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Archive for April, 2011

Mac vs. PC: A Hunch Rematch

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Really interesting infographic of some of the differences between a PC Person and a Mac Person over at the hunch.com blog.

Some highlights:

Mac users tend to live in cities
PC users live mostly in the suburbs or rural areas

Mac Users are partial to San Pellegrino Limonata and Boylan’s Root Beer
PC users opt for Orange Crush, Pepsi, or Jolt Cola

Mac users drink Cabernet Sauvignon and Chianti
PC users drink White Zinfandel and Chardonnay

Mac users top web sites are Apartment Therapy, HuffPo, and Boing Boing (shout out to Cory Doctrow and Xeni Jardin!)
PC users favorite sites I Can Haz Cheeseburger, CNN, and Go Fug Yourself

Mac people are 80% for likely than PC people to be vegetarian.

Read more:

 Mac vs. PC: A Hunch Rematch.

Categories: Mac, Tech, Windows

All That Is Interesting – The First Zombie-Proof House

April 27, 2011 2 comments

Wow. Just, wow. It’s located outside of Warsaw, Poland, BTW.

All That Is Interesting – The First Zombie-Proof House.

Michaelangelo’s David returned to Italy after 2 year stay in the USA

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

After being on loan for the last two years in the US, Michaelangelo’s David is being returned to Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademi. The Italian curators were furious to see the condition of the statue upon return. See for yourself:

Test Drive – Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7″ model

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

samsung galaxy tab frontback-640pxAs some of you know, I’ve been testing out a number of different tablets for work. I have an iPad (1st Generation), a Motorola Xoom, and a Samsung Galaxy (7 inch) Tab. I want to give you my initial impressions as well as a description of the hardware. As always, The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The Hardware Specs:

Platform
Band: UMTS + GSM(850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
HSDPA 7.2Mbps/HSUPA 5.76Mbps/3G/EDGE/GPRS Class 10 Data Speed

OS: Android 2.2(Froyo) OS
Battery: Up to 37 Hours(2G), Up to 18 Hours(3G)* standard Talk time
Up to 1,810 Hours(2G), Up to 1480 Hours(3G)* standard Standby time
4,000mAh standard battery capacity

Music & Sound: Music Player(MP3/AAC/AAC+/e-AAC+/WMA/AMR/MIDI/WAV/IMY)\

Internal Memory: User memory: 16GB

External memory: Support microSDHC™ memory card(up to 32GB)

Size: Handset weight: 380g
Handset size(H x W x D): 199.09 x 120.45 x 11.98mm

Camera: 3.0 Mega-pixel Camera

Messaging: SMS/MMS
Email available

Display: TFT(C-Type) Full Touch Internal Display
WSVGA(1,024 x 600) Internal display resolution
7.0″ Internal display size

Video: Video player(H.263/H.264/3GP/MPEG4/WMV/DivX/Xvid)
Video recorder(1280 x 720 pixel(30fps))

Connectivity: Bluetooth(V3.0, HS(A2DP/AVRCP))
USB 2.0
Internet HTML Browser(Android browser™)

Software Included
Swype ThinkFree Office (Office suite)
Kobo Book reader (Book reader)
Gmail (Email Client)
Google Latitude (Location based social network)
Google Maps (Map app)
Google Talk (Chat Client)
MobileTV (Streaming TV)
Mobile Jukebox (Cloud based music player)
Android Market (App Marketplace)
Daily Briefing (RSS/Newspaper reader)
Readers Hub (Combination book reader/Newspaper Reader/Magazine Reader
Navigon (GPS app)
YouTube (Videos)
Flash 10.1 (Rich multimedia content for the web)

Software recommended
DocumentsToGo (Office Suite)
Google Goggles (Visual search – really cool)
Dropbox (Cloud and desktop base storage solutions)
Evernote (Cloud based note taking)
Seek Droid (Device Tracking software)
Amazon App store (Another app distribution channel)

First impressions
Since the tablet is based on the Samsung Galaxy phone, everything about the tablet screams “PHONE ON STEROIDS.” The simple fact is that the only difference is a larger screen. The tablet acts like a phone, thinks it’s a phone, looks like phone. That being said, there is some benefit to the stable platform on a larger (but not too large) screen.

The apps are responsive and I like that there is more real estate on the screen. I also like the Froyo OS, it’s stable and familiar to use. There are handy widgets (akin to Windows desktop widgets – shows you a glimpse of the particular app the widget is associated with, weather, mail, news headlines, sports scores, etc.), and cross-platform (eg, available on both Android and iOS) apps so the learning curve isn’t so daunting.

One of my favorite Android features that is currently not available for iOS is Swype. It’s an input method that eliminates the need to hunt and peck and allows you to simply swipe your finger across the screen. I took about 1/2 a day to get used to it but it rocked after I got the hang of it. See video below.

I found that while I had larger tablets at my disposal, I found myself reaching for this “tweener” tablet more than I thought. It’s perfect for sending and reading emails, chatting, reading e-books, playing games, watching movies and following agendas for meetings. It isn’t ideal for taking notes, or working on spreadsheets. I also found it odd that there isn’t a built in screen capture system, like the iOS. That’s a useful tool that should be a part of the Android app repertoire.

As a result, I would shy away from this tablet if you’re looking to use this in the work environment. If you want an entry level tablet, want it for chatting, reading, surfing, playing, this could be a viable option. It would prove frustrating to use in meetings and would not be of any use for presentations (you need a dock, an HDMI cable and an DAC adapter to convert HDMI to VGA) due to the complexity of the setup.

*** for personal use
* 1/2* for business use

*note* I normally jailbreak my iOS devices. I plan on rooting this device in the near future to see what root access will allow me to do.

Here’s the video about Swype:

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood: Screen-Free Week and Me

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Screen Free WeekSo a friend of mine on Facebook just completed her “Screen Free Week” and I was curious about it so I asked her to explain what it was. She directed me to a link (I’ve shared below). As with the poster, I would have no problem with giving up the TV; however, the computer and the internet has become a greater distraction than TV ever was. I have it at work as well as home and all it takes to be tweeting and checking up on your Facebook friends is a simple aggregator like HootSuite or TweetDeck.

Having just finished 6 weeks of no tweets or Facebook (for Lent), I won’t do this right now; however, I plan on trying this next month. There will be SOME changes to the screen free week he describes. As an IT Director, it is nigh near impossible to work without a screen; moreover, I have a presentation and a discussion on different tablets I’m testing out for the Department. As a result, I will attempt to (when the time comes) to:

  1. Avoid all screen time at home (unless there is a work emergency that requires my attention)
  2. Avoid superfluous screen activity at work (e.g., blogging, tweeting, checking out ESPN) and limit it to the web sites and applications critical for my position.
  3. Read a non-digital book.

One of his passages really resonated with me. He states:

…but Twitter definitely has its hooks in me. I get lost clicking from tweets to news and commentary. And then there’s commentary on the commentary and before you know it, wow – is it really midnight? I swore I’d be in bed by ten.

It’s an identical scene at home as I drag myself up to bed 2 hours after I promised myself I would and subsequently be a bleary eyed mess in the morning. I don’t like that and while I don’t think that I can be screen free at home forever, taking a week off won’t be a bad thing. can you all do it? A lot of you are like me, turned off by the constant stream of drivel that comes out of TV but rationalizing the internet as being active rather than passive. The fact is, it’s still sitting on your ass and not interacting with PEOPLE but rather 0’s and 1’s. I’m not sure we can do it; but I’m gonna give it one hell of a try.

Come join me…

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood: Screen-Free Week and Me.

Old PC Ads from the 1970’s

April 23, 2011 4 comments

To recycle the old Virginia Slims tagline – “you’ve come a long way, baby!”

Old PC Ads (from techrepublic.com)

The last ad features a teenager named Ralph Lipe (see duplicate image below) who went on to be a University of Texas at Austin CS grad who worked with Microsoft developing technologies that are still in use today.

TRS-80 Ralph Lipe
TRS-80 Ralph Lipe
Categories: Humor, Other, Tech

How Apple tracks your location without consent, and why it matters

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

In the iconic 1984 ad by Ridley Scott,  Apple tried to show that they wanted to free the mewling masses from Big Brother’s intrusions and oppressions. Ironically, 27 years later, they are supplying the means to provide that very information that Orwell railed against in his dystopian vision. Shame on you, Apple.

How Apple tracks your location without consent, and why it matters.

iPhone Tracker image

Update (04/21/2011 11pm): I downloaded the program mentioned in the article iPhone Tracker and sure enough, it shows where I’d been since I got the iPhone. I have nothing to hide so perhaps it’s a moot point; nevertheless, it’s a “feature” I would hope Apple remedies soon. (special thanks to Kay Harbach who yammed about this on Yammer)

Update (04/22/2011): According to this blog post by the fine people at F-Secure, the location information gets sent to Apple twice a day, presumably to update their global location database, the same type of database Google collected when they were driving around for Google Street View. Instead of using cars to accumulate the data (which is expensive), Apple is using you and me, as iPhone owners, to collect the data for them. Seeing as they are perhaps violating my privacy as well as using me as a tool for their benefit, I want to send them a bill.  Hey Jobs! Geolocate this, jerk!

Update (04/23/2011): Android collects the same data and transmits it to Google. The danger is magnified in the Apple iOS though because the back up resides, unencrypted, on your hard drive when you sync. Android has no mechanism (though the information is sent to Google since your device is linked to your Google account) to sync and backup locally to your PC.

Categories: Mac, Tech Tags: , , , ,