Saturday, 25 October 2014

A Transforming Robot



Many of you might have watched the movie "Transformers", the franchise is now in its fourth installment, Transformers Four: Age of Extinction, starring Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci. Until now, the transformer has only been a fictitious story, A team of hobbyists from Japan built a transformer (robot) it can walk and when in sports car state, drive around autonomously. They named it the "J-deite Quarter" It is actually four feet tall.

The team which comprises of Kenji Ishida and Wataru Yoshizaki of Brave Robotics and Asratec started working on the project since 2012 and they hope to build a bigger transformer that is eight feet tall.

Here is a specifications for more detailed information about "J-deite Quarter ":

Height in robot mode/length in vehicle mode: 1.3 m,
weight: 35 kg, maximum battery power: 3 kw,
operating time: 1 hour, number of seats: 2,
controlled by V-Sido OS.
Power source: servo motor manufactured byFutaba Corp.[Robot Mode SPEC]
Maximum walking speed: 1 km/h, gripping weight: 0.1 kg.[Vehicle Mode SPEC]
Maximum traveling speed: 10km/h, minimum road clearance: 40 mm.

I personally think that this Transformer will be more entertaining than be able to solve a problem like robots do. I also commend this great job. Keep up the good work!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

IPhone 6 Review


The new iPhone 6 is much bigger than all other iPhones made in time past, much more comfortable to hold with improved camera. It was launched during a special event organized by Apple on the 9th of September 2014. 

Three devices where unveiled that day, the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the iWatch. The Phone 6 has a 4.7in display while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5in screen display. 

It is hoped that both models will help Apple reach more clients that were not using iPhone 5 or older. The question that goes unanswered is "What about those who prefer the 4in screen phones of the previous models of iPhone (iPhone 4 and iPhone 5)?" 

iPhone 6 has different storage capacities, it has the 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. There is no 32GB. I will recommend that you go for the 64GB or 128GB , because experience has shown that unlike other phones that the memory can upgraded, iPhones including iPhone 6 can not be upgraded. So when you have the need to have a larger capacity, you now discover that you are stuck with 16GB. Just like with every other phones, the higher the capacity, the faster the processor of your phone but this solely depends on the amount of video, apps, photos, music stored in it. Talking about processor, the iPhone has a 64-bit A8 processor, which is much more powerful than the A7 processor of its predecessors. The processor has a speed of 1.27GHz which is lower than Samsung's Galaxy S5 which has a speed of 2.5GHz. Both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have the same RAM size of 1GB just like its predecessors.  



Apple has modified the shape of its new device, it is 6.9mm thick (that’s about eight stacked credit cards), weighs 4.55 ounces with rounded edges. This makes it comfortable to hold. It has a big screen with a resolution of 1,334 x 750 and 326 ppi density also makes watching videos, playing games and viewing images much more exciting.

If you are conversant with the iPhone 5s, you will notice that it has a round volume button, the new iPhone comes  with long metal ovals and the sleep/wake button has been moved to the right side of the phone. 

One draw back on the iPhone 6 is that the camera lens protrudes slightly so when the phone is laid flat, it does not sit evenly. There might be a technical reason behind that decision, or perhaps Apple might change this with future models. The good thing is that the camera is 8 MP that uses a new sensor called “Focus Pixels” with LED flash, auto-focus, advanced face detection and digital image stability.

The battery life is slightly better than its predecessors with a standard battery capacity of 1810 mAh which is not removable. With active usage the phone can make it through the day with about 20 to 30 percent of battery life still left.

The price of iPhone 6 varies, the 16 GB costs $650, the 64 GB costs around $750 while the 128 GB costs around $850. 

iPhone 6 also features a new  new super-fast WiFi chip and an improved Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The NFC of iPhone works with Apple Pay mobile payment service. 

Apple has no intentions of making its NFC open to third-parties and will only work with Apple Pay. Which means that developers coming up with new apps can't use this feature.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ review




If you want an affordable tablet, then Lenovo Yoga Tablet is the tablet for you. With its top quality screen, 16 hour battery life (a really very long battery life), one charge. A 10.1 inch screen, 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display; Qualcomm Snapdragon 400; 2GB RAM; 16GB storage; 802.11n Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.0; microSIM slot; microSD up to 64GB; 9,000mAh battery; 626g.

Unlike other tablets, Lenovo yoga has an adjustable kickstand hinge that props the device into several positions, and a 9,000mAh battery plus it’s got a full high-resolution 1,920 x 1,200 screen, front-facing speakers and a quad-core processor. It’s about $155 cheaper than most top tablets like apples iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Sony models. It’s got 802.11n Wi-Fi rather than the future-proofed 802.11ac hardware included in the Samsung and Sony models. It has an 8 Mega-Pixel camera and a 1.6-megapixel front-facing shooter.

One other striking thing about this tablet is that its display is High Definition (HD) that is 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display that makes watching HD YouTube videos so cool. Has a loud accurate sound and a useful multi-window mode. For better viewing it is advisable to tilt it up when it’s on flat surface.

Just like Yoga 10, Yoga 10 HD has an unusual spiral notebook aesthetic. The tablet has a cylindrical aluminum hinge that holds the battery. It comes with android 4.3 processor and 2G RAM that allow it to surf the Web and play movies reasonably well. The audio is excellent good for listening to music. Lenovo sells a $79 Bluetooth keyboard that can snap onto the top of your Yoga tablet for those who want to type when tablet is in the stand mode.



The tablet has three modes: Stand Mode, Tilt mode and Hold Mode

Stand Mode: allow you have a video conference with someone or watch a video clip while working on your PC



Tilt Mode: very useful when looking down at the tablet, and its useful for when typing, just like having a slightly tilted keyboard.



Hold Mode: of course when you want to carry it around










Friday, 5 September 2014

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes)



For most Blackberry (BB) Users, Quick Response (QR) Codes are nothing new. You may have seen it before, even if you are not a BB user. QR Code is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode or two dimensional barcode. It was evented by Denso Wave in 1994 with the sole purpose of tracking vehicles during manufacture. It is a machine optical label that uses four standardized encoding modes (numeric, alphanumeric, byte / binary, and kanji) to efficiently store data; extensions may be used too.

QR codes can store URLs (Uniform Resource Identifier ), contact details like vCard, phone numbers, messages (SMS) and even an encrypted message for fast readability compared to the normal UPC (Universal Product Code) barcodes as illustrated below. That is why the name Quick Response (QR) was derived.


Even though it started off in the automotive industry, it is now widely used in product tracking, item identification, time tracking, mobile marketing, blackberry messenger, Even the Japanese immigration system now uses encrypted QR codes when issuing visa in passports for security reasons.

When you look at a QR code you will see square dots (black modules) arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device such as a camera or most modern smart devices with a camera and processed using Reed Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted.

Today, most publications like university catalogs, business cards, books, magazines, articles have a QR code printed on them. Even the boxes of printers, TVs or other electronics now come with these codes. When you bring a QR reader close to the code, it quickly detects it and translates it to a message that can easily be understood by the user. When scanned, most QR codes takes you to the website (URL) of the organization or company that has the QR code. A printing company recommends that the minimum size for a printed QR code should be 0.03 inches (0.76 mm) square for a single "module", that is one "bit" of the code, to ensure that the printed result is legible for scanners or smart devices.


Having a QR code on your business card makes it easy in the sense that clients may forget your website address or even misspell it, or may not have the patience to type it out. With QR codes, this problem is taken care of.  Also BBM users can easily scan codes of friends and spontaneously add them to their contact list. It can’t get any better or I might just say perhaps someone may just invent something better.

With the beauty of this technology, comes its down side. It is advised that you should only scan reliable QR codes as some codes could carry malicious scripts or take you to a dangerous website with browser exploits.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Nokia XL Dual SIM Smartphone


The new Nokia XL is a 5-inch screen, unlike the Nokia X or Nokia X+ which are 4-inch screen smart phones. It measures 141.3 X 777 X 10.88mm, weighs 190g and comes in blue, green, yellow, red, black and other colors.

Features

Nokia XL comes has a 5 megapixel camera (camera resolution: 2592 x 1944 pixels) with autofocus and flash and of cause a 2 megapixel front facing camera. It is also a dual sim smart phone.

Performance

Nokia XL runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 8225 dual core chipset, with maximum clock speed of 1GHz. Its  has a Random Access Memory of 768 and 32 GB of storage space using micro SD card.

Memory

User data storage is in device (Memory card), its phone memory is 4 GB, it has an expandable memory card type ( MicroSD). Nokia generously offers free cloud storage of up to 15 GB on  OneDrive.

Software

It is an android (4.1.2) phone  and does not come with Google services like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive, Google Chrome, Google+, YouTube or Google play. In other words, Nokia is promoting its own app which can be gotten from Nokia store and and services that require play service will not work well on Nokia XL.

Battery Life

It has a Battery capacity of 2000 mAh, a battery voltage of 3.7 Volts
Maximum standby time with dual SIM is  30 days
Maximum standby time is 37 days 
Maximum talk time (2G) is 16 hours
Maximum talk time (3G) is 13 hours
Maximum music playback time is 37 hours


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Ford Amazing Self-Parking Car





The Engineers at Ford motor comapany have come up with a new technology for their cars, the self parking system which is much different from the park assist which only parallel park with the driver controlling the gas, brake and gear selection. This time, the car can take the wheels and park by itself. 

The driver will have a remote control that when a button is pushed, the car would look for a perfect spot and park (at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour), when the right spot is located, another button is pressed, (whether the driver is inside the car or not) for the car to park itself. For the car to park itself, the remote control has to be pressed for the whole parking maneuver.


Saturday, 7 June 2014

Foldable Boat



My guess is that you've never seen anything like it. A boat that can be folded and carried with you as you go on a vacation or sailing. No need to carry the boat on the roof of your car. Aton Willis of California designed a foldable boat with plastic (polyethylene) that can be astoundingly folded (including paddle) into a large suitcase that can fit into your car trunk instead. 

He said he was inspired by an article on “advances in the science of origami," which led him to begin sketching ideas for a folding kayak. Willis was quoted as saying, 

"I started working on this a few years ago and I moved into a studio apartment in San Francisco and had to put my kayak in storage. And at the same time I read this magazine article on origami and people doing new and amazing things with folding technologies and that just got me thinking about if it would be possible to actually build a kayak and fold it up just like a piece of paper," 

The Oru kayak is made from a double-layered plastic scored with permanently molded creases to allow it to easily fold away. Its single seam sits at the top of the boat and is sealed with watertight rubber gaskets to prevent leaks. Once unfolded, the Oru Kayak is 12-feet long, and about two-feet wide. When folded away it comes to a relatively compact 33 inches by 29 inches.

To get the project started, Willis mounted a crowd-funding campaign. The campaign was so successful that his funding target was met within the first day: "When we Kick started our campaign, our goal was to raise $80,000, but we managed to hit that goal in five and a half hours. It was a very magical day." 

Other foldable inventions includes Brompton folding bicycle, folding Razor scooter, the icon folding airplane and the MIT-backed Hiriko folding car.
Yves Behar, Chief Creative Officer of the wearable technology company Jawbone, says "I think the kayak is a very ambitious project. I mean, imagine essentially taking a boat and folding it into a backpack ... You have all the dangers of the sea. People are putting themselves out into your kayak, so it's very risky."

Good design, Behar says, is about ensuring that a product is in line with contemporary thinking and consumer demand: "The key to good design for me is to create products that are really in sync with 21st-century ideas, in sync with the notion that sustainability is something that is obtainable and non-expensive, in sync with the notion that people want to make things their own, to build them or enjoy them in their own way."

Google Glass (More Stylish)




Google Glasses now comes in different styles. Google has partnered up with famous designer Diane Von Furstenberg to come up with five new frames and eight new shades. This includes rich blue-and-purple sunglass shade and a red frame with clear lenses.

In an interview with Isabelle Olsson of Google on DVF’s website, Olsson said that, “[Glass] offers a new, unique way of interacting with technology without distracting from your life," she also stressed that "And it’s about being able to express your personal style at the same time. Diane really understood each of these goals and brought that vision to life."
Starting June 23, you can purchase the collection exclusively on NET-A-PORTER.COM and google.com/glass, and also be able to purchase the Titanium collection on MR PORTER at $1,500. 



In 2012, the California search giant gave us an insider’s view of the DVF - Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2013 runway show through Glass. Now Google is still honored to collaborate with her talented team again. Like Diane says, “technology is your best accessory.”


Friday, 6 June 2014

soccket energy ball



The world cup is just around the corner and this reminds me of the game that brings Nations together to play soccer. Yeah, soccer. Talking about soccer, there is a soccer ball called soccket which is an enery source. When kicked for about 30 or more minutes, this ball comes alive. If played for about 16 hours you get 72 hours of battery life. The kinetic energy is converted to hours' of electricity. This can power a cell phone in places like Africa where there is little or no power supply. In my mind, I think it would be lovely to have lots of those balls in a soccer field and a team of soccer players keep kicking the balls to life. It can serve as an alternative source of power in remote villages and countries with unrelaible power supply.

The  ball was designed by Uncharted Play, by two harvard students Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman, (founders of Uncharted Play in 2008) and has been tested in US, Mexico, Brazil and some African countries with celebrities like Bill Gate and Ashton Kutcher taking delight in the kickstrter campaign. Even US President Obama gave it a header.

Matthews was quoted as saying:
"There are hopes of expanding to other sports, such as basketball. People across the globe may soon find themselves powering their homes by doing something as delightful and simple as playing a game" 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Galaxy S5


The new Samsung S5 comes in charcoal black, copper gold, electric blue, shimmery white colors, it is 15.1 inch in size, full HD per AMOLED Display and has a battery capacity of 2,800mAh. It is dust and water resistant and the screen can withstand a hard  knock (fall if perhaps if it slips from your hand) or scratch from your key assuming you put your keys and phone in your pocket, but I wont recommend that you try to put it to the test.

It has a 16 Megapixel Camera and Face Sense Technology, you don’t even have to unlock your phone before you take a picture and  will be able to capture the moment up to three times faster than many other smart phones. It uses the contrast auto-focus and face detection focus, a feature found in many digital SLRs. With Selective Focus, you can change the focus to far or near or pan focus, depending on how you want to take the picture. Galaxy S5's Video experience is wonderful as it has a 3840 x 2160 resolution and you can turn on the HDR icon to preview before shooting in real-time. Helps you see the output before shooting.

Another feature here is the Wi-Fi technology of the phone, it has 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4G + 5GHz, HT80, MIMO, NFC and of course Bluetooth plus it has a download boaster, which bonds your LTE and Wi-Fi connections for faster and stable downloads.

The New S Health Feature provides a dashboard that helps you better track and manage your fitness and wellness with hiking, cycling. You set the desired kilometers you want to cover and play music and you are good to go. Bolton heart rate sensor helps you measure and record your heart rate, and even if you have a very low battery (lets say 20 percent) you can still use the phone for another 10 hours with ultra-saving mode, the phone will go black and and white and turn off all unnecessary features but you can still  make calls, install apps and send texts. Samsung Galaxy S5 costs between $600 to $700.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Throwable Camera (Bounce Imaging Explorer)




Bounce Imaging Explorer is a throwable camera is a new invention, that can save lives, and also help police officers in a hostage situation, aggressive shooters or terrorism. It is spherical in shape and has many eyes (I mean cameras) so it is easily thrown and can roll. The idea for this invention first came when an MIT graduate, Francisco Aguilar saw the need to design something that could help in emergency response situations around the world.

The device Aguilar created is called the Bounce Imaging Explorer, it is a small black probe about the size of a baseball, fixed with an array of sensors and cameras that can be thrown or dropped into dangerous environments. He said, and i quote

"The initial thought was, how could we create something that was easy to use, that could allow a first respondent, or even a volunteer, to easily look inside a space to determine whether it was safe to enter it, to see if there was a victim inside," Aguilar says. "And that moved from search and rescue, to police who often face hostage situations: aggressive shooters, or terrorism. To fire fighting applications, where people often want to search different rooms in a complex, before having to enter or decide whether there is a fire or not. So there's a common problem across first respondents of having to decide whether to enter a house or a space. And we are trying to make it cheap and easy to get images while they are out of there."

This project was carried out by Francisco Aguilar and David Young a former military officer and entrepreneur.

The impact resistant shell can also house heat sensors, Geiger counters, vibration antennae or smoke detectors to provide different information in different kinds of emergencies, such as natural disasters or SWAT team hostage rescues. The ball then broadcasts its findings back to a mobile device to give users information on whether there are hazards (or indeed survivors) around a corner, or buried beneath fallen debris. The project is still going on and it should cost between $500 to $1000.

Displair






There is a new touch screen in town called Displair designed by a Russian inventor, it's a 3D holographic display to replace the traditional screen. It would be used with laptops, TVs and tablets. The amazing thing with this technology is that it uses water mist for the display screen. The Displair projects images onto sheets of water droplets suspended in air, giving the illusion of a hologram. Unlike other cold fog projecting technologies, the images projected by the Displair can also respond rapidly to multi-touch manipulation, as well as allowing taste and aroma to be incorporated.

Displair uses third party computerized multi-touch technologies to allow control of images with fingers or with other objects. The display can work with up to 1500 touch points simultaneously with a delay time of less than 0.2 seconds. This makes it possible to allow manipulation by more than one user, and also to identify more complex gestures than similar 3D display systems. The company is working on incorporating flavoring and taste interaction with projected images in the future. To get a feel of how it works, watch the video


Friday, 23 May 2014

Cloud Storage


Cloud Storage

The word cloud is a metaphor for internet, so when you add storage, it means storing something in the cloud. In other words it’s saving data on the internet, in a remote database. The whole idea is you usually have a memory stick, hard drive or removable disk to store you data. But you could decide to store it in an off-site storage system maintained by a third party.

The benefit of cloud storage is when you store data in a cloud, you make it globally accessible. This is what I mean, imagine a scenario where Mr. Reid works in a multinational company, his job requires him travelling to many countries. So he is in New York today and perhaps London tomorrow. If he has all his vital data saved in a cloud, it makes things a lot easier for him. It’s possible he might forget his laptop containing all his important documents or storage device, or perhaps the data he is looking for is saved on another laptop or PC. On arrival in London, cloud storage comes to the rescue.

Some big companies usually have a system whereby all software applications an employee would need to work is saved in a cloud. So if Mr. Reid is in London and carries the wrong laptop along with him (he might be in a hurry or the laptops looks the same) he is not constrained and can perform any task that he would have simply performed in New York.

Drop box is an exceptional example of cloud storage service, it allows users to create multiple folders on their computer and synchronize it so it looks the same on all computers you access the information on. Other cloud storage software are iCloud, Box, Google Drive, One Drive and it may interest you that even Real Player has changed its name from what it was to Real Player Cloud.

The Beauty of Real Player is you can store your music, videos and perhaps pictures. First, you install the application on your mobile phone, tablet or PC. If there are files to be stored, you transfer them to the RealPlayer cloud user interface. Then once you are connected to the internet, it would import the files to the remote server. If you want to share it with a friend or colleague or access it on any other smart device or PC, it’s going to be easy.

Mailboxes like Yahoo and Google do not allow you to send an attachment that exceeds 25 MB in size, if perhaps you want to send a large file, you might have to use either Drop Box for yahoo and Google Drive for Google. Most cloud storage services are free, in the sense that they encourage users to use their facility giving each new user about 2GB storage space on the server. But if you want more space, you have to pay for storage per month especially companies which needs a large storage space.

As I write this blog, I am reminded that I have to backup all client’s website files, and what saver way of doing it than putting it in a cloud. In case of any contingencies, I have a backup.

Now, you may have been a victim of virus attacks many times, these virus can wipe out the whole data in your storage drive or corrupt the data you have in a split second.

As much as it is unwise to share storage devices, I guess a much stronger quick fix to this problem will be to save my data in the cloud. So go online, choose your desired cloud storage software, register and start storing your data,


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

3D Printers




3D Printing is an amazing technology. We now have printers that can replicate an object say toys, tools and prototypes of electronics, robots, space objects, etc. There are many ways of printing in 3D but let me take you through one of them.

I’ll try to give you a mental picture of how 3D printing is carried out. You take the desired object to be printed and scan it in a 3D scanner to be later sent to the computer connected to a printer. The accuracy is about 40 microns. The image is then edited with the computer, (colors are changed). After you have done that you go ahead and print.

The printer contains a powder that is used to mold the object to be printed or replicated, so after the printing, the object is usually hidden in the powder, and you just reach out in to the powder and get the object. The next thing you do is blow off the powder.
The unique thing with this kind of technology is that it produces the exact shape with high precision. Another thing is that it is not expensive; you can get a 3D printer for just $1000 dollars. Since it is this cheap people now acquire these devices and use them for self-manufacturing of personal products.

Many companies like Nike is now using 3D printers to print football boots, 3D printed bikinis and dresses. Even a surgeons used 3D printers to re-sculpture the face of a motorcyclist who had be seriously injured in a road accident.

Having this type of printer, the experience are endless, imagine getting a replacement for your kid’s broken toy or a missing tool or perhaps you’ve worked night and day to design a robot, you could print out sample prototypes and send  them to prospective sponsors.

I think in the future of 3D printers will be in every homes and it will be so cool to have a 3D copying machine.





Thursday, 20 March 2014

WHY Hire A Web Designer


There are 1001 things that I can’t do myself and when I implore the services of an expert, I am happy with the way things turn out. Like having a haircut, making my clothes or even flying a plane to another destination. I honestly can do all these and more on my own, I leave it to the professionals, those who have spent years on the job. You should too and don’t forget to appreciate those handling certain tasks for you.

For a Professional Look

Beauty is not everything in website design, your website should be able to load, be accessible by modern day mobile devices and attract lots of visitors to the website.  It takes a lot of work and sometimes money too and a professional to make it work

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

THE FUTURE OF IT


I remember in 2001 the much talk about smart houses, smart fridges, microwaves and even a smart CD player that plays your favorite song every time you come home from work. These devices, where in existence, but not yet in the market.  Today, there are a billion smart phones and tablets added to the list of smart objects and available in almost every electronic store. Also Google and Apple are the leading IT companies.
In 10 years’ time, we will have more computers connected to the internet; the internet will be much bigger than it is now. The number of smart objects connected to the internet would exceed the number of people on the planet 10 years ago. It is predicted that by 2020, there would be 50 billion devices connected to the internet.
“What you will see is faster processing of customer service and real-time adaptive learning said Victor Newman.