top Chrome 39 Launches With 64-bit Version For Mac OS X and New Developer Features
While us Linux folks got shafted with the loss of NPAPI support earlier this year, it appears that the Windows and Mac folks still have it.
I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop for them Maybe then we'll see PPAPI versions of common browser plugins.
top Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay
I have never liked QR codes (just... stupid), nor how they are used (too hard to align the imager when my hand is unsupported - too picky a system).
I also have zero interest in giving merchants more power, taking all responsibility for the transaction unto myself, or tying anything public to a checking account or debit card.
In other words, you will never see me, nor my family, participate in a CurrentC transaction. In the absence of NFC I will just keep using credit cards at the POS until Chip & Pin finally happens in the U.S.
top US Wants To Build 'Internet of Postal Things'
Maybe this will help the USPS catch up their tracking system to somewhere around the the turn of the millennium.
top A Third of Consumers Who Bought Wearable Devices Have Ditched Them
I tried out the Jawbone UP band in its first generation, and it was a disaster. The smartphone apps that were designed for it were severely lacking; for example, food items had to be (slowly) downloaded for every meal you wanted to input. My first band stopped syncing after 10 days, and two resets did not fix it. Jawbone sent me a replacement band, but it was the wrong size. They finally got me the correct band, but it would not sync at all.
As if that wasn't enough to trash the whole experience, the online seller I had initially purchased the UP from would not process my refund. This was due to me previously following Jawbone's instructions upon the first RMA return, meaning that I had already sent them the original packaging, etc. it turns out that they won't accept returns from their channel partners without the packaging, so this put my seller in a pickle. After several emails and phone calls I was not able to straighten any of this out, and ended up charging the purchase back via my credit card issuer. I know that stuffed the seller, but I feel that the issue lies purely between him and Jawbone, so I will let them figure out it.
When this is someone's first experience with wearables it is not hard to understand why their adoption and usage rates are low right now. I will not get into another wearable until both the manufacturers and their products mature.
top NVIDIA Updates SHIELD With Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Console Mode, New Titles
Why do some OEMs continue to act as if Android games are so great that we'd want to play them on a big screen?
top Intel Rolls Out Raspberry Pi Competitor
Ahh - I am glad to hear that. Thank you for the clarification. It still runs hotter than I would accept in an application like this, though.
top Intel Rolls Out Raspberry Pi Competitor
We were just playing with freshly unboxed Minnowboards at LinuxCon, and it was not a pleasant experience. Here are he issues we uncovered as a group:
1) The boards do not boot consistently. It sometimes requires reseating power and/or the SD card multiple times.
2) The included parts kit has a 3 Ohm resistor instead of 3k Ohm, so the included LED will not light up with what's in the box.
3) The Atom chip runs quite hot, enough for the other side of the board to be uncomfortable to touch. This is despite the huge heatsink on it. I cannot imagine this processor ever being used in a mobile, battery-powered device.
4) The GPIO ports are as flaky as they come. High one moment and low the next despite no input and no touching.
When you add in that this unit costs more than 6x what the high end Raspberry Pi does, or twice with Adafruit's whole Pi kit does, I cannot find a reason to like the Minnowboard.
top Linux-Based Smartpen Heads For Kickstarter
I haven't handwritten anything in almost 20 years except for Doctor's interview paperwork, and a couple of essays for a Luddite community college professor. I even take notes on a tablet now. This device seems to be at least one human generation out of usefulness
about a year and a half ago
top Google Developing Android Game Console
I'm trying to think of a single Android game that I would not only want to see played on a big screen, but that I would pay for the privilege to do so, and I'm coming up empty.
about a year and a half ago
top The Balkanization of Chatting
I've been using Google Voice for texting and call forwarding for several months now, and it is flawless except for not yet working with email-to-SMS (which has only caused a problem twice so far, with a workaround available in both instances).
The associated Android app works nicely, making this a no-brainer for me. It's also wonderful to be able to type a text on a full-sized keyboard while using the Google Voice site.
about a year and a half ago
top Amazon Reportedly Working On Set-Top Box
I hear you, and the absolutely limited experience that the entire Kindle line offers (e.g. the Kindle Fire HD, which is all things Amazon to the exclusion of all things Google, even though it's running on a (severely outdated) Google OS) does not bode well for a set-top box, especially when it has to compete with totally usable, cheap, all-in-one solutions like the Roku line.
top Ask Slashdot: What Magazines Do You Still Read?
I still read Kiplinger's personal finance magazine, but I do so through Google's Play Magazines on a tablet.
top ACLU Asks FTC To Force Carriers To 'Patch Or Replace' Android Devices
The problems of both carrier bloatware and abandonment are why I will never again buy a phone from a carrier. If you get your device straight from Google you get timely updates for a much longer period.
top Not Even Investors Know What Google Glass Is For
It's too early to tell what we will and will not be able to do with Glass, but I have have imagined how I'd use it:
1) GPS overlay while driving. I bet some folks will balk at this idea at first, but what's worse, taking your eyes off the road to look at a small screen, or having it overlaid (unobtrusively, of course) over some or all of your field of vision?
2) Access to the Internet is so locked down where I work that BYOD has been the employee's saving grace. I would rock Glass while at my desk as I could interact with the things I want without having to go for my tablet. This, of course, depends on how well I can control Glass by hand. The only time you will ever find me giving voice commands to Glass is on the trail, and even then only when hand commands are simply impractical.
3) Many desktop-based games do their damnedest to trap focus in the game window. It would be easier to do things like look up or track game info within my field of vision. The same would apply by default to console gaming.
IMHO Glass, and things like it, are a natural progression heading towards wetwiring. Mainframe -> desktop -> laptop -> phones and tablets -> wearable -> implantable.
top Disney Closes LucasArts
That sad day already came and went many times in the past. Here are two previous examples:
I'll never forget when I was in the SW:G beta. My wife asked me one day how I felt the game was coming along. I replied that it still had 6, maybe 8 months to go, and how it would be wonderful if the devs were given as much as 11 months. The very next morning I had an email from SOE/LucasArts letting me know that it was going retail in two weeks. It was a true "WTF?!" moment, and we all know how things turned out for SW:G.
Fast forward to SW:TOR. Yay! Another SW MMO, but it's being done with gaming companies that I trust to deliver a decent experience with or without LucasArt's involvement. Imagine my shock during the pre-order phase of the beta when I discovered that those low-rez, low-detail toons from the early footage were the actual retail experience, along with a questionable physics engine, very little PvP content, etc. This wonderful intro was followed closely by the much-feared patch & nerf cycle that has plagued other MMOs, and that some game companies just can't seem to move past. I managed to hang on for four months because I wanted to like it, but I just couldn't do it.
My only surprise is that it took this long for someone to shut LucasArts down.
top AMD Reveals Radeon Sky Series For Cloud Gaming, Previews Radeon HD 7990
Just as has been the story with ATI (now AMD) for more than a decade, it simply does not matter what kind of hardware they produce if they can't write a driver that is solid enough for things like gaming and GPGPU. No one is going to be satisfied with buggy GL, screen tears, etc., and things like that wreak absolute havoc on GPGPU solutions.
I have tried ATI cards several times over the years only to be repeatedly disappointed to the point of returning them. Returns are so common that Newegg, who does not easily take returns, does not bat an eyelash when it comes to accepting an ATI/AMD card back.
Without me saying a word my GPGPU guys recently had me convert their lone ATI/AMD-based system over to Nvidia due to these long-running driver issues. Unless/until AMD can definitively demonstrate that they have broken this poor coding cycle, and will not allow it to occur again, I simply cannot and will not recommend their GPU products to anyone regardless of the specs, hype, or pretty boxes.
top Full Review of the Color TI-84 Plus
I'm sure that this is true in many settings, but my Pre-Calculus I instructor at a community college allows me to use Algeo Calculator on my Nexus 7 for tests. This says a lot as he is older, and technically challenged. He made it clear what my limitations with the device are, thereby giving me enough rope to hang myself. I appreciate his trust, and will not take advantage of it.
My large screen, auto-scaling, color graphing and pinch zooming are envied by many of my fellow TI-using students.
top Canonical Announcing Ubuntu Tablet Tomorrow?
If you think Unity is horrible on the desktop, just wait until you have to interact with it on a small screen. This is just one more nail in coffin of Ubuntu on anything other than servers, where there is no GUI or sound system for them to screw up.
top Amazon Considering Buying Texas Instrument's Chip Business
Considering how gimped the Kindle series is (it excludes the entirety of the Google ecosystem), adding more horsepower would be akin to putting lipstick on a pig. As such, I have no idea what Amazon hopes to accomplish with this acquisition, and don't expect much from it.
top Will the Desktop PC Live Forever?
I was just having this conversation with my coworkers this morning. It took me 3 years, but I finally found a use for a tablet. I am getting burned out on the constant cycle of patch and nerf that MMOs come with, and don't have the time to sink into console gaming. I have found that I enjoy the digital trading card games, and other phone/tablet based RTS genres, but that playing them on my phone strains my eyes, and causes my fingers to remain in cramped positions. As such, I ordered my first tablet yesterday evening.
However, the one thing that phones and tablets absolutely suck at is productivity, and I am currently attending college. My desktop, with its 22" screen and multitasking ability, rules for creating spreadsheets, writing essays, or even creating longer messages such as this post. However, the desktop stinks for the online portion of my math class as I have to lean forward to to reach past the keyboard for hand calculations, or try to do it against a clipboard or folder leaning in my lap. Either way quickly invites ergonomic issues.
Because of this I have a Chromebook. I can leave my desktop's keyboard tray pushed fully in, and bring my chair up against my desk. The Chromebook sits neatly to my left while my scratch paper is right in front of me. The only time I touch its keyboard is to enter solutions.
At first glance it seems ridiculous that I have 4 devices now, but each one of them fits a niche in my life. I don't see anything replacing the desktop soon as there is no other practical way to have a large screen and enjoyable input format, let alone true multi-window multitasking. However, I know that once my tablet arrives I will have little need to boot my desktop up anymore, perhaps once per week. I may even be able to do my online math homework on the tablet, but the Chromebook does this so well that I'm not certain it would be worth the hassle of finding a stand for the tablet.
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