Google Updates Word Search Functionality

Google Updates Word Search Functionality

Google has updated its search function for words; while it might seem too minor for the casual user, logophiles can feel blessed by Google for this enhanced functionality. Searching a word now yields far more details than ever before. The additional details include not only the meaning of the world, but also synonyms and antonyms along with the way the word is actually used in a proper sentence. There is a drop down box as well, that can translate the word into another language. Other new details such as the known origin of the word along with a graph that traces the word’s usage over time are included.

The new search features are available for both the desktop as well as mobile devices, though these enhancements are available only in the US at present.

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Google Updates Word Search Functionality

Why Do Old Books Smell?

Why Do Old Books Smell?

Have you ever walked into a used bookstore and took in that musty smell assaulting your senses? Some people love it, some people hate it, and there is a science behind it. Books printed in the 19th and 20th centuries use different kinds of chemicals during the printing cycle. These are chemical reactions just waiting to happen once they are exposed to light and moisture.

The Fine folks at Abebooks have put together a small video showing the science behind the way books smell! Strangely enough, the books that are most likely to survive far into the future are the ones without a ton of chemicals in the printing process.

Why Do Old Books Smell?

Mobile Bloatware Banned in South Korea

Mobile Bloatware Banned in South Korea

Here finally is some respite for those who hate being bogged down by the sheer number of unwanted apps that manufacturers or various service providers cram the devices with. For the same has now been banned by the South Korean ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. What this entails is that the apps should be allowed to be deleted if desired by the owner of the device though this won’t be applicable to those apps that allow for Wi-Fi connectivity, near field communication or App Store themselves. Nevertheless, this should still make for a great precedence for others to follow elsewhere in the world where bloatware is looked down upon almost unanimously. The next best thing users are left to do is root their device to get rid of the unwanted apps that opens some storage space though not everyone is technically competent enough to root their devices. The bloatware is often blamed for an unnecessary drain on the battery as well.

Mobile Bloatware Banned in South Korea

Apple iPhone 5s Launched

Apple iPhone 5s Launched

The iPhone 5s is finally out, and like all ‘s’ suffixed devices we have had from Apple so far, it is almost identical to its predecessor. Apple chose to add some freshness to the new iPhone 5s range by introducing some new color options, space grey, gold and white. However, that’s just a part of the iPhone 5s story, as the new Apple flagship smartphone also comes with some cool innovative features.

Topping the list is an integrated fingerprint sensor which is a first on any iPhone variant so far, though not the first for the entire smartphone genre. (Motorola Atrix was the first to include a fingerprint sensor). This no doubt will make for one of the most secure iPhones we have ever had. The system is designed to scan the “sub-epidermal layers” at 500 points per inch. The image gathered is checked for a match with the stored images and will unlock the device only if the match is a success. That’s not all, for the fingerprint scanner can also be used to make secure payments, which means purchasing apps, ebooks, and other content is now simpler and more secured.

Further, the fingerprint samples will be stored on the device itself and will be off limits to any apps and won’t be stored in the cloud either, which means chances of those being manipulated or misused are almost impossible.

The iPhone 5s also comes with new enhanced photographic abilities, equipped as it is with a new lens having an f/2.2 aperture and a new sensor that is one percent larger. This results in bigger pixels with each capable of letting in more light. The same eight megapixel camera is now promising better quality images even in low light conditions. Among its other qualities , users will now be able to capture images in 10fps burst mode as long as the shutter is pressed. Users will also be able to record 720p slow-motion video in 120fps or a 28 megapixel panorama.

As part of its new internal make-up, the iPhone 5s now features an A7 64 bit chip, which Apple claims to be a first for a smartphone. Put another way, Apple is claiming a 40x increase in CPU performance and 56x increase in graphics performance. Running the entire show will, of course, be the new iOS 7 operating system.

Apple has also endowed the new iPhone 5s with what it claims to be the M7 “motion co-processor.” This is designed to analyze data that the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass have to offer and is aimed at creating a new crop of health oriented apps.

As for its price, the iPhone 5s will cost $199, $299 and $399 for the 16, 32 and 64 GB variants. (No 128 GB model as was rumored). Pre-orders start September 13th.

Apple iPhone 5s Launched

Todd Humphrey Leaves Kobo to Join New Stealth Project

Todd Humphrey Leaves Kobo to Join New Stealth Project

Todd Humphrey the EVP of Business Development at Kobo Books has left the company. He worked for Kobo from 2010 to 2014, where was responsible for all worldwide business development activities for Kobo, including OEM’s, retailer’s and wireless providers.

Todd has joined former Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis in a new stealth startup called The Everlong Project. Not much is known about the company, but they seem to be involved in wearable technology in the health sector. On the companies official blog page they do illuminate a bit on what they are doing with the statement “IOT is going to revolutionize how we manage our health, but the real trick is not in all of the various data-emitting, wearable devices. As someone who once saw 100′s of eReaders at CES (what we affectionately called the eReader ghetto) and then saw that turn to dozens, then 3-4 and eventually…you know the drill. It’s not about the hardware, ultimately. It’s not even in the data. The data on its own will be almost useless. It’s in the services that use that data, and engage consumers, and keep them coming back. If there are any people out there who actually, regularly, use their FitBit dashboard, and find it indispensable….please let me know…”

Former CEO Michael Serbinis confirmed that Todd is actually the Co-Founder of the Everlong project by stating “Todd has joined as co-founder at the Everlong Project where we plan on building another great company.   As we are just rounding out Month 2, doubling our space, growing the team, and working toward launch – it’s great timing.”

We should be hearing more about the Everlong project when they formally announce their first product in early 2015.

Todd Humphrey Leaves Kobo to Join New Stealth Project

HTC BlinkFeed Makes Play Store Debut

HTC BlinkFeed Makes Play Store Debut

HTC is making several of its apps available, including Blinkfeed, in the Google Play Store. This is a positive move considering rolling out updates will be much easier now that the company won鈥檛 have to wait for a major Android update to include updates to its own apps. Motorola has adopted a similar strategy with several of its key apps, including Touchless Control and Motorola Camera. This will also enable other non-HTC users to download and install BlinkFeed on their devices.

The app is a type of news reader that was launched with the HTC One last year, and it adopts a similar layout as Windows 8 apps, with tiles representing different news items. Users also have the option of offline reading. HTC said they hit upon the idea of making BlinkFeed open to all Android users given the popularity of the app with HTC users.

HTC BlinkFeed Makes Play Store Debut

Pixel Qi – smart display solutions of the future

Pixel Qi – smart display solutions of the future

Pixel Qi is the name of the California-based company engaged in designing screens that, in their own words, can “solve real world problems.” This is something that isn’t possible with conventional screens currently available. They had set out to design a screen that would include the best of both worlds, that of a normal LCD display with full color when the backlight is on. With the backlight turned off the screen gets transformed to an almost monochrome display that is nearly identical to e-paper displays found in many of the e-ink enabled e-book readers . The end result, the screen is as visible indoors as it is in bright light conditions while drawing the least from the battery. All this while the screen is able to render high definition video display in both the screen modes.

From a technical point of view, Pixel Qi’s displays, also called 3Qi, essentially comprises of three settings: a full-color, bright, conventional LCD mode; a energy efficient reflective e-paper mode that is readable even in bright sunlight; and a basic color transflective mode that is also equally power efficient. Power consumption is in the range of 2.5 W when the display is running in normal color mode, which comes down to a minute 0.5 W with the backlight turned off. This translates to much longer duration of battery life on a single charge.

The reason why Pixel Qi is using existing LCD technology as the base on which the new energy efficient screens have been built is simply because the company wishes to make the best use of the extensive LCD production line already in place which will save manufacturers a lot by not having to invest on setting up new production lines. This will also enable them to introduce the new screens to the market much faster. Its somewhat like using the same old silicon for designing newer chips even when there are other options available as anything new will take longer to reach to the end user.

Pixel Qi has already tied up with a number of manufacturers that would incorporate their display technology in the products they come up with, though unfortunately none of them are yet to make it to the market. It’s two names that come to mind right now – Innoversal Lattice Tablet and the Adam from Notion Ink . While the Adam might be ready for a year end launch, Innoversal has said they wish to launch their tablet next month.

This apart, the company has also come up with a DIY pixel qi screens that you can fit onto your own laptop in place of the regular LCD screens. More extensive usage of the revolutionary new technology is yet awaited though a plethora of tablets having Pixel Qi screens were on display at this year’s Computex show.

Pixel Qi – smart display solutions of the future