Contact Me By Email

Friday, July 16, 2010

Apple to give iPhone 4 users free cases

Apple to give iPhone 4 users free cases: "Apple will give iPhone 4 users a free case for their smartphones to help them with antenna and receptions problems, even though those issues have been reported by just a fraction of the phone's users, CEO Steve Jobs said Friday during a press conference the company called at its headquarters to discuss ongoing issues with the smartphone.

Users who buy the new version of the iPhone by Sept. 30 will be able to sign up on the Apple website to receive a free case -- or 'bumper' -- starting late next week. Users who already bought bumpers will receive refunds, he said. 'And if you're still not happy, before or after you get a free case, you can bring your iPhone 4 back undamaged within 30 days for a full refund.'" More...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Best Commercial I have Seen In A Long Time!

This is an excellent commercial making an excellent point.  Paper files are becoming increasingly obsolete, but some people stubbornly hold on to their old ways. A lot of companies that still use a fax machine.  Why would you do that in a world of email and scanners?  It does not make sense.  Watch this video.  It is also very funny.  (John H. Armwood)

20 Free Online Data Storage & Online Filing Solutions

20 Free Online Data Storage & Online Filing Solutions

If you frequently work on a computer, you know that for all of the strides that technology has made in the past decade, there are still some gaps that leave room for error. Case in point – when you have something important due and your entire system decides to go on hiatus. You reboot only to find out that the file you need has disappeared into oblivion. We’ve all been there, right?

Then there are memory sticks, which allow you to store data and take it with you. Sadly, there are also instances when a memory stick becomes completely useless and a computer refuses to read it. Your best bet is go with an online storage system that allows you to save data and back up every week or so, ensuring that wherever you gain an internet connection, you are able to access your files. More...
I personally like and use DropBox because it allows you to synchronize files between more than one computer. The free version has a 2GB storage cap.
There are some sites, listed in the linked article, that give you up to 10GB of storage. Cloud based backup is a must in our increasingly mobile world. Try one or two of these services if you haven't. The convenience factor alone will make you wonder why you waited so long.

John H. Armwood

Editorial - The Google Algorithm -

Editorial - The Google Algorithm -

Google handles nearly two-thirds of Internet search queries worldwide. Analysts reckon that most Web sites rely on the search engine for half of their traffic. When Google engineers tweak its supersecret algorithm — as they do hundreds of times a year — they can break the business of a Web site that is pushed down the rankings.

When Google was a pure search engine, it was easy to appear agnostic about search results, with no reason to play favorites with one Web site or another. But as Google has branched out into online services from maps and videos to comparison shopping, it has acquired pecuniary incentives to favor its own over rivals.

Google argues that its behavior is kept in check by competitors like Yahoo or Bing. But Google has become the default search engine for many Internet users. Competitors are a click away, but a case is building for some sort of oversight of the gatekeeper of the Internet.

In the past few months, Google has come under investigation by antitrust regulators in Europe. Rivals have accused Google of placing the Web sites of affiliates like Google Maps or YouTube at the top of Internet searches and relegating competitors to obscurity down the list. In the United States, Google said it expects antitrust regulators to scrutinize its $700 million purchase of the flight information software firm ITA, with which it plans to enter the online travel search market occupied by Expedia, Orbitz, Bing and others.

The accusations in Europe may or may not have merit. Google says it only tweaks its algorithm to improve its searches. Some Web sites that have accused Google of unfair placing are merely collections of links with next to no original content of their own, precisely the kind of sites that Google’s search algorithm screens out to better answer queries. Antitrust regulators in the United States could well let Google buy ITA because it does not now provide online travel services.

Still, the potential impact of Google’s algorithm on the Internet economy is such that it is worth exploring ways to ensure that the editorial policy guiding Google’s tweaks is solely intended to improve the quality of the results and not to help Google’s other businesses. More...

Rumors Are That Apple Will Have An iPhone Related Press Conference On Friday

There are rumors spreading around the internet that Apple will have a press conference, on Friday, to address iPhone antenna issues.

John H. Armwood

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

AppleInsider | Radio engineer: Consumer Reports iPhone 4 testing flawed (u)

AppleInsider | Radio engineer: Consumer Reports iPhone 4 testing flawed (u): "An engineer experienced with electromagnetic issues like those now affecting Apple's iPhone 4 says that the tests performed by Consumer Reports were scientifically flawed. More...

In response to the iPhone 4 technical findings reported by the consumer buying advice group, engineer Bob Egan observed on his own site that 'Consumer Reports' [radio frequency] engineers should know better than to think they can run an engineering grade test for an issue like this in a shielded room. And certainly not one with people in it.'

Egan explains, 'To even reasonably run a scientific test, the iPhone should have been sitting on a non-metallic pedestal inside an anechoic chamber. The base station simulator should have been also sitting outside the chamber and had a calibrated antenna plumbed to it from inside the chamber.

'I have not seen Consumer Reports' claim directly that the finger effect reduces the iPhones sensitivity by 20db as reported elsewhere, but unless Consumer Reports connected to a functional point inside the iPhone that number is fantasy."

Pixelmator 1.6 overhauls performance, tools | MacNN

Pixelmator 1.6 overhauls performance, tools | MacNN: "A new version of Pixelmator, 1.6, has been launched by the app's developer. The software separates itself from some other image editors by using GPU acceleration. New to the latest release however is 64-bit CPU support, which allows the program to not only use multi-core processors but tap into larger quantities of RAM.
The Pixelmator Team has also made some improvements to the app's graphics processing architecture, taking advantage of Snow Leopard. Combined the changes are said to significantly boost performance, for instance by cutting start times in half and increasing overall speed by about 40 percent. A new Import component should simplify grabbing images from cameras, scanners and other devices, including Apple handhelds." More...

South Korea Deploys Defensive Robots at the DMZ - PCWorld

South Korea Deploys Defensive Robots at the DMZ - PCWorld

South Korea has recently bumped up security on its side of the DMZ with something straight out of your favorite sci-fi novel or videogame: a machine gun-equipped robot.
David Saetang
Tuesday, July 13, 2010 03:43 PM PDT
The SGR-1 Robot. Photo: Stars and Stripes The Demilitarized Zone (“DMZ”) is a 160-mile long, 2.5-mile wide strip of land that separates the two Koreas. South Korea has recently bumped up the security on its side of the DMZ with something straight out of your favorite sci-fi novel or videogame: a machinegun-equipped robot.
According to Stars and Stripes, the robot in question is the SGR-1, created by Samsung. It is equipped with a 5.5-milimeter machine gun and has both heat and motion detectors that can identify and shoot a potential target more than two miles away. In addition, the SGR-1 is capable of firing rubber bullets as a warning.

So the burning question: Why use robots, aside from the fact that it sounds absolutely awesome?

Huh Kwang-hak, a spokesman for Samsung Techwin (the manufacturer of the SGR-1 robot), told Stars and stripes that the robots will not be used to replace soldiers, but to work alongside them in defensive matters.

So should we fear the immediate threat of super battles between robots on the battlefield?

The answer is no. First off, the SGR-1 is a purely defensive mechanism in that it is a stationary robot, which means that it cannot physically “get up and move about”, so it operates more like a tower or “turret gun”. Second, they are human-controlled. When the SGR-1 detects a potential threat, an alarm goes off and notifies a command center. The operator then uses the robots’ video and audio communication equipment to talk to the identified threat before ever firing a shot. From there, the Commanders make the final decision on whether or not to fire.

Lastly, it should be noted that while SGR-1s have the capability of automatic surveillance, they cannot automatically fire on their own at detected foreign objects or figures.

For obvious security reasons, locations of these robots have not been disclosed nor do we even know how many there are throughout the DMZ. (Or do you really want to find out yourself the hard way?) We can say, however, that it takes about one day to setup these robots and that they carry a price tag of $200,000 each.

The robots were actually deployed onto the DMZ more than a month ago and apparently their presence will continue at least through the end the year.

So it may not be the action-packed robot free for all you were expecting, but I think that’s probably better for us.

Apple's iPhone 4 Fiasco: There's No Good Way Out - PCWorld

Apple's iPhone 4 Fiasco: There's No Good Way Out - PCWorld: "The company's iPhone 4 antenna debacle has quickly spiraled into an all-out PR disaster. After nearly three solid weeks of customer complaints -- all of which were pooh-poohed by Apple -- Consumer Reports dropped a bomb on Monday when it reported its hardware tests had 'confirmed' a problem with the iPhone 4's reception. Apple's stock has already fallen following the news.

'When your finger or hand touches a spot on the phone's lower left side -- an easy thing, especially for lefties -- the signal can significantly degrade enough to cause you to lose your connection altogether,' Consumer Reports says. 'Due to this problem, we can't recommend the iPhone 4.'

Apple, of course, is no stranger to conflict and controversy -- hell, the company's practically as famous for its self-righteous ways as it is for its products -- but with the iPhone reception issue, Steve Jobs' team has dug itself into a pretty deep hole. And the prospect of escaping with grace grows more difficult by the day." More...

Taipei Times - archives

Taipei Times - archives: "Asia-Pacific consumers are the world’s most prolific online shoppers and many rely on Internet reviews when making purchases, research firm Nielsen said yesterday.

The firm said 35 percent of consumers in the region used more than 11 percent of their monthly spending to make online purchases, compared with a global average of 27 percent of consumers.

South Koreans were the heaviest online buyers in Asia, with 59 percent directing more than 11 percent of their monthly spending to online purchases, followed by 41 percent in China, Nielsen said in a report.

A further 31 percent of Asian consumers use between 6 percent and 10 percent of their monthly shopping spend to buy items online." More...
This is certainly true. During my time living in South Korea I found online shopping to be much more prevalent there than in the United States. One reason for this I believe is that there are fewer, brick and mortar discount outlets, available to shoppers so online retailers are far more attractive there.

John H. Armwood

Apple erases forum threads discussing iPhone 4 antenna issue | MacNN

Apple erases forum threads discussing iPhone 4 antenna issue | MacNN: "Following a Consumer Reports' article recommending against the iPhone 4, Apple has quietly purged its discussion forums of numerous threads relating to the report. Moderators apparently removed at least five similar threads, however the content was cached by Bing and the broken links can still be found on Google.
It is not uncommon for Apple to cleanse its forums of discussions with a negative outlook on its products. Several threads relating to the antenna issue remain in the forums, including a reference to a PCWorld article calling the issue 'overblow,' however the Consumer Reports findings directly contradict Apple's public stance downplaying the problem as a software bug rather than a design flaw." More...
Unfortunately Apple is following the lead of B.P. in at first denying the existence of  a design flaw in the antenna of its new iPhone 4, then it tried to mislead the public, by claiming the problem was caused by a calibration issue relating to the signal strength indicators. Now it is erasing posts on its forums concerning the problem.  Apple needs to issue a recall.  Apple released a defective product.

I have loved both my MacBook and iPod Touch but I no longer have much respect for the Apple Company.  It's handling of this debacle has been as despicable as B.P.'s behavior handling the Gulf oil spill.  Dishonesty and deception are not  a good way to conduct business. We all expected more of Steve Jobs and Apple.

John H. Armwood

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Technology Chronicles : Consumer Reports can't recommend iPhone 4 because of antenna problems

The Technology Chronicles : Consumer Reports can't recommend iPhone 4 because of antenna problems

Consumer Reports initially dismissed the iPhone 4's antenna troubles by saying that it's not necessarily unique to the phone.

But after testing the device and recreating the problem, the consumer publication has concluded that it cannot recommend the iPhone 4 until Apple addresses the antenna issue.

Consumer Reports' opinion is significant because it's well respected by mainstream consumers and the tests they've conducted appear to be the most comprehensive by an independent organization. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports hasn't provided much actual data to bolster its findings.

Consumer Reports tested three iPhone 4s in a special chamber designed to block out wireless signals. Inside, they recreated a cell site and tested the phone's controversial external antenna. More...

New York is Run By One Political iPad User | Mac|Life

New York is Run By One Political iPad User | Mac|Life

Posted 07/12/2010 at 3:20:14pm | by Seamus Bellamy

Michael Bloomberg may be the Mayor of New York City, but the mayor of Bloomberg's heart is his iPad.
Too much?
OK, fine--but if the New York Daily News is correct, even after having his personal email address disclosed by a security breach recently, the Mayor still really digs his iPad.
According to the Daily News, Bloomberg and the tablet are almost inseparable, with the Mayor taking notes, magazines, checking the weather, and reading reading speeches off of it. New York's deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson told the news tabloid that Bloomberg "takes the iPad with him everywhere," although a briefing book is kept on stand-by just in case there are any technical snafus.
Bloomberg so smitten with the device that he's even been singing its praises to the media and the public at large, mentioning that the device is assisting him in his quest to "go paperless," as well as relating to the listeners of his regular radio addresses that he has been an avid reader of a few titles purchased from iBooks. Bloomberg went so far as to contact Steve Jobs so that he could tell him how much he loved the product.
"It's amazing," Bloomberg said. "I told Steve Jobs the other day, if he can improve on this, it'll be really amazing. I just--every time I play with it, I discover something new."

Apple finally admits problems with Time Capsule and offers replacement | Technology |

Apple finally admits problems with Time Capsule and offers replacement | Technology |

Time Capsule Memorial Register front

 "Nine months after a Guardian investigation pointed to a limited lifespan for the wireless backup, the company has offered free replacements - but only to a limited number of owners. Will others sue?

The Time Capsule memorial register site has the details of 2,500 of the devices which died suddenly - fondly remembered by their owners...
Apple has finally confessed that something is wrong with its Time Capsule wireless storage product - nine months after a Guardian investigation pointed to problems, and after thousands of people saw their valuable data lost when the devices failed to power up.

Owners of units whose serial number lies within the range of XX807XXXXXX - XX814XXXXXX can get them repaired or replaced free of charge, by post or in person - though to save your data you'll have to take it to an Apple Store or authorised retailer so that they can retain the data from the hard drive.

But if you've got a dead Time Capsule and its serial doesn't lie in that range - ah, you're going to have to take that fight up with Apple. Possibly via a lawsuit." More...