Apple Intruduces Thunderbolt.

Introducing Thunderbolt.
The fastest, most versatile I/O ever in a notebook.

Imagine accessing multiple streams of uncompressed HD video — from your notebook — at speeds that let you edit an HD feature film in real time. That’s how Thunderbolt technology will connect the next generation of high-performance peripherals to the next generation of computers — starting with MacBook Pro. Ultrafast and ultraflexible, the Thunderbolt pipeline is more than 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0, and it offers unprecedented expansion capabilities. It changes what you can do on a notebook.  10 Gigabits per second!!

The Thunderbolt port will give you plug-and-play performance with a whole new world of Thunderbolt peripherals, as well as with the Apple LED Cinema Display and other Mini DisplayPort peripherals. You can daisy-chain as many as six devices, including your display. And with support for video and eight-channel audio, it’s easy to connect HDMI-compatible devices — like your TV and home stereo — using the HDMI adapter you already have. Current VGA, DVI, and DisplayPort adapters are also supported.

Apple’s demo was a variation of the same thing Intel’s been doing for a while — they played four uncompressed HD video streams off the RAID simultaneously, which pegged the Thunderbolt throughput meter at 600-700MBps. We also watched a 5GB file transfer in just a few seconds — all very impressive!

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Facebook Phones – Zuckerberg: Expect ‘dozens’ this year

HTC is very careful not to call its Salsa — a 3.4-inch, 480 x 320 touchscreen device — and portrait QWERTY-sporting ChaCha “Facebook phones,” however Mark Z’s highly successful social network is indeed the focus around which both are built. The OS is Android 2.4 underneath, however the Sense customizations have taken on an extra few tweaks and functions to accommodate a Facebook-centric lifestyle.

Zuckerburg said there will be no Facebook phone. And now it’s clear what he meant — Zuck’s strategy is to integrate Facebook into every phone telling us today at the HTC launch event in Barcelona that we’re only seeing the first wave of Facebook-enabled phones hitting the market, with dozens of phones featuring deep social integration coming this year.

Interesting the Facebook button, and while we know nothing of specs yet, various sources have reported that Facebook updates will be streamed directly to the widget, the camera will upload directly to Facebook, and the phones, which will run a stripped down Android build, will have minimal storage.

In terms of specs, you’re looking at a lot of common components between these two. There’s a 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 — which didn’t seem to struggle unduly with basic functions during our quick play around with the Salsa — 512MB of both RAM and ROM, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, and a VGA front-facing cam. The resolution on the ChaCha is 480 x 320 as well, which should provide decent pixel density on that 2.6-inch screen. Both are expected to launch globally before the end of Q2 2011, at pricing points above the newly announced Wildfire S, but below the similarly fresh Desire S and Incredible S handsets.

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New Apple Subscription Service

Hot on the heels of the Daily, the oft-rumored Apple subscription service is finally spreading out to the rest of the app store.

Apple Inc is launching a long-awaited subscription service for magazines, newspapers, videos and music – a move that could dent the fortunes of successful services such as Netflix and Hulu.

Apple’s service allows it to keep 30 percent of customer payments to any publisher with a presence in its App Store, including blue-chip brands such as The New York Times, Netflix Inc. or Rhapsody, the popular music service.

Publishers can set the price and length of a subscription. They can also offer subscriptions through their own existing websites, but would be required to offer those same terms to anyone signing up through Apple.

In other words, customers who want to sign up for a Netflix video account would have two choices: They could do so through the Netflix website, in which case Netflix would keep the full fee; or they could subscribe through the applications in their iPhone or iPad, which would cost Netflix 30 percent its fees.

In launching the service, Apple is taking yet another bold step in securing a major role for itself in the future of digital media. Until now, Apple has invited media companies such as Netflix or Hulu, another video service, to create applications for its devices without taking a financial cut.

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Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Play coming February 13th

Sony Ericsson has finally stopped teasing, winking, and nodding knowingly and has just come clean — the Xperia Play is most definitely real and it’ll be one of the first devices announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We’re treated to a date and time, February 13th at 6PM GMT, a pair of full frontal shots of the Gingerbread-running, gamepad-wearing smartphone, and the full version of that creepy ad we saw for it a couple of days back. Missed it on the Super Bowl? Scope it out after the break.

Officially confirmed by Sony Ericsson yesterday, the Xperia Play PSP phone will be released by lots of mobile operators around the world (including O2, Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile in the UK).

One of the North American operators to stock the new Android 2.3 handset seems to be Rogers, which, according to MobileSyrup, may be the exclusive Xperia Play carrier in Canada.

Rogers’ official website doesn’t hint at a possible launch yet, but SE Canada’s website already shows the Xperia Play as coming soon. Sony Ericsson Canada’s Facebook page even allows you to win one of 10 Xperia Play smartphones – full details here.

Sony Ericsson will showcase the Xperia Play at MWC later this week, on February 13. We’ll be there to see if the smartphone is a gamechanger (as SE wants us to believe) or not.

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Google Search

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Livemocha is the world’s largest online language learning community, offering free and paid online language courses in 35 languages to more than 6 million members from over 200 countries around the world.  It includes more than 300,000 trained teachers, many of whom use Livemocha in their classrooms. Livemocha offers free basic language courses in 35 languages and more advanced courses — called “Active Courses” — in five languages including English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. The Active Courses cost $19.95/month or $149.95 for a one-year subscription. The company claims that those who complete the “Active” courses will achieve conversational fluency. Livemocha offers grammar instructions, reading comprehension exercises, interactive role playing and both live and asynchronous interaction with other native speakers within the Livemocha community. When learners submit coursework for peer review, native speakers in that language can provide feedback on how that learner is progressing. Users can aid others in learning the languages that they are proficient in while learning other languages themselves.

Commitment: We will not rest until every person on Earth is fluent in at least two languages.


Lessons are provided for thirty languages; American English, Spanish (Castellano), Persian, French, Hindi, German, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin, Icelandic, Korean, Arabic, Turkish, Polish, Ukrainian, European Portuguese, Greek, Dutch, Estonian, Romanian, Persian, Bulgarian, Finnish, Hungarian, Croatian, Czech, Urdu, Catalan, Swedish, Hebrew and Esperanto, which is the most recent addition. Other tools such as translators are provided for a variety of other languages. It is possible to vote for new languages to be introduced.

Check out some of the highlights:

  • Administrative Tools — Teachers receive progress reports including weekly digest emails documenting individual student progress. Teachers also have access to all speaking and writing exercises completed.
  • Livemocha Experts — Pre-qualified language experts who provide personalized feedback to a student’s submissions.
  • Active Course Material – Includes course material that can be used in class or assigned as homework, videos of native speaker conversations, grammar lessons, writing, speaking, and role play activities that are critiqued by native speakers and Livemocha Experts.
  • Study Buddies Livemocha members from all over the world submit exercises for each other to review. In the process, they provide each other encouragement, tips on pronunciation and grammar, cultural notes and, most importantly, fun!
  • Flashcards — Teachers and students can create custom flashcard sets or use one of the 50,000 flashcard sets created by other Livemocha members. Students can review new material, take timed quizzes and improve their recall.
  • Conversations with Native Speakers — Students can practice conversation skills 24×7 with native speakers in the Livemocha community using text or audio chat. Students can also ask Livemocha members for help with regional dialects, idioms, travel tips, etc.

Competes with Rosetta Stone

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Microsoft Mathematics 4.0

Mathematics provides a set of mathematical tools that help students get school work done quickly and easily. With Microsoft Mathematics, students can learn to solve equations step-by-step while gaining a better understanding of fundamental concepts in pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, and calculus.

Microsoft Mathematics includes a full-featured graphing calculator that’s designed to work just like a handheld calculator. Additional math tools help you evaluate triangles, convert from one system of units to another, and solve systems of equations.


You can download it from

This differs from the Math add-in for Word and OneNote in that it has more of a learning focus than just providing equation support in documents.

Microsoft Mathematics provides following functions :

  • Computing standard mathematical functions such as roots and logarithms
  • Solving equations and inequalities.
  • Solving triangles.
  • Converting measurements from one unit to another
  • Computing trigonometric functions, such as sine and cosine
  • Performing matrix and vector operations, such as inverses and cross-products.
  • Computing basic statistics, such as mean and standard deviation.
  • Performing operations on complex numbers
  • Plotting 2D and 3D graphs in Cartesian, polar, cylindrical, and spherical coordinates.
  • Finding derivatives and integrals, limits and sums and products of series
  • Finding, plotting, and solving common formulas and equations.

Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 is available for download in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

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More Amazing Products from CES 2011

iPhone on Verizon

PixelOptics is demoing what it claims is the most significant development in prescription eyewear in 50 years: emPower! PixelOptics’ glasses offer up better field of view and less distortion than traditional lenses by sandwiching an LCD-like layer in the glass that can be focused with an electrical charge. The set’s inbuilt micro-machine accelerometer detects when you tip your head down — when you read, for example — and triggers the glasses’ focal area for presbyopia. The emPower! lens can also be set to manual and is then activated by a swipe of your finger on the frame. The kit includes the glasses and the inductive charger that will keep the eyewear powered up and running for a couple days.

PixelOptics is inventing and commercializing the first dynamic electronic spectacle lens, emPower!™  If you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, this technology will revolutionize the way you see and use your eyeglasses. emPower!™ will:

• Focus as fast as you can blink your eye
• Provide an invisible electronic near focus zone when desired
• Offer three modes of operation: automatic, manual on, manual off
• Provide wider fields of view compared to a progressive addition lens
• Allow for less distortion than a progressive addition lens
• Vision correction for all ranges of sight: far, near, and in between
• Allow you to turn near reading power off when desired
• Rechargeable hidden battery

PixelOptics plans to deliver the eyewear in April.

This would be great Outdoors anywhere where there is no cell signal.  Was thinking this would be good for Natalie Lambert.

Wins CES Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering Award

Today’s smartphones provide a level of social connection far beyond what we imagined just a few years ago. But when you go beyond the reach of the grid, your smartphone needs the help of SPOT Connect to keep you in touch with friends, family, and emergency personnel. Simply pair your smartphone with SPOT Connect, and get connected to a global satellite network that lets you send messages and GPS coordinates from virtually anywhere on the planet. Update Twitter and Facebook. Send email and text messages. Request non-emergency help from professional service providers. And in the case of a critical emergency, send an SOS message requesting emergency assistance.

iconSOS: Emergency assistance request sent with your GPS location to GEOS every 5 min until batteries die or until cancelled The GEOS International Emergency Response Center alerts the appropriate agencies worldwide – for example contacting 9-1-1 responders in North America and 1-1-2 responders in Europe.

HOW IT WORKS:Once activated, SPOT will acquire its exact coordinates from the GPS network, and send that location along with a distress message to the GEOS International Emergency Response Center every five minutes until cancelled or until the batteries are depleted. The Emergency Response Center notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your GPS location and personal information – which may include local police, highway patrol, the Coast Guard, our country’s embassy or consulate, or other emergency search and rescue teams – as well as notifying your emergency contacts about the receipt of a distress signal.

Even if SPOT cannot acquire its location from the GPS network it will still attempt to send a distress signal – without exact location – to GEOS, which will still notify your contacts of the signal and continue to monitor the network for further messages.


iconHelp: Request help from friends and family every 5 min for 1 hour. Up to 10 contacts via SMS & email

HOW  IT WORKS:Once activated, SPOT acquires your location from the GPS network and routes it along with the HELP message through the SPOT satellite network every five minutes for one hour or until cancelled. Your contacts will receive an SMS text message including coordinates, or an email with a link to Google Maps™ showing your location.

Even if SPOT cannot acquire its location from the GPS network it will still attempt to send a HELP message – without exact location – to your personal contacts.

iconCheck-in/OK: Send a pre-defined message allowing your friends and family know that all is OK along with your GPS location. With a push of a button a message is sent via email or SMS to up to 10 pre-determined contacts and your waypoint is stored in your SPOT account for later reference. Your stored waypoints can be easily integrated into a SPOT Shared Page or SPOT Adventure account.

Once you have activated your SPOT Messenger and set up your account, you can change your contacts and customize your message at any time. When you push the Check-in/OK button, you send one pre-programmed message to your contacts. Your contacts will receive an SMS text message including coordinates, or an email with a link to Google Maps™ showing your location.

iconTrack Progress: This feature allows you to send and save your location and allow contacts to track your progress in near real time using Google Maps. With your SPOT account you have the ability to set up a SPOT Shared Page which allows you to show your SPOT GPS locations to others on a Google Map. (Additional service required).

Once activated, SPOT acquires and sends your GPS coordinates to your SPOT account automatically every 10 minutes for 24 hours or until canceled. SPOT tracking must be reengaged to continue. Creating a SPOT Shared Page allows you to share your GPS route with your friends and family easily in near real time on the web through a personal link. You can make your Shared Page private or public. Your choice! Just share that url with your friends and family and they can easily track your adventures. You can also link your SPOT Messenger to SPOT Adventures, a social portal, where you can set up a profile and blog with others sharing their SPOT adventures.

iconSocial Networks: Don’t lose the connection to your social networks when you venture off the cellular grid. SPOT Connect with the basic service package enables you to send Predefined messages to your favorite social destinations. The Type & Send function allows you to create short custom messages in the field, which you can send to social destinations or specific contacts via email or text message.

Once activated, log into your SPOT account and click the Share tab. Under Other Sharing Sites, you can choose which Social Networking site you would like to link to your account. Updates are sent when the Check-in/OK button is pressed. Post a Check-in/OK message to your Facebook or Twitter page when out of cell range and automatically include a map link to your location.
  • Send messages from virtually anywhere via satellite
  • Type & Send message (41 character) or Predefined message (120 character) options*
  • Track Progress on Google Maps™ or SPOT Adventures page*
  • Integrates with and popular social destinations
  • Smartphone app for operation and detailed status
  • On device SOS button for standalone emergency operation
*Additional charges apply for Type & Send and Track Progress service plans.

Ford Focus Electric

There are lots of firsts with this one. The Focus Electric is the first car to be unveiled by a major auto manufacturer at CES and Ford’s first electric car. With a big cell in its trunk, the Electric will manage a range of 100 miles and offers a MPGe higher than the Chevy Volt. It should only take four hours to charge via a 240 volt outlet, but sadly, you’re going to be waiting a lot longer than that until it is released — Ford is saying is should hit the US in late 2011 and 2013 in Europe.

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