April 2010

 

Hello PC Clubbers,

 

The next meeting of the PC Club of Costa Rica will take place this coming Saturday, April 17th.  We will meet at the same place, the Pan American School in Belen at 9am.  Coffee and donuts will available from 8:30am for anyone who wants to come early and chat.  If anyone has anything they would like to sell, having to do with computers, feel free to bring it and we will have a separate table where we can display it.  I have a few small things that came with a recent purchase and will bring those, plus some old stuff I have no use for.  So feel free to bring anything you might want to give, sell or bargain off to someone else.  It ought to be fun.

 

Now, to the Byte:

 

Item 1. From Ed Reames in Tilaran comes this:

 

I think that this is the most balanced iPad review that I have read yet.

 

http://www.notebooks.com/2010/04/11/ipad-review/

 

After  months of anticipation and weeks of hype, Apple finally released the iPad (see my video unboxing the iPad). It has been called a lot of things from the pejorative “It’s just a big iPod Touch,” to Steve Jobs calling it “magical,” and many others saying it is a “game-changing device.” Walt Mossberg even said it was “pretty close” to being a notebook killer. It is still too early to tell which end of the spectrum is going to be right. I’ll save my conclusions to … well … the conclusion. But in a word I would call it “functional.” Not a ringing endorsement I know, but before you assume that means I don’t like it, realize that some don’t even think that much of it. I have uses for mine. But how well does it meet those needs?

 

Item 2.  Twitter goes commercial (look surprised, now)

 

Adding to the whirlwind of announcements leading up to the company's first annual developer conference, several news outlets have posted interviews with Twitter executives to unveil something called "Sponsored Tweets," a search ad program that will put brands' messages into users' Twitter streams. It's formally slated to debut on Tuesday. Early advertisers in the program include Starbucks, Virgin America, and Bravo, all of which have already been using Twitter's reach to promote their brands. With "Sponsored Tweets," that organically built promotion is becoming official much as Twitter eventually built its own version of fan-created "replies" and "retweets." First, these ads are going to show up if users search for a keyword that the advertiser has purchased. Eventually, they'll show up in users' Twitter streams both on the company homepage and third-party client applications; no more than one ad will be displayed at a time.

 

Story here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-20002321-36.html

 

Item 3.  From our member, Steve Friedman, on useless/costly software

 

When it came to titling this article I was stuck between, what’s up on top of this article and this, “Finally Fast.com – Computing for Dummies with Money!” Anyone who has even a basic knowledge of computing would have to laugh outright watching the commercial for Finally Fast.com and the Windows PC services they offer.

 

http://billmullins.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/finally-fastcom-fast-scam-free-alternative-software/

 

Item 4. Microsoft and Verizon - code-named Turtle and Pure, aimed at the always-connected messaging crowd. (It ain't my "kin", but then it might be your's)

 

"We're the only phone that actually keeps your close friends close and treats them differently,"

 

During an event Monday morning, Microsoft announced that it has teamed with Verizon on a pair of feature phones for the youthful Facebook crowd. The Kin One and Kin Two are the first in the Windows Phone family to come with the Zune music service. The following is a record of our live coverage from the event:

 

At: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20002173-56.html

 

Item 5. New, inexpensive way to detect Alzheimer's

 

Your brain's capacity for information is a reliable predictor of Alzheimer's disease and can be cheaply and easily tested, according to scientists. "We have developed a low-cost behavioral assessment that can clue someone in to Alzheimer's disease at its earliest stage," said Michael Wenger, associate professor of psychology, Penn State. "By examining (information) processing capacity, we can detect changes in the progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI)." MCI is a condition that affects language, memory, and related mental functions. It is distinct from the ordinary mental degradation associated with aging and is a likely precursor to the more serious Alzheimer's disease. Both MCI and Alzheimer's are linked to a steady decline in the volume of the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for long term memory and spatial reasoning.

 

Story:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100405111207.htm

 

Item 6.  Google to open source video standard (techie, but important to some of us)

 

Google will soon make its VP8 video codec open source, we’ve learned from multiple sources. The company is scheduled to officially announce the release at its Google I/O developers conference next month, a source with knowledge of the announcement said. And with that release, Mozilla — maker of the Firefox browser — and Google Chrome are expected to also announce support for HTML5 video playback using the new open codec.

 

The move comes as online video publishers are gravitating toward standards-based HTML5 video delivery, bolstered in part by the release of the iPad. However, that acceptance has been slowed by the fact that the industry has yet to agree on a single codec for video playback, with some companies throwing support behind Ogg Theora and others hailing H.264 as the future of web video.

 

Story here: http://newteevee.com/2010/04/12/google-to-open-source-vp8-for-html5-video/

 

and here: http://tech.slashdot.org/submission/1214048/Could-Google-Kill-Flash-with-VP8

 

Item 7.  I just liked this article

 

"We like to imagine that every Microsoft OS installation will work just as well as the company promises. When things don't work out, identifying and remedying the cause of failure can be time-consuming and frustrating. This lesson in how to determine why Windows 7 didn't install may help you troubleshoot a problem of your own, and save you from a Lost Weekend. Maybe you'll find this account useful all on its own. But the real key here is that the author is Ed Tittel — who's written over 100 books. If this hardware geek spends days solving a CPU-meets-Windows 7 problem, what chance do mere mortals have?"

 

Here:  http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/04/12/2222204/Lessons-In-Hardware--OS-Troubleshooting

 

Item 8.  This month's meeting ought to be fun.  I know I enjoy seeing all my "like-minded friends" and sharing anything I might know or like to know with you all.  You are always fun and, many times, an inspiration to me.

 

Chuck