January 2010 Archives

Apple IPad - Can it usurp e-ink?

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The Apple IPad has been launched and the hype reached new levels. Steve Jobs knows how to market and perform a product launch. It is only when the excitement dies down and the Apple Acolytes have returned to their temples to worship at their beautifully designed altars and pews will we figure out if the device is "worth it". 

My initial reaction are as follows:

  • How will it perform outside in sunshine?, e-ink does a great job from a readability point of view
  • Power management, a e-ink devices such as as the Sony reader and the kindle can be used for a very long time between charges
  • Will they allow you to  read existing e-books, and e-books published from other stores
  • DRM are we going to see Apple take a similar approach as they did with the Ipod, lock it down first then slowly open it up
  • I can see why news papers like it you could sign up via itunes to get your daily news paper or monthly magazine subscription.
So the I am still skeptical and will probably wait 2 - 3 years for the features and technology to stabilise and the prices to drop.

Internet streaming televisions - we are nearly there...

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I have a simple vision. We want to watch RTE's player on our television in the living room. You can buy televisions with DLNA capabilities and you can buy other televisions that have yahoo widget support. But at the moment you can't buy a television with a web browser built in.

I suspect the current early 2010 solution is to buy a small PC to connect to a HDMI port on the TV. Moving this hardware into the television is only a small and simple step, but I think we will have to wait another year.

Control your appliance using FM radio

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There is nothing new in Ireland about controlling smart appliances using GSM and Internet Technology. This technology allows the home owner to switch on or off appliances such as heating, washing machines etc. 

A new technology being tested in Canada utilises FM radio the Canadian national broadcaster has partenered with the Toronto based company e-Radio Inc The data is delivered over an FM sub channel.

The attractive feature of this technology is the fact that FM radio is widely available and cover geographic areas where internet access may not be available. Low tech had a way of becoming the best tech.

If you were to tell me that a pico projector that uses laser technology and is the size of a mobile phone will be incorporated into all mobile phones and laptops by 2015. I would probably have a hard job believing you.

Reuters reported a company called Microvision were demoing their pico projector at CES, Texas instruments also had some commercial devices with a dedicated mini projector embedded into them including two phones from Samsung.

Potential apps for this technology include digital cameras for enthralling your friends with your holiday snaps, smart phones for watching videos, youtube etc, laptops for business executives.

 also , has its pico projectors embedded in several commercial devices including dedicated mini-projectors and two phones from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the latest of which was demonstrated at CES.

Justin King DADGAD guitar playing at a whole new level

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I did a search on youtube lately for DADGAD examples of music, came across someone covering a Justin King track. This led me to this, which is amazing, humbling and inspiring.

The cold irish winter of 2009 -2010

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We are experiencing a cold prolonged winter spell that reaches back as far as 1963 from a historical record beating point of view, As you can see above the weather station recorded lows of -9.6 degrees Celsius. When the wind chill was factored in this brought it down to -13.2 Celsius. Several of my neighbours have no water due to frozen pipes, we are fortunate that our have not frozen yet.

The 45 cm of insulation in the rafters and the 10 cm under the pitch of the roof as well as the filled cavity are doing their part to reduced the chilling effects. There is no easy fix for the state of the roads.

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