Review: First 8-inch Windows tablet is a device that shouldn’t exist

My dissatisfaction with PC OEMs is something I have documented in the past. They offer a confusing array of products and tend to cut corners in the worst ways imaginable. The OEM response to Windows 8 has been to produce a wide range of machines sporting novel form factors to fit all sorts of niches, both real and imagined.

One niche that the OEMs haven’t tried to fill, however, has been sub-10-inch tablets. That’s not altogether surprising. Microsoft designed Windows 8 for screens of 10 inches or more, and initially the operating system’s hardware requirements had a similar constraint.

That decision looked a little short-sighted after the success of tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and the iPad mini. Accordingly, Microsoft changed the rules in March, opening the door to a range of smaller Windows tablets.

The Acer Iconia W3 is the first—and currently the only—8-inch Windows tablet. That attribute alone makes it in some sense noteworthy. Sadly, it’s about the only thing that does.

Spec-wise, this is another Intel Clover Trail tablet, and its internals are basically the same as the devices that launched last year (such as its bigger brother, the Acer Iconia W510). This means 1.8 GHz, dual core, four thread Intel Atom Z2760 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 64 GB flash storage (which with Acer’s default partitioning leaves a little over 29 GB usable), front and rear cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11b/g/n (no 5 GHz support). There’s a micro-HDMI and micro-USB port for external connectivity (a separate cable converts the micro USB port into a full-size one), along with an SD card slot. The tablet has a speaker adequate for notification sounds but little more.

As a result, performance and battery life are similar to what we’ve seen before. The Iconia W3 comes equipped with full-blown Windows 8, unlike ARM tablets, so it can run any 32-bit Windows application—should you really want to. Clover Trail’s GPU performance is such that games and other graphics-intensive programs won’t run well, however.

Eight inches of horror

The new bits on this tablet are really the screen and the size.

Screens are important. We spend essentially all our time interacting with devices looking at screens. Cost-cutting on screens is unforgivable, as a bad screen will damage every single interaction you have with the device. This goes doubly so for tablets, where the screen works not only as an output device but also as the primary input device.

The Acer Iconia W3’s screen is a standout—because it is worst-in-class. I hated every moment I used the Iconia W3, and I hated it because I hated the screen. Its color accuracy and viewing angles are both miserable (whites aren’t white—they’re weirdly colorful and speckled). The screen has a peculiar grainy appearance that makes it look permanently greasy. You can polish as much as you like; it will never go away. The whole effect is reminiscent in some ways of old resistive screens.

It’s hard to overstate just how poor this screen is. At any reasonable tablet viewing distance, the color of the screen is uneven. The viewing angle is so narrow that at typical hand-held distances, the colors change across the width of the screen. At full arm’s length the screen does finally look even, but the device is obviously unusable that way.

Acer has clearly skimped on the screen. I’m sure the panel in the W3 was quite cheap, and that may be somewhat reflected in the unit’s retail price ($379 for a 32GB unit, $429 for this 64GB one—putting it at the same price as the 32GB iPad mini, which has a comparable amount of available disk space), but who cares? It doesn’t matter how cheap something is if you don’t want to use it at all.

This poor screen quality isn’t a question of resolution, either. 1280×800 is not a tremendously high resolution, but text looks crisp enough. At 186 pixels per inch, 1280×800 feels more or less OK for this size of device.

The low resolution does, however, have one significant drawback: it disables Windows 8’s side-by-side Metro multitasking, which requires a resolution of at least 1366×768. The W3’s screen is 86 pixels too narrow, so the Metro environment is strictly one application at a time.

This is an unfortunate decision. The side-by-side multitasking is one of the Metro environment’s most compelling features. Keeping Twitter or Messenger snapped to the side makes a lot of sense and works well. I’ve never used Windows 8 on a device that didn’t support side-by-side Metro multitasking before, and I don’t ever want to again.

Size-wise, the W3 may be small for a Windows tablet, but it’s not exactly small. It’s fat. The W3 is 11.4 mm thick. The iPad mini, in comparison, is 7.2 mm thick. The Iconia W3 is also heavy at 500 g; the iPad mini, in comparison, is 308 g. That makes the W3 more than 50 percent thicker and more than 50 percent heavier.

The thickness makes the lack of a full-sized USB port on the device more than a little confusing. There’s certainly room for a full USB port, and a full port would be more convenient than the dongle. But for whatever reason, Acer didn’t give us one.

The device itself feels solid enough, albeit plasticky. It doesn’t exude quality, but it’s a step or two up from the bargain basement.

Keyboard non-dock

The W3 also has a keyboard accessory. As is common for this kind of thing, the keyboard has no electrical connection to the tablet. It’s a Bluetooth keyboard powered by a pair of AAA batteries. It has a groove along the top that can hold the tablet in both landscape and portrait orientations and a clip on the back that lets you use the keyboard as a kind of screen protector.

The keyboard has to be manually paired to the tablet. It’s more or less full-size, with a reasonable key layout. It’s a typical mediocre keyboard. The feel is a little on the squishy side, lacking the crispness of, for example Microsoft’s Type Cover for its Surface tablets. It’s better than any on-screen keyboard, and to that extent it does its job. But it’s a long way from being an actually good keyboard.

The groove does hold the tablet up, and on a level surface the unit doesn’t topple over, but it’s not as satisfactory as some of the hinged keyboard/docks we’ve seen on other devices. Tilt the base while carrying it or using it on your lap and the tablet is liable to fall out.

New Release, New Nexus 7 Already Earn 2 Update Software

Having announced a few days ago, 7 of the Google Nexus tablet could have ordered via the Play Store. Opening the pre-order was first announced via Twitter. Google Play Store opened bookings for the new Nexus 7 16GB and 32GB. Both are offered at a price of USD 229 and USD 269.
Almost simultaneously with the opening of pre-orders, it also gives Google Nexus 7, this new software update. There are 2 updates are given, with the first update will be automatically downloaded to the tablet when connected to the Internet for the first time during initial setup.
As for the second update will be downloaded automatically when the tablet is used several times. The update notification will appear when it’s finished downloading and is ready to be installed. So make sure that the type of connection used unlimited when activating new Nexus 7 so as not to run out of quota.

How Apollo 11′s 1.024MHz guidance computer did a lot with very little

 

early 44 years ago computer hardware was in an entirely different place than it is now. The levels of performance don’t even fit on the same scale. The anniversary of the Apollo 11moon landing is upon us, and those brave space pioneers got by without a 3GHz multi-core CPU. The guidance computer used on the Apollo 11 mission ran at only 1.024 MHz.

The moon landing was the height of technological achievement at the time, and some of the rocket technology is still relevant today. That computer, though, has been left in the dust. In fact, it was well and truly obsolete a few years after the landing.

The Intel 8086 came about roughly ten years after the Apollo landing, marking the beginning of x86. Apollo 11’s computer had 4 registers — essentially slots for holding numeric values. The 8086 boosted that to eight 16-bit registers.

The IBM PC XT ran the next version of that chip, the famous 8088. This computer ran at 4.077MHz, which sounds incredibly slow by today’s standards, but is still four times faster than the Apollo 11computer. The XT also packed in eight times the memory used on Apollo 11.

The Apollo 11 guidance computer actually had some impressive software features for a system that didn’t even run a graphical interface. It could multitask up to 8 different operations, but it didn’t work the way we think of multitasking. Today’s operations use preemptive multitasking that allows the OS to distribute computing resources as needed. On Apollo 11, programs were in charge and had to give control back to the OS periodically. A kind of virtual machine was used to allow developers to mix hardware-level instructions with virtual machine commands within the same assembler code.

Inputting commands required translating the English words into “verb noun pairs,” which could be input as numbers. There was a handy sign in the cabin as a reminder. To top it all off, none of the computer’s systems were software upgradeable. All the code was stored in read-only memory. Several years after Apollo 11, Apollo 14 was forced to manually input the code to patch a system malfunction — it took 90 minutes just to type it in.

Maybe your computer is a little sluggish, and your smartphone is a couple years old, but you have it better than those astronauts

Rocket Software Releases Rocket z/SQL

Rocket Software, Inc. (www.rocketsoftware.com) today announced the general availability of Rocket z/SQL for IBM System z customers who are ready to turn their valuable petabytes of non-relational data into actionable intelligence. Rocket z/SQL is a new product that allows mainframe data to better integrate with enterprise business intelligence and analytics initiatives while reducing cost and complexity.

“We recognize that data is a huge challenge, and a huge opportunity, for our customers,” says Sam Elias, Rocket Vice President and General Manager. “Our customers see real value in accessing their data in place with standard off the shelf tools that speak SQL. Rocket z/SQL makes non-relational data as simple to access as an Excel spreadsheet.”

“We are rapidly heading towards a world of analytics everywhere,” said Dan Sommer principal research analyst at Gartner. “Gartner predicts that analytics will reach 50 percent of potential users by 2014. By 2020, that figure will be 75 percent, and we will be in a world where systems of record, systems of differentiation and systems of innovation are enabling IT, business and individuals to analyze data in a much denser fashion than before.”

Rocket z/SQL gives organizations industry-standard access to non-relational mainframe data without moving data off the mainframe. Traditional approaches require complex techniques, steps, and processes that move, copy, and transfer mainframe data before information can be used by applications and decision makers. With Rocket z/SQL, data is accessible in place through any SQL tool. Rocket z/SQL utilizes patent-pending integration architecture to perform all data transformations and joins in place – on the mainframe – with significantly reduced processing costs.

About Rocket Software

Rocket Software (www.rocketsoftware.com) is a global software development firm that builds enterprise products and delivers enterprise solutions in the following segments: Business Intelligence and Analytics; Storage, Networks, and Compliance; Application Development, Integration, and Modernization; and Database Servers and Tools

Tiny Books For The Macintosh Still No. 1 Despite MAC-Only Compatibility, Boffin Says

Tiny Books for the Macintosh

was announced as the top ranking Bookkeeping software by Boffin. The editors at the software review website after rigorous testing of numerous business finance management software, concluded on their top picks, with Tiny Books for the Macintosh ranked no.1 for a second consecutive time.

Bookkeeping software are a necessity for many small businesses and solo professionals who cannot afford hiring expensive accounting services. Bookkeeping software prove to be a reliable, affordable and quality solution for thousands of start-up companies and freelance professionals who opt for the do it yourself trend. Software for bookkeeping, despite being extremely advanced, they preserve their user-friendliness so that users with minimum to no accounting knowledge and skills can still work with the software easily.

Based on the reviews of bookkeeping software published by the Boffin team of editors, Tiny Books for Macintosh stood out of the competition despite being only MAC-compatible. The reviewers assert that it’s a rare occasion for a software not supporting all computer operating systems to be awarded the Boffin the no.1 place and the Boffin five-star award. Although it has been initially developed for home use, the software has been enriched with functions and accounting capacities that allow its use for entrepreneurs and small business owners, the Boffin editors emphasized.

For the editors at Boffin, Tiny Books for the Macintosh is an exemplary bookkeeping software that lets users easily and quickly manage their finance even if their accounting knowledge is limited. The software features a user-friendly interface and various quality features are which contributed in its high ranking.

The editors at Boffin issued a disclosure saying how the top three ranking software are to be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure all latest versions and releases are taken into consideration. To ensure the relevancy, accuracy and usefulness of the reviews, the Boffin editors carefully test each software, to offer their readers impartial and helpful software advice. Lastly, it has been mentioned that the top ranking software had only minor differences in overall performance, hinting at how future evaluations are likely to shuffle the present rankings.

Software Review Boffin reviews the latest technological products in demand on the market right now. They provide expert, honest and straightforward reviews so customers can objectively measure if a product, especially software is well worth it before making their purchase.

Sap and Macromedia Advance Usability of Enterprise

SAP (NYSE: SAP) and Macromedia (NASDAQ: MACR) today announced they are extending SAP NetWeaver(tm) with the Macromedia Flex application framework to give organizations the ability to create rich interfaces for SAP solutions, including customer-facing SAP Enterprise Portal-based applications. As a result, employees and customers will have an enhanced experience of using SAP solutions, yielding higher employee productivity and greater satisfaction among customers. The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE ’05, SAP’s international customer conference being held in Copenhagen, Denmark, April 26 – 28, 2005.

The next release of SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer will include Flex technology and will be made available to all existing SAP NetWeaver customers. SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer with Flex technology gives programmers the ability to deliver applications that combine the interactivity and expressive power of desktop software with the reach of SAP’s enterprise solutions-all in a “zero footprint” client application.

“We are working closely with SAP to give enterprise knowledge workers the tools they need to be more productive and provide a great, effective experience for end users with rich Internet applications,” said Stephen Elop, CEO, Macromedia. “By capitalizing on Enterprise Services Architecture, which is enabled by SAP NetWeaver and supported by Macromedia Flex, customers and companies will have the ability to increase adoption and use of SAP solutions without additional training or cost.”

New Tools for Enterprise Developers

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer is a highly productive, model-driven tool aimed at business analysts and developers for code-free creation of composite applications. By combining the robust SAP NetWeaver platform and SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer with Flex, the leading presentation-tier solution for enterprise rich Internet applications, users are able to visually design application logic and process flows, and then provide more effective, engaging end-user experiences. Through this partnership, SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer users can develop rich graphical interfaces that extend current investments in their SAP NetWeaver infrastructure by using Flex technology, and businesses can gain credible, clear, and comprehensive business insights through new analytics solutions. Additionally, Macromedia has certified SAP NetWeaver as a supported platform for Flex. With this support, enterprise developers, SIs, and ISVs can leverage the standards-based programming methodologies of Flex to build customizable, flexible applications on top of the SAP NetWeaver platform.

“SAP is working with Macromedia to bring enterprise data alive for the end user,” said Shai Agassi, president of the product and technology group and member of the executive board, SAP. “Macromedia Flex will help SAP NetWeaver customers extract maximum value from the platform by combining rich user interfaces with customized process flows and business analytics.”

“This is an important partnership for both SAP and Macromedia,” said Gary Hein, vice president and service director for application platform strategies, Burton Group. “This relationship will benefit SAP users with an improved, more intuitive, and responsive environment in which to operate in their day-to-day business. It is also an important milestone in the adoption of rich Internet application foundations, like the Macromedia Flex platform, as a key solution for enterprise applications.”

Laser App Software Announces Core Initiatives for 2013 Broker-Dealer Conference

Laser App Software, the leading provider of forms automation and management software for the securities and insurance industries, today announced the key initiatives planned for the 2013 Broker-Dealer Conference. The conference will take place from August 21 through August 23 and will be held at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina. The conference brings 300 broker-dealer executives and software providers into a collaborative environment to focus on technology trends and integrations.

Laser App has geared the 2013 conference around the optimization of working in a mobile practice. This is in response to the overwhelming industry push toward mobility. Everything from the “Advisor adoption of technology” presentation by author and industry expert Joel Bruckenstein, to demonstrations on integrations with the major custodians, to the e-sign acceptance presentation, and the recently produced software integrations with our partners are all geared toward broker-dealers supporting their reps in a mobile environment.

At last year’s event, Laser App released the Anywhere Platform its pure HTML mobile solution. This year, Laser App is unveiling a myriad of enhancements and integrations to the platform designed to meet the needs of both broker-dealers and advisors.

As always, there will be a blend of work and play. The evening event will be a casino cruise around the San Diego harbor where attendees will be treated to dinner, drinks, and their favorite table games. The Thursday lunchtime keynote speaker is Reggie Brown, a comedian and impressionist, known for his impersonation of President Barack Obama.

“Over the last 7 years, the Laser App conference has evolved from a user group meeting to a place where hundreds of broker-dealers come to learn and interact with each other and solution providers. I want every broker-dealer to leave the conference knowing where they’re headed and which solution providers can solve their problems, and I want them to enjoy themselves,” said Robert Powell, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Laser App Software.

“The Laser App Conference has been incredibly useful for broker-dealers to learn more about technology advancements in the financial services industry. The conference is consistently high-energy and covers important topics such as straight-through-processing, integration, and mobile business processing. We look forward to the conference every year as a way to learn more about where we can improve our operations, and how technology can benefit our practice,” said Chris Shaw of ProEquities.

About Laser App Software
Laser App Software is the premier e-forms provider in the financial services industry. Laser app creates highly integrated solutions that combine state‐of‐the‐art forms-filling technology with its massive library of industry related forms.

Sony SmartWatch 2 will launch at 9 September

Jakarta – In June 2013, Sony has introduced smart watches, Sony SmartWatch 2. Previous smart watches is reported to be released on July 15, 2013. But, then again Sony deliver a new launch date for the SmartWatch 2 on 9 September 2013.
If ordered through Clove website, you can get 2 SmartWatch soon after launch. This smart watches IP57 certified. So SmartWatch 2 can be brought into the water up to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes. In addition, the SmartWatch 2 also anti dust.
Sony SmartWatch 2 had 200 applications. The developers can also access the API (Application Programming Interface) to add the application. This device is compatible with all types of operating system Android 4.0 and above. This watch is also equipped with NFC technology (Near Field Communication).
With smart watches SmartWatch, the user can answer or ignore the call. SmartWatch 2 also displays incoming phone call notifications and missed calls. Wearable device also has a calendar and weather applications and other applications that can be downloaded on Google Play Store. Sony Smartwatch 2 will be priced at U.S. $ 181 or about USD 1.8 million.
Besides Sony, other technology manufacturers like Apple, Microsoft, Google and others are now also working on smart watches. It is estimated that smart watches will emerge from 2014. Wearable devices or devices that can be used are likely to soon become a new trend in the technology market.

Take advantage of travelers Google Google Maps

Jakarta – Indonesia invites the travelers Google using Google Maps on your phone. Rudy Ramawy, Country Head of Google Indonesia, said Google Maps on your phone makes it easy to plan the travelers a safe and comfortable journey.
“Some of it’s ease of search as the most convenient path to the destination,” said Rudy. “You can also find important information regarding the need for travel. Example, the nearest gas station or ATM.”
The travelers can also record all findings during the course of the digital device. “So, when I travel the same route, you can easily find the places you’ve visited,” Rudy explained.
When stuck in traffic, Google Maps users can find an alternative way. This online map applications presents several alternative options that can help road users avoid severe congestion at homecoming.
Google Maps to apply different color lines for different traffic conditions. For example, if there is a congested line, the red line. Yellow to crowded conditions and solid edging, while green for road conditions smoothly.
In addition, Google Maps provides information on the long journey from the user’s location to the destination or hometown. Google Maps even provide mileage information is based on the means of transportation used. For example, driving alone, walking, or using public transportation. Google Maps also provides information public transport fares.
With features and conveniences that exist, Rudy wish Google Maps users can be helped in planning trips back and forth.

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Announces Underwriters’ Exercise of Over-Allotment Option to Purchase $37.5 Million of Company’s Notes

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (TTWO) (the “Company”) announced today that the underwriters for the recently completed public offering of the Company’s 1.00% Convertible Senior Notes due 2018 (the “Notes”) exercised in full their option to purchase an additional $37.5 million principal amount of the Company’s Notes on July 12, 2013. The sale of these additional Notes closed today, which increases the total principal amount of the Notes sold by the Company in this offering to $287.5 million.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Barclays Capital Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC were the underwriters for the offering.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities described herein, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

About Take-Two Interactive Software

Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a leading developer, marketer and publisher of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. The Company develops and publishes products through its two wholly-owned labels Rockstar Games and 2K. Our products are designed for console systems, handheld gaming systems and personal computers, including smartphones and tablets, and are delivered through physical retail, digital download, online platforms and cloud streaming services. The Company’s common stock is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the symbol TTWO. For more corporate and product information please visit our website athttp://www.take2games.com.

All trademarks and copyrights contained herein are the property of their respective holders.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The statements contained herein which are not historical facts are considered forward-looking statements under federal securities laws and may be identified by words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “projects,” “seeks,” “will,” or words of similar meaning and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the outlook for the Company’s future business and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are based on the current beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to them, which are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may vary materially from these forward-looking statements based on a variety of risks and uncertainties including: our dependence on key management and product development personnel, our dependence on our Grand Theft Auto products and our ability to develop other hit titles for current and next-generation platforms, the timely release and significant market acceptance of our games, the ability to maintain acceptable pricing levels on our games, our ability to raise capital if needed and risks associated with international operations. Other important factors and information are contained in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013, in the section entitled “Risk Factors,” the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed with the SEC on June 12, 2013 and the Company’s other periodic filings with the SEC, which can be accessed at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements are qualified by these cautionary statements and apply only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.