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Month: September 2013

Times of Malta Implements Disqus Comments

Times of Malta Implements Disqus Comments

Times of Malta Disqus

Times of Malta comments finally get the importance they deserve.

The Times of Malta has finally updated its commenting system to one that’s more flexible, easier to read, and more social.

Disqus isn’t something new and has been the backbone of many websites for years – be it Engadget, VentureBeat, or Android Police.  What it brings to the Times of Malta is much needed organisation and better expression of readers’ views.  Comments are now properly threaded, with each reply appearing under the comment it is replying to.  Users can also upvote and downvote comments.

You can also track your Disqus use both on Times of Malta and any other website that uses the service.  Disqus will also notify you if anyone replies to your comment – something the Times desperately needed.

 

Source

Back to School ’13: Notebooks

Back to School ’13: Notebooks

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The Post-PC era may be upon us but the fact is that behind every tablet is a PC.   Whether it’s in your bag or on your desk your notebook is what you use to get things done and if it isn’t up to if it isn’t up to scratch chances are your work won’t be either.

While some of you might use a tower PC at home I’m working under the assumption that a student will prefer to have one PC both for home and school use.  Under that assumption a notebook is the logical choice.   My choice of notebooks for the ’13/’14 scholastic year are broken down into three categories: Ultraportables, Notebooks, and Powerhouses.  Here goes!

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Back to School ’13: Odds & Ends

Back to School ’13: Odds & Ends

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Accessories – it’s the little things in life that matter the most.

Your laptop, smartphone, and tablet aim to satisfy as many of your needs as possible – but they never satisfy every single need you have.  That’s a job for the little thing, the accessories.  Your phone might have the best camera in existence, a beautiful screen, and Godlike power but it has a really crappy battery.  The headphones that came with your MP3 or iPod are uncomfortable or not good enough for your inner audiophile.  Or maybe you just want something to carry everything around in.  This is what that guide is about.  Plugging the holes in the perfect kit bag.

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Back to School ’13 Mobile Guide: Smartphones & Tablets

Back to School ’13 Mobile Guide: Smartphones & Tablets

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Tablets

Tablets are the ultimate extension of one’s workspace – they can go further than most notebooks, weigh the same as a paperback, and are incredibly powerful.   While a laptop is best suited for producing media the tablet is the epitome of a media consumption tool – it’s the best form factor for reading, for casual gaming, for general browsing, and for watching films and videos on the go.

They’re still excellent media producers though.  Productivity apps make use of every single feature available, then go on to invent a few more just to make working with your files that much easier.

This, fellow readers, is the Post-PC era. And boy, business is a-boomin’ **!  Also, read on past the break for our smartphones section!

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Throwback Thursdays: Polaroid SX-70

Throwback Thursdays: Polaroid SX-70

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We’ve been spoilt, you know.  There once was a time when every photo you took cost actual, hard earned money.  Film had to be bought then developed, often at a lab.  Photography wasn’t as instant as it is today, and was a great pain in the arse at times.  However cameras weren’t necessarily hard to use.  Companies that Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Polaroid strived to create cameras that were easier to use and cheaper, therefore more accessible to the masses.  This industrial urge to make things simpler gave us the Polaroid SX-70, a stylish and easy to use camera that developed your film right in front of your eyes. Magic.

An Instant Icon

The SX-70 retailed for $180 in 1973, which doesn’t seem to be that bad today. Adjusted for inflation though that value skyrockets to a monstrous $900 in today’s markets.  Despite the price Polaroid still sold over 700,000 units by mid-1974.  Its technology was used by all of Polaroid’s Instant cameras after that, even the much more affordable $40 Model 1000 OneStep.

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The SX-70 made waves in the art world too.  Andy Warhol famously loved his SX-70, making it his camera of choice for his work in photography.  Warhol used the Polaroid Big Shot’s film in the SX-70 so he could shoot prints to use as a basis for silkscreen portraits.  Christopher Makos was a professional photographer that taught Warhol hos to use his camera.   Here’s what he had to say about it:

“The Polaroid was so cool at the time,” Makos told Polaroid in 2010, “we would all just take pictures of each other and pass them around, sort of the way that people pass around images on Facebook, writing on their wall, poking them––I think you get the picture!” – Smithsonian.com

 The Legacy of the Polaroid SX-70

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The extent to which the SX-70 has penetrated popular culture is shocking.  Take a look at the image above, does it remind you of something?  This later Polaroid, the Polaroid OneStep SX-70 is partly the inspiration for Instagram’s logo.

And it hasn’t resigned itself to being a museum piece, either.  People still use the SX-70 in their everyday lives, even if their motives for doing so are more artistic than the camera’s 70s buyers.  Polaroid phased out film production in 2006 but The Impossible Project’s started production again, so if you’ve got an SX-70 lying around you can go out and use it.

And if you don’t?  You can find the SX-70 for sale on eBay or flee markets for affordable prices, but Photojojo is selling pristine, mint condition SX-70s that have been expertly restored to work like new.  Sure, they retail for a bit under $400 but that’s a small price to pay to own a piece of photographic history.

I shall close this Throwback Thursday with a quote I found two weeks ago, early on in my research:

Two years ago I bought a vintage SX-70 at a consignment  shop and became so entranced by it that I wrote 14,400 words about the camera… I called it the greatest gadget ever. After mulling it  over, I see no reason to modify that assessment. – Harry McCracken, TIME

PSA: Whatsapp for PC is a scam!

PSA: Whatsapp for PC is a scam!

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A link’s being shared all over Facebook claiming that Whatsapp is available as a download for your PC. This is NOT true, and Whatsapp has not released any such product, nor announced plans to do so.

Do NOT click on the link and report it to Facebook as spam.

Will update as more information comes in.

http://news.m.en.softonic.com/whatsapp-for-pc-a-popular-facebook-scam-in-spain

http://support.pandasecurity.com/blog/security/install-whatsapp-your-pc-new-online-facebook-scam/

Sorry, no Throwback Thursday this week!

Sorry, no Throwback Thursday this week!

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I’m prepping for an exam tomorrow and I haven’t been able to finish the Throwback Thursday I started writing this week, but it’ll be ready next week for sure.  You’ll love it if your a shutterbug like myself!  I promise I won’t go anywhere near Nokia for a while, too.

In the meantime check out my Throwback Thursdays so far:

A few quick words on Apple’s announcement tonight – UPDATE 2

A few quick words on Apple’s announcement tonight – UPDATE 2

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Apple’s holding a press conference this evening at 7pm CET and are expected to showcase two new iPhones, the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C. I’ve already made the “C stands for Cheap joke” here, but let’s put that aside for a moment.  iOS 7 should also make an appearance, and I’m expecting new Siri features as well as loads of stuff not shown at WWDC. However, there are a couple of things I’d like to say beforehand, and 2 streams are located below!

The fingerprint sensor better be magical

I LOVE security.  As an intern with an auditing company I’ve grown to appreciate security more and more, but entering a PIN into my phone or drawing a pattern every time I want to get into my device is a pain in the arse.  A fingerprint sensor can be painless, secure, and quick.  But, it’s got to be done right.

Every fingerprint sensor on a mobile device I’ve used so far required the user to swipe his or her thumb across the sensor while pushing down lightly.  If you don’t swipe fast or slow enough, or too hard/not hard enough, it won’t get a good reading and you have to do it again.

If the sensor’s built into the home button itself and it can scan your finger with accuracy in the time it takes to press it then Apple would have hit the nail on the head.  That might be too fast, so I’m thinking that it would require a slightly longer press to wake the phone.

Just do keep in mind that this isn’t new tech.  Almost everyone’s tried to implement a fingerprint sensor in their phone.  Motorola’s Atrix went all the way and put the sensor on the home button too, but it wasn’t exactly a revolutionary feature.

It’s a tired bit of tech that’s considered a gimmick by most out there but with a bit of spit and polish it could work really well.

Keep the 5C cheap

I don’t mean Nexus 4 cheap (which would be a massive blow to Google) but if the iPhone 5C retails for $/€400 (off contract, of course) it’ll undercut every Android flagship on the market, and some mid-range options like the S4 Mini and HTC One Mini.

Watch it here

These are two streams I’ve found. Unfortunately I can’t guarantee that they’ll stay up throughout the event and may not be able to update if they crash.  Happy streaming!

The YouTube stream has been removed, and the Ustream stream below is actually a podcast. Apple doesn’t stream to non-Apple devices, but some are claiming that there is no live stream at all.  I can not confirm.  I offer you my most sincere apologies!

Throwback Thursdays: The Nokia 6555

Throwback Thursdays: The Nokia 6555

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Since Nokia’s dead now I thought I’d revisit one of my most loved Nokia devices, the 6555. Quite possibly the most stylish phone I’ve ever owned. It may have been a feature phone but it had class and personality. Flip phones had that flair that none of today’s slates have, and only sliders come close to matching. Always had that “Bond’ feeling of utter subzero cool when I flipped it open in public.

It was a good device.   A really good device, but it didn’t sell very well locally. I know GO Mobile sold them for quite a long while, but I’ve only ever seen three of them in the wild (besides mine). The screen was fantastic (for the time) and so were the controls and buttons. Its weakness though? Battery life. It would last at least 2 days but never more than three? Sure that sounds great by today’s standards but when you pause to consider the fact that all its contemporaries had batteries that could last a week the Nokia 6555’s battery was abysmal. The ergonomics were spot on, however, and making a call on it was incredibly comfortable.

The 6555’s Legacy

There isn’t one, unfortunately. As I stated in the beginning the phone didn’t sell that well and when it did come out flip phones were on their last legs. Sure, Samsung insists in creating an Android dual screen monstrosity every once in a while, but for all intents and purposes the flip phone has gone the way of the antenna nub and monochrome displays. I’m not too sad to see them go, but I’d do wish modern devices were a little more…dramatic.

My most sincere apologies for my posts over the past couple of weeks or rather, the lack thereof. I have been extremely busy and I’m absolutely gutted that I missed last week’s Throwback Thursday but fret not! Normal service will resume shortly!