Mercredi 18 mai 2011

$25 Computer in order to attract Kids into Programming

With the actual cost estimated at around $200, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project may be nowhere near its $100 target. However, game developer David Braben's (of Transport Tycoon and Kinectimals fame) endeavour, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, aims to achieve much more at a fraction of the OLPC's cost by deploying its ULPC (Ultra Low-cost PC) for $25.

The specifications are impressive desp lievably low price. What looks like a naked USB stick actually holds a 700 MHz ARM11 processor mated to 128MB of SDRAM. The yet unnamed ULPC may not match up to current-gen cutting edge tablets and smartphones with 1GHz dual-core processors, but to put things in perspective, the iPhone 3G was outfitted with a 412MHz version of the same ARM11 CPU. The very spartan product website fails to mention the fact that the ULPC includes Wi-Fi connectivity and web browser, as confirmed by Braben through a tweet.


No details available on the GPU, but the ultra low-cost PC supports OpenGL ES 2.0 standard, capable of delivering 1080p video through the attached HDMI port. An HDMI port may sound counter-intuitive, considering the PC will inevitably be targeted at developing countries, but it makes sense from a design perspective as adding an analogue video interface requires a bulky and costly digital to analogue conversion chipset.

The pint size computer also features a USB 2.0 port that can be used to hook up keyboards, mice, and other peripherals through an external powered USB hub. Storage is addressed with cheap and ubiquitous flash-based SD memory, accessible through the attached SD card slot. Early prototype images hint at expansion in the form of additional modules that can be attached through a ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) connector, such as the camera module visible in these snaps.

The Raspberry Pi is capable of running Linux, which should help keep costs low and make it versatile enough to handle word processing, video, and web browsing. However, going by Braben's statements, his ULPC may not be a rival to the OLPC project. The usual approach to computers in education has followed the ICT format that trains kids in superficial computer applications such as word processing, presentations, and basic computer operational skills. In contrast, with the Raspberry Pi's predilection towards Linux, Braben wants kids to delve deeper into programming and computer science. In a nutshell, learning how stuff works, rather than just learning how to work stuff.

This philosophy is further bolstered in a possible application postulated by Braben in a YouTube interview: "In theory, they could be given away to the child, with other ways of funding it. What they would do with it is, they would be able to engage in a lot of things that we're all consumers of but not actually creators of: understanding how you put together little scripts that might run websites, that might look at things like Facebook and Twitter, also email." It seems that Braben fully intends to venture a step further than the OLPC.

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Par qiuchangliu - 4 commentaire(s)le 18 mai 2011
Mercredi 11 mai 2011

Adobe photoshop will be applied on the ipad

Fresh off last week's release of Creative Suite 5.5, Adobe today released three Photoshop companion apps for iPad.

Available now in the App Store for purchase, Adobe Eazel, Nav, and Color Lava cost between $1.99 and $4.99 and require Adobe Photoshop CS5 (v12.0.4).

Until the release of Creative Suite 5.5, which added iPad support to Photoshop, Adobe customers haven't been able to take advantage of integration. All that changes today.

Adobe Eazel

The most expensive app, Adobe Eazel ($4.99) lets customers paint with their fingertips, with support for both "wet" and "dry" paints. Users can send their iPad-based paintings to Photoshop CS5 for additional composting.

With Adobe Color Lava ($2.99), creative professionals can mix colors by hand to create custom swatches and themes-those, too, can be transferred back to Photoshop for desktop use.

Finally, customers can use their iPad as a wireless input surface using Adobe Nav ($1.99). This includes creating new files, opening existing files, and accessing (16) frequently used Photoshop tools. The prospect of using your iPad as second screen for Photoshop is sure to attract further developer attention.

Thanks to Adobe's new Photoshop Touch software development kit, which allows developers to create mobile apps that interoperate with Photoshop, these companion applications represent the first batch of apps with the promise of many more to come. While the first three products are iPad-exclusive, the development platform isn't limited to iOS. A new scripting engine, Adobe Photoshop Touch SDK, opens the platform to both Android and Blackberry tablets.

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Par qiuchangliu - 0 commentaire(s)le 11 mai 2011
Samedi 07 mai 2011

iPhone OS updates may soon come wirelessly

iPhone users generally have things pretty good - varied selection of apps, solid data service, seamless connectivity with most computers. What iPhone users do not have is the ability to wirelessly update their operating system. Until now! (Maybe.) Over at the usually-reliable tech site 9 to 5 Mac, Mark Gurman reports that Apple and Verizon are in the process of bringing this functionality to the iPhone, perhaps as soon as this fall.

As Gurman notes, wireless updates are already commonplace in the Android ecosystem, and why not? It's easier and simpler to push updates directly to handsets - much easier than the current Apple set-up, which requires users to sync up their iPhone with iTunes. Gurman says it is unclear whether or not Apple is negotiating a similar wireless functionality with AT&T; right now, it looks like Verizon users would get the feature first.

"Obviously, if this is a feature in iOS 5, it should conceivably make its way to iPad and iPod touches as well," Gurman writes. "That means iTunes may no longer be a needed conduit for updating iOS devices in the future. It would also mean that the iPad could finally be a stand alone device." This last point is especially important: Right now, iPad users must own a laptop or desktop computer to get the most out of their iPads.

Wireless updates would change that.

But as Lance Whitney notes over at CNET, wireless updates would also present some unique challenges. "[U]pdating an iPhone through iTunes first syncs the contents of the device to the PC as a precaution in the event the update fails," Whitney writes. "If an update were to bypass iTunes, people would need some other way to back up and sync their devices, perhaps through some sort of cloud-based system.

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Par qiuchangliu - 0 commentaire(s)le 07 mai 2011
Mercredi 04 mai 2011

Proporta Leather Protective Case with Standing for iPad 2 – Accessory Review

I've been to a number of meetings recently where the majority of attendees arrive with iPads in tote and the one thing everyone has in common is a nice case. If you've already got your new iPad 2, are waiting for it to arrive in the mail or looking to buy one in the near future, you'll definitely need a good case to protect your device from the bumps and scratches of everyday use. UK based Proporta might have just the case you've been looking for with its high quality, professional looking Leather Protective Case with Stand.

This notebook style case is made from the highest quality black leather and holds your iPad 2 securely in place, whether you are at the desk in your office or on the couch at home. Installation is easy, requiring you to slide your iPad into position, fold the leather flap behind it and you are ready to go.

Proporta's case incorporates several nice features for any iPad 2 user. When open, the iPad sits on the right hand side with a notepad for notes or doodling on the left. The case also provides cutouts for access to all the iPad 2's ports, buttons and cameras. A built-in stand is easy to setup by bending the case backwards and standing it horizontally on a table or desk - a real plus for watching movies.

The thin profile adds minimal bulk to the overall design of the case, allowing users to slip their device into a briefcase, backpack or large handbag. All packed up and ready to go? A small leather strap and heavy duty snap keep your case securely closed and your iPad thoroughly protected.
Proporta guarantees its users a lifetime warranty for their case, a "never argue" return policy, a secure payment and personal information policy.

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Par qiuchangliu - 2 commentaire(s)le 04 mai 2011
Mercredi 27 avril 2011

The perfect case protect your iPad unlike anything else

If you like iPad 2 accessories, then the number of available cases for your device will never let you down. Some cases are designed just to make your iPad look better, but others (like the one in this brief review) are made to protect and help make it easier to use your device on the road.

The USB ONLINE case fits snugly around your iPad -- so far, nothing overly different from other cases on the market. Where the USB ONLINE excels is a neat rotating hand grip on the back of the case. Simply slip your hand through the elastic strap, and you can hold your iPad with just one hand and rotate it in any angle you want. The rotating rear also doubles as a stand, allowing you to place your iPad on a flat surface and angle it up a couple of degrees for watching movies. The whole construction feels very solid, and even when you shake your arms around, your iPad won't budge.

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Par qiuchangliu - 0 commentaire(s)le 27 avril 2011
Samedi 23 avril 2011

Microsoft: 350 million Win7 licenses sold in 18 months

Microsoft has announced that Windows 7 has sold more than 350 million licenses so far, meaning it is still the fastest-selling operating system. Windows 7 has been available to the masses for 18 months.

"We've done a lot in the last 18 months that improves upon the experience people have on their PCs with Windows 7," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement. "We launched Windows Live Wave 4 (which included Windows Live Essentials 2011 and enhancements to Hotmail), released the first service pack for Windows 7, and recently launched Internet Explorer 9. And we’re hard at work on further innovation for Windows. At CES this year we announced the next version of Windows will support System on a Chip (SoC) and last week at MIX11 we released the first platform preview to developers for Internet Explorer 10."

Windows 7 actually grabbed 20 percent of the market at the end of 2010. Between January and December 2010, Windows XP fell almost 10 percentage points to 56.72 percent market share, Windows Vista lost over five percentage points to 12.11 percent, and Windows 7 gained over 13 percentage points, pushing it to 20.87 percent.

In March 2011, Windows 7 had 24.17 percent of the market. By the end of this month, I would expect Windows 7 to pass the 25 percent market share mark, meaning one in four users would be using Microsoft's latest and greatest. Meanwhile, Windows Vista is on its way to falling below the 10 percent mark and Windows XP should soon drop below 50 percent.

Three months after release, Microsoft said more than 60 million Windows 7 licenses were sold. At the 15 month mark, the company had sold 300 million licenses. This means Microsoft was selling some 20 million licenses per month, although today's number means that sales have slowed down a tad. Still, back to school season is coming up, followed by the holiday shopping frenzy, so the company may be able to get that number back up.

If you're already on Windows 7, you should check out our guides for Microsoft's latest operating system. If you haven't upgraded to it yet, tell us why in the comments below.

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Par qiuchangliu - 1 commentaire(s)le 23 avril 2011
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