We don't do too many screencasts here on Webware. But when we do, my personal favorite is Telestream's Screenflow. It's a nice app, but it's Mac-only which means I can't use it when I'm on my office PC. In keeping with the mission statement of this blog, worth a look is software-free alternative Screencastle. This Java-based tool will record a select region of your screen and any audio from your computer's microphone. It then hosts it for you, complete with download links so you or your users can download a local copy for … Read more
Touch-screen handsets may be the talk of the town, but they are useless to the visually impaired. A new software developed by Jussi Rantala and his colleagues at the University of Tampere in Finland attempts to address that by bringing Braille to touch-enabled mobile devices.
The team installed a software on the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet with a piezoelectric layer that "displays" a raised dot on the touch screen with a single intense vibration and an absent one with a longer and weaker pulse. … Read more
One's an easy-to-use, fashionable point-and-shoot, the other's an advanced shooter with just as many manual-setting options as auto modes. Both have 3-inch touch-screen LCDs and 10-megapixel resolutions--and you can have your pick for $220 or less each from reputable dealers.
Its features are pretty basic, but Nikon adds the requisite face, smile, and blink detection I expect to find on cameras in its class. You also get the advantage of the touch-screen interface for things like a touch-based … Read more
Virgin Mobile's CEO said Tuesday that the Mobile Virtual Network Operator plans to introduce touch-screen handsets. Speaking at the Dow Jones Wireless Innovations conference, CEO Dan Schulman didn't give any specifics, but he said that the handsets would be part of a move to "smarter" phones.
As an MVNO carrier with a core prepaid business, Virgin Mobile focuses on low-end and basic models for making calls and sending messages. Over the past 18 months, and particularly after its acquisition of Helio, the operator has offered more multimedia handsets and messaging-centric devices with full keyboards. Yet, like … Read more
If you need many screen captures, this tool makes it easy to grab them, but you may run into a barrier with the trial period. It's 30 days (which is adequate) or three sessions (which is brief), whichever comes first. We had a few other quibbles that left us unwilling to part from the reliable, old, built-in PrintScreen.
Screenshot Master installs a small icon in your system tray. Using this tool is very easy, because you just click the icon to make it work or to access its setup menu. The menu launches a well-designed configuration dialog box that … Read more
ChemicalBurn is a free, attractive screensaver that simulates a data transportation network with a colorful, fast-moving array of "self-organizing" nodes and packages. You don't need any special knowledge to enjoy this screensaver's ever-changing, high-tech display, but networking enthusiasts will appreciate the simulation's veracity (as packages attempt to find the fastest way to their destination) and they'll love tinkering with detailed settings, including control over traffic and distance weighting (for example, as linear, square, log, and exponential functions). ChemicalBurn's calculations can be CPU-intensive--proportional to the cube of the number of nodes selected--so casual users … Read more
The Studio One 19, announced Thursday, is the newest incarnation of Dell's all-in-one desktop.
The Studio One, has been given a slight cosmetic makeover, but the biggest change is inside, where the company has added a touch screen and multitouch software.
With the touch screen, Dell hopes consumers will use the desktop as a family PC in a common room, like the kitchen or living room, said Alex Gruzen, Dell's senior vice president of consumer products, in an interview earlier this week. "It's also a chance for parents to see what kids are doing on the computer again," he added.
Desktops are rapidly shrinking category, and all the PC makers are trying to find ways to get consumers excited about them. All-in-one devices are apparently what the industry has settled on. Most of the biggest PC makers offer one, though the feature levels vary between the Apple iMac, Hewlett-Packard TouchSmart PC, Lenovo IdeaCentre A600, Gateway One, Sony Vaio LT, and Asus Eee Top. … Read more
The D2+ is currently available online, priced at $139 (8GB) and $179 (16GB), which can be had in either black or silver. My first-take from last Friday pretty well summed up my major criticisms (no support for AAC audio or H.264 video), but if you want some more nitty-gritty analysis, my full review of the Cowon D2+ is available over at CNET Reviews.
Whenever a next-generation version of a product is launched, inevitably you get comparisons to the previous model--and what the older model did better. Well, in the case of the Kindle 2, the nitpicking is in full swing as several blogs have taken up the debate over whether the Kindle 2's text is lighter than the original Kindle's.
On Joe Wikert's Kindleville blog, one reader lodged the following complaint:
Side-by-side, the K1 text is bolder and jumps out at you. It's as if the low fidelity, dot-matrix-like typeface of the K1 is better suited for the reading experience than the feathered, crisp, 16-shades of gray of the K2. After 30 minutes of reading on the K2, my eyes get tired and I actually experience mild dizziness, headaches. Never experienced that with the K1.
In the Mobileread forums, a reader posted that he had decided to return the Kindle 2 after he noticed "low contrast on text as compared to kindle 1...text on kindle 1 is really good it is dark and somewhat thicker than kindle 2 at the same font size, menu is normal on kindle 2." He said he spoke to a Kindle representative (we assume a customer service person), who said he'd heard complaints from other Kindle 2 users as well.
On Amazon, there's a thread titled, "Amazon: Please make the text darker on Kindle 2!"
The thread's starter, BMK, is calling for an e-mail campaign to encourage Amazon to update the firmware on the Kindle 2 to fix the alleged problem.
"Kindle 2 is capable of producing darker text than the default setting, which is light, thin, and difficult to read for many people. Customer Service has reportedly told at least one person that the standard text could have been a darker shade of gray/black than the one that was chosen."
So, what's the deal? Are people imagining things or is there really an issue? … Read more
I just got my hands on the latest D2+ MP3 player from Cowon, which began shipping in the U.S. earlier this week. Unlike the multihued models available overseas, the U.S. version of the D2+ only comes in black (with a possibility of silver coming eventually), and is priced at $139 (8GB) and $179 (16GB).
If you remember the original Cowon D2 from 2007, then the D2+ isn't going to seem like much of a shocker. The majority of the spec sheet features are the same: 2.5-inch QVGA resistive touch screen; music playback (MP3, WMA, FLAC, OGG, WAV,APE), video (AVI, WMV), photos, FM radio, text reader, and voice recorder. Rated battery life is still the same, excellent 52 hours of audio and 10 hours of video. Dimensions, same. Buttons, same. Kickstand, USB port, SDHC slot...same, same, same.
Fortunately, we were already big fans of the original D2, so Cowon didn't need to do much to keep us interested. The big news here is that Cowon upgraded the D2's already mind-blowing audio enhancement settings with the latest BBE+ technology (also included in the recent Cowon S9). I don't have an older D2 to compare against, but I can say subjectively that the sound really is fantastic, and I actually find the EQ and effect settings on the D2+ a little easier to navigate than on the S9--which emphasized presets over individual settings. The EQ on the D2+ also offers adjustable EQ frequency filters and bandwidth settings for the super-picky users, which I remember seeing on the S9 and Cowon O2, but not on the original D2.