$100 Dollar Laptops

Remember when the first laptop came out? How much was it? A lot is the quick and simple answer. Sadly in many countries today, the price of a laptop is still as crazy as it was in the US when they first came out, if not more. Recently someone I know flew to the US from a developing country just to buy a laptop, as buying it here plus the plane ticket costs was still cheaper than buying it there. Luckily, for many developing countries this could change soon.

A cheap laptop is being developed in order to be shipped to children in developing countries. The specs on this laptop are still unknown but at least the looks of it aren’t that bad. At $100 this laptop will be much more affordable for all those countries (although probably still a luxury for a lot of those families), so a buy one sponsor one program is also in development. This will let US buyers acquire the cheap laptop for their own kids and sponsor a child in a developing country. For $100 it is a good deal as you very well know you do not want to let your child use your top of the line Toshiba Satellite or SONY Vaio.


Macs are Safer.

Well it has been known for a long time that Macs are safer in many, many aspects over normal computers with Windows installed in them. Same goes for laptops, MacBooks are safer than normal laptops on Windows for the same exact reasons. This includes viruses, spyware, hacking onto someones computer, etc. But have you ever tought of a MacBook being safer than a laptop in terms of it being stolen?

You don’t believe me, I know. It is perhaps silly to say that a more expensive, better laptop is least likely to get stolen than its counterparts. However, with the Orbicule Recovery Service, your MacBook becomes a thief trap, pretty much. For only $39 (US dollars) you can protect your MacBook and in case it gets stolen, Orbicule will most likely get it back. Their recovery service installs software in your computer that sends information about the thief as soon as they connect to the Internet. It will not only tell Orbicule their IP so that law enforcement can get the thiefs’ address from the ISP, but it can take pictures of the thief, and do more advanced things if law enforcement fails to help. To see how it works, read up on their recovery story, it’s really cool.

After you have read that story, things come to mind like… “Why in the world would he connect to the internet?”, well it’s obvious he did not know about this service and probably if he knew, he would not know what to do. As I do not believe thiefs are tech savvy users that know how to format a Windows computer, much less so a Mac. Reinstalling MacOs will not help get rid of any data in the computer, so a thief is just better off staying away from MacBooks. Of course, maybe if this guy wasn’t so addicted to World of Warcraft he could have lasted a little longer, tough luck!

Gaming Technology

Sony and its PlayStation 3

Well, the US release was successful, with people waiting in line for days and days to get their hands on a console. However, due to the fact that Sony is losing $307 on each PlayStation 3, it begs the question. Why is the system priced only $599?

The 20GB PlayStation 3 costs $806 to make, and sells for $499. Whereas, the 60GB version costs $840 to make and sells for only $599. By selling so much cheaper, Sony is losing a LOT of money. They expect to make it up in game sales. But the biggest problem I see with this… a week ago i posted about the crazy presale prices of the PlayStation 3, well you can already guess the price is even higher now. On ebay every 5 minutes a Playstation 3 is selling for $2000. So why didn’t Sony just make the PS3 $999 at release and then when all the hardcore, rich gamers have got theirs, start selling at reduced prices. It would have made that much more sense, or maybe then all the ebayed ones would go for $4000.

Education Technology

Podcasts Increasing in Popularity

Official Definition
Podcast: a Web-based audio broadcast via an RSS feed, accessed by subscription over the Internet.

Easier To Understand
Podcast: an audio file which you can download and listen to.

A couple of years back, not everyone knew what podcasts were, and perhaps now it is still not the case but it is obvious that their popularity is increasing very rapidly. While your tech savvy user probably is familiar with the term, it does not mean they are actually using them. By using them, I mean not just downloading the podcasts and listening to them in your computer, but doing what you are actually supposed to. Put them in your iPod or MP3 player and listen to them on the go.

However, this is about to change. Soon everyone will be using podcasts more and more on the go. A big step towards this is the increasing number of uses that are being found for podcasts. From radio shows, to interviews, to the latest and perhaps what maybe the best use thought of…college lectures.

As more students find out about the possibility of having lectures in podcasts, the number of courses offering this should increase. The first and most obvious benefit would be that, you could actually stay home if you didn’t feel like going to school and listen to the professor. But even better than this, is listening to the lectures while using mass transit.

If you happen to live in New York City and have to take the subway, train or the bus for an hour or more, you will find it more than useful to be able to listen to a lecture while traveling, rather than reading the book while your bus/train/whatever is moving. First of reading in a bus is uncomfortable and can damage your eyes due to constant focus change (ok im no expert at this but Its what I believe, correct me if I’m wrong). If reading, it is also hard to concentrate due to all the noise around you, whereas when you are listening to the podcast at max volume it will ease things for you.

If students are offered the ability to have lectures in podcasts I’m more than positive their performance will increase, leading to better grades. Colleges will be able to up their overall GPA so this is a two way street. Both colleges and their students will benefit greatly once podcasts start being used more and more. Oh hey, did I mention you can put it on repeat and listen to it while you are sleeping? You are guaranteed to remember your lecture material then!!!