBooks could use of interactive diagram to greatly increase effectiveness in explaining concepts. For example, a chemistry eBook could include 3D models of atoms that readers could pan and rotate with their fingers. Express Publishing in ELT Teacher’s Corner produces eBooks that incorporate these interactive features, and they sum up quite well how much more immersive and fun these kinds of books can be. “Express Publishing has come up with…interactive eBook in the EFL market, with animation, video, games, songs, stories, an audio visual dictionary and much more. With Spark interactive eBook…students are encouraged to become autonomous learners through research tasks and are both challenged and supported through a variety of multi-sensory tasks at different levels of complexity using different approaches. Students can get instant evaluation and personal scores” (Express Publishing). It is evident that tablet computers can make reading and learning more immersive and enjoyable, but it doesn’t stop there. Tablet computers allow books to be more accessible to the disabled than they ever have been in the past.

People and organization have been working to provide equal access to learning material to disabled students like those who suffer visual or hearing impairment. Tablet computers are a major contributor to this goal. EBooks are inherently more accessible than are physical books. I have severe visual impairment, and it is very difficult for me to do certain tasks, such as reading small prints and reading/writing quickly. I am thankful for the aid offered to me from my educational institution, such as extended time on tests. However, I have found that eBooks have proved to be extremely helpful to me because of their inherent accessibility capabilities. I am able to zoom in eBooks as much as I wish to help me read more easily. Also, software like Adobe Reader has amazing read-out-loud feature that is able to transcribe text and read it out loud quite naturally. Disabled student being able to carry a small device that enlarges font and reads out loud books is an example of a major advancement in accessibility technology.

So far, we have looked at how tablet computers could enrich books. We haven’t yet explored the other infinite amount of possibilities that come with using a tablet computer. Two other aspects of tablet computers beneficial to education help pose a good reason for implementing tablet computers in children’s education. Firstly, tablet computers offer many educational applications that allow children to be motivated to learn and explore knowledge. The Apple Apps Store provides a variety of educational apps for the iPad to help students learn.  “apps help students master English at all levels — from learning how to read to practicing writing and grammar skills to studying classic literature [and] With interactive ways to learn numbers, master multiplication, solve algebraic equations, conquer statistics, and more, these apps for all ages make math more engaging, interactive, and fun [finally] Explore these apps and discover more about how the world works. Learn biology, physics, chemistry, anatomy, astronomy, and more. And find field guides that you can take with you on your next nature hike” (Apple Inc.).

Secondly, a tablet computer gives student access to educational videos from anywhere. With the advent of the internet, every student now has access to educational videos created by instructors from all over the world. According to Google, which runs YouTube, “videos can engage students, spark a conversation, bring lessons to life, [allow students to] learn from other teachers.” Google states that YouTube has “Over 450,000 educational videos from leading educators!” (YouTube for Schools) To further benefit students, Google is launching YouTube for schools, a special version of the popular video sharing service. YouTube for schools will bring front the thousands of educational content while keeping a safe environment for the classroom. This version of YouTube, for example, won’t have any comment system or videos other than educational ones (YouTube).

Salman Khan is one of the most recognized instructors on YouTube, with daily video tutorials from subjects ranging from math, science, history, geography, etc. Khan has given a speech in a TED conference. He explains that learning using videos bring lots of benefits. For example students are not shy to go and rewind and listen to something multiple times to understand a concept; this eliminates the problem in which students fear asking an instructor to repeat the same concept too many times. Khan encourages instructors to adapt lecturing in forms of videos and let students work on “homework” in the classroom where teachers are here to help (Khan).

Having a tablet at hand means students can watch educational videos from their desk in class or from wherever they choose. Dedicated apps for tablet computers can help create a virtual educational environment, incorporating educational videos. With tablet computers, students will not have to worry about not having acce3ss to the video anytime they wish; these portable devices let students carry thousands of instructional videos as easily as they carrying a textbook!

We are in a revolution. The internet has drastically changed how we do a lot of things, and education is not excluded. Tablet computers, combined with access to eBooks, educational apps, and thousands of instructional videos, has great potential to truly enrich education like never before. These PCs provide a more interactive learning, better accessibility for the disabled, and a far richer learning opportunity. Ultimately, these devices no longer confine students to their classroom; young students today can now access knowledge from all over the world and from people living anywhere in the world. With these amazing opportunities for a better education, there is no reason to not work to bring tablet computers in the hands of our young learners.

 

References

Apple Inc. “Thousands of apps. Endless potential.” Advertisement. Apps in Education. Apple Inc., 2011. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <http://www.apple.com/‌education/‌apps/>.

Express Publishing. “Interactive eBooks.” Advertisement. ELT Teacher’s Corner. Express Publishing, 16 Sept. 2011. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <http://www.teachers-corner.co.uk/‌interactive-ebooks/>.

Khan, Salman. “Let’s use video to reinvent education.” TED Conference. YouTube. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/‌watch?v=nTFEUsudhfs&feature=channel_video_title>.

Laporte, Leo, Sarah Lane, and Andy Ihnatko. “MacBreak Weekly 273 – iTunes Mismatch.” TWiT. TWiT, 15 Nov. 2011. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <http://twit.tv/‌show/‌macbreak-weekly/‌273>.

YouTube. “Educate, engage, and inspire your students with video!” Advertisement. YouTube. Google, 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/‌schools>.

YouTube for Schools: Join the Global Classroom Today! YouTube. Google, 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/‌watch?v=NegRGfGYOwQ&context=C24e0fADOEgsToPDskJGLNSDsDElJpHepZs3KlU6>.

WebOS is now Open Source!

Courtesy of ZDNet

HP has made news, once again, but this time, this is good news! HP’s WebOS is now open source. WebOS was originally developed by Palm, Inc, and it is really became the first known “smartphone OS”. (WebOS is basically a successor to Palm OS, initially developed in 1996 for PDAs. WebOS is the latest living history of the legacy of Palm OS.) Sure we had “Windows Mobile/Pocket PC”, but that was a major fail at best. Over the years, WebOS has proved to be a very solid and simple operating system, creating fans from all over the tech industry.

Of course, HP buys Palm, Inc, along with WebOS. Unfortunately for HP, it couldn’t use WebOS to tackle the iPad nor the buggy Android tablets. To make matters worse, with the coming launch of Windows 8, HP is dedicated to make Windows 8 tablets. So, where did WebOS stand; the tech industry was quite worried about the fate of the beloved operating system. Thankfully, though, HP has made the right decision, in our opinion. WebOS is now open, and this could be big!

Now Android is no longer the only open-source choice for developers and manufacturers. We may now see more WebOS based tablets and phones, and given many think this OS is more stable than Android, it can be a win for consumers. Furthermore, because the OS is now open-source, we may see other developers and/or companies actively developing the OS in the years to come.

While I don’t see this as a sign of death for Android or iOS, I do believe this is a positive thing for consumers. Hopefully, we will have another real competition in the market soon.

Want A Sub-$100, Ice Cream Sandwich Android Tablet Now? Look No Further

     Tech blogs around the web are blowing up about this new found device being debut by none other than MIPS. The Novo7 by Ingenic is portrayed to be the game maker in a world full of sub par, overpriced Android tablets.

     For a long time now Android users have been looking for some saving grace in the tablet market. With overpriced tablets like the Xoom and the Galaxy Tab series and the cheapo, unresponsive, and insulting tablets of the pricing nether-region, the time is well nigh that a cheap, but good, Android tablet appear. And the Novo7 appears to be just that. You should note that we haven’t been able to play with this tablet yet, but we’re told it’s a doozey.

     Even Andy Rubin, Android founder, had a little something to say about what MIPS has done with the ICS laced Novo7:

I’m thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low cost, high performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android’s openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world

     So as it stands right now,  Google has authorized the installation of the stock apps (ie Gmail, Market, etc.) This means there is no need to root the device (although this will most likely happen anyway) and side load all of the essential apps that make Android devices genuine Android devices.

     Still not convinced about how well this tablet is built? Curious for the specs? Take a look at the goods in the press release

          Press Announcement from MIPS

MIPS Technologies and Ingenic Semiconductor Announce

Availability of World’s First Android™ ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ Tablet

1GHz, Low-Power Tablet Sets New Market Standard at Sub-$100 Price Point

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – December 5, 2011MIPS Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: MIPS), a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital home, networking and mobile applications, and Ingenic Semiconductor, a leading China-based CPU provider for mobile multimedia applications, today announced worldwide availability of the world’s first tablet based on Android ™ 4.0, known as ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, that is retailing for less than $100 (U.S). The tablet is powered by Ingenic’s JZ4770 mobile applications processor, which leverages a MIPS-Based™ XBurst™ CPU running at 1GHz.

According to Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile at Google, “I’m thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low cost, high performance tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android’s openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world.”

The new Android 4.0 tablet is available in China and online through Ainol Electronics Co., Ltd. It will be available in the United States and other geographies within the next several months under brands from companies including Leader International Inc. and OMG Electronics Ltd.

The new tablet is available with a 7” capacitive multi-touch screen. 8” and 9” form factors will be available soon. All versions include support for WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3 and microSD, as well as 3D graphics with the Vivante GC860 GPU, 1080p video decoding and dual front/rear cameras. The XBurst processor’s power-efficient architecture provides extended battery life—the 7” tablet draws less than 400mA during active web browsing.

“We are pleased to join with MIPS to announce these breakthrough high-performance, low-power, low-cost Android 4.0 tablets. Combining the elegance of the MIPS architecture and Ingenic’s innovation in processor design, we are bringing a new level of processor technology to mobile devices. As we continue to collaborate with MIPS to broaden the mobile ecosystem around the legendary MIPS architecture, we anticipate even broader proliferation of our devices worldwide. We believe the mobile world will be more versatile and colorful with another processor joining in,” said Qiang Liu, chairman and CEO, Ingenic Semiconductor.

“The openness of Android is enabling a new level of connectedness and interaction between devices and between people across the globe. We are excited to be a part of the Android ecosystem delivering on that vision. We applaud Ingenic’s accomplishment in developing this new high-performance, feature-rich Android 4.0 tablet, and offering it at a price point that makes it widely accessible. We look forward to teaming with Ingenic as it continues to develop MIPS-Based mobile innovations,” said Sandeep Vij, president and CEO, MIPS Technologies.

Ingenic JZ4770 SoC

The Ingenic JZ4770 SoC inside of the new tablet is one of the first MIPS-Based systems-on-chips (SoCs) targeted for mobile devices that delivers 1GHz+ frequency, increasingly a requirement for tablets and other devices that incorporate rich multimedia and high-performance applications/functionality. The JZ4770 SoC is powered by a MIPS32 compatible XBurst CPU designed by Ingenic. The XBurst CPU core adopts an innovative ultra-low-power pipelining architecture which consumes less than 90mW in 1GHz (with L1 cache), and the entire SOC consumes ~250mW with the CPU and video engine operating under full load. In addition to the XBurst CPU, the JZ4770 SoC integrates an optimized 1080p video processing engine, OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics processing unit from Vivante Corp. and numerous on-chip analog and application blocks such as audio codecs and GPS.

Pricing and Availability

Ingenic’s JZ4770 SoC for Android 4.0 tablets is available now. The new Android 4.0 tablet is available in China and online through Ainol Electronics Co., Ltd. at www.ainovo.com. The 7” tablet retails for less than $100 (U.S.) non-subsidized. The tablet will be available in other geographies within the next several months. For more information, visit http://en.ingenic.cn/.

Further details not shown in the release above include a battery lasting 30 hours on standby, 6 hours gaming, 25 hours playing music, 8 hours showing video and 7 hours with web browsing.

Now, now, after all of that being said, I know many of you are still currently thumbing your noses at the very thought of there being a decent Android tablet that could even remotely run the Ice Cream Sandwich flavor of Android smoothly or even at all. But yet it has been done, and it’s currently on sale…in China. Yes we said China, but fret not! A U.S. release (as well as other regions) is expected to occur within the next few months. Until then you always could slap down another $50 on top of the $100 to have one imported here from China.

Before you go, take a look at a promotional video from MIPS that’s currently sitting on YouTube and leave a comment below!

The “Post-PC Era” Debate

I posted this on Engadget editorials: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/03/editorial-its-apples-post-pc-world-were-all-just-living/#disqus_thread
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My former post was a reaction to the title, now my reaction to the post itself. Anybody that reads this can see really see how sad these tech-bloggers are (don’t call them journalists, it will be an insult to real journalists). This whole article reflect exactly on the level of intelligence of Apple-fanboys, and I am afraid to say it has even dropped further.

So you don’t need specs anymore, all you need is “experience”, the ability to have your brain thoroughly washed, and who can wash brains like they do at One Infinite Loop? Josh, if you think these underpowered devices will heal the sick, and the rid the world of hunger you’re in for a surprise. They are devices we use when we want to power-down, to enjoy our break. They are not, and never will be our workhorses. The PCs and the Macs will remain the workhorses. You can keep on dreaming.

And I am tired of this much repeated “Keep it Simple” shit cry. Those are the kind of cries you hear from empty heads who can’t solve simple quadratic equations. You know what, nothing is simple in life. If you can’t compete, you’ll become extinct! That is the rule of life. So we don’t want “look under the hood” anymore? All we want is sit in our car and just drive off. But you know what, it pays to look once in a while under the hood. It makes you technologically astute.

This is why the West has become nations of fools and trailing the East! We don’t want to learn anything, just make it simple, because people are stupid. This is why the East is where the action is today, and their economy is catching up fast to the west. We are lazy people who are afraid to program our VCR, we don’t want know how our TV works, we don’t want change our tires, we don’t want to know how our computer works. “Just make is simple”, yes we make ourselves simple into oblivion.

Serendipity does not go along with simplicity, there is sweat involved. You brain will get fat and soggy if its not challenged. Simplicity breads complacency. Go study world history, great nations die after they reach the apogee of their strength because they become complacent. Commoditization is a sign of complacency. It assumes stupidity. Apple is commoditizing technology, they are not innovating. I for one became an IT worker because I wanted to know how my computer works, and why if it doesn’t. I am not saying we should all be mechanics, but it pays to be aware of how things work. You make a great nation that way.

A look at Android 3.0

It’s CES time again and Google’s released a video about Android 3.0 Honeycomb!

 

Yes, that’s right, Android 3.0 is all about tablets. While there IS android on tablets already, it never really worked out perfectly, and that’s what 3.0 is fixing. Right int he start of the video, you get a quick look at the lock screen, and it sets the mood for what it all looks like. The home screen has a few widgets on it and some icons leading to different apps like gmail and the web. The screen sort of turns to the right, to what looks like another screen for something, it has a few people saying things on Google Talk, and some youtube videos, most likely from a channel they’ve subscribed to. The next screen, at 0:22, looks quite a bit like that new mission control screen Apple showed off last year in their OSX Lion demo, but that could just be a coincidence. From there, it shows you dragging different widgets into your many different home screens.

AndroidLockScreen
A 1-second look at 3.0’s lockscreen?

The web browsing looks a whole lot like google chrome, only with Android 3.0’s dark greyish blue color. And if you’ll believe the video, it loads the internet just as fast as chrome too! After that, it goes to the e-book reader. I’ve never quite understood reading books on a tablet, it just seems like it’ll hurt your eyes after a while, but my grandparents seem into it with their iPad so I won’t say it’s completely useless. The pages turn just like they do on an iPad, only sligltly slower and not very smooth. The gmail app has been made specifically for tablets to make it work better as well. It does seem to work exactly like the email on the iPad though…

EmailApps
Android 3.0 is the one in the corner, and the iPad is the big one. See some similarities?

The youtube app has also been completely re-designing. The video shows a lot of random videos, which is probably what it looks like when you search for videos. Next, some thing about the little green android man standing on the moon. It’s set up just like the actual website, which is great because I don’t like closing out my youtube video to get to everything on the iPad. Google Talk looks like Apple’s Facetime or any other video conference program, and Google Maps has street view and will show the buildings as big grey 3D blocks. Overall, Honeycomb looks like a big upgrade over have 2.0 on a tablet. Would I buy one over an iPad? Well yes, I would, but the decision will be up to you when it comes out.

Microsoft Future Slate vision (2001)=Windows Phone 7 OS

In 2001/2002 Microsoft released a video depicting her vision of how we will be using slates/tablets in ten years.
To commemorate the release of Windows Phone 7 I have uploaded this video for the public at large. What do you think? Apart from the GUI, do you think the vision depicted in this video meets what we are seeing today with Windows Phone 7 OS release?
I have uploaded it to my SkyDrive so you can download it (just 25Mb). Enjoy: http://cid-ecf91c8ccaaa35bf.office.live.com/self.aspx/Public/2001-Microsoft%20Future%20Slate.mp4
Happy new Windows Phone era, welcome Windows Phone 7, go blow them out of the waters! http://www.windowsphone7.com/