Random Tech

No-Key Keyboard Design

It doesn’t seem to be the most practical keyboard in the world but it sure does have some pretty amazing design sense. Instead of using mechanical keys this keyboard would make use of a camera to watch your fingers movement and capture the keystrokes based on that movement.

The keyboard consists of only a piece of glass, lighting and a camera to make this whole thing work and because of that it seems that it would be water proof as well.

Yanko Design

Apple Processors

Snow Leopard Drops PowerPC Support

A screenshot of the Snow Leopard system requirements has shown up online and includes the following:

  • An Intel Processor
  • An internal, external, or shared DVD drive
  • At least 512MB of RAM
  • A built-in display or a display connected to an Apple-supplied video card supported by your computer
  • At least 9GB of disk space available, or 12GB of disk space if you install developer tools

Read that first one again, this means that PowerPC processors aren’t being supported in Snow Leopard.

I’m not surprised that they are doing this, by the time Snow Leopard is released the newest computers with PowerPC are going to be roughly 3 years old. It isn’t like Apple won’t support 10.5 any more, Apple still supports OS X Tiger and Leopard will be support for many months after the release of Snow Leopard.


Application Browser Mobile

Aza Raskin Shows Off Mobile Firefox Concept

This is a pretty amazing demo of what could be Firefox mobile. The interface for the application will be touch screen but not multitouch.

There are definitely a lot of really great and interesting ideas for mobile browsers that I wouldn’t mind seeing in Mobile Safari as well.

Aza Raskin’s Blog

Apple iPhone iPod Rumor

iPhone Firmware 2.0 May Be Released June 27 (Update)

Update: According to Apple the App Store is still coming on July 11.

No one has mentioned any hard dates yet as to when firmware 2.0 will be released for the iPhone and iPod Touch. But, Apple may have inadvertently leaked the date with an image appearing on the Australian iPod Touch Features pages.

The image above can be found here and clearly states June 27 as the availability date, this contradicts the “early July” that was mentioned in the keynote.

It’s a shame that Apple can’t get it out any earlier, I’m sure every iPod Touch and iPhone owner can’t wait to get their hands on some of the apps for the devices.

As an aside, I just received a $50 iTunes gift card for my birthday and it is probably going to be primarily spent on iPhone apps, so hopefully I’ll be doing some reviews of the more interesting games. Expect those reviews shortly after the App Store launches.



First Snow Leopard Screenshots Surface Online

From the looks of things, many applications are much smaller in size then their Leopard versions.

Orchard Spy

Apple iPhone WWDC

As the Dust Settles, What Has Happened Since Yesterday (update)

We all know that the new iPhone is going to have GPS, but what we know now is that TomTom already has iPhone navigation software ready to be released with the App Store. I’m not sure what Garmin is going to think about this, with its Nuvifone coming and its killer app being the GPS capabilities, I would assume Garmin isn’t too happy that their biggest GPS competitor is going to be teaming up with its biggest cell phone competitor to build a GPS phone

“Lafargue confirmed that there was a version of TomTom software running on the iPhone but he does not know if they will ever actually ship the product. You would think that the major reason for not shipping would be the clause in the SDK agreement that states “applications may not be designed or marketed for real time route guidance,” but Lafargue insisted that is not a problem. He believes that Apple is only “trying to protect itself” (from litigation presumably) so the verbiage in the SDK would not be an obstacle.”-Gizmodo

The data plan for the iPhone 3G is going to be $30 a month now, apparently the faster data means AT&T feels that they need to charge more for data. We also now know that the iPhone 3G will no longer be activated at home, instead it is going to be activated in store, which will take about 10-15 minutes. AT&T has also decided to drop the GoPhone plan for the iPhone completely.

Apple has also announced Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, there is no firm release date (although the products home page says it is scheduled for release in about a year) yet but there is some information about what it will include.

  • No new features, instead Apple will streamline OSX and enhance performance
  • Dramatically reduced footprint, so more hard drive space for you
  • “Out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange 2007
  • Grand Central – This will make “all of Mac OS X multicore aware and optimizing it for allocating tasks across multiple cores and processors
  • More 64-bit support for accommodating more amounts of memory (up to 16TB)
  • Quicktime X – for more efficient media playback
  • Fastest implementatioin of JavaScript to date
  • OpenCL – “making it possible for developers to efficiently tap the vast gigaflops of computing power currently locked up in the graphics processing unit”


We also learn that it is likely that Apple will still be making a profit, even with the new $199 price point. When the first iPhone came out a teardown analysis came to the conclusion that the iPhone cost Apple about $170 in parts. David Carey, president of Portelligent says that the iPhone 3G may cost Apple only $100 in parts.

MobileMe Guided Tour

WWDC 2008 Keynote Address Video

iPhone 3G Ad

Apple iPhone iPod WWDC

So, What Happened at the WWDC ’08 Keynote?

…what, you don’t already know? If not, here’s a run down (just incase you weren’t hitting F5 like mad on Engadget).

Apps shown off by 3rd party developers:

  • Super Monkey Ball
  • Ebay
  • Loopt
  • Typepad
  • Associated Press
  • Enigmo
  • Cro-Mag Rally
  • Band
  • Modality Medical Learning App
  • Medial App from MIMvista
  • God of War-like game from Digital Legends Entertainment

-10.6 Snow Leopard will be talked about with developers “after lunch”
-Apple Push Notification Apps (a way to do notifications without having the app open
-Bulk Delete and Move for Mail
-Contact Search
-Full iWork Support
-PowerPoint Support
-Calculator Now has Scientific Mode
-Save images from emails
-Software update free for all iPhone owners
-Software update will be $9.95 for iPod Touch owners
-Software update available in “early July”
-If an application is 10MB or less it will be downloadable from iTunes, Wifi, and cellular network
-If an application is over 10MB it will be downloadable from iTunes and Wifi

MobileMe “Exchange for the rest of us,” a replacement for .mac

  • Push email, contacts, and calendar
  • rich email client
  • new web galleries
  • new calendar app
  • 60 day trial
  • 20GB of storage
  • $99 per year

iPhone 3G

  • Solid metal buttons
  • Flush headphone jack
  • improved audio
  • Better batter (up to 10 hours of talk time, 6 hours browsing, 7 hours video, 24 hours audio
  • GPS (which will only be turned on when asked for by an application, to save battery life)
  • Launching in 70 countries
  • 8GB black model for $199 with 2 year contract
  • 16GB black or white model for $299 with 2 year contract
  • Available in stores on July 11

Overall this was a pretty good keynote, even though the only thing you are able to get today is MobileMe. It wasn’t as gang busters and many wanted it to be but it was a solid keynote.

Pictures of the iPhone’s new back after the jump

Apple WWDC

WWDC ’08 Keynote In 5 Hours

The Steve Jobs keynote at WWDC is today and will start in about 5 hours. In the meantime though you can look through my Rumor Roundup post, you can install the ReloadEvery extension for Firefox to automate the reloading of live blogs in your browser, you can follow MacRumors or Me on Twitter for live updates (I might be doing live updates, it depends on the stability of Twitter and the boom! worthyness of the announcements), check out Twistori’s WWDC page, or you can load up your browser with one of the following pages for live updates:

And of course I’ll be blogging about the interesting announcments at some time today or tomorrow here on this blog (just like my Twitter account it depends on the boom! worthyness of the announcement).

Right now I’m predicting a 3G iPhone with a better battery and a subsidy for new subscribers, available on June 29th. I’m also predicting some mention of OS X 10.6. I also think that we will see more information about the App Store, which won’t be available until the 29th alongside the 3G iPhone.

(If you want to know how I’m going to be getting updates it will be a combination of MacRumor’s Twitter messages, iPhone Alley’s live audio stream, and Engadgets live blog).

Apple Cell Phones iPhone

2nd Generation iPhone Wishlist

Since everyone basically assumes that we will be seeing a new iPhone tomorrow I figured I would let Apple know what I want (and if they don’t read my blog, they should start).

3G – Although I don’t have 3G in my area and would see no personal benefit from it, I would hate to see Apple miss this tomorrow, the outcry from all of the 3G lovin’ people would be too loud to deal with. (It’s practically a given, so I don’t have to worry about it)

Subsidized – Not only would it mean that I could possibly pick up a brand new iPhone for less than the relatively expensive $399 full priced iPhone but it would also help Apple reach that 10 million unit mark.

Better Battery – I think the iPhone’s battery is really good compared to some other smart phones and I have no problem getting my iPhone through the day without running out, but with the games and the applications made available with the SDK a better battery would be incredibly beneficial.

GPS – I am a big fan of geotagging and if I could get that combined with turn by turn directions with my iPhone you can practically throw your Dash Express out the window.

Non-recessed Headphone Jack – I have no use for new headphones with my iPhone, I am very happy with the ones that came with it but I would really like to be able to use the cassette adapter for my car without having to take a knife to the end of the cord.

Better Camera – If the iPhone had something like a 5MP camera instead of the 2MP one that it has now it would be one step closer to being the only device that you need to carry around with you.

Video Recording – Along with that better camera I would love to have video recording support, I don’t need a front facing camera for video chat (because I don’t need to look at the people I’m talking to on the phone while I’m on the go).

MMS – I get messages all the time from my friends telling me to go to to check for a message, unfortunately is one of the least reliable websites I’ve ever used (worse than Twitter!).

Notes Syncing – I practically live in text files, I create them on my iPhone and I create them on my computer. I really wish there was some way of moving those text files between the two devices without doing any sort of hacks.

Wifi Syncing – It’s odd that in this day and age you still have to tether your device to your computer to sync it. The Zune does Wifi syncing so why can’t the iPhone?

Accelerometer On/Off – I will often wake up in the morning, grab my iPhone and while laying in bed, check Google Reader, Twitter, and email on my phone but it seems like if I move the iPhone the just a little bit the wrong way the accelerometer makes the web page flip. I wish there was some way of temporarily disabling the feature just while in certain applications.


Microdia Announces 64GB CompactFlash Card

Mircodia will be the first to bring a 64GB CompactFlash card to market. The high capacity card will be named the Microdia 64GB XTRA ELITE CF, the card is capable of 45MB/second read and write speeds and can hold up to 19,000 high resolution JPEGs from a 20MP camera.

There is no word on pricing but the card will hit store shelves in Australia this month.


Apple iPhone iPod Rumor

More Supposed Leaked 3G iPhone Shots

I don’t want to spend too much time on this because I don’t believe that these pictures are actually real. It shouldn’t take too long to find out, cease and decist letters should start flying this morning, if they don’t, then one would assume it is fake.

Reasons I believe it’s fake:

  • Strange choice of icon next to Carlos Rodriguez’s name.
  • Speaker placement on the bottom of the phone doesn’t look like it is pointing down, instead looks like it is pointing back, one of the big things Steve mentioned about speaker phone on the iPhone is the fact that it doesn’t get muffled when you place your phone on your desk.
  • No lock button on top of Product (RED) phone.
  • Why would Apple need to build iChat for Windows? especially when iChat is already compatible with AIM.

Click Through to see the rest of the pictures.


Apple Application iPhone iPod

How Much Should an iPhone App Cost?

With iPhone firmware 2.0 coming this month and with that, the App Store, the question has started to come up about how much iPhone users would pay for applications.

I’ve done some thinking and I’ve realized that I’m not exactly the right person to ask, mostly because I think practically all of the for-pay applications on computers are too much money (I actually think that the average desktop application should cost about $15, adjusted for usefulness of course).

I’ve figured out my prices though and they are as follows:

$0 for little apps that do simple tasks, like check the weather or update Twitter
$5 for pretty much every application that isn’t a game
$7.50 for games

I may be completely wrong though, with games like Suer Monkey Ball and Spore coming to the iPhone, those may be priced more similarly to their Nintendo DS counterparts, around $25.

I don’t know whether or not I would pay $25 or an iPhone game, especially since I don’t know what happens if my iPhone breaks and I need to get a new one, are the applications backed up onto my computer and can they be synced back to my iPhone if I need to do a restore. There are many questions left unanswered, surely many of them will be answered next week at WWDC but hopefully developers won’t price their apps too high, I just don’t want to pay $10 for an iPhone version of Sudoku.