Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Amazon Silk Browser gets Private Web Browsing Feature


The Amazon Silk Browser is fairly innovative because it can buffer in advance websites you visit on a regular basis, to cut down on the load times. One feature that has sorely lacking is private browsing, so you can cut down on the footprint you leave online and avoid some of the cookies that tend to follow you around. Today, Amazon has announced that this critical feature is now available.

In a statement issued on the official Silk Blog the lead developer said “In response to customer feedback, we are excited to announce support for Private Browsing. With Private Browsing, you can surf the web without saving a record of your visits. For example, if you use Private Browsing while researching travel destinations for a surprise trip or shopping for presents, these sites will not show up in your browsing history when someone else uses your device. Private Browsing is now available on our 2012, 2013, and 2014 Amazon Fire tablets as well as the Amazon Fire phone. Pages you view during a Private Browsing session do not remain in your browser's history, cookie store, or search history after the session is over.”

In order to download the new update for your Amazon tablet or phone you have to download the largest update. This is normally pushed out via WIFI, but if you want to get it right away see the Software Updates page on the Fire & Kindle Support site.

Amazon Silk Browser gets Private Web Browsing Feature is a post from: Good e-Reader

Sony Digital Paper Now on Display at Two US Store Locations


The Sony Digital Paper is the first large screen E Ink device aimed at business professionals and a stark departure from consumer e-readers.  The product up  until this point has only been available through key Sony partners and sold online, prospective owners have not got a chance to try it out to see if its the right fit for them, until now.

Sony executives have announced that the DPT-S1 Digital Paper is now on display  at Sony Stores to "touch and feel" the device, especially to realize the lightness and also the fluid handwriting.  It is currently available at the Sony Store at Stanford University in Palo Alto and the 550 Madison Avenue Store in New York.If a customer likes way they see, these locations have plenty of units in stock for $999.99. Not to mention that people from overseas have another option if they, a relative or colleague is in the neighborhood!

Sony has also confirmed they are engaging in direct advertising for the first time “We're running some ads in the The Stanford Daily digital edition.  There's been considerable interest from individuals in the Stanford community, and from the Bay Area in general.”

I think being able to give the Digital Paper a test drive is tremendous. Up until this point if you wanted to check it out, you had to watch one of our extensive YouTube Videos, which demonstrates the full user experience. Actually being able to hold one in your hands and play with it for awhile is likely the best way to actually push more device sales.

Sony Digital Paper Now on Display at Two US Store Locations is a post from: Good e-Reader

MagPi issue 26

I’m in a bit of a rush today; we’re all at the factory in Wales where the Raspberry Pi is built to show the team that works in Cambridge how to make a Pi. So I’ll hand over to Team MagPi, who have just released their 26th edition of the free monthly Raspberry Pi magazine, written by Raspberry Pi fans for Raspberry Pi fans.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 14.17.27

Editor Ash Stone says:

This month's Issue is packed with hardware and programming articles.  We are pleased to present the first article in an OpenCV (open source computer vision) image recognition software series by Derek Campbell.  The robot that Derek used to test the software configuration is shown on this month's cover.

Expanding the I/O possibilities of the Raspberry Pi is often a first step of electronics projects.  This time, Dougie Lawson presents a review of the Arduberry board from Dexter Industries.  This little board provides an ideal microcontroller interface for more complicated electronics projects.  This month's hardware articles are rounded off by Karl-Ludwig's third BitScope article, which includes examples of preamplifier circuits and associated test and measurement.

The Raspberry Pi provides the opportunity to run many different software applications.  Voice over IP (VoIP) allows telephone calls to be carried over an internet connection.  Walbarto Abad continues his mini-series by describing how to setup an Asterisk VoIP server.

The second application article this month continues the discussion of git (distributed version control system).  Git was originally produced for Linux kernel development, but is now a mainstay of many different development projects and has been adopted by several schools too.  Alec Clews leads us through his second tutorial on the subject.

This month's programming article demonstrates how to build an arcade game using FUZE BASIC.  Jon Silvera includes instructions, code and images to build a horizontally scrolling game.

We are on the look out for more articles at all levels and on all subjects.  If you are interested in submitting an article, please get in touch with us by emailing articles@themagpi.com.

If you have any other comments, you can find us on Twitter (@TheMagP1) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/MagPiMagazine) too.



Nokia Launches Their First Android Tablet, Aluminum-Shelled N1


The Slush conference in Helsinki brought news that Nokia hasn’t been twiddling its thumbs in the seven months since their devices and services unit was sold to Microsoft (for a cool $7.2 billion). It appears the company was hard at work preparing to deliver the N1: a 7.9-inch, aluminum-shelled, Android tablet (running Lollipop OS). It looks a lot like Apple’s iPad Mini (complete with the placement of the camera, buttons, and headphone jack), but will sell at a far more attractive $249 price-point.

Luckily (and cleverly) for Nokia, the sale to Microsoft may have included a ban on making smartphones or handsets for 30 months –but other devices, including tablets, were not included in that agreement.

Nokia’s head of devices Sebastian Nystrom indicated that the N1 is targeted toward users who have yet to find the Android tablet of their dreams (meaning those out there who love the classy look of an aluminum-bodied tablet, but would prefer not to buy an iPad). Other specifications for the N1 include the use of Gorilla Glass 3, a weight of 318 grams, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, 2048 x 1536 screen resolution, and Wi-Fi (only) network connectivity.

Nokia’s reveal video is linked below, offering an excellent overview and visual guide to the N1.

The initial launch of the N1 will be limited to China and is expected around the Chinese New Year (February 19, 2015), with delivery to Russia and select European countries shortly afterward. There is no word yet on when we might see Nokia’s new tablet in North America, but I suspect that will depend greatly on how is is received following the initial release.

Nokia Launches Their First Android Tablet, Aluminum-Shelled N1 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Path Talk Launches in UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand


In my line of work, I have the opportunity to test drive a lot of apps –many good but more that aren’t; every now and then, my mind is blown and I feel a little mad that I didn’t create it myself. Path Talk falls into that last category, quickly becoming one of my favourite apps of all time since it’s launch earlier this year. Having been available in the US and Canada for several months now, lucky users in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand can finally experience my joy.

Those that know me are well aware that I hate phone calls: I hate answering them and I hate making them. Path Talk makes it possible for me to accomplish many of the tasks that used to require a voice call all with in-app text messages. My first inquiry determined that the restaurant around the corner from my home accepted debit cards for deliveries, but that is only where I began. It may seem lazy, but I prefer to think of it as convenient –turn to Path Talk when you wouldn’t otherwise be able to make call. Ask the Path agents to make you a haircut appointment just before you walk into a meeting or have them check to see if an item is in stock at your local retailer before you make the trip.

In the end, the purpose of Path Talk is to give business the opportunity to provide amazing customer service –not entirely unlike the ‘chat live’ options seen on many websites over the years, only the legwork is being done on your behalf… no more waiting for the next available agent (who might actually be a robot) to assist you.

No matter how you use Path Talk, it is exactly the kind of app that really makes your life easier; though I’m not going to lie, I would like to see the database of things these Path Agents have been asked to inquire about.

If you haven’t given Path Talk a try, you should download it now for your Android device.

Path Talk Launches in UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand is a post from: Good e-Reader

Facebook Hard at Work on Enterprise Collaboration Tool


Most offices have been working diligently to find ways of keeping Facebook out of sight and mind for their employees while on the job –but the social media giant may be finding ways to make inroads of their own into the enterprise market. While technically still in the rumours stage, the ‘Facebook at Work’ initiative is all but confirmed and could roll out in the next few months.

Think of this product as a shortcut to having a corporate Intranet, in many cases replacing e-mail or IM as it pertains to communication between colleagues. In addition, Facebook at Work is likely to make it very easy to collaborate on documents, share files, and communicate important news.

Knowing how securely Facebook dominates the social media category, already-established competitors are readying their defenses. One of the first is Salesforce.com, whose Chatter product already provides much of the same functionality that Facebook at Work is likely to offer; but even if it’s better, they (along with other likely suspects like LinkedIn, which can be quite expensive for their subscribers) lack overwhelming brand recognition and curb appeal. Love it or hate it, just about everybody is already familiar with Facebook.

This familiarity likely means that the success of Facebook at Work will depend heavily on their ability to adapt the same interfaces and layout that users are already used to; recognizing that corporate citizens hate change even more than most.

Facebook at Work is expected to be a completely separate product to the existing Facebook apps and website… but few details are known. While the current system is supported by a sophisticated ad network, enterprise would likely be willing to pay a little for corporate branding and a lack of external advertising. While central hosting provided by Facebook is a possibility, my best guess is that the app will be available for installation inside existing corporate networks (meaning security can remain a top priority and the upgrade and update schedule can be determined by each organization). Either way, I’m sure Facebook is busy hammering out all of these final details.

Facebook has not commented officially at this stage, but sometimes silence speaks volumes.

Facebook Hard at Work on Enterprise Collaboration Tool is a post from: Good e-Reader

Samsung Plans to Make Fewer Smartphone Models in 2015


Profits are down, so Samsung is making plans to streamline their product offering in an effort to get the company’s financials back on track. Selling fewer smartphone models will be Samsung’s primary cost-cutting measure, reducing their current line-up by 25%-30% overall. This news comes on the heels of the heads up given to investors that the upcoming financial results will show a considerable 74% drop in mobile profits during the third quarter of this year.

While it may seem like a huge loss, it’s actually about time (with a seemingly endless array of available devices, like their flagship Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5 Active, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5, Galaxy S5 Mini, Galaxy Alpha, and more)!

If successful, Samsung will find its way back to a double-digit percentage margin:

“After maintaining smartphone operating-profit margins above 15% for 10 consecutive quarters, Samsung’s margins from its mobile and information technology business were squeezed to just 7% in the third quarter ended September—the lowest level since the end of 2008, before it launched its first Galaxy smartphone. Acknowledging the slide in margins, Samsung executives said during an earnings call last month that its new goal is to maintain a sustainable double-digit percentage margin starting in the new year. They reiterated that pledge during this week’s investor day meeting.”

Less hardware diversity means being able to share more components across devices (particularly in the mid-to-low-end models), allowing Samsung to maximize profits while they “further leverage economies of scale.”

Fewer smartphones should also make it easier for consumers to decide which device they want (not to mention making it more clear when their existing device is out of date and in need of an upgrade).

Now before people worry too much about Samsung as a whole, don’t forget that they have a lot of other irons in the fire.

Samsung Plans to Make Fewer Smartphone Models in 2015 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Twitter Co-Founder Launches SUPER Social App


Biz Stone may have helped to create Twitter, but he didn’t stop there. His new company, Jelly Industries, just released another social app called SUPER. It serves virtually no purpose and barely qualifies as actually being social (because the things you create and share are only available within SUPER and cannot be shared outside of the app); all the same it is fun and chances are good you will come out a few giggles ahead once you play with it.

The idea is pretty simple: SUPER makes it quick and easy to share your thoughts. Beginning with an opener (selecting a phrase such as: ‘The Worst’, ‘I Love’, or ‘Check Out’), add your text, and finish by signing it and adding in a random background image chosen based on context the best the app is able and then edited automatically using a randomly applied filter (unless you prefer to add in a photograph of your own).

Mostly, the app is brightly coloured and adorable –but it’s a formula that has worked very well for could-be competitors like SnapChat. It is terribly easy to use and get the hang of, which definitely helps. It also makes you feel a little like a modern-styled graphic artist of sorts, which I can definitely appreciate.

More than anything, apps like SUPER tell us that social networking is here to stay and demonstrate that there is a demand for innovation in that arena.

Feeling like you haven’t tried enough social networking apps? Download SUPER for Android!

Twitter Co-Founder Launches SUPER Social App is a post from: Good e-Reader

Liberio Embraces eBook Creation with Media from Vine and Soundcloud

custom_picker@2x-730x547Liberio is a eBook publishing startup and has been quite vocal about embracing the cloud. The company launched with being able to tap into your documents on Google Drive to create your own eBooks.Authors have more options with the ability to integrate material from Dropbox, Github, OneDrive, SoundCloud and Vine into the platform.

Using Liberio's custom file picker, you can import documents, cover images, and media files from these additional sources free of charge. If you created an eBook in the past with the system, you can edit it to add new media content or just create a new one from scratch. No other self-publishing system currently enjoys the flexibility to be able to create enhanced books with tons of media content from around the web.

The eBooks created with Liberio are 100% compliant with the types of formats major eBook stores require, such as Amazon, Google Play Books or the iBooks Store.

I think this is a bold move on the part of Liberio to embrace popular media channels such as Soundcloud and Vine. Frequently these platforms are employed by rising young internet stars and suddenly its quite viable to harvest your own material for publishing their own eBooks.

Liberio Embraces eBook Creation with Media from Vine and Soundcloud is a post from: Good e-Reader