Recently Added

Apple Does it Again: iTouch killed the iPhone 4

posted Sep 1, 2010, 9:54 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Sep 1, 2010, 10:10 PM ]

Apple has done it again folks. They've literally taken the guts of their iPhone 4 and placed them all into an iPod Touch body. Now mind you the GPS and telephone aspect might be lacking, but seriously, this is what we've been waiting for. Almost two years ago, when the second generation iPod Touch had the ability to use the mic feature, endless possibilities were realized. We came to a point where people could make phone calls just using their iPod Touch via Skype. Now, Apple has made that dream even easier. I dare say it, but I think the Apple iPod Touch, with its built in mic, front and back cameras, may just have become the newest iPhone Killer.

Amazon Kindle is Now Affordable

posted Aug 12, 2010, 9:54 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Aug 26, 2010, 9:02 AM ]

When Kindle first came out in 2007, a huge riot broke out. Well, not exactly. The Kindle however, managed to squeeze its way into a domain that had not been saturated up to that point. Even with the release of the iPhone that year, the Kindle still managed to saturate its market with loyal Kindle followers.

For me however, the Kindle's steep price and my lack of desire to read at the time, made it an unappealing device. Prior to the release of the iPad, the Kindle seemed like the ideal gadget for college students to own. Come on, imagine having to lug 3-4 books around at school. If you could put them all in a single device, that would not only save your back, but save you the worry of forgetting any of your reading materials for class.

The Kindle DX appeared to be the big brother of the first gen Kindle, but also the Kindle that would be piloted in colleges to see its effectiveness. Based on the pilot programs at institutions like Princeton, the biggest setback was the inability to highlight and annotate text like physical papers. However, there were some benefits.

Less paper was printed. The green side of the Kindle definitely showed itself as classes used less printed material. Referring to the story on the Princeton website, some students reduced paper consumption by half. There was even one student who only printed out two articles for the entire class out of necessity (since they weren't available on the Kindle).

The ease of use can still be a challenge for the Kindle. Some professors found the device to be inadequate for in class use. Especially in speed, the Kindle takes time to maneuver and open files. I can definitely see the challenges in using an e-reader where you want your whole class to navigate to a particular page. If it takes longer than physical material, you know there's a problem.

What's in the new Kindle?

The newest Kindle comes in two flavors, one with Wi-Fi and the other with 3G priced $139 and $179 USD respectively. Considering the original model was over $ 300, the Kindle has come a long way in satisfying not only your taste for gadgets, but also our wallets. Here's what the new Kindle brings to you:

  1. Better Design (Lighter)
  2. Better Reading Quality (Higher Contrast)
  3. Read in Sunlight
  4. More Storage
  5. Battery Life for a Month!! (WOW!)
  6. Built in Wi-Fi and or 3G (Model Dependent)
  7. Better Web Browsing with Free 3G
Which one should you consider?

If you're a college student, there is no reason to spend an extra $40 for the 3G version. In most cases, you'll have wireless Internet available on campus and most likely in your living quarters. However, if you find yourself traveling and going places with little to no Internet, than a 3G model might work best for you.

How to use this Kindle for Class?

You can probably conjure up a few ideas. Since classes won't be Kindle friendly, you might find yourself slamming your head as to why you bought one of these god awful devices. Here's one thing to consider, your major. If you're in a major where reading is a large component of your daily diet, then you might find many uses for the Kindle device. On the other hand, if you're in a more technical field, you may find yourself struggling to see diagrams if color becomes important. In addition, if some of your classes give you open book test, then the Kindle might not be your cup of tea. Last but not least, your textbooks might not be Kindle friendly yet.



Should you place an order for one?

As much as I like the Kindle, it still waives off as a luxury device. If you're organized, have a laptop, and a decent laser jet printer, then a Kindle probably won't make a difference. On the other hand, if you're the type that likes to go green and try new products, then this Kindle might be up your ally.

If you don't happen to buy one, don't worry, I'm sure some of you might find them as nice gifts from friends and family.

Qiqqa Makes Research Fun and Easy

posted Aug 11, 2010, 2:55 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Aug 26, 2010, 8:45 AM ]

If there is one Swiss army knife that every college student needs, this one is it. Qiqqa, a research tool, makes writing papers a breeze. I have never seen a tool out there like this and I definitely wish it was around while I was in school. However, you're in luck. Qiqqa is currently offering its alpha version for free to users and it's said that a free version will remain available for users upon release. In this article, I'll break down some of the current features of Qiqqa and let you know if it's really worth your time.



Organization

An image of the user interface in QiqqaEverybody knows that writing a research paper can be a major pain when you're unorganized. However, Qiqqa makes quick work of that by 
allowing you to organize all the PDF's that you find online. Now, you might be wondering, why this is useful. Well, Qiqqa organizes all your documents into a database where it can actually make them searchable. Unfortunately, most PDFs aren't text searchable, but Qiqqa will use a featured tool called Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to scan and images searchable.

The ability to search several documents at once or even a plethora will save you time. This gives you, the researcher, the ability to skim and download documents on the fly and organize them into a database to sift through later. I found this significant in any research tool. There are some slight cons for this great feature, however.

OCR can take a long time to complete. I had a handful of old research documents that I threw into Qiqqa expecting them to OCR on the fly, but that wasn't the case. Whether the final version will address the time it takes for this process to run, you could expect spending hours OCRing files based on your computers speed.

I ran the test on my old laptop running an Intel Core 2 Duo 2Ghz processor. With about 900 pages to OCR, it was still not done after 10 hours. On the other hand, I ran the same test using my newer Intel Quad Core 2.33 Ghz computer and there were definite differences. The OCR process sped right through in a few hours. Although this tool will work well on a laptop, make sure to give OCR plenty of time to run its program.

Meta-Data

Qiqqa makes organizing your meta-data a breeze with its intuitive ribbon that appears when you open a PDF. You're given information about the Title, Author, Year, Tag, and other great features like Ratings and Reading Stage. But that's not all, to help populate the meta-data faster, you can use the BibTex feature which searches the title of the document on Google Scholar to track down meta-data. The designer claims this works most of the time, but I found it worked "sometimes." Whether it appears in Google Scholar or not will depend on where you found the document in the first place. I'm sure if more databases are used, this feature will excel.

(Click to View Full Size)

Stay Sync with the Cloud

If you start using multiple computers to do your research, you'd want that meta-data and documents almost anywhere. Well, Qiqqa has a web sync feature which allows you to sync meta-data and documents across multiple computers. I haven't tried this feature, but it's a great addition to an already great tool.


Organizing Chunks of Information

While you're skimming through research documents, you may find chunks that can be useful to run back to. Sometimes trying to highlight and mark information on PDF readers can be very difficult. You might even find yourself writing things down by hand. This process takes a lot of time. Luckily, Qiqqa gives you the ability to highlight images and text while you research. Just simply using the annotation tool in segments you want to review later will give you the option to aggregate them later by generating a report with all the sections you selected.

Brainstorming 

To get started on your research, Qiqqa even adds a somewhat primitive brainstorm tool that allows you to make simple charts to help your ideas flow. It's simple enough, yet you have it at your disposal.


Features Lacking

  1. I wish there was some way to filter documents by folders instead of tags. I'd like to be able to clump a set of research documents into one project without having to include research documents in other topic areas.
  2. The auto-table of contents feature still needs some work as some documents aren't recognized properly in this area. However, this isn't a deal breaker.
  3. It might be useful to enable sharing opportunities for researchers who are working with others. I'm sure this feature will probably be added in the future.

Take a Closer Look

Qiqqa Overview

Here's a video they have on their website giving you a quick overview.

Conclusion 

There are still a handful of features I did not get to in Qiqqa and I leave that for you to explore. In the meantime, if you're looking for a great research tool that organizes information and speeds up the process, then Qiqqa is the tool for you. Although still in its infancy, Qiqqa feels like an almost finished product you could feel safe using right now. So stop by www.qiqqa.com and give this program a try.

Qiqqa Makes Research Fun and Easy

Qiqqa Makes Research Fun and Easy



Pixlr Takes on Photoshop as a Flexible Image Editor

posted Aug 10, 2010, 9:48 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Aug 10, 2010, 10:01 PM ]


Have you ever needed an image editing program but couldn’t afford Photoshop? Have you tried the Gimp only to find yourself confused and in need of much help? Look no further, because Pixlr is here to save the day. Widely compared to Photoshop, Pixlr can do just about the basics of Photoshop for no cost at all. Even better, you don’t have to download anything (even illegally for that matter). If you’re ever in a pinch to make a banner, make photo changes, or even uses brushes to create cool effects, you can hop on a computer and load up Pixlr right on your web browser.

As a college student, you’ll find yourself on campus without a laptop. However, you’re bound to have computer labs you can jump right on. That’s where Pixlr really shines. 

If you need some help getting started, I’ve made some Pixlr Tutorial Videos that are up on Youtube. There helpful for beginners and hopefully for you that’s just getting started. However, if you’re an AVID Photoshop user, many of the features will fee familiar. 

Visit Pixlr.com to start using this awesome tool.

Pixlr Color Replace Tool (Toy Story 3)

Have you ever wanted to change the color of something in an image but could never do it properly? I was actually amazed when I saw this tool in Pixlr, because it really shows the power of cloud based software. Anyway, if you want to start changing colors like a pro, watch the video to learn some more. Make sure to watch the end as I show you how to really amaze your friends.
  

Pixlr Color Replace Tool (Toy Story 3)



Pixlr Clone Tool: Make an Army of Ducks

Have you ever wanted to make an army of ducks, well you can now with the image clone tool in Pixlr. It's not as hard as you think and with a little finesse, you'll be cloning tons of characters in your images. You don't need something like Photoshop to do this and you'll be on your way to become an awesome image editor.

Pixlr - Clone Tool


You can find more of my tutorials on my other Youtube Page: http://www.youtube.com/user/d3eusebio
Subscribe :)
 

Make Some Big Cash Playing Starcraft 2

posted Aug 10, 2010, 9:28 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Aug 10, 2010, 9:33 PM ]



Drop the books, the pens, and even your phone because “IT’S ABOUT TIME” you got recognized for your elite real time strategy (RTS) skills in Starcraft II. Like many college students like yourself waddling the summer away, why not try your luck on building your skills in this old (great rehash) of Starcraft. For those familiar with the original, then you’re a quarter of the way there.

Get this, a Global Starcraft II League is shaping up to give access to anyone to compete that has the skills for it. Blizzard is partnering with GomTV that will host monthly tournaments that will lead into a world tournament. You haven’t heard the sweetest part. Combatants can earn up to 85,000 USD for first place and 25,000 USD for second place. Other qualifying spots still earn thousands of dollars at these monthly tournaments. Read more about it here: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=141496

I know you might be intimated, but if you think you have what it takes, it might not be a bad investment of your time, considering you got nothing better to do. So head on over to your local Game Store and pick up a copy of Starcraft II. Now you can thank me for giving you a reason for getting back into video games, but don’t blame me for the bad grades.
 
Top Image from: http://us.battle.net/sc2/
 

Summer Return of University Ninja

posted Jun 17, 2010, 10:26 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Jun 17, 2010, 10:32 PM ]

Class is out and the last things probably on your mind are text books. However, for many of you, summer school or summer jobs might be up your alley. I know it’s been a long 6 months since University Ninja has had any major articles up online. To be honest, you probably don’t even care. However, after finally graduating and the long summer to kill, I’ll be working on some useful articles and videos to help you prepare for summer, jobs, and the next school year. As usual I’ll be tackling the tech and some cool and nifty ways to save you time and money. In addition, I hope to get a refresh on the website that you’ll probably see by the time this goes up. I’m also planning to get video content up to compliment the articles. Hopefully it’ll keep things from getting dry. I haven’t given up on University Ninja just yet…stay tuned everybody.

 


The Definitive Guide to Sending Emails: No more excuses

posted Feb 26, 2010, 12:14 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Feb 26, 2010, 12:24 PM ]

My biggest pet peeve and probably the most preventable problem, is email etiquette. How many times have you received a mass email only to find out that the emailer forgot a number of items, or someone just happen to reply all. In this tutorial, I write about the pitfalls of emails and what you can do about idiot proofing emails. So stop being an email n00b and learn how to finally put together a well thought email. It’s a lot easier than you think and it’ll save you tons of time in the long run.

Image from: http://www.nasddds.org





Meetings/Events/Dates:

How many times have you ever received an email only to find that the user put this in the SUBJECT:


Meeting @ Starbucks


First of all, what’s the problem with this subject heading? It’s too vague. One, it doesn’t tell me the date, the time, and the subject matter. In our busy lives, people don’t have time to read lengthy emails. Why make life harder for everyone by being so ambiguous. Here’s a more appropriate title:


Meeting:  5/12/10 @ Starbucks 5PM (On Campus) for Planning Committee


The new SUBJECT tells me much more detail. So if I’m skimming through my email, I notice a meeting request, I know the date, time, location, and subject. If you are the sender and the most important thing is for you to bring people to a meeting, this is all the information they need. It’s short, concise, and straight to the point. However, we can still improve this SUBJECT by one more notch.

Instead of just putting 5/12/10, you might want to add the day. Why? Most people schedule routinely activities based on the day. For example, if you tell me lets meet on Thursday, the first thing that goes through my mind is the classes and meetings I have that day. However, if you just put 5/12/10, then I’m trying to figure out, what day is this? What am I doing on this day? Do I have to open up a calendar?

Can you see how this might be irritating for a person? It only takes a few moments on your part to look it up and add it to the title. So here’s the final version:


Meeting: Wednesday 5/12/10 @ Starbucks 5PM (On Campus) for Planning Committee


This is what an effective SUBJECT heading should look like. When I see this pop up in an email, I can access all the information about it. I won’t get into Calendar Events with programs like Outlook or Google Calendar. If you do use them, there are great ways to arrange meetings.


Email List, Mass Email:

For the love of all hamsters, please, please, please double, no, triple check your email list before you send it out. If you have a special email group list, then that’s fine, but if you don’t, make sure you check who’s getting emails.

Have you ever used CC’d? It means carbon copy. It lets the main “To:” person know that you have sent this to another person for reference.  But have you ever used BCC? It stands for Black Carbon Copy, it’s a way to send an email out without the “To:” person knowing you ever sent a reference to another person. BCC is almost like a ghost field. If you ever send emails out to unrelated people, use BCC. In practice, using BCC prevents other people on a mailing list from finding other people’s email. This also prevents one person from mass replying back to a list.

Email Content – The Body:

When you put an email together, make it simple and digestable. The last thing I want to read when I open up an email is a 15 line paragraph. Obviously this all depends on the setting. However, if you have to go through emails on a daily basis, seeing a bulky email is not one for the faint of heart. I find myself beginning to read only to find out the sender wants to have a meeting at Starbucks at 5PM on Tuesday. Here’s an example:


Don’t Do This:

Hey dudes, 

We need to set up for a conference. We’ve got a few days left and I wanted to touch base. How about we setup a meeting at Starbucks around 5PM on Tuesday? I think we still need to talk about speakers and food so make sure to come prepared. See you soon. Oh, why don’t we set it up for like next week, not this Tuesday, but the next one.

Matt


I can’t tell you enough, how often I see emails like these. Some emails are longer than this, 3 or 4 times longer sometimes. Can you tell what’s wrong? I don’t know the exact Starbucks and I don’t know which Tuesday it is.

You don’t need a whole paragraph to tell a person that.


Do This:

Meeting: Planning Committee

Date: Wednesday 5/12/10

Time: 5:00PM

Location: Starbucks (on Campus)

Content: Hey guys, we’re meeting to finalize the details for the conference we’re putting together. Hit me up with an email or call me if you have any questions.

Matt


Do you see how easy this is to digest? I open up an email I see what the meeting is about, the date, the time, and the location. The sender even added a small blurb. I’ll read it because he was so nice to. It leaves absolutely no guessing on the readers part.

Email Signatures

Have you ever gotten those emails from professionals and you find that they have some tag on the bottom. It usually shows their name, their title, company, and phone number. This is usually easy to do for most people. You can even set it up in Gmail or programs like Outlook. But why do this? If you’re the type of person that has to send out emails on a frequent basis, where your contact info is important for people to have, you might want to add this. This gives the receiver some quick info on who you are, just in case you forgot. 


Don’t Do This:

Dear John,

I want to inform you that we’re relocating your desk as of next week. You will be relocated to the second floor so you can best work with your new team members.

Sally


What’s wrong?:

Can you see the problem with this email? Sure contextually it makes sense, but what if you don’t know Sally? Who is this person to tell you that you’re being moved? In an instant, you need to send a reply to find out what happened. An uncessary reply only if Sally was more diligent with a signature.


Do This:

Dear John,

I want to inform you that your boss Steve has asked me to move you to the second floor next week on Monday. Steve feels that you’ll be able to work more efficiently with your teams members on the second floor.


Sally Kay

Human Resources Director

Office 2012

Phone: 555-555-1234


Can you see how this seems better? Now you know who authorized the move, and you know where Sally is from. It makes sense that some from HR is planning your move. At this point, there’s no need for a second email.


Closing Notes:

I didn't talk about grammar or other etiquettes about emailing friends versus co-workers. I'm more than positive you can figure out the proper tone you should be using. These tips are more useful for the people who go to school and have to email club members, lab groups, and etc. I'm honestly tired of having to read through poorly crafted emails that leave important details out.

If you ever have to write an important email, then take it seriously like an essay. Write it up, then save it in draft. Come back to it 30 minutes or later and reread asking if you left anything out. This prevents a whole lot of problems people usually experience.

If you have a tip or trick on how to put together good emails, feel free to send an email over to ninjauniversity@gmail.com



Buying a Netbook? A quick look at the HP mini 311

posted Feb 19, 2010, 12:03 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Feb 19, 2010, 12:05 PM ]

Should you buy a netbook? Netbooks have been around for the past few years and have only recently exploded in the market. You can practically find any computer manufactuer outputting some type of netbook/smartbook. But what is a netbook and how is it different from your typical notebook/laptop. Before I begin, I want to touch on a story of how I got my netbook and discuss my current impressions about it.

About two weeks ago I decided to clean my Dell XPS m1210. I normally do this on a montly basis. It was suppose to be a routine clean. Open up the laptop, get the compressed air, and be done with it. However, that didn’t happen. As usual, I’m always fascinated by technology and I like to open gadgets up more than they should. Now, I didn’t open my laptop further just to guaze at it, but it was a suggestion for a complete cleaning method. Long story short, I popped open my laptop to an undesirable level (took about 20 minutes). To clean the fan, I needed to remove the heatsink. Little did I know my CPU was firmly attached to the heatskink because of the thermal paste.  I accidently damaged the CPU holder (or so I thought). After I put everything together I thought the laptop would boot right back up but it didn’t. My first conlcusion was that I totally ruined my laptop. Great I thought (somewhat sarcastically), let’s find a netbook to replace it.

I already knew a lot about netbooks before my research began. I knew about the processor speeds and the capabilities of most netbooks out on the market. Honestly, they weren’t stunning. I was very use to the Intel Core 2 Duo processor which was very capable. How would suddenly jumping to an Intel Atom Processor be great for me? So since netbooks largest bottle neck was its processor, the next best thing was to find one that could manage to play videos really well, particularly 720P or even 1080p for that matter. Fortunately, Nvidia had brought the ion to the table.

The ion came off as a promising discrete card, apparently a 9400m. If used and coupled with the proper software, high def video playing and encoding could be done with record speed. It was because of this notion I decided to pursue the HP mini 311.

When I brought the netbook home I was hoping to witness a wonderous device. However, it was more dismal than wonderful. First the netbook mouse and mousepad were terrible. It’s design caused the cursor to jump to random locations as I typed. Video playback on Youtube was subpar, even with the 10.1 Flash Beta. Although hard disk playback of video is fine, playing videos off the internet were not. I tried playing Hulu videos and that was skippy and 720P videos on Youtube were just as mediocre. I was firmly disappointed.

I did the upgrades that people suggested on forums. Fortunately most of the playback problems have been fairly resolved. With regards to speed and overall performance, a netbook will struggle. Even handling normal browser task through Google Docs posed bottle necks for the netbook. It was very discouraging. My Dell XPS m1210 ultraportable could easily tackle task with little slowdown whatsoever.

When I finally had time on the weekend to look at my dear XPS m1210, I opened it up once more to see if I could fix it. Maybe the CPU chassis wasn’t damaged. So I did a little bit of fiddling in that area and whole and behold, my laptop turned on. I was amazed but also sort of stunned. Because now I had two laptop devices and one wasn’t really doing the job for me.

Don’t get me wrong, the HP mini 311 is a great device, but it doesn’t give me that rugged feel to it, like its kin, the HP mini 210. The HP mini 311 feels very flimsy as though a drop would pretty much destroy it. And although my XPS is getting old in its looks, it’s actually built very tough. I’ve dropped it a number of times, spilled water, and a tire has run over it and it still runs fantastic. If my netbook were to experience any of those, it was practically game over.

My final thoughts:

1.       Buy a netbook you know feels sturdy. Trust me, if you’re a butterfinger at all, you’ll want a netbook that can take a few punches.

2.       Buy a netbook for what it’s intended for. It’s a device to get you online, type some document, and maybe watch some videos.

3.       Check the mousepad reviews before buying. Some netbooks have terrible mousepads. This can be very annoying even if you have to get use to it.

4.       Go for a netbook with good battery life. You’re obviously getting one for all day computing, try to get the most out of it. Some netbooks reach 10 hours.

5.       Even with Ion, gaming with the latest games is ridiculous. If you’re a gamer, keep your games on your desktop and play them there. The framerates and quality are still subpar even with the Ion processor. Maybe when Ion 2 comes out things will change, but the Intel Atom processor really bogs the system down.

6.       Windows 7 runs snappier if you can get it, but expect to lose an hour on your battery life, maybe even a little more.

 

When I use a laptop, I want it to run smooth and fast. Unfortunately, a netbook just doesn’t offer that to me at this point. Sometimes the lag and delays can be very frustrating, especially when you need that speed at important times. If you’re the type that is use to this speed and comfort, I would suggest avoiding the Intel Atom Processor and scoot a long towards an Intel Core 2 Duo at least. The battery life for most might not be as glamorous, but it will do the work you want it to.

HP mini 311 image from: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/hp-mini-311-netbook_1.jpg

The Apple iPad: My Thoughts, Uses, and Arguments for it

posted Jan 28, 2010, 9:15 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Feb 3, 2010, 7:15 PM ]

I just want to throw my two cents into the Apple iPad. I don’t care if you read this; I just want to lay out my thoughts. As a bonus, I’ll throw in how I think this device will change education. So if you care to read on into the device that kept Apple Fanboys and tech enthusiast on ice, feel free to continue. On the other hand, I’m sure you can get your daily dose of Apple Fanboyism from many other sources.

 I got my first Apple product not too long ago, almost 2 years to be exact. I purchased the item as a pre-gift for myself for signing my life away to go skydiving. I thought at the time, well, if my chute doesn’t open, I might as well have spent a week playing with one of the most tech saavy devices on Earth (at the time). My exposure to the product came at intervals. I met friends, acquaintences, and strangers who had the device. Usually my first question was, “Do you like it?” Most individuals I asked gave positive reviews. Can I touch it?

The tactile features of this device are probably the biggest selling point of the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch line. I do not think, without a doubt, that without such an engaging and beautiful piece of engineering would I have actually considered purchasing one. Anyway, I bought into the fantasy, the Pandora. My first Apple product was the 2nd generation iPod Touch. How do I use it now?

I have a thought that any device that claims to do multitudes of tasks is lying to the masses. At the essense of any multicapable devices out there, the origin, the core of that products strength, will be what most people use it for after the fanfare and candle are out. For example, the iPod touch touts to be a device that can connect you to the internet, play music, play videos, and utilize a slew of applications and games. My iPod touch has been a great app for email, facebook, and staying connected to the internet. Somehow I don’t use the maps features or youtube or many of the games that developers are outputting.  Don’t get me wrong, there are great games out there, but I don’t claim to use my device for it.

At the core, the iPod touch plays music and video very well like its earlier kin. It runs a browser exceptionally well for its size, and email is dealt with effectively, but not efficiently. I still use it, but my love for it slowly wanes. This device, for all its pennies in worth, does almost what it touted to accomplish. Yet it is at the core of the individual to decide what to make of it. And so, we move on to the iPad hysteria and anti-iPad militia that’s beginnging to form. Here’s my thought on it.

When the last Apple Event opened up some months ago, everyone was expecting a possible new device. The iTablet or something of that name is what everyone figured it’d be called. Did it show up? No. Were there any signs to its development and creation? Not the least. As humans, and beings who can delve and expand our imaginations, we fell in love with the Apple iPhone/iTouch. That Apple, bringing such great devices would tout a new and evolutionary product at hand.

Some speculate that the product was built as a result from rumours. The ongoing rumours themselves perpetuated the production of the device only to satiate the desires of the public. Of course, when people want something so badly, we normally get what we want. Or did we?

The Apple iPad is a somwhat large rectangular (4:3) device. It’s smaller than a magazine, but small enough to comfortably hold into your hands. It’s a device that essentially does all the things and Ipod Touch can do except on a larger scale. But to call it an overgrown iPod would be disrespectful to the amazing feats this device has already embarked on setting.

Education

The Amazon Kindle was touted as a device that could be used to help students carrying their entire textbook collection into this one device. I’m talking about the larger Kindle by the way. Early research said it lacked the ability to take notes and it didn’t feel overwhelmingly useful over conventional books. The iPad can soon change that.

The shear contrast and color of the device offers a rich experience, one that couldn’t be tarnished by a e-ink display. Applying notes and bookmarks will probably be even easier, maybe even more fun in some way. Now, let’s hope McGraw Hill can correct its mistakes and have them back on board with Apple to share their products. Reading books just isn’t the half of it.

Going online on a device such as the iPad will make life so much easier. I love the iPod touch mobility to surf the net, but the small screen can take its toll. Being able to read and digest information in a more native size can be a good thing probably for both the body and your eyes. Imagine, your sitting with your friends and someone brings something up no one knows about.  Bamn, bust out your iPad, make a search on the net, and you got a device that can display media and text to a larger group of people. It’ not as portable as its smaller sibling, but it’s the size that counts.

I wanted to use my iPod touch as a device to replace bringing my laptop to class. However, trying to utilize my iPod touch to read PDF documents was a mess. It was just too small to effectively look at anything. Now, I can have a device next to me that can display documents much more clearly and effectively. And if you’re worried about catching all the words in class, there’s a built in mic.

The iPad, although webcam-less, adds a mic. The mic will let you record lecture or any important things you need. There’s a ton of other reasons why this device will be amazing, but let me jump into some of the arguments.

Arguments

The iPad doesn’t have an SD card slot. Yeah, it doesn’t. Live with it. It’s there product and they obviously made a design choice to ensure that their product remains profitable. Surely if I could embed a 32GB SDHC card, I’d lack a reason to buy the 64GB model. Yeah, Apple needs to make money. Money will encourage them to design new products.

The iPad doesn’t have HDMI. Well, the device is a Pad, like a legal pad and when did you ever think of connecting it to your HDTV. Honestly I would like it, but hey, it’s their product and for whatever reason it wasn’t included.

How can I play my web videos without Flash? Now this one was somewhat annoying. I mean, its been 2-3 years now since lack of flash was brought to the attention of iPhone users. But I mean, we’ve learn to live without. I don’t think after the past 3 generations of iPhone devices that people are still clammering about missing flash. In addition, the incoporation of html 5 and video providers moving onto that support will nonetheless stop Adobe in its track.

No front facing camera. Seriously, what’s with the obsession with a camera? The device was designed to be used in a particular way. While you’re sitting down on a couch its sort of angled in a way, or when you’re using it in a meeting, its probably flat down or slightly tilted up. I don’t think the device was necessarily designed for you to hold it infront of your face while you video conferenced the entire time. Again, why would you expect to video chat while you have the device on your lap. Your caller doesn’t want to see your nose hairs.

Of course I think these features would be great, instead of people having to use dongles to incorporate their devices. Even the USB device that’s no where to be found was a must have for folks.

As I mentioned, we tend to imagine a product right for us, a product to have all the bells and whistles. I mean, if you’ve been following Apple, you know they never throw everything onto the table. It would eliminate the 2nd generation of a product. Let Apple have its fanfare and millions from this device. More than likely, the owner will find a purpose that suits his or her needs.

Will I buy one?

When I have money and I’ve made a clear list of all the uses that it can have for me. This might equate into the second generation iPad.

How to dig-dug the grading habits on your professors

posted Jan 25, 2010, 10:39 PM by Danny Eusebio   [ updated Jan 25, 2010, 10:47 PM ]

Have you ever wanted to know how teachers grade their courses? Well for about 10 quids or cheaper if you split it amongst friends, you can dig dirt on your teachers grading habits. Why might this be imporatant? It’ll actually give you an indication of how hard you need to work your butt or if you should ever take the class. I’m not going to do a full review of the site, just on the actual features you care about. Continue reading to learn more.

(Img from: http://ui02.gamespot.com/1249/digdug1b_2.png)




A little background about this website, before myedu.com came about, the contents on this website use to be free. I don’t remember what the website use to be called, but myedu apparently took it over (don’t quote me on that). Anyway, somehow myedu has access to professor grading habits and now they’re capitalizing on it. But before you go blowing 10 quids, you might just want to bargain with your friends.

10 dollars for a whole year isn’t too much, but if you’re like most college students, you need to scrape by. My recommendation is to find a buddy or two who are willing to split the cost. I’m sure you can do that on your own.

Verdict:

I don’t know if I can give my blessing over purchasing these services. Now, myedu offers a lot of other features with graduation planning and useful academic management, but who uses that stuff anyway. Below is a image of the information your shown below when you look up a class and professor grade distribution. I only recommend buying this if you can get your friends to split the cost.

Fig 1: Your shown a bar graph of the grade distribution from A-F as well as course load information.

 

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