Monthly Archives: July 2010

Digital Reality …

With digital capabilities like this can we ever trust what we see ?

SIGGRAPH 2010

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Flipboard – iPad App

Flipboard – A new iPad app that allows the user to customized where their content is coming from. This will include Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter etc… The app is free from Apple’s iTune store with limited customization that will be expanded in the near future.

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Adobe “.issue” Format

Adobe will be releasing updates to CS5 in the fall of 2010 that will allow for publishers of content to easily produce a version that will be tablet / iPad friendly. The file will be name .issue and can contain both a Horizontal and Vertical version. This allows for the user to rotate the device for viewing preference.

 Except from the blog post: (full post)

InDesign CS5 + Digital Content Bundler

As mentioned, Adobe InDesign CS5 software is the central component of the workflow. Using InDesign CS5, design teams create layouts and add interactivity. With layouts in hand, production teams package the assets using the new Digital Content Bundler utility that allows publishers to import vertical and horizontal InDesign CS5 layouts, add metadata, (article title & description, issue number, etc.) and export them into a new “.issue” format. Although creating both horizontal and vertical layouts is not an absolute requirement, we expect that publishers will want to do so in order to take advantage of the tablet form factor and have the content rotate along with the device.

The “.issue” Format + Digital Content Viewer

This new .issue format is a compressed file format that contains vertical and horizontal magazine layouts, metadata, code to enable interactivity, and associated assets (images, video, etc.) Once the layouts have been packaged into the .issue format, the file is then rendered and displayed to the end-user using a publisher-branded Digital Content Viewer. The WIRED Reader, for example, is the first instance of a publisher-branded viewer. This Digital Content Viewer allows readers to interact with and navigate through the magazine content (including via the innovative “browse” mode). Previously we announced the Digital Content Viewer for Apple iPad; in the future we also expect to develop the Digital Content Viewer on Adobe AIR for desktops and other devices.

Video:

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FRY – Expands Mobile Offerings with Mozine

Mechanicsburg, PA – 7/16/2010 – Fry Communications (www.frycomm.com) now offers another option in mobile publishing, Mozines, developed by our affiliate Thumb Media Group (TMG).

A “Mozine” is a mobile magazine app with distribution across all smartphone devices, including the iPhone (and iPod Touch), Android, Blackberry, Palm, and Windows Mobile. There is also a custom iPad solution for Mozines. Mozines offer publishers the ability to publish once and distribute across all mobile platforms.

A Mozine is not a replica of a print magazine or digital edition; rather it’s a custom, uniquely mobile experience incorporating elements from print, website, video, and other assets owned by the publisher. Mozines are unique in that they allow publishers to refresh content dynamically at publisher-determined intervals to encourage frequent use by consumers and a fresh and engaging user experience.

The Mozine provides three main sources of revenue for the publisher: subscriptions purchased by consumers, integrated storefront sales, and of course advertising within the app. In addition, to assist publishers when launching their app, Fry and TMG create a customized mobile program business plan complete with a pricing and promotional “roadmap for success”, to help maximize consumer awareness, adoption, and revenue generation. (full press release)

Thumb Media Group

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Mozines – Thumb Media Group

A “Mozine” is a mobile magazine app with distribution across all smartphone devices, including the iPhone (and iPod Touch), Android, Blackberry, Palm, and Windows Mobile. There is also a custom iPad solution for Mozines. Mozines offer publishers the ability to publish once and distribute across all mobile platforms.

A Mozine is not a replica of a print magazine or digital edition; rather it’s a custom, uniquely mobile experience incorporating elements from print, website, video, and other assets owned by the publisher. Mozines are unique in that they allow publishers to refresh content dynamically at publisher-determined intervals to encourage frequent use by consumers and a fresh and engaging user experience.

Thumbzines – http://www.thumbzine.com/index.html

Thumb Media Group – http://tmg.smallpresence.com

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Apple iBook and Microsoft’s Page-Turning Patent

Apple, Amazon, and others have worked hard to simulate the experience of reading a book on a tablet computer, device or smartphone. Specifically, Apple’s iBooks iPad application has a page turning feature that replicates the curling of a page when you flip pages in a book. But Microsoft is claiming that it invented this feature in a patent application, according to a GoRumors report.

The patent application, which was filed in 2009, appears to have been filed with Microsoft’s Courier touch-based tablet in mind. But unfortunately, that project was tabled a few months ago. Essentially, Microsoft is trying to patent making a virtual page turn exactly like a real page.

Here’s an excerpt from the application:

One or more pages are displayed on a touch display. A page-turning gesture directed to a displayed page is recognized. Responsive to such recognition, a virtual page turn is displayed on the touch display. The virtual page turn actively follows the page-turning gesture. The virtual page turn curls a lifted portion of the page to progressively reveal a back side of the page while progressively revealing a front side of a subsequent page. A lifted portion of the page is given an increased transparency that allows the back side of the page to be viewed through the front side of the page. A page-flipping gesture quickly flips two or more pages.

While Microsoft applied last year, it seems that the patent has not actually been awarded to the company yet. But the tablet is dead, so it’s unclear what the benefit would be to Microsoft at this point (besides maybe engaging in a bit of legal patent fun with Apple).

But the action that is being patented seems fairly obvious, which may prevent the patent from being awarded. After all, it is nothing more than an animation of a page being turned, an “invention” which goes back to the days of Guttenberg.

by Leena Rao on Jul 8, 2010

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Tablet Update – Where Are They ???

ModBook

Currently available and selling for $1849. This tablet is for those that want OS X in tablet form. Axiotron starts with a previous generation Macbook and converts it into tablet form, complete with a stellar Wacom Penabled digitizer. This is the closest thing to a pure Mac tablet available and has actually been available complete with USB ports since 2007.

Viliv X70

The Viliv X70 has been on the market for over a year now and is still a great full-feature Windows XP tablet. The 7-inch tablet packs an Atom CPU, GPS, 3G modem and 32GB SSD. However, it comes with Windows XP, which isn’t exactly made for a touch interface. Even Windows 7 isn’t that great on it. Trust me, I know. I use one every day — but with a wireless mouse and the windshield mount inverted so it stands up on my desk. Hopefully Viliv is working on a refresh that adds a multitouch touchscreen and updated hardware because I love this tablet.

Archos 9 PC tablet

The Archos 9 looks like a great kit on paper, but reviews clearly state that it’s anything but. The hardware simply cannot run Windows 7 efficiently and therefore provides a poor user experience. It looks great, but neither CNET or Wired enjoyed using it.

Viliv S10 Blade

This convertible tablet launched a couple of months back. It brings to the party a 10-inch multitouch screen, 3G modem, swivel design, and Windows 7. Too bad I found the manufacturing shoddy and performance sub-par. Pass.

Notion Ink Adam

It’s not hard to fall in love with the Adam. It has a Pixel Qi screen and an almost anti-iPad design. But Notion Ink missed the June target and now there are reports that they won’t hit the November deadline either — although there are also reports to the contrary. All I can say for sure is that the Adam isn’t shipping yet and that makes me sad.

HP Slate

For what it’s worth, the Slate was supposed to be the first real Windows tablet. But then HP reportable killed the project. It was a sad day everywhere for the dozens of people that for some reason want a full desktop OS on an underpowered tablet. HP later bought Palm and apparently shifted the Slate towards webOS — a truly spectacular OS previously hampered by only Palm’s crappy hardware. The HP Slate is currently MIA, but when it finally appears, it will certainly make a run for the title of the 2nd most popular tablet on earth.

Dell Streak

Dell hadn’t came clean with its full Streak strategy when I published the first iPad alternative list. It was later leaked that there’s going to be at least three different sizes of the Streak, but so far only the 5-inch has hit the market. Currently it’s only available in the UK, but it’s set to hit the states later this summer. Think the EVO 4G is big? This thing looms over it.

Spring Design Alex ebook reader

The Alex looked like it had so much potential. The design one-ups the Nook with the same sort of e-ink screen up top with a 3.5-inch LCD on the bottom. Android even powers the device. But then you use it and discover Android really isn’t all that great for this sort of task. At least it’s not great in the implementation. It’s slow, unresponsive and the form factor is clunky to say it nicely. But it’s available for $399 — or $200 more than the Kindle or Nook.

enTourage eDGe dualbook

Yet another example of a novel design before its time. The low-power hardware combined with Android just doesn’t work well. The form factor is right — even Microsoft was looking at the hinged book design with the Courier — but the eDGe isn’t.

WeTab, previously known as the WePad

*Fingers crossed* The WeTad is supposed to launch this month and while it’s already the 13th, there’s still time for the company to meet their self-imposed deadline. The plan is reportable to soft launch in Europe and then gradually increase while prepping for the US launch. If there’s one tablet that can stand up to the iPad, it’s the WeTab.

Lenovo Skylight Smartbook

Dead. Lenovo killed off this project a few months back and I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s basically a notebook with the same underpowered hardware generally found in a tablet. In other words, it’s a fancy netbook. It was certainly a crowd-pleaser at CES, but there really wouldn’t be that much to set this guy apart in the the retail market.

Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Hybrid

Another CES favorite thanks to the clever tablet within a notebook design. First we heard that Lenovo killed the project, but then a report surfaced stating that it might live on as an Android device. Sigh.

ExoPC

The last we heard, the ExoPC is supposed to hit the US, Canada and France on September 7th. If it does eventually hit the market, this could be the tablet for those looking for a full Windows install. Plus it comes with ExoPC’s so far stunning-looking UI layer for when the novelty of using Windows with your fingers wear off.


2010 might be the year of the tablet but so far it’s been all about the iPad, which is actually alright. If nothing else, the iPad set the bar high for future tablets. The hardware might leave people wanting more, but the iPad provides a fantastic user experience and that’s actually the most important trait of a secondary computing device. Just like with the iPod, the iPad might always be the best selling tablet on the market, but that doesn’t say that other tablets will not be successful and loved. I just hope some of the purposed tablets like the Notion Ink Adam, WeTab, and ExoPC actually make it from concept to production. If they eventually hit — this year or next — that’s when the real tablet race will begin.

by Matt Burns on July 14, 2010

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MSI WindPad 100 10-inch Windows 7

http://www.tweaktown.com COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2010 — MSI just got done with hosting its pre-Computex press conference and launched and showcased a host of new products.

We just posted our hands-on look at the MSI WindPad 110 that is based around the Google Android operating system with ARM processing technology, but the difference with the WindPad 100 s that is build around already well known technology that netbooks use — the Intel Atom to be exact. It ships with Windows 7 Home Premium with a special MSI GUI. Distributed by Tubemogul.

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Video ePaper

E-Ink has served Kindle users well for the past few years, but there’s no way it’s the e-paper endgame. Especially when this new tech from Nemoptic is video, touchscreen, and backlight-friendly.

It can basically do everything you wish your Kindle could. That’s thanks to being based on active matrix bistable nematics, which allows for a 30 millisecond refresh and what looks like fairly decent resolution. Nemoptic has yet to find a hardware partner yet for the technology, but it seems as though it’ll be cheap enough that cost won’t be the main constraint. In fact, the low cost means you’ll probably be seeing the system in low-end cellphones and store displays first, then select ebook readers.

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Toshiba shows off new 3D laptop and touch-based netbook

Here Toshiba shows off a new 3D laptop (very cool for playing games) and a prototype of a potential new netbook with two touch screens, one for keyboard.

Libretto W100

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