Microsoft’s new Surface is aiming to reinvent the Tablet PC; but what separates it from the competition?
Since the arrival of the iPad, tablets have been used primarily for companion or entertainment purposes. However, the Windows tablets that came years earlier were built for productivity, but were plagued with a terrible touch interface; expensive, bulky, and with poor battery life. While iPad and Android devices quickly shed the bad rap of Windows Tablet PCs and rose to prominence, along with it they shed the potential to get serious work done. Sure, you can buy an add-on keyboard, but this is merely a stopgap measure that hits a roadblock as soon as you need powerful software such as Office and Photoshop.
Windows and the tablet form factor: Can they finally get along?
Microsoft looks to change all of this with the recent announcement of their Surface Tablet. At first I was skeptical – the clumsy Windows tablets of old are enough to bring back nightmares.
Those of us old enough to remember floppy drives may have fond memories of single / double density, 1.44 MB and the sweet sounds of read/write – almost as ubiquitous as sound of dial-up. But we’ve moved on to more sophisticated technology…or have we?
A few people are defying the times, using Arduino microcontrollers to unearth the musical secrets buried beneath their cold, hard exterior: A new renaissance of floppy music is born. And if you’re a technophile like me, it’s a sweet sound indeed. Without further ado, below are my top picks for Greatest Floppy Music of All Time:
Flying cars have previously only been the stuff of science fiction; limited to movies, digital trickery, or even balloons that look like cars. However, there are several cars actually flying today. The Terrafugia Transition, Pal-V, Parajet SkyCar, I-TEC Maverick, and U-Turn S-trike are all radically different from one another, yet all have earned their flight wings. While it won’t be cheap, here’s a few you can take your wheels to the sky:
The first official outing of Google’s high-tech autonomous car was a success, taking Steven Mahan, a legally blind man with a 95% vision impairment, through a Taco Bell drive thru and to pick up his dry cleaning. Throughout the video, Mahan’s hands don’t touch the wheel, while the car’s radars, cameras, and lasers do all the work for him. After hitting the drive thru, he eats the taco using both hands, while the car motors along.
Amazon’s best selling 7″ tablet could be getting a larger screen and full HD makeover, with Taiwanese sources stating that an all new Kindle, featuring an 8.9″, 1920 x 1200 display, is in the pipeline. In total, there could be three new Kindle Fires in the works:
- An entry-level 7″, 1024×600 model (reboot of the original)
- Mid-range, large screen version, 10″, 1280×800 (similar to the Transformer Prime’s screen)
- High-end 8.9″, Full HD (1920×1200) model (254 ppi)
With the official Diablo 3 release date May 15 fast approaching, is Blizzard’s life drain spell still active after all these years? Here’s 10 reasons for when Diablo III finally sees the light of day, you probably won’t.
1. It’s the same Diablo you know and love (or hate to love)
You will quickly find that Diablo 3 gameplay is a lot like like Diablo 2, except on steroids. Everything from the quests, to NPCs, to art style is familiar, only better. If you can last through the 20-minute video (after the break) you’ll see for yourself just how much has improved, yet stayed the same. And who wouldn’t want to play as a female barbarian?
While FarmVille and Mob Wars may no longer be the bee’s knees of Facebook social gaming, Zynga proved they’re still top dog for casual gamers by purchasing OMGPOP, the creator of Draw Something for $180 million, plus $30 million in employee retention payouts. Not a bad payday for OMGPOP employees (39 of them, according to LinkedIn), who just launched the game 6 weeks ago. The massively successful turn-based pictionary-style game took the crown away from Zynga’s own “Words With Friends”, racking up a total of 30 million downloads and over 1 billion drawings since its release. By comparison, all 4 years prior to Draw Something earned them a total of 20 million users.
(If you’re new to Mass Effect, you may want to first read 10 reasons to play Mass Effect 3. Any minor spoilers in this review are mostly covered by playing the ME3 demo.)
Commander Shepard never wanted to be in this position. He’s a soldier, not a politician. Yet the Reaper’s invasion of Earth has made things desperate, and he’s their best hope of survival. Tension between these two races have never been higher, and you’re right in the middle of it. Everyone is waiting on you to make your choice. You need to round up more fleets to help fend off the Reapers, who won’t stop until all organic life is wiped from the face of the galaxy. But both sides won’t budge.
Looking on is a teammate that you saved in the first Mass Effect. Also present is one you met in the second game; you recall you didn’t exactly treat them so well. They deserved better, you think. You make the call, taking your side – Shepard begins to do it. But it’s a big decision – he pauses. Do you really want to do that? Yes, you confirm your choice – you owe them that much. Over the next few minutes, the results play out and are nothing short of spectacular. Jaw drops, a tear wells up in your eye. Did I just do that??
These are the kind of choices that you can expect to come across in Mass Effect 3, the final installment in a trilogy by Edmonton’s BioWare Studios, for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Continue reading
If you have trouble lending out your shiny, expensive USB key or keep losing it when you need it most, Flashkus now has the answer. No, you probably won’t want to make this your main Ubuntu USB drive or daily driver to install Windows 7 from a USB drive – it can literally bend with 1 finger and succumb to a few raindrops. But for quick sharing (there’s even a box you can write in) or having a few “just in case”, this seems like a great idea. “Format USB Flash” can now be is as easy as tearing off a new one.
Here’s a cool infographic from a while back that highlights the connection between video games and real life skills. It connects a host of games to skills in Literacy, Logic, Communication, History, Mathematics and more. Examples include educational classics such as Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Oregon Trail and Sim City, to modern titles like LittleBigPlanet, Angry Birds, and Brain Age. And of course you can’t forget Minesweeper. Some benefits are well known, such as improving hand-eye coordination, but other are a bit more surprising, such as: Continue reading