I was impressed by the build quality of their new T91MT touch-screen tablet, and it was definitely an all-around improvement on the older version of that model (the T91, which came with Windows XP and didn't have multitouch). I just wish they offered a handheld touch-screen computer in a screen size slightly larger than 8.9 inches. If they could release this one with a touch screen that swiveled around to lay down flat on top of the keyboard, that'd be perfect! We need such devices to deploy our software product on, and Gibabyte makes a 10-inch one, but even with the nearly full-sized keyboard, it was nowhere near as compelling a user experience as the ASUS.
NaijaGuy writes: A recent Wired article explains what you need to know in the escalating Google versus Microsoft war, and highlights the most recent announcements of Google's new Chrome OS and Microsoft's revelation that its upcoming Office upgrade will have online versions of 4 of the applications. For the first time ever, Microsoft has released a Hollywood-esque mock film preview of Office 2010 that has been viewed more than 700,000 times in the past week. You could also watch it on the official site, but for that you must install Silverlight. One review of this surprising short film points out that 'there is no software application in the entirety of computerdom less sexy than Microsoft Office...it's a suite of programs that reeks of the most soulless aspects of corporate America. Microsoft Office is itchy nylons and uncomfortable shoes and oyster-grey cubicles and the knowledge that no matter how things change on the surface, the system will remain as clunky and ill-designed as ever. Microsoft Office is the Sanka of the workplace — it gets the job done, but no one likes the taste.' So is this film a brilliant act in the midst of desperation, or a funny yet pathetic attempt to stay afloat?
NaijaGuy writes: Would you believe that the pioneer microblogging service run by an expectedly computer-savvy startup team uses 'password' as the password for their servers? The BBC just reported this morning that Twitter is seeking legal advice over some stolen documents. Back in the spring, reports surfaced that a French hacker named Hacker Croll broke into the Yahoo Mail account of a Twitter product manager named Jason Goldman and then accessed his Twitter account. This same hacker has apparently accessed a Twitter employee's Google Apps account and sent 310 documents to TechCrunch that reveal financial projections into 2013 as well as plans for a reality TV show called Final Tweet. Twitter's blog mentioned yesterday that this was not so much harmful but merely an embarrassment on par with someone rifling through your underwear drawer. Plenty of readers told TechCrunch they felt the stolen documents should not be published, but TechCrunch responded by saying the info would find its way online elsewhere if they didn't do it, and that it's also not their fault that 'Google has a ridiculously easy way to get access to accounts via their password recovery question.'
How fun to see South Texas College of Law in the news! I used to check my email in the library there when I recently worked in downtown Houston, because the multinational financial firm that laid me off had locked down access to Gmail and Facebook and Evite and all other sugar and spice in the online world. Nothing like those mid-afternoon breaks of walking a block to the school and getting a cappuccino out of their coffee machine and staring out the nice big windows of their library!
NaijaGuy writes: 58 years later, J.D. Salinger's groundbreaking novel Catcher in the Rye currently sells more on Amazon than Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and To Kill a Mockingbird. Now someone using the name J.D. California has written a sequel called 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye and Salinger's lawyers made it clear this is an unacceptable violation of intellectual property rights by filing a lawsuit this week, and are arguing that the courts should prohibit its publication since it is not a parody but rather a mere rip-off. It is already being released in Europe, but the publishers have been asked to halt its distribution. Today a San Francisco Chronicle editorialist opined that she finds "sequels written by anyone other than the original author to be vaguely annoying and unimaginative at best, downright unethical at worst." For any Slashdotters who actually made it through a book in English class, this is probably one of their favorites, and more because of its ingenuity than its brevity.
After a quick download from http://www.drjava.org/ you can start using the super lightweight IDE that I frequently turn to, partly because you can evaluate Java statements on-the-fly with the interpreter behind its handy Interactions Pane. You can interact with code in a compiled class or just start interacting with any lines of code you type immediately. It's really easy to get some code going without the bulk of something like Eclipse (which I generally use for all larger projects). I may be a bit biased since Dr. Java was created by folks from Rice University, my alma mater, but I genuinely find it more useful than other lightweight IDEs specifically because of the Interactions Pane. It's been around for nearly a decade and the latest release was earlier this month!
I'm surprised nobody poked fun at the author's Nigerian connections! He is in fact a son of the recent president of Nigeria, and one of my friends used to live with him at a military secondary school (Air Force). I've read some of his blog posts ever since a fellow Rice student told me Dare was an intern on his team at Microsoft (some half a dozen years ago, I think), and he has always struck me as someone who has wanted to make his mark by working hard on his own rather than by harnessing his privileged past.
NaijaGuy writes: As many news sites have reported, Facebook just bought Parakey for an undisclosed sum. Slashdot has previously discussed how Facebook recently opened up development opportunities for third-party developers, and with this acquisition, some observers have pointed out how it appears that Facebook might be trying to become a Microsoft or Google by providing an application development platform based on Parakey's technology. Its "web OS" has also been discussed on Slashdot, and the company has made headlines partly because of the fame of one of its founders. Blake Ross helped launch Firefox, and it was enthusiasm for helping less geeky users like his mom to thrive on the web that got him through the doors of Netscape at the age of 15. A recent interview charts how that same enthusiasm led him to start Parakey, "a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do." I write Java code for my day job, and I'm eager to see how significant this new platform could be. Also, I still haven't explored many apps on Facebook since few appear to be very amusing or helpful, and I'm curious as to whether any of you have noticed interesting possibilities for development on their existing platform.