Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tech Flops (Part 2)

The 1st part is here.

Amazon Fire

The Fire Phone is the newest phone to takeoff and fall directly on it’s screen.  The Fire Phone is a 3D-enabled smartphone designed and developed by Amazon, announced in June, 2014. It is Amazon's first attempt at breaking into the smartphone market, running the Fire OS operating system.

What went wrong?
 The Fire has been compared to a glorified shopping assistant, as there is only access to amazon market for apps, and Amazon boasts about the Firefly scanner which enables users to point the phone at a product and be directed to Amazon's online store. Then there’s the "dynamic perspective" Amazon brags about, which presents another problem. It was created to enable the phone to respond to gestures, such as twisting and shaking, to make navigation easier, but it’s been regarded as unresponsive and inconvenient by many users. The final nail in the coffin is the Fire is promoted with special attention to attributes like 3D screen effect and the scanner, though the 3D screen effect is not technically 3D and will be disabled if the user decided they don’t want to use Fire OS. As for the Firefly scanner, it isn’t new, and it’s proprietary to the Fire Phone. The app can be downloaded to Android and iOS through their respective markets, and there are many scanners flooding the market already. There’s a pattern here. Remember Zune? It seems like Amazon is trying to break into a market despite not being able to boast any remarkable features.



Dreamcast 

The Dreamcast was a home video game console that was released by Sega in North America in 1999. The system paved the way and helped create what is the norm today, home video games and consoles.

Why did it fail?

While the system is still considered a success today among hardcore gamers, Sega pulled the plug on Dreamcast in 2001, ending the production. There are many reasons why the system ultimately failed, but the most significant was cost. Sony Playstation was released in 2000, and had the ability to use their own chips and technology, while Sega was buying their components from outside sources, which didn’t come cheap.  Because of the popularity of the Playstation, the Dreamcast wasn’t selling like it used to, and was forced into price reduction to compete with Playstation’s price, thus profits were decreasing rapidly. It was coming down to a point where the more Dreamcast consoles were put into the market, the closer Sega was getting to coming out even, rather than turning a profit. Other contributing factors were the failures of 3 previous consoles, such as the Sega Saturn.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tech Flops (Part 1)

While it’s important to grow and look towards the future, it’s sometimes helpful to take a step back and review the past, so that mistakes can be avoided. This is a brief summary of the top product and idea flops in regards to technology, and why they didn’t make the cut.


QR Codes


What went wrong?
QR Codes were a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, used for storing URLs or other information. They enabled anyone who owned a smartphone with a camera to take a photo and be directed to the QR code’s stored URL.
Some QR codes wound up in spots without WiFi or network, like planes or metro stations, which rendered the code completely useless since QR codes required a connection to link you to the destination. On the business end, manufacturers felt it was unnecessary to use QR codes since many apps already existed that enabled the consumer to scan UPC codes for more information about their product. While the QR codes were a failure, they still linger around today in dark alley ways and urban cities, linking to dead links and unsupported web pages. Who knows, maybe one or two will stick around and someone in 100 years will be just as confused as we are today about them. 



Netbooks


netbook is a lightweight low-power portable computer that has less processing power than a laptop but is suitable for creating documents, running a Web browser and connecting to WiFi.
What went wrong?
While netbooks were cost effective for both the manufactures and the consumers, the cheap part was quickly eliminated with early models running Linux being quickly replaced by more advanced netbooks that ran Windows. This ultimately increased the cost to the manufacturers. This change was caused by Apple putting a portable computer out into the market, what we know today as tablets. The craze for tablets escalated to today, and since they couldn’t compare in price, convenience, or power, netbooks were left in the dust.



Zune

The Zune was a portable digital media player made by Microsoft to compete against the ever popular iPod line from Apple. The first version that was released in 2006 was thicker than the ipod classics, and was comparable to a deck of cards.
What went wrong?
Do some searching about Zune online, and you’ll see that they still have a few diehard fans. Unfortunately, Zune was made to be a music player, that’s all. At the same time, iPod was dominating the muse player market, and changes were being implemented to make the players support video, and games. Zune released a video capable music player, but it was too late as consumers were already switching to the all-in-one electronics, smartphones.


The 2nd part is here.
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lookma, twohands! (Part 2)

The 1st part is here.

Galaxy Note 4


The phone’s face is mostly dedicated to the size of the screen, minimizing the phone framework as much as possible. The MediaPad X1 boasts a quad-core HiSilicon Kirin 910 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP rear camera that challenges most entry level DSLR cameras.
Nokia Lumia 930

                                               930                                                 520                                            
Release Date                         June 2014                                      April 2013
Screen size (inches)              5.00                                               4.00
Resolution                             1440x2560 pixels                          720x1280 pixels 
RAM                                      2GB                                               512MB 
Rear camera                          20-megapixel                                 5-megapixel


MediaPad X1
The biggest sized screen of 2014 is probably awarded to the 7-inch MediaPad X1 by Huawei.

Sony Xperia Ultra

The Sony Xperia Ultra was once considered the world’s slimmest HD smartphone, and its creators refuse to let it be forgotten. The updated version released in 2014 was given a 6.44-inch screen with 1080x1920 resolution, compared to 720x1080 on the 2013 model. It’s in line with the competitors with 2GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel camera.

Ever since Microsoft bought the Nokia line, they’ve been doing great things. The 930 is awe inducing and drool worthy, and definitely no exception. Here’s a comparison of the phone to the 520 released in 2013. 

There are many more releases in 2014, all around 6.0 - 7.0 inches. What’s the future of cell phones looking like? In our opinion if development continues down this road, low end tablets may very well be rendered obsolete. In any case, it does seem like the phablet category will continue to grow and gleam and demand our attention with bigger better faster devices. Don’t forget to work out those hand muscles!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Look ma, two hands! (Part 1)

If there’s one thing history is known for, it’s repeating itself. It even applies to cellphones. Remember when cellphones first made an appearance, and were about the size of a brick? Maybe I’m just showing my age. The point is, the market went on to make phones more compact and as tiny as possible over the years. The first cellphone was about 10 inches, the size of a shoebox, where the smallest was created in the 2000’s (Xun Chi 138) totaling only 2.5 inches, comparable to the diameter of an average sized orange.
However, looking at smartphones in the late 2000’s and this year, size is starting to become everything. This time it’s the size of the screen. Users have reported wanting bigger screens with slimmer bodies. This opinion is so greatly shared that the top rated phones in the market this year sport a 6 - 7 inch screen on average.
Before we highlight the top phones and sizes of 2014, let’s all take a moment of silence for the original phablet (phone tablet), the AT&T EO 440. This really needs a visual. 

Now that there’s a clear idea of what sizes were considered glorious, let’s get get back in our time machine and come back to our year. Below you’ll find the top 2014 phablets, with specs.

It makes sense to mention Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 first, as their Note II was the first phone to make users doubt the necessity for a tablet. At 5.5 inches of screen, the creator decided they could be better and whipped up the 4 with a bigger brighter 5.7-inch screen. It includes a built in stylus, with the smartphone’s focus geared towards making multitasking as as possible. 

                                               Note 4                                            Note II                                     

Release Date                         September 2014                            November 2012
Screen size (inches)                 5.70                                               5.50
Resolution                              1440x2560 pixels                          720x1280 pixels
RAM                                       3GB                                               2GB
Rear camera                          16-megapixel                                 8-megapixel

Don’t worry, we never heard of it ever. In the photo it’s being compared to the kindle, and was the largest phone that allowed the user to connect wirelessly to the internet, as well as code on the go. Throughout 2007-2013, the following phones made the phablet list. (by year, courtesy of Wiki)
      2007 HTC Advantage (5.0 inch screen)
      2007 Nokia N810WiMAX Edition (4.13" screen)
      2009 Verizon Hub (7.0" screen)
      2010 LG GW990 (4.8" screen)
      2010 Dell Streak (5.0" screen)
      2011 Dell Streak 7 (7.0" screen)
      2011 Acer Iconia Smart (4.8" screen)
      2011 Samsung Galaxy Player 5 (5.0" screen)
      2011 Pantech Pocket
      2011 Samsung Galaxy Note (5.3" screen)
      2013 Samsung Galaxy Mega (6.3" screen)
      2013 Sony Xperia Z Ultra (6.44" screen)


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Thursday, January 08, 2015

Copy write your code (part 2)

Picking A License: Alright already! What do I choose?


GPL

Regardless of the plenty of licenses, all in all the one you pick will be based on how to want your project to be handled or manipulated. On the off chance that you fall under the free programming camp and accept that all product ought to be free, then you may float towards The GNU General Public License (GPL).

The GPL is intended to ensure the client's opportunity to impart and change the product authorized under its terms. At the point when utilizing GPL code, no extra confinements may be connected to coming about item. In the event that you wish to utilize GPL code inside your own undertaking, then your own particular task must be authorized in a good way with GPL. In this way GPL code has a tendency to generate more GPL code. It is not reasonable under the GPL to utilize GPL as a part of exclusive programming while keeping that product shut source.

For others with no issue with utilizing open source programming inside exclusive programming, the MIT license or BSD license may be more fitting.

Fundamentally, these licenses don't give any confinements on how the product may be replicated, adjusted, or fused into different ventures separated from attribution. Also, you can take code from a BSD authorized license and join it into your restrictive programming. You can even attempt to offer BSD authorized programming. Since you can't limit others from essentially getting the source code, offering open source authorized programming as is makes for a troublesome suggestion.

So there you have it! Questions, comments? Feel free to let us know your thoughts, and keep on coding.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Copy write your code (part 1)

Many of our blog posts have had the goal in mind to provide tips, tricks, and market information to developers during the developmental stages of their projects, but we feel we haven't covered a big part of the picture, protecting what's yours from theft, as well as what license to attach to your project to reflect your sharing boundaries. If you find you're in the final stages of your project and haven't reflected on copy write, read through this and we'll help you along. 


Source code sample

From the ground up: What exactly is a license and why do I need one? 


A license is permission granted by a copyright holder to others to reproduce or distribute a work. It is a means to allow others to have some rights when it comes to using a work without assigning the copyright to others. 

This leads us to "Open Source Software" and "Free Software". The two terms are frequently utilized reciprocally, they differ slightly. The expression "Free Software" apply generally to software licensed in a way which requires that any code that makes use of the free software code must itself be free. The "free" in "Free Software" applies to the flexibility to view the code. "Open Source" is a more cover term that just applies to programming in which the source code is noticeable and uninhibitedly conveyed. Open Source programming does not so much oblige that its use likewise be Open Source. Therefore Free Software is Open Source, yet Open Source is not so much Free Software. 


Closed Source Licenses 


Copyright law and permitting applies to programming just as much as it does to composing. The greater part of the product that the normal individual uses everyday falls under a restrictive permit. That is, the client is not allowed to appropriate the product to others. This is frequently called "shut source" programming, however that term may be marginally deceptive as programming can have its source code obvious, yet not permit open appropriation. Moreover, it is workable for shut source programming to permit others to unreservedly disperse it as on account of a lot of people free utilities. 


Open Source Licenses 


Basically, the copyright holder permits the source code to be manipulated and distributed by others in any way he or she sees fit. The expense to draft a custom open source permit is restrictive. 

Picking A License: Alright already! What do I choose? 

The 2nd part is here.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Virtual Reality is Real (Part 2)


Read the 1st part of the article  


Samsung's Project Beyond


Announced in November of this year, Project Beyond is a camera mount that hosts 16 full HD cameras enabled to capture 360-degrees of panoramic video in 3d. The device resembles a Frisbee of sorts, and its cameras are positioned along the curve of its body in pairs. Each camera is set at an angle of 45 degrees to its partner which enables complete overlapping coverage of the surrounding world. The goal is to mimic how the human eye would capture the scene. Beyond that (pun not intended), it can stream the recorded content right to your Gear VR.



Unfortunately, PB is still a prototype and has not been given any sort of release date. It's unclear if it will ever make it to retail level, though it can be said that at the very least the project will pave the way to future advancements. Regardless of the release status to the general public, Samsung has publicly stated that they will be utilizing the device to create and deliver VR content for free on a regular basis to Gear VR owners.

The way we see it, the virtual reality field is going to get huge, fast. Right now it may be stuttering and drooling on itself, but it’s still a tyke and has the rest of time to grow. Also, increased job availability is a benefit from these advancements, as we’re pretty sure as soon as they perfect virtual reality it’ll be game over in the career department and game on in the not wearing pants or ever leaving our houses field. 


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