Thursday, September 20, 2012

$100 TV sticks

TV sticks are starting to appear on Trademe for under $100. These Android gadgets will turn a TV with a HDMI or DVI port into a 'Smart TV' allowing the viewer to surf the internet, E-mail, watch movies, view pictures, play music and create documents etc. These devices are new and are appearing on Trademe as this site is New Zealands largest online retail outlet. The usual retail stores would prefer to sell New TV sets with these features rather than $100 sticks to keep older sets updated. Wireless networking is used for broadband, keyboard, mouse, camera etc, although the USB port could also be used for these with a multiport USB hub. The USB port is needed to supply the device with power.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Desktop computer in a keyboard

Several Chinese manufacturers are now utilising the space under a keyboard to insert a full computer with several USB ports and a SD slot. A standard VGA socket is provided to connect to a Monitor or TV. Wireless networking is used to connect to the internet. This is a much better idea than putting the computer in the monitor which also means the prices of these are generally  under $200. The Operating System is held on an internal hard disk but is not provided in the price.

Samsung Apple Courtcase

Main Mobile phone news points to a USA jury awarding Apple a Billion dollar settlement with possible banning of most Samsung phones. Even NZ papers are printing the story without any mention this is not a global problem for Samsung especially when The USA is only around 17 percent of the global market. China is about 25 percent and is not saturated with phones. NZ is totally unaffected as we do not recognise ridiculous patents.

The trial was held 15 miles from Apple's headquarters with a jury foreman that holds a software patent himself, so Samsung being a foreign company had lost before the court case started. The jury decided it was impossible to tell the two phones shown apart as they are both rectangular with round corners. Yes that is now a valid USA patent. I wonder which American company has the patent for a car with four rounded wheels. The modern mobile phone has approximately 250,000 patents around it. It must be difficult to make something that misses all those patents.