This app is VERY freakin’ cool. Can’t wait till it comes out for Windows Phone. Meanwhile, I might need to dust off my old iPhone so I can give it a whirl.

Introducing Microsoft Photosynth

 

Microsoft releases Photosynth panorama iPhone app | The Microsoft Blog – seattlepi.com

 

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This is pretty cool, and kinda’ funny. I’m not surprised it’s a Frenchman who is extending a virtual world to paint a “real” picture of war. That is, since historically the French haven’t exactly been in the center of modern combat.

Many of the “photos” are actually quite powerful. It’s a testament to the game creators and artists, who have managed to make what is arguably the most realistic and compelling 1st person war game in the history of video games.

(I)… took pictures of them from a close point of view, and then further away. I busted these synthetic faces looking for a light. A trouble remains present. All the elements of the reality of war are here…

“Photos” Use Call of Duty Videogames To Capture The Ravages of Modern War | Co.Design#

 

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I love the Sonos system. I’ve been drooling over them since I first played with it at CES in the mid-2000’s. Sonos has historically been so iOS focused in terms of Mobile integration. Just take a look at this huge banner on their home page… it’s all about iOS and (now) Android:

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If I see more apps and (any) accessories for WP, it’ll certainly be more ammunition drawing me closer to getting a system. Perhaps if the base system was less expensive I’d be all over it right now. ;-)

Phonos brings Sonos control to Windows Phone 7

 

PTECHjp

Who says that you can’t get a beautiful, ultra-thin, and high performing laptop for the Windows platform? Kudos to Samsung for busting this one out.

I am writing these words on an extremely thin and stylish, but very light, laptop made of metal. Despite its slender body, it has a full-size screen and keyboard, good performance and claims strong battery life… You might assume I’m using one of Apple‘s alluring MacBook Air machines… But you’d be wrong. Instead, I’m using the first real Windows-based competitor to the Air.

Here is a shot of the MacBook (left) side-by-side with the Samsung Series 9.

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Despite it’s nice, super-thin design, too bad (according to Walt) that it’s battery life doesn’t quite hold up to the MacBook. And the fact that it’s even a bit more expensive isn’t going to persuade would-be Mac buyers from buying it as an alternative.

Walt Mossberg: Samsung’s Series 9 Is a Solid, Beautiful, but Pricey MacBook Air Competitor – WSJ.com

 

Speaking of sexy, thin laptops… one has to mention the Dell Adamo XPS. Which, when it came out in 2009, was one of the coolest laptops on the market. Unfortunately, Dell had planned only a limited run (to test the market?), and given its very steep price (~$1,700), it’s no wonder it didn’t last long. I just wish they had continued to refine it and make it cheaper rather than cancelling.

Dell Adamo on Wikipedia.org.

 

Ah, shucks. You mean the fractioned Android ecosystem is causing anxst for the developer community? So, they don’t like iOS’s walled garden, but they don’t like Androids scattered free-for-all either?

“…over 50 percent of developers questioned “view fragmentation”—the disparity in software versions across device manufacturers and handsets—to be a “meaningful or serious” problem. Developers also expressed concern over the fragmentation of the app ecosystem on Android, saying they generally preferred a “unified, single store experience like Apple’s App store.”

Hey developers, how about an ecosystem that isn’t closed or scattered? How about Microsoft’s system of rich capability with a single marketplace, broad development tools, and cross-device flexibility?

Developer frustration growing along with Android market share

 

This is one of the coolest, and most bizarre speaker designs I’ve seen. I love to see innovation like this… designs that make one question why things so often take the shape of what’s expected. For speakers, that means a box covered by some mesh or fabric.

The Classico version of the Trio is the logical visualization of the outstanding technical features of the Trio speakers: to transform the art of simple music reproduction into an almost voluptuous experience involving all your senses.

This isn’t be any means the first speaker on the market to push the envelope. There have been many before, many of which end of being not much more than a curiosity, show piece or quirky toy for the super rich. What I would like to see is a company bring break through design and sound quality to the average consumer.

Avantgarde Acoustic Hornlautsprecher

 

4-3-11-osborne1[1]

 

The Osborne 1 actually carries a special place in my heart, as it’s the first computer that I ever really got to play with. My dad had one at his work and he would bring it home some weekends when I’d come to visit. I really had no idea what I was doing with it, but I had so much fun reading the manuals, doing some basic things in command line, running VisiCalc, and so on.

On April 3rd, 1981 — thirty years ago today — Adam Osborne unveiled the Osborne 1 at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco. It had a 4 MHz Zilog Z80 CPU, two single-sided floppy drives, 64K of RAM, and a five-inch monochrome CRT display

The Osborne 1 is partially responsible for the passion I have in computers, and the fact that I’ve made it my career can be traced back to those earliest days.

..what made the Osborne 1 extraordinary was the fact that the 24-pound plastic machine had a carrying handle on the back — and at the bargain price of $1,795 with software included, it became one of the first mass-produced portable computers to succeed

Osborne 1 celebrates its 30th birthday, and that of the portable computing revolution — Engadget

 

This is well over a year old, but still an interesting view in to the paradigm shift of human computer interaction, and the power of the touch screen interface.

The 10/GUI concept calls for a screen-sized touch pad on the desktop. Seems like a step sideways, but it could be the next generation of human computer interface.

This particular idea puts a different spin on things, showing how a touch pad (instead of keyboard and mouse), along with a more typical desktop monitor, could enhance the computer experience.

We’ve already seen pieces of this show up in the market. Apple’s “Magic Mouse” is a touch based evolution of the standard mouse. More recently, Microsoft introduced the “Arc Touch” mouse that works in a similar way (though much more sensibly, IMO).

 

Microsoft Shares WP7 Stats, Takes a Few Jabs at Other Platforms

I was hoping to see some sales figures here, but interesting nonetheless to see the app figures…

11,500 apps for the platform (7,500 are paid apps) and 36,000 developers (with 1,200 newly registered developers every week).

Windows Phone customers download an average of 12 apps each month. It takes 1.8 days, on average, for Microsoft to certify an app, and 62% of apps submitted are certified on their first attempt.

It’s kinda’ funny how how MS’s Brandon Watson appears to be suggesting that Apple and Android inflate their numbers..

We recognize the importance of getting great apps on our platform and not artificially inflating the number of actual apps available to customer by listing “wallpapers” as a category, or perhaps allowing competitor’s apps to run on the platform to increase “tonnage.” We also don’t believe in the practice of counting “lite” apps as unique quality content. (…) Finally, we don’t double and triple count apps which are submitted in multiple languages.

Having used an iPhone for a couple years, I can honestly say, and somewhat regrettably, that the quality of apps, generally speaking, for the WP7 are not up to snuff. There are some nice ones though, and knowing that more are to come keeps me hanging on.

Microsoft Shares WP7 Stats, Takes a Few Jabs at Other Platforms

 

Apparently this writer is not very good at doing his research, since he nudges out SkyDrive in favor of Dropbox because of DropBox’s ability to do PC to PC Sync. Well, if he’d looked a little harder, he would have discovered that SkyDrive’s companion, Windows Live Mesh, does exactly the same thing. Plus SkyDrive gives you 25GB FREE, that’s greater than 10X more than DropBox gives you.

Personally—and I think this goes for everyone at Lifehacker—I love Dropbox. If you have more than one computer (as it seems the very large majority of you do), it’s almost a necessity. If there’s a winner in my book, it’s definitely Dropbox.

If you’re not using SkyDrive and Mesh already, I highly encourage you to give it a try. Sync files across PC’s, the Cloud, share and edit Office docs, share photos, even videos. Call me biased, but I don’t know of a better FREE offering out there.

Cloud Storage Faceoff: Windows Live SkyDrive vs. Dropbox vs. Amazon Cloud Drive

 

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