Posts Tagged ‘gets’
Behold, a ready-made answer for those who own a Linux-powered fruit machine but who are still looking for new ways to use it. It’s a simple media center starter kit, fresh out and shipping today, which makes it easy to hook your Raspberry Pi up to an HDMI display and use it to play video or music from the internet or your home network through the wonders of XBMC. Known simply as “XBMC Solution,” it consists of the Raspbmc software on a bootable SD card (this is an all-in-one install that combines XBMC with a lightweight Linux distro), a rechargeable RF controller with a small keyboard and touchpad to aid navigation (it’s generic, unbranded, and even has a “Win” key, but it works fine), plus Ethernet and HDMI cables in case you don’t have any going spare. Read on for more.
Gallery: Raspberry Pi XBMC Solution
Blogger clearly benefits from a larger screen, yet Android tablet owners haven’t had a native editing space since the Blogger app launched on their platform. Thankfully, Google is rectifying that problem today: the Android release now occupies a tablet’s full screen space while users compose and review their posts. The refresh also offers WYSIWYG editing for current entries, regardless of the screen size. However much they’ll use the improved workspace, would-be Android auteurs just have to swing by Google Play for the update.
Via: Android Police
Source: Google Play
If you think QR codes are a bad joke then consider NFC. Near Field Communications’ evangelists have been trying to get smartphone owners to share stuff by bumping and grinding their phones for years. And progress has been painful, to put it mildly. The reality is NFC is an ugly wasteland of non-use. Ever seen anyone IRL tapping their phones together? Or tapping on an NFC tag or reader? It’s about as rare as hen’s teeth.
Granted NFC is used in some countries as a payment solution but as a general, catch-all system for close data transfer, it’s a dud. The latest setback for the NFC-pushers’ cause comes courtesy of Apple. During Monday’s WWDC keynote, Tim Cook & Co. were cracking jokes at the tech’s expense as they previewed a feature coming in iOS 7 that does the job of NFC without any of the awkwardness of NFC. It’s a classic Apple move to eschew complexity and avoid technology-based redundancy (see also: wireless charging).
It also suggests Apple is in zero hurry to add NFC to its devices. So no NFC in the iPhone 5S then. Instead, it’s adding AirDrop to iOS 7, which uses peer-to-peer Wi-Fi to allow content to be shared to nearby iOS 7 devices without having to physically tap anything together. Or, as Apple’s SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi, put it — whilst miming said NFC-induced social awkwardness — “No need to wander around the room bumping your phone.”
Of course there is a snag: Apple’s AirDrop is limited to sharing between iOS 7 devices, so it’s not an open pipeline. Still, neither is NFC — since sharing using that transfer tech means both people have to have NFC-enabled devices. It’s also worth flagging that Apple’s support for a standard can be the tipping point for the industry to coalesce around a particular technology (e.g. USB, or helping to kick Flash in favour of HTML5). Add to that there are other Wi-Fi sharing apps for iOS that work across Apple and Windows (e.g. Filedrop) and use a Wi-Fi pipe for the transfer. No NFC required.
Apple often talks about how the things it chooses not to do are as defining as the things it does. Well Apple doesn’t do NFC. And that speaks volumes. Don’t forget, NFC is not new. It’s been kicking around in phones since forever. And Apple still reckons it sucks. AirDrop isn’t the only example of Cupertino deliberately eschewing NFC, either: The Passbook ticketing and loyalty card hub introduced in iOS 6 uses visual barcode scanning to deliver its discounts. The phone owner calls up the barcode on their device and the retailer scans it with a barcode reader. NFC? Not a bit of it.
Another of NFC’s myriad problems — i.e. in addition to actually needing its users to act out the physical transfer themselves – is there’s no emollient term to oil the wheels of its use, especially in the commerce space. Want to use NFC on your phone to pay for something? Asking the cashier ‘can I tap that?’ just sounds euphemistic. Falling back on miming the action is the most elegant of the various inelegant options here. It’s another instance of the social awkwardness of NFC.
Just going ahead and trying to tap phone to reader won’t necessarily work either since some NFC POS terminals need to be switched on specifically to conduct the contactless transaction. Before even getting to that point, of course, the phone owner also has to have figured out they are looking at an NFC-enabled terminal. Some resemble standard POS terminals so wanting to pay by NFC means hunting for a ‘pay by contactless’ sign, or asking if NFC can be used at that outlet.
All these barriers to contactless entry fatally erode its convenience… at least for now. Sure it might one day provide a slick way for phones to be used to pay for stuff — but that requires NFC readers to be everywhere. Which they certainly aren’t yet, despite all the hype and cash poured into the space over the past five+ years. And sure, NFC technology can work well in more simple use-cases. London’s Oyster travelcard ticketing system uses NFC to replace paper tickets, for instance. But really, if the best you can say of NFC is that it’s a bit more convenient than paper, that’s not saying an awful lot.
Shortcutting settings or grabbing content was another use-case envisaged by the NFC pushers. Phone owners would be tapping their devices to NFC tags stuck on movie posters to get content downloaded to their handsets, or be sent to a URL to watch a film trailer (an idea which has been kicking around since the turn of the century, I might add). This sounds like exactly the sort of not-IRL scenario that gets dreamt up in marketing departments. If that’s the best you’ve got NFC, you need to try a lot harder. And an NFC tag for pre-setting an in-car phone profile? Oh pleeease.
It’s fittingly ironic that NFC is termed a ‘contactless’ technology when its proximity requirements necessitate physical contact — or at least getting so close it’s academic. ‘NFC: irritatingly invading your personal space’ doesn’t sound quite so handy does it?
Siri gets smarter in iOS 7, ditches Google for search
As part of Apple's iOS 7 preview, Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue showed off some great new Siri features coming to iOS. As part of the iOS 7 overhaul, Siri has a brand-new interface, voice monitoring, and a results …
Read more on Macworld
How to Use Google Webmaster Tools to Maximize Your SEO Campaign
Google provides a number of tools for your SEO arsenal. The most obvious is Google Analytics, which offers an in-depth analytics suite to help even the most basic user understand and improve traffic to their website. But Google Webmaster Tools gives …
Read more on Search Engine Watch
Google may not like it, but facial recognition is coming soon to Glass
For more than an hour, I sat for lunch in late May 2013 with Stephen Balaban as he wore Google's new wearable tech. At least three people came by and gawked at the newfangled device, and Balaban even offered to let one woman try it on for herself—she …
Read more on Ars Technica
The pure version of Tizen 2.0 is far from finalized, yet there already seems to be an alternative skin designed to sit on top of it. While Intel’s chips are currently capable of powering the new open source OS, the chip company is reportedly working on its own overlaid UI, known as Obsidian. Ars Technica got its hands on two videos of it in action, featuring notably flat and square icons compared to the circular ones we’ve seen in the pure version. There’s a consistent bottom strip of three soft keys for calls, messaging and contacts, and a tilt action for icons and contacts when a notification in an app is received. According to Ars, Intel may also bring the aesthetic to Android, surprising as that may sound. You can get a detailed look at its present state at the source link, while we scratch our heads asking “really?” and “why?”
Source: Ars Technica
Sony has just announced a new Google TV set-top box, the NSZ-GS8. Apparently replacing last year’s NSZ-GS7 that lead the charge of second generation ARM-powered Google TV hardware, this one appears to be quite similar. As seen in the picture above (check after the break to see the old remote for comparison) it adds a microphone this time around, necessary to enable the voice search features added to the Google TV platform last fall. We’re not seeing any other changes, but we’ll let you know if we hear of any differences. In lieu of actual new devices, Google TV fans can at least take heart that Sony is continuing development on the platform — good to hear after the NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray player that was also announced last year ended up being cancelled prior to its release. Like its predecessor, the NSZ-GS8 carries a sticker price of $ 199 and should reach stores by early July.
Source: Sony Blog
Searching for something to watch on the Sky+ Android app? An update rolling out today might make that easier, with a refreshed design and enhanced search feature. The new — and hopefully improved — search service can scan Sky TV listings by key words and cast names instead of by program title alone. The app will also offer suggestions based on partial queries. For example, typing in “Li” will bring up a number of offerings based on popularity, like Life of Pi, Lincoln and The Lion King (if you’re in the mood for lengthy monologues and daddy issues). Additionally, the update includes on-demand listings and the ability to download programs on the Sky+HD box so long as it shares a WiFi connection with your Android device. Itching to find out more? Mosey on over to the full press release, embedded after the break, or download it from the link below.
One of the strongest gaming laptops of 2012 had to be the MSI GT70. Like all machines of its type, it was huge, oversized and ridiculously heavy — but it trumped many of the category’s biggest faults by being superbly crafted, surprisingly long-lasting and by boasting the bleeding edge of tech: an Ivy Bridge CPU. It was a darn good machine, so it’s no surprise that MSI is hoping for a repeat performance. Meet the GT70 Dragon Edition: a Haswell-toting, 17-inch gaming laptop with all the trappings of its predecessor. It’s actually the second GT70 to adopt the Dragon moniker, but the first to pack Intel’s fourth-generation Core processors. NVIDIA’s latest mobile GPU is here too, not to mention notable OS upgrades, port tweaks and a mystical new motif. Let’s dive in and see if MSI’s encore deserves a standing ovation.
Gallery: MSI GT70 Dragon Edition Review
There are times when you need to stay strong, ignore the criticism and do what you know is right. Then, there are some times when the masses are right and listening is the smart thing. With Windows 8, Microsoft made many radical changes, not the least of which being the deletion of the fabled Start button. This week we got our first taste of that operating system’s first major update, Windows 8.1, and it includes a number of notable upgrades and improvements. Perhaps the most notable? The return of a Start button. Well, sort of.
It’s now called a “Start Tip” as it isn’t a proper button, but you can click on it and bring up the tiled Start Screen interface. So, the Start button is back, but not the Start menu. That’s fine by me, as I don’t think hidden, contextual elements make much sense in a keyboard-and-mouse environment. And the other tweaks are nice, including a far more comprehensive Settings section, a functional lock screen and, finally, the ability to adjust the size of applications that you’ve snapped to either side of your screen. Maybe in Windows 8.2 we’ll get fully resizable windows!
Eager to get your mitts on NVIDIA’s first Tegra 4 device? Cast your jealous eyes upon the federal government — they’ve already got one. NVIDIA’s Shield gaming handheld dropped by the FCC to get its label approved, betraying its original code name, Project Thor, in the processes. Hardly a surprise to see the device passing federal muster, of course, as it’s slated for release at the end of next month. Unfortunately, the filings don’t reveal any hidden goodies (that is, no cellular radio), just a standard WiFi antenna. Still, if label location drawings and test reports are your thing, check out the FCC link below.