Category Archives: Handhelds

Charging Using an Outlet and USB

Modifying your electrical wall outlet so that it will also allow you to charge via USB. That’s what U-Socket does.

From their website:

U-Socket is a duplex AC receptacle with built-in USB ports that can power any device that is capable of being charged via a 5V power adapter, but without the need for the power adapter! When a U-Socket replaces a traditional 3-prong AC wall socket, you can eliminate the clutter of AC Adapters that stick out & take up space in your home or office. Everything stays neat & organized.

CNET created a video that shows you how to install it – it doesn’t look very hard.


EPUB 3 Is Here

The EPUB format is an open standard for ebooks. The third revision has just been voted in.

Based on HTML5, EPUB 3 adds support for rich media (audio, video), interactivity (JavaScript), global language support (including vertical writing), styling and layout enhancements, SVG, embedded fonts, expanded metadata facilities, MathML, and synchronization of audio with text and other enhancements for accessibility.

Stakeholders that have expressed interest in EPUB 3 include Adobe, Google, Ingram, Kobo, OverDrive, Random House, and Sony. Others are listed in this article.

So, we may be seeing ebooks that include more functionality than just text or reading the text. This could change the definition of “book.”

What Is There To Say?

Book – Going Mobile: Developing Apps for Your Library Using Basic HTML Programming

A new book from ALA Editions – Going Mobile: Developing Apps for Your Library Using Basic HTML Programming. It looks interesting, as I didn’t know you could create apps with just HTML, basic or otherwise. There’s a chapter on javascript, so it may be a little more than HTML, but it makes sense that you would need to use some sort of script. I’m looking forward to buying it, but print or ebook version . . . print or ebook version . . . print or ebook version . . . 🙂


Windows 8 Preview

Lock Screen for Windows 8I’m currently running Windows 7 on a touch laptop. It works – kind of. Sometimes I wish I was running either a non-touch laptop or a fully-touch tablet, as it tends to move between the two interfaces at its own whim. However, it looks as if Windows 8 would be a big step forward for me. Apparently, the interface can switch between the traditional, non-touch interface and one that is touch-based – at my whim! 🙂

A few other things noted in this article:

  • Performance should increase, e.g., fewer processes and space necessary for the operating system
  • Picture password feature available (instead of typing a password)
  • Status of some applications available on the home screen. From the screenshots, it looks like you could see the number of unread email/chat messages before opening the application. I look forward to seeing what other applications use this feature. It would be nice to see this overview of what is happening on my system instead of having to open applications to see if there are any transactions.
  • Refresh your PC – a new feature that allows you to do a clean installation of Windows. Looking forward to seeing how this one works, too!

[from LifeHacker]

Reading Ebooks Underwater

Yes, there is a desire to read even while scuba diving! If you dive deep enough, then you have to ascend in stages slowly so you don’t get the bends.

These 2 divers wanted to do something constructive with their ascent time, so each purchased a Sony Reader and had specialized cases created for them so they could manipulate it while under water. Take a look:

Amazon Cloud Player

Amazon has just announced a new music service – Amazon Cloud Player. It works like this:

  • Using your Amazon account, buy music from Amazon MP3 and save it to your Amazon Cloud Drive. No cap on the amount of music stored if you purchase it from the Amazon MP3 service.
  • Download and install the Amazon Cloud Player (for Android or web); play your music using this app.
  • Add any music you already have to the Cloud Drive. First 5 GB of storage are free; 20 GB are free if you purchase an album from the MP3 service.

Sounds great, right? It’s your music and you are storing it in the cloud instead of a hard drive. If you have an Android device, you have access to it pretty much wherever your are; have access to the web, same thing.

Unfortunately, the music industry thinks that Amazon needs licenses for the music before they can launch this type of service and they have none.

From Amazon:

Cloud Player is an application that lets customers manage and play their own music. It’s like any number of existing media management applications. We do not need a license to make Cloud Player available.

Makes sense to me, but I’m sure we’ll see more on this.

[from ars technica]

Mobile Phones Decrease Bone

A small study done at the National University of Cuyo in Argentina tested the bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content of men (BMC). Half wore cell phones on their hips and half did not.

The results stated that men who wear cell phones on their hips showed a reduction in both BMD and BMC over a 12-month period. This could have far-reaching consequences for both men and women; more research is being done.

[from thinq]
[from Journal of Craniofacial Surgery]

Word Lens App

An app that not only translated what is in front of it, but keep the formatting and colors of everything around it? Take a look at Word Lens.

This is free and comes with the English/Spanish and Spanish/English translations; other languages are $5 each.

[from Wired]

Sleeping with the Lights On

OK – maybe you don’t sleep with the lights on anymore, but do you charge your devices in your bedroom? Even this level of light can cause you problems.

An Ohio State University study found that the glare of city lights at night can cause depression. They have also found that exposure to even dim lights, like from a TV of computer screen, can cause depression. A third study found that mice that slept with a low level of light had more depressive symptoms than those that held to a dark environment while sleeping.

In a further study, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School have substantiated a link between a suppression in creating melatonin and keeping lights on at night, however dim. Since there have been previous studies linking melatonin suppression and diabetes, they are hypothesizing that sleeping with lights on could also cause diabetes.

Do you charge your electronic devices where you sleep? You might consider moving them.

[from CNET News]
[from CNET News]