Modern Ghost Hunting Technology & New Google Nexus 10 Tablet

Modern Ghost Hunting Technology: Happy Halloween everyone! In a spirit befitting of this fun filled holiday I came across and article that discusses real life modern ghost hunters and the modern technology they use to search for evidence of the paranormal!

The article is from The Verge and is titled Chasing ghosts: the weird science of tracking the dead – here’s the link:

http://goo.gl/AKz7t

New Google Nexus 10 Tablet: Google was scheduled to host a press event this past Monday to introduce a new product, the Google Nexus 10, but cancelled it due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Sandy. Instead Google introduced the new Nexus 10, a 10.1” tablet with a higher screen resolution than the new iPad, via its website. The Nexus 10 will be available to purchase via the Google Play Store on November 13 and will come in two models: a 16 GB version for $399 and a 32 GB version for $499.

Here are links to two reviews of the Nexus 10 the first from Wired site and the second from CNET.

The first review article is titled Nexus 10: Hands-On With Google and Samsung’s iPad Challenger (from Wired):

http://goo.gl/NoMmu

And the second review article is titled Google Nexus 10 bests iPad’s screen, coming November 13 for $399 (hands-on) (from CNET):

http://goo.gl/IcFm8

Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone!

Linda R.

 

E-Books Borrowed (Rented?) Not Bought, Penguin & Random House Merge, New App Controlled Phillips LED Lighting System AND Library Closing Note

E-Books Borrowed (Rented?) Not Bought: Last week Norwegian Kindle owner Linn Nygaard discovered a crucial fact about buying e-books for your Kindle – that you’re not really buying the e-books at all. You are in fact buying a license to access the e-books. Or you could say you were renting the e-books or borrowing them but you are not in fact buying them. And that translates into the experience that Lin Nygaard had – that the seller or publisher of the electronics books can simply block your access to any e-books you’ve “purchased.” It seems that Linn Nygaard travels quite a bit and has owned two Kindles in recent years one that she bought in the UK and gave to her mother and one that she purchased online. And somehow, in some mysterious way Amazon decided that she had violated their usage terms. So Amazon cut off her access to her account and to her “purchased” e-book library and then sent her an a very vague email informing her she’d no longer be able to do business with Amazon and wishing her well in finding another e-vendor to do business with.

Amazon subsequently restored Nygaard’s access to her account and her e-book library without any explanation of why her account was blocked to begin with nor why they suddenly restored her access to her account and her e-book library.

And if you’ve glanced at this library tech blog periodically you’ll have noticed that I keep bringing the subject of the lack of e-book ownership up…

And I do that because I think the subject of “owning” e-books is of paramount concern. Because we, meaning those of us that buy e-books, don’t at the current time own the e-books we “buy”– despite the fact that all the e-book vendors I’ve ever bought e-books from – Amazon, Barnes & Noble & Apple via their iBooks Store have a “Buy” or “But it Now” button you click on to purchase the access to the e-books. And if those vendors and/or publishers decided to block our access to those e-books they can do so and we’d be up the creek without a paddle just like Linn Nygaard.

I see it this way — buying e-books, and for that matter digital videos and music should be just like buying print books (and DVDs & CDS) – you buy the book and it is yours to do with as you wish. And the print vendor and/or publisher police don’t come to your house at some point in the future, in the middle of the night no doubt, force their way into your house, stomping all over the flower bed in your front yard along the way for good measure, and take all the print books you’ve purchased back for some unknown and unexplained reason. However, that is just want can happen with e-books that you’ve “bought.” Under the current buying-a-license-to-access the e-books system you’re access to the e-books you’ve “purchased” can be revoked at any time without explanation.

And I think the lack of ownership – that is the inability of the individual consumer to actually purchase and own e-books is a huge threat to intellectual freedom because in the future, when e-books are the dominant form of reading material – we could find our access to the e-books we’ve “bought” barred by a vendor or publisher without cause and without even being offered the common courtesy of the vendor or publisher telling us why they believe we’ve violated terms of service as was the case with Linn Nygaard.

And to read more on the subject here’s a link to a Forbers article titled Amazon Ebooks Are Borrowed, Not Bought:

http://goo.gl/w0uzp

Penguin & Random House Merge: Now you may be thinking “What on Earth does the merging of two large publishing houses, Penguin & Random House, have  to do with technology? And my answer to that questions is that these two large publishers are merging as a way to both improve their footing in the printing world, which is undergoing a tremendous upheaval due to the growing popularity of e-books and the corresponding declining popularity of print books, and thus the fact that two of the largest English publishers in the world merging makes sense as they will be better able to prop up their print business and, hopefully, catch on and adapt to the digital age and produce more e-books without major league restrictions like either not selling e-books to public libraries, selling e-books to public libraries at 3 or 4 times the hardcover price and insisting on the restrictive DRM software when you “buy” and e-book so you’re stuck only being able to read that e-book via one platform.

Here’s a link to a paidContent article titled Penguin Random House aims to attack digital, emerging ebooks markets that offers more information on the subject:

http://goo.gl/C2KoB

New App Controlled Phillips LED Lighting System: Phillips has introduced a new LED lighting system that allows you to customize not only the brightness that lights give off but also allow you to change the color of the lighting. So you can offer orange light for your Halloween party and red a green light for  your holiday party! The lighting system can be controlled via an Apple app – so in essence  you can turn up the brightness level or dim the lights or change the color of the lights or even turn the lights on or off while you’re away from home all from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. The system isn’t cheap – it costs $200 for the initial kit that includes three light bulbs. The light bulbs should fit any lamp you own and should last 15 years so perhaps $200 isn’t too much if you’re a tech buff!

The Sacramento Bee has a concise article on this new lighting system. The article is titled Philips Reveals hue: World’s Smartest LED Light Bulb, Ushering in New Era of Connected Lighting for the Home and can be accessed via the following link:

http://goo.gl/JBEu7

Library Closing Note: The library will be closing today (Monday, October 30, 2012) at 4 PM and will be closed all day tomorrow, Tuesday, October 30, in anticipation of the Hurricane/Storm Sandy moving through our area. The library should re-open on Wednesday morning at 10 AM.

And as usual you can check the library’s homepage for weather closing information. The library’s homepage can be found at: http://ssclibrary.org/

Have a great day & stay safe!

Linda R.

 

 

Windows 8 Apps & Apple Expected To Launch Online Radio Service In 2013

Windows 8 Apps: Now that Windows 8 is available I thought it might be a good idea to mention some solid Windows 8 apps – available from the Windows App Store – that you might find useful if you upgrade to Windows 8 or buy a new Windows PC, laptop, tablet or hybrid tablet in the near future.

The apps include: Netflix, IM+, TuneIn Radio, StumbleUpon, MovieGuide, Maps, Free Books, Google Chrome, Kindle, MetroTwit (Twitter), Skype, Google (for direct access to the Google search box), HuluPlus, FlipToast, AllRecipes, Evernote, WeatherBug and more.

Here are links to three articles on that very subject of apps for Windows 8 – just in case you buy a new laptop over the weekend!

1. Top 12 Windows Store apps from CNET:

http://goo.gl/RMyUZ

2. 10 Windows 8 apps you should download first by PC World

http://goo.gl/bvHQK

3.  The 10 Best Free Windows 8 Apps For Work And Play by Business Insider

http://goo.gl/le2nM

Apple Radio Service: According to the Apple Insider in 2013 Apple is slated to introduce a new internet radio service to compete with the likes of Pandora and Spotify. And if you’re not familiar with internet radio – it is a popular way to listen to music because you can customize the music to fit your personal taste. So, for example, if I create a Frank Sinatra channel on Pandora* — then that channel will play the music of Frank Sinatra and other persons of that vintage and in that style – so you might here a Frank Sinatra song followed by a Harry Connick Jr. song followed by a Louis Armstrong song etc. Likewise if I create a Beatles channel I’ll hear music by the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and various other classic rock artists.

Some of my personal favorite Pandora channels are: George Winston Radio, Billie Holiday Radio, Beatles Radio and Christmas Radio.

The Apple Insider article, tilted Apple reportedly planning to launch online radio service by early next year, may be accessed via the following link:

http://goo.gl/PdIL7

Have a great weekend!

Linda R.

*Pandora is available and you can access the service via apps or through your web browser at http://www.pandora.com/

Windows 8

Windows 8 makes its debut on Friday. And this translates into any new PC you buy coming with the new Windows 8 operating system.

And if you haven’t seen a preview of Windows 8 – it is very, very, very different from any previous Windows operating systems. It is a larger step by far away from Windows 7 then it was from Windows XP to Windows 7.

And Windows 8 will be coming out not just on new desktops and laptops but also on a variety of tablets, including Microsoft’s own Surface tablet, and phones.

Also of note, touch screen desktops and laptops running Windows 8 will be available as well. This is because Windows 8 is optimized to work with touch screen technology.

Here are three new news articles that offer more in-depth information on Windows 8:

  1. Windows 8 is Hard So Say 14 Typical Users from CNET: http://goo.gl/PKkYy
  1. Microsoft Introduces Windows 8, Marking A ‘New Era’ from NPR: http://goo.gl/NDJ5M
  1. And also from CNET Windows 8: The complete new PC launch list  http://goo.gl/gOs1s

And just remember if every have any technology usage questions you can pitch them to the library’s tech staff!

Have a great day!

Linda R.

New iBooks App & New And Cool Webcam for HDTVs

New iBooks App: Along with several new hardware products introduced yesterday, Apple also introduced a new version of its e-book app  iBooks. The new iBooks app features allows you to, among other things, select an option to scroll down the page continually (as you would on a computer screen) and easily share text passage with others.

The app has some improvements and is certainly worth checking out; although I’ll admit, iPad fan that I am, that I purchase most of my e-books from Amazon to read on the iPad Kindle app.

Here’s a link to a Gigaom review of the new iBooks app:

http://goo.gl/ISzxI

And another link to a CNET video review of the updated iBooks app:

http://goo.gl/MgqK8

New And Cool Webcam for HDTVs: A recent New York Times article, titled No Need to Crowd In. We Can All Talk to Mom, discusses the new, clear and relatively inexpensive webcams that plug into the HDMI inputs on televisions and allow you to make wide angle video calls, via HD Skype software.

What this means is that the HD camera picks up a good portion of the room of the caller so several people can sit on a couch and not be squeezed together in front of a computer screen – and still be able to all talk to the person they are calling at once. It is pretty cool technology! And the Logitech HD Webcam discussed in the article – the Logitech Cam HD –only costs $199 so it is within reasonable reach, price-wise, for those who have many family members living in locations across the globe! It might also make a really cool holiday gift…

Here’s the link to the New York Times article;

http://goo.gl/fn9cj

Have a great day everyone!

Linda R.

Tech News Of The Day – In A Word…Apple

The big tech news of the day is, of course, the Apple press event at which the Cupertino based tech giant unveiled the long awaited iPad Mini, new and very thin iMac models, a 13” MacBook Pro with a Retina display and a new Mac Mini.

And here’s the price breakdown with links for CNET reports on the individual items unveiled today: 

iPad Mini: the new smaller iPad that has a 7.9” screen (as compared to the full size iPad which has a 9.7” screen) and comes in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi and cellular combo models. Here’s the price break down: iPad Minis Wi-Fi Versions cost: $329 for the 16 GB model, $429 for the 32 GB model and $529 for the 64 GB model.

The Combo Wi-Fi & 4 G (cellular) iPads Minis cost: $459 for the 16 GB version, $559 for the 32 GB version and $659 for the 64 GB version;

iPad Mini CNET article link:

http://reviews.cnet.com/ipad-mini/

MacBook Pro (13”): The new 13” MacBook Pro with Retina Display costs $1,699 and here’s the CNET article link:

http://www.cnet.com/macbook-pro-13-inch-retina-display/

iMacs: The Apple desktop computer – the iMac got its first refresh in more than a year. And the iMac comes in two screen sizes a 21.5” (price stars at $1,299) and a 27” with a starting price of $1,799.

Here’s the link to the CNET article on the new and improved iMacs:

http://reviews.cnet.com/imac/

iPad 4th Generation: Apple surprised nearly everyone today by introducing a new and improved full sized iPad – 4th generation model – only six months after the iPad 3 was introduced. Like previous iPad generations there will be six varieties: three that are Wi-Fi only and three that are combo Wi-Fi and cellular models. The prices for the new iPad are the same as for the old iPad: Wi-Fi models: $499 (16 GB), $599 (32 GB) and $699 (64 GB); combo Wi-Fi & Cellular models: $629 (16 GB), $729 (32 GB) and $829 for the (64 GB) model.

Here’s the link to the CNET article on the new and improved iPads:

http://reviews.cnet.com/ipad/

iMac Mini: The iMac Mini also received a refresh and sells for $600.

Here’s the link to the CNET iMac Mini article:

http://reviews.cnet.com/mac-mini/

And Apple also announced a few other items like upgrades to the iBooks app but that will have to wait for another posting!

Have a great day everyone!

Linda R.

 

 

Samsung  Google Chromebook With 3 G: In the tech news today comes words that the Samsung Google Chrome Book that I discussed in this blog yesterday, and which was announced yesterday, comes in two models a WI-FI version and a 3 G version. The 3 G version is the same, overall, as the WI-FI version and offers customers 100 GBs of free 3 G data over the course of 2 years and then of course, purchasers would have to pay for data. However, just FYI as this Chromebook too is a reasonably priced light-weight laptop costing $329.

CNET offers more information on the subject of the 3 G Chromebook in an article titled New Samsung Chromebook’s 3G model costs $330 which can be accessed via the following link:

http://goo.gl/JUql4

New iMac & Mac Mini: the tech rumor mill is speculating that Apple will unveil more than just the so called, and as of yet unofficially named, iPad Mini at its press event next week. The speculation is that apple will also announce updates to its iMac and Mac Mini.

The tech site Slash Gear offers a short article on the subject, titled iMac and Mac mini refresh pricing tipped to remain the same at Apple event that may be accessed via the following link:

http://goo.gl/Oopvl

Have a great weekend everyone!

Linda R.

New iPod Touch: The new iPod Touch, the 5th generation model with a larger screen and a Retina Display, has started to ship. And today, Best Buy lists the device as being available to order, Apple lists it as available for pre-order with an expected delivery date of two weeks and Amazon also has it listed as available for pre-order. There has been some speculation with the tech news community that the initial batch of this new iPod may be somewhat small due to glass manufacturers in China struggling to keep up with the demand for display glass – so if you’re interested in buying a new 5th generation iPod Touch for yourself or perhaps as a holiday gift you may want to order one now or wait until January.

New Samsung Chromebook: For those not familiar with Chromebooks they are a rather light weight type of laptop that requires an Internet connection to run and run on Google’s Chrome operating system. The new Samsung Google Chromebook costs just $249, has an 11.6” screen and weighs 2.5 pounds. Now this is a light weight type of laptop – you have to use the Google ecosystem with it so, for example, instead of using Microsoft Word for writing and Microsoft Outlook for email you’d be using Google Docs and Gmail. However, if what you need in your Wi-Fi equipped house is a laptop in the kitchen or upstairs in the den to use to quickly check email, check information found online or bring up a recipe – than this just might be the light weight lap top you need.

For more information on the new Samsung Chromebook check out the CNET article: Hands-on with the new Samsung Chromebook via the following link:

http://goo.gl/t2PPi

Newsweek Ends Print Publication: Newsweek, which has been around as a print publication since the nineteen thirties, will be ending its print publication at the end of this year. The advent of the digital reading age, via e-readers, e-books and web based articles has impacted the bottom line of the weekly news magazine making it untenable and unprofitable for the magazine to continue to offer a print edition. Digital subscriptions will continue to be available.

For more information check out the New York Times article Newsweek to Cease Print Publication at End of Year via the following link:

http://goo.gl/ueqmC

Have a great day!

Linda R.

 

Some Tech News & Library Tech Event of the Week

On a general tech news note, all I can say is wow! All one has to do is go on vacation for a couple of days for the some of the major powers that be in the tech world to make announcements! Microsoft and Apple have made major tech announcements and Amazon has announced a new Kindle feature called Whispercast which will make using, and sharing, Kindle e-books among employees and students much easier.

From the Microsoft corner, Microsoft has finally announced the price of its upcoming Surface tablet. The entry level Surface tablet, which will be running a version of the upcoming Windows 8, will cost $499 for the 32 GB version sans the neat attachable (and easy detached) keyboard. And if you want the keyboard too then the price goes up $100. So the entry level Surface Tablet will be priced at the same price as the entry level 16 GB iPad 3 – just FYI for comparison sake! And of course I am sure that the iPad Mini will be priced at less than that.

And speaking of the iPad Mini, Apple has finally sent out invitations for a new press event to be held on October 23. The press invitations hint at the unveiling of a smaller iPad (that the press is calling the iPad Mini)– the invitations state “We’ve got a little more to show you.” And I must admit to being amused at the timing – nothing like rivalry between tech companies! The Apple press event is being held on Wednesday, October 23 and Windows 8, and a multitude of PCs, tablets and hybrid devices running versions of Windows 8 arrive in stores on Friday, October 26, 2012 – only three days later!

Nothing like a little competition in introducing new tech devices just in time for the holiday season!

And on the Amazon news front, Amazon has just introduced Kindle Whispercast service. This new service is aimed at the educational and business worlds and will allow respective administrators the ability to control content delivered to any registered device that either is a Kindle or a device that has downloaded the Kindle reading app. And the devices that can download the Kindle reading app (and thus read Kindle content) include PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets of all varieties. In essence if your tech device has a web browser you should be able to register your device to be used with this service. And as a giant added bonus for administrators – you will now be able to manage all content and pay for all e-books added to all registered devices through one account! And that is a huge, and exciting change, because previously you could have a maximum of five Kindles registered to one account which might work well if you have a family of five or less but which wasn’t a viable option for business, school or public library use!

If you’d like to read more on the tech topics mentioned above here are some article links:

The first link is to a CNET article titled At $499, is Microsoft’s Surface tablet priced to move?

http://goo.gl/VkqjO

The second link is to a Reuter’s article titled Apple sets October 23 event, smaller iPad expected:

http://goo.gl/hhPXk

And the last two links are to an article and web page that discuss Amazon’s new Whispercast Kindle service. The first link is to an article titled Amazon’s Whispercast for Kindle targets schools, business:

http://goo.gl/6Mg6s

And the second link is to the official Amazon Whispercast web page which offers more details on the new service:

https://whispercast.amazon.com/info/faqs/

And on a final note, in addition to our usual, and very popular, free one-on-one tech instruction sessions by appointment this week — we also have a program on Microsoft Excel this afternoon.

So if you’d like to learn the basic layout of the Microsoft Excel land – join us!

Here’s the info about the program:

BE:Lab Wednesday One Hour Tech Workshop: Microsoft Excel Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Description: This workshop assists new Microsoft Excel users in learning how to use the software. Sign up is required by calling (607)936-3713 ext. 502.

Linda R.

Angry Birds App Cook Book

It is rather quiet on the new tech news front today; I think all the news about upcoming Apple products and Windows 8 has died down just a little bit, although I expect the tech rumor mill to be buzzing with word of the iPad mini and Windows 8 features again soon.

Having said that, I did find a rather cool article about of all things…an Angry Birds e-Cook Book!  The cook book is called Bad Piggies Best Egg Recipes

The new cook book is available in app form from iTunes and there will shortly be an Android app for it.

The cook book features recipes and interactive humor from everyone’s favorite green, egg-stealing pigs and costs ninety-nine cents. And it really does have egg related recipes in a number of categories – the recipes have step by step instructions, color photos of the food and some interactive sections with the pigs.

And the article that I came across that relays that information is titled Rovio announces Angry Birds book app: Live from Frankfurt Book Fair and may be accessed via the following link:

http://goo.gl/UlqJV

Have a great day!

Linda R.