Category Archives: Hardware

The Usefulness of Facebook in Evolution or is it just Useful?


Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

I am a user of Facebook, but not a real fan. By stating this some may feel it’s pointless to read on. Well let me confess, I have tried to understand our global fascination with Facebook. Why is it so popular? What makes it different than any other platform? Is it just another passing fad or the next MySpace? No, what Facebook represents is the nature of the Internet and technology. We all remember AOL. Did you get one of those CD’s in the mail? Do you know what mail is? Or what a pen is? Do you remember Compuserve? How about the Apple Newton? Sega? Atari? Napster? Netscape? Novell? Palm? A library? Alright, libraries are not dead yet, thankfully. I could go on, but can you see a pattern? All were powerful and amazing, during there time. They pushed limits and moved us forward into a new space. But alas, all good things must come to an end, right?

The virtual space, we call the Internet, is the new world. It’s fluid, dynamic and ever changing; never standing still to allow us to even truly understand what it is. Technology is constantly moving forward, dragging us along with it. We have to evolve. Every 6-8 months there is a new device or new idea for us to master. As we evolve some technologies get left behind. But what about Facebook? Where does it fit in? How is it useful?

I am mesmerised at the things people make public. How we broadcast our addictions and lower our language. Some swear and others do some remarkably strange things. It’s fascinating to see the things we dare not do in public are available online. What is Facebook? It’s that other world, within the world of the Internet. The one that allows us to broadcast who we are, until its dead and gone. We tell all, we connect with others. The odd people are now the ones who are not on Facebook. So is it useful? Of course it is. The question is useful to who? Useful to our species? Is Facebook just a part of the whole? I can’t wait for Google Glasses to take off. I am looking forward to the day when our evolutionary path makes us Betazoids. A marketers dream! But I digress. We we’re talking about Facebook, right?

By: @iammannyj

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Google Drive to offer free storage in the cloud


Outline of a cloud containing text 'The Cloud'

Outline of a cloud containing text 'The Cloud' (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google Drive to offer free storage in the cloud

Google is expected to shortly launch a major new consumer service offering cloud-based storage for photos and other online content.

The effort – dubbed Google Drive – is likely to offer 5GB (gigabytes) of free storage with more available for a monthly fee. It would challenge services including Dropbox and Microsoft’s SkyDrive. Experts suggest it could also force rival Facebook to enter the cloud market.

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Overview of the Open Platform for the PLAYSTATION®3 system


Thought I would re-post a soon to be non-existent feature of the original PS3.

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Original PS3 - Open Platform System

There is more to the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system than you may have assumed. In addition to playing games, watching movies, listening to music, and viewing photos, you can use the PS3™ system to run the Linux operating system.

By installing the Linux operating system, you can use the PS3™ system not only as an entry-level personal computer with hundreds of familiar applications for home and office use, but also as a complete development environment for the Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.).

There are many flavors of Linux available, which are developed, managed, and distributed by the respective companies and development communities.

As Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) does not develop or directly support a version of Linux for the PS3™ system, SCE is pleased to provide links for the following Linux distributions that support the PS3™ system:

Read more at the link below, before its gone for good!

http://www.playstation.com/ps3-openplatform/index.html

Sony to remove Linux option from PS3 is either a PR April fools joke ever or the worst move ever?


I heard today that Sony plans on removing the “other OS” option from their systems. What was more shocking was their supposed reason for removing this feature. Now I have a PS3 and I personally think it is one of the best systems available today. However, this move makes absolutely no sense. Some of my colleagues use PS3 with Fedora and Ubuntu. However, why are they removing this feature? The timing is bad and moreover, this is not going over well in the community. Yes, not everyone uses this feature, but I can tell you that many of my friends planned to use it over the summer, with a larger hard drive installation. I tried to tell myself that maybe this is a PR April fools joke? But if it is, they certainly need to get rid of the entire department who thought of it.

Sony, if you have any sense at all, please DO NOT DO THIS! You are removing a “FEATURE”! Does anyone there understand this? I mean, imagine buying a car, with a little feature that you love and the manufacturer tells you that we need to remove it (after you paid for it and maybe even got it because it had that feature). Still thinking? Yes, the “Other OS” feature is a bit geeky, but hey, why fix something that isn’t broken. It was almost like I had additional value in the older model. Or maybe that was the problem?

In some sense, if this is true (and my sources tell me it is – Sony), it is in no way democratic. But who says business  has to be? In some sense, what irritates me, is the almost “threatening language from Sony”. If you decide, you will NOT be able to and so on. What is worse is the fact that Sony officials already promised to not remove this option to older users of the PS3. I wonder what Sony is really afraid of? Or is it all about control? Afraid of hacks to their, almost perfect system? I guess, in Sony’s mind, if you want a computer than go buy one? Or maybe they are afraid of the coming Microsoft war against Linux? I do not know? Are they being paid off? Who knows? Maybe a Microsoft Sony merger is on the horizon? With the new Google OS coming soon, sporting a challenge to Microsoft’s dominance, has fear war against Linux begun? Is this a tactical move?

But lets be truthful here. It is a simple numbers game and for those who are not in the Product Development field, let me put it to you this way. We are ALL numbers. I imagine that someone, in their product development department decided that they no longer wanted to support this option, since it is not in the PS3 slim. Maybe it cost too much? They stated that they do not want to encourage “piracy” or have a security hole? What security hole? Just tell the truth Sony, you want control. In essence, there is the slight chance that this is fake, but it probably is not (still praying). If Sony does this, it will be a BIG and very DUMB move by Sony, from a PR perspective in my opinion. However, there is a chance that this could be a social experiment to see if anyone cares? Now that would be interesting. Maybe the firmware will change the system into a Google OS, and shortly after the Sony Google merger will occur? OK, I am stretching it now! I am just trying to understand this decision.

Sony plans on making the move on April 1, 2010 with a firmware update. Sony has already made a lot of enemies across the globe by even suggesting (joke or no joke). No, there will be no compensation for early adopters of the PS3. As indicated, Sony plans to release this update to do only one thing. Put a nail in the coffin to Linux, or any other OS on the Sony Playstation 3. Or as Emperor Palpatine would say to any Linux user, “now you will experience the full power of the dark side…”

By Andy MJ (a.k.a The GTA Patriot) – Who also loves Linux, BSD and Windows 7. Yes, Windows 7 is a pretty good Operating System!

P.S. By the way Sony, I cannot imagine that Yellow Dog is too happy about this? Also, while you are at it why not remove the browser also (since you are so concern about security). In fact, why not remove all options and make you do exactly what YOU want? Maybe Sony has learned from Apple, how to control? It is probably one of the most POWERFUL SYSTEMS EVER CREATED and you want to lock it up? Yes, I am ranting! If you have additional links, please share them.

Revolutionary plastic e-paper set to hit the high street


By Chris Laker
Last updated at 4:43 PM on 15th October 2008

The era of the traditional newspaper could soon be over as scientists launch production of a revolutionary electronic version – made out of plastic.

The e-reader is the brainchild of students at Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory and will be developed by manufacturing plant Plastic Logic at a factory in Germany. The invention is due to hit the high street next year.

Each part of the design will be made from plastic and will be super-thin, as light as the average magazine and able to store and display documents.

Dean Baker, Manufacturing Engineering Manager of Plastic Logic, said the invention of the lightweight e-reader will also drastically reduce the waste that currently comes with the traditional product.

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Everex debuts $399 ultramobile PC


At CES, Everex is launching a $399 ultramobile that will be sold through Walmart.com starting January 25. The low-cost Everex CloudBook uses the open source gOS V2 Rocket operating system and VIA 1.2GHz C7-M ULV processor, same as the $199 Everex gPC. The Cloudbook is designed for Internet usage, not for heavy duty graphics applications. Like the gPC, it will come with software or links to FireFox, gMail, Meebo, Skype, Google Documents & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar, Google News, Google Maps, Wikipedia, Google Product Search, GIMP, Blogger, YouTube, Xine Movie Player, RhythmBox, Faqly, Facebook and OpenOffice.org 2.3.

The unit weighs 2 pounds and is 9.06 x 6.73 x 1.16 inches. It has a 7-inch TFT screen with 800 x 480 native resolution, and has a 30 GB drive and 512 MB of DDR2 533MHz SDRAM. The Cloudbook averages averages 5 hours of battery life with its lithium-ion battery, according to the company, and also includes a 1.3-megapixel Webcam.

For input and output, the Cloudbook includes a DVI-I port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a RJ45 Ethernet port, headphone/line out jack, microphone/line in jack and 4-in-1 media card reader. For connectivity it offers 802.11b/g and Ethernet.

The gOS is based on the Ubuntu 7.1 Linux desktop developed by an open source startup of the same name. “The gOS is an alternative operating system that makes it apparent that Google is your entire computing experience,” said gOS founder David Liu regarding the release of the gPC in October 2007. “When you make Linux look pretty and put ton of Google apps on it, you pacify it for consumer. You could say gOS is Google inspired but not official stamped.” gOS uses the Enlightenment window manager and has taken cues from Apple in designing the interface.

read more | digg story

gOS Unboxed: Should Microsoft Worry?


Microsoft’s rivalry with Google heated up considerably this past year when rumors surfaced that Google might release its own operating system to compete with Windows. Has Google finally jumped into the fray with its own OS?

Unfortunately, no; gOS is not a “Google OS” nor is it affiliated with Google (though Desktop Linux has reported that Google has seen gOS and approved inclusion of the Google toolbar with the operating system).

gOS is developed by Good OS LLC out of Los Angeles. It’s based on Ubuntu Linux 7.10 and runs the Enlightenment E17 interface instead of KDE or Gnome. Despite not being created by Google, the focus of gOS is Google’s online applications such as GMail, Google News, Google Maps, Google Calendar, YouTube, etc. It’s a neat concept for a Linux distribution, but how practical is it?

read more | digg story

Wal-Mart’s $200 PC – sold out


About two weeks ago, Wal-Mart began selling $200 Linux-based PC. The initial run was around 10,000 units. Now Wal-Mart is sold out. Has Linux now found a niche?

read more | digg story

How about Microsoft investing in OLPC and releasing a low-cost laptop for the masses?


Now here is an interesting question. Since Microsoft is dealing with bad PR, in relation to Vista, what would happen if Microsoft put its full support behind OLPC and installed a version of Windows XP? XP SP2 is pretty much a solid Operating System and it really would not cost much for Microsoft to even load OLPC with an embedded or starter version. Imagine releasing a bunch of low-cost laptops to the world, in addition with the North American market. With the emergence of Eee PC and a host of other low-cost laptops, people are realizing that it really does not cost that much to “get-online”. Lets be honest, these machines are not for running high-end productivity and gaming applications. However, if you simply need to get online, check your email and get a little processing power, then why not. I am not sure if this would really fly in North America, but with the environment becoming such a hot issue, people are starting to realize that we consume too much. With everyone wanting to be portable and wi-fi slowly becoming available to the masses; a product like this could fill a small gap, for people who cannot afford high-priced laptops and notebooks. Maybe manufacturers like Dell, HP and others will look at the technology and try to develop low-cost products of their own. It definitely would be interesting to see what will happen.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Read details from another article about OLPC below.

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read more | digg story

Apple should start offering Windows-based Macs


Here’s a question that I received from yesterday’s mail bag:

Apple should start offering Windows-based Macs

Apple’s a lot easier to understand when you stop looking at it as a religion and instead see it for what it is – a multi-billion dollar consumer electronics company
Now, I have checked and I’m pretty sure that this email isn’t from Steve Jobs, but it’s an interesting question nonetheless.  Apple is, without a doubt, a successful company and is returning strong data quarter after quarter.  For years, the darling for investors was the iPod, the first of Apple’s products to hit critical mass and make it big (some might say that it was the first piece of branded consumer electronics to go critical mass, but personally I wouldn’t take it that far).  Now it seems that Apple has managed to put the Macs under the iPod’s halo and dramatically improved desktop and notebook sales.  Sales are strong, but you have to put this into perspective.  CNET’s Tom Krazit does a good job of crunching the numbers:

The numbers seem simple: Apple has sold more than 120 million iPods to date, and Mac shipments are growing much faster than the overall market.

But Hewlett-Packard’s worldwide shipments are growing twice as fast as the overall market. Acer’s worldwide shipments are growing at nearly four times the overall market. Even in the U.S., where Apple does the majority of its business and is the third-leading PC vendor, everyone but Dell is growing much faster than the overall market. HP might have a brand name in printers, but nobody, even HP, has a consumer product with nearly the cachet of the iPod.

But like Krazit, I’m not so convinced that there’s a correlation between iPod sales and Mac sales:

But I’m not convinced that you can draw a direct line between iPods and Macs. Are you more likely to buy an HP PC because you own (and like) your HP printer? Are you more likely to buy a Sony television because you’ve spent thousands of quality hours with your PlayStation 2? Maybe, maybe not.

OK, but let’s get back to the original question – What could/should Apple do to take sales and profits to the next level?  Simple.  Release an Apple branded Windows-based PC.  I know, I know, this kind of talk is bound to upset the hardened Apple fanatic, but it makes perfect sense.  One of the things that’s undoubtedly helped boost Mac sales is Boot Camp.  Now there’s no punishment for switching platforms because you can take your old platform with you, but just as some people got tired of paying the Microsoft tax when they wanted a PC to run Linux on it, people who want Apple hardware in order to run Windows on it will eventually see the Mac OS as an Apple tax.  Why doesn’t Jobs and the crew at Cupertino just skip that whole Apple tax step and offer customers a choice of operating systems.  Since Windows is the dominant OS at present, that’s a good place to start, but if Apple really wants to offer the customer real choice, Linux would also be great.

read more | digg story

Fit PC runs Linux and draws only 5W of power


There are power efficient computers and then there are power efficient computers. Enter the Fit PC, a small, self-contained, fanless computer that draws 3W to 5W when it is on. It’s no power house but for its size and what it is designed to do, it is quite impressive. It features an AMD Geode LX800 processor running at 500MHz, integrated 256MB of DDR memory which cannot be upgraded, 40GB IDE hard drive, dual 100Mbps Ethernet, SXGA graphics controller supporting resolutions up to 1920 x 1440 and comes preinstalled with Gentoo Linux though it is capable of running Windows XP.

Those wishing to install Windows XP would be able to do so through a USB optical drive and Windows XP drivers are available from the Fit PC downloads section.

Other less notable features include an all aluminum case with a black finish and is splash and dust resistant with an operating temperature from 0C to 70C (for those of you in the US that is 32F to 158F).

ExtremeTech did a review of the system and noted several things, “After we had six windows (and six apps) running, the system definitely became sluggish—this is not a strong multitasking system.”

It is summed up nicely by this final thought, “If you need anything that requires even moderately demanding CPU or graphics horsepower, the fit-PC isn’t the right solution. Performance is not the point of this system—form factor and cost are the main factors.”

The Fit PC will cost you $285 and for that price you may just want to consider the EEEPC, while not as power efficient, I promise you it is at least twice as powerful.

read more | digg story