The post-PC era: smartphones and tablets use (much) less energy than laptop and desktop PCs

The smartphone revolution is spreading to every corner of the globe and, in 2011, an astounding 450 million smartphones were shipped. But what is the environmental cost of all these phones?

A piece from OPower looked into this and found some surprising facts. The first is that the iPhone 5 only uses $0.41/year of energy, and the second is a look at the post-PC era.

It turns out that smartphones and tablets are ultra-energy efficient compared to traditional consumer electronics – “A day spent web-surfing on a smartphone is a much more energy-efficient than doing the same on a traditional computer.”

 

 

Read the full article – Smartphones: smart for energy efficiency

The end of ownership for DVDs – say goodbye to your DVD collection

I feel like this is one of those big moments that sputters into life – the end of ownership. At least, when it comes to DVDs.

This happened to music a few years back…I mean, who still thinks of owning music with CDs?

With Blu-ray sales slotted to decline in the next few years, the future is owning digital copies of movies not DVDs.

It will be interesting to see how this affects the ownership economy. So many people love their DVD collections, just as people loved their VHS collection and CD collections.

But, storing 20-30 digital movies can take up all your hard drive space, especially for high definition flicks. Whereas, keeping a few thousand songs on your computer didn’t hurt that much.

I bet there will be a race to super-size hard drives (especially on laptops) and build a business around movies in the cloud.

Like Apple is currently doing:

 

Apple adds 20th Century Fox movies to iTunes in the Cloud, all major studios now on board

Apple and Twentieth Century Fox have reportedly come to an agreement that will finally make the studio’s films available via iTunes in the Cloud. When Apple made movies a cornerstone of the cloud-based initiative (which lets customers redownload previous purchases) earlier this year, the company only had deals in place with four of the “big six” studios — Universal and Fox were the holdouts. It didn’t take long for Universal to sign on and add its films to iTunes in the Cloud, but apparently Apple needed more time to hammer out a viable solution with Fox.

Now we’re able to confirm that Twentieth Century Fox titles no longer carry a warning that they won’t be available from iTunes in the Cloud following purchase. You’re free to delete them from your PC/Mac or iOS device and redownload at will, and the same movies can also be streamed from an Apple TV.

 

Source: The Verge

 

Continue reading The end of ownership for DVDs – say goodbye to your DVD collection

Review – new MacBook Air has great performance improvements, no design changes

You have to give it to ars technica, they write the best, most in-depth reviews. If you’re interested in buying the new MacBook Air the whole 4-page article is worth reading.

But, to cheat, I skipped to the last page and copied the conclusions below:

 

Conclusion

The 2012 MacBook Air doesn’t look any different than its last couple of predecessors, but the upgrades on the inside are what make the machine. Although Apple elected not to try and squeeze a “retina” class display into the MacBook Air this year, such a change would have come with great sacrifice to performance and battery life. And let’s be honest—with the MacBook Air, there’s very little wiggle room on either of those metrics. For me at least, I would rather have the performance and battery life.

For someone like me upgrading from a 2010 MacBook Air, or even a MacBook Pro from the last couple years, it would be no question: go ahead and buy one of Apple’s latest MacBook Airs. The performance increase is noticeable even during everyday use (even while using the lowest-end 2012 machine), and Apple finally gives users the option to upgrade from the soldered-on 4GB of RAM to 8GB of RAM in the Air.

Finally, this makes it a more serious machine than it was pre-WWDC, and the battery life of the MacBook Air has reached a respectable level as well. With the addition of Thunderbolt for I/O and USB 3.0 this year, it’s going to be difficult to convince me (or most other existing Air owners) to go back to a MacBook Pro—unless they are hankering for that shiny new retina display or even more significant performance improvements.

 

Review: The 2012 MacBook Air soars with Ivy Bridge

Continue reading Review – new MacBook Air has great performance improvements, no design changes

Flickr releases “liquid” layout – joins “responsive design” trend

We’re releasing a new “liquid” layout.

Flickr’s “liquid” design adjusts the photo page and image size based on the size of your browser window. With that your photos will look great on a laptop screen, and look even more stunning on larger screens.  With the new design:

  • The biggest photo size is shown depending on your browser window
  • There is absolutely no “upscaling”, and we try to avoid downsampling as much as possible.
  • The title and the sidebar are visible without scrolling on landscape oriented photos. (which are the vast majority of photos on Flickr.)

via Flickr Blog

 

***

And, from Webmonkey:

Web developers, take note: Flickr’s new layout isn’t just eye-catching, it’s also somewhat responsively designed — adjusting to the myriad screens on the web today and displaying the best photo possible without clogging your tubes with huge photo downloads. Flickr does stop short of scaling pages down to phone-size screens — for which there is a separate mobile website — but it resizes nicely to handle tablets.

That’s right, Flickr is the latest (and perhaps the largest) website to embrace not just a mostly responsive design with a liquid layout and media queries, but also a responsive approach to images.

 

Are we seeing a new development in design, the – “take into account the iPad” ?

 

// Thx – Jon Jensen

Wyland skins for your phone, laptop, & tablet

I’m a big fan of Wyland and would love to get one of these for my Mac.

“Wyland skins are the ultimate way to show your love for the ocean while protecting your electronics at the same time!”

 

 

 

View them all or buy oneSkinit: Capture the wonder of the oceans

Apple, Amazon, & Microsoft build data centers around dirty energy

The current explosion in cloud computing offered by major IT companies is driving significant new demand for dirty energy like coal and nuclear power, according to a new report from Greenpeace International.

The report, “How Clean is Your Cloud?” shows a growing split within the tech industry between companies that are taking steps to power their clouds with clean energy, like Google, Yahoo and Facebook, and companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft who lag behind by choosing to build their growing fleets of data centres to be powered by coal and nuclear energy.

“When people around the world share their music or photos on the cloud, they want to know that the cloud is powered by clean, safe energy,” said Gary Cook, Greenpeace International Senior Policy Analyst. “Yet highly innovative and profitable companies like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are building data centres powered by coal and acting like their customers won’t know or won’t care.”

The report research found that if the cloud were a country its electricity demand would currently rank 5th in the world, and is expected to triple by 2020.

“While many IT companies have made great strides in efficiency, that’s only half the picture – they need to make sure their energy comes from clean sources,” said Gary Cook, Greenpeace International Senior Policy Analyst.

Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook are beginning to lead the sector down a clean energy pathway through innovations in energy efficiency, prioritising renewable energy access when siting their data centres, and demanding better energy options from utilities and government decision-makers.

 

keep readingApple, Amazon, & Microsoft choose dirty energy

How a Brookings Fellow travels with tech to China – #espionage

When Kenneth G. Lieberthal, a China expert at the Brookings Institution, travels to that country, he follows a routine that seems straight from a spy film.

He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings “loaner” devices, which he erases before he leaves the United States and wipes clean the minute he returns. In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery, for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, “the Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop.”

Via NY Times

 

Advice for travelling to China…or good advice for everyday life?

The Apple Store at Grand Central Station, NYC, an open store with no walls (photos)

The store covers two connected balconies on the second floor.
Stairs to the second floor serve as the entrance.

Continue reading The Apple Store at Grand Central Station, NYC, an open store with no walls (photos)