Archive | January, 2013

5 must have apps to make your Super Bowl party stand out

31 Jan

For many people across the country Super Bowl Sunday is one of the major holidays of the year. It becomes a day of parties, talking trivia about the past Super Bowls, watching pre-game interviews and then finally the big game itself. For some of these people it is can just be a last minute affair where they call a few friends the day before. For others they spend the entire week planning the perfect party. If you fit in to either one of these categories there are some apps that will help you make your Super Bowl party memorable.

  • Allrecipes is a free app for android-based devices, Kindle Fire, iOS devices and Windows mobile that will help you find the prefect dishes for all of those football fanatics coming over for the big game.

  • At your Super Bowl party there might b times that some of your guests won’t be able to see the television so at those times you can still make sure they keep up on the game with NFL Mobile for both android-based devices and iOS device.

  • If keeping up on the stats and news isn’t enough and you want to be able to see a live streaming video of the game when you can’t be in front of the television then CBS has the app for you. It can be downloaded for either your android-based device or iOS device.

  • While you and your guests are waiting for the game to start you can bone up on your football trivia with SportsPay: NFL trivia for your android-based devices.

  • For some of us our favorite part of any Super Bowl is the ads. If you are one of these people then Super Bowl LVII ads while allow you to watch those commercials again using your android-based device. This app will also let you get the latest Super Bowl news, tweets and find more Super Bowl apps on Google Play.

 

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the Kindle Fire is still the number 2 bestselling tablet

30 Jan

Despite all of the competition of android-based tablets Amazon with there new Kindle Fire HD have won second place behind Apple’s iPad in the tablet race. According to ABIResearch the iPad still holds a 55% to 44% edge over android-based tablets on the domestic market. Out of the 44% share the Kindle Fire family of tablets holds a 56% share domestically and accounts for a third of all android-based tablet sales worldwide.
“Should [Amazon] get the distribution part right, their US success suggests they could quickly dominate the Android tablet market worldwide,” Localytics said.
Despite having the lion’s share of the domestic Amazon hasn’t had much of a presence overseas. The Seattle-based company has only started selling their Kindle Fire in Europe since September giving them a much later start than Google, Samsung and all of the other android retailers. Despite having this late start if they catch on anywhere near the rate they have in the states then we can expect the Kindle Fire to dominate for a long time to come.
While the Seattle-based Amazon holds on to the number 2 spot they must also keep their eyes on the rear-view mirror as the new comer, Google’s Nexus 7, has been showing that it is a force that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The Nexus 7 was launched in June of last year to big fanfare and has since then quickly shot up to the number 3 spot behind the Kindle Fire.
For more on this topic you might try the following:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414779,00.asp
http://www.geekwire.com/2013/kindle-fire-scorching-android-tablet-market-33-share/
http://www.phonearena.com/news/Amazon-Kindle-Fire-owns-the-U.S.-Android-tablet-market-with-a-37-share_id39184
http://gantdaily.com/2013/01/28/kindle-fire-dominates-android-tablet-market-share/

Former Member sues online dating service over stabbing

26 Jan

Every years thousands of people join online dating services hoping to find their perfect match. In 2010 Mary Kay Beckman decided to join those ranks as she signed up at match.com. In September of that year she was paired up with Wade Ridley and they began to date. It didn’t take long for Ms. Beckman to come to the conclusion that the two of them would never be a couple. She broke off the relationship after just 8 dates and went on with her life.

Four months after that September 2010 Ms. Beckman found herself in a life and death struggle when Wade Ridley broke into her house with a knife in his hands. Ridley then charged Ms. Beckkman and stabbed her 10 times. He only stopped when the knife broke. Ms. Beckman though wasn’t dead and managed to survive her wounds. Ridley was subsequently arrested for the attach and later committed suicide.

Two years later ms. Beckman has filed a lawsuit against match.com asking for $10 million claiming that the dating site should be held responsible for her near death experience in early 2011. According to her suit the online company failed to warn her or anyone else that something along these lines could happen.

A spokesperson made the following statement concerning the suit. “What happened to Mary Kay Beckman is horrible but this lawsuit is absurd. The many millions of people who have found love on Match.com and other online dating sites know how fulfilling it is. And while that doesn’t make what happened in this case any less awful, this is about a sick, twisted individual with no prior criminal record, not an entire community of men and women looking to meet each other”.

Match.com’s terms of service do say in large letters that they don’t do background checks and that they are not responsible for the conduct of members. Giving though that not many people read through these terms is this enough to justify their stance that they should in no way be held as a responsible party in this lawsuit?

For more on this topic you might read the follow articles:

 

 

Hardwire gives teachers shields

25 Jan

We all remember the story, that came out of the Sandy Hook school shooting, of how Victoria Leigh Soto used her own body to shield her students. It was a heroic story but it could have been so much happier of an ending if she had a shield to protect her. That is just what Maryland-based Hardwire founder and CEO George Tunis thought after hearing about the school shooting last month. So, he decided that he would use the resources of his company, that provides composite armor plating to the military, to remedy future times that a teacher might find themselves in the same position..

“It’s something I don’t think any American can tolerate anymore, and we’re in a position to do something about it,” said George Tunis, CEO and chairman of Pocomoke City-based Hardwire. “I was like — all right, let’s take everything we got, see what we can throw at this problem, figure out an innovative solution.”

The solution the company came up with is a bulletproof whiteboard. The whiteboard is a portable 18 x 20 inch version of the type you would normally see in the classroom. The one big difference is that with the Hardwire whiteboard is that it has arm-holds on the back and can stop a 9mm bullet at close range. The portable whiteboard only weighs 3.75 pounds making it light enough to carry around the classroom and write on one minute and then use a shield to protect the class if ever needed.

“As teachers are doing their daily lesson plans, it’s in their hands. And if there’s a crisis, it’s in their hands,” Tunis said. “Teachers are not first responders, but sometimes they’re thrust into that role.”

To make sure that the school he sends his children to are protected by this new product he gave 90 of these whiteboards to Worcester Preparatory School in Berlin, Maryland.

The whiteboards are made of the same technology that goes into protecting the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected used in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Hardwire has also used this technologies to protect police with their bulletproof clipboards.

For more on this topice you might try the following articles:

 

Intel is working to improve Stephen Hawking’s communication capabilities

24 Jan

Over the last decade world renowned professor and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s communication skills have been limited to just one word per minute. This has been a growing frustration for the cosmology scientist who has always made his lively giving lectures, teaching classes and dictating books. In 2011 Professor Hawking was able to get in touch with Intel co-founder Gordon Moore to see just what the chipmaker could do to enhance his communication capabilities.

Earlier this month Intel’s CTO (chief technical officer) Justin Rattner told Scientific American that he has been heading up a group working on a new interface that would allow Professor Hawking to increase those capabilities up to anywhere between 5 and 10 words per minute. The interface will use facial recognition to be able to detect more movements than the voluntary cheek movement that the current interface uses.

The current system uses a camera that can detect Professor Hawking’s cheek movements. Those movements are then used to click a cursor that is constantly moving over a virtual keyboard on a computer screen attached to the front of Professor Hawking’s wheelchair. Once an entire sentence is completed a voice amplifier located underneath the wheelchair is activated and speaks that sentence in the computer generated voice.

In 1963 Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with a motor neurone disease that has been slowly robbing him of the use of his body. The deterioration hasn’t slowed professor Hawking as he went on to teach at Cambridge University, give lecture all over the world, dictate a couple of New York Time’s best selling books and even guest star on Star Trek: The Next Generation where he appeared as a hologram playing poker. In 2007 Professor Hawking went from just being a hologram visit outer-space to actually going into space and being the first quadriplegic to experience zero-gravity.

For more on the topic of how Intel is helping professor Hawking you might try:

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/News/Hawkings-best-present-of-all-gift-of-speech-23012013.htm.

 

Sony set to regain its once lofty mobile status

22 Jan

For decades the name Sony was associated with all forms of mobile technology. There reign started in the mid 1950’s and 1960’s with the first transistor radios. Then there was the Walkman and its younger cousin the discman. In the early years of 2000 that reign continued when they merged with Ericsson and they went on to make some of the most innovative smartphones with the addition of cameras and music capabilities. Sadly, that reign ended in late 2007 when Apple’s iPhone came onto the scene and took control of the market. Since then Sony has become a virtual no show in the mobile arena.

Today, Sony is out to make a comeback with a couple of new products that they are counting on to make them a major player in the mobile market. Their new Xperia Z smartphone and tablet lines will possess some of the type of innovations, like water/dust resistance, that brought Sony to the top of the heap all those years ago. So, let’s take a look at some of the features of these new mobile devices.

The Xperia Z smartphone is 5.47”x2.79”x0.31” with a 5” viewable screen that has 1920×1080 HDS resolution. It weights a scant 5.15 ounces making it light enough that it won’t put any strain on your hand when carrying it for a long period of time. Besides being waterproof and dust resistant it is also scratch resistant and shockproof. It will have both a front facing 2MP and a rear facing 13 MP camera. Some of the other internal features include Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage that can be expanded to 32GB with a MicroSD card. It will also be both Bluetooth and NFC capable.

The Xperia Z tablet is a 10.1-inch tablet with 1920×1200 resolution and is thinner than the iPad mini at a scant 0.28”. It is powered by a 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon processor running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). It will have an 8.1 MP camera and be NCF capable.

For more on this topic you might try the following articles:

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Sharp slows production of 9.7-inch iPad screens

21 Jan

In an exclusive report Friday Reuters reported that Sharp’s Kameyama plant in Japan has cut their production of the 9.7-inch Apple iPad screens. Spokespeople for Sharp didn’t give a definite reason for the 40% decline in production leaving many to speculate. Could simply be as one analyst has suggested a post-holiday slump? Could Apple products be losing out to its competition? Is there just more demand for the smaller iPad mini? Or might it be something else all together?

“The March quarter is almost always weaker than the December quarter,” said Shaw Wu, analyst for Sterne Agee, adding that Apple also consolidates suppliers of certain components during quarters with weaker demand. “The Korean manufacturers are more efficient and typically have lower costs.”

The Korean manufacturers he refers to in the statement are LG and Samsung, who also make a share of the screens for iPads and some of Apple, Inc other mobile devices. LG carries the largest share of production and hasn’t seen a decline suggesting that Mr. Wu might be making an accurate analysis of the situation.

Since the latest version of the iPad lacks the wow factor of the previous iPad3 with its retina display it could be speculated that people are sticking with the iPad3 instead of purchasing the iPad4. Another reason that could have also turned people is there has been more competition entering the 10-inch tablet market with both Microsoft and Google coming out with their own branded tablets.

With the popularity of the Kindle Fire last year Apple came out with their own smaller tablet called the iPad mini. It might be that since the people that would normally be rushing out to buy the latest full-sized iPad have decided that since Apple sees a future in the smaller tablet market that they are opting to go with the mini instead of its large brother.

It is also possible that it is none of the above it could be that the market place is just too flooded with tablets and Apple is just the first company to see the temporary downturn.

For more on the downturn in the iPad screen production you might read the following:

 

 

Royal Edinburgh Military Tatoo

19 Jan

Today, the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo is is Scotland’s biggest, best-selling spectacle, attracting an international audience each year of some 217,000 people and seen by almost 100 million people in 30 countries. 63 years ago the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo was just a display consisting of three groups; The Royal Scots, The Highland Light Infantry and the Woman’s Royal Army Corp; as they marched and played with the Edinburgh Castle as the backdrop. The following year of 1950 saw the first incarnation of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo as the event grew to having 8 participating groups. In the 62 years since the first Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo it has grown to be the grand event that we see today were almost two dozen international group come to Edinburgh, Scotland every August.
The military tattoo dates back almost four hundred years when the Scottish regiments were part of the Dutch mercenary troops. They would march out at night and beat on drums to let the tavern owners know it time to turn off the taps and send the soldiers back to the barracks for the night. In later years when military complexes became more self contained the nightly patrol of the troops has become more of a ceremony announcing the end of the day. That ceremony has since become known as the military tattoo or tap toe.
When you do see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo you are witness to a sight you won’t forget as the hush of night falls over Edinburgh Castle, the gates and drawbridge open. The sounds of bagpipes and drums fill the air as meshed soldiers march out across the castle drawbridge followed by two of the most well known heroes in Scottish history, Robert of Bruce and Sir William Wallace. The audience is then regaled with daredevil motorcyclist, fireworks, highland dancing, music and precession marching of the international troops. When the spectacle winds down, and the audience is still in awe of all that they have just witness, we hear a voice shout through the crowds saying “Will ye no come back again’?”. Once the question is ask a might roar of the crowd answers “Oh, yes and very soon.”
There are many other things to see and do while you are in Edinburgh taking in the Royal Military Tattoo. One of those is to visit Edinburgh Castle itself and take in some of the rich history of Edinburgh Castle as well as the Monarchy of Scotland. Once there you can view the history of Edinburgh castle that goes back over 2,000 years when archaeologist say the first human settlement inhabited the area around the rock that now houses Edinburgh Castle. It isn’t until 1130 A.D when there David I builds the first Castle on the site and dedicates it to his mother Queen Margret. Afte3r Edinburgh Castle was built it became the royal residence for the next 500 years seeing many invasions, such as, the taking of the Castle in 1296. Edinburgh Castle was last occupied by a monarch in 1633 by Charles I right before he was crowned the King of Scotland.
If you are one for all the gory details of Scotland’s history you might visit the Edinburgh Dungeon where you can buy a ticket to tour the dungeon, hear about the bloody 500 year history and take 2 frighting rides. While there you just might meet up with the ghost of one of the many prisoners that have been housed in the walls of Edinburgh Dungeon. One of those ghost might be Sir William Wallace, of Braveheart fame, who was held there before being put through a grizzly torture and death.

Current Intel CEO Paul Otellini says the future of PCs are tablets

19 Jan

In 1965 the eyes of the electronic community turned to the Intel Corporation when its co-founder George E. Moore wrote a paper making a prediction that the number of transistors would double approximately every year for atleast the next ten years. That prediction later became know as Moore’s law and has stayed fairly true even to this day. Yesterday, another prediction came out of the Intel corporation when the current CEO Paul Otellini said that the PC (personal computer) is transforming into tablets.
“We are in the midst of a radical transformation of the computing experience with the blurring of form factors and adoption of new user interfaces. It’s no longer necessary to choose between a PC and a tablet. Convertibles and detachables combined with Windows 8 and touch provide a 2-for-1, no-compromise computing experience.” Paul Otellini said.
Even though some companies, like Microsoft with Windows 8, have already bet their future on tablets taking over this is still a significant statement. It shows that even though Intel still leads the world in processors for PCs they realize that they must makes a switch to making processors for the mobile market.
In November of last year Mr. Otellini announced that he would be leaving Intel after there annual board meeting in May of 2013. Mr. Otellini has been with the company since 1974 and has held several positions in the company before taking the reigns in 2008. Earlier this month Mr. Otrellini gave his last report on the annual profits of the company. According to that report the profits for the previous year were down 15% mostly contributed to the decline of the PC.
For more on Paul Otellini’s statements on the future of computers you should try the following:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-57564603-92/intel-ceo-the-pc-is-shape-shifting-into-a-tablet/

The NRA takes criticism for new gaming app

16 Jan

When it comes to guns regulations and safety the NRA has always taken lots of criticism (some of which is deserved) on their standings. Even when their spokespeople make a comment that most people agree with at the time it usually ends up in criticism of the gun rights organization. Such is the case of when, after the Sandy Hook school shootings, the NRA came out against violent video games and then a video game came out Monday called the NRA practice range.
The game is released by MEDL mobile, Inc. is said to be officially licensed by the NRA even though the NRA hasn’t confirmed or denied the statement. Currently it is only available at the Apple app store for Iphone and Ipad. The game has three different shooting gallery backgrounds an indoor range like the ones you would see at any gun club or police station, an outdoor gallery with pop up targets and skeet shooting. The game app also does include shooting safety tips and links to the NRA website where you can find out about gun safety and legislation.
“It’s outrageous. The NRA never seems to be able to amaze me,” said Joel Faxon, a member of Newtown’s Police Commission, who described himself as a longtime gun owner
One of the biggest criticisms of the NRA though isn’t that the app seems to be contrary to their stand on violent video games but the release date of the app. The app came out January 14, 2013 exactly one month over the December 14, 2012 shooting at the Newtown, Connecticut school. Since Apple has to approve all apps before they get place in the app store it might have been submitted at an earlier date. “We’re both speculating if we try to guess whether NRA and the developer had this in their back pocket, waiting for the right time, or whether the release date is mere accident,” Ian Bogost, Professor of interactive computing at the Georgia Instatute of Technology said. “It’s also not clear exactly how involved the NRA was in its release. The game seems to have been an officially licensed NRA product, but that might just mean that the developer had the rights to use the NRA name.”
The app itself is free to download but there is some in-app purchasing if you want different guns to use in target shooting.