A surprising report indicates that…while the internet has clobbered CDs and newspapers, e-readers and the web are NOT doing the same to books…particularly with younger people. A survey by youth marketing research firm Voxburner says that 62% of young adults 16-24 prefer reading printed books over e-books. The research found that they think printed books deliver more value than e-books, they have more of an emotional attachment to them, and…unlike CDs or newspapers….books are status symbols to young adults that let them show off their reading tastes. Pointing out the obvious…you can’t show off what you’re reading easily on a Kindle!
If you’re getting away for Thanksgiving, and looking forward to using your smartphone, tablet, or GoogleGlass in airplane mode during take off or landing on a flight, here’s the latest on the airlines that are allowing it. According to forbes.com, you should be good to go on: Delta, JetBlue, American, United, Alaska, US Airways, Southwest, and Virgin America.
As for the calling while in flight, a large petition against it is on the White House website. The Association of Flight Attendants is ‘firmly opposed’ to calling, and a Marketwatch survey finds that 83% of us are opposed to calling on planes. If you are one of the 17% who are ok with it…picture yourself between a crying baby (which can’t help it), and a person shouting at someone over their phone to be heard above the engine noise. Still for it?
We’ve reported that Apple is having the new Mac Pro built in Texas instead of overseas. Now, a story picked just out says major Apple supplier Foxconn is looking to build two factories in the US…one on the East Coast, and one in the Western part of the country, to build Apple’s iPhones and iPads. No word about where in the East they might break ground, but Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou has met with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to talk about setting up shop there. Rising wages in China and an alleged lack of talent there are the driving forces, according to the report. Maybe by the time the iPhone 6S or 7 come out, they’ll have ‘Made in USA’ on the back!
With all the outrage about the NSA and governments of other countries snooping in our web business, many large providers are diving into encrypting point to point traffic with much harder to crack code. Bloomberg.com reports that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt says this may actually prevent governments from censoring their populations’ communications within 10 years. He emphasizes that the solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything. Schmidt says the type of encryption they are adding at Google won’t be crackable by the government until at least 2030.
In this hyper connected era, your FICO score is out of date. Lenders and employers are starting to use social media to check your creditworthiness. Upstarts like Lenddo and Kabbage are reviewing prospective borrowers’ online footprints for lenders…checking if your Facebook friends pay on time. A German company, Kreditech, even looks at Amazon purchasing and payment history and uses GPS data. The venerable FICO score dates back to 1989, so it’s no surprise that lenders are looking to supplement it. So now we have to worry about Facebook friends that might be deadbeats…but how many of them will co-sign your loan with you?
The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch hasn’t been setting records, and people keep looking to Apple for the long awaited iWatch. Macrumors.com uncovered this tip from NPD Displaysearch…Apple may be looking to sell the iWatch to a more to mass appeal market than just tech nerds and early adapters…apparently, Apple is looking to source both 1.3 inch and 1.7 inch fexible AMOLED displays. This would allow them to target men with the larger iWatch, and women…who might not want a huge, chunky watch with the smaller 1.3 inch model. The report still points to a late 2014 introduction.
As more and more of us spend 6 or 8 or more hours looking at a computer screen of one size or another daily, it seemed a good thought to check out some computer glasses. I do fine during the workday, but by evening, the old eyes start really protesting.
Gunnar …find them at GUNNARS.com…makes non-prescription versions ranging from $69 to $149. They use a Crystalline lens with amber tint to screen out the high intensity bluish light and glare from computer screens, and are made with a + .2 diopter. This means you will be taking them off when you look away from your screen if you don’t want things to look fuzzy at a distance.
The off the shelf glasses work fine if your vision is reasonably good…either 20/20, corrected to 20/20, or close to that. Gunnar also offers prescription versions through various eyewear dealers. I found 10 locations for prescription Gunnars on their website within 15 miles or less of me.
I tried an off the shelf model for several days, and it really does seem to help…my eyes are not screaming for mercy at the end of the day. One caveat…if you frequently have to look up at larger screens like a TV or are otherwise looking away from your computer screen, you will be taking them off and putting them on a lot, like with reading glasses. It may well be worth the hassle to reduce eyestrain from near constant screen use.
Sony recently released a pair of SLR cameras that work with your smartphone. In fact, via software and either wifi or NSC, your smartphone becomes the viewfinder and controls the camera. The QX100 is the higher end version…at $500, it has the same internals As Sony’s Cyber Shot RX100 camera, which sells for $200 more.
We tested the QX10, which runs half the price. It has an megapixel sensor, while the big brother camera has 20.9, but surprisingly, the QX10 has a great 10 power optical zoom, while the bigger one has only 3.6 power. The QX10 is half the size…you can pop it in your pocket, then clip it on your smartphone and pair when you are ready to shoot. It takes 5-10 seconds for the wifi to find it, then you’re set.
We took the QX10 to a hall of fame presentation for Bay Area radio people over the weekend. The iPhone 5 and 5S have good cameras, but no physical zoom, so distant subjects come out pretty blurred or noisy. With the QX10, I was able to shoot inductees at the podium from the back of the room, and fill the frame with them…the pictures came out nice and clear. The software is not as good as it might be, but was just updated last week…I had no trouble with it losing connection with the camera.
The QX10 has a zoom switch as well as physical shutter on the left side, so you can actually hold the camera in one hand and the phone for a viewfinder in the other, giving you the ability to take shots from angles you might ordinarily never be able to shoot.
If you are looking for something that’s a step up from your smartphone camera…particularly if you need to shoot subjects a little far away, or that are moving, the Sony QX10 is worth a look. The QX100, which costs twice as much, and is too big for a pocket is a little more iffy…you might as well get a small SLR camera, since you’ll have to haul around a camera bag anyway!