Microsoft’s Windows operating system has had its ups and downs over the years. Vista was, well, interesting. XP had a stable shelf life for a while there. Each new release seems to improve on earlier versions, but also tends to alter something people had become used to. Now, it’s time to look at Windows 8.
Perhaps the most stunning aspect of Windows 8, when compared to previous upgrades, is the cost. At $40 it is the least expensive operating system Microsoft has ever offered. You might be happy with your current version of Windows 7, but with a price that low, it’s tempting to buy a copy of 8 and consider trying it out when you get the chance.
If you’re a traditional desktop or laptop user, you might not find the upgrades to Windows 8 all that exciting. It incorporates what is called “Metro,” which is primarily a touch-centric interface. This has been useful on mobile devices, but if you’re a business user, you may not find this improvement particularly useful, or even desirable.
Sync to the Cloud
Windows 8’s ability to sync storage with online sources is vastly improved. It fully incorporates Microsoft’s Sky Drive into its file system, including all Office programs. This is a great convenience, particularly if you move from computer to computer. What’s more the settings can be made on one computer and all the others will automatically copy the personal touches you’ve put in place.
Changes to the Interface
Over the last 25 years, Microsoft has maintained a consistency with its older versions to ensure that users feel like they are using an upgrade with familiar continuity. This time, the change is radical and jarring. There is no Start menu, for example. Though the Start Screen serves the same function, it takes time to adjust to.
The New vs. the Old
The greatest concern with Windows 8 is the schizophrenic way things have to be run. It is much like Windows 3.1 where you had to open older programs in DOS and then switch between the two. There is a similar problem with this upgrade since the old Desktop apps don’t work in the new Windows 8 interface, and modern apps don’t work in the old desktop system.
A Single Paradigm for all Devices
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the Windows 8 is the similarity it brings to all your Microsoft devices. There is finally a consistency between your PC, your tablet, even your phone. They all now work basically in the same way. They can even share the same settings. Transitioning from one device to the next will no longer be different. That even includes the Xbox, which has a Windows 8 sort of interface as well.
Like all new operating systems, Windows 8 has things you’ll appreciate and possibly things you’ll hate until you get used to them. Will it become as popular as Windows 7? That will depend, but it is definitely an attempt to move forward in the ever advancing world of computers.
Came across this interesting infographic highlighting the history of smartphones along with a brief on what the future could probably hold for the smartphones. It seems pretty reasonable to assume the smartphone sales to exceed that of personal computers in the near future. But what is the next level of technological innovation that could happen with the smartphones? Could we be wearing them one day as a fashion accessory? Better, could we be implanting them to offer more seamless augmented reality? You never know. Check out the infographic below and tell in the comments what you think of the possibilities.
The classroom is changing. Students no longer have to be present physically in front of the teacher to learn their subjects. And the subjects themselves are no longer defined simply by the textbooks. Interactive learning tools have drastically changed the schooling landscape and have also helped students understand complex concepts using more illustrative and engaging techniques that were not available even ten years ago.
Besides the changing landscape inside the classrooms, students are also being exposed to new dynamic learning methods outside of it, online. Here are three tools that have made learning extremely important for students. And best of all? They’re free.
Wikipedia : There can be no list on online educational tools without a mention of Wikipedia. This not-for-profit site of 12 years has enabled every one of us to become an educator and a learner at the same time using the system of crowdsourced knowledge. Information on every single thing that students learn in class can be got from here. As every student who has passed out in the past ten years will vouch for, Wikipedia has been a boon when it comes to preparing your term papers. The only downside to Wikipedia is that it is prone to false information due to which it is many times not considered to be a valid source of reference. You could always pick other online elearning tools while preparing your term papers. StudyMode is a popular service that millions of students use to write their term papers. The service also comes with a Citation Generator that will help you organize your sources much better on your paper.
Internet Public Library : Students may no longer visit the school library as much as they would have a decade or two back. But the use of the library to study outside the prescribed textbook has never been better. The Internet Public Library is an open source online library that houses tons of reference material on a wide variety of topics for every conceivable topic of study.
Project Gutenberg : This is a project driven wholly by volunteers who have been seeking to digitize all books that are available in the public domain. The project was started in 1971 and today holds over 42,000 ebooks that are primarily text books or classics. If you are looking for a free text book to supplement your school book, Project Gutenberg is where you should be looking.
Are there any more free elearning tools that you are aware of? Tell us about it in the comments below.
So it’s that time of the year when all of the United States is going to be glued to TV watching the Super Bowl. This year’s face off is scheduled for February 3 when the San Francisco 49ers will be taking on the Baltimore Ravens. If you are an NFL fan and do not want to miss any of this action, there are several apps for NFL lovers already available – some apps focused on NFL news, some that let you bet on super bowl, and finally some that let you discuss the game with other NFL fans and root for your team. Here are 3 Android apps that you should absolutely download now.
This is one of the most popular apps on the Android marketplace having been downloaded over 10 million times. Why is this app absolutely necessary? Because apart from the news, NFL videos and game highlights, you also get to enjoy the live video on your Android tablet if you are a Verizon FiOS customer. This app is also going to be useful post the season with access to playoff scores and schedules. The only drawback is that you cannot simply plug your tablet to a TV via an HDMI cable and enjoy live playback. Also, depending on where you live, you may also have to face NFL blackouts. Download by using the QR code below
NFL Flick Quarterback
This app is not as popular as the one from Verizon, yet this is one of the most popular NFL apps available in the market today. Having been installed on over 100,000 devices, this app is the perfect game to enthuse an NFL fan. The app features all 32 official teams and delivers stunning 3D stadium environments, 120 player animations and hi-res graphics. The app is available at a price of $1.99 and is worth every cent of it. Use the QR code below to download the app to your mobile.
NFL 2012 Season Schedule
This app may not be as useful to you coming so late in the day, but if you have not had it already, you have missed out on one of the easier ways to follow the games. The app presents the schedule in a pretty lucid and clear format leaving no room for confusion. Definitely a must have, also considering that this app is available for free and has been downloaded somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000 times already.
What are your favorite apps? Do let us know in the comments.
The Canadian Telecom Summit 2014 was held at the Toronto Congress Centre earlier this month. In one of his speeches during the course of the event, Rogers CEO Guy Laurence, made a bold statement – as an industry, telecom was resorting to complex pricing plans and methods that was not helping their customers get productive. One example of productivity that Guy mentioned was with respect to resolving issues through a call centre. Guy said that a lot of people do not want to talk to a call center person regarding these complexities because that inevitably stretches the discussion to 30 minutes or more. People want to go online and fix their problem in 3 minutes, not 30.
What Guy mentioned illustrates the growing need for telecom operators to make their after-sales support and service seamless and frictionless. With telecom operators today offering a wide range of services from landline, wireless, broadband, business networking, broadband TV, etc., customers find it cumbersome simply juggling through the various options thrown at them by the IVRS before they can talk to a customer service representative.
The good news is that the telecom operators are already looking at ways to streamline the operations. Guy Laurence is only six months into his job and has announced plans to streamline operations within the company to increase customer productivity. Rogers is not alone. One of the other companies that is seen to taking up rapid strides in this area is Manitoba based AllStream. Last month, AllStream became the first major telecom network in Canada to be MEF CE 2.0 certified. In a press release, AllStream noted that this certification is an acknowledgement of process innovation in their E-Line and E-Access line of carrier ethernet network services. These services in the company’s portfolio are aimed at simplifying the network infrastructure for organizations in multiple locations.
The announcement of simplification of processes is a great step for better telecom infrastructure in Canada. A study published by The School Of Public Policy last year noted that while the pricing policies of Canadian telecom providers was not out of the ordinary and compared well with similar markets worldwide, one of the main reasons that is ailing the sector is ‘political interference’ which in turn has been the reason for the general lack of innovation within the industry.
Various studies have shown that Canada is witnessing robust growth in modern telecom services including wireless technology. The subscriptions and consequently the revenue growth have been multi-fold over the past decade or two. The rapid growth could often make old restrictive practices redundant. The need of the hour is then for the government to take a re-look at all the policies and amend them in order to ensure telecom carriers can grow freely and widely in future. This, and the competition that will ensue will be the primary driver for simplification and process improvements that this industry so desperately needs.
There is no doubt that the internet has made our lives amazingly simple in the past decade or two. However behind the glossy user interfaces, there lies the very same complex network of wires and computers that have been running your other essential services for years. Here is a nice little infographic that explains the wonderfully complex backend of what lies behind each of these cool websites you visit. Click to open the image in full size.
Threaded commenting on Facebook is one of the long sought requests from users. And Facebook too, many times in the past, has been caught testing the feature in small pockets of the cyberwebs.
The latest report comes from New Zealand. Our reader Chandler reports that his network is now able to reply to comments. It’s not clear how Facebook is testing this among a closed group considering that your Facebook friends can always extend beyond the group that Facebook is testing. In any case, I hope threaded commenting is provided as a feature to the entire Facebook network soon. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like
Microsoft has made extensive changes to DirectX 11.1 and Windows 8 graphics. Whatever you do in Windows 8, everything is hardware accelerated and that is why its 2D and 3D performance and text is expected to blow off Windows 7. Faster gaming experience and more efficient applications have raised a significant overhaul in DirectX 11.1.
Windows 8 Graphics Upgrade Offering a High Class Operating System
The Metro-style apps are responsible for Windows 8 graphics changes. The interface of these typographically rich apps is built of ellipses, rectangles, rounded rectangles and lines.
The new graphical changes will cater you much greater speed than Windows 7. A text in Windows 8 will appear within a few seconds. GIF, PNG and JPEG image files have also been improved to a sufficient degree. Just imagine – Windows 8 decodes and provides you 64 JPEGs in just 4.38 seconds. Hence, now using the Photoshop software or browsing the web in Windows 8 will be real fun with such high speed image rendering service.
Want to watch some video on your Windows 8 OS? Gone are the days when you have to wait idle until the video uploads. The speedy rendering of images and texts offers an upscale video watching experience.
Windows 8 DirectX 11.1 Updated to a New Level
Specific changes have been made to DirectX 11.1. It is made much better now! Credit goes to Microsoft which has enhanced the redrawing portions. By lessening redrawing of static elements and texts, Microsoft reduces the wastage of processor cycle and memory usage.
Direct2D Effects, a new addition to DirectX 11.1, provides you “high quality” image effects like adjusting vibrancy, clarity, and exposure and lens correction. You can experience these effects in latest desktop apps like Photoshop besides the Metro-style photo editing software.
DirectX 11.1 from Microsoft comes with unified and simplified API especially for the developers. If all these days you were having problem in accessing the wide range of new features, DirectX 11.1 has come up with a solution for you. All the latest features are bundled under one single API.
Are these upgrades of any use?
Certainly, the new updated Windows 8 graphics and DirectX are beneficial for the Windows 8 users. Microsoft opines that these faster rendering features make less use of your hardware resources and lower the power consumption. Windows 8 guarantees you prolonged battery life and improved efficiency with its latest up-gradation.
With Windows 8 recent updates, it is very evident that the primary motive of Microsoft is to offer competition to Apple and Google in the field of mobile computing. It is expected that the latest mobile phones like Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 720 will operate on this recent tidied up DirectX API.
Now, it has become easier to develop games. Playing games, watching videos or images, editing photos – all will cater a cutting-edge experience to the users. Windows 8 graphics changes not only created a huge difference to the graphics but also provide support for the widest variety of graphics hardware you have ever seen. It’s time to experience hardware acceleration for Metro style applications!
Author’s Bio: For smooth functioning of your OS, you must call your computer support expert, Steve Tibbs, the author
of this article and a technical expert at MyTechSupportStore. Computer services at MyTechSupportStore are provided by Microsoft certified engineers.
Nowadays, more and more businesses are increasingly relying upon mobile technology that isportable. A few instances of mobile technology are smart phones, laptops, and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.These portable devices help a business to stay in touch with their various patrons located in the different parts of the world. For instance, any of the aforementioned mobile devices can be connected to Internet for making daily business communications through e-mails and messengers.
For modern business offices that have branches in different parts of the world, it is very essential to facilitateremote and anytime access to their business documents, processes, and clients. This is exactly where mobile technology comes into the picture.So, here’s how this technology help in improving your business.
By forming a virtual office
Irrespective of where you are on the globe, if there is a mobile device with you, your work can be done on the spot! For example, if you work as a reviewer, you can quickly review a document on your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone by downloading it through the Internet. You can now open the same document on your mobile irrespective of its type (Word, PDF, PowerPoint, and so on). Because of this easy and quick access to documents, your work days become more productive as well as more interactive. Such a communication can becomeprivate by setting up aspecial virtual office that can provide access to several other tools and features: Project management software, customer relationship management software,document sharing, e-mailing, and time tracking. The unique feature of this setup is that only the office people can access it, which means more security as well!
By facilitating precise time management
There are several mobile apps for time management, which help you track how much time was spent on each tasks related to your projects. This will help in finding which tasks demanded more time than estimated, which finally ended up with late delivery. Next time, you will then be able to set proper time duration for the same tasks and ensure timely delivery for good client relations.
By enabling monitoring
Sometimes, you might suspect an employee because she or he is not completing the work on time. In this case, you can select one of the many monitoring apps that you can install on his or her phone. The beauty of these apps are that they work in the invisible mode to track all phone activities, right from making calls to viewing sites. You just have to gain one time access to the phone for installation. Once done, the app will track all activities along with the timestamp and will upload it to the remote server. Now, you can just log on to the app’s site and view what your employee was doing in office hours!
By offering cost-effective marketing on the go
Recently, companies are developing apps for targeted audience with the financial help of corporate funders, who in turn facilitateadvertising opportunities for exposing their products and services to a relevant customer group. Obviously, you will have to be a bit famous in the market for taking the advantage of this sale opportunity. Alternatively, known brandsare now sending SMSs to the target customersto make them aware of their new offers. Many are even making customized mobile apps to allow customers to buy things directly from their smart phones.
In this way, the mobile technology can help your business grow by leaps and bound no matter where you are located on this globe.
Anna loves to blog on latest mobile technologies. To know about her updates please view Cellspy tool
So you’ve got your Android device and you’ve visited the Play Store to download the Facebook, Twitter and Angry Birds apps. But what else should you download? I mean what are the coolest apps of 2012, the ones that you simply must have?
Well, luckily for you, we have our fingers on the pulse when it comes to the hottest apps and have decided to provide you with a list of the 5 coolest Android apps released in 2012. And here they are:
Yes, you’ve heard the hype from your iPhone-owner friends, telling you that Instagram is the best thing ever to happen to mobile photography and that the app is all theirs. Well, now (finally!) in 2012, Instagram has been made available on Android. In their own words, “Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family.” This app has the ability to turn amateur, and even poor, photographers into professionals. Simply take a photo of anything you like, choose a filter, and completely transform the look. You can then share said photo with the Instagram community or with friends and followers and Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr too – genius!
2) CTERA Mobile
OK, so it may not be cool in a fun kind of way but cloud and document syncing apps are all the rage at the moment and CTERA Mobile may prove to be one of the best. Recently released for Android, CTERA is unlike other similar apps in that it has been designed specifically for mobile use, as opposed to being adapted from a desktop program. Working seamlessly with CTERA Portal and CTERA Cloud, this mobile app allows secure downloading of documents for storage on your device. You can also save attachments from emails and upload them to your CTERA Cloud. Very useful, especially for big smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note or the new HTC One X that are usually used for business.
If you’re looking for a cool weather app (who isn’t, right?), WeatherWise is bound to satisfy. In fact it’s probably the coolest weather app there is. The app has all the features you would expect from a weather app but delivers it in an animated theme. A Zen Tree is the default theme and plenty of others are available for $0.99 – well worth a download.
4) Google Play Music
If you are into your music, Google Play Music is an app that you simply must have. In fact, stop reading for a second and download it now… OK, done? Good. Let me explain a bit about the app. This app lets you listen to your entire music collection anywhere. OK, so your standard music app allows you to do this, but I’m talking about your ENTIRE collection! You can add as many songs as you like to your computer, access them via the app and save your favorites for offline playback. No need to rush out and buy a 64GB SD Card either, all the music is stored online. Any music purchased from Google Play will automatically show up in the app and you can share a free play with friends on Google +. This is a great apps for all Android phones, especially for those that come without microSD card slots.
5) Generate All The Memes
We’ve all seen those crazy weird video and picture-based memes that are all over the web. You know the ones that have a funny picture with an even funnier description? Well, if you have ever wondered how to create them, Generate All The Memes is the app you need. You can create a picture, add some funny text and share it with all of your friends. There is also over 10,000 user-made image memes to browse through, so you’re bound to find something that makes you chuckle.
That’s it, the 5 coolest Android apps of 2012 so far, all designed to change your mobile device for the better!