Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Google Docs Finally gets an Android app

Google's had a mobile-friendly version of Google Docs available for some time now, but it's now finally gone the extra step and released a dedicated Android app. That will of course let you access and edit your documents on your smartphone, but the real standout feature is the ability to capture text with your phone's camera and have it instantly made editable thanks to some optical character recognition. Google notes that won't work with handwriting or some fonts, but it promises it will get better over time. Hit up Android Market to try it out for yourself.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eye-tracking microdisplay delivers Terminator vision

The folks at Fraunhofer IPMS have done it! After years of tireless research and promises of Borg-like eyewear, the group has delivered a prototype of the world's first bidirectional, eye-tracking OLED microdisplay (got all that?) at SID 2011. The rig is much like a monocle, except with a transparent OLED display inside, which overlays digital information on top of the reflected light that usually hits your eyeballs. What's more, there are integrated photodetectors inside and special software to monitor the direction of your gaze, allowing you to interact with your newfound augmented reality using only the flick of an eyeball. Fraunhofer foresees joggers taking in movies while out for a run, which sounds more than just a little dangerous. I, on the other hand, envision a world in which the first thing anyone does upon meeting someone new is discreetly check their relationship status on Facebook -- finally fulfilling the social network's full creep potential.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

App Store placeholder hints at another iOS device

What appears to be a placeholder that popped up briefly on some App Store listings last night is causing a stir, hinting that another iOS app capable device could be on the way.
As spotted by developer Cabel Sasser and picked up by MacRumors, a compatibility description for "ix.Mac.MarketingName" appeared briefly under Sasser's listing for his newest iOS app called Prompt.
The app, which serves as an SSH admin tool, is universal--meaning it works on both the iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as on the iPad. The "ix" moniker showed up as a fourth device within that list. Since being discovered, the item has been removed.
The apparent placeholder shows up fewer than two months ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference where the company has said it is showing off "the future of iOS and Mac OS X". That future could very well include bringing iOS apps to other Apple products where they cannot currently be had, such as the Apple TV and computers running the next major version of Mac OS X.
For months, rumours and code snippets have suggested that Apple was looking to bring apps to the Apple TV, however when the second-generation device was released the features were not present. As for Macs, some of the design and interface changes to pre-release versions of OS X 10.7--including touch-screen-like track pad behavior and app organization with the Launchpad feature--have suggested the OS is getting more finger-friendly.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Say hello to the new Commodore 64!

This is amazing!  It has been announced that there is a new Commodore 64 although things are a little... complicated. We were first contacted way back in March when the company shared the news that it had acquired the rights to sell PCs under the name. Then what happened? Turns out this was not exactly the case... although CEO Barry Altman assured us that they were on their way towards hammering out a deal. And here we are, in possession of a press release saying that indeed, Commodore USA, LLC, and Commodore Licensing B.V. have finally come to an agreement, meaning that your subsequent purchases will at least come with a Commodore decal. But that ain't all! This also paves the way for the company's newest offering, the Commodore PC64, an Intel Atom-powered PC featuring 4GB DDR3 memory, SATA 1TB HDD, HDMI output, optical drive (either DVD/CD or optional Blu-ray), and more -- all in "an exact replica" of the original beige C64 chassis. Of course, doing any significant amount of work with the original Commodore keyboard will probably be a challenge, but we like to think we're up to it. As always, we'll believe it when we see it, but in the meantime we'd like to be the first to formally request a review unit. If everything goes according to plan, this bad boy should be out in time for the holidays.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Android Dev's Infographic

I find it strange that they would build a mobile phone OS on top of linux but then make it run a java virtual environment.  It's like getting mac but only running windows inside parallels or virtual box with it.  Hmmm.

I know this infographic won't be that interesting to most people but I found it cool so here it is.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Browsers and Operating Systems

I was look at my stats on blogspot today and found some of the information interesting:
Lets start off with the browsers.  I love how the readers of my blog are not idiots, in fact the go against the general sats for browser usage.

Look at all those dumb people using the slow bloated internet explorer (my apologies if you are one of those people).  Only 9.71% of the general crowd is using the superior super-speed Chrome =(

At least you guys know better.....right?

Now for OS's.  No real surprise here Windows DOMINATES (unfortunately).  But it is interesting that more of my readers use Linux than Mac.  That's kind of awesome!  I run linux sometimes (right now I have the 11.04 beta on my netbook and I'm lovin unity!) bu I think thats great that people are using these community based operating systems that don't rely on greedy black turtle-neck wearing CEO's!  Just think about it, Apple probably spends millions of dollars on advertising and Research Development, yet Linux manages to achieve a bigger market share than it (or at least of the people who read tech blogs).


What linux distro do you like to run?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Complete iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup.

The Browser Smack-down: Chrome vs. IE vs. Firefox

There's no doubt the latest crop of stable browsers from Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla are the best the companies have ever produced. But how do they perform when tested under identical conditions?

CNET put the latest stable versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer through a gauntlet of benchmarks that considered JavaScript and HTML5 performance, as well as boot times and memory usage. (Opera and Safari were not tested because they have not been updated recently, and neither has yet implemented hardware acceleration close to the level that the other three browsers have.) Note that these charts are at best a snapshot in time, and are dependent on the hardware being used and any extensions installed. The full charts are below, followed by analysis and an explanation of our methodology.
*JSGamebench was conducted by Facebook developers. The test was included because it's a publicly available test of real-world gameplay, though we opted to use Facebook's published data for simplicity's sake. The hardware acceleration using WebGL results were not included because only Firefox 4 and Chrome 11 were included in the test group, and Chrome 11 was not tested by CNET this round because it's still in beta.
Chrome 10Internet Explorer 9Firefox 4
SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms)336.20250.60292.37
Kraken (ms)8,806.3015,606.777265.13
V8 v6 (higher is better)5,173.672,235.333540.33
JSGamebench 0.3* (higher is better)322.001,156.001,482.00
Boot time (s)26.2221.8617.80
Memory (kb)390,532205,616148,020

Though the competition is extremely close in some cases--especially JavaScript rendering--Firefox 4 is strongly favored by HTML5 processing, boot time, and memory usage. Overall, I'd judge from these results that Firefox 4 is the winner this time around.

Chrome, however, is absolutely killing it on Google's V8 benchmark. Expect the next version of Chrome to perform much better on the JSGamebench test, once hardware acceleration has been fully enabled. You currently have to toggle a few switches in about:flags to get it all. Also expect Chrome's boot time and memory performance to improve--Google has said it plans to spend more time working on Chrome's memory hogginess in the coming versions.

Given the renewed resurgence in Internet Explorer, it's also hard to imagine that the IE development team isn't already working on making the browser better.

Also of interest is that the SunSpider results are extremely close. The gulf between 250 milliseconds and 290 milliseconds is just not going to be that detectable by the average person.

How we tested
Our test machine was a Lenovo T400, with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 chip running at 2.53GHz, with 3GB of RAM, using Windows 7 x86. We used four publicly available tests: WebKit SunSpider 0.9.1, Mozilla Kraken 1.0, Google V8 version 6, and JSGameBench 0.3. All tests except for JSGamebench were conducted using a "cold boot" of the browser, that is, both the computer and the browser being tested were restarted before each test. Each test was performed three times, and the results you see are the averages. Browsers had all extensions and add-ons deactivated for the tests.

We opened five Web sites for all tests, in addition to any test site. These were:,,,,,

The boot time benchmarks were conducted by manually starting a stopwatch when clicking on the browser's taskbar icon, and then hitting stop when the last tab's resolving indicator stopped rotating. One half-second was subtracted from Internet Explorer 9's pre-averaged times to account for the extra time it took to hit the Reload previous session link, since the browser doesn't support that feature the way Firefox 4 and Chrome 10 do.

The memory test was conducted by opening the aforementioned set of tabs and looking at Google Chrome's memory manager. You can access it by typing "about:memory" into the Chrome location bar. The figure we used is the Private Memory, which only totals memory used by the browser that's not shared by other processes. It's also useful because it tallies all of Chrome's open tab memory usage into one convenient number.