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News Week of November 2, 2008

The multi-touch election night

But the real winner was touchscreen technology. While Jeremy Vine struggled with a device he’d clearly spent all of eight seconds practising over dinner, over on CNN the same technology was used to great effect. The reassuringly-named John King used CNN’s “magic wall” to touch, drag, zoom and highlight the key counties in each swing state. Like a giant iPhone screen, he pinched and slid the images around, drawing lines around key battleground counties and giving more idea of the current situation in five minutes than any other coverage managed all night.  (Source: David Bayon, Pro Blog, PC Pro)
Posted Wednesday, November 5, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 3 Comments ()

Asus launches touch screen PC

Asus has added to its extensive Eee range with the release of a touch screen computer.

The Eee Top 1602 is an all-in-one machine featuring an unusually sized 15.6 inch display. This contains five wired resistive touch panels, enabling users to interact with and manipulate on screen data.

The Top 1602 will run an ‘Easy mode’ of its Windows XP operating system, which launches a stripped down, icon-driven environment. Asus says this will make it easier to carry out simple computer tasks for the less technically proficient, in addition to benefitting education by making computing more fun for children.   (Source: Benny Har-Even, ITPro)

Posted Wednesday, November 5, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 1 Comments ()

The Inevitable Slow-Motion Death of the Tablet PC

So what's really kept the Tablet back? Two things: cost of manufacture - those big touch screens are expensive to build, and if you have a swing-style screen with a keyboard attached it's even pricier - plus the fact that we're all keyboardists now. Who writes with a pen in the office? We may learn to at school, but even today's primary school children are more familiar with a keyboard than a fountain pen.

More likely to have an impact are the small touchscreen internet devices like the iPhone and Blackberry Storm. Those are going to outstrip Tablet PC sales in pure volume - and possibly even revenue - very quickly.

The Tablet? It isn't RIP. But it's certainly never going to be the noise Bill Gates thought.   (Source: Charles Arthur, Technology Blog)

Posted Wednesday, November 5, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 3 Comments ()

Educators From Around the World Come Together to Showcase Impact of Technology on Learning

Adds Bee Yann Lee, principal of St. Andrew’s Junior College in Singapore and member of the Partners in Learning Advisory Board: “Partners in Learning has been instrumental in helping students learn more effectively. It provides resources and training that complement classroom technology, and facilitates global and local collaboration among educators. Partners in Learning has successfully propelled creative thinking about sustainable change in educational systems around the world.”

Lee is the former principal of the Crescent Girls’ School in Singapore, a Microsoft Mentor School and a pilot in the [email protected] program, where more than 95 percent of students have their own Tablet PC with specialized applications and digitized textbooks that replace traditional hardcover books.  (Source: Microsoft)

Posted Tuesday, November 4, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 2.5 Comments ()

Ray Ozzie ticks off Tablet PC fans

"I won't go so far as to say it's the next mouse, meaning it will be on everything and you have to use it. But it's not going to be like the Tablet PC, where it was truly niche." -- Ray Ozzie, discussing Windows 7's touch features during our interview with him last week in Los Angeles. 

That might seem like an innocuous remark, but those were fightin' words to some Tablet PC enthusiasts. In a series of blog posts this week, the Tablet brigade has expressed disappointment that Microsoft's chief software architect would confine their beloved slates and convertibles to mere niche status.   (Source: Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog)

Posted Tuesday, November 4, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 3 Comments ()

Hands on with Fujitsu's LifeBook U820

The form factor of the U820 is nearly identical to the U810: A 5.6-inch LCD with a tablet screen, plus a pointing stick located above the keyboard with mouse buttons on the opposite size -- for browsing with two thumbs.

But just about everything under the hood's been upgraded and improved: Weight drops from 1.6 to 1.5 pounds while battery life jumps nearly an hour to 4 hours, 20 minutes. The CPU is upgraded to a 1.6GHz Atom. Hard drive goes to 60GB from 40GB. There's even a pair of lights that you can use to illuminate the keyboard, which features an extra row of keys that give you the full function-key experience. The 1GB of RAM is about the only constant.

Perhaps the most killer new addition here: Built-in GPS, a rarity in laptops of any size and unheard of in a mini like this. The U820 includes a built-in Garmin receiver and is preloaded with maps of the U.S. and Canada. It works well, and if you find you need a better signal, you can plug an external antenna into the standard microphone jack -- ingenious!  (Source: Christopher Null, Yahoo Tech)

Posted Tuesday, November 4, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 2 Comments ()

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