Author Archives: uni85.99
Amazon.com has reported that Kindle books have now overtaken the traditional paperback books since the start of this year. And we're not even talking hard cover books - we're talking handy paperbacks!
Amazon's stats are surprising, but the margin between the two sales is still pretty narrow. For every 100 paperback books sold by Amazon, 115 Kindle books were sold. And compared to hardcover books, digital books that were sold amounted to three times that of hardcover. Amazon's stats do not include free Kindle books and it encompasses the entire Amazon business in the United States, including those books for which there is no Kindle version.
It has been previously known that digital books were outselling hardcover books, but this is the first instance that digital books sales have overtaken the sale of paperback books. It is not known what's the exact number of Kindles that have been sold in 2010, but according to some reports, 8 million Kindles were sold last year. This figure, if combined with the sale of iPods, iPads, iPhone etc, amounts to millions of digital book sales, because Kindle offers its e-reading app on multiple mobile platforms.
In the Digital Book World Conference, James McQuivey from Forrester Research gave some research-based information in which he estimated that about $1 billion were spent on e-books last year, and this figure would reach around $1.3 billion in 2011.
Researchers in Massachusetts have come up with an innovative technology that can prevent drunk driving, and lead to fewer road accidents due to drunk driving. The concept is simple. If the driver is detected to be drunk, the car won't start. How, you may ask.
Well, the Driver Alcohol Detection System detects the driver's alcohol content in their bloods via two techniques. Firstly, it can analyze the breath of drivers and if it finds trace of alcohol, the car would not start. Another method is to analyze the skin of the drivers, through sensors placed on steering wheel or doors. The threshold is 0.08, beyond which the car will not start.
A similar system is in place for convicted drunk drivers, which is the alcohol ignition inter-lock system. But researchers say that this system will be an improved version and will be less obstrusive.
The US Transportation Secretary, Ray Lahood told AP that this technology is "another arrow in our automotive safety quiver." He also said that this technology wouldn't be necessary, but will be optional for car manufacturers in the future.
The research has been funded by NHTSA and Automative Coalition for Traffic Safety.
The processor of the PSP is an ARM chip, exactly like the Apple iPad. ARM processor chips are widely used by major mobile device manufacturers, including Motorola (in its tablet Xoom) and RIM (in their tablet PlayBook). But the specs of the PSP's processor does pale the competition in comparison.
Sony's PSP will be powered by an ARM Cortex-A9 core, whch is a quad core processor. The graphic processor unit (GPU) will be an advanced one, from Imagination Technologies (also quad core). Linley Gwennap, the Principle Analyst at Linley group (a consulting firm for chips) said, "That's pretty leading edge. We're starting to see some other quad-core, and [Nvidia's] Tegra 3 is supposed to be quad-core."
The Tegra 3 by Nvidia is to be announced at the Mobile World Congress next month. Joe Byrni, another senior analyst at the Linley Group said, "And how fast might that be? "Sony is providing consumers with a mobile device with about four times the CPU and GPU performance of an iPhone 4."
There are a few issues that might need attention, such as the ARM chip's heat producing concerns. And secondly, the battery life is also an issue. Gwennap further said, "In a game environment, it's going to be interesting to see how they manage that. When you're playing a game you just don't start and stop. So, they need to figure out a way to keep those four cores running without generating too much heat and without draining the battery. But you can always turn something on, turn something off. It depends on the needs of that particular game."
Intel's has been developing Meego OS, which is a lighter Linux OS, and works on netbooks, tablets and embedded devices. The upcoming tablet would be the first Meego-powered tablet.
The current version of Meego is 1.1, and version 1.2 is supposed to be released in the end of April, 2011. It is not known right now, exactly when will the Intel Meego tablet be released. But Intel did demonstrate Meego OS on tablets and showed its multi-tasking abilities. Multiple applications can be easily run on the Meego OS simultaneously as well as game-playing of multiple users. This introdction will enable Intel to offer an OS which will cater to low-power devices that run on its Atom processor.
Meego OS was announced in February, 2010 as a joint venture of Nokia and Intel. The Intel's Moblin platform and Nokia's Maemo OS was merged to create Meego OS. Currently, the Linux Foundation is managing the development of Meego.
Google has begun restricting search queries such as "BitTorrent", "torrent", "RapidShare" and "Megaupload" from its search engine's auto-complete and instant
service. This has come after Google came under fire from the entertainment sector for not censoring "piracy related" terms.
This announcement hasn't been made publically by Google, but TorrentFreak has reported that Google has come up with a list of keywords which won't activate
the auto-complete search service. It is not known what the list actually contains, but you can go check out the filter, by typing "BitTorrent" in the Google
search field. Sure enough, after writing "Bitt", the keyword doesn't appear and also doesn't appear on Google Instant.
Combinations of keywords have also been censored, such as "Ubuntu torrents". This phrase will also not generate any suggestions in Google.
This move has not been welcomed by all. RapidShare, for one, isn't too pleased. The compnay said in a statement, "We knew about Google’s plans for quite a few weeks now. We embrace that certain search suggestions will not put a wrong complexion on RapidShare anymore, but we are concerned that at the same time the legitimate interests of our users will also be affected. We believe it was the wrong decision to remove the term ‘RapidShare’ from the search suggestions."
Simon Morris of BitTorrent expressed his opinion that the filter by Google is very broad. He said, "There’s no reason for Google to throttle search results for our trademarks, including BitTorrent, µTorrent and torrent," he said. "Indeed, they do still enable auto-complete for many third-party clients that use the BitTorrent protocol, including BitComet, BitLord, and even sites like The Pirate Bay and Isohunt."
This was revealed in a conference call after Nokia's fourth quarter report. Stephen Elop mentioned that Nokia needs to change rapidly in a fast-paced market and to consider "multiple ecosystem patterns". This phrase has been interpreted as an indication that Nokia might be planning to change to another smartphone platform.
Geoff Blaber, an analyst at the research form CCS Insight said, "Mr. Elop was clearly hinting that Nokia is either considering the adoption of a new operating system or that it has already made that decision. The most likely option in that case would be Google Inc's Android."
Android OS has been taken up by smartphone vendors globally, including Taiwan-based HTC Corp, and US vendor Motorola. According to the research firm Gartner, Android clinched a market share of 26% worldwide in the third quarter of 2010, while it just had a 3.5% share in 2009.
Nokia's Symbian platform for smartphones did not do so well. It declined to a 37% market share in 2010, while it had 45% a year earlier. With Mobile World Congress coming up, we hope to hear more about this from Nokia.
News Corp is going to officially introduce their digital newspaper for Apple's iPad on February 2, 2011. Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of News Corp and Vice President of Apple Inc. Eddy Cue will be introducing the digital tablet newspaper (called the Daily) at Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Initially it was reported that the launch will take place on January 19, in San Francisco and Murdoch and Steve Jobs will launch the Daily. Due to technical difficulties, the event was postponed. Some days later, Apple revealed that Jobs is to take a medical leave.
Now, the Daily will be launched at a cost of 99 cents per week, James Murdoch, News Corp's executive revealed. The Daily is a digital-only newspaper which is going to be available initially in the US only and will encourage investment in journalism. It is going to enable consumers to buy their online news - a move that is generating a lot of interest in the business community. Declining circulation of newspapers is a major factor behind this move, and the print media personnel are hoping that it revives the consumer interest.
Only this week, a personalized news serivce called Ongo was launched by New York Times Co., Washington Post Co. and Gannett Co. This service is subscription-based and can be accessed via browsers, smartphones as well as tablets.
In the last quarter of 2010, Apple managed to ship 11.5 million units including Mac and iPad sales. According to Canalys's stats, Apple clinched nearly 10.8 percent of the global PC sales. Now, with increasing growth over the years, Apple is now pretty close to the world no. 2 PC manufacturer, Acer which sold 13.6 million units in the holiday quarter of 2010.
No doubt the iPad has given a great boost to Apple sales. A senior analyst of Canalys, Daryl Chiam said, "Any argument that a pad is not a PC is simply out
of sync. With screen sizes of seven inches or above, ample processing power, and a growing number of applications, pads offer a computing experience comparable to netbooks. They compete for the same customers and will happily coexist. As with smart phones, some users will require a physical keyboard, while others will do without."
Another analyst from Canalys, Tim Coulling said, "Pads gave consumers increased product choice over the holiday season. While they do not appeal to first-time buyers or low-income households, they are proving extremely popular as additional computing devices."
Microsoft has unveiled the Mac version of Office as a free trial for users. Mac Office 2011 is available in two versions: Home and Business. They application
suite consists of full versions of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. The application can be tried out by users for 30 days.
After the trial, users can purchase the activation key of the application either through an online purchase, or by buying a boxed copy of the suite. To get a key online is the cheaper way of the two. Microsoft, however, has made the trial period of Mac Office 2011, only half as long as the Windows edition of Office 2010 (which is valid for 60 days).
Alternatives to the Office suite is the free application OpenOffice.org, as well as paid applications; LibreOffice and Apple's iWork bundle. The Mac Office 2011 trial application can be downloaded from Microsoft official website, once you provide your name and email address. The download size is 890MB.
When asked whether Microsoft will include OneNote to the Mac Office 2011, the Microsoft Mac team tweeted, "No, we don't have any updates outside of the new [Office for Mac] 2011 suite which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook."
Now this is a cool addition to Google Voice. You can port your personal phone number to Google Voice, by paying $20 for the service. This means that if you are a user of Google Voice, you do not have to take care of remembering two numbers. You can use your own personal number on Google Voice and access its features such as the voicemail, conference calling, etcetera.
There was a similar service announced by Google last year, that a personal number can be ported to Google Voice, but that number portability wasn't a full one, and the user couldn't use the whole feature set of Google Voice. Last week, we heard some rumors that full number porting will now be available by Google Voice, and it has been announced now.
To start with the number porting process, you need to log on to your Google Voice account and go to Settings. Then click on 'Change/Port' which is next to your Google Voice number. The porting process will take about 24 hours. Then, your mobile service plan is to be cancelled and you need to take a few steps to begin using your mobile phone number for Google Voice calls. Here is a short video to illustrate the process: