Monday, 30 July 2012

When former military police officer Seth Froom became the victim of an armed robbery it prompted him to create one of the most interesting iPhone cases to hit the market to date. This case, known as the Yellow Jacket, not only offers protection for your phone, it also has the potential to protect your personal safety and well-being thanks to its built-in 650 kV stun gun.
Froom actually had a stun gun and firearms in his house on the night he was attacked. However, all he had within reach when the armed robber entered his home was his cellphone. The stun gun he owned was designed - for the means of easy concealment - to look like a cellphone. After his ordeal, he looked from the stun gun to the phone case and an idea was born. Froom took his creation to crowd funding site Indiegogo and has now raised more than $85K of US$100,000 goal and plans to go into production.
The Yellow Jacket features its own built-in battery which provides the juice necessary to fend off any would-be attacker. The battery also acts as a backup for the iPhone, granting up to 20-hours of additional standby time. Safety was a major concern for founders Seth Froom and Sean Simone. With this in mind, they implemented two layers of protection to prevent users from accidentally shocking themselves while trying to make a phone call; a safety switch that must be engaged before the device is capable of stunning and an electrode cap designed to prevent accidental physical contact.
The creators also had to think about how quickly someone under attack would be able to pull the device out and use it on an assailant. It only takes a couple of seconds to flip back the electrode cap and hit the safety switch. When compared to the time it would take for someone to reach into their bag and pull out pepper spray or a standalone stun gun, this could be the difference between life and death.
As would be expected this device will make your phone a little bulkier. It requires its own battery to deliver the 650 kV of stunning power and this battery adds some weight and size to your device. According to the Indiegogo page, the device is comparable in size to an Otter Box Defender. The case is 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, adds 3/8 of an inch (0.9 cm) in height and virtually nothing in width. The case weighs in at about 4 ounces (113 g), which almost doubles the weight of the iPhone. But there's bound to be a tradeoff for adding a stun gun to the equation ... and it's still a lightweight when compared to Marudai's bullet-stopping monster.
The first run of Yellow Jacket cases are designed for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, but Froom and Simone are looking at making Yellow Jackets for the upcoming iPhone 5, the HTC Evo and the Samsung Galaxy. One thing to note before contributing to the campaign is that the device may not be legal where you live, and you'll need to check your local regulations before purchasing a stun gun, whether it's attached to an iPhone or not.
The final version of the Yellow Jacket case is expected retail for US$125 and be available in a choice of black, white or pink.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

If you’ve ever yearned to take part in a space program but haven’t been given the chance, then perhaps you should take a look at the Remote Rover Experiment (RRE) Kickstarter campaign. Created by a team named Part-Time Scientists (PTS), the project aims to involve the general public in testing technology which will eventually be sent to the moon. Available pledge points include the option to remote-pilot an Asimov R3A moon rover in an Earth-based location modeled after the Apollo 17 landing site, and the purchase of an Asimov R0 moon rover self-assembly kit. 
The 100-strong collection of hobbyists, hackers, scientists and engineers who make up the PTS team believe that space exploration should be accessible to everyone and the RRE Kickstarter project complements the team's wider goal of taking part in the US$30 million Google Lunar X-Prize competition to land a rover on the moon.
The RRE Kickstarter project brings to mind the ReMY project we previously coveredbut appears to be far more ambitious in scope. Pledges of $12 or more will secure a RRE Voucher which can be redeemed in order to allow the buyer to remote-pilot an Asimov R3A rover prototype over the internet, within a 200 square meter (2,152 sq ft) artificial lunar surface, conducting tests which will actually go toward preparing the Asimov rover for an eventual mission to the moon.
The pilot can choose between two scenarios - a realistic but challenging “Commander” mode, or an easier and more fun “Explorer” mode. Upon completion, there will be a test-pilot certificate and the option to download a recording of the test.
Those who pledge $500 or more will receive the same RRE Voucher, in addition to an Asimov R0 rover self-assembly kit, shown assembled above. The Asimov R0 is said to be controllable from PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone via a self-developed Bluetooth protocol.
"It has a four wheeled configuration with 360 degrees of freedom to rove where it wants to," said PTS team member Robert Boehme about the Asimov R0. "It's got a vector based control which means it can go sidewards as well as any direction desired - there is no 'back and forth', as there no front or back. This is quite extraordinary, as all rovers we've sent to space so far had six or eight wheels."
In order for the RRE Kickstarter campaign to be successful, it must raise a minimum of $100,000 by August 23 and the funds gained will go toward the construction of the aforementioned artificial lunar surface and accompanying equipment, as well as several surplus Asimov R3A rover prototypes which act as standby units.
One of the neat things about the iPad is that not only can it shoot high-definition video, but it can also be used to edit and then upload that footage. The tablet computer doesn’t exactly lend itself to use as a video camera, though, which is why Makayama has come out with the Movie Mount.
The device is basically a fancy cover, that an iPad clips into. It features two hotshoes, which can accommodate a user-supplied boom microphone, camera light, optical viewfinder, or whatever else they want to stick on there. A screw mount on the bottom allows it to be attached to a tripod.
It also features a 37 mm lens fitting, allowing users to add their own wide-angle or telephoto lens. Should the user want to alternate between the add-on lens and the iPad’s stock lens, the fitting easily slides out of the way.
When not being used for shooting, the Movie Mount allows the iPad to stand on its own for use as a monitor, or to sit up at a 9-degree working angle while being used for editing.
The company also offers a free app, that gives iPad users manual control of their tablet’s video recording functions.
Movie Mount is available in versions for iPads 2 and 3, and is priced at US$69.95.


Scientists have long suspected that metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, could be linked to our circadian rhythm or biological clock. For example, laboratory mice with altered biological clocks often become obese and develop diabetes. Now biologists at UC San Diego have discovered that a chemical, which affects the activity of a key protein that regulates our biological clock, can repress the production of glucose by the liver, offering a promising new direction for the development of a new class of drugs to treat diabetes.

A team headed by Steve Kay, dean of the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego, had previously found that altering the levels of a key protein, called cryptochrome – which regulates the biological clocks of plants, insects and mammals and also regulates glucose production in the liver – could improve the health of diabetic mice. Building on that research, the team has now discovered that a small molecule, which they say can be easily developed into a drug, controls the timekeeping mechanisms of cryptochrome to repress the production of glucose in the liver.
This offers a different approach for treating diabetes as the disease is caused by an accumulation of glucose in the blood – either as a result of the destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas in the case of type 1 diabetes, or due to a gradual resistance to insulin because of obesity of other problems for type 2 diabetes (which accounts for around 90 percent of cases).
“At the end of the night, our hormones signal that we’re in a fasting state,” said Kay. “And during the day, when we’re active, our biological clock shuts down those fasting signals that tell our liver to make more glucose because that’s when we’re eating.”
Kay’s lab found that the molecule, dubbed KL001, slowed down the biological clock by preventing the cryptochrome protein from being sent to the proteasomes, whose function is to degrade unneeded (or damaged) proteins.

To understand how KL001 worked to control the biological clock, Kay’s team collaborated with a team at UC Santa Barbara led by Frank Doyle to construct a mathematical model of cryptochrome’s role in the biological clock. Based on that model, the scientists predicted that adding KL001 to mouse liver cells should stabilize cryptochrome and that the increased level of the protein would inhibit the production of enzymes in the liver that stimulate the generation of glucose (gluconeogenesis) during fasting. Experiments later confirmed this prediction.
The next step for the team is to understand how KL001 and similar molecules that affect cryptochrome function in living systems, such as laboratory mice. They also plan to examine how these compounds affect other processes besides the liver that may tie the biological clock to metabolic diseases.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Named after an ancient symbol representing constant re-creation, the Ouroboros gaming mouse from Razer is all about customization and choice. The device features a fully adjustable body and symmetrical, ambidextrous design, with adjustable arched palm rest and back, and two interchangeable side panels. This means that the length, tilt angle and side configuration are all adjustable, giving the user significant room for personal customization.
The 8200 DPI 4G Dual Sensor System features both a laser and an optical sensor for improved tracking, while the 1 ms gaming-grade wireless technology is designed to make the Ouroboros equally as responsive cordless, as it is plugged in. Power is handled by a single rechargeable AA battery that Razer claims will hold out for a full 12 hours of gaming.
You also get 11 programmable Hyperesponse buttons including a dedicated DPI clutch trigger. The product is supplied with Synapse 2.0 software, allowing users to create and save custom profiles and sync them from anywhere in the world.
At US$129.99, the Ouroboros isn't the only customizable, high-end gaming mouse on the market, with Mad Catz Interactive's popular Cyborg line offering much of the same functionality through a range of price points.
The R.A.T. 9 retails for $149.99, offering 1 ms wireless response time and adjustable, interchangeable pinkie grips and palm rests. However, the R.A.T. 9 features a lower sensitivity level of 6400 DPI and just six programmable buttons. The Mad Catz product is also less adjustable, with no option to alter the tilt angle of the back arch or to change the side panels to allow for left handed use. On paper at least, this makes the Ouroboros the more versatile option.
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A terrible scourge in the developing world, anemia claims hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Medical tests to detect the condition and prevent tragedy are often unavailable, but students at John Hopkins University have invented a sensor that turns a cell phone into an inexpensive blood analysis tool. At an awards ceremony in Seattle on July 14, the bioengineernig undergraduates revealed their device, the HemoGlobe, which will soon be undergoing testing in Africa.
Anemia is a condition where the red corpuscles in the blood are either unhealthy or there are too few of them. Because of this, the body cannot transport enough oxygen to the tissues, causing illness and even death. There are any number of causes of anemia - blood loss, congenital illness, parasites, radiation, cancer, vitamin deficiencies or a simple lack of iron in the diet can all contribute. It’s particularly hard on women in the developing world, where over 100,000 women die annually of maternal anemia and 600,000 newborn infants succumb as well. Conventional tests, such as blood cell counts, smear tests, serum iron tests and others can detect the condition before it becomes serious and guide treatment, but many poorer countries lack the facilities and trained personnel to carry them out.
HemoGlobe is an inexpensive solution to the problem that exploits that strange paradox of the developing world, the cell phone. Many areas that lack clean water or even an electric power grid are more likely to have cell phones these days. So, the John Hopkins team took the logical route of using the resources at hand.
Similar in principle to other phone-based medical devices we've looked at, the HemoGlobe consists of an inexpensive sensor hooked to a cell phone. The sensor, which is similar to the ones commonly used to measure blood oxygen levels, attaches to the patient’s fingertip. A light shines through the finger and the sensor measures the color of the blood through the skin along various wavelengths. The different colors correspond to different levels of hemoglobin in the blood.
Hemoglobin is the iron-containing protein that the body uses to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the organs. It also gives blood its trademark hue. Since hemoglobin is carried by red blood corpuscles, the amount of hemoglobin translates into the number or corpuscles.
The attached phone then acts as a display for the sensor - showing a color-coded readout that indicates whether the patient is anemic and if so, how severe the condition. The clever bit is that HemoGlobe doesn’t just take readings. It automatically sends the results as a text message to a server where it generates a real-time epidemiological map of anemia cases in the area, which is a great help to health officials. The inventors estimate that the HemoGlobe conversions could be carried out for less than US$20 per phone.
The HemoGlobe was developed as part of a competition for a $250,000 seed grant in the Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development competition funded in part by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The John Hopkins team was one of twelve winners out of 500 competing teams from 60 countries. The prize money will be used to perfect the device and fund field testing next year in Kenya.
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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

An updated version of the OWLE Bubo, the Phocus is a versatile photography accessory for the iPhone 4/4S. Essentially, it's a heavy-duty case designed to optimize the iPhone's photographic capabilities. It provides users with up to three lens choices, as well as the option to purchase an adapter that allows for the use of standard DSLR lenses.
The camera enhancing accessory is available to purchase in kits with two or three lenses. The cheaper kit consists of a wide angle lens and a removable macro lens, while the three-lens option provides an additional 2x portrait telephoto lens. Both of the provided lenses are compatible with standard 49 mm filters and the case has three separate screw mounts for tripod attachment (center, right and top), making it easy to get steady photos and video. There is also a cold shoe on the top of the device, allowing for the attachment of lights or microphones.
The Phocus marks a significant improvement in design over its OWLE Bubo predecessor. Whereas the older product was made from aluminum and weighed just over a pound, the Phocus is constructed from a much lighter composite material, making it more comfortable to hold for long periods of time. There's also been a significant design overhaul, with the new product exhibiting a design much more akin to a standard point and shoot camera. It offers a sizeable grip on the right hand side, allowing the user to hold the device in one hand, completely freeing the second to deal with the touch controls.
The accessory also provides for the use of standard DSLR lenses, though this does require the purchase of an expensive adapter. The two- and three-lens variations of the product retail at US$99.95 and $134.95 respectively, while the DSLR lens adapter will set you back $219.95.
When it comes to using SLR lenses with the iPhone, the Phocus isn't the only option. The iPhone SLR Mount from Photojojo is essentially a phone case that acts as an adapter for Nikon F-mount or Canon EF-mount lenses. However, it doesn't offer the simple photographic enhancement of the Phocus's stock lenses or its stability.
There are several other disadvantages to the SLR-lens-only accessory: images appear upside down on the device's screen due to the absence of a mirror, and the lack of a supersonic dust reduction system means that it's up to you to keep the focusing screen clean. These issues will also be present when using the Phocus with SLR lenses, but you won't have the flipped image issue with the stock lenses as they don't require a mirror.
Photojojo's offering comes in at $249, just $70.90 less than the Phocus complete with DSLR adapter. There's also a number of other products that enhance the iPhone's shooting capabilities at a more wallet-friendly price, such as the Eye Scopewhich gives the device an 8x optical zoom.
Additionally, there's the imminent arrival of the iPhone 5 to consider. Rumorsstrongly suggest that the latest version of Apple's leading smartphone will have a larger form factor than the current model, creating potential compatibility issues with the Phocus.
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Monday, 16 July 2012

Well, it only makes sense ... they’ve come up with an electronic replacement for the door lock key, so why not the combination padlock, too? That’s what Master Lock has done, with its new dialSpeed lock. Although the retro grouch in some of us may find it a bit overdone, it does offer a couple of useful features.
While traditional combination padlocks involve memorizing combinations of exact numbers, the codes used by the dialSpeed are made up of combinations of just four “characters” – an up, down, left and right arrow. These arrows are displayed on the backlit keypad, and are each matched up with a group of letters and numbers. This allows users to memorize codes based on corresponding acronyms (like with the letters on phone keypads), as opposed to having to remember something like “up/up/down/right/up/left.”
Each lock comes with its own factory-set code, although this can be reset by the user. Up to three “guest codes” can also be programmed in, so the same lock can be used by different people for different things. Should users forget their code, they can reclaim the original factory code from the company website.
The lock is limited to dry, indoor use, and its CR2032 battery will need to be replaced after about five years. Fortunately, it does have a low battery indicator – it wouldn’t be pleasant if you were trying to retrieve your clothes from a swimming pool locker, only to discover that the lock’s battery had died.
Of course, many thieves choose bolt cutters over lock-picking skills, so it's good to know that the dialSpeed's shackle is made from cut-resistant hardened boron carbide.
The lock is currently available for US$24.99
If you’ve ever found yourself bemoaning the relative dearth of viable personal UAV (or "drone") options but still find the idea of an eye in the sky alluring, then you may well be in luck, because UK-based gadget purveyor RED5 has unveiled the Spy Hawk: a remote-controlled plane which runs from a rechargeable battery and features a video camera to facilitate easy snooping from up above.
The Spy Hawk has a wingspan of 84 cm (33 inches), weighs 180 grams (6.3 oz) and is referred to as a "mini-glider" by RED5. For capturing video footage, there’s a 5 megapixel video camera on-board which beams a first person view, live video feed to a 3.5" LCD screen housed in the remote control transmitter unit. The rubberized remote control also has 4 GB SD card built-in, committing everything the diminutive spy plane sees to memory.
The Spy Hawk even boasts an autopilot which the company state is capable of keeping the plane level with minimal effort, its built-in gyroscope causing automatic flap controls to compensate for errant gusts of wind, and thus allow a budding James Bond to concentrate on the actual spying.
However, though the 600 meter (roughly 2000 ft) range of the plane itself and 400 meter (1,300 ft) video feed range should be sufficient to make your neighbors consider a restraining order, Spy Hawk's espionage capabilities are limited somewhat by a reported 15-20 minutes average fly time from a full charge - a charge which takes around 40 minutes to complete. That said, such a flight time does compare favorably to similar gadgets, like the Swann Sky Eye RC Helicopter, which can only manage around eight minutes of fun before depleting its battery, and the A.R. Drone's 12 minutes of airborne surveillance.
The Spy Hawk is up for pre-order from RED5 now at a price of £250 (around US$388) with an estimated shipping date of early August. Though only UK and EU shipping is cited on the website, quotations for other locations are said to be available on request.

Saturday, 14 July 2012


The Yamaha Arp & Drum Pad app for iPad is a music creation app that's not only capable of transmitting notes to external MIDI instruments, but includes a built-in virtual keyboard, allowing the user to trigger the arpeggiator and play numerous patterns from a variety of instruments.

The arpeggiator takes center stage, giving users a choice of 342 arps from a number of instrument categories. These can be modified in real time for swing, beat stretch, variation and octave range. There are also 16 fully assignable drum pads with 64 user templates, tap tempo and a ribbon controller that lets you control velocity and pitch.

The app lends itself most naturally to electronic music styles, and although there is a significant learning curve for newcomers, having spent some time with the app, it presents a responsive and intuitive experience. After a couple of hours of use, creating a beat and layering a synth line on top is simple and rewarding.

These features add up to an impressive release for Yamaha, but it's the price point that really stands out. The app is currently retailing for the introductory price of just US$3.99, increasing to $7.99 at the start of August 2012. That's significantly cheaper than similar iOS music creation tools. The Korg iMS-20, which features an analog sequencer and drum machine based on classic and historical instruments, retails for $32.99, making Yamaha's offering a wallet-friendly entry into the world of iOS music creation.
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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Our computers are already pretty good at alerting us to things that happen on the internet or on their own hard drives, mainly through the use of pop-ups. We all know what can often happen, however ... we get rid of those pesky notifications in order to finish up what we’re currently doing, and then forget about them until we’re logging off. A physical flashing light attached to the computer, however, would be harder to forget yet also less obtrusive than a pop-up. That’s the idea behind the blink(1) USB indicator light.
The blink(1) is the size and shape of a regular USB Flash drive, and contains a full-color RGB LED bulb within its polypropylene body. Via an on-screen interface, users can control the color, brightness, and blink pattern of that bulb. They can also stipulate what events will cause it to illuminate. These could be pretty much anything, although some suggestions include incoming emails, tweets in which the user’s name is mentioned, friends’ Facebook updates, notifications of completed downloads, or “to do” alarms.
It could also be made to change color in accordance to the local temperature, to serve as a warning when the computer is becoming overloaded, or to indicate network speeds. If it were hooked up to a USB extension cable, it could be mounted at the door of the user’s office to serve as a “Do Not Disturb” light.
In any case, different combinations of colors, brightness and/or patterns can be assigned to different notifications. Multiple blink(1)s can be plugged into one computer (one for each available USB port), allowing for several notifications to be taking place at once.
According to the folks at Los Angeles-based ThingM, who make the blink(1), users require no programming knowledge and do not need to download any extra drivers. The device is open-source, however, so techy types are encouraged to hack to their heart’s content. It is compatible with Windows, OSX and Linux operating systems, or just about anything with a USB port.
ThingM is currently raising money on Kickstarter, in order to fund commercial production of the device. A pledge of US$25 will get you one, when and if they’re ready to ship. The estimated retail price is somewhere over $30

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Karbonn has come into the league of elite companies in India. It has launched a series of Android smartphones in India. But this time it has launched a 7 inch tablet – Smart Tab 1 in India 
Smart Tab 1 runs on the latest Android 4.0 ICS. The cost of the mobile is Rs 6,990 (INR) in India. The tablet is powered by 1.2 GHz X-Burst single core processor. It has a 2 megapixel camera located on the front side. The device is also equipped with a HDMI port.
According to the company, the Smart Tab 1 has a powerful battery capable of running the tab for 8 hours with video playback. The battery is a 3,700 mAh battery. As far as storage space of the mobile is concerned, the company has not revealed the amount of storage. But according to many people the storage of the device would not be more than 4 GB. The tablet also supports external microSD card through which storage could be increased by 32 GB.
The company claims that the tablet can handle video of 1080p. The tablet is also fitted with a 3D gravity sensor. The competitors of Karbonn Smart Tab 1 are Micromax Funbook and Zync Z990. Both these tablets are priced in a similar price range as the Karbonn Smart Tab 1. It would be interesting to see how Karbonn tackles the competition.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Spectators turned out in their hundreds to witness the light show that marked the climax of the inauguration of Europe's tallest building, the 309.6-m (1016-ft) Shard in London. A dozen emerald-green laser beams emanated from the Shard to pick out iconic landmarks including the London Eye, St. Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge. The tower's 95 floors were lit up with color-changing lighting, and 30 search lights flared outwards and upwards from surrounding buildings.
"All Hail Sauron" said a placard held aloft by one of the many to take to London Bridge, in reference to the Dark Lord antagonist of The Lord of the Rings who resides in a towering fortress. As the Shard faded to red, the placard seemed particularly fitting, even without a gigantic flaming eye.
Not all onlookers were impressed, though, and many took to Facebook and Twitter to express their disappointment. From close to the Shard, Gizmag can attest to the difficulty picking out the lasers and searchlights, though bright green blobs could be seen on on distant buildings, particular the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral.
A better bet appears to have been to observe from a distance, if the images uploaded to photo-sharing website Flickr are anything to judge by, though distant observers were among those expressing dissatisfaction.
There has been some consternation, too, as to the pricing of tickets to the Shard's viewing platform, 245 m (804 ft) up on the Shard's 72nd floor. The £25 (US$38.67) tickets went on sale today, though the observation platform won't open to the public until February 2013. That a child ticket costs almost as much (£18.95 or $29.31) is proving a particularly sore point, and means the Shard's viewing platform is an expensive tourist attraction in comparison to London alternatives.
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The inclusion of a floating lamp, bed or just about any appropriately-sizedhousehold object in a room is almost certain to be received with open-mouthed wonder and demand closer inspection from the curious minds of young and old alike. Add the wireless transfer of power into the mix and you're guaranteed to have a winner. Such is the case with 18 year-old Chris Rieger's LevLight. It's not exactly huge, doesn't break any new ground in a technical sense and is more functional than flashy. Nevertheless, the floating LED is quite the visual feast.
The Electrical Engineering student from the University of Queensland Australia embarked on the six month build project after being inspired by a Jeff Lieberman sculpture called light bulb from 2007. This work not only magically suspends an incandescent light bulb in the space between solid upper and lower blocks, but also provides it with wire-free power.
Rieger describes the creation of the levitation mechanism for LevLight as the simple part of the project. He modified a Hall Effect Levitator circuit designed by Eirik Taylorto include 300 meters (984 feet) of 20awg wire for the electromagnetic drive coil and a 3-pin, 1.325mV/g linear hall effect sensor from RS components to provide feedback on the position of the wirelessly suspended light. LevLight uses a low power LED positioned on the bottom of a permanent magnet surrounded by a wireless power transfer circuit (a simple LC circuit).
Not so easy for our intrepid circuit magician was the wireless power transfer mechanism. Of course, we've covered many examples of this kind of technologyhere at Gizmag over the years and were I asked to choose one, it wouldn't be one of the many mobile device or electric vehicle charging developments but rather the potentially life-enhancing FREE-D system developed by researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Rieger's version takes the shape of another circuit modification (this time from the4HV electronics and science enthusiast site). The setup consists of a single wire ring connected to the power source (a hacked benchtop unit made from an old 350W power supply unit and banana plug ports) and pulling 0.5A at 12V. Send and receive coils were then tuned to matched frequencies.
The drive coil and wireless mechanism are hidden from view inside a wooden enclosure raised on two cardboard box columns and, with the power switched on, the LED light floats in the space underneath. Rieger says that when the power to the levitating system is turned off (or in the event of a power failure) the LED light unit jumps up to attach itself to the base of the wooden box rather than falling to the ground.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Dell has launched a new ultrabook into the market called Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook. It is a 14 inch ultrabook that is powered by i5/i7 3rd generation processor. There is also an option for NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M. 
The ultrabook has a strong Aluminium casing for protection of the device against wear and tear. It also hasstrong back lit keyboard that provides lighting to the keyboard in the dark for proper typing. 
Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook – Specifications
  1. Starting Weight : 2.13 kg
  2. Dimensions(HxWxD): 20.7×335.8×233 mm
  3. Operating System : Windows 7 Home Premium / Windows 7 Professional
  4. Processor
  5. 3rd generation Intel Core i5-3317U processor (3M cache, up to 2.6 GHz – TPM)
  6. 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3517U processor (4M cache, up to 3.0 GHz – TPM)
  7. Memory : up to 8GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory
  8. Display : 14-inch HD+ (900p) True Life Infinity Display
  9. Hard Disk : Up to 512GB SSD , Up to 500GB SATA hard drive (5400RPM)
  10. Power : 8-Cell Li-Polymer (built-in)
  11. Chipset : Intel HM77
  12. Webcam : 1.3MP webcam with dual array digital microphones
  13. Audio : High Definition Audio + Waves MaxxAudio 4
  14. Video Card : Intel HD Graphics 4000 , Optional NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM
  15. Wireless LAN : Wi-Fi 802.11 a/g/n , Intel Wireless Display
  16. Speakers : 2W x2
  17. Ports : 2xUSB 3.0 (1 with PowerShare),mini DisplayPort,HDMI,3-in-1 card reader
  18. AC Adapter : 65W AC adaptor on Intel graphics; 90W AC adaptor on NVIDIA graphics
  19. Bluetooth v4.0
Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook - Features
  1. 3rd Gen Intel Core processors
  2. Ultra thin – only 20.7mm thin
  3. 14-inch HD+ display
  4. Integrated battery (not replaceable)
  5. Premium built – Machined aluminium casing, bonded Corning Gorilla Glass and silicone base , Magnesium palmrest with soft touch paint
  6. Backlit chiclet keyboard , spill-resistant
  7. Optional NVIDIA graphics
  8. Long battery backup – up to 10 hours
  9. Quick boot and wake-up – Optional SSD and Intel Rapid Start Technology
  10. Glass integrated button touchpad with gesture support
Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook – Price
  1. There are three variants for the Dell XPS 14 Ultrabook that starts from a price range of Rs 79,038 and goes upto the price of Rs 1,18562. These variants are given below:
  2. 4GB RAM , 500GB Hard Drive , Intel HD Graphics 4000 – Rs 79,038
  3. 4GB RAM , 500GB Hard Drive ,NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M graphics with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM – Rs 85,229
  4. 8GB RAM,512GB Solid State Drive (SSD) , NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M graphics with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM – Rs 1,18,562
Samsung has announced a new phone into the market. Its called Samsung Galaxy Chat B5330. This phone from Samsung is a Touch and Type Android phone. The phone has a QWERTY keypad meant for easy typing. 
The new Samsung Galaxy Chat B5330 has a 3 inch capacitive touch screen. One great thing about the phone is that it comes with the latest version of Android that is Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich. The phone also comes with many preloaded apps including ChatON which is a communication service started by Samsung. It even has adedicated key to launch the application. ChatOn can be used for messaging and chatting.
Samsung Galaxy Chat B5330 – Specifications
Weight : 112 gm
Dimensions : 118.9×59.3×11.7 mm
Camera : 2MP (without flash)
Display : 3-inch capacitive touchscreen , 480×320 resolution
Wireless LAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
battery : 1200 mAh Li-Ion
Internal Store: 4GB
Expandable Storage: up to 32GB microSD
Bluetooth v3.0
USB v2.0
Samsung Galaxy Chat B5330 – Features
Android OS 4.0
High speed connectivity option
Touch and Type QWERTY smartphone
Quick Office , Samsung Game Hub (popular social games) , Samsung AllShare Play (play multimedia from or to other connected devices) , S Planner app
Dedicated key for Samsung ChatON
Samsung Nature UX layer (same as in Samsung Galaxy 3)
Samsung Galaxy Chat B5330 – Price
The official price of Samsung Galaxy Chat B5330 is not yet announced but it is expected the phone to be priced around Rs 8000. This phone is expected to reach the market by July end or August 2012.
Two Windows based phones is all set to be released by Nokia. Nokia these days is fully concentrated on Lumia range of handsets. It has already done advertising and brand promotion for the Lumia range on smartphones on every possible media available. 
The launch of Nokia Lumia 610 and Nokia Lumia 900 is one of the dream launches as promised by Nokia. It would either make or break the Windows based phones from Nokia. There was already a Dream Launch Promised For Nokia Lumia 900 in the US few days back.
According to the reports Nokia Lumia 610 would not fully support Skype. There was also some light thrown on the pricing of Nokia Lumia 900 as well as Nokia Lumia 610 earlier.
Whatever be the case, Nokia Lumia 900 was one of the most awaited smartphones from Nokia in the whole of 2012. We are eagerly waiting for the official launch of the device as soon as possible. Along with the official launch, Nokia would be launching the “Dark Knight Rises” edition Nokia 900 which is based on the next Batman movie which is planned to be released during this month.
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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Israeli photovoltaics developer bSolar has developed a double-sided solar cell it claims can boost the energy yields of solar panels by up to 50 percent when installed vertically, or by between 10 and 30 percent in more typical installations. The "bifacial" cells rely on a back surface field (BSF) of boron rather than aluminum, which bSolar claims not only allows for an open rear face but also increases the efficiency at the front of the solar panel.
Back surface fields are effectively a barrier which reduces the electron-electron hole recombination at the surface, enhancing a solar cells overall efficiency. Unlike traditional aluminum BSFs, bSolar's is translucent, allowing more light into the cell.
It makes intuitive sense that a two-faced solar panel (if you'll pardon the expression) installed in an upright position could conceivably boost efficiency by 50 percent, provided both sides a receive the same amount of light.
More interesting is that bSolar claims up to 30 percent higher energy yields in more typical installations, by which it means ground or roof-mounted panels angled roughly perpendicular to the sun. In this scenario, the rear surface of the panel is essentially harvesting bonus light reflected from the ground or roof.
The bonus yield will inevitably be effected by the reflectivity of the surface (so, yet another reason for white rooftops) and the density of surrounding obstructions including other solar panels.
bSolar has struck deals with panel manufacturers including solar AG, asola Solarpower GmbH, Solar-Fabrik AG, SI-Modules GmbH and Solarnova Produktions-und Vertriebs GmbH. It recently announced that panels equipped with its bifacial cells would be used in a 730 kW installation by TSBM in Nasukarasuyama, Japan.
Bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can not only cause potentially lethal infections, but they are also unaffected by commonly-available antibiotics. Even when it comes to bacteria that can be more easily controlled, we are still constantly being warned about the danger of them becoming antibiotic-resistant. Now, however, researchers have discovered a new antiobiotic-free method of killing bacteria including MRSA ... and it’s based on semiconductor technology.
Chemists at IBM Research in Almaden, California had previously been looking for a way of performing microscopic etching on silicon wafers at a far smaller scale than was currently possible. In the course of their research, they identified materials that would produce an electrostatic charge when chained together to form a polymer.
While this polymer worked for its intended purpose, the chemists were curious as to whether it could have other applications. This resulted in the creation of what they've dubbed “ninja polymers.” When their components are introduced to the bloodstream (or water), they self-assemble into biocompatible nanostructures – the ninjas – that are electrostatically drawn to infected cells while not affecting healthy ones. Upon reaching the infected cells, they destroy the bacteria, and then subsequently biodegrade. This reportedly results in no side effects or accumulation in the body.
“The mechanism through which [these polymers] fight bacteria is very different from the way an antibiotic works,” said polymer chemist Jim Hedrick. “They try to mimic what the immune system does: the polymer attaches to the bacteria's membrane and then facilitates destabilization of the membrane. It falls apart, everything falls out and there's little opportunity for it to develop resistance to these polymers.”
Not only should the ninja polymers be less likely to lead to treatment-resistant bacteria, but because they’re biodegradable, they also shouldn’t build up in the environment after passing through patients’ systems. Besides their applications in medicine, IBM also hopes to see them find use in bacteria-killing products such as cleansers, while also replacing environmentally-harmful antimicrobial agents in things like toothpaste, mouthwash and food packaging.
The company is currently looking into partnerships with other groups, to commercialize the technology.
 Going wireless usually involves some level of compromise and with Bluetooth earphones like anything else, it's a question of whether the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Does the convenience of cutting the cord trump the potential downside of a Bluetooth audio experience? We've been spending time with Plantronics BackBeat GO wireless earbuds in an effort to find out.
Single-ear Bluetooth headsets designed for taking calls have long been a staple product, but the technology has been slow to make the leap into the mainstream when it comes to soaking up your music collection. The technology is improving though, and with many of us now carrying about our music catalog on our smartphones, the situation seems ripe for change.

While this isn't the first tilt at wireless earphones from Plantronics, its latest offering - the BackBeat GO earbuds - seem much more likely to appeal to a wider audience than the earlier, and somewhat clunky looking BackBeat 903+ model. The result is a very lightweight design (13 g) that's easy to set up and use, delivers a long enough battery life (specced at 4.5 hours listening, 10 hours standby) to make them practical, and backs it up with a solid sound performance through 6mm neodymium speakers featuring Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and noise reduction.
The GO's are slickly designed without being over the top - you get the impression that these things are built to do a job, not act as a fashion accessory. They do protrude a little further than your run-of-the-mill wired earbud, but they're still unobtrusive and quite comfortable to wear.
To keep the earbuds fixed a little more securely in your ear, patented in-ear stabilizers that sit against the back of your ear to hold the buds in place are included in the bundle. This is the first time Plantronics has used this particular stabilizer design and while they can be removed if they don't work for you, I found myself leaving them on - you hardly notice them once you've pressed them into place, and while they don't necessarily lock things in tight, they are definitely effective at making sure the buds don't escape all the way out of your ear when you are moving about.
There's also a choice of three ear-tip sizes to help you get that all-important seal. These are a little light on cushioning (for my ears anyway) and I'd be opting to switch in something with a little more padding for extended use.
Speaking of extended use, the 4.5 hour battery life proved accurate in testing with the iPhone 4S at around 80 percent volume. Unlike Plantronics' recent single-ear Bluetooth headsets, there's no voice telling you how much talk time is left each time you switch them on, but a battery meter bar automatically appears on the home screen of the iPhone and iPad (you need to download this for Android 3.0 tablets, and Android 4.0 phones and tablets). Charging takes around two hours from empty using a mini USB port concealed at the back of one of the buds and in terms of range, we found that the Bluetooth range could be pushed out to around 40 feet (12 m) before losing the signal.
The in-line microphone and controls are a stock standard layout found in many headphones - volume up and down, with a button in the middle to play and pause audio as well as take and reject calls. Pausing the audio also pauses the track on your iPhone, so you can pick up where you left off without going near your smartphone. Another button on the side is for switching the earbuds on and off, with an ascending or descending tone letting you know which is which.
The buds are joined by a flat cord designed to avoid tangling. Like all "tangle-free" designs, it won't stop a small child with a sailor's talent for knots from turning them into a pretzel, but in the ordinary scheme of shoving the earbuds in a pocket or bag, the design works well. The length is also about right - it's long enough for the earbuds to hang around your neck when not in use, and to allow you to get the microphone somewhere near your mouth when making calls. We were pleasantly surprised by how effective the microphone was when making calls, a fact that points to Plantronics' expertise in voice technology. 
So how do they sound? Our verdict is that they perform more than adequately, at least for the non-purist. Sure they're not on par with a high-end set of wired earbuds, the volume might not impress those who like to crank things right up there, and the bass end lacks punch. Plantronics says the volume level is about ensuring that you get distortion-free sound (as well as not suffering hearing loss), but they are certainly loud enough to satisfy my everyday listening needs and the output is well balanced throughout the frequency range.
Then there's the US$100 price. You can go out and spend a lot more on high-end earphones and you'll certainly end up with better sound quality, or you can buy a cheaper wired set that will equal the Backbeat GO's audio performance. But that's not the point - it's about the sheer convenience of being able to leave your phone in your pocket or bag while enjoying stereo sound. You also have to consider the extra strain Bluetooth puts on your smartphone battery (not that there's much Plantronics can do about this), but for those of us who use our smartphones heavily for audio consumption (not just music but podcasts, audio books etc.) there's definitely value in this proposition. They're wireless, they're wearable and they work.
BackBeat GO specifications:
Talk/Listening time: Up to 4.5 hours
Standby time: Up to 10 days
Operating distance (range): Up to 10 meters from device
Headphones weight: 13 grams
Speakers: 6mm neodymium
Noise reduction: Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and full duplex echo cancellation
Charge connector: AC charger
Battery type: Rechargeable, non-replaceable lithium-ion polymer
Charge time (maximum): 2.5 hours
Power requirements: 5V DC – 180 mA
Bluetooth version: v2.1 + EDR
Bluetooth profiles: A2DP 1.2, AVRCP, HFP v1.5, HSP v1.1
Operating, storage and charging temperature: 0°C - 40°C (32°F - 104°F)
Service and Support: 2-year limited warranty
 McLaren has delivered a convertible sibling for its MP4-12C supercar. Aside from a unique retractable hard top (RHT) folding roof that can be operated at speeds of up to 30 km/h (19 mph), the new 12C Spider is pretty much identical to the 12C, with the same carbon “MonoCell” chassis and upgraded 616 bhp (625 PS) engine announced for the MP4-12C last month.
The addition of the convertible roof system adds an extra 40 kg (88 lb) to the weight of the 12C, but the performance of the 12C Spider is close to that of the 12C. Both models boast a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 3.1 seconds, but the 12C Spider goes from 0-100 mph (161 km/h) in 6.1 seconds, which is 0.1 seconds slower than the 12C, while its 0-124 mph (200 km/h) time of 9 seconds is 0.2 seconds slower than the 12C’s 8.8 second time.
The 12C Spider will do a quarter mile (440 m) in 10.8 seconds, just 0.2 seconds off the pace of the hard top. Both models share the same fuel efficiency figure of 24.2 EU mpg (11.7 liters/100 km) and the same CO2 emissions of 279 g/km.
The 12C Spider’s RHT is operated via a switch in the lower section of the center console and takes under 17 seconds to raise or lower, with the roof acting as a wind deflector when lowered. But you'll have to decide on whether extra luggage space or preserving your hairdo is more important as raising the roof provides an extra 52 liters (13.7 US gal) of storage space under the tonneau. McLaren supplies bespoke luggage specifically designed to fit this space as standard. The rear windscreen behind the driver and passenger can also be electronically raised or lowered.
With the 12C originally designed as a convertible, the 12C Spider’s “MonoCell” chassis doesn’t require any additional strengthening and the car includes a passive Roll Over Protection System that sees each buttress containing a steel structure to absorb impact energy and protect the driver and passenger in the event of an accident.
Launching in Volcanic Red, McLaren will offer the same the 12C in the same 17 exterior paint finishes currently available for the 12C. A new Volcanic Yellow and new interior trim will also be offered for the 2013 models of both cars, as will a new Vehicle Lift option that improves the ground clearance by raising the 12C Spider up to 40 mm (1.5 in) at the front and 25 mm (0.9 in) at the rear at speeds of up to 60 km/h (37 mph).
McLaren is taking orders for the 12C Spider now with first deliveries expected in November 2012. It is priced at US$265,750.
 With sprinting events at the elite level decided by fractions of a second, athletes are always on the lookout for anything that can provide even the smallest advantage over their rivals. We recently looked at Nike’s Pro TurboSpeed suit that is claimed to cut down a runner’s wind resistance by using golf ball-like dimples, but footwear plays an equally, if not more, important role in an athlete’s performance. Now French engineer and designer Luc Fusaro has employed 3D printing technology to create lightweight sprint shoes that are customized for individual athletes that could prove the difference between winning and losing.
Fusaro developed the sprint spikes as his final master degree solo project at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London where he is currently studying. By first scanning the feet of the athlete to create a digital 3D model, Fusano designed soles of varying stiffness before producing the physical items from sintered nylon polymide powder using an additive 3D printing technique.
He then tested the various soles in the lab to tune the mechanical properties of the shoe to the physical abilities of the athlete before again using the additive manufacturing process to produce the final athlete-specific “Designed to Win” prototype shoe that added a stiff upper and weighs just 96 g (3.4 oz).
Fusaro claims his custom shoes could improve an athlete’s performance by up to 3.5 percent, which can be the difference between claiming gold or going home empty handed at the elite level. While Fusaro’s custom shoes won’t be on the feet of any athletes at the upcoming London Olympics, we wouldn’t be surprised to see 3D printed athlete-specific shoes become the standard footwear for sprinters well before the next Olympics in Rio in 2016.
 There have been rise in the mobile SIM cloning throughout the world. BSNL has warned about receiving calls from numbers starting from +92, #90 or #09. Next time if you receive a missed call from these numbers, don’t try to call back as your SIM may be cloned by SIM cloning rackets.
It is estimated that about one lakh people in India alone have fallen prey to this scam of SIM cloning. Scams such as SIM cloning is going on a fast pace in regions such as Uttar Pradesh. According to one of the telecom officers, “We are sure there must be some more similar combinations that the miscreants are using to clone the handsets, including SIM, and all the information stored in them”
Generally, to clone a SIM card, the physical SIM card is needed or access between caller and his mobile network’s operator is needed. There is little doubt however, that how calling back to a particular phone number could get your SIM cloned.
RV Verma, who is the General Manager of BSNL has said that warnings about the same are being issued to the broadband subscribers. He said that alert messages are also being sent out to the subscribers from other networks as well to protect the users.
SIM cloning can be done by a hardware tool simply by reading the SIM first and then copying all the data and information of that SIM to a new SIM. Thus, a copy of original SIM is produced. Cloning of SIM wirelessly is also theoretically possible but is extremely difficult to put into actual practice. But these days nothing is impossible and any task no matter how difficult could easily be done. Wirelessly, SIM can be cloned by breaking and getting access to telecom networks and using high end tools to copy data and information.
When you receive a call starting from +92 and you pick up the phone, the caller from the other side pretends to be a telecom operator company representative. The caller then asks the user to press #09 or #90 and call back to his number. Thus a connection is established between the racket people and the mobile user. After cloning the SIM, the whole balance or part of balance of the user gets stolen. Whenever the user tries to recharge his or her mobile again, the balance is again stolen from his or mobile.
So please do not answer or call back to any phone if you receive any calls starting from +92, #09 or #90.
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 Microsoft is on innovation spree these days. It has started pushing out new start screens for mobile as well as desktop, it has taken over Yammer enterprise social network for 1.2 billion dollars. Microsoft has shown that it will not stop its growth path.
Continuing with the growth path, Microsoft is designing keypad for mobiles that is curved in shape. The curve nature of the keypad would allow typing from single hand only instead of two. So texting would become easier while using one hand only. The keyboard curves into an arc for one thumb typing.
The image shown above is the image that has been leaked out of Microsoft of the design to be finally implemented. In the picture you can see that it is not well put-together. There are works still left by Microsoft to be done.
The jump from a straight keyboard to a curved one would be tough for people to accept initially but finally would be accepted by people with time. This is a great new design which is introduced by Microsoft. It would define the future of texting. We all hope to see curved keypad from Microsoft very soon.

Monday, 2 July 2012

 Fans of personal, futuristic eco cars have something to get eggcited about with the arrival of Eggasus, which is slated for a northern hemisphere autumn launch in the U.S. The designers are currently taking orders of the cute, no-emissions vehicle, which recently made the finalist list of the Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge.
Eggasus is designed for one passenger only, making it more suitable for urban transportation than long-distance travel. The driver is protected from the elements by an all-weather enclosure, which gives the vehicle its egg shape.
Underneath the shell is a three-wheeled electric vehicle, fitted with an electric hub motor in the front wheel, enclosed cab, tinted windows, a seat, and instrument display panel. It reaches a range of up to 50 miles (80.4 kilometers), with a top speed of 25 mph (40.23 km/h). Although it is basically a scooter with a retro-modernist swagger, the style-conscious driver won’t get soaked in rain or get the wind blowing on his or her face, but will likely attract looks from passers by.
The Eggasus team claims to have vast experience in specialty gas and electric vehicles, including designing and constructing cars for mainstream auto companies, as well as race cars.
They are pitching their Eggasus as a solution for people living in an increasingly congested and urbanized world, which suffers from air and noise pollution and a lack of parking spaces. The makers say twelve Eggasus vehicles will fit in one normal parking space. Besides urban travel, the designers claim the Eggasus would be perfect for intra-campus transportation and as a mobile advertising billboard. 
Autonomous versions of the Eggasus are also on the drawing board and the development team is seeking partners to develop a system that would see the eggs forming trains via a wireless electronic “yoke.”
The team is tapping the power of social networking to get its project on the road. They are taking orders through social venture funding site Indiegogo and aims to begin production this year. Pre-production models come with a price tag of US$5,000 a piece. However, there are a few different purchasing options, with cheaper prices for those buying in bulk looking to sign on as a dealer or those just after a kit or the Eggasus shell.
 Tata Docomo which is the company behind Tata Photon Plus, announced a steep 60 percent reduction in tariff plans for both the pre paid as well as post paid users.
Tata Docomo is one of the leading GSM service operators in the country that provides wireless internet service by the brand name of Tata Photon Plus. The rates has been reduced by the company due to high competition between the companies to capture the market.

According to the new plans, the post paid customers would also get cash-back offer from the company apart from reduced rates. For post-paid customers, under the new tariff plan, the monthly rental for unlimited 6GB of data usage is Rs 950 only and for unlimited 11GB of data usage, the rental is Rs 1,200 only. In the above stated plans, the customer would also get a cash back of Rs 100 per month for the next 12 months from the date of purchase.
For the entry level packs given by the company, the company is offering a pack for Rs 250 which allows you to use 1GB of data. This pack was earlier priced at Rs 650. Similarly, the company has reduced the rate for 2GB pack from Rs 750 to Rs 450 now.
Under the new tariff plans, Tata Docomo also introduced reload packs for the first time for post paid customers. Now, 1GB of data download pack is available for Rs 200 while 2GB of data download pack is available for Rs 350. For prepaid customers, the users can get unlimited 2GB of data usage on a straight recharge of Rs 700.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

 With two tablet/e-reader producers – Amazon and Barnes and Noble - unleashing comparable products in the market, it is becoming increasingly difficult for budget shoppers to make a choice.
Of course, it becomes easier if you have previously owned the Apple product, or the Nook Color; your loyalties would then most probably dictate your choice – but for first-time owners, the decision about which product to buy can become difficult. Let's take a head-to-head look to see if we can establish superiority.
Price
At the moment, the Amazon Kindle Fire comes in at $200. Good for comparison as Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet cost the same. For all you frugal shoppers out there, price can not be a good reason to go for either of them so let's dig a little deeper.
Specifications
The Nook Tablet is slightly superior here, but there are no startling differences in performance. Don't get fooled by the Nook's 1GB memory over the Kindle's 512 MB. RAM alone does not necessarily translate to superior performance or speed. Both products are dual-core, and speed is a function of a combination of many specs and software – not just RAM.
Ease of Reading
The Nook Tablet renders better text. Crisper text is displayed than that on the Kindle Fire, when similar font sizes are compared, both in the case of magazine and book viewing. Besides, with a read aloud feature a wider selection of children's books, and an animation feature that makes illustrations move, the Nook Tablet scores over the Kindle Fire as a child-friendly product as well.
Let's Get Physical
The Nook has a distinctive look, and stands apart in a universe of iPad look-alikes. The distinctive loop poking out of the left-hand corner, and its longer body encased in hard plastic gives it a totally different appearance. Of course, die-hard Apple fans may think this is actually a disadvantage! The Nook is also lighter, weighing in at 14.1 ounces (0.88 pound) to the Kindles 14.6 ounces (0.91 pound). Also featuring physical volume buttons instead of touch conversation, an option for adding on additional 32GB storage through a card slot, and with less glare on the display, the Nook Tablet can claim a slight edge in design – but then again, it boils down to personal preference.
Moving Around
Here the Kindle Fire wins hands down, because it is easy to navigate – orientation in portrait or landscape mode is possible; menus and design areconsistent. The Nook's menus for navigation, on the other hand is locked in as at permanent portrait mode.
Browsing the Web
Here again, Kindle Fire with the Amazon Silk Web browser is superior – the Nook Tablet's browser requires a lot of extra tapping to work, and moving between multiple windows is tedious.
Music Player and Speaker Quality
The convenient, well-designed music player and its integration with Amazon's music store in the Kindle Fire is its greatest strength. The music player in Nook's Tablet seems awkward 
in comparison.
In Conclusion If it's a good color e-reader that you are looking for, then the Nook Tablet would be your best bet; if on the other hand, you are an Amazon buff, buying and renting media from that source, then go for the Kindle Fire
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