Android 5.0 Lollipop Review: Tablet Edition

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Google’s new mobile operating system is now available to consumers, as new Nexus hardware (starting with the Nexus 9) begins to make its way into the hands of pre-order customers. Version 5.0 of Android continues the candy naming tradition with “Lollipop,” and despite the fact that ‘L’ is just next in the alphabet, something about the name seems to resonate with the bold new design direction Google has introduced for this generation of its software. Lollipop’s playful, animation-rich aesthetic, which Google calls “material design,” feels fresh and alive, with an internal logic that should mean both longtime and new Android users can get accustomed to their new surroundings quickly – for the most part.

Design

It’s possible that design is the most significant part of Android 5.0. Lollipop marks Google’s full commitment to its material design principles of user interface creation, which take cues from real-world materials to present the…

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RT: Time for a ‘new world order?’ No, it’s already here

Originally posted on 2012: What's the 'real' truth?:

Bryan MacDonald is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and teacher. He wrote for Irish Independent and Daily Mail. He has also frequently appeared on RTE and Newstalk in Ireland as well as RT.

Published time: November 01, 2014 21:31

Reuters / Ueslei Marcelino

Reuters / Ueslei Marcelino

Putin has called for a “new world order,” with the aim of stabilizing the globe. He believes the US is abusing its role as global leader. What’s not being widely reported is the fact that the pillars of the old order have been crumbing for years.

It used to be all so simple. The world was split into two camps – the West and the rest. And the West was truly the best. Twenty years ago, six of the world’s biggest economies were part of the pro-Washington world.

The leader, the US itself, was so far in front that its total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was more than…

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Check Out This Amazing Transparent Car

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Spectrum has posted some amazing video of a “transparent” car created by Japanese researchers. The car uses projectors, cameras, and special mirrors to reflect what’s outside the car onto the surfaces inside. The resulting images allow you to see what’s going on all around the vehicle, even behind you and in blind spots.

Created by Susumu Tachi and Masahiko Inami of the Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University, the project is designed to help drivers stay aware of their surroundings. The technology isn’t new – this sort of video camouflage has been around for a while – but by shrinking it down and sticking it into a car you can do a sort of reverse camouflage. Instead of hiding objects with light, the projector renders the Toyota Prius in the video “transparent.”

Will we ever see a real version of this in cars? The creators write:

Next we…

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Descent ‘feathers’ deployed just before Virgin Galactic space plane’s crash

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed Friday after special tail “feathers” meant to increase drag deployed early, BBC reports. One pilot unlocked the feather system, but it then deployed without a command.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting the investigation into the doomed flight, has not yet stated if the feathers caused the crash. On Friday, scrutiny was placed on the never-before-flown mix of fuel Virgin Galactic has used. The Wall Street Journal reported SpaceShipTwo’s fuel tanks and engines were recovered “largely intact,” making an explosion less likely.

“If there was a huge explosion, it didn’t occur, I didn’t see it,” Mojave Spaceport CEO Stuart Witt, who was at the scene during the crash, said at a press conference Friday.

The pilot that died in the crash has since been identified as Michael Alsbury. He was a pilot for Scaled Composites for 13 years. He flew SpaceShipTwo during its first-ever powered flight…

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Looking for an architecture for the internet of things? Try DNS.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

The same system we use to keep track of web site addresses should be adapted for identifying devices on the internet of things, says Andrew Sullivan, the director of architecture at DYN. In this week’s podcast Sullivan explains why we should use the domain name system for the internet of things (a plan that Google also seems to be endorsing with its Physical Web) and what it might take to adapt URLs for devices.

His argument is that other schemes might be technically better, but would require everyone to adopt an entirely new architecture, which is a pretty rare event in the world of tech standards. So by using something that we know can scale and is already in place we can move faster toward devices that can connect to the web and share information on demand. Before we get to the in-depth architecture conversation, Kevin Tofel and…

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What happens in an Internet Minute – Courtesy of @Intel

What Happens in an Internet Minute

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When you laugh, something happens: Dale Williams TEDx – Westerford High School

Dale Williams, a high school mate of mine, and now an experienced Executive Coach, chatted on TEDx about allowing our talents to be guided by happiness and laughter, this can be applied in many spheres of life and business.
Achieve what you want by allowing your talents to be guided by happiness and laughter. Dale speaks about the power of viewing every situation positively and uses examples from case studies to illustrate this point.

He is an experienced Executive Coach with a Masters Degree in Executive Coaching from Middlesex University in the United Kingdom. He lectures, supervises and assesses coaches at the University of Stellenbosch Business School and runs his own executive coaching practice.

See more at: http://tedxwesterfordhighschool.com/

Intro animation by Luke Bell
Intro music by Al Bairre

Thanks Dale & EDx for your enlightment!
Ian Anderson

 

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#ZA Government needs to get more engaged with Broadband and access to spectrum

A good video reference released by www.news24.co.za where we stand in South Africa with government and their National Broadband Policy. The major stumbling block for 4G is access to licence spectrum where  government needs to be more engaged.

See This is why you probably don’t have 4G or Google Short URL – http://goo.gl/tBxj1e

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Reblog of WAPA predicts the IT landscape in 2014

As a representative of wapa.org.za I would like to take the opportunity of reposting this blog, which was contributed to by the exec committee, as a prediction of the IT landscape for South Africa in 2014.

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One of the key objectives of the Wireless Access Providers’ Association (WAPA) is to add value to WAPA membership by providing additional services in line with both the growth of the industry and its members’ needs. The WAPA executive committee, comprising volunteer industry professionals, is therefore constantly monitoring the South African and global landscape, in order to understand the market context and drivers.

There are several technologies and trends in telecommunications and IT which WAPA expects to become even more prominent in 2014, including:

Penetration of and sophistication of smartphone and mobile applications
Converged connectivity services
Wi-Fi in various forms
Delivery of value-added services
WAPA predicts an ever-increasing penetration of smartphones as, on the supply side, mobile carriers will encourage uptake and consumption of mobile data by subsidising or leasing smartphones with contracts, and very affordable low-end smartphones will be introduced by handset manufacturers. Consumers will predominantly use smartphones for social media, mapping, web browsing and communications, but will however start taking advantage of the new ‘mobile-first’ functionality delivered by the private and public sectors.

Businesses such as banks, retailers, and even the government will begin to deliver services designed for a mobile platform, such as payments, coupon and loyalty applications and even the payments of council bills and traffic fines via mobile. For certain types of businesses, having a mobile strategy will therefore move to the forefront in 2014.

Telkom has long led the convergence charge, offering consumers and businesses bundled services comprising fixed and mobile connectivity. In 2013, they were joined by Afrihost and MWEB, both of which complemented their home ADSL services with mobile “MiFi” offers. MWEB has made public its intention to build a nationwide Wi-Fi network and offer bundled home and public-access connectivity.

WAPA expects this trend to continue in 2014, specifically in the consumer marketplace, as these industry leaders are joined by others, and alliances formed between both incumbent players and upstarts or smaller, specialist companies.

Many analysts have already predicted that 2014 will be a breakout year for Wi-Fi in South Africa, and WAPA has seen this already taking shape internally. Wi-Fi can form the third leg of a mobile/home/Wi-Fi converged service if and when service providers are able to build open access carrier-grade Wi-Fi networks in high foot traffic locations. The recently announced collaboration between WAPA and the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is geared towards providing industry education to enable the building of such networks according to established best practices.

According to Effective Measure’s November 2013 demographics report, the percentage of South Africans accessing the internet over ADSL dropped sharply from 51% to 42%, while the percentage accessing the internet over Wi-Fi grew from 28% to 34%.

The smartphone proliferation will also fuel the installation of Wi-Fi networks designed to do more than just provide basic connectivity. In the past, consumers would have to search for relevant local content or check in on the likes of FourSquare to see what offers were available. New software solutions coming onto the market in 2014 will turn this equation on its head, allowing consumers to access local content and offers easily through the use of smartphone location in an intelligent Wi-Fi network.

This is just one example of value-added services delivered over smartphones connected to the internet. From WhatsApp and the big marketing push from Tencent’s WeChat this year, software companies will continue to introduce smartphone applications that deliver additional content over a data connection. In the residential space, expect to see content in the form of video-on-demand as Telkom is rumoured to be in talks with Netflix, and MWEB will begin pushing content from the Naspers engine to home-internet users.

South Africa can also expect to see ever-dropping broadband prices and faster speeds. While WAPA applauds Telkom for continuing to lower IP Connect rates, overall costs will remain quite high until ADSL line-rental costs are lowered, which is unlikely to happen in the short term. Since fibre to the home will remain an expensive proposition, high quality and high speed connections delivered by wireless ISPs (WISPs) will remain competitive and may even become more competitive relative to ADSL, as WISPs introduce better, faster, and cheaper connectivity products. This will lead to an increase in the rate of substitution away from ADSL.

The common theme in these trends is better, faster and easier connectivity which provides more value to consumers. Much of this will happen naturally over wireless, as wireless point-to-point links over licence-exempt spectrum offer a reliable and cost-effective way to provide connectivity to consumer devices either through Wi-Fi or SIM card. From WAPA’s vantage point, 2014 promises to be a good and exciting year for the wireless industry!

 

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Is the 3D printing market a hype, a hope, or a threat?

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Current obstacles in 3D printing represent a window of opportunity for traditional manufacturing industries to reassess their long-term strategies and to find a place in tomorrow’s economic landscape.

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