Archive | August, 2014

Will Apple super-size the iPad

28 Aug

According to the latest rumor making it way around the web, Apple is about to become the second manufacturer to enter into the ‘super tablet’ market. Apple’s entry into this new category will be 12.9-inch behemoth iPad that is rumored to make its debut in first quarter of next year.

The Reason for going to a larger iPad can be directly attributed to the the lagging sales that the company has been experiencing over the 2nd and 3rd quarters of this year. While they still remain the leader in tablet sales with a 26.9% share of the market that is down from the 33% they held a year earlier.

The size of the new iPad won’t be the only change the company is making to their icon tablet. The super-sized iPad will also support a split-screen so that the tablet will be able to run two apps at the same time making it more business friendly than previous iPads. While a split-screen isn’t a new concept to the tablet world it is too the iPad.

Apple making their iPad more business friendly is directly connect to their new alliance with IBM. According to the terms of the partnership IBM will be recommending Apple device and developing enterprise apps. This is a big change for IBM who legitimized the PC when they became the first real competition to Apple in 1981 with the IBM 5150.

The larger iPad is the second time that Apple, Inc has made a size change of their tablet. In October of 2012 the company joined the small tablet market with the 7.9-inch iPad mini. When Apple came out with the iPad mini they were the late comers to a new market that android-based tablets, lead by the Kindle Fire, had all to themselves.

Other than the size and the split-screen not much is know about the rumored larger iPad.

More articles on this topic worth reading:

Microsoft reduces the price of the Surface 2

27 Aug

Yesterday Microsoft revealed that the are slashing 100 dollars off of the price tag for all three versions of their Surface 2 tablet/laptop hybrid. The price reduction comes just in time for the final round of back-to-school shopping. With the price temporary price reduction coming so close to the begging of the school it kind of makes us wonder if there might be another reason, such as, discontinuation of the surface rt line or just try to move old stock for a yet to be announced model.

Earlier this year Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3 to replace the Surface Pro 2. At the same time there was no replacement for the Surface 2 RT and the Surface mini, would have run Windows RT, that was so highly touted was canceled Those two things along with comments made by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella about merge Windows Mobile and Windows RT into one version could mean that the RT line of the Surface might go on hiatus if not outright discontinued.

According to rumors posted on the news blog Digitimes there could be a Surface 3 RT coming in October. If those rumors are true then an official announcement could come in a media event in either late September or early October when Microsoft will supposedly announce the the beta release of the highly anticipated Windows Threshold/9.

No matter the reason one thing for certain is that until September 27, 2014 you will be able to purchase at the Microsoft store either 32GB, 64GB or 64GB LTE versions of the Surface 2 for $349, $449 or $580 respectfully. Each of versions comes with a 10.6-inch display with 1920×1080 1080p resolution, 2GB RAM, the Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, both a 3.5-megapixel front and a 5-megapixel rear-facing cameras and run Windows 8.1 RT. You will though need to purchase the keyboard cover separately that will be an additional $110 dollars. Microsoft also offers a bundle package where you can purchase the keybord, a gift card for Microsoft’s app store, an extended warranty and carrying sleeve extra savings over buying them separately.

Even smartphones are taking the ice bucket challenge

24 Aug

Carrie Underwood used a front loader, Russell Wilson did it on top of the Space Needle, Kermit the Frog did it in the woods and now both the HTC one and Lumina 930 smartphones have done it. What is it? The ice bucket challenge to raise funds for ALS disease.

On Friday the front office at South Korean-based posted a YouTube video showing their Galaxy S5 taking the ice bucket challenge. When the video start the S5 introduce itself and announces what is about to come. Then after commenting on how cold the water is it challenged the HTC One M8, the Lumina 930 and the iPhone 5s.

Yesterday a video appeared, on Schannel on YouTube, that had both HTC One M8 and Lumia 930 accepting the challenge. The iPhone 5s was conspicuously absent from that video but they did take the challenge in a separate YouTube video. The iPhone did not comment on whether the it did not want to associate with the HTC and Lumina smartphones or just could not make it in time to participate. Which ever of these was the case it was a pleasant surprise to see all three of these smartphones take up the challenge made by their South Korean-based rival.

One of the reason behind Samsung starting this series of challenges is that they wanted show off their waterproofing that is certified at 3 feet for 30 minutes. Having their smartphone take the ice bucket challenge that has become a phenomenon on YouTube proved to be a perfect vehicle. The South Korean-based company did not just do it for publicity they also donated an undisclosed amount to the British Motor Neurone Disease Association to aid in research for disease.

The ALS ice-bucket-challenge videos have become a big sensation over the last month raising millions of dollars for research in finding a cure for this debility disease. ALS is aslo known as Lou Gehrig disease after is shortened the career of New York Yankee slugger Lou Gehrig. The disease slowly robs the body of all motor skills and eventually death of the victims.

Other articles on this topic:

UPS stores suffer a security bre3ach

22 Aug

According to a report by the Associated Press 51 UPS (United Parcel Service) stores in 24 states suffered security breaches that compromised the personal data of around 100,000 customers over a 7 ½ period. The United States Department of Homeland Security alerted UPS to this breach on July 31. UPS immediately hired a security firm to go through their 4.460 franchised stores where it was discovered that just over 1% of the stores were infected with malware.

All of the malware was purged from the stores by August 11, 2014. During the clean up it was determined that the stores were first infected on or around January 20, 2014 where it was collecting address, credit and debit card information and customer names. UPS posted a list of all of the stores that were infected and are encouraging customers that had dealings to contact them. They offering those customers one year of identity monitoring.

“I understand this type of incident can be disruptive and cause frustration. I apologize for any anxiety this may have caused our customers. At The UPS Store the trust of our customers is of utmost importance,” The UPS Store president Tim Davis said in a statement. “As soon as we became aware of the potential malware intrusion, we deployed extensive resources to quickly address and eliminate this issue. Our customers can be assured that we have identified and fully contained the incident.”

Since the stores are individually franchised they don’t share a common computer system. That keep the security breach from spreading and becoming an even bigger problem. Given that the stores are all separate entities also deeps the mystery of just how stores spread over such a wide area were infected in the first place.

In 1907 James Casey founded a company called the American Messenger Company in Seattle, Washington. In 1913 the Seattle-based company merged with a rival service forming the Merchants Parcel and becoming a nation wide company for the first time. They became the United Parcel Service in 1937. Over the next few decades UPS moved their headquarters twice as they grew. The first of those moves was in 1975 when they re-located in Greenwich, Connecticut. In 1988 UPS moved to Atlanta, Georgia where they reside today as a global operation.

Other articles on this topic worth reading:

Review: Beyond the softness of his fur 2

18 Aug

Beyond the Softness of His Fur 2 is the second installment of Tammy Jo Eckhart’s exciting futuristic erotic trilogy. As we read along we get pulled deeper in to the into this future world where dominate/submissive relationships have become an executive perk. As you travel through that world you will experience a wide range of emotions from sympathy for Wynn when he experiences jealousy when he realizes he must now share his Mistress to the fear that Ms Potter feels at the new revelations of how much more complex her life has become in corporate world that she has joined. You might want to keep your box of tissue close at hand when Wynn and Ms Potter must endure the company’s “showing & sharing” where morphs interact with other morph and humans in rituals that make Emily first question herself if the benefits of this lifestyle out weigh the things her and Wynn must endure.
Ms Eckhart’s book does go much deeper than all of the sexual overtones. For example, even though the setting of the book takes place in the future there are many issues that come up that we deal with in our world today. One such issue is when Emily first finds that the corporation she works for is keeping an eye on parts of her life that she thinks should be left private. It congers up images of the recent issue of businesses wanting their employees to give them access to all of our social networks and the NSA debacle.
Ms Eckhart does a great job of developing characters but letting them continue to grow as story goes on. A great example is one of the main characters Wynn and how he has gone from the timid fox-morph that Emily first met at the institute to the complex role of domestic servant, confidant and sexual playmate that he becoming. A good example of a new character is Emily’s new first assistant that not only is willing to submit to Emily’s needs but also makes sure that she is prepared for what the day of work has in store.
Given all of the erotic sexual parts of this book it is for mature readers only. Even with a more mature crowd the subject of a dominate/submissive relationship might not be something you like so this would not be for you. If you are comfortable with the subject, curious or it just does not bother you then this book is for you.

leaked photos and rumors of the Galaxy Note 4

12 Aug

The web seams to be full of holes the last few weeks with all of the smartphones that have been leaked. There has been the iPhone6, a pair of Nokia Windows phones and the HTC W8. The one platform that seemed to be missing from the leak factory was any android-based smartphones. On Monday that absence was taken care of when GSMarena leaked the first photos and rumored specifications of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4.
The pitchers show the back panel will have a faux leather finish and metal frame giving the so called ‘phalet’ a professional portfolio look to it. Along the bottom there is a microUSB 3.0 port, S pen stylus holder, headphone jack and a speaker. The back also show a camera that is rumored to be a very respectable 16-megapixel. If you look next to the camera you will see a little sensor that is rumor to be a heart-rate sensor.
The one thing that is certain is that the Galaxy Note 4 will have a high-resolution 5.7-inch display. The rest of the possible specifications of the smartphone are a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 process running at a blazing 2.7 GHz, 3 GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 3-megapixel front-facing csmera for ‘selfies’ and video chatting, a finger printer scanner and a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution on that big display.
The official announcement of the Galaxy Note 4 is expected to be made at a September 3 ‘unpacked’ event to be held in New York, Berlin, and Beijing. The timing of the event will giving Samsung a jump on the IFA consumer trade show set to kickoff the next day in Berlin were they induced the original Galaxy Note in 2011.
When Samsung introduced that original Galaxy Note the standard for smartphones was 4-inches. When Samsung announced their 5.3-inch Note it was quickly dubbed a ‘phablet’ and dismissed as something that would never catch on in the marketplace. The Galaxy Note did succeed to catch on in the market helping propel Samsung into the smartphone leader it is today.
Other article you might try on this topic:
http://bgr.com/2014/08/11/galaxy-note-4-leaked-photos/
http://www.cnet.com/news/galaxy-note-4-images-leak-with-new-sides-and-back-design/
http://www.examiner.com/article/leaked-images-of-the-samsung-galaxy-note-4-surface-on-the-web?CID=examiner_alerts_article
http://www.ibtimes.com/samsung-galaxy-note-4-photo-leak-shows-external-design-first-time-1655642

erroneous tweet causes panic

12 Aug

Ebola has been big news lately with the outbreak in Africa, two quarantined care givers being flown to the United States and one case reported tn the Mideast. So, it was no surprise that when an errant tweet, from the official account of Yahoo News, mentioned a outbreak, in Georgia, affecting 135 was re-tweeted by over 100 followers. Yahoo News quickly came out with a tweet letting their followers know that reports of any outbreak were false and unauthorized.
Yahoo News        ✔ @YahooNews
Follow
Earlier, an unauthorized tweet with misinformation on Ebola was sent from this account; please disregard that tweet.
1:59 PM – 10 Aug 2014
Quite a few media sites reported that the erroneous tweet was made by hackers. There were no follow ups or malicious links that would normally associate with a hacking attack. No groups of individuals have taken credit for breaking into Yahoo’s account. Yahoo has not acknowledged any detection of a hack. Yahoo has said that they are working with tweet to investigate any possible security leaks.
It would appear from the way Yahoo worded their correction that it was a case of someone with in the company not going through channels. If this is the case it would seem that policies inside Yahoo News need to be looked at so there are not any more erroneous tweets.
The two American missionaries that have been flown back to the United States are under strict quarantine at Emory University Hospital. Authorities down there have assured the public that they are taking every precaution that the virus is well confined.
“We will continue to cooperate and collaborate with [public health officials] and adhere strictly to their guidelines in the return of our missionaries to the United States,” SIM USA president Bruce Johnson said.
Ebola has no know cure and has been linked to almost 700 hundred deaths on the African continent. Making it understandable why there was such a big panic when the erroneous tweet appeared on Sunday.

More leaked information about the Nokia ‘Tesla’

11 Aug

At the end of last month leaked reports, about two new Windows 8.1 smartphones, started to emerge. The first of these smartphones is a lower-end phone, that comes with a 5-megapixel front camera, that Microsoft executive and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop the “selfie”. The reports gave most of the other stats of that phone.
Until now little was know about the second of those smartphones codenamed “tesla”. Newly leaked information by tktechnews.com we now have a better picture of what we can expect when the ‘telsa’ or Lumina 830 comes out later this summer or early fall. It will indeed have a 4.5-inch screen and a pureview camera as we knew from previous leaks. The new stats a 720p display, the new cortana voice activated personal assistant, SD card support and that pureview camera will be a whooping 20.1-megapixel. The report also list there are other impress stats but no clarification of just what those are isn’t explained.
The pureview technology is high resolution camera that is suppose to work better in low-light locations. In the past Microsoft and Nokia have used this technology only on their higher-end Windows 8 and 8.1 smartphones like the Nokia 1520 and Icon. Now that Microsoft is aiming more for the low to middle range market they are bring the pureview to that market.
Just when we can expect to see the Lumina 830 on store shelves is still unknown. According to online news blog gsmarena we do have an idea of when the smartphone could be officially announced. That announcement could come at the IFA event held September 5-10 in Berlin, Germany. The event is the European equivalent of the CES (consumer electronics show) and gives technology companies a large stage to launch gadget set for a fall release.
Other articles on this topic you might enjoy are as follows:
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/854874-lumia-830-tesla-release-date-specs-is-nokia-launching-a-new-pureview-phone/
http://www.examiner.com/article/new-leak-shows-nokia-lumia-830-windows-phone-will-feature-a-20-1mp-camera?CID=examiner_alerts_article
http://www.neowin.net/news/lumia-830-will-reportedly-be-a-mid-range-phone-with-a-flagship-camera
http://www.ubergizmo.com/2014/08/nokia-lumia-830-could-feature-20mp-camera/

5 travel blogs

4 Aug

August is traditionally the month for vacations. The weather has heated up, the kids are in the middle of their summer break from school and everyone is anxious to get out and enjoy the sun. So, that means going to travel agencies, checking vacation websites and blogs.
Then there is the debate of where to go, do it provide activities for the kids as well as for the adults and can we afford it. For many of us that last part is the most important since money is fairly tight. Till even though money is a big concern we still want to make sure that there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The following are some of the best budget friendly travel blogs that you should check before planning you trip:
Budgettravel.com is a great place to start your hunt for the prefect vacation. Just like the magazine of the same name this site is full of trip ideas, deals, reviews and articles. Some of the wonderful trip ideas featured are the ultimate California road trip and 25 incredible road trips bt readers love. From the drop down deals menu you can choose your destination and find plenty of budget friendly options.
The Frugal_Traveler is a blog on the New York Times site that is written by Seth Kugal. In the blog Sath shares his real-life experience and money saving tips that he has gained through his travels. The articles include essensual apps, seeing New York at a discount and much more.
OurOyster.com is a blog written by a husband and wife that live in Austrailia. The blog is full of their person travels, tips on how-to stay on a budget and family friendly ideas. When you click on the family tips you will see such articles as How to travel with a baby on a pacific island and must have gear for traveling with a baby.
Frugaltravelguy.com was found 2007 by Rick Ingersoll and is now run by a team of travelers that educated people on the benefits of credit points and frequent flier miles. The site features articles on perks offered through hotel credit cards, stories that readers have sent in about rewards they have earned and warnings of offer they might seem to good to be true.
Worldtravelfamily.com is a blog run by a couple that have two children. Their blog is dedicated to family and how to create a vacation that will fit both the adults and kids. They discuss thing like finding accommodations in hotels that benefit everyone, going on a cruise with kids and where not to skimp on your trip.

Where were you when Facebook went down

2 Aug

There is an old saying ‘you never miss something until it is gone’. That saying was put to the test this morning at 9:01 am (PST) when the social networking site went down. The site was up 35 minutes later but not before the Los Angeles County 911 systems were flooded with caller reporting the outage.
“#Facebook is not a Law Enforcement issue, please don’t call us about it being down, we don’t know when FB will be back up!” Sheriff’s Sgt. Burton Brink of the Crescenta Valley station wrote on Twitter. In a later tweet, he said an unknown number of people called 911 about the outage.
Millions of us depend of Facebook to keep connected to our friends all over the world, get news and play games. One of the first things they do in the mornings is pick up their laptops or mobile devices and get connect to their social network. They might check the site multiply times a day to make sure they did miss out on anything. So naturally when they logged on to Facebook and saw the words ‘Sorry, something went wrong” they were concerned about what was wrong with their favorite social site.
“We get phone calls all the time, whether it be Facebook going down, people getting wrong orders at fast food restaurants, or their cable TV went out,” Sgt. Brink told Fortune. “But with Facebook in particular, we get calls probably because it’s such a widely-used thing.” Of his now-viral tweet, Sgt. Brink explains it was largely done to prevent more people from calling about the problem.
Whether we are willing to admit it or not Facebook is an important part of our everyday lives. We do need to remember though that when the site is down it is not an emergency. Calling 911 with non-emergency calls are a crime and it makes it so that people with life-threatening situations can not get the help they need.
Other articles on this topic:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/08/01/facebook_outage/
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/01/us-facebook-disruption-idUSKBN0G14NL20140801
http://fortune.com/2014/08/01/facebook-users-dial-911-over-social-network-outage/