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A Real Tablet has a Stylus
2011 may be the year of the tablet, but as a segment it’s still painfully immature. Our hands-on with ASUS’ Eee Slate EP121 last week triggered the usual arguments, dismissing the 12.1-inch tablet out of hand because of its perceived “old” technology. Admittedly, there are plenty of points where the EP121 could fall short: ASUS reckon users will see up to 8hrs runtime, which seems hopelessly ambitious for a relatively slimline slate with a Core i5 processor, and the display was frustratingly glossy. Still, the dual-mode hybrid touchscreen is its crowning glory for those who understand that there’s more to a stylus than most – Steve Jobs included – would have you believe.
While the EP121 will happily let you stab at Windows 7 with your finger – or two, since capacitive multitouch is supported – it’ll also let you whip out the included active stylus and get far more precise. Art apps are the obvious beneficiary, with the Eee Slate turned into a self-contained Wacom Cintiq, but there’s also digital handwriting recognition for a surprisingly accurate alternative to onscreen keyboards. Float the stylus nib above the screen and you can move the pointer without making a selection, for hover functionality; there’s also pressure recognition, so the harder you sketch, the thicker the line.
Unfortunately, most users have only ever come across two types of touchscreen: the resistive panels common on pre-iPhone smartphones and the capacitive screens Apple’s handset helped popularize. Active digitisers are something most people are unfamiliar with, so they associate a stylus with a dumb plastic toothpick, something that’s most likely a compromise for undersized on-screen icons. Throw in the generally underwhelming experience of resistive touchscreens on commercial devices – in markets on self-checkout machines, for instance – and you can see how it could be boiled down to a two-player battle in which capacitive technology pulls ahead.
Microsoft isn’t helping things with software, either. Devices with active digitisers – or hybrid pen/touch displays – generally run Windows, and the Microsoft OS still falls well short when it comes to tablet usability. It’s been more than eight years since Windows XP Tablet Edition launched, and while the handwriting and speech recognition engines have improved behind the scenes, visible tablet accommodation to the end-user has barely evolved.
Ironically, Microsoft has had the answer – or at least a potentially significant part of it – under their nose all the time, in the shape of OneNote and the team responsible for it. Billed as a digital notetaking app (which supports searches of handwritten notes, among other things), OneNote is actually a great example of how Windows and stylus control can work together in a way far more intuitive and flexible than putting finger to screen.
The EP121 is far from perfect, but it’s also no iPad-clone and for that ASUS deserves some credit. The stylus-savvy will recognize it for its strengths and make up their own minds whether the hybrid display and Windows 7’s naivety balance each other out. They won’t have much in the way of choice, though; look at the tablets announced at CES 2011 this month, and you’ll see the vast majority avoid the stylus like the plague, in preference to solely finger control. Unfortunately, until the tablet segment matures enough to countenance anything other than another would-be “iPad killer”, the stylus will continue to get its unfair reputation.
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On Tuesday, Google announced the $249 Asus Chromebook Flip. As the first mainstream Chrome device to offer a 360-degree hinge, the Flip can function as a tablet as well as a laptop. (Lenovo was first to offer a Chrome OS convertible with its ThinkPad Yoga 11e last year, but that model was meant primarily for education, and was chunkier and pricier that most people would like.)
By the time the Chromebook Flip ships—in six to eight weeks, Google says—Google will also release version 42 of Chrome OS, with updates to improve the touch experience. Google says highlights will include the ability to flip the display image, an onscreen keyboard, handwriting recognition, and “full offline capabilities.”
What this means for you: The Asus Chromebook Flip marks a big evolutionary step for an ecosystem that’s already on a roll. In the past two years, Chromebook manufacturers have branched out from their primitive, plasticky beginnings, introducing models with bigger displays, touchscreens, and faster chips.
Google manufacturers its own stunning flagship, the Chromebook Pixel, now in its second generation. But until the Flip, there’s never been a mainstream convertible that’s designed for express use as a tablet. As the Chrome OS platform receives better app support as well, users have fewer and fewer reasons to care whether a system is based on Windows, Mac, or Chrome.
Image: Melissa Riofrio
The Asus Chromebook Flip, shown here in tablet mode, offers two USB 3.0 ports, a mini-HDMI port, and an SD card slot, plus an audio jack.Dressed to impress
The Chromebook Flip, with its 10.1-inch display, is smaller than most Chromebooks, which have displays measuring 11.6 inches and up. You might forgive the loss of real estate given that the display uses the superior IPS technology, and its resolution is full HD (1366×768 pixels).
An all-metal chassis gives the Chromebook Flip the promise of durability, and yet the device is light—less than 2 pounds, Google says.
Image: Melissa Riofrio
The slender Asus Chromebook Flip has DC, volume control, and power buttons on one side.
The Chromebook Flip squeezed an adequate supply of connectivity into its slender profile. On one side, you’ll see two USB 2.0 ports, an SD card slot, HDMI, and an audio jack. On the other, you’ll see power and volume buttons, plus the DC power port.
Under the hood you’ll find 2GB of RAM and the Rockchip 3288 CPU. Rockchip, a new partner for Google, brings less expensive, more power-efficient CPUs to the Chromebook lineup. Google also announced new Chromebooks from Haier and Hisense with the same chip. Benchmarks from our hands-on with the new Hisense Chromebook indicate that this processor holds up well compared to older ARM chips.
Google is serious about battling Windows and Mac laptops for computing dominance. Google vice president Caesar Sengupta told us that the Asus Chromebook Flip is just one of 10 new Chromebook models coming out in the next couple of months. The Chrome ecosystem is looking lively and interesting, in a way that should worry both the Windows and Mac ecosystems. Stay tuned for a Chromebook Flip review when the convertible ships in late Spring.
Steve Jobs died at 56: Today the world is shocked by the lost a truly technology visionary and a great human being, that has contributed so much to the world and created many things that today we all take for granted. As we all know Steve Jobs has been battling pancreatic cancer since 2004. He took his third and final leave of absence in January 2011 and resigned as CEO in August naming Tim Cook as the successor. Steve has had a profound effect on the world of technology, both at Apple and through his many other achievements. God bless.Steve Jobs’s family statement
“Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family.
In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.
We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.”
The family also announced that a website will be erected “for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.”
“Steve Jobs 1955-2011: Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortune enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”
The company has also made available an email address, if you like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences: [email protected]Tim Cook, new Apple CEO, memo to employees
I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.
We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email [email protected].
No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.
Tim”Bill Gates statement
Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft, was quoted by The New York Times as saying that he was “truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’s death.” He added: “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”Mark Zuckerber statement
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook said at his Facebook profile: “Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
“The world has lost a visionary,” Obama said. “And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”
The statement is a moving tribute to man behind multiple computing revolutions. The full statement from the President is included below:
“Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.
By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.
The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.”Google founders statements
Here is Sergey Brin’s statement:
“From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino. Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the macbook I am writing this on right now). And I have witnessed it in person the few times we have met.
On behalf of all of us at Google and more broadly in technology, you will be missed very much. My condolences to family, friends, and colleagues at Apple.”
Here is Larry Page’s statement:Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address Steve Jobs demos Apple Macintosh, 1984 1984 Apple’s Macintosh Commercial Steve Jobs and Microsoft at Macworld Boston 1997 The first Apple Retail Store – Introduction by Steve Jobs Apple Music Event 2001-The First Ever iPod Introduction Macworld 2007- Steve Jobs introduces iPhone Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Together iPad Launch – Steve Jobs disses the Netbook Steve Jobs last keynote: Apple iPad 2 Keynote, Special Event, March 2011 Apple Steve Jobs The Crazy Ones – NEVER BEFORE AIRED
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” –Steve Jobs.
Thank you Steve, you’ll be missed.
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Video calling is a big selling point for Amazon’s new Echo Show device. Amazon
Just two weeks ago Amazon introduced the $200 Echo Look, a smart-home hub that includes a built-in camera to help evaluate your outfit before leaving the house. Now, the company has taken another step, introducing its flagship hub, the $229 Echo Show, which has both a 5-megapixel camera and a 7-inch touchscreen display.
The device itself is built like a fancy digital alarm clock, with the 7-inch screen sitting above a grill that obscures a pair of speaker drivers. It’s driven by Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, so you can interact with it using your voice just as you would a typical Echo, Echo Dot, or the Alexa app. It can display information like weather forecasts, YouTube videos, and of course screens meant to help you buy stuff from Amazon.
In many ways, the built-in screen seems to take the place of smartphone integration in the Alexa infrastructure. It can natively display live video footage from compatible doorbell and security cameras like Ring and Arlo.
The 5-megapixel front-facing camera may seem a little out of place in a bedroom setting. Amazon
The Echo Show can make video calls to other users who have an Echo Show or even just the Alexa smartphone app. Amazon also takes it one step beyond with Drop In, which, when set up, allows you to instantly connect to another person’s device in case you want to check in on an elderly relative or call other people in your house down for dinner.
Despite the addition of the touchscreen, Amazon still clearly intends for users to interact with Alexa by voice for the most part. The Echo Show has an array of eight microphones on top so it can hear commands from any direction. Noise cancellation helps it recognize voices even when music is playing.
Amazon on Tuesday also announced that it is bringing voice calling and messaging to the Echo ecosystem, meaning two people who both own an Echo device (whether it’s an Echo Dot or the Show, for example) could use them to speak with each other or simply leave a message, like an old-school answering machine. The same features work through the company’s free Alexa app.
The Echo Show can do all the familiar Alexa stuff, but you get extra information presented on the screen without the need to use the smartphone app. Amazon
While this is Amazon’s most expensive smart hub, it also seems like the most accessible for users who may not be as tech savvy. The device can be set up without having to download an extra app, and having information displayed on a screen may be simpler than arguing with a virtual assistant to try and achieve some specific tasks.
This product announcement comes at a time where Amazon is already showing its strength in the smart hub market. Research firm eMarketer has just published a study claiming a 70.6 percent U.S. market share for Alexa-powered smart hubs, compared to just 23.8 percent for Google Home. Microsoft’s Cortana is just now finally making it into a speaker device made by Harman Kardon, so it has some serious catching up to do in both hardware and market share.
Early criticisms have taken aim at the Echo Show’s design, likening it to an old CRT TV, but that may a byproduct of trying to attract users who are unfamiliar with the smart hub device genre. Amazon even specifically mentions some of these use cases, like checking on elderly relatives or remotely sharing photos with family members who live far away.
Ultimately, the addition of a screen seems like a natural evolution for the smart hub, especially from the Amazon camp who likely wants to fold more users into the Alexa infrastructure.
The Echo Show is currently available for pre-order for $229, which is just $30 more than the Echo Look, which lacks a touchscreen. Units will start shipping to customers around June 28th.
Today’s Ask an SEO question comes from John in Burbank. John shares:
I work at Kaiser Permanente and we are migrating from IBM portal to Adobe’s Experience Manager (AEM). Some of the questions I am getting involve the creation of dynamic pages based on the template for that page.
How does a dynamically built page in real-time impact SEO?
I hope you can help as I’m struggling to understand how AEM’s technology influences SEO.
Dynamically generated pages, regardless of the platform, have been a challenge for SEO professionals for a couple of decades now.
How do you get pages indexed that don’t exist until they are needed?
New content management systems bring some new tricks to how pages are created but in the end, dynamic content is nothing new.
And there are several ways to handle dynamic content from an SEO perspective.Dynamic Rendering
The official word from Mountain View on how to create SEO value from dynamic content is a technique knows as dynamic rendering.
Dynamic rendering detects the user-agent of a browser or bot and serves up content specifically for that bot.
This allows webmasters to show Googlebot and other crawlers fully-rendered pages rather than an empty dynamic template.
Some of you may sense red flags here – is this cloaking?
Dynamic rendering is not cloaking.
It’s a completely white hat technique recommended by Google for dynamically generated content; specifically, single-page apps and progressive web apps.
However, if dynamic rendering is abused, it can be considered cloaking.
For example, if you use dynamic rendering to serve up content that is not the same or very similar to the content that a regular visitor would see, you could end up in violation of Google’s terms of service.
The best practice is to make sure the content served to specific crawlers is the same as the content seen by your typical visitors.
When you implement dynamic rendering, make sure to check the speed of the site on different user agents.
A common mistake many make when implementing this technique is creating slow-loading pages, particularly mobile versions of these pages.
Always check the page speed of your alternate, dynamically rendered pages.
I’m not going to go into the nuts and bolts of setting up dynamic rendering in the column, but Google’s Martin Splitt has an excellent video on the subject that you can see here.Cannonball: An Alternative to Dynamic Rendering
If you don’t want to mess with dynamic rendering, you can go “old school” and create what I call a cannonball.
A cannonball is when you create static HTML pages to represent the pages that would normally be dynamically generated.
Creating a cannonball can be very time-consuming, especially for sites with many dynamically generated pages.
But cannonballs work for getting content indexed that otherwise might not show up if the crawler can’t access the dynamically generated pages.
Typically, when using a cannonball approach, the dynamically generated content is hidden from the crawlers.
This approach makes sense when using heavy personalization on a site.
For example, a site where users log in and have personal account information dynamically generated while shopping or surfing would use a cannonball approach to show the crawler the pages without any personalized information.
You can also use a cannonball approach in conjunction with dynamic rendering if you just have a few dynamically generated pages that need to be indexed.
The downside to a cannonball approach is it can be very resource-intensive to maintain.
It’s easy for the content in the cannonball to be out of date, especially on a site where things change rapidly.
For example, if your pricing changes, you must make sure that the pricing changes on the cannonball pages, as well.
There are numerous software solutions that will help you to maintain your cannonball pages. However, be aware that not every tool works with every platform.In Conclusion
Dynamically generated pages can be a powerful part of the overall user experience.
But they do create some headaches for SEO pros.
Thankfully, workarounds like dynamic rendering and cannonballs can help ensure we can have dynamically generated content and show up well in the search results.
Have you ever encountered an error, Windows Filtering Platform has blocked a connection after a Windows upgrade? The error is accompanied by code 5157(F). It occurs due to an upgrade leading to the misrecognition of the Windows Firewall – when the Base Filtering Engine blocks some packets or connections. The problem may seem complicated to some users but its solution is simple enough to understand and execute.What is a Windows Filtering Platform and, how does it help?
The Windows Filtering Platform is a collection of services and API (Application Programming Interface) that helps developers create network filtering applications. It was first introduced in Windows Vista and since then has been a part of Windows. It is used to build independent firewalls, antivirus, and network-related applications. An application can also modify access points as they are processed. The Windows Filtering Platform includes the following:
Base Filter Engine
Generic Filter Engine
Callout ModulesFix Windows Filtering Platform has blocked a connection?
There are several ways to fix this issue. You can use any of the below-given methods. Some of the solutions are as follows:
Performing an SFC scan
Disabling the Windows Defender Firewall
Disabling the antivirus on your PC
Creating a new local account
Running the DISM tool
Let us look at these solutions in more detail.1] Performing an SFC scan
Follow the next steps to perform a quick SFC scan.
Select Yes on the UAC (User Account Control)
Type or paste the below-mentioned command and press Enter to run the SFC scan:sfc/scannow
The System File Checker (SFC) is used to identify corrupt system files. In case it identifies any corrupted files, it replaces them with the cached copy that is stored on the system.
After the command is executed and the scan is complete, you can restart the PC and see if the problem is eliminated.2] Disabling the Windows Defender Firewall
Follow the next steps to disable a firewall on your PC.
Type Settings and open the app. In the File a setting box, type Windows Defender Firewall. Select the app from the search list that appears.
This will switch off the Windows Defender Firewall. Restart your PC.
Now check if the error, Windows Filtering Platform has blocked a connection problem is resolved.3] Disabling the antivirus on your PC
Try resolving the error of 5157(F) by disabling the antivirus on your PC. Follow the next steps to perform this action:
Go to Manage settings under the Virus & protection settings.
Sometimes the antivirus is known to conflict with the network settings and result in errors. It can be the case with third-party antivirus but, sometimes, a built-in Windows Security can also cause the error.
If the error persists, you can uninstall the third-party antivirus app and see if it is resolved.4] Creating a new local account
Sometimes the error also occurs because the user account is corrupted. In that case, you can create a new local user account on the Windows 11 PC. If you are confused about whether you should create a Microsoft account or a local one, you can choose the latter one since it is not connected to the servers and can be used independently on the device.5] Running the DISM tool
You can try to run a DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool to resolve the error of the Windows Filtering Platform that has blocked a connection. Follow the next steps.
Select Yes on the UAC (User Account Control)DISM/Online/Cleanup-image/Scanhealth
Execute this command.
Some of the solutions above, such as disabling the Windows Defender firewall or disabling the antivirus, remove the protection of your PC. These actions may pose a risk of virus attacks. Hence, use these solutions wisely. As soon as the error is resolved, restore the firewall and antivirus settings.
Do let us know in case of any suggestions.What is Event ID 5157?
This event documents each time the Windows Filtering Platform allows a program to link to another process (on the same or a remote computer) on a TCP or UDP port.How to turn off the Windows Filtering Platform? What does it mean when we get the message “Windows Filtering Platform has allowed a connection”?
You may get the message that the Windows Filtering Platform has allowed a connection during the Microsoft Windows Security Auditing. This event is logged when Windows Filtering Platform or WFP allows a program to connect to another process on the same or a remote computer. It does this on a TCP or UDP port. The event ID for this message is 5156.
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