‘Not as cool’ Samsung Galaxy tablet wins round against iPad
Reuters: Samsung Electronics has defeated Apple in the latest round of the rivals’ patent wars. A British judge has ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets do not infringe Apple’s designs for the iPad because they’re ‘not as cool.’
Photo: An iPad, left, and Samsung Galaxy have their similarities, but a British judge has ruled their differences are apparent. (Reuters file)
1:1 ipad implementations- this is your nightmare. This comment from a student is going viral on reddit with more than 1,000 comments. Basically, the school bought ipads, required students to pay $50 for insurance, set up a wiki for teachers to post assignments (but the teachers don’t.) The student actually posted this post from his/her ipad. Likely this experience on Reddit is going to be one of the best learning experiences of the year. Read this and share it with your 1:1 implementation team. iPads without a fundamental change in how you teach are just expensive toys. We need to change all of how school operates, not just what is in the kids’ backpacks.
As online shopping has surged, traditional retailers have lost millions in sales to so-called showrooming — when shoppers check out products in stores that they then buy from Web sites like Amazon. It has gotten so bad that Best Buy even replaces standard bar codes with special Best Buy-only codes on big ticket items so they cannot be scanned and compared online.
Previous attempts have made it possible to type out individual letters, but not in real time and with limited fidelity. What the team from Universiteit Maastricht’s Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience Department of Neurocognition have managed to do is much more impressive. It is realtime and functions with entire words and phrases. Best of all, the system requires very little setup.
In the near term, this technology could be a boon for the disabled or locked in. In the long term, however, this research will lay the groundwork for though-based communication. Eventually a technology to replace fMRI will be found, one that doesn’t take up an entire room. One will be found that can be attached directly to the brain. And when that happens, the formulas and models used in this experiment will become immediately applicable.
The system is based on 27 individually detectable thought patterns. These are tied to letters. As you think the pattern, it gets interpreted as its corresponding letter and displayed on a computer.
After an initial learning session where the computer learns to associate brain patterns to letters, the patient can immediately start typing in real time, thanks to software developed by the team.
Now, in its current state the speed is still slower than what you can do with your fingers. But it is a critical first step, one that will shape what comes next.
Yesterday Google Announced Jelly Bean, their next generation operating system for Android powered devices. So what is it and what does it bring to the table?
Google has implemented triple frame buffering and many other new enhancements to how it handles graphics. The goal was to make rendering on the screen as buttery as possible (Google even called the UI ‘Butter’) and it looks like they have succeeded. Jelly Bean takes the smoothness of Ice Cream Sandwich and makes it even more impressive.
This was all part of an initiative Google called Project Butter, which had one simple aim: achieve constant 60 FPS throughout the entire UI on all modern hardware. And it works. Launching Google apps is nearly instant, using voice features results in no delay between click and use, and the gallery finally works flawlessly.
Keyboard with Better Predictive Text
Android’s stock virtual keyboard has never been great, and even though they improved it in ICS I still had to switch to Swype. But Google has pumped a lot into making the new JB keyboard the best it possibly can be. Basically they have reinvented Swiftkey, the venerable keyboard replacement that offers amazing text predictions as you type. If you use your keyboard a lot, your life is about to get much easier.
Maps now work offline. Actually downloading the map is a bit of a chore, but once it is on your machine you are set. Though you should know that maps are quite huge right now. You can quickly fill up your phone with them.
Offline Voice Input
This is actually a very impressive feat. Google has previously relied on some clever backend work to make voice input work, packaging up your command and sending it to their servers for processing. But that introduces lag into the whole thing and still requires internet access. Google has performed some wizardry, however, and now voice input works locally on the machine.
We talked about this yesterday so I won’t spend much more time on it, but Google Now is Google’s Siri competitor. It looks like it will be amazing.
Enhanced Notification System
Jelly Bean introduces a pretty radical redesign of the notification system. The basic concept is still there—a pulldown shade with all your notifications—but Google has made it much more information rich. Now you can expand notifications, for example, to see what gmail messages you have. And others can code for the expansion.
Tablets will also see a slightly different notification pane, one that doesn’t cover the entire screen. Rather, it will be centered with a translucent black border around the page.
For the first time, a person lying in an fMRI machine has controlled a robot hundreds of kilometers away using thought alone.
.”The ultimate goal is to create a surrogate, like in Avatar, although that’s a long way off yet,” says Abderrahmane Kheddar , director of the joint robotics laboratory at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan.
Teleoperated robots, those that can be remotely controlled by a human, have been around for decades. Kheddar and his colleagues are going a step further. “True embodiment goes far beyond classical telepresence, by making you feel that the thing you are embodying is part of you,” says Kheddar. “This is the feeling we want to reach.”
To attempt this feat, researchers with the international Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-embodiment project used fMRI to scan the brain of university student Tirosh Shapira as he imagined moving different parts of his body. He attempted to direct a virtual avatar by thinking of moving his left or right hand or his legs.
The scanner works by measuring changes in blood flow to the brain’s primary motor cortex, and using this the team was able to create an algorithm that could distinguish between each thought of movement (see diagram). The commands were then sent via an internet connection to a small robot at the Béziers Technology Institute in France.
The set-up allowed Shapira to control the robot in near real time with his thoughts, while a camera on the robot’s head allowed him to see from the robot’s perspective. When he thought of moving his left or right hand, the robot moved 30 degrees to the left or right. Imagining moving his legs made the robot walk forward.
To test the extent of his feelings of embodiment, the researchers also surprised him with a mirror (see “On the inside, looking out“). “I really felt like I was there,” Shapira says. “At one point the connection failed. One of the researchers picked the robot up to see what the problem was and I was like, ‘Oi, put me down!’”
A New York federal court has ordered a rare default judgment in favor of John Wiley & Sons, one of the world’s largest book publishers. Robert Carpenter from Poughkeepsie, New York, has been ordered to pay the publisher $7,000 in damages for sharing a copy of “WordPress All-in-One For Dummies” on BitTorrent. According to Judge William Pauley, the man is guilty of both copyright and trademark infringement.
» via TorrentFreak
Vital computer systems for London’s 2012 Olympic Games have come under repeated cyber-attacks — but only from hackers who were invited to join in thousands of hours of security tests.
Atos, the lead technology company for the Summer and Winter Games since 2002, said Tuesday it had carried out more than 200,000 hours of testing, including mounting simulated attacks. It’s all aimed at protecting the systems that will deliver results to Olympic venue scoreboards, event timetables to athletes, and Olympic accreditation information to British border officials.
» via Yahoo! News
Think of the scope of project managing the Olympics? It would be a nightmare. You would need contingency plans all over the place. Database or spreadsheet? Smartphones? Barcoded I’d cards? What else would you do?
Electronic textbooks and computing tablets have a lot of buzz, but the old bound volumes and desktop models still dominate on four-year college campuses, according to a new survey.
» via Inside Higher Ed
What are some advantages/disadvantages of eTextbooks?
Why do you think students have been slow to adapt to this technology?
Which would you prefer and why?