What I’m looking at on the internet

Facebook is now offering anti-virus software from McAfee, Norton and Microsoft to its users via the Facebook AV Marketplace. Photo credit: PC Mag

My how time flys by! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been blogging for an entire semester now.

Seeing how this will be my last ‘official’ blog, I thought it would be fun to share some interesting things I’ve found on the web the past few days to give you an idea of what my browsing habits are like.

Here we go!

This really awesome concept video from 1994 shows a tablet computer that can read newspapers just like an iPad, but no one had any idea what an iPad was back then.

Continue reading

Apple sold 3 million new iPads last weekend

The screen has been much improved on the new iPad. In the image above, the icon is shown on the iPad 2 screen on the left and the new iPad screen on the right. Photo credit: The Verge

Yep, you read that correctly.

Apple sold three million of their latest 3rd generation iPad tablets since last Friday, according to tech website The Verge.

I couldn’t believe that either when I read it.

I had to read it a few times.

That’s a huge number of devices to sell, even for Apple.

When they launched the iPad 2 last year, they sold about one million of them during launch weekend.

The difference this time was probably in part due to Apple taking pre-orders for this new generation iPad, which they did not do for the iPad 2.

The biggest new feature on the 3rd generation iPad is the screen, which has four times the resolution, making images look much sharper, as can be seen in the image above.

I’m very interested to see how many iPads Apple will sell this year.

They sold 15.4 million of them in the last quarter of 2011, which topped HP’s PC sales during that same timeframe.

How many will they sell this year?

I see them selling a lot more iPad 2s because they slashed the price to $399 for a brand new one, or a refurbished one can be bought directly from Apple for about $349.

How many iPads do you think they will sell?

Tech events to watch for over the next few weeks (including the new iPad)

Apple's latest generation iPad (unveiled today) will be available on March 16. Photo credit: The Wall Street Journal

There are a lot of exciting things going on in tech world over the next few weeks to be on the lookout for!

Purdue will be on spring break next week, so I will not be blogging, but I want to give everyone a heads up about some of those events.

Upcoming events hosted by Purdue, according to their newsroom:

  • March 22: Executives from Google and Twitter will speak about social media and democracy in Loeb Playhouse. The forum is called, “Is Social Media Changing the 2012 Election?”
  • April 16: Purdue will host an event for high school students to explore computer science. The event is targeted for high school aged girls, but ANY high school student is welcome.

Some upcoming events in the wider world of technology:

  • March 9-13: The 19th Annual SXSW Interactive festival – a giant tech festival where some of the brightest minds show off their ideas, takes place in Austin, Texas.
  • March 16: Apple’s new version of the iPad goes on sale. It has 4G LTE data speeds and a retina display. The iPad 2 will still remain on sale, with a starting price of $399.

Will this be a revolutionary change to how many iPads Apple will sell? They already sold more iPads than HP sold PCs last quarter.

Will they sell even more now?

Here’s an audio clip of Purdue professor Dr. Sorin Matei, who is a communication technology scholar, giving his opinion about the features of the new iPad.

Continue reading

Mobile World Congress 2012 hints at future of tablets, smartphones

Mobile World Congress, a large convention for tech companies to reveal their latest and greatest phones and tablets, kicked off today in Barcelona, Spain. Photo credit: Pocket-Lint

Did you know that every year, there is an event called Mobile World Congress where the world’s top technology companies (like LG, Samsung and Nokia) show off their newest phone and tablet designs?

Well, if not, today was the first day of the huge event for companies to show off bigger, better, and smarter phones and tablets at MWC in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is expected to host about 60,000 people this year.

Virtually the only major company that does not make an appearance at this event is Apple. They just like to do things their own way.

Some big news from the first day at Mobile World Congress:

It looks to be an interesting year for mobile computing, with devices at both ends of the spectrum getting more advanced. B2G phone and iPad 3 anyone?

I’m particularly excited to see what happens on the less expensive end of the smartphone and tablet markets.

Making them available to more people around the world should be interesting for the future of the content that people view on them.

Here’s a great example: YouTube spending $100 million to create original content for the site.

Are you looking forward to any mobile tech products this year?

Or is all of it just getting too confusing?

I’d love to know what your thoughts are about all this mobile tech, so please let me know in the comments!

ABC Nightline gets an inside look at Apple’s ‘iFactory’ in China

Workers assemble Apple products at the infamous Foxconn factory in China. Photo credit: The Verge

ABC Nightline aired a very interesting report on Feb. 21 about the infamous Foxconn factory in China, where big names like Apple, Intel, Dell and others produce their tech products.

If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Foxconn has been in the news frequently over the past few years because of reports of workers committing suicide, bad working conditions that lead to explosions at the factory, and most recently, mass suicide protests.

The Nightline report pointed out some shocking information about Foxconn.

Here are some of the most interesting findings published by tech blog The Verge:

  • It takes 141 steps to make an iPhone, and the devices are essentially all handmade.
  • It takes 5 days and 325 hands to make a single iPad.
  • Foxconn produces 300k iPad camera modules per day.
  • Foxconn workers pay for their own food — about $.70 per meal, and work 12-hour shifts.
  • Workers who live in the dorms sleep six to eight a room, and pay $17.50 a month to do so.
  • Workers make $1.78 an hour
  • Louis Woo, a Foxconn Executive, when asked if he would accept Apple demanding double pay for employees replied: “Why not?”

In the video it’s said that ABC Nightline was the first crew to ever be allowed inside the factory.

Apple and other big name tech companies are very secretive about their products, so that is likely why no other crew has been allowed into the factory before.

It’s a very interesting report because ABC’s parent company is Disney, and the largest share-holder for Disney was the late Steve Jobs, who was Apple’s former CEO.

I always thought there were many more machines that put iPhones, iPads and Macs together.

But this report says otherwise.

It says that the products are almost completely assembled by hand.

As I’m typing this report on my Mac that was likely made at Foxconn, it makes me really appreciate all of the work that went in to making it.

Here is a video of the report and an alternate link on ABC Nightline’s website:

New application allows professors to create course materials for mobile devices

A new application developed at Purdue is allowing professors to create customized course materials that can be downloaded directly on to students’ mobile devices.

The application, called JetPack, is available to Purdue professors at no cost.

One Purdue professor, Jennifer Neville, decided to use JetPack to create her own course material because she was unable to find affordable course materials for her data mining and machine learning course.

My hope is that this catches on with more professors. As most people know, textbooks are ridiculously expensive.

Even if the digital textbooks and course materials don’t catch on very quickly, there needs to be a more unified effort to bring the astronomical prices of textbooks back down to earth.

I remember spending around $700 for my textbooks earlier on in my college career. There’s just no reason for that.

With Apple recently releasing e-textbook publishing software, and a textbooks section in its iBooks application for the iPad last month, things are starting to look really interesting for the future of textbooks.

It’s really exciting to see some professors ditching the boring, expensive, out of date, clunky paper textbooks in favor of interactive, customizable, digital textbooks.

More information about JetPack can be found on Information Technology at Purdue’s website.

What are your thoughts about digital textbooks/course materials? Would you rather use them or would you miss having physical books? How much of a factor is the price? Do you think more professors should use this technology?

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are, so please let me know in the poll or comments below!

Best Buy survey offers information about a possible Apple HDTV

Apple might be working on an HDTV as their next big product.

That is, if the photo below is any proof.

The photo is apparently from a customer survey sent out by Best Buy that mentions the possible Apple HDTV.

The survey asks customers what they think about the details provided.

Some of the information about the possible Apple HDTV according to the customer survey:

  • Priced around $1,499
  • 42″ 1080p HDTV with an LED flat panel display
  • Incorporates iOS from iPads, iPhones, iPod touch which allows users to purchase and stream content
  • Supports iCloud to show movies, TV shows, and music on the TV
  • Ability to use your iPad or iPhone to control the TV

Could an Apple HDTV be on the way this year? (Credit: CNET.com)

Some facts you might not know about Apple from BusinessInsider and Mashable:

  • Apple grew its sales by $22 billion in 2009. That growth alone is bigger than most companies you’ve ever heard of. It’s also more revenue than the ENTIRE COMPANY generated four years ago.
  • The first Apple Logo had Isaac Newton on it.

The First Apple Logo. Credit: Mashable

If Apple decides to take on the HDTV world, they need to change the way that we interact with our TVs. The first attempt at a Google TV didn’t go very well.

Can Apple appeal to the masses with an HDTV as it has done with its iPad and iPhones?

What are your thoughts about a possible Apple HDTV? Would you consider buying it? Please let me know in the poll or comments below!