Category: Hardware

Nextbook Ares 8

Well, my best friend bought a cheap little tablet for her ten year old nephew. It is a Nextbook Ares 8. It is absolutely cute and versatile. The wifi works amazingly well for a tablet that costs so little. The graphics are amazing and it plays games like no tomorrow. He has downloaded dozens of games so the storage is really good as well. He plays with it constantly and is happy as a clam with it. For a child, I would say that this is a fairly good investment as it costs very little, especially if you catch it on sale.

There are however a couple of problems with it that I assume Nextbook will or has fixed in their next models. Firstly, and most important, you cannot allow it to “sleep.” If you do, it triggers something inside and you have to remove the back and disconnect the battery. You then have to wait ten to twenty seconds and reconnect.  Then you can turn it back on and it will work. It get a bit warm when you use it a lot and really it shouldn’t get that warm but as it isn’t a high end tablet, getting upset over it would be ludicrous.

Books vs Kindles

Last year the best selling item at Christmas on Amazon was the Kindle. I think that they are really cool, but this is so early in the development of the new electronics. My biggest objection to most of them is that they are mono displays. I want a full color screen and books with color illustrations and photos. So I am waiting a bit – there will be better models coming out.

review of super cheap $100 laptops dissapoints

There has been a lot fo talk about the one laptop per child initiative, or OLPC’s – when the news broke about $100 laptops – all kinds of people were talking about it. I remember talk about the possibility of buys one $200 and that would provide someone in a third world country with a laptop while you get one too. Well it looks as though the price has gone a bit (as of today around $230 – $300 perhaps) – and it seems that they have created a rugged design at a good price. Unfortunately some of operating issues may make these a classmate pc

In an article I found one guy talks about the OLPC and the necessity to upgrade the linux by command line in order to get it update and get on the internet:

They eventually had to reconfigure and upgrade the operating system, a complex process certainly not doable by a computer rookie. Pity the child in a remote Cambodian village trying to figure out this instruction from the OLPC Web site: “At your root prompt, type: olpc-update (build-no) where (build-no) is the name of the build you would like.”

Even worse, in order to save trees, the OLPC arrived with very few printed instructions. Instead the users were directed to a Web site for help, which would have been an insurmountable challenge if this was their only computer.

The article goes on the whine and moan that the intel version had a hard time with a word processor being while along with a few internet tabs. Of course there is no telling which writing software was being used in this little experiment, open office, microsoft’s bloated office or what. For that price and the ruggedness I would happily use a stripped down notetab lite to write with. Perhaps a second generation of these will be available and we will have a success story then.

Mobile Safari without the IPhone via WaSP

Mobile Safari without the IPhone

Apple has brought Mobile Safari to the Ipod

Last week, Apple announced the new iPod Touch (essentially, an iPhone without the phone bits). What is particularly interesting about the iPod Touch is that it includes WiFi connectivity and Mobile Safari.

There are two aspects to this release that make it particularly interesting:

  1. Mobile Safari is now poised to explode in terms of market share, possibly driving a lot of innovation in the handheld browser market, and
  2. developers now have a far less expensive means of obtaining and testing on the new browser.

What do you think of this announcement? What repercussions do you think we will see?

Written By Aaron Gustafson


MIT team powers light bulb without wires

“In a perfect world, there’d be no wires. They clutter the view, get tangled behind desks and limit how far networks can reach. That’s why the telegraph gave way to the radio. Cell phones unstrung telecommunications. Wi-Fi liberated computer data.

Now even the last knotty wire that seemed destined to remain – the power cord – could be on its way out.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers announced Thursday they had made a 60-watt light bulb glow by sending it energy wirelessly, potentially previewing a future in which cell phones and other gadgets get juice without having to be plugged in.

The breakthrough, disclosed in Science Express, an online publication of the journal Science, is being called “WiTricity” by the scientists.”

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