Monthly Archives : April 2013

Your smartphone may be dumping Gorilla Glass for Sapphire Glass?

Currently sapphire is the second hardest material behind that of a diamond and is currently used in certain military armor. If some sapphire creating startups have their way, they will be able to make it cheap enough to put into many other products, such as tablets, smartphones, and TVs. Really the uses are endless. This material is a little weaker than a diamond but it is much cheaper and abundant than that of diamonds.

Sapphire is a transparent, crystalline form of aluminum oxide that is extraordinarily hard, scratch-resistant, a melting point of 2,030C, and almost completely impermeable and impervious to caustic chemicals. Essentially 10 times more scratch resistant than glass used in windows.

Although sapphire costs about $30 compared to the $3 Gorilla Glass costs for you iPhone per say, but it will also prevent us from seeing those shattered iPhones screens that come around every now and again. If they are able to make the stuff cheap enough I say why not, but our smartphones already come at a pretty penny and I would hate to see that go up even more but I guess the costs of staying on the cutting edge might be well worth it.

Check out the vid…

Windows reportedly going to merge Windows and Windows phone 8 into Windows Blue

Contrary to recent releases, it appears that new rumors are coming out from Microsoft that the upcoming release of windows 8.1 or windows 8 Blue is much more than just an update/service pack. It appears that Microsoft is intending to merge both the pc and mobile platforms under one product called Windows Blue. What does this mean and how will it play together, well that’s all speculation at this point. With recent announcements from Microsoft that allow the support of lower resolution screens kind of play into this rumor.

It is already knowledge that windows phone 8 and windows 8 already share quite a bit of similar code in the start menu and much of the back end networking code, as well as application compatibility.

To tell you the truth, I’m rather curious as to how they will do this as I’m a big proponent of having the phone and OS separate. The metro interface should be the phone and they should go back to the original style in my personal opinion.

Windows 8 store is broken

Do you like the windows app store. I’m not a huge fan. It has a sloppy interface and several things are broken. The main fundamental issues with the windows store is the fact that the search algorithms are quiet useless. They often do not understand what you are looking for and give you improper results. If Microsoft wants to make this a viable option, they need to put some serious effort into improving this functionality. It frustrates me while trying to search for applications.

The other big thing is they need to tighten the branding search. If you search for Facebook, there will be about 20 different items that show up and Facebook isn’t’ even the first one. It gets quite frustrating for most people and I hope they really fix this soon if they hope to gain any ground.

Windows 8 adoption at a stand still

It appears that the numbers for Windows 8 is not good after just four months on the market. With users dissatisfaction for the new windows 8 metro interface it seems to have slow sales to almost a halt. This is also true in the Windows store where there has only been an additional 4,000 apps since February. At this growth rate, they will reach over 100,000 apps by sometime in late 2014 which is much slower than any other app store. Even with that being said, most of the apps in the store are useless apps anyway and not worth downloading. Hopefully with Windows 8 Blue, Microsoft will make some significant changes if they want to get back in the PC game. Windows 8’s growth rate is actually slower than Vista’s growth rate, and we all know what happened with Vista.

What are your thoughts on Phablets?

We had the smartphone, and then we had tablets, and now we have phablets. These oversized phones that double as a tablet, or if you prefer tablet that doubles as a phone, are here but will they stay? Currently smart phones larger than 5 inches currently only consist of about 2% of the total phones out there. Yeah it’s great to have this huge phone in which you can make calls and watch movies but what often suffers on these types of devices is the battery life. It’s hard to run such a large screen on a thin device and have ample power to run them. I had the first DroidX and although the battery was great for a while, I’m now two years in and the battery does not last a whole day. I know I should probably upgrade right. Phablet? Probably not.

The woes of Office 2013 installation

So I guess this a little venting process that I need to go through with Office 2013. First off, I can’t help but say it, it’s ugly as sin. The color options of all white, light grey, or dark grey is quite disappointing. One would think that they wouldn’t make something that is so dull and bland. The functionality of the program essentially is the same with a few little additions here and there but it drives me nuts without any color added to it.

The other issue that really drives me up the wall with this is the licensing. When you only need the home and business edition it is really dreadful. You essentially have to register each of your copies to an account and when you have multiple home and business copies it becomes less than fun. See when you add it to your portal, it does not give you any indication as to what computer it is installed on. It simply gives you the name with a number beside it and continues to increment when you put a new copy in. that’s fine until you need to reinstall or if it has been a while since you’ve done it. You forget. Then when you try to activate it will tell you it’s already activated and you will either have to reinstall or call Microsoft and go through the telephone activation process. The change product key from office 2010 is no longer available and it’s quite frustrating.

Initially when they required you to stream it down from the website was an atrocious idea as well. If you have a customer with a slow internet connection it takes forever. Recently I had a customer running off a T1 and they required 5 new PCs to be setup in my visit which was about 4 hours. There was no way I could stream 5 copies off office over that kind of pipe.

I apologize for the ranting but these things have been driving me crazy about the new office install.

Tablets overtake laptops in 2013

NPD is currently predicting that tablet sales will reach greater numbers than laptops in 2013. That is a very good statistic in my opinion as before the iPad was announced, nobody cared about a tablet. In today’s world, you can hardly go anywhere without someone having some kind of tablet that they use for everyday use. Currently bva has many clients that use the iPad exlusively in the field. They do this with specialized applications that have been found along with some cloud services much like that of box, Google drive, and sugar sync. You might find soon that someone’s whole company works off mobile devices.

If windows 8 ever takes off on tablets, there will be an even more demand for an increase in these devices. Currently the iPad leads the way but who knows what is next.

Surface OEM keyboard review

My initial time with the keyboard for the new surface was an ok experience. At first glance it appears to be a well-built keyboard and made out of durable material. When attaching it to the device it snapped right in without issue and no drivers need to be installed. I was off and running. The touchpad is rather nice and gives you the clicking feeling as you press down on it. It is also very responsive and worked well. It took me a little while to get used to it as it was quite smaller than previous keyboards that I had been using. After a short time with it I was able to get the hang of it and everything worked great. The feel and function of it compared to many others. There are many other third party keyboards out there, some of which include swipe gestures, specifically the TouchPal that seems to be very popular and I would like to try it out soon.

Self-healing, self-monitoring chip

A group of Caltech researches have been able to create an integrated circuit which is able to repair itself if it sustains significant damage. The specifics on how this is accomplished is as follows. There is a secondary processor that will spring into action and determine the best course of action in order to finish the task at hand. In addition to a second processor, the chip consists of roughly 100,000 transistors and sensors to be able to diagnose its health status. The group tested the self healing abilities by hitting the chip with a laser and destroying half of the transistors. Reports indicate that it only took a few milliseconds to adjust itself and continue functioning on task. It was also noted that the chip also was able to improve efficiency after the laser blast by reducing power to the remaining transistors.

This has quite a lot of uses in terms of wear and tear items, such as laptops, cell phones, robots, etc… It allows them to be able to take more abuse and continue to keep on functioning. This may also prove beneficial as more technology gets taken into war zones and battle fields. Devices will be able to take the abuse more adequately.

Samsung unveils Mega Smartphone

If you follow anything mobile, you know that Samsung is a major player in manufacturing devices. Well recently Samsung has released a smartphone dubbed the Galaxy Mega, which comes with a 5.8 inch screen or 6.3 inch model. This is once again one of those large smart phones that could be considered almost a phablet as it is slightly smaller than other android tablets by a mere .7 inches. This phone includes a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, and 720p display. The 5.8 inch model does not come with LTE, so you’ll have to purchase the 6.3 if you want that fast connection.