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The New iPad

On 7 March, Tim Cook unveiled the latest iPad, which the company just named “the new iPad,” with no suffix. The device has a high-resolution “retina display” for the 9.7-inch screen, running at 2048 × 1536 resolution. It has 44 per cent greater colour saturation than the iPad 2. It’s powered by the new Apple A5X chip, which has four graphics cores. The camera is essentially the same as the one in the iPhone 4S.

It also features support for dictation, which is not full Siri, the company’s voice recognition software, but it does support British, American and Australian English, French, German and Japanese. The new iPad has been available in the UK since 16 March.

Cook talked about the iPad as “the poster child of the post-PC era.” Technology is rapidly changing and iPads are becoming increasingly important in education, as we have already blogged about. Apple has in fact sold 15.5 million iPads during the last quarter. Cook said: “We’re talking about a world where the PC is no longer at the centre of your digital world but rather just a device. We’re talking about a new world where the devices you use the most need to be more portable… and dramatically easier to use than ever before.”

By | March 19th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Picking the Best Language to Learn

Intelligent Life has recently published a very controversial article written by Robert Lane Greene, a business correspondent for The Economist in New York, about which is the most useful global language to learn (obviously, after English).

Mandarin? China’s economy continues to grow at a pace that will make it bigger than America’s within two decades. Nevertheless, Mr. Greene thinks that Chinese won’t become a popular second language because it is too difficult. A learner of Chinese needs to know at least 3,000-4,000 characters to get the gist when reading and thousands more to understand the message properly. In addition, with its tones, it is a hard language to speak.

Spanish? It’s the second most natively spoken language in the world, the second most studied and the third most commonly used on the Internet, after English and Mandarin. This is still not the journalist’s choice.

Mr. Greene picked French. The Francophonie is an organisation which brings together 56 member states and governments that have a French-speaking heritage, which means almost one third of the world’s countries. Moreover, France attracts more tourists than any other country—76.8m in 2010, according to the World Tourism Organisation.

ABC News wrote that the top three most useful languages for business after English are Mandarin, French and Arabic, with Spanish ranking fourth.

English native speakers don’t learn foreign languages: after all English is not only the first language of some countries, but it is also the rest of the world’s second language. Nonetheless, learning a foreign language produces a cultural awareness that can be useful in business as well as in personal affairs. For example, a capable linguist makes a huge difference when negotiating.

By | March 19th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

GreenBulb and MakiBox

GreenBulb is an innovative company that was created in 2004. Their mission is to turn ideas into marketable possibilities and change the technologies consumed in daily life. Its founder is Elton Leung, who holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Master of Computer Science from the City University of Hong Kong. The GreenBulb Team is passionate about clever designs, hi-tech & lo-tech gadgets, smart solutions and photography among many other things.

GreenBulb is now supporting an interesting project for a 3D printer called MakiBox, so that some of the prototypes can be made in house. This project is being advertised on Makible, a fund raising site specialising in manufacturing and distribution. Makible guarantees that successfully funded projects will be made in a sustainable and responsible manner, that supporters will receive their funded products according to the arranged deadlines or they will be refunded and that profit will be fairly shared with the makers.

The MakiBox A6 is able to print out something that is 1/4 the size of the printer itself, but it is still only the size of a sheet of paper. We have already blogged about Additive Manufacturing, and MakiBox is a step forward in its development. It can be a useful tool for makers, designers, students, engineers and anyone that wants to make things they can’t find in a store.

By | March 15th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments
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