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HD without more pixels?

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Is Nanosys’ awesome new screen technology gonna be in iPad 3? I hope so. Wow. — Scobleizer.

Robert Scoble of scobleizer.com does an excellent profile of a company called Nanosys.  Nanosys has developed a technology for LED lit screens that creates more true and vivid colors.  So much so that screens with the same resolution look higher resolution with this easy cost neutral upgrade

The video is an interview with Nanosys CEO Jason Hartlove that does an excellent job explaining the new technology.

[via scobleizer.com]

Unfriendly Skies

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Video outcry prompts Delta to repay GIs hit with $200 bag fees.

Delta recently received a little egg on its face when a US soldier returning from Afghanistan posted a video on YouTube about being charged $200 for his extra bag.  The video has apparently been since removed.

His entire unit ended up shelling out $2,800 in out of pocket expenses for their extra bags.  According to reports the soldier’s fourth bag contained his M-4, a grenade launcher, and a pistol.  The tools he was issued to fight and defend himself with.

Delta should be letting these soldiers bring anything they need back and forth from the warzones, free of charge.  They’re not checking golf clubs or snowboards.  They’re checking what they’ll need to survive under fire in parts unknown.

How big a pair of balls do you have to have to tell a platoon of war hardened GIs that they have to pay for that last bag?

Oh, and no liquids either…

Apple’s WWDC Announcements

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A lot of cool announcements from Apple at the World Wide Developers Conference today.  New versions of Mac OSX, iOS, and introducing iCloud.

Lion

OSX 10.7, also known as Lion, will be released sometime in July.  It will cost only $29.99, but will only be available through the Mac App Store.  That means you need OSX 10.6, Snow Leopard, and an internet connection.

Most of the user interface changes seem to focus on gestures and more advanced use of the trackpads.  I personally love my Magic Trackpad and am very much looking forward to this.

iOS 5

iOS 5 releases sometime this fall.  Probably with an updated iPhone and iPods.

Twitter is all over this thing.  Heavy integration with Twitter means that just about anything you do on your iOS device can be Tweeted about right from the App you’re doing it in.  I’m not much of a Twitter user.  I only use it for Flipboard on my iPad, but this might change that.

An improved notifications system lets you swipe down from the top of the screen and see all of your new notifications and launch from that menu.

Syncing over Wi-Fi is the feature I most wanted to see.  This means I can plug my phone into its charger next to my bed at night and sync it without having to hook it up to my Mac and wait till its done before I go upstairs for the night.

Big improvements to the camera and photo Apps make them easier to take, edit, and to share photos.

Apple has also taking its messaging App for the iPhone and rebranded it iMessage to work across all iOS devices and no need for a wireless contract.  iMessage works among iOS devices. So as far as I can tell this means no messaging to a friends Android phone from your iPad.  More to follow.

iCloud

iCloud kills MobleMe and replaces it with a free service that turns all your Apple devices into one.  All of your contacts, calendars, photos, iTunes music, mail and app data sync via Wi-Fi amongst all of your Apple devices, automatically.

To sync the music you’ve not purchased through iTunes, a $24.99 per year subscription is required, but unlike Amazon’s service, it doesn’t require uploading your entire library.  iTunes Match scans your music, finds it in the iTunes library and pushes that copy to your devices.  It only uploads the music it doesn’t recognize or have in it’s iTunes library.  Very Cool.

iPad 2 Announced

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iPad 2 will ship in both black and white from day one.

Apple announced their iPad 2 yesterday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.  Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance on stage to announce the new tablet.  Jobs went on an indefinite medical leave back in January for unspecified health reasons.

The new iPad, being launched on March 11 in the U.S., will have a new dual core A5 processor with speeds up to twice that of the current model iPad and its A4 processor.

Graphics performance is being billed as nine times that of the current iPad.  Impressive since the current graphics are already smooth and responsive.

Apple added two video cameras.  One to the front for Facetime calling and for use of the new iPad version of Photo Booth.  A rear camera is capable of 720p HD video.  Apple is also releasing an iPad version of their video editing program iMovie.

Other new features:

  • New smart covers that attach with magnets and turn on the iPad when removed.
  • An HDMI dongle to connect to an HDTV for video mirroring.
  • An all new thinner and lighter unibody design.  33% thinner that the previous iPad.
  • A built in gyroscope.
  • 3G connectivity on either Verizon or AT&T.

Apple also announced that they will be releasing iOS 4.3 the same day as the new iPad.  The latest version of the iOS brings personal hotspots to iPhone 4s.  It also brings expanded Airplay capabilities, Safari speed enhancements, and iTunes home sharing so you can stream your music and movies from your Mac or PC to your iOS device.

While the announcement brings a new refreshed and faster iPad to the table, the end product is not a knock your socks off improvement over the last iPad.  None of the new or improved features were unexpected.  One thing left out that I had expected was Thunderbolt, Apple’s version of the new Intel created Lightpeak I/O, capable of 10 gigabits a second.

As a current iPad owner, nothing with the new iPad will inspire me to plunk down at least another $499 for the base model 16GB wifi only iPad2, if not more for a higher end model.  I think new owners of the iPad will be happy with the second generation, but i don’t think that many current owners will have any regrets about not waiting.  The one thing that really makes the iPad what great is it’s rich selection of apps.  Until a new version of the iPad offers apps capable of doing things that current iPads can’t do, I don’t see myself or many current owners switching.

Having said that though, overall the new iPad is definitely an impressive device and will surely sell well.  Most other tablets have a ways to go before they can catch up to what Apple has done, especially with its App store and all its offerings

Good people parking only.

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Can’t find a parking spot? Get a hybrid … or a baby. – TwinCities.com.

This article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press explains how some organizations, including public libraries, are designating prime parking spots for fuel efficient and hybrid cars only.

Now, I get having designated spaces for handicapped people.  However, I will say some lots  have too many and that some people shouldn’t really qualify for the privilege in my book, but that’s another rant.

Special parking for pregnant women or families with small children?  Seems to me most places with these spots are places that cater to children anyway and wouldn’t do much good because so many people qualify.

But, really?  Hybrid and fuel efficient parking only?  I’m all for the green revolution or whatever you want to call it.  I think breaking away from foreign oil is an important national security issue and an economical must if oil prices continue to go up.  But, if we’re going to start offering special parking to those that we deem helping the greater good, why not offer parking spots to those who vote.  Or those who volunteer.  Or civil servants.  Or organ donors.

Giving the disabled parking spots that are closer to the building makes sense.  They have a physical limitation that prevents them from traveling across the parking lot easily and/or might need a bigger space to use a ramp.

Giving people a special space as reward for buying a certain type of car is asinine at best.  Even in the name of the environment.  You could almost call it elitism.  People with hybrid cars are better for the environment, so they get the better spots.

A lady from one of the local transit authorities that has these fuel efficient only spots is quoted as saying that carpools and park and rides were created to be environmentally friendly.  I disagree.  Good for the environment is a happy coincidence.  Carpools and park and rides were created to save time and money on peoples commute.  Share the fuel burden with others while taking extra cars off the road and creating less traffic.  Less pollution is a nice result, but probably not the dominant reason for the public’s participation.

Now everybody, go out and buy a fuel efficient car or hybrid car, but don’t expect a reward from society.  Be happy with doing something good for the environment and paying less in fuel costs.  No cookies or gold stars should be needed.

iPad2: Electric Boogaloo

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Apple Event on March 2…and it’s definitely iPad.

As an iPad owner, I’m very much looking forward to what the new iPads will have.  I would assume faster processing, more battery life, and a front facing camera for Facetime.

It will be interesting to see if Apple puts the new Thunderbolt I/O on the new iPad.  That would definitely make syncing videos to the iPad a lot less painless.

Whatever they put into the new iPad, I’m not sure I would be that compelled to buy a new one just yet.  The big selling point for me has always been apps.  My current iPad works great for that so far.  While I’m excited for the event, unless Apple adds some new, non-rumored feature that changes the interaction and usability of apps, I don’t see getting one right away.

Maybe I’ll wait till iPad3.

Libya defectors: Pilots told to bomb protesters flee to Malta

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Libya defectors: Pilots told to bomb protesters flee to Malta | World news | The Guardian.

This seems to be the last gasps of a dying regime.  Libya’s government is fractured and Gaddafi is bombing his own people to remain in power.  The situation in Libya seems to be the most volatile out of all the Middle Eastern countries with anti-government movements.  Many experts seem to think that Gaddafi won’t remain in charge much longer, but won’t go down without a fight.