Archive for the ‘Tablet’ Category

Braille App Makes Tablets Accessible to Blind Persons

October 11, 2011 Leave a comment

“The Braille system has allowed blind people to read the written word since 1825. Unfortunately, Braille doesn’t translate well to the glossy smooth surfaces of modern touch screen tablets and phones. A new app thinks it can change that…

The new app was created by NMSU undergraduate Adam Duran, Stanford Assistant Professor Adrian Lew, and Stanford Doctoral candidate Sohan Dharmaraja as part of the Army High-Performance Computing Research Center’s (AHPCRC) annual two-month summer immersion course. It allows the blind to use tablets via the Braille eight-button keyboard but with an important twist.

Instead of requiring the user to find virtual buttons on a glass surface (how frickin’ impossible is that?), the individual keys orient themselves to the correct finger whenever the user touches the screen. “They’re customizable,” Dharmaraja said in a press release. “They can accommodate users whose fingers are small or large, those who type with fingers close together or far apart, even to allow a user to type on a tablet hanging around the neck with hands opposed as if playing a clarinet.””

The Pitfalls and Surprises of Amazon’s New Kindles

October 3, 2011 Leave a comment

“There’s been some unexpected discoveries in the details about Amazon’s four newest Kindles. I’ve tried to identify the 10 biggest surprises in the list below — starting with five bad surprises, and then five good.

1. There’s No 3G Web Browsing (except on Kindle Fire)
2. Power Adapters Not Included
3. One Miserable Keyboard
4. Your Personal Documents are now Stored at
5. Amazon Prime not Included

Now here’s five of the biggest good surprises about Amazon’s new upcoming Kindles…

1. Kindle Fire will have a NetFlix App!
2. The Kindle Fire Supports Flash
3. The Silk Browser is Incredibly Fast
4. One Special Offer Can Pay for the Cost of a Kindle
5. Amazon’s Selling Kindle Fire at a Loss”

Is Kindle Fire The Best Android Tablet?

September 30, 2011 Leave a comment

“The Kindle Fire could be the first truly successful Android tablet. It touts a very reasonable $200 price tag, a well-curated app store, easy access to Amazon’s cloud-based services, brand trust and recognition. It’s Amazon’s most ambitious foray into hardware since the original Kindle’s debut.

And the Fire has the potential to engulf all its Android tablet brethren.

To date, Android tablet sales have mostly been lackluster. The Motorola Xoom only shipped 440,000 units in its first three months. Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy Tab fared better, hitting the one million mark before it had been on the market for two months. But there are countless other Android tablets, and none of them are making a big splash in the iPad-dominated space. Many have taken to slashing their prices just to make a tiny grab at the tablet market.

But the Kindle Fire has the ability to change all that.

The failing point of many existing 7-inch tablets as that they thought of the iPad as their competition. But a 7-inch “tweener,” as Steve Jobs dubbed it, is an inherently different device, and Amazon, with the Kindle Fire, has embraced that difference.

The Kindle Fire is a device created for content consumption, not creation — for reading, listening to music and watching video. As such, at least to start, it’ll rely heavily on Amazon’s own apps and services.

Whether Amazon’s 7-inch tablet fires up Android development will depend on the success of the device.”

Turn Your USB HDD Into a NAS With LaCie’s LaPlug

September 30, 2011 Leave a comment

“LaCie has always taken an understated approach to its lineup of boxy network storage devices, and the LaPlug is no different.

With this little guy sitting in your living room, you can wirelessly share and access data across your home network, while streaming USB drive-stored multimedia content to any UPnP/DLNA-certified devices, including the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or any compatible smartphones and tablets.

With a quartet of USB 2.0 ports, along with gigabit ethernet and WiFi b/g/n capabilities, the LaPlug also allows you to back up your files in a centralized and remotely accessible location.

You can grab one now for $75…”

IDF 2011: Another Wrap Up

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

In addition to the wrap-up of IDF 2011 by AnandTech posted earlier, here is another wrap-up from Engadget if you still have not had your fill of those wonderful little toys…

Google Trying To Erase Device Boundaries With Ice Cream Sandwich

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment


“Google’s Android developer blog is warning creators of Honeycomb apps to rework their code for Ice Cream Sandwich or suffer unsightly consequences.

The ‘problem’ with ICS is that it gets rid of the tablet/smartphone divide, such that HC apps designed specifically for tablets will suddenly be allowed to run on small-screen devices.”

Linux is Free Software. Android is Not.

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

“Within Android, Linux the kernel remains a separate program, with its source code under GNU GPL version 2. To combine Linux with code under the Apache 2.0 license would be copyright infringement, since GPL version 2 and Apache 2.0 are incompatible.

Rumours that Google has somehow converted Linux to the Apache license are erroneous; Google has no power to change the licence on the code of Linux, and did not try.

If the authors of Linux allowed its use under GPL version 3, then that code could be combined with Apache-licensed code, and the combination could be released under GPL version 3. But Linux has not been released that way.

Google has complied with the requirements of the GNU General Public License for Linux, but the Apache license on the rest of Android does not require source release. Google has said it will never publish the source code of Android 3.0 (aside from Linux), even though executables have been released to the public. Android 3.1 source code is also being withheld. Thus, Android 3, apart from Linux, is non-free software, pure and simple.”