Touch as a form of input for a computer system is rather old although most people regard it as a new technology. It was even around long before the move to flat display panels happened. These touch input methods were often very rudimentary, but they got the job done. If all you needed was to hit a button on a screen for a point of sale system then making a matrix that could detect this was not that complicated. As the technology developed it split into different facets. One of them, the touch screen, is what you most often hear about when someone talks about touch. It is this that Microsoft and others are talking about when they say touch is the future. I say they are wrong.
Apple just will not give up in trying to get out of the pickle they are in over price fixing eBooks. Despite some pretty convincing evidence that Steve Jobs put together a new agency model with Apple at the head they are still claiming that Apple did nothing wrong. They are now trying to claim that the price of eBooks went down after their agreements with five publishers. They are also trying to throw the original publishers under the bus claiming they were already trying to hurt eBook sales long before Apple got involved.
Back at CES 2013 we had the chance to stop by the nVidia booth in the LVCC to take a look at nVidia’s Shield mobile gaming system. It was an interesting demo and the concept was… shall we say interesting. What we saw was a small devices that looked like an Xbox controller on steroids with a flip up screen. Inside was a new generation of nVidia’s Tegra running an optimized version of Android. The idea is that with this one product you can access gaming content from three sources; Google Play, Tegra Zone and even Steam in the future.
It seems that the French could be making some changes to the way they handle copyright law when it comes to movies, TV, Music and other titles. Although they admit that piracy is a problem they are joining a growing number of countries and governments that are concerned about the way the entertainment industry is dictating laws. Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of protest group La Quadrature du Net recently commented on this saying: “The government will be judged on its ability to resist the harmful influence of the entertainment industry to whom the conception of policies has been delegated by the governments one after the other.”
If you thought it was bad that AT&T dropped the price on HTC’s Facebook centric phone to $0.99 in less than a month you haven’t heard anything yet. It is not only consumer acceptance of the Facephone that Facebook gets to look forward to. There is also a problem with the Facebook Home App despite Facebook’s claims that it has been downloaded one Million times. I seems that Facebook cannot catch a break when it comes to mobile.
Samsung has announced a breakthrough in cellular technology that should help us get to 1Gbps on a cellular network by 2020. The new network is, of course, going to be called 5G and represents a huge improvement over current data transmission rates. What is interesting about the announcement is that we are now seeing a similar technology available in the form of 802.11ac for the home. Does Samsung’s break through show how cellular and traditional wireless have become the same technology?
In our second installment on wearable computing we will talk about why the timing is right for a new class of device and the steps that have been taking to bring them to the market. As we mentioned in part one we have been moving toward more portable yet functional forms of mobile computing. Along the way we go through a two distinct steps while these products get smaller. Step one is the companion or connected device and step two is the move to make these smaller product stand on their own.
Mobile devices are great. All of us use them in the form of phones, MP3/4 players, tablets laptops etc. The problem with a large majority of them is that they never seem to have enough storage to do everything you want. To combat this trend some manufacturers have started dropping in large capacity HDDs, but to keep inside the expected power curve these drives are very slow and end up slowing the system down as well. The alternative of dropping in a Solid State Drive can speed things up, but can also leave you with limited storage space unless you spend a ton of money. Kingston came up with an interesting little concept that takes care of the storage problem and also gives you some high-speed storage that you can move between your portable device and your desktop. So let’s take a look at the 512GB Kington HyperX Predator USB 3.0 thumbdrive.
Microsoft will never learn it seems. On top of making core changes to their OS there are now trying to spin those changes as simply responding to customer feedback. The problem with this stance is that this feedback has been around since before the launch of Window 8 and Microsoft not only ignored it, but told the critics that they would get used to it. Microsoft also ignored the feedback that their Modern UI was going to look like a mobile OS on anything that had a keyboard and a mouse; they ignored this too. In short Microsoft can try to spin their way out of their admission of failure, but no one is buying it.
The saga of Gordon Freeman is one that is legendary in the gaming world. The original Half Life represented a significant shift in the way that games were designed. Valve put an enormous amount of thought and time into the development of Half Life and then did it all again with Half Life 2. Fans ate up the new set and characters hungrily and once they were done with that helping they sat at the table waiting for more. Sadly, after a few mini-games called episodes Gordon Freeman has dropped off the face of the Earth. We have not heard anything about him and his famous crowbar in a number of years.