Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The next generation of Gaming, 1-0 to Sony

Japanese technology giants Sony have unveiled the 4th instalment of the enormously popular Playstation series.

The games console, that was officially revealed at this year’s E3 Trade show in Los Angeles, California, have been hotly anticipated.

Though many of the console’s features and upgrades were announced in February, Sony had kept potential buyers guessing on some essential details, including the general design of the Playstation 4.

Andrew House, Head and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, said that the PS4 represents, in many ways, a totally new Playstation.

Maybe the reports which has many people talking is the declaration the PS4 will seriously dent its nearest rival, Microsoft’s Xbox One, on price. Mr. House unveiled that the Playstation 4 could be sold at US $399 (£349) upon release, whilst, at the identical fair, Microsoft had previously revealed the Xbox One would cost US $499 (£429).

Another significant announcement came when it is revealed that Sony wouldn’t be introducing any limitations on second user games. In truth, the Playstation 4 won’t even require gamers to regularly validate their machines via the Net in order to continue play.

Conversely, Microsoft has added more limitations concerning who a player can buy second-hand titles from. The corporation has yet gone as far as to need Xbox One gamers to connect to the net once each day so as to use their machine.

According to Sony, there is approximately a hundred and forty PS4 games currently in progress, with one hundred or so expected to go on sale within the PS4’s initial year of issue. Industry insiders have speculated that Sony are trying to reach out to indie developers, particularly those that feel stifled by Microsoft.

Drawing an enormous cheer from the audience, Jack Tretton, boss of SEA stated, “PS4 won’t impose any new limitations for your use of PS4 game discs,”



BBC correspondent Dave Lee reported that, “If console battles were decided by the frequency and volume of whoops and cheers from highly strung gaming fanatics, then Sony has won it hands down”.

The present Sony console, the PS3, outsold Microsoft’s Xbox 360 by a decent margin, but was consequently outsold by Nintendo’s Wii. It’s thought that Sony are trying to rectify this using the release of the PS4.

Sony’s announcement has been seen by some as a calculated hit against Microsoft, with IGN.com’s UK Editor-in-Chief Alex Simmons recounting it as a very public slap across Microsoft’s face.

Sony declined to provide a release date for the new console, but stoutly hinted that the PS4 ought to turn up around Christmas time.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Superman Celebrates 75th Birthday

In the week sees the seventy fifth anniversary of that 1st arrival of Superman.

June 1938 saw the first issue of ‘Action Comics’, which enclosed the actual initial arrival of the individual that will inspire lot of people worldwide. It is, to any or all intents and purposes, the birth of that superhero story.

The character was an immediate winner, inspiring not only the whole genre of superhero fiction, but additionally radio plays, film serials and reams of merchandise.

Superman creators Jerry Siegel (writer) and Joe Shuster (artist) had worked for years, first to bring about the individual and then to retail him to a publisher.

In 1932, the twosome created a fanzine called ‘Science Fiction’ which enclosed the tale ‘Reign #of the# Supermen’, featuring a villainous, all-powerful being. Later that same year, this embryonic ‘Superman’ was re-tooled into the more heroic version we all know today.

The thought for the new Superman in fact came to Siegel one sleepless nighttime, during which he wrote the whole story that will ultimately show in ‘Action Comics’ initial issue. The following day, Shuster created the character’s iconic appearance and a hero was delivered.

In 1933, following a series of rejections, a gloomy Shuster actually set fire to the early version of the story. All that survived was the cover art, an image which has ever since become iconic.

Editor Sheldon Mayer was the very first person to take a gamble on Superman, giving the colourful hero a canopy appearance on the first issue of Action Comics. This issue, in mint form, can today reach prices as high as $2Million.

Superman has remained well-liked in comic book series like ‘Superman’ and ‘Action Comics’ as well as plentiful spin off series starring his supporting characters like Superboy, Supergirl, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.

He has also drawn crowds with hit films like Richard Donner’s 1978 ‘Superman’ film and the 2006 movie ‘Superman Returns’. The character can also be a TV mainstay, being depicted in lucrative series like ‘Lois & Clark’ and ‘Smallville’ also as numerous children’s cartoons.

Superman’s 75th celebration will see DC Entertainment unveiling a brief Superman-themed emblem celebrating this landmark anniversary.

The particular event will be commemorated by a new Superman comics series entitled ‘Superman: Unchained’ made by the creative team of Scott Snyder (writer), Jim Lee (artist) and Scott Williams (inks).

Elsewhere, the latest Superman movie ‘Man of Steel’, starring Henry Cavill, will open in theatres from Friday 14th June, ensuring the occasion is well and truly marked.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUPERMAN!


Friday, 14 June 2013

What iphone Applications are most excellent for Educating Offspring?

Tablet pc’s can be brilliant educational devices, as I’ve mentioned at great extent in other web posts. So, having established that, what apps are the best for teaching the fundamental topics and inspiring literacy and numeracy in small ones?

For £1.99 is ‘Herd Absurd’, that is an app that mixes and matches characters and their attributes, of this app, Guardian.co.uk said,

“Herd Absurd! is a characterful take on those children’s books where you flip sections of the page to put different heads, bodies and legs of characters together. Here, it’s animals that your kids will be mixing and matching, with suitably cheeky animations making them smile along the way”.

Herd Absurd is best performed together with your kids, sort of a book or a game (of which it’s a combination). Also for £1.99, ‘The Land of Me’ is an additional fun game that doubles as a education experience; this one introduces children to ‘Shape, Size and Colour’ (as the subtitle suggests). The Guardian said of this one that,

“British startup Made In Me has been exploring interactive children’s fiction with its The Land of Me apps, scooping a BAFTA nomination in the process. This latest example focuses on, yes, shapes, sizes and colours as kids create monsters, animals and vehicles”.

A little bit less costly at £1.49 and perhaps, a little bit more literate is the app ‘Five Little Monkeys Play Hide and Seek’. This one is more of a digital paperback, but with interactive basics. The exact same guys who made the Dr. Seuss apps make this one. According to the Guardian’s Top thirty list,

“It’s a digital version of a book starring five cheeky monkeys trying to get out of bedtime by playing games. Expect rhyming text, lots of chances to practise counting, and a mixture of voice narration and word highlighting to help young readers”.

For our friends across the pond, ‘Ansel & Clair: Paul Revere’s Ride’ is a child-friendly app that shows American history in amusing, engaging, bitesize chunks. According to Teach Thought.com, the makers are ones to pay attention to.

“Cognitive Kid is one of those companies that will go down in history as being one of the first to develop outstanding learning content, where discovery is the model & play is the focus, where students love it as much as the teachers and every school considers it a must have! Let us share some feedback from the students during round one. When kids were asked to respond why they thought it was a good way to learn, the responses were plain and simple. “Because it teaches important history stuff in a fun to play way.” Or, the let me get right to the point comment, “Made boring history fun.””

Teach Thought also highlights ‘Eye Paint Animals’ as being an app that is definitely entertaining, educational and highly innovative. Within ths app, the kid’s mind is on the fore, but you will discover educational elements as well. Of these designers, Curious Hat, Teach Thought stated that,

“They strive to design tools for children that encourage discovery play and foster creativity, they succeed spectacularly. Curious Hat has taken the iOS user experience to a whole n’other level.  Luca states, “Our apps are not games, they are discovery tools aimed at energizing kids to play, create, invent, explore and learn in enjoyable ways without the limitations of set parameters.””

So there you go, a pleasant list of reasonably priced, learning apps for iOS. I trust this helps.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

What 2 way radios are used in lodges

Update РLodges are some of the most complex businesses around, with a variety of departments that rely and work with each other, communiqu̩ between these departments and management is significant for day-to-day efficient operation of the business. Secondary to a top quality contact infrastructure is full coverage of the hotel and the modern digital methods are improving the reach and excellence of the radio signal, providing the very best broadcasting for just about any size lodge.



Whether in the hotel, casino, resort, club or restaurant industry, there is increased pressure to provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction to win invaluable word of mouth endorsement.

Professional operators in this sector have quickly realised how two way radios help in providing fast customer service and the effective management of employees across different departments including security, safety, front of house, housekeeping, maintenance, banqueting, kitchens, restaurants, shops and car parks.

Kenwood’s NEXEDGE digital two-way radios are in use at some of the largest and most exclusive hotels, resorts and casinos in the world, where two-way radio communication keeps guests feeling safe and significantly enhances operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. For example, front of house can make sure that housekeeping are able to prioritise which rooms are prepared first and in turn, housekeeping can contact laundry and stores for additional linen, guests’ amenity kits and so on. The same would apply to security and safety within the building and its grounds, especially in the event of a security breach or in an emergency situation where the safe and fast movement of large numbers of people will need to be managed.

Smaller hotels are likely to use peer to peer hand held two-way radios, while larger establishments such as resorts will probably employ a trunked system with a separate channel for each department.

Whatever the size of hospitality business, there’s a Kenwood NEXEDGE two-way radio solution to suit; ensuring operations run smoothly and efficiently and that guests and safe and happy.


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

What can we expect from the 8.9" Kindle fire hd, Cnet give us one of the initial reviews

Editors note – All of us like the amazon kindle fire, what an excellent gadget, using the big rise in 7″ tablets the kindle fire hit the ground successfully, now though to compete with the nexus 10 and perhaps the apple ipad, plus copious other ten inch tablet pc’s Amazon have developed the kindle fires slightly larger brother a 8.9″ or we shall call it as a nine inch tablet pc. this site has one of the initial evaluations of that tablet pc and you can read it beneath in its extensive glory.



Amazon’s regular E Ink Kindle continues to be massively popular thanks to its easy to read display and Amazon’s vast collection of digital books. The Kindle Fire HD tablets aim to take that popularity and add high-definition colour screens and a host of media streaming services on top.

The 8.9-inch model reviewed here begins at £230 for the 16GBmodel or £259 for 32GB. Both of those are subsidised slightly by displaying ads on the lock screen. An extra £10 will get you the tablet with no ads. You can always buy the ad-supported version and pay to remove the ads if you find them annoying.

Should I buy the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch?

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is identical to its 7-inch sibling in basically every way. They share the same outward design, run the same simple-to-use-software and have access to the same multimedia content from Amazon. The only difference is down to the physical size of the screen.

With a bigger display and higher resolution, the 8.9-inch Fire will be better suited to watching videos and reading glossy magazines on without zooming in as much. On the other hand, it’s slightly less portable than the 7-inch model and less comfortable to hold up in one hand. If you primarily want a Fire for ebooks, with just a splash of social networking, the smaller Fire might be the one for you. It’s really down to personal preference.

Both models rely almost entirely on Amazon’s various streaming services and dedicated app store. Although there’s plenty of content available, if you want to browse a much wider selection of apps or make more use of other, non-Amazon services, an Android tablet might be a better choice.

The Google Nexus 7 is still a superb option, providing a high definition screen and powerful processor. At £160, it’s £70 less than the cheapest Kindle Fire. Spend an extra £39, however, and you can snag an iPad mini. Its metal frame is much more luxurious, you can download videos from iTunes for offline playback and you’ll have access to hundreds of thousands of apps in the iOS app store.

Design and build quality

In design terms, the 8.9-inch Fire is identical to its 7-inch sibling. Both models share the all-black colour scheme and rubberised back with metal strip. That rubberised back looks rather smart although picks up greasy marks a bit too easily. It’s not as luxurious as the metal on theiPad mini, but it doesn’t feel cheap either.

The difference between it and its little brother is in size only. The expanded screen size means it now measures 239mm wide, 163mm tall and is 9mm thick. It’s slightly slimmer than the smaller model, although isn’t pushing the iPad mini’s svelte 7.2mm thickness. At 567g, it’s heavier than the iPad mini too, but it’s far from bulky. You won’t struggle much to hold it in one hand while reading for at least an hour.

There’s no flex in the chassis, nor is there any annoying loose panelling, which helps make it feel like a well constructed slate. I’d have no worries about chucking it into my carry-on luggage and waltzing through the airport. If you want to keep it pristine for as long as possible though, there’s a wide selection of cases and covers on Amazon.

Around the edges you’ll find a micro-USB port for charging and data transfer, a micro-HDMI port for connecting it to a big TV, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack, a volume rocker and power button. The buttons sit almost perfectly flush with their surroundings, which makes them very difficult to find by touch alone, and I found this a little annoying. They’re easy to press once you eventually find them though.

There’s no slot for a micro SD card, so you’ll have to make do with whatever storage amount you chose. If you get the majority of your content using streaming services like Spotify, Lovefilm and Netflix then you’ll probably be fine with the 16GB model. If, however, you’re likely to buy a lot of image-rich magazines, want to save photos and music locally and are a serial app addict, I recommend opting for the higher capacity model.

Tucked into the metal strip on the back are a pair of speakers. I was far from blown away by the sound they produced, but then speakers on tablets and phones never impress. They do the job for the odd YouTube clip, but if you want to enjoy your movies at their best, you’ll want to plug in a good set of headphones. Having speakers on either side does at least mean you aren’t constantly covering them up if you hold one side, as I constantly find to be a problem with my third-generation iPad.

You won’t find a camera on the back, but there is a front-facing lens to make video calls over Skype.

Screen

The 8.9-inch display boasts a 1,920×1,080-pixel resolution, making it Full HD. That’s quite impressive for a device of this size. It gives it a pixel density of 254ppi. By contrast, the 7-inch model has 216ppi, while the iPad mini brings up the rear with 168ppi.

Although it has a higher pixel density than its little brother, I actually found the smaller screen appeared sharper. The fine detail in a tree’s leaves in my test image were much clearer on the smaller screen. Colours are slightly warmer on the 8.9-inch model, but it isn’t noticeable enough to make much difference when you watch movies.

It might not look quite as crisp as its sibling, but fine text still looked perfectly sharp. It therefore functions well as an ebook reader and can display your streamed movies in Full HD without any problems. It’s also bright and rather bold too, so it’s generally well-equipped to act as a all-round excellent media device.

Amazon Kindle software

At its core, the slate is running on Android software, but it’s unrecognisable from the Android you’d experience on phones like theSamsung Galaxy S3 or HTC One. Amazon has essentially taken the architecture of Android and built its own software on top.

Instead of multiple homescreens, you’re met with a carousel showing your most recently accessed books, music, photos and apps. Pressing and holding an item can remove it from the carousel, but that option is perilously close to the ‘remove from device’ button and there’s no confirmation request if you hit it by accident.

Along the top is a list of items for games, apps, books, music, videos etc. Pulling down from the top of the screen unveils a notifications bar, in which you’ll also be able to access system settings. Home and back navigation buttons appear on the right-hand side, but are able to hide away in apps and videos so you can enjoy your content in full screen.

It’s neatly laid out and isn’t difficult to use. Even the most chronic technophobe shouldn’t find themselves struggling after an hour or two of playing around.

The on-screen keyboard is clearly laid out and easy to use, although one problem I found was the back navigation button is placed roughly where you’d expect the backspace key to be. On several occasions I navigated back a page when I intended to delete a word. It’s the same issue Jason Jenkins found when reviewing the smaller Kindle Fire too.

Apps

It might be an Android slate at heart, but the Kindle Fire HD doesn’t have access to the Google Play store or its vast catalogue of apps held within. Instead, Amazon curates its own stripped down app store. It has around 20,000 apps, including most of the essentials. Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Real Racing 3 are there, but Google’s collection including Gmail, Google Drive and Maps, along with apps like Instagram, aren’t available.

If you’re an app addict who likes nothing more than boring entertaining your friends with your high scores on the latest fashionable mobile game then this probably isn’t going to be the slate for you. If your app needs don’t stretch further than keeping up with Facebook posts then you won’t have any problems with the store’s shelves.

Music, video, books and magazines

The Kindle Fire HD is primarily designed to be a multimedia consumption device. As such, you’ll have access to Amazon’s vast collection of music, ebooks and magazines as well as video from Lovefilm.

The process for buying books is the same as on regular Kindles. You can browse on the tablet or on Amazon’s desktop site and, once purchased, your book will be instantly downloaded to your registered devices. It’s totally fuss and trouble free which will suit the gadget geeks and tech-fearing people alike.

Buying music works in much the same way. Any music you have previously bought from Amazon’s music library will be available, and you can transfer up to 250 songs from your computer to Amazon’s cloud service for free.

You can up that number to 250,000 for a yearly £22 fee. Amazon has over 20 million songs in its catalogue so you’re unlikely to find your favourite artists missing. You can access the cloud music service from up to ten devices, including iPhones, Android phones and desktop computers.

Amazon’s newsstand allows you to download the latest issues of a variety of magazines and newspapers. You’ll generally pay around the same as you would for a single issue of the paper mag in a shop, but you do at least get the convenience of carrying numerous issues around in a small tablet.

The screen is just about big enough to enjoy magazines, but you will find yourself zooming in on smaller text. Swiping through the pages of an issue of Olive magazine was fairly smooth, although pages sometimes took several seconds to render properly, which could prove irritating if you’re skimming through to find a particular article.

Video is delivered to the tablet by Lovefilm. While you do have access to a huge library of TV shows and movies for £4.99 per month, it’s a streaming service only — there’s no way to save video locally to the device. You therefore need to maintain a constant Internet connection in order watch your shows.

That’s a problem for the Fire, as with both Apple’s iPad and regular Android tablets you can buy movies to watch offline. Watching films on trains without Wi-Fi, on planes, or just with a dodgy Internet connection isn’t going to work. The only way you’re going to get video offline is if you transfer the files over from your computer.

Processor and performance

The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire runs on a Texas Instruments OMAP4470 processor — a dual-core 1.5GHz affair. In terms of straight-line power, it isn’t going to offer any kind of challenge to the supercharged quad-core tablets, but it’s not designed to. Instead, it’s supposed to pack enough wallop to handle your media needs.

Thankfully then, it seems to do just that. Navigating around the interface was mostly free of any noticeable lag as was opening menus and settings. It was able to stream Full HD video without any judder too — it would have been a huge problem if it struggled with this.

Gaming fans will appreciate the Fire’s grasp of 3D graphics too. Playing Real Racing 3, I was impressed at the crisp graphics, detailed lighting reflections and, crucially, the smooth frame rates it achieved. There aren’t masses of games available in the store — and some that are there are more expensive than their Android counterparts — but the tablet is ready to tackle the ones you do find.

Conclusion

As a purely media-focused device, the Fire HD 8.9 has a lot going for it. Its Full HD screen is ideal for video playback and Amazon’s various streaming services provide a wealth of content to enjoy. You’re limited to only using Amazon’s stores though, so if you ever plan on buying your media elsewhere — or want a more expansive app selection — a standard Android tablet might be the better option.



Original source – http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/ipad-and-tablets/amazon-kindle-fire-hd-8-9-review-50010785/


Monday, 10 June 2013

Apple are running scared of Samsung and their tablet pc"s

When this problem was initial put to me, my immediate deliberation was (adopts Jerry Seinfeld’s terrible English accent) “not bloody likely”. However, after a small amount of research, I was stunned to discover that it can be, actually true.

In February, research firm IDC confirmed that Samsung had doubled its tablet PC market share in the final three months of last year. Based on BBC news:

“Samsung, which makes the Galaxy range of tablets, sold 7.9 million units, up from 2.2 million a year ago, taking its market share to 15.1%. Market-leader and iPad-maker Apple saw its share slide to 43.6% from 51.7%, despite also seeing a jump in sales. The two have been competing to get a greater share of the tablet PC market, seen as key to their overall growth”.

IDC attributes this increase in progress to a rise in tablet sales in general and with a larger significance in transportable technology in modern years. IDC’s Tom Mainelli alleged,

“New product launches from the category’s top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments totals during the holiday season.”

Microsoft’s Surface only garnered a halfhearted response, shifting 900,000 units overall in the last 3 months of 2012. IDC believed that the high costs of the Surface (and Microsoft window 8 pc tablets usually, no doubt) had hurt sales overall. The mixed opinions can not have aided much, either.

So why has Samsung done so well? The reviews were not universally great. Matt Egan of PC Adviser.com, gave the Galaxy Tab 2 a tepid 3.5/5, saying,

“A year ago we liked the Tab 10.1, and for the second generation the hardware specs remain broadly the same, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has a much better operating system. All for £100 cheaper than it was. We love the bright screen, and adding SD support and 1080p video capture are both improvements. The problem is the competition: the Nexus 7 in particular has changed the game for Android tablets, and is a little more than half the price of the Tab (albeit with a smaller screen, half the storage and no front-facing camera). Meanwhile the iPad remains a cut above for £100 more than the Tab 2 10.1”.

Meanwhile, Dave Oliver of Wired.co.uk said,

“It’s a step down from the Galaxy Note 10.1, but the Galaxy Tab 2 offers some serious improvement to its predecessor as a good value Android tablet with Ice Cream Sandwich and a fine screen”.

Still, the Galaxy Note run is faring a little bit better. Reviewing the Galaxy Note 10.1, Mr. Oliver was just a little bit more enthused. Saying,

“The Galaxy Note 10.1 is a top-end tablet with a price to match (same as the iPad, basically). It can’t beat Apple’s sales behemoth on its screen, but in terms of versatility, with its writing interface and expandable memory, plus a good quality camera and very fast quad-core processor, it just about slots in at the top of the Android tablet tree making it a worthy challenger to iPad domination”.

 Plus a valuable contender it might appear to be, since the Galaxy Note seems to be the reason for that unexpected sales spike, at the very least the most of it. On the other hand, Samsung have always been putting out quality products for a long time now and that specific development is showing no signs of stopping, or even slowing down.