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Monday, December 31, 2012

Stick a fork in netbooks, they’re done

I would agree with this post, generally because the price of a full sized laptop is now the same price that netbooks were when they first came out. Top that, some laptops have also stopped providing a DVD drive as well so they are essentially a netbook as well.
 
 
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Stick a fork in netbooks, they're done

After beginning in late 2007, the age of netbooks is coming to close. Acer and Asus, the two remaining top-tier manufacturers of the small laptops, are ceasing netbook production today, reports The Guardian's Charles Arthur. For a computing market that appeared to have unstoppable growth early on, the rise and fall of netbooks happened quickly. It should remind us that disruptive new technologies can quickly erode a product's market share, and even, the viability of a product class itself.

An example of this change can be seen in one of my most-read posts ever here on GigaOM. Out of more than 7,500 posts I've written, one of my most viewed is "A quick guide to netbooks" from September 2008. No matter what news was hitting the tech cycle, this post on netbooks kept finding its way in front of readers who searched for netbook information on the web. Even a year after publication, the post was appearing on a daily basis near the top of our stats. Then 2010 arrived, and with it, the first credible consumer tablet in Apple's iPad.

Charles Arthur provides four reasons for the netbook's demise, but by analyzing the stats of my netbook guide post, I suggest that the revamped tablet market was the beginning of the end for netbooks. True, these are completely different products in terms of form factor, design, operating systems and supported applications. But both share an important commonality: relatively inexpensive mobile computing devices.

Let's face it: There are only a few reasons that netbooks even became a "thing." You could get one for between $200 and $400, you could run the apps you wanted to, and you could take them everywhere. The idea of a small, cheap laptop that ran all the same software your larger notebook or desktop could run was appealing at a time when the global economy began a huge downturn. The timing of netbooks was simply right.

smartbookI know because I bought the very first one available  in 2007 and used it to cover the Consumer Electronics Show in 2008: All of my posts were written on a small Asus Eee PC. I later upgraded to an MSI Wind machine and then a $399 Toshiba model in 2009. For half the cost of a full-sized laptop, I had something more portable that lasted longer on a single battery charge.

The idea of a netbook then morphed into a smartbook: A small laptop that ran not on Intel chips, but ARM chips used in smartphones. The concept was great, but with Apple's iPad introduction in 2010, I immediately suggested that smartbooks were DOA; a point that Qualcomm confirmed nine months later.

Some current netbook owners will continue to cling to their device, mainly because it meets their needs of Microsoft Windows applications in a small laptop, and that's fine: One should always use the best tool for the task at hand.

Our tasks, in terms of computing needs, however, have changed. Legacy application suites are getting replaced by a seemingly never-ending stream of smartphone and tablet applications. Cloud services for productivity and storage are the new Microsoft Office and hard drive. Touch computing is becoming the norm, not the exception, and mobile operating systems are optimized for it. Simply put: Netbooks are just another example of old-school computing and world is moving on. Farewell netbooks; it was fun while it lasted.

Acer C7 ChromebookI'd be remiss if I didn't mention Google's Chromebook initiative as it can appear on the surface that the company is continuing to offer a netbook experience: Low-cost, small laptops that run for hours at a time. There's one key difference, however: The entire interface is a modern desktop browser that works as a jack-of-all-trades for creating and consuming web content. Best of all, the simplicity of the software brings all the benefits of the web without the distractions, upkeep or power-consuming features brought by a legacy desktop environment.

That doesn't mean I think Chromebooks will take over the world as netbooks were expected to do, but the different software approach and deep integration with Google services give Chromebooks a chance to survive beyond the age of netbooks.




Sunday, December 30, 2012

No Agenda Show for Sunday December 30th 2012 Mongolian Hat


No Agenda Show for Sunday December 30th 2012
Mongolian Hat
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Mongolian Hat
Executive Producers: Sir Doug Ownes, Sir Thomas Ward, Sir Patrick Vaughan, Sir Donald Filipchuck, Sir Scott WIlliam, Sir Tim, Sir Sean McGrath, I J Hirka, Sir Thomas Badrick, Sir Cloudsigma AG, Sir Bernie Attema
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

No Agenda Show for Thursday December 27th 2012 Mac and Cheese


No Agenda Show for Thursday December 27th 2012
Mac and Cheese

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Mac and Cheese
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!


On this Christmas Day I wish all of my friends, family and clients the very best of the season!



May all of your dreams come true in the coming new year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

How Technology Impacts Our Kids' Brains

I look at this study and compare it to how I perform my own work in many ways. I may be connected to multiple computers via multiple computer monitors performing various tasks or I may be connected to multiple computers via one computer (typically a laptop) whereas my focus is on the one screen and the one screen only where I must switch between computers to focus on the one task at hand. To say that I am more functional is questionable however I would agree that I am more focused and my cognitive skills are enhanced on that one task at hand. With regards to actually getting more work done however, I would say the amount of work, no, but the quality of work may be a little improved with regards to the details of each activity performed.
 
 
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How Technology Impacts Our Kids' Brains

kid on computer

"Technology is rewiring young people's brains."

That's a claim we hear a lot these days. It's in the media, spoken by experts and pundits, and in the air, voiced by parents and teachers.

Sometimes it's uttered in alarm, by those concerned that children's ability to learn and pay attention is being warped by the hours they spend in front of the computer.

Sometimes it's proclaimed in celebration, by others convinced that a generation of "digital natives" has developed new ways of absorbing and applying information.

In fact, research in cognitive science and psychology shows that both of these sentiments are misplaced. While it is true that our brains are to some extent "plastic" — that is, responsive to experience — it is also the case that there are biological constraints on how our brains operate.

These constraints are universal, found across cultures and across generations. What follows is a brief primer on how attention and memory work, and how we can maximize their effectiveness.

When our minds are engaged in a task — reading a sentence, say, or solving a math problem — the information relevant to that task is held in our short-term memory. This mental holding space can only contain four to seven pieces of information at a time. It's where we do our thinking, by combining information drawn from our environment (the textbook page or math worksheet we're looking at) with information stored in our long-term memory.

Unlike short-term memory, the capacity of long-term memory is essentially infinite. How do we move information from short-term to long-term memory? Attention is key. We have to be paying attention to, and thinking about, a fact or a concept in order for it to be "encoded" in memory.

One common enemy of attention is multitasking. Young people report frequent media multitasking — texting, emailing, surfing the web, or updating Twitter and Facebook — while also doing schoolwork. And while they may think that they can do it effectively, research shows otherwise.

In fact, studies led by Stanford University professor Clifford Nass demonstrate that individuals who multitask the most are actually the worst at it. The reason multitasking is detrimental to learning holds for young people as well as adults: the brain can't really pay attention to more than one thing at a time.

Rather, it switches its focus between the two tasks, making us slower and less accurate at both. Whether we're learning with a computer or a book, it's best to give it our undivided attention. (And it's best to follow a day of learning with a good night's rest: sleep is when our brains "consolidate" the memories we've acquired while awake, discarding irrelevant material and moving important information into long-term storage.)

"Growing up digital" doesn't change how we come to understand new information, either. Understanding happens when we process new information in terms of its meaning, rather than its surface features: thinking deeply about the themes of King Lear, for example, instead of registering simply that it was about three daughters and their aging father.

And understanding happens when we connect new information to what we know already — for example, by using an analogy of water flowing through pipes to conceive of how an electrical circuit works.

The process of remembering, like understanding, has certain features that remain consistent across age and across experience. Decades of research on subjects ranging from elementary school-aged children to elderly adults, for example, have shown that "retrieval practice" — repeatedly calling up information from memory — helps us remember that material much better than simply reading and re-reading it.

Another technique, called "spaced repetition," has also proven universally effective: it involves exposing oneself to new information in short bursts spread out over time, rather than in one marathon study session. Although the use of computers and other devices like tablets and smartphones is not changing the fundamental operations of young people's brains, computerized instruction can be designed to work with these built-in features of the mind.

Educational programs can promote retrieval practice by offering short quizzes, for example, and can expose users to new information on a spaced-out schedule calculated to produce maximum retention. They can facilitate a focus on meaning and on connecting old knowledge to new by, for example, allowing simulated science experiments to be performed onscreen, or by engaging students with an interactive historical timeline.

No, technology is not "rewiring" young people's brains. This will come as a relief to some and a disappointment to others. But this reality does bring with it one significant advantage: a body of research on understanding, attention, and memory that can now be applied to a new generation of humans, not so different from the ones who came before.

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What the Future Looked Like 100 Years Ago

The problem with predicting the future back in the day was just like it is today, common sense and a little knowledge of how things work, it is quite simple to predict certain things such as trains going 150 miles per hour and 'flying ships'. When we are envisioning future trips to Mars and living on the Moon this should come as no surprise.
 
 
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What the Future Looked Like 100 Years Ago
In the early 1900s, Ladies Home Journal thought the future would bring a lot of things. The predictions sound funny and old timey, sure, but you know what? Even though we haven't eradicated flies and mosquitos (yet!), a lot of them came true. Including these five: More »



Windows 8 Previews to Go Dark in 3 Weeks

Since you can get the full working Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $39.99 there is no reason to use this anymore. And, unlike most of the negative reviews, once you install it on a machine that was running XP or Vista, you will be pleasantly surprised at the performance increase, not to mention you will now be using the latest operating system which means security and stability issues should be much improved!
 
 
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Windows 8 Previews to Go Dark in 3 Weeks
All of you last minute freeloaders who have been using the preview copies of Windows 8, time to buy or fly. The free previews are up and will expire in three weeks. The nag screens will appear as soon as January 1st. "You have no right to use the software after the expiration date," stated the Release Preview's end-user license agreement (EULA). "Starting from the expiration date, you may not be a

World's Oldest Wooden Water Wells Discovered

This is the sort of thing I have on my bucket list.. to be able to travel to these places that are newly discovered that hold so much of the worlds history.
 
 
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World's Oldest Wooden Water Wells Discovered
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers have discovered four wooden water wells in the Greater Leipzig region, Germany, which are believed to be the oldest known timber constructions in the world. A team of experts led by Willy Tegel and Dr. Dietrich Hakelberg from the Institute of Forest Growth of the University of Freiburg, Germany, uncovered the wells built during the early Neolithic period between the years 5206 and 5098 B.C." The (quite short) paper itself, and some cool pictures of the artifacts, are freely available.

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

No Agenda Show for Sunday December 23d 2012 Conheads in Mexico


No Agenda Show for Sunday December 23d 2012
Conheads in Mexico
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Conheads in Mexico
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

No Agenda Show for Thursday December 20th 2012 Spying is Sharing



No Agenda Show for Thursday December 20th 2012
Spying is Sharing
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Spying is Sharing
Executive Producers: Sir Thomas of the Apocalypse, Dame Chantelle Leavitt, Sir Thor Hanks, Sir Black Knight "G", Sir Jesper Holmberg
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Climate change could trigger more volcanic eruptions

Here we go again about Climate Change.. are you kidding me! Volcanic eruptions are part of Mother Nature that formed this Earth. Who are they really trying to kid here?
 
 
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Climate change could trigger more volcanic eruptions

As if hurricanes and heat waves weren't enough, a new study indicates that climate change can cause volcanic eruptions too.

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