Something special this way passed. Google last week – June 9, 2011 – treated the world to a quiet surprise, with no fan fair or public release the ‘Les Paul’ Google Doodle was released as a tribute to what would have been Les Paul’s 96th birthday – he sadly left us 2 years ago in 2009 – . Replacing Google’s normally colourful logo on its ubiquitous search page with an interactive guitar synth created a huge buzz, word of the tribute spread quickly through offices and living rooms around the world. It turned out to be so popular that the Doodle was left up for a second day and is now available in Google’s archives. This Doodle was different mind you, part musical instrument and part recording studio, like everything Les Paul it inspired the musician in all of us to play.
Samsung has put all of its cards on the table and released the GALAXY Tab 10.1. The thinnest and lightest 10.1″ tablet to hit the market so far. This is a salvo fired across Apples bow, Samsung finally has hand. With fast hardware, the latest Android Honeycomb OS and a beautiful hi-res display Samsung has all of the ammunition it needs to take the fight right to Apple.
The iPad 2 is the undisputed king of tablets at the moment and will naturally be the yard stick for any new tablet entering the market. The GALAXY Tab 10.1 is 2mm thinner and 15 grams lighter than it’s rival so off to a good start. Nvidis1GHz Dual Core Tegra2 CPU and graphics chip is as good as ARM CPU’s get at the moment. The 1280×800 resolution again just beats the iPad 2s 1024×768 resolution. Onboard DDR memory is another win for Samsung 1GB versus 512MB, a handy advantage for multi-tasking. front and rear-facing cameras are also standard. 4G wireless is a win for Samsung, not a practical win with 4G coverage being limited, so while it is 4G chances are it will run on a 3G network. Galaxy versus iPad 2 purely on specs looks like a win for Samsung, it doesn’t win the hardware spec battle hands down but it does win.
Android and Windows may not be a match made in heaven, Google and Microsoft haven’t been seen in the same room together for a long while after all. As it turns out the children of the two 900 pound gorilla’s may look good enough together, enough so that one company has given it a shot.. BlueStacks is that company and their software allows you to run Android software on Windows tablets or PCs.
Billed as a way to make real tablet software available for Windows tablets. BlueStacks may be on to something here, until Microsoft release Windows 8 for Tablets and software for it appears Android applications have the advantage of being made for a touch screen world, running standard windows apps on a tablet has been possible for 30 years – GRIDPad released 1989 – but it has never taken off because a tablet and desktop PC are two very different beasts.
At this years Computex conference this week OCZ has been showing off their latest storage technology for us to drawl over. With the RevoDrive 3 PCIe SSD card they have set the benchmark for consumer oriented Uber storage solutions. Like greased lightning for your computers insides, this is the newest gadget that every noid computer builder wants. It’s not as glamorous as and new 3D transistor CPU from Intel or the latest Über video card but PCIe storage makes up for it with exclusivity. This is leading edge technology that few people have.
Just like a standard SSD – Solid State Drive – the RevoDrive 3 replaces the hard drive in your system instantly converting your old beige box into a sleek performance machine. This card is fully bootable allowing it to be plugged into any motherboard and used as your systems boot drive, not all PCIe SSD’s are capable of this. What makes the RevoDrive different from hard drives and typical SSD’s is the way it connects to your computer. In the Revo’s case it uses a PCIe slot – Peripheral Component Interconnect Express, motherboard slots -, instead of the slower SATA interface . By connecting directly to your computers motherboard the RevoDrive is able to achieve speeds much higher than the old SATA hard drive interface.
TDK maker of many amazing things has just announced the beginning of production of the first transparent screen for mobile phones. Designated the lyrical name UEL476 TDK has opened the see through doors to the future.
Built using Organic Electroluminescence – O-EL -materials, which are very similar to the organic compounds found in firefly’s. With an O-EL display a slight electrical charge is used to light up the organic compund that makes up each pixel or dot on the display. Unlike an LCD display the TDK small screen doesn’t require a back light, the organic compound itself emits the light. Sitting behind each LCD panel is a flurescent or LED light source that is coloured by the LCD panel as light passes through. This type of display would be very difficult to turn into a transparent display. The O-EL or OLED displays on the other hand are perfect for this.
Magnetism is more than just a fun property to experiment with in Science 101, not just a scientific curiosity. Scientists have discovered the Chameleon Magnet, a permanent magnet that can be switched on and off at will. Magnetism is the glue that holds every atom and molecule together. The very small world of nano magnetism – magnetism of atom’s and molecules – is very a different beast, not high school magnetism. In this world free electrons can be used to pass spin information on to other electrons, large groups of electrons spinning in sync can set up a magnetic field. All of these bizarre effects are being studied and applied to Chameleon Magnets and Spintronics, the science of using the spin of electrons to do work in electronics gadgets.
ChromiumPC the shiniest of shines and the name of the first ever Google Chrome OS based desktop computer. iSYS Technologies and Xi3 Corporation have teamed up to release a flexible and impressively hip looking compact computer. Using a very clever modular design Xi3 have managed to fit an impressive amount of computing power into this coke can sized computer. Then just to make it catch your eye they made it out of Billet Aluminium and Chrome.
More than just a PC the Chromium represents a new PC architecture as well as a new software architecture in Chrome OS. This is a small shiny PC with a leading edge punch. Using a modular design the PC’s internals are spit into three daughter boards that are upgradable. The layout of the modules helps with keeping temps down inside. It sounds logical but the smaller internal space in a computers case the easier it is to keep cool, small spaces collect heat very fast. The three modules that make up Chromium are the Processor Module, the Primary I/O Module and Secondary I/O Module. Each of the modules are upgradeable as new technology is released.
and why I can never use my much loved compact camera again, damn . . ..
When an opportunity to test a camera like the D300 comes along you have to take it. When you have that chance and it happens to fall on the day of the St Kilda Festival well the odds are off the charts. All of the photo’s in this article were taken during an afternoon at the St Kilda Festival..
The D300 today was provided by CrashPICS with a Sigma 70-200 zoom lens fitted, extra battery fitted allowing faster burst modes and a 16GB memory card. The body of the D300 is heavy duty and feels really solid with its Magnesium alloy weather-sealed shell. The optional MB-D10 battery pack, big lens and the full kit loaded the camera does become a little heavy, but it’s all worth it. The camera body alone is 825grams, loaded up your close to 2kg of technology.
The D-300, 12.3-mega pixel – with a monster 23.6 x 15.8mm CCD chip – was officially replace by the D-300S in December 2009, this does also mean the D-300 can be found cheap second hand at the moment. Bargains can be found for as little a $1200 Au$. This won’t last as the numbers sold initially aren’t ever as high as cheaper cameras. The camera was set to max resolution 4288 x 2848, producing jpeg files of around 8meg a shot.