iO, iO -- TechMan, being cutting edge (or foolish and impatient) downloaded the new Apple mobile operating system, iOS7, on his iPhone and iPad the day it came out last week.
Here's a few things I like about it:
iTunes radio -- A Pandora-like streaming music service that allows you to specify the kind of music and artists in channels you create. At first I had trouble with the audio stopping on its own on a 3G connection, but that seemed to settle down.
Multitasking -- Instead of just a row of icons across the bottom representing active programs, you now get a cover-flow-like presentation. To close an app, just swipe it up.
Command center -- By flicking up from the bottom, you expose the command center, which gives easy access to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, airplane mode, sound controls, camera, timer, calculator and even a flashlight.
Search -- If you swipe down in the middle of the homepage, you get a search window.
Along with improvements to photo display and Siri, swipe to go back, and automatic updates (no longer waiting for 20 apps to update from the App Store), so far IOS 7 has been well worth it. Especially since it's free.
Copy machine -- MakerBot, a leading consumer 3D printer maker, has introduced a desktop 3D scanner, allowing you to scan objects that can then be replicated and printed in 3D.
The $1,400 scanner, called The Digitizer, creates 3D digital design files that are ready to print in 12 minutes, reports Mashable.com
Like that gewgaw you have? Replicate it.
NSA backlash -- In more fallout from the National Security Agency data collection revelations, Brazil is proposing to take its Internet out of U.S. control. Proposals to do this include: constructing submarine cables that do not route through the U.S.; building Internet exchange points in Brazil; creating an encrypted email service through the state postal service; and having Facebook, Google and others store data by Brazilians on servers in Brazil.
Keeps on going -- Tesla Motors, innovative maker of electric cars, has filed a patent on a hybrid lithium-ion and metal-air battery pack that could extend the range of electric vehicles to 400 miles between charges.
BlackBerry in a jam -- It seemed like only a matter of time until the hammer would fall BlackBerry. The company has announced 4,500 layoffs, 40 percent of its workforce. On Monday Fairfax Financial Holdings offered to buy the company in a deal valued at $4.7 billion.
BlackBerry flew high on the basis of the strong security of its cellphone network, attracting government and business customers. And many consumers liked its keyboard-equipped phones.
But when Apple changed the industry by convincing everyone they needed a touchscreen phone, BlackBerry was caught flatfooted. It took a while to bring out a touch phone and it wasn't a very good one.
With others catching up on security, BlackBerry started to shed its core customers.
The company will lose almost $1 billion in the most recent quarter mainly because of the disastrous sales performance of its newest smartphone, the Z10.
Geek quote of the week: "I'm still a geek on the inside, that's the important thing." -- Weird Al Yankovic
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