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New iRobot Roomba, Bosch Robot Lawn Mower And Insight On The Introduction Of The New Microsoft Surface Tablet

New iRobot Roomba & Bosch Robot Lawn Mower: Have you ever thought “Gee, wouldn’t it be great if I had a robot to mow my lawn and vacuum my rugs so I can do other things I really want to do”?

Well our technology is heading that way!

New iRobot Roomba: The iRobot Roomba series of vacuum cleaners are 21.5” in circumference and will vacuum your floors for you! The vacuum cleaning robots are controlled via a remote control and the highest end model will allow you to send the robot vacuum instructions, via remote control, from any room in your house. So if it is ten at night and you’re contentedly sipping the drink of your choice and reading that great new mystery while relaxing in your favorite chair; and you just remembered that “Drat, I forgot to vacuum the den and family room!”  —  you can just pick up your Roomba remote and tell your iRobot Roomba to vacuum the rooms for you!

Here’s a link to a PC Magazine website article titled “iRobot’s Roomba Vacuum Goes Wireless” that offers a look at the brand new iRobot Roomba:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2406002,00.asp

Bosch Robot Lawn Mower: And on the lawn mowing front Bosch has just introduced a re-chargeable robot lawn mower that will indeed mow your lawn for you while helpfully avoiding mowing over plants and lawn ornaments! The robot is called the Indego and runs for 20 minutes on a charge. It has to be charged for 90 minutes in between mowings but still…. imagine being able to sit in the sun in a hammock and read a great book, go out to a party or go hiking in Watkins Glen State Park and leave the lawn mowing at home to your vary capable Bosch lawn mowing assistant.

Here’s a link to a CNET article titled “Bosch Robot Lawn Mower Gives You More Hammock Time” that introduces this new type of lawn mower:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57451584-1/bosch-robot-lawn-mower-gives-you-more-hammock-time/

More On The Surface Tablet: And on another tech note related to the introduction of the new Microsoft Surface Tablet, The New York Times Bits blog offers an insightful article titled “Microsoft’s Not Competing With the iPad — Not Entirely” which discusses the hole that Microsoft may be trying to fill in the tablet market with its new Surface tablet –what one might call the productivity hole. To be more precise the iPad, which is the tablet that more than ninety percent of tablet buyers buy – isn’t really a great productivity device. Yes, you can download the Microsoft Pages, Numbers and Keynote Apps and create letters, slideshows etc. and even buy a keyboard to use with it; however, the device doesn’t come with a physical keyboard or stand and doesn’t have a USB input and those are two major drawbacks for anyone who wants to do work on a tablet. The Surface on the other hand comes with a keyboard and stand and has a USB input so you’ll be able to easily create documents Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Publisher and then easily save them to a flash drive to access later via another computer.

So just perhaps Microsoft’s intent in introducing The Surface is to go for the productivity side of the market and create a tablet that can easily be transformed into a lap top via the accessories that come with it – so students, business professionals and others will be able to create and easily export papers and projects. The iPad, which is a really, really great tablet – really isn’t made to do work of that sort. Instead, the iPad is an excellent personal media consuming (movies, TV shows music & e-books), web surfing and email reading device but not so hot at creating papers and projects and exporting them.

And here is a link to that Bits article:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/microsofts-not-competing-with-the-ipadnot-entirely/

Linda R. 

Microsoft Introduces Surface Tablet

Microsoft did indeed introduce a new tablet late this afternoon, or early this evening if you’re on the east coast.

The new tablet, called Surface, will have a 10.6” screen, weight 1.5 pounds, feature an HD display, will have a built in kick stand so you can prop the tablet up without having to buy a stand or stand up case. The tablet will additionally come with and allow you to use a stylus to write and will feature a full sized keyboard that is built into its cover.

Microsoft did not release a price for the tablet or a release date; however, later this year is a safe bet as the tablet will come in two versions both of which will be running versions of Windows 8. And Windows 8 is scheduled for a fall 2012 release.

Here’s a link to a CNET review of the new tablet:

http://reviews.cnet.com/tablets/microsoft-surface-rt/4505-3126_7-35332494.html?tag=TOCcarouselMain.0

And here’s a link to the Microsoft website where they already have gallery up that shows off the Surface tablet:

 http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/default.aspx

 Have a great evening!

Linda R.

 

 

Microsoft’s Big Announcement & E-Books Outsell Hard Covers For The First Time

Microsoft’s Big Announcement: The tech rumor mill is a-buzz today awaiting the 3:30 PM (Pacific Time) Microsoft Press Event during which Microsoft has said they will make a “major announcement.” It is speculated that Microsoft will be announcing that it will produce a tablet with major league bells and whistles to compete with Apple’s iPad.

And I’ll be adding another blog posting this evening with an update on the subject since the event is being held on the west coast at 3:30 PM their time – that will translate into 6:30 PM EST.

E-Books Outsell Hard Covers For The First Time: According to the American Association of Publishers e-books outsold hard cover titles for the first time in the first quarter of 2012. In relation, sales of e-books have grown more than 300% in the first quarter of this year verses the first quarter of 2011.

Here’s a link to a Tech Crunch article, titled EBook Revenues Beat Hardcovers for the First Time,  on this subject:

http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/15/ebook-revenues-beat-hardcovers-for-the-first-time/

And one to the abridged Association of American Publishers report on which the Tech Crunch article is based (you have to pay for the full AAP report thus the Tech Crunch article link and this one to the abridged report)

http://publishers.org/press/68/

Linda R. 

Apple Unveils New Items at WWDC, Time Inc. Magazines Now Available Through Apple’s Newsstand & A Few More Cool Items!

Apple Unveils New Items at WWDC: Earlier this week Apple unveiled some new devices and upcoming software updates at its annual World Wide Developer’s Conference. And these cool new items include a new series of MacBook Pros that will feature Apple’s super, super, crystal clear Retina Displays, a new and improved Map App – this one being made and updated by Apple itself (instead of Google) and a preview of iOs6 *1 which will be released this fall and which include a bunch of new features including Facebook integration an update of Siri, Apple’s digital personal assistant, and the introduction of Siri to iPad (3rd generation only) users.

Here’s a link to a CNET article titled WWDC 2012 rumor scorecard: The hits and the misses which discusses in more depth the items that were rumored to be introduced at this years’ WWDC versus the items that were really unveiled:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57452624-37/wwdc-2012-rumor-scorecard-the-hits-and-the-misses/

Time Inc. Magazines Now Available Through Apple’s Newsstand: Time Inc., which publishes a number of very popular magazines, has changed its previous stance which had it adamantly refusing to offer its magazines for sale through Apple’s ecosystem; thus making it impossible for readers to purchase subscriptions to any Time Inc. published magazines through Apple’s Newsstand App. But now Time Inc. has reached an agreement with Apple and will shortly allow readers to subscribe to all of Time Inc.’s digital magazines, including the very popular Sports Illustrated, Time and People, through Apple’s Newsstand App. So shortly you’ll be able to buy subscriptions to all of Times Inc.’s magazines and read them on your iPad or iPhone.

Here’s a link to a New York Time’s article titled Time Inc. to Sell Its Magazines on Apple’s Newsstand that you can check out for more information on the subject:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/business/media/time-to-offer-magazines-on-apples-newsstand.html

And while I was working on this blog posting today I came across two other neat articles I thought you might find interesting! Both articles are from the New York Times; the first is titled Going Online to Check In, Not Check Out and it discusses the two predominant types of Internet users – those who go online to fill their time with games, social networking and surfing the web etc. and those who go online simply to check things – like their email, or to find out when a movie is being shown or what dishes a local restaurant serves etc. The article offers a fascinating glimpse of how technology is both changing how we live and is a reflection of our values. And the second article is titled Microsoft Expected to Introduce Tablet and relays the news that Microsoft is expected to announce on Monday that it will be jumping into the tablet game by manufacturing its own tablet. This new Microsoft tablet will be the first piece of hardware ever created by the software giant Microsoft itself so this is a big deal. It will be interesting to see how well this new tablet competes with Apple’s iPad which currently makes up more than 90% of the tablets currently being sold*2.

Here’s the link to the article titled Going Online to Check In, Not Check Out:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/16/technology/microsoft-expected-to-introduce-tablet.html?ref=technology

And the link to the Microsoft Expected to Introduce Tablet article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/16/technology/microsoft-expected-to-introduce-tablet.html?ref=technology

Have a great weekend!

Linda R.

*1) iOs simply refers to the mobile operating system – software that makes Apple’s mobile devices run.

*2 Here’s a link to a CNET article which discusses the very hot tablet market and relays the stats about the iPad currently making up more than 90% of tablet sales.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57453699-93/ipad-still-dominates-tablet-traffic-but-nook-surges-past-kindle-fire/

New Amazon Cloud Player App for Apple & Android Devices

Amazon has just released an app that will allow users to stream any music they’ve purchased from Amazon’s online MP3 Store, or uploaded to Amazon’s Cloud player, to any Apple or Android device.

So finally those of us who have purchased a multitude of songs (or a solid number of free ones from Amazon) will be able to easily listen to them on our iPhones, iPads and all Android tablets and smart phones.

And if you’re not familiar with Amazon’s MP3 Store, and the do offer a solid number of free songs and albums and put albums on sale, here’s the web link to the store so you can check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/MP3-Music-Download/b/ref=sa_menu_mp3_str1?ie=UTF8&node=163856011

Here’s a link to the Apple iTunes page that discusses the new app:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/amazon-cloud-player/id510855668?mt=8

And here’s a link to the Amazon page that discusses the app:

http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=2658409011

 

Linda R. 

New York Times Practical Technology Usage Advice Column & How Parents Can Help Tweens Use Facebook Safely

New York Times Practical Technology Usage Advice Column: New York Times Columnist Sam Grobart has started a new column called Tool Kit. And his first column is titled The Technology in Our Lives, and How to Make It Work Better. Mr. Grobart’s column is intended to offer helpful practical tech tips to readers. And his first column discusses basic things like how you can get basic HD cable channels over the air (via antenna), how to select a laptop for your child and how you can set stream music at home cheaply.

Here’s a link to Mr. Groban’s first column:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/technology/personaltech/introducing-tool-kit-answers-to-tech-questions.html?ref=technology

How Parents Can Help Tweens Use Facebook Safely: And NPR has a new article regarding safety tips you can use so that your Tween can safely use and enjoy Facebook.  Basically the article relays that you can set your child’s Facebook profile so that the content he or she accesses and/or uploads to be accessed by others is limited – i.e. not shared with the entire universe just primary approved Facebook friends.

Here’s a link to the NPR article and associated Talk of the Nation podcast:

http://www.npr.org/2012/06/11/154773999/how-to-help-your-tween-use-facebook-safely

And on another tech note – Apple did unveil some neat upcoming hardware and software items at their WWDC yesterday. A number of exciting things were unveiled and I’ll be doing a more in-depth posting about them shortly. However, I do have to say I think I am the most excited about some of the new features of the upcoming iOS 6. And just in case you wonder what that means – iOS is simply what Apple calls the software used on their mobile devices – and when the iOS 6 upgrade arrives this fall all of us with the 3rd generation iPad will be able to access the upgraded and improved Sirsi –Apple’s voice activated assistant that will, with iOS 6, even be capable of opening apps for your via voice command. Cool stuff!

 Linda R. 

Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference

I’m back from vacation so I’ll be posting more regularly now. And I should have noted on this blog, before I left for vacation that I’d be off for a week. Apologies for forgetting to do that!

And to know back to the topic of tech!  Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference, frequently referred to simply as WWDC, kicks off today at 10 AM Pacific Time (1 PM EST). And at this annual conference Apple usually releases information about upcoming Apple products and software. It is expected that Apple will announce features of its upcoming iPhone & iPad software upgrade, iOS 6, of its new OS X Mountain Lion and information Mac upgrades (also known as new Apple computers!).

So you may want to check the Tech news this week for more detailed information on the products Apple announces this week. Or you can just check back with our blog for an update!

Here’s a link to a CNET article titled What to Expect from WWDC 2012 that offers an overview of what CNET expects Apple to unveil at this years WWDC:

http://asia.cnet.com/what-to-expect-from-wwdc-2012-62216405.htm

Linda R.