Saturday, February 12, 2011

Google Android for Tablets - Honeycomb 3.0

iPhone iPad pictureA preview release of Google's new operating system for tablets was released a few weeks back. I'm just hearing about it on some of the podcasts I listen to. lol. So I searched around a bit and this article seems to be the best article on the subject.

Android Central: What's new in Android 3.0 Honeycomb

Pictures are included so you can get an idea of what the new OS will look like. The first tablet running the OS will be the Motorola Xoom, which is rumored to be released February 24. Which is interesting, given that the "preview" release came out 2 weeks ago. Apparently Motorola was the only company to have access to the new OS up until the "preview". Odd for an open source operating system. The price is supposed to be $800. Which seems a bit high for a Wifi only device.

Expect a lot of tablet releases this year. But at the pricing I'm seeing ($700 or $800), expect the iPad to keep its lead for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Securing Your Facebook Connection

Internet IconDave Taylor has this post explaining how to secure your Facebook connection. If you connect to Facebook from a free Wifi hotspot, its easy for someone to hack into your account if you don't use an encrypted connection. Dave's blog explains how to turn on encryption for your account. Definitely a good idea for any Facebook user.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Murdoch Launches the Daily

Internet IconWhile packing up to fly home this morning, I saw the launch for the new "The Daily" online newspaper from News Corp. At launch, TheDaily will only be available for the iPad. Other platforms may be made available at a future date.

The cost. $0.99 a week pay as you go, or $39.95 for sign up for an entire year. This looks like a pretty good pricing system to me. Much cheaper than any print newspaper and a lot cheaper than say the Wall Street Journal ($150 a year for online).

The sections seems to be News, Lifestyle and Entertainment, Sports, and Technology (Games and Apps). Interesting that I didn't see a business section. The would be something I would like.

The actual content looked really rich. Very large and vibrate photos. 360 degree photos. video and audio. In additional there seemed to be all the social media hooks in there. They plan to produce 100 pages of content a day. 7 days a week. The sports section looked killer. Plus you can pick which teams you want to follow.

I think I may give it a try.

Monday, January 10, 2011

PowerPoint Crashes when Typing Anything on a Mac Running Windows 7 and Bootcamp

OS X pictureProblem: PowerPoint Crashes when Typing Anything on a Mac Running Windows 7 and Bootcamp 3.2

This problem is bizarre. About an hour ago, I tried to start working on a PowerPoint presentation I started on Friday. Whenever I type anything PowerPoint 2007 crashes. Everything worked fine on Friday. (Ahhh!!!! Sometimes I really hate computers.) I'm using a MacBook Pro running Windows 7 64bit and Bootcamp 3.2.

The bug appears to be with BootCamp 3.2 and Windows 7. My HP laptop has no such problem. Only my Mac.

Thanks to some smart folks on the Apple forums, there seem to be workaround solutions to this bug. The problem seems to be with Windows, Bootcamp, PowerPoint, and the keyboard driver.

PowerPoint 2007
For PowerPoint 2007 on Windows 7....
  1. Open Control Panel
  2. Press "Change keyboards or other input methods" from "Clock, Language, and Region"
  3. Press "Change keyboards..."
  4. Press "Add..."
  5. Roll down "English (United States)" (if it's not already expanded)
  6. Select "US"
  7. Press "OK"
  8. Press "OK"
  9. Press "OK"
  10. Close the Control Panel
See Forum Post Here

PowerPoint 2010
Another user performed these steps to fix the problem on PowerPoint 2010.

In PowerPoint 2010..
  1. Go to "File", "Options", "Language"
  2. Under a the heading "keyboard layout" note the hyperlink which says "not enabled".
  3. Click on the hyperlink and select a keyboard layout and the keyboard's language.
  4. Once you complete the process it will say "enabled" under the keyboard layout heading.
This should fix the problem.

I can confirm the PowerPoint 2007 fix worked for me. Given the Posts date back to late November it appears this bug has been around a while.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Get Yourself a DropBox in the New Year

DropBox icon

Do yourself a favor this new year and get yourself a Dropbox.

What is Dropbox?

Dropbox is a virtual hard drive that lives on your computer and in the cloud. If you download and run the installer, a My Dropbox folder is added to your My Documents directory on Windows. Once created, copy and create files in the folder just like any other folder on your system. Your files are automatically synced to the cloud.

That is interesting, but where is the coolness factor? Well if you only have one machine, it is not that exciting. But if you have more than one machine, an iPhone, and an iPad, things get really cool. With Dropbox installed on each of your computers and devices, the files are automatically synced between each computer and device. This is immensely useful for someone like me with a bunch of devices and computers.

Where can I use Dropbox?

Dropbox can be used on pretty much anything. Installers are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry. By default you get 2GB of disk space for free. For $99 a year, you get 50GB of disk space. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tron Legacy Review

Reading this story on Slashdot got me thinking that I should write down a few words on Tron Legacy. The basic premise of the Tron films is that a world exists inside of computers. Our heros get sucked into this world and have all sorts of cool adventures. In theory, this film is a sequel to the original Tron movie which came out in the 1980s.

In practice, there is quite a bit of overlap between the two films thematically. Of course, this makes sense given that most people will not have seen the first film. The film is visually stunning full of some really cool visual effects. So if you are into that sort of thing, definitely see this movie in the theater. If you have not seen the first film, read the plot on Wikipedia or you will be a little confused I think. Overall is a good film, but not a great one: 3 stars out of 5 for me.

A few observations are in order.

  • Whenever computer based life evolves, the first thing they build in their cities is a techno club. Apparently, the night clubs with techno music is a universal constant and requirement of any alien life form. (See this movie and the Matrix) Why can't the head of the resistance work in a grocery store? :)
  • The computer world in this movie didn't incorporate many of the technology advances made since the first movie.  In 1982, no one had heard of the Internet. It just seemed to me things inside the computer had not changed much in 30 years.
  • If the movie does at all well, expect a sequel. The ending of the movie left open quite a few possibilities.
  • Definitely not enough Tron in this film. Goodness sake, the film is named after him. He deserves a lot more than a flashback and a brief cameo here and there.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

iPhone to Verizon will Screw AT&T

iPhone iPad pictureCourtesy of Cult of Mac blog, yet another analyst predicts AT&T's demise once the iPhone becomes available on the Verizon network.

I still don't get this. My iPhone works great in Denver, in San Jose, in North Carolina, and Tennessee. Everywhere I have been in the last 2 or 3 years, no problems. It doesn't work well up in the mountains, but of course, the mountains tend to get in the way of the cell towers.

The only place I have heard AT&T reception is terrible is in San Francisco. Yet, according to the tech media, the AT&T network is terrible! Everyone will move to Verizon instantly! AT&T is doomed.

Frankly, I can't wait for the iPhone to become available on Verizon. Then I don't have to listen to this nonsense any more. And... there will be a lot more extra bandwidth for the rest of us. :)