Καθώς προχωρούμε στην τελευταία περίοδο του 2011, το τοπίο φαίνεται ότι ξεκαθαρίζει αναφορικά με τις ισορροπίες στην αγορά του mobilecomputing. Οι τάσεις κινούνται σε δύο παράλληλα επίπεδα: στο ένα βρίσκουμε τα smartphones, τα οποία, χάρη στην απίστευτη δυναμικότητα του Android, έχουν διεισδύσει σε όλο το αγοραστικό φάσμα, από τις “high-performance” συσκευές, μέχρι τις πιο οικονομικές προτάσεις. Όταν πλέον μπορεί κανείς, με μια μέτρια επιδότηση, να αποκτήσει ένα αξιοπρεπές Android smartphone και να έχει πρόσβαση στην πλουσιώτατη πηγή εφαρμογών του AndroidMarket, καθίσταται τρομερά ελκυστικό, ακόμη και στον καταναλωτή που δεν γνώριζε τον κόσμο των mobile εφαρμογών.
Στο άλλο πεδίο, εκείνο των φορητών υπολογιστών, τα νούμερα μιλάνε από μόνα τους: τα netbooks υποχωρούν διαρκώς, παρά τις πολύ χαμηλές τιμές τους και δεν μπορούν να αντιμετωπίσουν την πρακτικότητα και τις ευρημετικές λύσεις που εισάγουν τα tablets. Αν το 2009 ήταν η χρονιά τους, το 2011 θα αποτελέσει σίγουρα τη χρονιά εδραίωσης των tablets. Οι ετήσιες πωλήσεις των netbooks δεν ξεπέρασαν ποτέ τα 35 εκατομμύρια παγκοσμίως, ενώ οι εκτιμήσεις θέλουν να πωλούνται περίπου 45 εκατομμύρια tablets μέσα στο τρέχον έτος.
Δυστυχώς αυτή εικόνα θα επιταθεί, όχι από τις προτιμήσεις του κοινού, αλλά από τις ίδιες τις εταιρείες, οι οποίες θα ρίξουν το βάρος της παραγωγής στα tablets, μειώνοντας σταδιακά τις επιλογές που έχει κανείς στην κατηγορία των netbooks. Κατά τη γνώμη μου τα netbooks έχουν και πρέπει να έχουν τις κατάλληλες προοπτικές για ύπαρξη και καλή πορεία στην αγορά. Πρέπει να παραμείνουν η εναλλακτική οικονομική πρόταση, με ανανεωμένα χαρακτηριστικά και hardware καλών επιδόσεων. Άλλωστε ο διπύρηνοςAtomN570 ή ο εξαιρετικός AMDE-350 (που αναμένεται σύντομα να αντικατασταθεί με νέο μοντέλο) αποδεικνύουν ότι υπάρχουν προοπτικές εκμοντερνισμού και βελτίωσης του σημείου εκείνου όπου τα netbooks έπασχαν ανέκαθεν, στις επιδόσεις.
Στο μέλλον προβλέπω ότι τα netbooks θα υποχωρήσουν οριστικά και τη θέση τους θα πάρουν φτηνά Android tablets που θα προσαρμόζονται σε πληκτρολόγιο, ακριβώς όπως το πάρα πολύ καλό AsusEeePadTransformer. Σε κάποιο σημείο μάλιστα, μπορεί ακόμη και σε 2-3 χρόνια, οι διαφορές μεταξύ ενός desktop και mobile λειτουργικού να είναι πλέον πολύ μικρές και να μην έχουμε σημαντικές εμπειρίες χρήσης είτε στο γραφείο είτε εν κινήσει, δρόμο που δείχνουν τόσο τα Windows 8, όσο και το MacOSXLion.
At the auction for Nortel Networks’ wireless patents this week, Google’s bids were mystifying, such as $1,902,160,540 and $2,614,972,128.
Math whizzes might recognize these numbers as Brun’s constant and Meissel-Mertens constant, but it puzzled many of the people involved in the auction, according to three people with direct knowledge of the situation on Friday.
“Google was bidding with numbers that were not even numbers,” one of the sources said.
“It became clear that they were bidding with the distance between the earth and the sun. One was the sum of a famous mathematical constant, and then when it got to $3 billion, they bid pi,” the source said, adding the bid was $3.14159 billion.
“Either they were supremely confident or they were bored.”
Touch Book - Netbook/Tablet project by Eric Fields
Way before the craze of tablet PC’s and iPads, Touch Book was the first netbook computer to feature the CPU inside the display bezel, allowing a fully-functioning tablet PC to detach from the keyboard.
Touch Book was the debut product for Silicon Valley start-up Always Innovating, seeing it’s release in March 2009. From it’s success off Touch Book, the company has continued developing products in this new category.
Learn everything you want to learn about Android, for free! “These Are The Droids You’re Looking For: An Android Guide”, by author Matt Smith, is the latest free manual from MakeUseOf.com. Outlining the ins and outs of Android, this guide covers basic everything from basic usage to rooting your phone, and is a must-have if you use Google’s smartphone OS.
Android is among the most influential operating systems crafted this century. Along with iOS, it has paved the way for mobile devices that offer an unprecedented level of functionality. Currently Android is the most common mobile operating system — and there’s no sign that its popularity will wane anytime soon.
IBM got out of the PC business soonest. Then high end box maker Compaq went broke and was bought by HP, a move I questioned. Now HP is getting out of the PC business. It clearly marks the next stage in the progression of computing:
The joys of mobile computing are not without a downside. A wide range of diseases, disorders and syndromes have emerged around our growing gadget habit.
Here’s my roundup of problems related to use of smartphones and other mobile gadgets. Are you a sufferer? Let’s have a look.
Nomophobia. Nomophobia is the most common smartphone-related malady. It’s the fear of being separated from your phone.
The word was coined in the U.K. in a YouGov report commissioned by the U.K. postal service to examine various problems suffered by mobile phone users. The study found that about two-thirds of the U.K. public suffers from nomophobia, which is short for “no-mobile phobia.”
You can see evidence of nomophobia every time an airplane lands. Sufferers scramble for their phones and turn them on compulsively. In a Harvard Business School survey of 1,600 managers and professionals, 70% of the respondents said that they check their smartphones within an hour of waking up and 56% said they do so within an hour of going to sleep. More than half reported that they check constantly while on vacation, and 44% said they would experience “a great deal of anxiety” if they lost their phone.
Smartphone addiction. An extreme version of nomophobia is smartphone addiction, which is when one’s preoccupation with a smartphone affects relationships, work or school.
Smartphone addiction takes many forms. Lisa Merlo, director of psychotherapy training at the University of Florida, told a an AP reporter that some addicts withdraw into their phone in social situations and use the phone as a way to avoid human contact. She said the more advanced a phone is, the more addictive it is.
The South Korean government says 20% of Korean high school students are addicted to smartphones.
Sleep texting. Four out of five U.S. teenagers sleep with their smartphones within reach, either next to their beds or on them. Many do this so messages from friends can wake them up, which leads to “junk sleep” syndrome.
In recent years, however, a new menace has been plaguing smartphone users, especially teens. It’s called sleep texting, and it happens when people text without waking up or even remembering that they did it.
Screen insomnia. Related to “junk sleep syndrome” and sleep texting is screen insomnia.
Bright lights tells your brain that it’s the middle of the day. If you hold a tablet or smartphone in front of your eyes to read in bed, it can make it much harder to fall asleep.
A hormone called melatonin helps regulate our body’s clocks. Humans are hardwired for sunlight to set our melatonin levels. However, a bright screen in front of our eyes tricks our bodies into acting like it’s the middle of the day, which suppresses melatonin and prevents us from feeling drowsy.
The solution is to dim the screen and hold your device farther from your eyes, and to try to minimize use of devices in the two hours before bedtime.
Of course, any screen can mess with your body’s internal clock, from a laptop to a TV. But smartphone-induced insomnia is on the rise as handheld screens get bigger, better and brighter. And tablet-induced insomnia is a growing problem, too, because tablets are increasingly replacing paper books and passive-screen e-readers.
Turtleneck syndrome. Unless your arms are leaning on a table, there’s no natural way to look at a smartphone other than holding your arms up, which is uncomfortable, or craning your neck down, which causes turtleneck syndrome, a kind of repetitive stress injury of the neck from craning your neck down to look at your smartphone for long periods of time.
As with all things smartphone, and the maladies that go with them, South Korea is way ahead on this one.
Phantom vibration syndrome. Have you ever felt your phone vibrate and then reached for it only to discover that it’s not even there? If so, you’re suffering from phantom vibration syndrome.
It’s a relatively harmless malady, but one already common and sure to grow in prevalence.
‘Success theater’-induced low self-esteem. Nobody reveals an accurate picture of their actual lives on social media. They omit the bickering, boring and unflattering aspects of their lives in favor of the fabulous moments.
The downside of this “success theater” is that daily exposure to, say, the Facebook News Feed leaves people feeling inadequate. That constant barrage of other people’s best moments creates the illusion that everyone else in the world is living these wonderful lives filled with success and joy and adventure while you’re sitting there, well, looking at Facebook.
A snappier name for “success-theater-induced low self-esteem” is “Facebook depression,” though that’s unfair to Facebook. The same phenomenon occurs on other sites like Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.
Selfie narcissism. It has somehow become normal to take a picture of yourself and post it online for no other reason than to say: “Hey, look at me!”
There’s no question that smartphones and other mobile gadgets are wonderful, useful and powerful additions to our lives. But they’re also causing problems.
The best news is that these problems are preventable. The solution? In general, it’s a good idea to take breaks from your gadgets once in a while.
For some people and their technology needs, a tablet just isn’t the right choice. As he explains on Engadget, some of the perceived functionality is lost in actual application. Also, the sky is blue. Who knew?
I agree with a lot of what he has to say, but that lot applies to a busy business-person whose sphere of computing needs doesn’t factor in other users. If you live in a household with other people and one less computer than people, a tablet is great for web access, simple (read: no attachments, business guy) email, and gaming. Yes, a smartphone handles those things just fine, but they’re better on a tablet. Sometimes I get sick of pecking away on a tiny little keyboard. Plus Facebook stalking is so much better when you get to see your victim…err, your friend’s pictures on a nice big screen.
A lot of people don’t need a full file management system either. In fact, when given a chance to mess with their file management system, many people screw them up somehow or lose things. You know that relative of yours with the full-to-the-brim hard drive who can’t hind any of their photos? Guilty. This person probably uses Internet Explorer with seven “toolbars” taking up half their browser window too, the cretin.
The family member mentioned above would do great with a tablet, and be less likely to cause one of the dreaded virus-filled computer explosions we hear so much about on the news. RIP cousin James. Never Forget.
my old trusty bluetooth foldable keyboard died recently (grey). got this new black one… it’s full sized which is a big plus and it also folds in half so it’s not too bulky when it goes into the bag. so far so good!