Techerous

My name is Bill, I am a recent graduate in Information Sciences and Technology from Penn State University and this is a place for me to post or give my 2 cents on the fascinating world of technology. I am now working for a pretty big technology related company whose name I will leave out just to avoid any possible complications, however far-fetched them happening may be. Music gets included from time to time as well.

January 29, 2013 8:55 pm
swagismore:

Apple will be dropping a 128 Gig iPad. We here at Swag Is More are asking, is all that space necessary in a tablet?

Admittedly I’m not a fan of Apple, but this just seems like a ridiculous move to me.  What makes the Surface Pro unique isn’t the more storage, it’s the fact that it is basically an ultrabook in tablet form. Why would somebody spend almost the same amount for a device that still functions like a regular tablet?

swagismore:

Apple will be dropping a 128 Gig iPad. We here at Swag Is More are asking, is all that space necessary in a tablet?

Admittedly I’m not a fan of Apple, but this just seems like a ridiculous move to me.  What makes the Surface Pro unique isn’t the more storage, it’s the fact that it is basically an ultrabook in tablet form. Why would somebody spend almost the same amount for a device that still functions like a regular tablet?

January 12, 2013 8:21 pm
CES postscript: The touch laptop, like it or not

While I haven’t really been impressed with the convertibles or super tablets so far, it really is a huge waste to buy anything without a touchscreen in my opinion.  Like it or not, Windows 8 has landed and with it the touchscreen has become the future standard.  To be fair it’s not so much that the convertibles are bad, it’s just that the past 4 years have seen a drop in consumer price for full powered laptops so while the one’s with touchscreen are a bit more expensive than they’re peers they’re certainly a better option than paying up to $500 more to be able to flip the screen flat.  Anyone else in the market for a new PC?

December 13, 2012 11:34 pm November 28, 2012 10:07 pm

Still Waiting for a PRO: An Open Letter to Microsoft

Dear Microsoft,

    A little over 5 months ago, you made an announcement that made me more excited than any human should be for an inanimate object.  With the Surface came the possibility of what I had been waiting at least a year for.  While others have come to love these glorified transitional products we call tablets, I maintain my position as a stubborn bastard and will settle for nothing less than a fully-realized PC/laptop replacement.  I dream of the day that I can drive down the road to the local coffee shop, order a green tea and sit down not to merely watch youtube and peruse the internet in the presence of the public hoping some cute girl will walk by and against all odds comment on my excellent taste that she would have never noticed on my tragically not-quite-large-enough phone screen, but to do actual work.  I want to put together that spreadsheet I couldn’t finish at the office, go through my project plan as I sip on my hot beverage, make a half-hearted attempt at designing an android app on the side.  I believe it is time that we have both the portability of a tablet with the FULL functionality of the clunky laptop my company so foolishly entrusted to my care.

     To give some more background, a little about myself.  I am a budding IT professional 2 years removed from college.  By no means do I so much as entertain the idea that I’m any kind of technical wizard (professionally the most technical task I have completed is writing a script that creates a CSV file with the sizes of all files in a directory) but I don’t think it would be narcissistic of me to assume that I understand more about technology than the average user.  I do a fair amount of research and know how to apply these tools to what I need to get done.  As such a user, I was immensely excited to read about the Surface tablet.  Now don’t get me wrong, I was fully aware of the difference between the Surface and the Surface Pro.  I even knew that the plan from the beginning was for the Surface Pro to debut 3 months after the Surface.  While it bugged me that I would have to spend an extra 90 days with the bruised and battered soldier of a PC I am currently typing this on, I was fully expecting the wait to pay off.  Sadly I can no longer say I maintain such expectations, and you seem to be doing nothing to convince me otherwise.

     Last weekend, I made my way down to the one regional mall containing a Microsoft store.  This is made more impressive by the fact that I live closer to 3 other major shopping malls.  As I said, I have been fully aware of the differences between the Surface and the Surface Pro, but this also meant that I was aware of how good of a preview the Surface would give me.  Now don’t get me wrong, as promised the Surface is a beautiful piece of technology.  I felt like a child again playing with the magnetic simplicities of the snap-on keyboard and awesome stand.  Unlike many I actually love the interface of Windows 8 and by extension Windows RT.  However, it became more obvious by the minute that a device of this size, this rigidity and this keyboard could never become the object of all of my computing needs.  If I am to believe everything I have found going through the tech blogs for the past 5 months all of these features will be the exact same on the Pro model.  Perhaps my biggest annoyance however was the lack of knowledge by the staff.  This certainly isn’t there fault, it’s yours for not informing them enough to handle those that have so patiently waited.

     I am now at an impasse.  I see many hybrid tablets and superlight touchscreen ultrabooks with all the capabilities I am looking for available.  While I was prepared to wait just a little longer to see this baby fully-realized, I was also expecting to know quite a bit more about it at this point.  At the very least I would have liked to know the price of the device I have seeked out every detail about by this point.  While the size is admittedly another dealbreaker, should I be able to buy the Surface Pro in a slightly larger size and a price under $900, I would more than gladly wait through this holiday season to make my ultimate acquisition.  Honestly, I might even drop the size issue if the price were to be as low as the rumors have some believing.  Unfortunately, not even your store staff can give me assurance on these issues and as such may be driving me to another device by a different company.  While I am probably not the most average of consumers, chances are most of those waiting specifically for the Surface Pro are thinking similarly to me. 

     The purpose of this letter is not so much to criticize your product as much as how you have campaigned it.  I am loving my brief interactions with Windows 8 and most of my qualms with Surface RT are personal preference rather than critical issues.  But like the english language, Windows is the choice of business.  I believe part of the reason you have taken such a drastic change with your strategy as of late is to make sure your company continues to see growth.  If you do not keep current and future leaders such as myself in the loop, this will not be your result.

Sincerely,

Bill

November 26, 2012 7:49 pm
Nintendo's Wii U Takes Aim at a Changed Video Game World - NYTimes.com

I believe the issue is that in the past the consoles or a pc were necessary to play any game. Now casual gamers have cheap and small alternatives in non-gaming devices. The Ouya actually seems like a better alternative as it is still cheap and allows for more expansive games to reside with the cheaper ones.

November 10, 2012 4:10 pm
8bitfuture:

Ethiopian kids hack Zoom tablets in five months.
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project recently tried a new approach to distributing computers to developing countries, by leaving boxes of tablets in remote Ethiopian villages with no instructions. The Motorola Zoom tablets had a custom English language OS, a solar charger, and tracking software to monitor how they were used.
To the surprise of the organization, not only could the kids who started using the tablets easily figure out how to switch on and use them, but they also learnt to hack into the OS and enable features - amazing especially seeing as most of the kids had never seen a printed word before, let alone in English.

“We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He’d never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android.”

OLPC used the experiment to see whether kids can teach themselves to read and write English. Research shows that 100,000,000 kids worldwide don’t even make to to first grade, often because there are no schools or teachers available. For the cost of a tablet, that could all change. Previous OLPC studies have also shown that the kids will also teach their parents to read and write as well.

8bitfuture:

Ethiopian kids hack Zoom tablets in five months.

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project recently tried a new approach to distributing computers to developing countries, by leaving boxes of tablets in remote Ethiopian villages with no instructions. The Motorola Zoom tablets had a custom English language OS, a solar charger, and tracking software to monitor how they were used.

To the surprise of the organization, not only could the kids who started using the tablets easily figure out how to switch on and use them, but they also learnt to hack into the OS and enable features - amazing especially seeing as most of the kids had never seen a printed word before, let alone in English.

“We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He’d never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android.”

OLPC used the experiment to see whether kids can teach themselves to read and write English. Research shows that 100,000,000 kids worldwide don’t even make to to first grade, often because there are no schools or teachers available. For the cost of a tablet, that could all change. Previous OLPC studies have also shown that the kids will also teach their parents to read and write as well.

(Source: dvice.com, via cracked)

September 9, 2012 3:54 pm
emergentfutures:

Amazon delves into book subscriptions with Kindle Serials



Amazon is trying to bring back the once-popular subscription-based book model, offering Kindle owners a way to subscribe to serialized novels.

Full Story: CNET

emergentfutures:

Amazon delves into book subscriptions with Kindle Serials

Amazon is trying to bring back the once-popular subscription-based book model, offering Kindle owners a way to subscribe to serialized novels.

Full Story: CNET

August 2, 2012 3:18 pm
Apple or Samsung: You Decide

Admittedly I am fairly biased against Apple, but some of the patents they’re claiming are just ridiculous.  What’s everyone else’s opinion of this case?

June 25, 2012 4:46 pm
"

I took away three major things from [the Microsoft Surface] event, and the only one them that directly related to the device hardware being shown off was that integrating the keyboard into the cover was a stroke of awesome.

(…) For the first time, I can really see a tablet replacing a notebook as my primary computing device. Before today, I couldn’t say that with any real conviction - I tried it with the iPad on multiple occasions, and it just didn’t work. I’m a writer, tablets aren’t ideal for writing. Surface changes that in a big way.

"

Vivek Gowri, AnandTech

Precisely what I’m interested in.

(via konterkariert)

June 22, 2012 3:11 am
Microsoft Surface prices to be above $599, rumor claims

Being more in the market for a new laptop rather than a regular low-powered tablet, I’m much more interested in the Surface Pro going for $799 which if it really has all the capabilities of a regular ultrabook I would be more than happy to pay.  $599 for the RT version would be a huge mistake though, I’m guessing this won’t be the case as the writer says.  Microsoft has been on too good a roll lately to make that big of a mistake with this.