Category: Internet and Technology

Social Media in the near future

Social Media in the near future

Let’s call them Tweetscoops. Lady Gaga recently used Twitter to share the name of her upcoming album, ARTPOP, and George Michael let the word out on Twitter that he would be performing at the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony.

They’re not the only folks sharing big news on Twitter or Facebook, which circulates by “bird of mouth.” Some schools already are using Twitter to provide minute-by-minute updates about weather closings, crime situations on campus, admission deadlines, and other information. But if more professors start using Twitter to make major announcements, students could see it happening in these ways:

1. New assignments

Student confidentiality will keep professors from tweeting grades, but they could use #assignment and link to research, a news article, or another reading assignment students need to complete before the next class. Or maybe quick extra credit opportunities could be posted too.

2. Pop quizzes

Whether in class or online, professors could give students a quick heads-up minutes before class starts that they’ll be taking a pop quiz.

3. Required reading

Consider it higher education breaking news: The list of books for the semester could be released via Twitter before you even come to class. Now, will it cause you to actually buy them ahead of time?

4. Syllabus

It’s an essential first-day step — getting the course syllabus. But professors can go ahead and share the syllabus on Twitter, getting it out to students as soon as possible so you can be prepared for the course requirements. It also could help you make the decision earlier to keep or drop the course.

5. Office hours

Professors have designated office hours, but let’s say they have an unexpected break in the day and want to open their doors to students. With Tweets, they could let students know they’re available to help with test prep questions and more. Or they could even hold office hours via Twitter, too.

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BeoVision 12: Sight and sound to stimulate your senses

BeoVision 12: Sight and sound to stimulate your senses

BeoVision 12 combines elegant design, superior sound and outstanding picture quality to create a cinematic experience to delight the entire family. Every detail of BeoVision 12 has been carefully and painstakingly developed to deliver superior performance. The result is that everyday activities like watching TV, listening to music, viewing a film, become entertainment events.

BeoVision 12 is a breathtaking, 65-inch television, with an ultra-slim plasma screen and 3D capabilities. The first thing you’ll notice about BeoVision 12 is that although it is impressive in size, it actually appears thinner than it is. This seeming weightlessness is achieved through a unique optical illusion. Notice how the two profiles of the television bend inward, forming a V-shape.

The section facing the viewer has a natural aluminium colour, while the section facing the wall is seen in anodised black. The result is that you see something more slender than reality. BeoVision 12 literally floats on the wall, quite a feat considering its significant size. And that’s just the beginning.

65 Inches of Discretion

Every detail on BeoVision 12 contributes to its discreet, slim appearance. From the frame itself, to the speakers and controls, we’ve left no stone unturned in our quest to make 65 inches as light as air.

Picture Perfection

BeoVision 12 incorporates the latest plasma technology in order to give you and your family an experience to remember, every time you turn it on.

Made for Surround Sound

Of course, there’s more to a television than a picture. A true cinematic experience engages all your senses, and offers spectacular sound to complement dazzling images.

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Facebook Timeline: You have 7 days to scour your past

Facebook Timeline: You have 7 days to scour your past

Facebook is the virtual home to more than 800 million active users, so any change to how the network operates is a big deal. And nothing could be bigger for the social hotspot than completely revamping everyone’s front-facing profile page, and that is exactly what is happening today. Starting this morning, the new Timeline feature — that up until now has been an optional switch — is now mandatory.

The Timeline differs from the default profile pages we know and love in several ways. Now, rather than showcasing only your most recent posts, your personal front page can be scrolled back months or years at a time. Most importantly, this change can offer visitors a glimpse at your entire social networking past, all the way back to the day that you joined up. The revamp can be both a blessing and a curse for seasoned social networkers, as it can produce a bit of pleasant nostalgia, but also drag up some of your less proud public moments.

Left untouched, your Timeline may remind of you of breakups, job troubles, or even a few unfortunate party photos that you have long since buried. Depending on your settings, these black marks on your digital past could allow new followers — including friends or business associates — to see a side of you that was better kept tucked away.

Privacy is already a hot topic for Facebook users and the network’s litany of sharing options can be difficult to navigate, even for the most experienced users. The company isn’t oblivious to how the Timeline may drag up some unwanted past events, so a short buffer zone is in place to allow you to modify your online persona before making its new debut. You now have until Tuesday, January 31 to erase any past Facebook scars you’d prefer to hide.

The mandatory Timeline rollout will undoubtedly catch some by surprise, but you don’t have to fall victim to the ghosts of past updates. Take some time to review your social networking history and don’t hesitate to prune anything that you wouldn’t want on the front page of a local newspaper. Because as of right now, the clock is ticking.

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Iconic Motorola RAZR phone is back

Iconic Motorola RAZR phone is back

The original phone’s sleek design helped make it a smash hit when it debuted in 2003.

Mobile phones have come a long way in the last decade, moving from a mix of modest clamshell and candy-bar designs to widescreen smartphone powerhouses. And while huge lists of advanced features are all the rage these days, many still look back on the phones of yore with fond eyes. One of the most popular handsets of yesteryear was the Motorola RAZR, and now, 5 years since the company ceased production of the iconic flip phone, they are reviving the name. The new Android-powered device is called the Droid RAZR, and while it’s nearly unrecognizable compared to its older brother, it just may be what smartphone fans are looking for.

The svelte new smartphone sports a dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of 1080p video recording, and 4G LTE support. The RAZR’s massive 4.3″ Super AMOLED touchscreen looks dazzling, and is encased in Gorilla Glass for added protection. The device is splash resistant, with Motorola promising that even the phone’s internals are meant to survive a bit of water.

One of the biggest selling points of the original RAZR was its thin form factor. The Droid RAZR continues that trend, measuring a laughably-narrow 7.1mm — making it the world’s thinnest smartphone. By comparison, the recently-released Droid Bionic measures 10.9mm, and the iPhone 4S checks in at 9.3mm. The back of the new phone is made of woven Kevlar, in case it ever gets caught in a Hollywood-style shootout. It will run Android version 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box.

The original Motorola RAZR debuted in 2003 and in just three short years it racked up over 50 million units sold, largely due to its super-thin profile and flashy appearance. But as smartphones began to grow in popularity, the modest features of the RAZR sent it straight to the bargain bin. But with that kind of name recognition, the new RAZR — which boasts a much more powerful OS and huge list of features — may be able to capture some of the old phone’s magic, which is something many Android devices seem to be lacking as of late.

The Droid RAZR will be release in November as a Verizon exclusive and will cost $299 with a new 2-year contract. A suite of accessories will also be poised for a launch-day release, including keyboard and laptop docks that will expand the phone’s capabilities to a larger screen. If you want to experience the rebirth of the RAZR line, you can pre-order the device starting on October 27.

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Apple sells 4 million iPhone 4S in first 3 days

Apple sells 4 million iPhone 4S in first 3 days

Unveiled just a day before Apple Chairman Steve Jobs died, the latest iPhone was initially dubbed a disappointment, partly because it looked identical to its predecessor. But anticipation of its “Siri” voice software helped it set an online record in orders on October 7.

Apple Inc said on Monday it sold 4 million iPhone 4S in the three days since it went on sale October 14. Sales in stores began on Friday in Japan, Australia, France, the UK, Germany, Canada and the United States.

The company took more than 1 million online orders in the first 24 hours after the release of the iPhone 4S, exceeding the 600,000 for the iPhone 4, though it was sold in fewer countries.

Unveiled just a day before Apple Chairman Steve Jobs died, it was initially dubbed a disappointment, partly because it looked identical to its predecessor. But anticipation of its “Siri” voice software helped it set an online record in orders on October 7.

Along with the new iPhone, more than 25 million customers are using the iOS 5 mobile operating system, in the first five days of its release, and more than 20 million customers have signed up for its free cloud services, Apple said.

The latest iPhone will be available in 22 more countries on October 28 and more than 70 countries by the end of the year.

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8 phone calls that will save you cash

8 phone calls that will save you cash

Get the best negotiator in your house to pick up the phone and lower some of your bills.

Shopping online is undoubtedly convenient, but there are times when picking up the phone can save you some cash or, at the very least, score you a nice upgrade.

“Having that human element really helps,” says Laura Oliver, a deal expert who has scored plenty of deals just by making a phone call. “If you call and it’s not working, hang up and call right back,” she advises. “The phone lines are on a queue. You’ve got 15 to 20 other people you can try.”

She also points out it doesn’t have to be you who does the haggling for a better price. “You probably have someone in your house that’s your best negotiator,” Oliver says, advising consumers to let that person make the call.

Negotiate a Lower Credit Card APR

For people with average-to-good credit, the annual percentage rates associated with a credit card aren’t necessarily set in stone.

“Call your credit card company and say “Card X just sent me an offer for a card with 0% APR for a year and then a fixed rate of only 12%, which is much lower than the rate I’m currently paying you,” says Derrick Kinney, a financial adviser who specializes in helping families.

He says you should ask your current issuer if they can match the competing rate and, if not, it makes financial switch to transfer your current balance to take advantage of their competitor’s better offer.

“The fear of losing your business will usually make them match the offer,” Kinney says.

Read more

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The truth behind all those Twitter tweets

The truth behind all those Twitter tweets

By uploading a photo from your phone, you could be sharing more than you intended.

1. “Want to make a big impact? Good luck.”

Twitter, the social-media platform that lets users communicate in short posts called tweets, has exploded since its launch in 2006, from 15,000 accounts then to 200 million today. “Active users” attract an average of just under 5,000 followers (those who choose to receive a given user’s tweets automatically), according to independent research site Twitalyzer — but the number of subscribers isn’t necessarily the best measure of impact. “Not all Twitter accounts are created equal,” says Twitalyzer creator Eric Peterson.

Harvard Business Review found 10 percent of users create 90 percent of Twitter’s content. But while Lady Gaga and President Obama rank among the most followed (roughly 12 million and 9 million, respectively), Twitalyzer each day deems a different user “most influential” — like San Francisco “interaction designer” Joshua Kaufman, who has fewer than 7,000 followers. “It’s not a popularity contest,” says Peterson; it’s the frequency and volume of communication — how often and with whom you converse — that determines who’s making a mark. Twitter, for its part, says you can have an impact whether you have “five followers or 5 million.”

2. “It’s not just photos that you’re sharing.”

Ever snapped a photo with your phone, then uploaded it to post on Twitter? You may have shared more than just an image. ICanStalkU.com was set up by tech consultants to alert Twitter users that their smartphone pics are embedded with GPS data, making it so easy to determine your precise latitude and longitude that “a first grader could stalk someone,” says cofounder Larry Pesce. For its part, Twitter’s image-hosting service strips geotagged data from phone-uploaded pics, but third-party services like TwitPic are still vulnerable. Twitter has twice suspended ICanStalkU’s account, calling the site’s cautionary tweets spam. But Pesce says, “If we thought of it, someone else much more evil and smarter has been using it.”

3. “Social media is a slippery slope.”

You don’t have to be a congressman with an unfortunate surname for Twitter to have a disruptive impact on your personal life. Tracy Musacchio, a college instructor in New York, says a friend “likes to Twitter-stalk” her, leading to off-line arguments about things she’s tweeted. And couples therapists are reporting that discordant views on Twitter and other virtual-media etiquette are being cited more often as stressors in relationships.

Tara Fritsch, a marriage counselor in Oklahoma, says she helps about half her clients with social media related issues. Sites like Twitter don’t cause partners to be unfaithful, she says, but “simple opportunity” can lead some to take the plunge. (Twitter says it provides guidelines for acceptable behavior, but “no policy could prevent” users from engaging in extramarital affairs.) Bottom line: “Don’t kid yourself into thinking that things that happen in the virtual world have no impact on the real world,” Fritsch says.

4. “We’re helping journalists…”

Many reporters and news outlets are turning to Twitter for instant material and sources for breaking stories. Its efficiency in generating swift and concise feedback on everything from viewer reactions to American Idol to on-the-ground developments after natural disasters have made Twitter a resource for journalists looking to tap into civic discussion. Gregory Galant, CEO of Sawhorse Media, says that before Twitter became mainstream, it was a forum for journalists. His website, Muck Rack, serves as a directory of journalists, which the public can use to verify whether tweeters are credible reporters — important, since news often gets broken on Twitter before major news outlets report it. For example, he says, in June 2009, “news of Michael Jackson’s death was trending among the journalists we follow” before ever hitting the mainstream media.

5. “…but also hurting them.”

The death of Osama bin Laden was tweeted by Donald Rumsfeld’s chief of staff Keith Urbahn more than an hour before President Obama’s official address to the nation and before most news outlets had posted it on their Web pages. That tweet turned out to be true. But as more top stories get broken on Twitter, journalists using the site to try to keep up with a never-ending news cycle sometimes rush to report information that isn’t accurate.

Thomson Reuters, for instance, was among several news outlets that erroneously tweeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was killed in the Arizona shooting in January. (A spokesperson for Reuters says the organization is now enforcing a stricter social-media policy.) And just how effective are the tweets by major news outlets in drawing users to their websites? According to a study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, which examined traffic at 21 top news sites in the U.S., links from Twitter drove visitors to only nine of those sites, and Twitter referrals accounted for 1 percent or so of total traffic, on average.

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Beware of your social media history

Beware of your social media history

One firm collects everything you may have said or done online in the past seven years.

Companies have long used the criminal background checks, credit reports and even research on Google and LinkedIn to probe the past lives of potential employees. Now, some companies are requiring job applicants also pass a background check of social media.

A start-up years, social intelligence, scrapes the internet for all potential employees may have said or done online in the last seven years.

He then assembles a dossier with examples of professional awards and charitable work, as well as negative information that meets specific criteria: proof online racist remarks, references to drugs, sexually explicit images, messages text or videos, flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.

“We are not detectives,” said Max Drucker, CEO of the company, based in Santa Barbara, Calif. “All that we climb is what is publicly available on the Internet today.”

The Federal Trade Commission, after initially raising concerns last fall about Social Business Intelligence, the company is determined in accordance with the Act, the Fair Credit Reporting, but the service still alarms privacy advocates who say that invites employers to view information that may not be relevant to job performance.

And what a flattering relevant information has led to job offers being withdrawn or not? Mr. Drucker said that a prospective employee was found using Craigslist to look for OxyContin. A woman posing nude in the pictures she has set up a site for sharing the picture did not get the job she was looking for in a hospital.

Other background reports have been found examples of people who are anti-Semitic comments and racist remarks, he said. Then there was the job seeker who belonged to a Facebook group, “is America. I would not have to press 1 for English.” This raises a question. “Does that mean you do not like people who do not speak English?” Asked Dr. Drucker rhetoric.

Mr. Drucker said that his goal was to conduct pre-employment to help companies meet their obligation to conduct fair hiring practices and consistent while protecting the privacy of job applicants.

For example, he said reports remove references to religion of any person, race, marital status, sexual orientation, disability and other information protected by federal employment, where companies are not supposed to ask about during interviews. In addition, applicants must first consent to background checks, and they are informed of any adverse information found.

It supports research to reduce the risk that employers may confuse the candidate working with someone else or displayed on the Information Society that is not legally admissible or relevant. “Googling someone is ridiculously unfair,” he said. “An employer may discriminate against someone inadvertently. Or worse, they face all kinds of allegations of discrimination.”

Marc S. Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, based in Washington, said that employers have the right to gather information to make a decision on the expertise of job-related, but concerned that “employers should not judge what people do in their private life away from the workplace.”

Less than a third of the surface data firm Mr. Drucker just like the major social platforms like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. He said most of the negative information about job candidates comes from web searches found deep to comment on blogs and messages on small social sites like Tumblr, the blogging site, as well as Yahoo user groups, e-commerce sites, message boards and even Craigslist.

Then there are the photos and videos that people post – or are tagged in – on Facebook and YouTube and other sharing sites like Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket and Yfrog.

And there are pictures and videos that seem to get most people in need. “Sexually explicit pictures and videos are beyond understanding,” Mr. Drucker said. “We see such blatant displays of weapons. And we see a lot of illegal activities. Many, many pictures of drug use. ”

He recalled a man who had 15 pages of photos to show with different guns, including an assault rifle. Another man included pictures of himself standing in a greenhouse with a large marijuana plants.

Given the complex “conditions of service” agreements on most sites and Web applications, said Rotenberg people do not realize that comments or content that they generate are publicly available.

“People are led to believe that there is more limited communication that there is indeed, in many cases,” he said, noting that frequent changes to Facebook’s privacy settings in recent years may put people at risk to find a job today because of the personal information they may have inadvertently made public.

“What Facebook did was to take personal information from people they have available to family and friends and make this information more widely available to potential employers,” said Mr. Rotenberg, whose organization has several complaints pending at the Federal Trade Commission on the privacy settings of Facebook.

Joe Bontke, outreach manager for the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Houston, said he regularly reminds employers and human resource managers about the risks of violation of federal rules and laws against discrimination in employment using the online search in hiring decisions.

“The things you can not ask in an interview are the same things that you can not research,” he said, which includes the full range of information on the age of a person, sex, religion, disability, national origin and race.

However, he added that 75 percent of recruiters are required by their companies to research candidates online. And 70 percent of recruiters in the report that the United States they have rejected candidates because of information online, he said.

Dave Clark, owner of Advanced Impulse Communications, a telecommunications company in Southern California, began to rely on social intelligence for screening background, because it said the company needed a formal strategy and standards before assembling information online about candidates. “They provided us a standardized arm’s length how to use this additional information to make better hiring decisions,” he said.

About half of all businesses, based on government and private investigations, are now using credit reports as part of the hiring process, except in states that limit or restrict their use. As with background checks of social media, there are concerns about information that appeared. The equal employment agency filed a lawsuit last December against the Company Kaplan Higher Education, accusing it of discrimination against black job seekers in the way we use credit history in its hiring process.

But it is not unusual for senior high-level executives in many companies to submit to background checks even more complete by a private firm to survey.

“We live in a world where you have an incredible amount of information and data on all officers,” said Ann Blinkhorn, an executive recruiter in the converging technologies, media and communications industry. “I think it puts the burden on the recruiter and the hiring manager to be truly reflected on what is important and not important in the hiring decision.”

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Surprising facts about Lara Croft

Surprising facts about Lara Croft

Angelina Jolie isn’t the only woman to portray the Tomb Raider game heroine.

Star of the multi-million-selling Tomb Raider game series and successful movie franchise, Lara Croft is by far gaming’s most recognizable heroine. The acrobatic aristocrat’s adventures traveling the globe, exterminating wildlife, fighting villains, and swiping ancient artifacts are well documented, but there’s more to the character than feats of derring-do. Read on for a few lesser-known Croft tidbits.

She’s been played by more people than just Angelina.

Without question, Angelina Jolie is the most famous person to ever step into Croft’s crop-top and shorts. Indeed, Lara would earn Jolie a nomination for the coveted Worst Actress gong at the Golden Raspberry anti-Oscar ceremony. (She would lose to Mariah Carey’s woeful showing in Glitter.) But Lara’s also been portrayed by a string of other women over her 15-year history, including one, model Nell McAndrew, who was fired after leveraging her Lara cred into a Playboy appearance. She wasn’t clad in the costume, though. Or much else. Most recently, Lara’s shoes have been filled by a genuine gymnast, Alison Carroll.

She’s a real world record holder.

In her universe, we don’t doubt globe-trotting Lara has plenty of world records. Coolest mansion (containing her own obstacle course and indoor pool), perhaps. Most endangered species slaughtered in one expedition, maybe.

But she holds a real-life record, too: she’s officially recognized by Guinness as (deep breath) the world’s most successful human video game heroine. Sorry, Samus.

She has her own tribute album.

Released on CD and vinyl in Germany, A Tribute to Lara Croft contains cuts from artists as eminent as Underworld and Yello, some of which feature audio samples from the games. Lara didn’t stop there — she’s also graced the covers of countless magazines, and even has a street named after her: Lara Croft Way, in Derby, England, the city where her original creators, Core Design, were based.

She doesn’t do anything immodest.

If you were playing video games during the mid-90s, you were sure to know about an infamous Tomb Raider cheat code that, when entered, would supposedly cause Ms. Croft to tackle the game’s levels in the buff. Legendary among teenage boys, the code was a myth…although it was nearly a reality. According to Paul Douglas, one of the original game’s creators, higher-ups once asked the team to add it to the game, but they refused, crushing the dreams of thousands of adolescents in the process.

She used to be a man.

Yes, really. Lara Croft’s designer Toby Gard first envisioned the Tomb Raider star as a hat-sporting, whip-toting male archaeologist. Astonishingly, his design was rejected as too derivative. Can’t imagine why.

After opting to create a strong female character instead, Gard found inspiration from pop culture figures including singer Neneh Cherry and 80s comic book star Tank Girl. But Lara’s most recognizable feature, her impressive bust, was inadvertently created when Gard scaled up her cleavage by accident. The team liked the new Lara so much that he kept the “enhanced” version.

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New tablet beats the iPad in key features

New tablet beats the iPad in key features

Motorola’s powerful, 4G-capable Xoom is a formidable rival to Apple’s device, a reviewer says.

It’s an old design now. Phase 1: Apple introduced several new gadgets. Bloggers and industry tell us why it will fail. Phase 2: It may be for sale. The audience goes nuts for her. Phase 3: Each company and his brother gets to work on an imitation.

It came with the iMac and iPhone. Now, IPAD is entering Phase 3. Apple sold 15 million iPads in nine months, so you can bet that 2011 will be the Year of the Clone iPad.

Starting Thursday, you’ll be able to buy one of the most anticipated rivals iPad: Xoom Motorola. Like most aspiring iPad, it works with Google’s Android software – but the Xoom is the first that runs on Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb), which Google designed for tablets instead of phones.

The series continues Xoom recent Motorola gadgets attractive, compact and well built. Unless you inspect the rear (rubber, plastic instead of aluminum for money), you may not be able to say that touch-screen panel of IPAD.

There are some differences, however. The first is price: the cost Xoom a stunning $ 800, $ 70 more than the equivalent IPAD 32-gigabyte (WiFi and 3G cellular). You can get the Xoom for $ 600 if you’re willing to engage in a two-year Verizon contract. That means paying $ 20 a month to get online using the cellular network from Verizon (if you can get by on just 1 GB of data), instead of access points Wi-Fi hot.

The Xoom also offers a dual-core processor, which, according to Motorola, means smoother animation game And he has cameras. On the back there is a 5-megapixel camera that can also record high definition video. On the front, it is a low-resolution video camera for video chat. The new Android software includes a camera module reinforced-up, which highlights the effects bizarre gadget you never use, like Solarize, Sepia and polarize.

Clearly, a camera is useful on a shelf, and will remain a huge competitive advantage for Xoom – at least until the 2 iPad released next month (if Apple sticks to its model of development to usual annual day, that is). If the new IPAD is not a camera or two, I’ll eat a shelf.

The screen has a resolution of Xoom slightly higher than that of the IPAD, and it gives the tablet a slightly different – more like a business envelope with a greeting-card envelope. The screen shape is a better match for video hi-definition, but the worst for photos and maps.

The Xoom has stereo speakers instead of mono, a good battery for 10 hours of video playback and a power button on the rear panel. Motorola said that later this year, a software update will allow the Xoom enjoy Verizon 4G cellular networks, which means a better download speed in a few cities lucky.

A very cool feature: The Xoom has an HDMI, which means a single cable can send both audio and video hi-def TV. It is an ideal proposal for the roving presenter PowerPoint.

doctor dock Motorola is working overtime, too. You can buy either a speaker dock or a loading dock that is automatically activated Slideshow Xoom or alarm mode. If the material of Xoom were the whole story, it would not be much more than an anecdote. The physical improvements are not enough to knock the iPad iPad especially the 2 – to its pedestal, especially given the price increase.

No, the biggest story here is the honeycomb, the tablet software Google. IPad is the real competitor; tablets honeycomb in every size, shape and price range will soon arrive in stores.

So how is honeycomb? Four words: more powerful, more complicated. The screen is now two bands of small icons. In theory, the numbers above refer to the program you are using, and those in the bottom look like the system tray in Windows status icons and pop-up menus for various settings.

But these icons are darned cryptic, it looks like they were designed by foreigners. Google seems to have forgotten a huge disadvantage of unlabeled icons on a touch screen computer: there is no way to see their names or their office before opening them. There are no pop-up bubbles, for example. All you can do is to activate a touch, see what happens and learn from the experience boring.

New bands are not always make sense, either. Why, for example, never touching the clock icon to display your list of notifications (completed downloads, incoming text messages and so on)? Why do you get to some settings by pressing an icon on the lower band, and the rest of the settings by pressing an icon in the top band? Android not want to be when he grows up Windows?

Some changes in the nests of bees are cool. There is a pop-up menu from the list of recently opened applications – not just their names, but the miniature screens that show you exactly what you did when you left. Widgets (small windows that display the most recent data from, say, Gmail or Twitter accounts) are now more flexible, for example, you can scroll through their contents without opening an application greater whole. You can drag messages into folders individual e-mail.

In the miscellaneous category, Google has blessed the Web browser with tabbed windows and an “incognito” mode (where you let the cookies, history or other avenues that could allow someone to see what you ‘ve been up to). When you use Google Maps to display a large city like San Francisco or New York, you can turn with your fingers to reveal the three dimensional contours of actual buildings. (Useful if you’re the pilot of an ultralight aircraft, I guess.)

Other improvements could be better marked, “lovingly ripped off from IPAD.” Take the new applications and Gmail e-mail, for example (still no word on why we need separate applications for Gmail and other account types). They have been redesigned to mimic perfectly the IPAD mail app. In other words, when the tablet is upright, the message fills the screen when it is horizontal, the list of messages appears on the side left with the message selected in the main window. The Contacts application is also similar.

There is an app that mimics Books under IPAD iBooks, even in the animation three-dimensional page-turner. (It accesses Google attractive new store e-book.)

All other Android goodies are still there, such as voice recognition and impressive navigation GPS. Motorola says the download will come to the Xoom play Flash videos online – something IPAD can not do.

Currently, few applications are designed for screen tablets Android ‘more. However, there are 60,000 applications available specifically for the IPAD (not counting the 290,000 iPhone applications that run on it also, at lower resolution). But this is a temporary exception, the library Android is growing at a white-hot pace.

If you are interested in a tablet, it would be wise to wait a few months. You’ll want to consider what Apple has up its sleeve for the second coming, of course, but also the IPAD research in business-oriented playbook Motion BlackBerry and Hewlett-Packard tablet juicy looking TouchPad, which runs the software webOS ( originally designed by former Apple engineers for the smartphone Palm Pre).

It is not clear at this point why the world needs all these competing tablets, each with different operating systems and app store. There is no sufficient differentiation to justify the assault coming models, most of these companies seem freed tablets just so they can say: “We have a thingie iPad, too!”

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