Friday, 31 July 2009

First cut is the deepest…My First Love, my C. P.

I remember him with his sexy, strong, shiny and dark body. Immediately as our eyes connect, I knew I found him. In him I found all the specs I was looking for. I looked up at Dad and said, "I want ". So we went to collect him and head home. Not too long, he made me panic and completely ruined my weekend. I had anxiety issues. It felt like the world was going to end. I had deadlines I need to meet. All my work was on him. I didn't have backup plans. He costed me more than I planned for. I had to get him special accessories; things that should have been built in him.

He gave me backache, heartache and headache. I invested so much of my time in him. I relied on him. Each time I've an important milestone he lets me down. I kept forgiving him yet he never changed. I've tried to hold on. Every time I plan to walk away from him, my workload holds me back. So I kept going back to him. There was a time he refused to light up. I discovered his power was weak. So I took him to the engineering lab and tested his volts. He wasn't returning the right one. I took him back to them. They said they have to send him away for awhile because he was not responding at all. I argued he's only weak at lighting up but they won't listen.

Compaq Presario V500 series

So he went away for a month. I had to spend hours in the lab in order to get work done. I get home at midnight exhausted. It made me wonder why I ever chose him. He was supposed to ease my stress. Yet he kept adding to my stress. When he finally returned and I took him home. He completely messed up. So I went back to them and they listened to me this time. They sorted his weak point and he lighted up. No, the drama didn't stop there. He went down with blue screen errors. He crashed on me in middle of important projects. He taught me how to use "crtl+s" and code simultaneously. A slow "he" for this crazy nerd chick just don't make any sense.

It has been over two years now since we parted. Yes, I took the plunge and walked away. I stowed him away in a remote place. Few weeks ago I retrieved the bag where I kept him. I wasn't even tempted to look at him, so I dumped him out there and left for three weeks. Now, I'm planning to bring him out. Maybe I should fix him or let him rot. He costed me 1700 grand, a PCMCIA card, a bluetooth usb, 4 burnt generic chargers (3 of them blew up), 5 years insurance (my dad insisted on it; complete waste of money and time), expensive calls to HP support/insurance company and a lot of anguish. His charger alone weighted 2 kg. I learnt from him to always check charger's size before purchasing anything.

Sony Vaio C Laptop Series

I now have a new boyfriend. His name is S. V. and we have been together for over 2 years now. He's white, sleeky and sexier than C.P.! Yes, we have our ups and downs. Nothing is perfect. He has driver issues but we are coping. With the help of my WD external hard drive, life has been sailing smoothly. I'm planning to dump him soon. I don't know if I will just get with another lovely S. V. or go for another. So far so good, I've not cry over my S. V. meanwhile my C. P. made me cry so many times. In fact he made me cry too many times. I'm still thinking about his case; maybe I will forgive him and revive him but he and I are so over.

Ever had a device that drove you nuts?

Latifa Ayoola

Sunday, 26 July 2009

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Source: Smokie's Writting Pad

Thursday, 23 July 2009

My Google...My Privacy

I'm a big Google fan. In fact I'm a google addict. I had to force myself to remove my Firefox's Gmail notifier. Gone are those days where I used AskJeeve to research for journals and etc for my debates. Google search engine completely changed the game for search engines. For a computer science undergrad, Google is a dream come true. Whenever you are given those crazy programming assignments and you need examples or Java tutorial, Google is your friend.

The Google-mania took over to the extent that we now use the word "google" as a noun and verb. Even the Google “people” begged us not to use it as a verb but it cannot be helped. Google search engine completely "run-down" AskJeeve, Yahoo and etc with technology such as PageRank. Searching the web has never been the same again since the arrival of in 1997. They make our searching experience breathtaking. They continue to expand and improve. Now we have Orkut for social networking, Google Document, Youtube (yes, they own Youtube. They bought it.), iGoogle, Google ads, Gmail, etc. They immersed Google into our lifestyle.

Sometime around 2004/2005, two of my classmates sent me Google mail invitations. Then, Gmail was launched as an invitation-only and it offered 1GB storage capacity which put HOTMAIL to shame. We (the nerds in my class) were all excited. We dumped hotmail like a piece of rag and all went Gmail-crazy. We rejoice because we no longer need to delete mails in order to retrieve new mails. Hotmail had force us to delete important mails or save them in remote places such as Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft Outlook is not ubiquitous at all. This means you practically have to carry your laptops around in order to retrieve an old mail.

Anyway, Gmail became the future of electronic mailing system but Google won't stop there. They brought us personalised Google known as iGoogle. If you never tried iGoogle ( before, please do so. iGoogle enables you to personalise your Google account. Yes, you must own a Google account for you to be able to make full use of iGoogle. With iGoogle you can have weather forecast, Gchat, Gmail mail notification, jokes of the day, news RSS, the Google search engine etc, all on one page.

Alas, there is a bad side to using iGoogle. Whenever you log onto iGoogle with your Google account, Google stores every search query you used via their engine. In order for Google to show a more personalised search results, they must know what you like hence they store what you search for. This is the way every personalised recommendation systems work. In order to give better search results and high performance, the system must know an awful lot about you and your surfing pattern. Now, doesn't that scare you? Doesn't that make you wonder what else they use such information for? Don't you want to know who they share such information with?

Welcome to the web 2.0 and its privacy issues. I've stopped using my iGoogle for years now. Google has too much control over my internet-lifestyle. I use their mailing system, their video portal, their blogging portal and etc. There has to be some limits to the amount of information they have about me. I refused to merge my Google mailing account with my Youtube account but hey, that doesn't mean I'm not being watched. Youtube also provides personalisation hence it knows what I love to watch, what my favourite clips are and etc.

To push the envelope, Google introduces Chrome OS which is not your ordinary yet-another-web-app. I won't go into too much details about Chrome OS, for more details read about it here ( One main point I want to pull out is the file system Google provides for Chrome OS. Isn't it bad enough that we have Google Documents that stores our files online? Sure, this is ubiquitous. We can now access our files anywhere, anytime. With Chrome OS, we can save file locally in a traditional way. Why would I want to do that? Why would I want them to know what kind of files I've stored locally? Isn't it bad enough that they know who I mail, what I watch on Youtube and etc?

Adaptive personalisation is part of the fast and improving technology in this century. Take Google Desktop, for example. You can search your computer instantly and jeopardise your privacy. Yes, to Google once again. Furthermore, it slows down your computer… I don't know what Google are really up to. They are still very vague with this Chrome OS. All I know is that I cannot let technology completely take over my privacy. No matter how much I love technology, there has to be some limits.

Latifa Ayoola

Nigerian 3D Animation clip - The O twins

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Sony Vaio TT series

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Samsung S9110 wristwatch phone unveiled

Samsung announced the S9110 - the world's thinnest wristwatch mobile phone. Sporting a decent (for the class that is) feature set, the fully-touch operated Samsung S9110 is the next device that will try to make all you James Bond dreams come true.

Launched as a direct competitor to the LG GD910, the Samsung S9110 is almost 2mm slimmer, standing at the pretty acceptable 11.98mm. It also packs a larger 1.76" touchscreen and matches its Bluetooth connectivity and speech recognition features.

The Samsung S9110 also puts Outlook sync support to the table but unfortunately lacks the 3G support of the GD910. Well, we guess even with the advance of technology they still had to leave something out to make the S9110 so slim.

The lack of 3G not only means there's no high speed data on the thing, but more importantly - there will be no video calls support. Now that's a bummer, where's the fun in a wristwatch phone that doesn't allow video conferencing?

The Samsung S9110 should be able to offer a built-in speakerphone instead in case you really prefer talking to your wrist rather than using a Bluetooth headset. A scratch-resistant glass take cares of the protection of the little fella's pretty face.

The body of Samsung S9110 is crafted from stainless steel, while the strap is made from leather, giving it some pretty stylish looks.

The Samsung S9110 will hit the shelves in France this month for an estimated price of 450 euro.



Source: Smokie's Writting Pad

QWERTY-enabled Nokia 6760 slide

Nokia Surge went on sale a couple of days ago and now we hear about its European brother - the Nokia 6760 slide. The main update that the 6760 has got concerns its camera, which now has 3 megapixel resolution instead of 2MP. The lack of carrier branding pretty much rounds up the rest of the differences.


Nokia 6760 Slide

The Nokia 6760 slide, just like the Nokia Surge is a Symbian-powered, side-slider with a full QWERTY keyboard and 3.6Mbps HSDPA. There's quad-band GSM support and the local connectivity is covered by Bluetooth, microUSB and a 2.5 mm audio jack.


Nokia Surge

The AT&T Navigator is replaced with Nokia maps and the phone is packed to the brim with messaging software. Nokia Messaging, Google Talk, Windows Live IM are there right out of the box and the 6760 slide will give you easy access to social-media favorites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

The feature list of the 6760 is completed by 128 MB of internal memory, expandable by up to 8GB through the microSD card slot (2GB one provided), as well as FM radio. Standby time is the respectable 500 hours with 5 hours of talk time.

The Nokia 6760 slide will be available in Q3 2009 for 199 euro before subsidies and taxes. Initially it will only be available in black, with red and white versions coming soon after that (though not everywhere it seems).


Source: Smokie's Writting Pad

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic to get kinetic scrolling, widgets

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is getting a firmware update, which will introduce some new, quite welcome features - an enhanced homescreen, kinetic scrolling in some menus as well as improved camera performance and response time.


Update: The homescreen will be modified to resemble the one on Nokia 5530 XpressMusic rather than that of the N97 as we reported initially. We are sorry for the misunderstanding - we got our wires a little crossed on this one.

The kinetic scrolling update is only partial at this stage - it will be applicable in the homescreen, the Contacts list and the web browser. The update is surely more than welcome but we cannot help but feel that it will make the UI on the 5800 even more inconsistent.

Imagine this - in some lists in the Nokia 5800, you use kinetic scrolling, in others - dragging, which requires a two taps to activate an item, and in icon-based menus use just one tap. Worse still - sweeping your finger upward in the Contacts bar will make the list scroll down, while in another menu that still uses the old dragging logic - it will scroll up.

Another benefit of the upcoming firmware update would be the improved response time and camera performance. When this update will be available for the 5800 XpressMusic remains to be seen but it'll should be shortly after the launch of its younger sibling - Nokia 5530 XpressMusic. According to the source the latter will come with all the new features straight out of the box.

Source: Smokie's Writting Pad

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Excalibur, the Unmanned Vertical-Takeoff Aircraft, Makes Its First Flight

A new unmanned combat aircraft could soon wing its way to the battlefield and land with the precision of a helicopter. The Excalibur recently completed its first flight to demonstrate those abilities using a hybrid turbine-electric propulsion system.

The unmanned aerial system (UAS) could pack a 400-pound payload of four Hellfire missiles, and also deliver weapons or other supplies to warfighters deep in rough territory. Its design allows it to have a maximum speed of 460 mph, but also have the ability to loiter overhead at just 115 mph.

"It was a flawless first flight with a crisp takeoff and perfect landing," reported John Langford, president of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation. "In flight, the hover stability and heading control performance were excellent."

The company has been developing Excalibur for the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate and the Office of Naval Research, and it's not hard to see why those armed services would be excited for a hover UAS. Excalibur's vertical takeoff and landing ability comes from a tilting turbojet with a 700-pound thrust, along with three battery-powered lift fans.

As Aurora announced the flight of the half-scale demonstrator this week, Aviation Week covered the sneak-preview test flight that took place on June 24 at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland.

Excalibur represents a new type of tactical UAS that could join the growing swarm of unmanned aircraft already on the battlefield. Wired notes that the U.S. Air Force recently released a report that contemplates a future without any human pilots, and the Air Force Academy recently introduced the first basic course on flying unmanned vehicles to cadets.

Such robotic aircraft have also found growing use in civilian life, ranging from city law enforcement to scientists wanting to hunt down Burmese pythons from the air. But for now, check out what the next generation of drone can do.

Source: Smokie's Writting Pad

Your Next Touchscreen Might Bulge With Inflatable Buttons

Latex overlays inflate to provide the tactile sensation of pressing a button


It seems increasingly rare to see a new gadget these days without a touchscreen. However, touchscreens' versatility is both the technology's biggest strength and its weakness. We've lost the tactile memory we associate with our television remote controls or old cell phones, where we knew and could feel exactly where the buttons we needed were without bothering to look. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are trying to combine the benefits of both, by adding a latex overlay on top of a touchscreen that inflates to create a tactile surface.

The process, as demonstrated by CMU's instructive video, shows that, not only can buttons be fashioned out of latex, but shape and dimension can be added to screen images. Also, the screen can gauge the amount of pressure applied. Complex shapes can be made, too, all while maintaining multitouch capabilities.

In addition to ensnaring those last few tactile-minded users who prefer BlackBerries to iPhones, this technology could come in handy on screens in cars, where visual attention should be focused more on the road than on the GPS screen. Or it could perhaps be enhanced to incorporate Braille for blind people that would otherwise be left behind by touchscreen advancements.


Source: Smokie's Wrintting Pad

Ten Computing Tasks You Won't Be Doing With Chrome OS

Here's why most users won't be making a total switch to Chrome OS any time soon


When Google pulled the lid off of Chrome OS last week, most of the tech world rejoiced. Our suspicions were correct! Death to the desktop OS! Yay Web 4.0! (or whichever version we're on currently!).

But as I pored over the official Google post on Chrome, and then over the hundreds of articles providing instant analysis of the announcement, I realized just how scant the facts and details were. So, I called Google for some background and got some interesting answers. The company is still being cagey with specifics, but there's one thing for certain: death knells for Microsoft and Apple are exaggerated. Here are ten copmuting tasks that Chrome OS, as it is currently understood, won't do better than your traditional desktop PC.

Granted, Chrome OS is still little more than a twinkle in Google's eye. Details are scant, especially from Google themselves, and what it is and how it will work are two things still very much in development. But judging by what we do know now, Chrome will provide a very different experience than what most users are accustomed to currently. Here's how:

1. Save Files Locally in the Traditional Way

According to Google, absent will be the familiar file-handling schema of a traditional OS--by which I mean folders and a desktop. As Google suggested in its blog post, these are vestiges of the pre-web era. Chrome OS and Chrome the browser will be one in the same, and everything you do on a Chrome-based machine will occur inside of the Chrome browser. The OS is the browser. So, forget the filesystem as you know it.

Instead, access to documents and files will probably look a lot like Google Docs does now, with storage of everything in "the cloud." You access them only through Web apps (finding them via an internal Google search, not through poking around a version of Windows Explorer or Finder). But, this raises a lot of questions: What happens when I'm offline? Will I lose all access to all of my files, or will a Google Gears-like interface exist for offline access? And if so, how will new local versions get re-synched to the cloud? But wait a minute, Google said no local file system for users' files! Confusing! We'll just have to wait and see how they figure this out, but as of now, we know Chrome OS will not be based on a traditional files-and-folders desktop. So if the thought of losing that gives you the shakes, Chrome may not be for you.

2. Run Desktop-Based Applications

There will be no third-party apps to install on Chrome OS--well, not in the traditional sense, at least (seeing a pattern here?). Applications will exist on the Web and be run solely inside of the Chrome browser, which means every web app that already exists is also already a Chrome app. So, will you be able to run Photoshop on Chrome? You'll certainly be able to run the webified 'lite' version already available on Whether or not the full version will ever be browser-based is completely up to Adobe (and the limits of current web-based programming languages), not Google. The same goes for iTunes, which it's safe to assume won't be headed to the browser any time soon. In its stead, I expect others to step up with web-based media management apps that will duplicate iTunes functionality and maybe even improve upon it.

But, there are some problems to consider here. Because apps exist in the browser, there will be no inherently common GUI to Chrome like we're used to with traditional OSes. The way we open documents, the keyboard shortcuts, the look of the windows and tools could wildly from application to application. What's more, your data will be scattered all over the place. In a traditional OS, I have my pictures folder, my music folder and my documents folder, and I can use whatever application I wish to open these files. On Chrome, I'll presumably only have access to documents specific to each app. So, if I'm creating, say, a birthday invitation in Google Docs, how am I meant to insert a photo that's managed by the Photoshop web app?

Of course, Google could (and almost certainly will) solve these problems--a formal web-app SDK will surely provide at least some semblance of GUI standards, and it's not too difficult to imagine a cloud-based "G-Drive" storage repository, accessible from every Chrome app. But the desktop app as we know it will not exist.

3. Run CPU-Intensive Apps

Don't expect to be running Final Cut Pro, Maya, Pro Tools or other processor punishers on Chrome any time soon. With most of the computing power of a Web app actually residing on a server as opposed to the Chrome device itself, imagine how much bandwidth and time it would require to render a segment of video-never mind having to continuously upload and download multi-gigabyte files. It's just not realistic. Well, Google says, netbooks aren't designed for these kinds of tasks no matter what operating system you're on. True. But, Chrome is only just starting out on the netbook. The company said in its own blog post that the OS would eventually make the leap to the desktop. And, people use desktops for a lot more than surfing the Web.

Google's response to this dilemma is an interesting one, though one that's still a long way off. It's called Native Client, an open-source Google project that allows developers to run C and C++ code in the browser through a plug-in. Instead of having access to the sliver of processing power the browser normally gets to play with, Native Client gives web-based apps access to the full power of the user's processor, paving the way for full-fledged photo and video editing on Chrome someday down the line.

4. Frag

Forget exterminating Nazi zombies in the all-new Wolfenstein game coming to the PC in August. With little more than a glorified browser at your fingertips, Chrome gaming will be relegated to little Flash (and soon HTML 5) diversions such as Bejewled and poker. I suppose some iPhone-quality games aren't out of the question either. We may get some beefier 3D treats someday with the help of some future iteration of the Native Client plug-in, but for the foreseeable future you'll need a Windows partition to get your game on. Then again, those feeble little netbooks aren't really up to the task in the first place, are they?

5. Work Offline

Of course, a Web-based OS requires an Internet connection. Without one readily available, your new Chrome netbook will be a useless brick of plastic and silicon, right? Google's current official response to this conundrum is essentially "But, how often are you not near an Internet connection?"

To a certain extent, Google is right. Between increasingly ubiquitous Wi-Fi hotspots, 3G data networks and wireless Internet on airplanes, web access is all around us. But hold on a second. You can't count on having an Internet connection all the time. And, what about folks in developing countries, or rural areas in which 3G is non-existent and which the cable company could care less about? Sure, Google Gears allows you to work in the browser offline, but only in a limited capacity. To do anything useful, you'll eventually need Web access.

This makes it a strong likelihood that the initial Chrome OS netbooks will be sold with a cellular data plan contract, like many netbooks are already.

6. Have All Your Hardware Work Seamlessly

Up to now, Google's hasn't had to stress too much about system-level headaches such as hardware compatibility, and while I expect a lot of device drivers will be supplied by Chrome's Linux undercarriage, it's hard to imagine exactly how your iPhone, digital camera, printer, scanner, writing tablet, Bluetooth devices (you get the idea) will all tie seamlessly into a browser-based system. An iPhone or iPod might get mounted as a drive, but how will it sync and what will it be syncing to? A digital camera might call up Picasa in the browser, but what if I use Flickr instead? What are the chances my two-year-old wireless Lexmark printer will function? What happens when I try to play a DVD? Google insists it's working hard on the issue of device drivers, but take it from Microsoft: It's a horror show.

7. Multitask Like You're Used To

Broadband upload speeds, particularly for cable subscribers, are famously atrocious. For the majority of users who spend most of their online time downloading or streaming photos, music and videos, it's not much of an issue. But what about when your media is going the other way?

I upload photos to my Flickr account in the dead of night, otherwise my broadband connection slows to such a crawl I can barely get anything else done. Uploading photos, working on Google Docs, downloading a large file and surfing the web all at the same time? Forget about it. Now, imagine you're using Chrome and you're constantly uploading and downloading files to and from the cloud. Upload speeds being what they are today pose a significant hurdle to multitasking on Chrome. And, let's not forget that broadband providers have been experimenting with bandwidth caps recently. If all of your data resides online and you're continuously pulling it down and pushing it back up again, imagine how expensive that will get.

8. Get Tech Support?

When Gmail was still in beta (for the last six years, up until, fortuitously, the Chrome announcement), Google didn't have much of a responsibility to the user. It's a free service, and a beta one at that. If you don't like it, go somewhere else. If ever there was a Gmail outage (and I've experienced many), there wasn't much you could do except wait around, read hundreds of tweets from users griping about the outage, and trust that Google was fixing the problem. Once I did actually send an email to Google during an outage, but I never heard back. I didn't expect to.

Chrome OS is different, though. You think you feel stranded now when your email goes down? Imagine your entire computer, and all of your files and contacts are suddenly completely inaccessible. A "We're Working On It" message is no longer going to suffice. Alongside Chrome, Google had better also launch 24/7 phone and email support.

9. Maintain Strict Control Over Your Privacy

I've written about Google and privacy in the past [], so I'm not going to go into too much detail here. But, with Chrome, the amount of personal info Google has access to is absolutely unprecedented. If you already use both Gmail and Google search, the company knows who you are, who you know and what kinds of sites you visit. If you use Google Maps, Calendar or Docs, the company knows where you are, where you're going, what you're doing and what you're working on. By using Chrome, you're tying all of this information into every single little thing you can imagine using a computer for. And these days, that's just about everything. Scary.

10. Ditch Your Current Desktop OS Entirely

A lot of folks took the announcement of Chrome as a direct swipe at Microsoft. Some couldn't help but label the new OS a Windows killer. But, let's calm down. First of all, I don't think Chrome intends to replace Windows--at least not in the short term. I think it intends to snap up a rather small group of adventurous users who realize they don't need a hulking desktop OS for the majority of their day-to-day computing tasks.

Secondly, Windows 7 has been specifically built to be lightweight with the next generation of netbooks in mind, and by the time Chrome surfaces, Windows 7 will have already been on the market for 9-12 months. Third, let us not forget the droves of people who returned Linux-based netbooks last year after taking them home and realizing they missed Windows. Never underestimate people's fear of the unknown.

So, what's Chrome? It's something different, and to use it will require getting used to doing things very differently than you do now. If there's one thing to take away from the announcement, it's something Bob Sutor, IBM's VP of Linux and Open Source said to me in a conversation earlier this week. "It brings into sharper focus the fact that much of the work people do today is on the web. But on the same token, it brings into sharp focus the fact that a lot of work people do is not on the Web."

Source: Smokie's Writing Pad

Robot Rides Motorcycles Efficiently, Terrifyingly


Let me introduce you to Flossie, the creepy motorcycle-driving robot. She will drive through scorching heat and freezing cold without a complaint. She will shift perfectly every time. She will haunt your dreams.

Flossie was constructed by Castrol to be used in lubricant testing for just about any motorcycle. Flossie allows testers to monitor how lubricants function over time in a variety of situations, with Flossie the one constant, shifting and riding the bike perfectly each time. The most disturbing part of Flossie's design is that she learns, all by herself, how to get a feel for each bike and how to ride it. To what end, might you ask? Well, the obvious answer is: to become self-aware, evolve, and enslave us all.

In the video below you get a view of Flossie in action. The video ends ominously by calling Flossie "a safe rider". Let's hope we don't regret those words.


Source: Smokie's Writting Pad

Intel Updates SSD Line: A Little Bit Faster, A Little Bit Cheaper


It's been about a year since Intel's quick-but-pricey Intel's X-series SSDs started the market, so it's about time for refresh. And hey, look: It's a fresh pair of 34nm X25-M drives! (Spoiler: They're almost exactly like the last ones.)

Intel's got a lengthy spiel about how performance has been improved, albeit slightly, by the new fabrication process (they claim a 25% decrease in latency and slightly higher read/write performance), but the core of this upgrade, and the main benefit of switching to 34nm, is a lower price.

Looking again to Intel's claims, there's been a 60% decrease in price for the 80GB and 160GB models compared to original launch prices, which is strictly speaking correct. Thing is, neither of the drives have sold for anything near their initial prices for some time now, so although the new versions, priced at around $225 for the 80GB and $440 for the 160GB, will be more affordable than their predecessors, they won't be budget drives by any means.

It's been a year, so a capacity hike would've been nice. Without that, this feels like a transitional product-a necessary manifestation of solid-state storage's slow crawl toward affordability, if not something many people will be ready to buy. Accordingly, I expect the second generation of 34nm drives to be awesome, so please, be awesome.

Source: Smokie's Writing Pad

Monday, 20 July 2009

BlackBerry Desktop Manager coming to Mac in September


Mac users, rejoice -- well, the BlackBerry users in the lot of you, anyway. RIM's been infamous over the years for all but ignoring Mac support for its devices, throwing out the occasional bone like Media Sync, but they're now going big with a full-fledged Desktop Manager supporting Mac OS 10.5.5 and above when it launches... sometime. The big sticking point right now is that RIM isn't talking about an availability date, all we know is that it'll happen some time in September -- but when that date comes, you'll have a suite that's able to sync iTunes, add and remove apps, perform firmware updates, create backups and restore from them, and manage multiple BlackBerrys at the same time. Nokia, maybe you guys want to take note here?

Source: Smokie's Writting Pad

The Fastest SSD ever


This might be old news but i just though i should share it.

The last time i check, Mtron claimed to be the fastest SSD ever. For those who do not know, SSD stands for Solid State Drive & it is a big flash drive d size of a regular computer HDD (Hard Disk Drive). Its got no moving parts unlike regular HDDs makin them more power efficient for laptops as they claim to pose more access speed & longer battery life for mobile users but at a price. On the average, an SSD will cost between $400 to $1000 depending on capacity. The capacities are usually in the range of 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and/or 256GB. 512GB are a sight for sore eyes... if you ever get 2 find any.

Anyways, The Pro 7500 series SSDs from Mtron are said to have a read speed of up to 130MBps and a write speed of up to 120MBps through a SATA II interface in capacities from 32GB to 128GB.

It's great that they're speedy but what is the point of speed when they are so expensive that no average man can afford one. Wake me up when the prices drops... lol




Source: Smokie's Writting Pad

ExpressCard 2.0 standard, Faster & Better

A final spec has been promised for over a year now, but the PCMCIA folks have just now finally settled on the long-awaited ExpressCard 2.0 standard which, among other things, incorporates the new SuperSpeed USB spec to allow for faster transfer rates. In real world use, that should translate to transfer rates up to 5Gbps, or roughly 10 times faster than the previous ExpressCard 1.2 standard.

Otherwise, you can naturally expect full backwards compatibility with existing ExpressCards and, as PCMCIA hopes, even more products using the format in the future now that it has all that extra bandwidth, although it seems Apple didn't get that memo... lol



Source: Smokie's Writting Pad

Facebook for Blackberry v1.6

The new Facebook for Blackberry Smartphones v1.6

New to Facebook for Blackberry v1.6

Facebook for Blackberry v1.6 Features

Device Requirements:

Device requirements

Become a fan:

Become a fan

Source: Smokie's Writting Pad

Brammo Enertia Electric Motorcycle


It's a bit of a shame that the range is so limited, as the bike is a far more welcoming chariot than the Zero S. That great looking seat isn't particularly wide, but it is plush and comfy, and the large pegs are in a forward position that leaves you upright and your knees extended. We were a little worried about them getting caught on a cobblestone when we were doing a little carving on the rough alley streets, but their comfort makes up for any lack of cornering clearance. It's a little bit cruiser compared to the competition's little bit moto.

Sadly our test ride was again in the throes of NYC traffic, but we found a few back streets and alleys and even corners to explore, and were happy with what we experienced. The suspension soaked up the roughest of bumps without launching us out of the seat, as mentioned above the brakes kept us safe, and a quick twist of the throttle left every other bike in our wake -- so long as it was pedal-powered, of course.

The lack of power and torque makes the bike a much smoother experience than the slight jerkyness we experienced on the Zero. Here you're gently whisked away from a stop with no hesitation or lurching, and keeping up with traffic is no problem at all. Throttle response is good at any speed -- any speed under 50.






Source: Smokie's Wrinting Pad



Format(s) Supported : MPEG4 SP/ASP, AVC Baseline (up to QVGA 30fps, 384/768 kbps)

General Specifications
System Requirements : Internet Connection via Wireless LAN1, USB port (Hi-Speed USB recommended), Personal Computer with pre-installed Windows operating system. Operating Systems11: Microsoft® Windows Vista® Home Basic/ Home Premium/ Business/ Ultimate, Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition/ Professional Edition/ Media Center Edition 2005/ Media Center Edition 2004/ Media Center Edition (Service Pack 2 or later required for XP versions), Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Professional (Service Pack 4 or later). Operations are not guaranteed for all the recommended Computer environments mentioned above.

Weights and Measurements
Dimensions (Approx.) : 5 1/4 x 27/32 x 2 5/8in (130.8 x 20.7 x 64.6mm)7 (excluding protrusions)

Weight (Approx.) : 6.8oz (193g)7 (including rechargeable battery)

Camera : 1.3 Megapixel with macro mode

Keyboard : Backlit slide-out QWERTY keyboard

LCD : 3.5 WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) with Touch Panel

Microphone : Built-in and one-touch answer remote controller

Speakers : Built-in

AC Power : Adapter DC IN 5.2V

Battery Life (Approx) : Up to 6 hours Internet calling6, Up to 20 hours music playback6, Up to 7 hours video playback6, Up to 6 hours Web Browsing6

Battery Type : Removable Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery 3.7V 1200mAh

Operating Conditions
Operating Temperature : 5 to 35 C (41 to 95F)

Format(s) Supported : MP3, WMA, AAC, ATRAC®




Source: Smokie's Wrinting Pad

The New PSP Go (Video)

Source: Smokie's Wrinting Pad

Intel’s PAN WiFi to Compete With Bluetooth

Intel along with a wireless startup will be demonstrating a new Personal Area Networking (PAN) technology based on WiFi (802.11x) this week. The WiFi-spinoff technology, developed by Ozmo Devices (Palo Alto, California) will allow short range, high bandwidth communication to several Ozmo-enabled peripherals at once.


That is like being connected to multiple Bluetooth devices at once, but instead of Bluetooth it would be 802.11x WiFi. That would eliminate the need for Bluetooth devices, and according to analyst Johnathan Gruber, PAN technology "will definitely be a threat to Bluetooth technology."

Ozmo based devices are slated to be released sometime in 2009 and will include Ozmo enabled headphones, keyboards, stereo speakers and mobile phones.

The Ozmo transceiver is basically a WiFi transmitter that consumes the same amount of energy as a Bluetooth chipset, making it a competing standard to Bluetooth PANs. Intel is set to release software for Centrino based laptops sometime in the future, allowing interoperability between existing Centrino WiFi chipsets and the new PAN Ozmo-based devices.

The demonstration will be held this week at the Computex Tradeshow in Taipei.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Twittering or Fluttering

The madness will never end. I've been meaning to blog about this for a while now. I just got the opportunity. The nerds are ruling the world. If we say something is cool everyone believes us; we just need to polish the whole concept and sell it. Most times what we do benefits the society and our environment. Meanwhile some other stuffs we tell you is cool is completely useless and a means to get lots of capital in our bank account. Hehehe. Evil right! Don't blame the nerd for creative minds.

Let's see how the whole web 2.0 took over our lives. You have blogs that you cannot keep away from. Then social networking showed up. We have myspace addicts, hi5 addicts, beboers and finally facebookers. Normally every age ranges have some specific social network designed for them but now with facebook, everything has flipped. My Ma, aunty, uncles are all on facebook. I'm still waiting for my Da to join. My only consolation is ma just joined for the heck of it…she doesn't use and she's not on my friend list. Don't forget your super cool search engines…my favourite of all Google. Google is now taking over everything. It has its own social network, mail, blog, video hosting, etc. Then you have the cool bookmarkers, you have your personalised online booksellers and everything-sellers, etc.

Everything is now e-whatnot. Cool! We are in computer age. By 2020, we will be able to undo and redo our wardrobes with a click. That will be awesome! Hehe. Roight, what's up with Twitters? I guess someone really like facebook status box and they decide to create a special widget that will enable you to just update your status every other minute. Everyone is so into it…I deliberately deleted my account when I joined Twitter last year. I hate what everyone is into. I don't follow the bandwagon effect. Twitter is actually more useful to people who has blogs, or something reasonable to inform their readers or followers about. It can be equivalent of rss or blogger's follower. I don't know why everyone, especially people who don't understand its use are crazy about it.

My sister joined it recently and she won't let me breathe. She was practically stalking Cristiano Ronaldo on his twitter page…seating behind her computer all day waiting for his next update. Jobless girl; wasting her holiday on twitter and Ronaldo. It's probably not Ronaldo's real twitter. He might not even be on it. That's what twitter is going to do to your life…it will become a stalker tool… I decide to try it and see what privacy and security options it offers. I can keep my page private hence only those who I approved of will receive my updates. Then I also saw an option, I can ask the system to nudge (via mobile SMS) me if I don't update in an hour. Why do I have to update every other minutes? Sure, it's my choice to do as I like but hey, a lot of people are updating every minute! According to my sister some tell you when they eat, drink and even visit the loo. What the heck??

Even though you might approve of people who read your updates, sometimes your closest friend could be your worst enemy. So tell me why, would you want to inform them off everything you do everyday. If you need to lament about something that is grand or you want to let your readers know about a new blog update, product etc, that is fine. Don't be walking about with your iPhones and Blackberry informing everyone about every steps you take and every things you do. You are just jeopardising your security. It is not bad enough that you are stuck on facebook and you are trying to avoid identity-theft. The more information you leave on the web, the easier it is for hackers to learn more about you; for id-thief to know about you and for stalkers to trace you.

Now to make matter worst…Flutter is trying to over-take Twitter….and I'm sure everyone soon everyone will move on to the next best thing. The bandwagon effect resume all over again...Twitter is not a necessity. If you really need it…use it wisely and use productively.

P.S. I'm now twittering…hehe. I might not use it much though…only to let you know what massive project I'm into…and whatnot. Don't expect to read about my relationships, sleeping habits, my meals and whatever. If you are interested…follow me on

Latifa Ayoola

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The new Nike+ sportband

The New Nike+ sportsband looks pretty cool and is certain to catch the eye of many. it looks comfortable and attractive with its two toned strapped, and brighter screen when compared with the older Nike+. as with the older model, the Nike+ can work on its own or be paired with the nano, touch, or iphone and at $59 ( perhaps around N10,000) it is a good buy, for the fitness fanatics out there.

read Nike's press release note here
and the review by boing boing

The Truth about Laziness and Technology

There is an ongoing misconception that technology is for the business-oriented and agile individual. Now I can understand why this notion is wide spread but unfortunately, it is so very wrong. Yes, you can now receive emails on the move, teleconference with people from all parts of the globe and so on. But the truth of the matter is that the primary reason for developing these conveniences is because some very important higher ups couldn’t be bothered to turn on their computer to check their emails or travel thousands of miles to say a few words to people that – a) they don’t know and; b) probably don’t really care much for beyond their productivity.

I know what you are thinking. “He’s just saying this to provoke debate and yada yada yada” and you know what… you’re right. But my argument does have some merit. Look at the remote control, this is the fourth greatest invention by mankind (I’ll fill you in on the top three later) and you just know that the inventor was thinking to himself “Oh God, this show is rubbish, must change channel but can’t reach tv. Oh if only there was a way to do this without the tedious getting up part” and the rest is history.

My second gadget is the Microwave. Another ingenious appliance that was designed by someone (I’m guessing a guy), who felt that cooking was just a few steps down from planning a space mission. Why worry about getting the right cooking utensils, ingredients, and all that measuring and timing? Just push one or two buttons; wait a few minutes and dinner is served.

The mobile phone. I can make my case with this device alone. Once upon a time not too long ago, humans invented the telephone. Now this has made a lot of people very happy and been widely regarded as a good move. People could talk to each other across great distances and lie about the state of their lives or what they were doing without worrying about body language and other tell tale signs (incidentally this is one of the reasons video calling has not taken off yet). Then people started to get grumpy as they began to realise that the phone had strikingly similar problems to the tv i.e. they had to get up to use it or go into a booth if they were outside. This led to the development of the cordless phone and eventually our modern day mobile. Now as if this evolution wasn’t proof enough of our inherent laziness, the people began to wonder if they could make other stuff mobile, or better yet, make them mobile and then cram it into their phone while they were at it.

The result of all this wondering is that today your mobile phone can do everything short of bathing and sleeping with you. A lot of us are now so attached to them that in life or death situations, some might save their phone before other people. I am not saying that I’m one of them but I will have to consider if the person has been good or naughty first.

Before I sum up, I would like to give a honourable mention to some gadgets/tools that could have strengthened my case even further if this was a dissertation. The car (in fact all forms or transport from the horse to the aeroplane) because everything beats walking; the calculator for making maths slightly tolerable; the digital watch; shoes without laces; clip-on tie (for obvious reasons); and many others.

I will conclude this entry with a quote from the author Robert Heinlein for two reasons. 1) Because I obviously can’t be bothered to think of a better one and; 2) It sums up my sentiments about technology perfectly with regards to progress.

“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”

Fawaz Hamodu.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Q&A : Ebuka's Gadget Life

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu was born and raised in Edo state, Nigeria. Prior to appearing on Big Brother Nigeria, he worked as an attorney. Amongst his numerous interests and endeavors he is also a columnist for Thisday newpapers, where he writes a very entertaining weekly column titled "Contrast".

Q: Do you remember your first phone?
A: Of course i remember my first phone! It was an Ericsson T29. I bought it off my elder brother and it didn't last 2 weeks with me. My baby (at the time) nephew threw it in hot oil when i wasn't looking. It hurt so much cos it was a flip phone and those were a big deal then... I bought a weird little Trium phone after that and used it for a year!

Q: What 3 gadgets are impossible for you to live without
A: I'm not huge on gadgets but i'll almost commit suicide if i don't have my two phones, laptop. That's 3 right?

Q: Iphone or Blackberry and why?
A: I own neither even though i believe they both serve their purposes. But if i had a gun to my head, then maybe a BB. I think that there are many more ways to get music on the go but not so many quick and cheap ways to keep in touch like the BB helps do.

Q: Mac or windows and why?
A: Windows for now. Getting a Mac very soon though. Who would not want a Mac?

Q: Top 5 Naija music on your ipod/mp3 player
A: Top 5 Naija songs? Hmmm...
Osondi Owendi by Flavour and MC Loaf;
Jeun Soke by Wande Coal;
Strong Thing by Banky W.;
Igwe by MidNight Crew and
Never Felt by Shank ft D'banj.

Q: Twitter or facebook and why?
A: Twitter. I feel a lot freer there and communication is better. I'm not restricted to saying how i feel by just updating my Facebook status. Twitter is definitely more interactive. I love it.

Q: What is your favorite gadget that you own
A: My laptop definitely. It's nothing fancy. It gets the work done and i can't help but love that fact. I do most of my work on the internet so without this laptop, oh boy! You might as well take my right toe as well...

Q: What is your favorite gadget that you would love to own
A: There's too many to just pick one. I have a list...

Fujifilm announces a 3D digital camera, how does it work?

Its an odd looking camera, with two lens taking two shots simultaneously. Fujifilm are going ahead with its release later on this year, yes, 2009, but the idea has already got many scratching their heads a little, how does it work? and will it really ever catch on?
To read more about this certainly interesting device click here

Concept Black and white clock

Digital clock: only figures, no case, only the necessary – only accurate time. Each figure has self-contained power supply and independent control, it can be fixed to any surface autonomously. A light sensor will switch the clock to an invert mode: the figures are white in the dark time of day and black at daytime.

Design: Vadim Kibardin

Size of one figure: 60 mm x 110 mm x 10mm

Colour: translucent white

Materials: polycarbonate, luminous part of figure - Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED)

Power-supply: lithium-ion accumulators

Control (choice of mode and time settings): touch-sensitive

Status of project: searching for manufacturer.


You can now upload document files to google translate

Google has added the ability to upload documents in formats like TXT, DOC, PDF, XLS and HTML to the Google translate. This is surely to be very helpful and a definite improvement when compared to the earlier basic function of only translating online web pages. However the results are displayed in HTML format, no matter the input.

Top Ten reasons to consider IBM storage for oracle

10. IBM storage offers excellent database performance and scalability as validated by the Oracle ORION tests, for real investment protection as storage requirements grow.
9. Cost-effective pricing – IBM does not charge for capacity, or ports, or hosts; IBM bundles in its multi-pathing solution, and does not charge for software maintenance.
8. IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager integrates easily with Oracle’s preferred day-to-day restore solution, RMAN.
7. Easy-to-use volume copy and snapshot offload production databases for enhanced performance.
6. IBM supports the latest Oracle data lifecycle management capabilities in Oracle 10g and 11g, with multiple partitions and mixed drive types on the same system.
5. Enhanced remote mirroring for disaster recovery in simple Oracle deployments.
4. Competitors may claim that they are better partners with Oracle. The truth is, IBM participates
in all key Oracle programs that the competition touts, and others that the competition isn’t involved with.
3. IBM offers a broad range of best practices for implementation, tuning, replication and data protection, helping to mitigate risk and speed deployments.
2. IBM’s robust storage virtualization offers significant benefits for CAPEX and OPEX.

And the #1 reason to consider IBM storage for Oracle:
IBM offers true enterprise class support for Oracle deployments at the lowest Total Cost of Ownership of any leading storage vendor.

The Tesla Roadster and Tesla Model S : Not your ordinary electric car

2009 Tesla Roadster

Performance Specifications*

Top Speed
Battery Life
Full Charge

Standard Interior features
  1. Heated sport seats with inflatable lumbar support
  2. Three-spoke leather-wrapped MOMO sport steering wheel
  3. Leather seats and trim in black, dark gray, light gray, or beige
  4. Stereo sound system with single-disc CD player, iPod interface, and MP3 playback
  5. Cruise Control
  6. Homelink universal transmitter to operate compatible garage, gate, and home lighting/home security systems
  7. Power windows and locks
  8. Air conditioning
  9. Retractable cup holder
Standard Exterior Features
  1. Double-insulated black soft top
  2. Halogen low and high-beam headlamp assemblies
  3. LED tail lights
  4. Forged uni-directional seven-spoke wheels in silver finish: 16" front, 17" rear
  5. Locking wheel lugs
  6. Battery heater for cold weather charging to -20 degrees Celsius
  7. High Power Connector with integral safety features for 3.5 hour charge