Month: June 2010

LED technologies in Brief

LCD TV’s require a backlight to illuminate the picture that is being shown. In normal LCD TV’s, this light is provided by fluorescent backlights called CCFL. Now, LED lights are being used instead of CCFL’s because they consume less power and enable manufacturers to come up with thinner models.   Edge lit (without local dimming) – This is what you generally get in the market. The LED’s in this type of TV are set around the edge of the screen. The center of the screen is illuminated with the help of “light guides”. The picture quality on this is...

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Apple’s iPhone Woes

The overwhelming joy that many Apple fans felt when they got hold of the fabled iPhone 4G, soon turned sour when the first big bug was discovered. “Want to talk? Hold it right.” It quickly became evident that the iPhone was very finicky about where the user placed their hand. Holding it in the lower left hand corner meant that the user would suffer from bad signal reception or even a call disconnect. The problem stems from Apple’s “radical” idea of placing an external antenna wrapped around the circumference of the phone. Apple’s simple solution to the problem was “don’t hold the phone like that”. Just as people were getting to grips with using the finicky device, a new revelation has been made. Apple has made, in their own words, “a stunning” discovery. Apparently, the software that calculates and displays the signal strength (the five bars you see at the top) is flawed. The bottom line of this is, What You See Is Not What You Get. So users have been left clueless as to the exact signal strength that they are receiving. It appears that through this issue, Apple is trying to shift some attention away from the antenna issue in order to do some damage control. However, this does not mean that the bug does not exist. All it means is that this is only the second...

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iLeak 2010

It had to happen at some point. After all, Apple can never go for long without some controversy. The latest issue is the big security hole in the iPad 3G that was exploited a few days ago. The flaw in the iPad, nicknamed ‘iLeak’, was exploited by a web security group that exploited weaknesses in the AT&T network. The group was able to access over 100,000 iPads which were on AT&T’s 3G network. The information that was extracted was the user’s email address and the ICC-ID which authenticates the user and grants access to the network. Doesn’t sound like a big deal? Think spam, think lots of spam. Now think about the early birds who jumped at the thought of getting an iPad 3G and not an iPad Wi-Fi. People like Diane Sawyer of ABC News, Janet Robinson – CEO of New York Times and Rahm Emanuel, and yes, the guy who just happens to be the White House Chief of Staff. The incident is embarrassing to both AT&T as well as Apple. Both have a lot to lose from it and in that aspect, AT&T has quickly plugged up their side of the hole. So far there has been no comment from Apple and no news on whether they are releasing an update to the OS. The iPad 3G was released on the overwhelming success of the iPad...

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The End of The (Free) Ride

Skype 2.0 for the iPhone is finally available for download. However, the jubilation experienced by all of those who were waiting for it may be short lived. The free ride has a time limit and that limit may be as close as six months away. Sunday was the big day for Skype 2.0 app, enabling millions of iPhone users to make calls over their 3G networks for free. The release was a long time coming as the app had been given the go ahead by AT&T last year. Until now, Skype only worked over Wi-Fi which meant that users could not operate the app on the move. With regards to the iPhone and AT&T, free calls between Skype apps is expected to come to an end in December this year. According to an announcement from Skype, the company will begin charging a small fee after that for the use of the app over a 3G network. The actual amount is thus far unknown. Calls made over Wi-Fi, however, will remain free. What makes this really bad news for iPhone / Skype fans is that AT&T is going to phase out its unlimited 3G data plans. The new data plans are set at $15 & $25 for 200MB & 2GB of data respectively per month. This effectively puts a spoke in the wheels for any plans of using Skype extensively...

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Are They Really iPad killers?

Two million iPads in sixty days – that is how many iPads Apple has sold so far. This roughly works out to over Thirty three thousand iPads a day, proving the naysayers wrong. One of those naysayers included Apple’s favorite rival Bill Gates. Unfortunately for Gates, not only is the iPad selling well but Microsoft’s own Surface technology is far from being ready for release. Even worse news was that the only viable contender to the iPad’s throne, the HP Slate, dropped Windows as its OS and moved onto Palm webOS. The Windows shaped hole created by the exit of HP created an opportunity for others, namely Asus and MSI. Both manufacturers came out with their contenders at Computex; Asus with its Eee Pad and MSI with the WindPad. The lack of imagination in naming the devices seems to have followed the design process into the devices itself. The 10 inch Eee Pad will run Windows Embedded Compact 7 and the 12 inch will run Windows 7 Home Premium. MSI will also run Home Premium on their 10 inch WindPad 100 model, but might switch to Android in the next model, the 110. Both have revealed very little other than a few details about processors, RAM and internal storage specs. Only MSI has said anything about a 2010 release and that too was vague. Asus on the other hand...

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