ONE FIFTH OF people don’t wash their hands after using public toilets.A new survey to be released this week by the Food Safety Professionals Association (FSPA) shows that women are more proactive about washing their hands.Researchers from the FSPA surveyed 630 people at 32 locations nationwide and found 127 of those did not wash their hands. 84 of those were men, 43 were women.Hands are the number one vehicle for transmission of infections such as e-coli, salmonella, MRSA and the vomiting bug, but only 71 per cent of people attending businesses in the hospitality sector washed their hands.88 per cent of those in healthcare businesses washed properly, while 81 per cent did so in shopping centres. 79 per cent of people in leisure and childcare facilities washed properly.While 80 per cent of young children surveyed washed their hands, 50 per cent did not use soap and 34 per cent spent less than 10 seconds washing their hands.The FSPA will release the survey this Friday at their National Awards Ceremony.Read: Minister suggests ‘Florence Nightingale campaign’ to tackle hand hygiene in hospitalsRead: Patients at risk at ‘unclean’ Waterford Regional Hospital by lack of hand washing
Lifelike, aren’t they? [Image: Brown Thomas, via Twitter]Where can I park?Cork City Council’s offering a free parking promotion at the moment. Bizarrely though, it comes to an end today.Details, for what it’s worth, can be found at the council’s website. This driver is definitely going on the naughty list [Image: Robbo-Man] And it really wouldn’t be Christmas in Cork without…The S.H.A.R.E CollectionHype and bluster from retailers aside, Corkonians know it really must be time to start taking that Christmas shopping list seriously when the SHARE collectors arrive on the streets.While the charity works all-year round, its most active period is at Christmas, when around 1,800 secondary school students hit the city centre with their familiar yellow outfits and collection boxes.The organisation was founded in 1970 by Brother Jerome Kelly and the students of Presentation College, but these days schools from all over Cork are involved.The fundraising drive begins on 14 December, with the crib at Daunt’s Square providing the focal point for the effort. [Image: Cork City Council]Food MarketsNow that you’ve spent almost a full half-hour entertaining the kids, it may be time to head along to Grand Parade for some figgy pudding and eggnog (or whatever you’re having yourself).The Glow Christmas Food Markets also open on the 29th, offering a range of festive treats from local producers.Organisers have included “crepes, gourmet sausages, locally produced spiced beef, breads and fresh organic herbs” on what’s presumably not an exhaustive list of what’s on offer.Mmm. Organic herbs… [Image: Suzies Farm] The lightsThe main lights on Patrick Street were officially switched on last Sunday in a ceremony presided over by chat-show host and journalist Brendan O’Connor.Impressively-sized trees are also being placed at Bishop Lucey Park, near the monument on Grand Parade, at Triskel Christchurch, outside Murrays and at City Hall.According to the council, there’ll also be ‘festive firs’ at Boreenmanna Road, Blackrock Castle, Churchfield, Knocknaheeny, Farranree Church and elsewhere (let’s just say there’s be a lot of trees around, shall we?).And on the subject of festive displays, it wouldn’t be Christmas in Cork without the window display at Brown Thomas: [Image: ShareCork.org]Related: So what’s happening in DUBLIN in the run up to Christmas?Poll: When should the Christmas decorations go up? THE TREES ARE going up, the lights are going on, and for those who’d rather not begin thinking about Christmas for at least another fortnight or so, all the fuss is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.Our advice? Better to give in and just enjoy it. After all, there’s only 31 days left until the 25th (and we’re just eight days from 1 December, the unofficial ‘embargo’ date at the country’s radio stations for the playing of ‘Fairytale of New York’).So if you’re in Cork, or planning a shopping trip over the next few weeks, here’s TheJournal.ie‘s lowdown on all you need to know…Away with the FaerysAn ‘enchanted faery village’ will be the centrepiece of Cork City Council’s ‘Glow’ Christmas festival this year. ‘Tír na Nollag’ runs Fridays through Sundays at Bishop Lucey Park from next weekend, and entry is free of charge.According to the promotional blurb, visitors “will be greeted by magical faery inhabitants as they wander around a faery woodland where the Spirit of Christmas lives”. Not the place to end up if you’re any kind of cynic, then.Original traditional music has been created for the display, and organisers say there’ll also be a place for kids to post their letter to Santa “sprinkled with magical faery dust to ensure their wishes come true”.Each journey through the village takes around 20 minutes.
We are grateful for help, but your safety is paramount – wear warm clothes, sturdy footwear, prepare for weather and take heed of briefing. AS THE RAIN fell, volunteers from various areas of the city took part in a co-ordinated search for missing Edinburgh three-year-old Mikaeel Kular.The young boy has not been seen since 9pm Wednesday night when he was put to bed. Fears are growing for his safety in Scotland.Police have issued a Child Rescue Alert, setting up a dedicated phoneline for tips on his whereabouts.The current focus of the co-ordinated searches remains in the Drylaw area of Edinburgh which includes Muirhouse, Pennywell and Silverknowes. Officers have asked volunteers to wear appropriate clothing as they work and to keep their own safety at the forefront.Before the night shift, they advised helpers on Twitter: Volunteers will be briefed, assigned officers to work with and areas. Please dress appropriately and prepare for the weather.Mikaeel is described as two foot tall, of slim build and Asian appearance. He is possibly wearing a thigh length beige jacket with grey fur lined hood, black gloves with multi-coloured fingers, dark navy blue jogging bottoms, a grey pyjama top featuring an embroidered turquoise dinosaur on the chest and brown Clark shoes with two Velcro straps.He has a faded scar on the bridge of his nose and a sore on the left hand side of his mouth.Three year old Mikaeel Kular wearing the jacket police believe he was wearing when he disappeared. (Pic: Police Scotland)Speaking at a press conference this morning, Superintendent Liz McAnish who is leading the investigation, said:”We are deeply concerned we have no positive sightings of Mikaeel. There’s lots of activity today, lots of police officers, helped by members of the public. I remain optimistic, I really do, but as time passes we become deeply concerned.”She added that there are currently no suspects in the case as there is no evidence of criminality.Mikaeel’s mother is being comforted by family and friends. His father has also spoken to police.McAnish also urged people to be vigilant and check out any area where they see “something different or out of place”.”Also to revisit their gardens, sheds and outhouses – even if they checked them yesterday.”Today, we are continuing with our search using specialist officers, police dogs and horses and the air support unit.”Update: Edinburgh police release new picture as search for 3-year-old goes on
TWO US TEENAGERS have been found guilty of raping a fellow high school student – a case made notorious when a video of boys laughing about the assault on the “dead” drunk girl went viral.Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, both high school football players in the small Ohio town of Steubenville, broke down when they heard the verdict on Sunday, which found them “delinquent beyond a reasonable doubt” on all counts.Further charges may be brought against other people involved in the incident, which continued well after the 11 August assault as pictures and videos were shared via text message and uploaded to social media sites like Facebook.“Many of the things that we learned during this trial that our children were saying and doing were profane, were ugly,” said Judge Thomas Lipps.In one video, high school boys laughed about watching the rape, saying the girl “deserved to be peed on.”Other videos and photos showed Mays and Richmond lifting the unconscious and nearly naked 16-year-old girl by her hands and feet.Because they were tried as juveniles, the judge determined the verdict and the sentence, which the boys began serving immediately.Richmond must serve a minimum of one year in a juvenile rehabilitation facility and a maximum of up until he turns 21, while Mays, charged with a second crime of “illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material,” was sentenced to a minimum of two years and a maximum of up until he turns 24.They both apologised in court to the victim, her family and the community. Richmond said they had “no intentions” to commit the crimes, and Mays said “those pictures shouldn’t have been sent around, let alone even taken.”Richmond’s father also apologised and asked for forgiveness for the boys for what he called “a terrible mistake.”The 16-year-old victim was not in the room, but her mother addressed the court, telling the boys: You displayed not only a lack of… compassion but a lack of any moral code.“You were your own accuser through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on,” she said. “I have pity for you both.”The girl’s lawyer, Bob Fitzsimmons, told CNN she was “doing well” and was relieved that the court case had finished.“She’s a 16-year-old girl still, and she’s a high school student. She just wants to get back with her normal life, as does the family,” he said.“Repeatedly degraded the victim”Ohio Assistant Attorney General Marianne Hemmeter said in opening statements last Wednesday that the two boys treated the girl like a “toy” and repeatedly degraded her by sending the photos to their friends.Defense lawyers had disputed the prosecution’s assertion that the girl was too drunk to consent, and insisted the boys’ actions did not constitute rape.The case has raised awareness of the power and danger of social media and cyber bullying, as sexually explicit or other humiliating pictures and videos spread like wildfire with a click of a mouse or a tap on a smartphone.One in six US children aged 12 to 17 have received a sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude photo or video of someone they know, a recent study by the Pew Research Center found.And the Crimes Against Children Research Center estimated that police investigated nearly 3,500 cases of youth-produced sexual images in 2008 and 2009.- © AFP, 2013Read: Swiss woman gang-raped in central India >
HOUSES ON low-lying coastlines or close to rivers which have an experience of flood difficulty will have their home’s history taken into account when being charged the property tax.The Revenue Commissioners, who will operate the scheme, said homes which had difficulty getting insurance because of their recent vulnerability to flooding – which has reduced the value of their home – would have that reflected in the amount they were asked to pay.Revenue chairperson Josephine Feehily told the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee yesterday that the self-assessed tax would allow homes with a particular vulnerability to climate conditions to lower (or raise) the value of their homes accordingly.The clarification is now to be added to the Frequently Asked Questions on the tax available on the Revenue website.The first forms asking householders to declare the estimated value of their homes are to be sent on the week beginning March 11.The forms asked homeowners to estimate the value of their home, and also to claim a deferral for paying the tax if they are eligible to do so – such as if they are the executor of an estate or the home is in the process of being sold.In cases where homeowners do not submit an estimate, Revenue’s own estimate – which is less likely to take account of factors such as a flood risk – will be the default valuation on which the tax will be deducted.Revenue is making arrangements to allow the tax to be paid in lump sums or to be deducted from PAYE income and social welfare payments were appropriate.Read: Here is what the new Local Property Tax form will look like
AN IRISH TECHNOLOGY company has installed more than 250 kiosks around the country, via which house holders can pay their local property tax.Omnivend has made the service available in retail stores throughout Ireland, where payments can be lodged at any time.The vending machine operator is one of three approved payment service providers, as outlined in a response to a Parliamentary Question by Independent TD Mattie McGrath.Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said that those willing to pay in cash could use “one of three approved payment service providers, who are An Post TaxPay, Payzone and Omnivend.”“I am further advised by the Commissioners that it was not possible to include the names of the three payment service providers on the LPT Return or in the booklet, as negotiations with these service providers were still ongoing when these documents were being produced,” Noonan said.FeesPaying the LPT by cash does carry an additional charge, however.While An Post charges of a fee of €1 for each weekly LPT payment, Payzone charges 75 cent for the same transaction. Paying via a kiosk, however, results in an additional weekly charge of seven cent.Omnivend’s managing director Fiona Dowd said that the service allowed home owners to pay an amount that suited them, either weekly or monthly.“At the end of each transaction you receive a receipt for your payment which will also be your proof of payment,” she said.Read: Revealed: The 7 TDs who say they won’t pay the property tax >
A MAJOR 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck off northern Japan today, seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued.The quake hit at just after 3am GMT near the Russian-administered Kuril island chain, 1,490 kilometres (926 miles) north of Tokyo, the US Geological Survey said. It was located 122 km deep.The quake rocked towns in the northernmost Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido.“We have received no reports of damage so far,” a spokesman at the Hokkaido police said, adding there were no reports of injuries.The epicentre is close to the four Southern Kuril islands that were seized by Soviet troops in the closing days of World War II but are claimed by Japan.The area is prone to earthquakes.- © AFP 2013.
Updated 15.00A POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE jolted China’s Sichuan province today near where a devastating quake struck five years ago, killing at least 156 people and leaving more than 5,500 hurt, prompting worries the death toll will climb.The quake — measured by China’s seismological bureau at magnitude-7 and the US Geological Survey at 6.6 — struck the steep hills of Lushan county shortly after 8am, toppling buildings, many of them older brick structures. Tiles fell from roofs and walls collapsed, sending people into the streets in their underwear and wrapped in blankets.Rescue workers turned a square outside the Lushan’s county hospital into a triage center with medical personnel treating the wounded, according to footage on China Central Television.In this photo provided by China’s official Xinhua News Agency, a giant rock blocks the road, about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the county seat of Lushan in Ya’an city, southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Pic: AP Photo/Xinhua, Hai MingweiThe emergency response office for the city of Ya’an said in a written statement that nearly all of the structures in Longmen village collapsed and that nearly 10,000 houses were damaged throughout the county.Hard-hit parts of the county remained unreachable by road, with several highways cut off, the statement said.DisruptedThe county’s power grid has been disrupted and phone services were only partially available, the authorities said. State media said some text and Internet services were working.A person whose posts to a micro-blogging account “Qingyi Riverside” on Sina Corp.’s Twitter-like Weibo service carried a Lushan geotag said that many buildings collapsed and that people could spot helicopters hovering above.Aerial photos released by China’s military and shown on state television showed individual houses in ruins and some stretches of the county seat and villages flattened into rubble.The quake’s shallow depth, less than 13 kilometres, likely magnified the impact and CCTV showed footage from local security cameras shaking. Xinhua said that the quake rattled buildings in the provincial capital of Chengdu 115 kilometers (70 miles), to the east. It caused the shutdown of the city’s airport for about an hour before reopening, state media said.Citizens gather on a street to avoid aftershocks of a quake, in Shifang, southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Pic: Xinhua/Zhang XiaoliLushan, where the quake struck, is home to 124,000 people where the fertile Sichuan plain meets foothills that eventually rise to the Tibetan plateau. The area is near a well-known preserve for pandas, Bifengxia, which Xinhua said was not affected by the quake. Dozens of pandas were moved to Bifengxia from another preserve, Wolong, after its habitat was wrecked by the 2008 quake.Ya’an authorities said more than 2,000 rescuers were dispatched to the disaster area, along with excavators, loaders, 200 tents and 1,400 quilts.Premier Li Keqiang flew to Ya’an to direct rescue efforts, and he and President Xi Jinping ordered officials and rescuers to make saving people the top priority, Xinhua said.Social media users who said they were in Lushan county posted photos of collapsed buildings and reported that water and electricity had been cut off. At least 35 aftershocks — at least two of them at magnitude-5 or higher — shook the area.The area lies near the same Longmenshan fault where the devastating 7.9-magnitude quake struck May 12, 2008, leaving more than 90,000 people dead or missing and presumed dead.
THE COMMISSION FOR Energy Regulation (CER) has successfully brought a prosecution against a man who passed himself off as a registered gas installer.The man from County Meath was given probation for illegally carrying out gas works, specifically the installation of a gas boiler, and for portraying himself as a registered gas installer. At the time, the man was not registered, which is an committed an offence under the Electricity Regulation Act, 1999.The court found him guilty of these offences and applied the Probation Act.This prosecution represents the sixth of its kind by the CER, who say they are “committed to using its resources in the investigation and prosecution of individuals undertaking illegal gas works.”Commissioner for Safety with the CER Paul McGowan said after the case that it was vital that all installers are registered.“In the interest of safety, all gas works relating to domestic appliances must be completed by registered gas installers. This is a legal requirement and this case is a clear signal that CER will undertake prosecutions against unregistered individuals that act outside the law.”Read: Here’s how many homes had their gas and electricity disconnected last year
NURSING HOME REPRESENTATIVES have called on the government to act now to prevent a future nursing home crisis.They argue that funding for long-term residential care has been ‘illogically cut’, despite the need to prepare for the requirements of an ageing population.The CSO has previously predicted that the number of people aged over 65 could double by the start of the 2030s.Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) met with TDs and Senators this afternoon during an Oireachtas Open Day to express their concerns.“It is imperative we plan now to meet ongoing and significant challenges and issues that are arising,” CEO Tadhg Daly said.“A key aspect of today’s event has been to explain to TDs and Senators the severe implications of reducing the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Fair Deal) annual budget by €107 million since 2012.Despite HSE warnings of a significant national deficit in nursing home beds by 2016 and under supply in urban centres, the resourcing to support people requiring nursing home care is illogically being cut.Minister of State Kathleen Lynch told the Dáil earlier last week that work on a review of the fair deal scheme is on-going, and is expected to be completed within the coming months.The group has been calling for a Forum on Long-Term Residential Care since last year.This will allow the sector and government to plan for the need for increased capacity and other future requirements.Daly also expressed concern that “the State, through the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) exerts significant control and influence over the rates currently paid for residential care in the private and voluntary sector”.“The reality is the State wishes to purchase care from the private and voluntary sector for an average fee that is up to 50% below that provided to public nursing homes,” Daly claimed, and that it is placing “undue pressure” on private and voluntary nursing homes.Read: Missing British pensioner turns up at D-Day events in France >Last year: Nursing home owners to start knocking on politicians’ doors over ‘crisis in care’ >
On Day 19…IT WAS EUROPE versus Africa on the third day of second round action with France taking on Nigeria and Germany tackling Algeria. Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama makes the mistake that leads to France’s first goal. Source: Hassan Ammar/AP/Press Association ImagesIn the day’s first game, Nigeria gave France some real scares – especially in the first half – when Emmanuel Emenike’s goal was ruled out for offside.After that though, the French pressed forward, helped when Nigeria suffered a blow early in the second period as Ogenyi Onazi had to be stretchered off after an ugly, ankle-high challenge by Blaise Matuidi, who escaped with only a caution.Faced with growing Nigeria confidence, Didier Deschamps introduced Antoine Griezmann, a move which changed the game. On 79 minutes, seconds after making a brilliant stop, Vincent Enyeama fluffed his lines in the Nigerian goal and allowed Paul Pogba to head home.France made it 2-0 at the death when Yobo, under pressure from Griezmann, inadvertently steered Mathieu Valbuena’s drilled cross into his own net. André Schürrle introduction was key to Germany’s victory. Source: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/Press Association ImagesIn the late kick off, Germany failed to break down a stubborn Algerian side in normal time but made amends just seconds into extra-time when substitute André Schürrle found the net with the most delicate of flicks.It was tough on Algeria who put the Germans under pressure for vast swathes of the game; Joachim Löw’s men needing goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to bail them out in his quasi-sweeper role on half-a-dozen occasions.The introduction of Schürrle in the second half did seem to give the Germans more impetus but the Chelsea man wouldn’t prove his worth until the opening minute of extra-time when his neat touch finally saw Raïs M’Bohli beaten in the Algeria goal.As the Algerians sought an equaliser, Mesut Özil made it 2-0 late on before Abdelmoumene Djabou grabbed grabbed a consolation with virtually the last kick of the game.WinnerAfter impressing in their first two games, France find themselves in the quarter-finals of the World Cup despite delivering underwhelming performances in their last two.However, winning while playing badly is much better than playing well and booking your tickets home, just ask Nigeria and Algeria.That said, France will need to significantly improve if they’re to get past Germany in the next round and reach the semi-finals.LoserNigeria and Algeria gave such a good account of themselves it would be unfair to label either as losers despite being, technically, correct.Instead, we’ll settle for the Germany coach or player who came up with this awful free kick routine.Just brutal.http://vine.co/v/MFUIWQKVPDEJoga BonitoI’m as shocked as you are that John Obi Mikel would ever grace the Joga Bonito section of Breakfast… but this back heel nutmeg was incredibly cheeky.The look on Pogba’s face says it all.http://vine.co/v/MFtwe1aThd7What we’ve got to look forward to todayThe Alpine Messi meets the original one as Argentina take on Switzerland in the early kick-off. The 9pm game – and final second round fixture – sees Belgium and USA go head-to-head for hipster hearts.We’ll Leave It There So: Suarez says sorry, Ulster coach leaves and all today’s sportLuis Suarez admits bite and apologises to Giorgio Chiellini
The release of open source drivers for Kinect has opened the flood gates on experimentation with the motion controller, and this latest project should be picked up and released as an official Kinect game in our opinion.Using the libfreenect drivers and openFrameworks, Emily Gobeille and Theo Watson have created a digital shadow puppet show like no other. The Kinect is used to do skeleton tracking on the arm of the puppeteer. It determines where the shoulder, elbow, and wrist are and then uses their movement to affect the movement of the colorful character projected on the wall. Fingertips are also tracked allowing the brid’s beak to open and close.The end result is the best shadow puppet show I’ve ever seen, and something that’s sure to enthrall young children sitting around the world. It could also help sell a few more Kinects for Microsoft.This is only the beginning of the project, though. Theo has plans to start reacting to depth so he can possibly get the projected characters turning their heads and looking at their audience. Who knows, we might even get 3D shadow puppets eventually.Microsoft, make that call and get this in production now!Read more at Vimeo, via Engadget
Watch out Biz Markie. Google seems to have accidentally gotten into the human beat box business with a discovery that has to be heard to be believed. Researched by reddit contributor Harrichr, it would seem that Google Translate can serve as the perfect sound accompaniment if you are looking to add beat box tracks to your rap music.To hear what we are talking about, just follow these directions.First, go to Google Translate.Second adjust the settings so Google Translate is translating German to German.Copy and paste the following into the Google Translator: pv zk pv pv zk pv zk kz zk pv pv pv zk pv zk zk pzk pzk pvzkpkzvpvzk kkkkkk bschFinally, click on the “listen” icon.Or, you could just watch the YouTube video below Crazy right? I mean I am not a huge lover of rap music, but this certainly sounds cool to me. I’m just wondering, though. Now if someone samples these Google Translate beat box beats for their own songs, I wonder if they will have to pay Google a royalty to use them? Who am I kidding; you know what Google would probably say to that.Read more at reddit, via TechCrunch
Although the Rock Band developer may be suing its former bosses for shady profit withholding, that lawsuit hasn’t stopped Viacom from successfully selling Harmonix off, which they managed to do right before the holidays.Word first popped up that Viacom was looking to sell Harmonix — creators of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, whose games have sold tens of millions of copies to date — back in November for unstated reasons.AdChoices广告Supposedly, the issue is profitability, which is a bit hard to believe. The revenues for the last three Rock Band games are commonly cited as being over $1 billion. I suppose it depends on how much Viacom was pumping into the company after the $175 million sale back in 2006, but e already know that Viacom is being accused of withholding bonuses. Perhaps things were bleaker than they first appeared.Either way, the new owner of Harmonix is a private investment firm in New York. Viacom says they’re now getting out of the rhythm music game market, but Harmonix has no intention of stopping: they’re currently working on a new music game for the Nintendo 3DS.Read more at LA Times
A long time ago we looked at the SPOT Satellite Messenger, a product designed to help people stay safe and in-touch with friends and loved ones if they were camping, off-roading, or traveling somewhere cellular signal or wireless Internet access weren’t necessarily available. The SPOT Messenger allowed you to “check in” at a GPS location via the SPOT satellite network, and have your location and a short message posted to the service or sent directly to friends and family so they knew you were okay.At ces this year, SPOT unveiled the SPOT Connect, a smartphone peripheral that pairs with your phone and gives you the same ability, even if you have no cellular signal. You simply download the SPOT app, pair the phone with the SPOT Connect device, and you can send short e-mail, SMS messages, even Twitter and Facebook updates via SPOT’s satellite network. If there’s an emergency and you need to call for help, just press the SOS button and police and medical authorities in your vicinity will be notified, complete with your GPS coordinates so they can find you quickly. The SPOT Connect will be available later this year, although no specific release date was announced. It’ll set you back $169.99 retail, plus the cost of a SPOT subscription.
Those are words I never expected to type, three years ago. According to new numbers from research firm Canalys, Apple is the third largest global maker of PCs, smaller than only HP and Acer. Of course, as one might imagine, there’s a pretty major caveat here that puts the company just ahead of Dell (the two manufacturers are at 11.5 and 11.4 million shipped units, respectively)–the number includes iPads shipped. Apple nabbed 10.8 percent of the total PCs shipped globally for the fourth quarter of 2010 (HP and Acer got 17.7 and 13.6 percent). When the company’s popular tablet is factored in, Apple’s shipping volume increased 240 percent from Q4 2009 to Q4 2010 (versus a less staggering 19 percent growth of the industry overall). Canalys justified the inclusion of the iPad thusly, Any argument that a pad is not a PC is simply out of sync. With screen sizes of seven inches or above, ample processing power, and a growing number of applications, pads offer a computing experience comparable to netbooks. They compete for the same customers and will happily coexist. As with smart phones, some users will require a physical keyboard, while others will do without.
While gamers are about to get a fix of FPS-action in the form of Killzone 3 and Bulletstorm, you can’t help but want to hurry along the release of id Software’s Rage.The game has looked stunning from day one, and only looked more so this week with a relaunch of the game’s website and a bunch of new screenshots to drool over. One of them even shows a crossbow giving us a hint as to the range of weapons you’ll be taking advantage of. Yes, getting a headshot with a crossbow would be very satisfying, especially in a slow-motion replay.Rage isn’t out until September 13 (PS3, PC, 360), but the website is sure to keep teasing us with new images and trailers until then. In the meantime you can always head on over to the App Store and pick up Rage HD for the iPhone, iPad and iPot touch .Read more at TheSixthAxis.com and the official Rage website
The Gingerbread update for the popular Nexus One was supposed to happen last November, but the latest reports show that the 2.3 update has finally made it to the platform this week. But that’s not all, Nexus S owners will get an OTA update too.Hopefully by now users with this phone will get a message signaling that the 2.3 firmware can be downloaded (however, we recommended doing this over a Wi-Fi connection), but as with most updates you may need to wait a few days for this to appear as Google will likely push this out incrementally to avoid overloading their servers.As for the Nexus S which already has 2.3, the update will feature various bug fixes in the shape of fixing random reboot issues, changes in the way Facebook syncing works, performance enhancements and additional support for its Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.NFC is a system that allows the phone to read tags which are encoded with special NFC chips, the info that is read could include text and web url’s for example. Previously you could only read the info by using the supplied app on your phone, but now thanks to the update you can also create your own tags and more importantly what information you would like to share with others. This would then allow another NFC-equipped phone to receive this info as soon as the two devices come in close proximity to each other. You can also transmit your data to Google NFC stickers.At the moment NFC is still in its infancy, but with more and more phones being shipped with NFC, and other manufactures like Apple joining in the fun with their next gen phones, it’s only a matter of time before it takes off in a big way.Read more at TechCrunch
Yesterday Google formerly revealed the Google Glasses project in a future-looking promotional video that had us all looking forward to wearing glasses full of tech linked to its services. We also got a new name for this tech project: Project Glass.The video painted a very rosy picture of wearing Project Glass specs to help us through our day. They look so useful due to always being connected to the web, and offering instant access to Google Maps navigation, the weather, reminders from your calendar, what time it is, your text messages, and of course video chat.The reality of Project Glass is ultimately going to be very different, though. Google is, after all, a company that relies on adverts for most of its revenue. When was the last time you used a Google service that didn’t have adverts injected into it?Ultimately, Google will include adverts from Adwords with Project Glass, and the remixed video above gives us a more realistic idea of what we can expect to see (quite literally) every time we put our glasses on. Of course, they may not be that intrusive, but then neither were the YouTube adverts that popped up when the service first introduced them. Now they appear all the time, multiple times, and even interrupt the video depending on what you choose to watch. Surely Project Glass will face a similar fate?Project Glass is an exciting combination of hardware tech and proven, established services. But we can’t forget which company is spearheading the project, and that their ultimate aim is to make money from everything they do. Advertising will be a major part of Project Glass, we guarantee it.
Offering consumers both a range of laptops and popular games hardware does have its advantages when it comes to tempting students into buying new kit. Sony has decided to take full advantage of that fact by bundling either a PS3 or PS Vita with an Ultrabook purchase.If you class as a student or faculty member then Sony has a number of Ultrabooks and laptops that qualify for the offer. The cheapest of these is the Vaio 13.3″ T Series Custom Ultrabook that includes a Core i5-3317U running at 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU, and 13.3-inch display. All for just $749.89 including a free carry case worth $50.The prices escalate beyond that right up to the $2,899.99 for the Vaio Z Series. But in all cases you have the option of an additional device for free or discount off another purchase. The choices include a 160GB PS3, a PlayStation Vita Wi-Fi version, $200 off a range of PlayStation gear, or 8% off a Vaio PC purchase.It’s a very tempting offer, especially when you consider the PS3 costs $249.99 so you’re effectively getting that Vaio T Ultrabook for $499.99. The PS3 and PS Vita are also instant additions to your cart using the eCoupon, so they will probably ship at the same time as your new laptop.There’s no end date listed on the Sony offer page, but I wouldn’t take too long deciding on whether to take them up on the offer. As word of the free hardware gets around stock is surely going to disappear quickly.More at Sony