By timothy from Slashdot's better-mousetrap-of-silicone department
TechCrunch features an article (the first of three, actually) outlining the development of a clever hardware keyboard for the iPad
. It's hard to write about Kickstarter projects, because there are so many cool ideas that seem to deserve funding it's simply overwhelming. The TouchFire keyboard is one of those cool ideas
, too, but it's far surpassed the founders' original funding goals and is nearing production. The TouchFire isn't wired, but it isn't wireless, either, in the conventional sense, because it provides no signal of its own: it's a transparent overlay that provides a tactile interface to the iPad's on-screen keyboard, and — the tricky part — is thin enough to actually swipe through when you're not using it for text-entry. The keyboard takes advantage of the iPad 2's built-in magnets for stability, though it works with the original iPad, too. (Hopefully an Android version will come soon, but the variety of screen resolutions and on-screen keyboard shapes makes that harder.) I talked with co-creator Steve Isaac (it's his account at TechCrunch, too) a few weeks back, and he said that the hardest part of the development work has been producing the complex mold shapes that form each collapsible key. The resulting tablet-with-keyboard reminds me superficially, and pleasantly, of the TRS-80 Model 100
. (The Tandy actually had much better battery life than an iPad, but could do far less. It also weighed 3.1 pounds and cost more than a thousand dollars in 1983, which means nearly $2400 today; such is progress.) Prototypes are tight (and I don't have an iPad), but I hope to give an in-person report on the TouchFire soon.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's mips-shall-rise-again department
writes "One of the reasons the iPad has stayed at the top of the tablet heap for so long is that — in contrast with the story of the Mac and PC 25 years ago — the iPad has remained competitive with its rivals on price. That may be starting to change, with cheaper tablets like the Amazon Fire coming to market. And now, the sub-$100 Novo7 is on sale in China, sporting Android 4.0. It promises to arrive in the U.S. for a similar price point soon."
The official press release
from MIPS has a bit more detail. Of interest is the use of a MIPS SoC designed by Ingenic
.Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's but-our-pitchforks-are-all-polished-and-sharpened department
Trailrunner7 writes "Security researchers who have investigated the inner workings of the Carrier IQ software and its capabilities say the application has some powerful, and potentially worrisome capabilities, but as it's currently deployed by carriers it doesn't have the ability to record SMS messages, phone calls or keystrokes. However, the researchers note there is still potential for abuse of the information that's being gathered, whether by the carriers themselves or third parties who can access the data legitimately or through a compromise of a device. Jon Oberheide, a security researcher who has done a lot of work on Android devices, also analyzed several versions of the Carrier IQ software and found the software has the ability to record some information, but that doesn't mean it's actually doing so. That part is up to each individual carrier. However, he says the ability to collect such data is a dangerous thing. 'There is a lot of capability to collect sensitive data, which is dangerous in any scenario,' Oberheide said in an interview. 'It's up to the carriers to use the software as they choose, but you could sort of put some blame on Carrier IQ. But they put it on the carriers.'"
For those who don't want to trust in the good will of Carrier IQ or carriers themselves, here are a couple ways to get it off your phone
.Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department
:Michael J. Ross
writes "Web designers and developers alike are increasingly enthused about the capabilities offered by HTML5, which is generally considered the combination of the latest version of the Web's primary markup language and its related technologies. Consequently, publishers have rushed to market a wide variety of books that purport to explore the inner mysteries of HTML5, even as the standards — and how browsers implement them — are still in flux. In characteristic fashion, O'Reilly Media took the time to wait for some of the dust to settle, and attempted to create a resource more approachable and solid than those thrown together quickly. The final result is Head First HTML5 Programming."
Read on for the rest of Michael's review. Head First HTML5 Programming
author Eric Freeman and Elisabeth Robson
pages 608 pages
publisher O'Reilly Media
reviewer Michael J. Ross
summary A heavily-illustrated introduction to building web pages and web apps with HTML5.Read Replies (0)