Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Review

Google just announced their newest version of Android 4.1 – codenamed “Jelly Bean”.  This is not as feature packed as many previous releases, but it’s certainly not any less significant – it’s much more than just a decimal – in fact this is one of the most important releases ever for a number of reasons. The main one I can see being “Project Butter” – making Android “Smooth as Butter” – it’s now super fast and responsive throughout the entire OS – something people had previously criticised Android compared to iOS. So, now Apple Fanboys have almost nothing in their Arsenal to throw at Android. So along with that and some small but really impressive feature updates, along with “Google Now” – Google’s “Siri Killer – this really is a formidable force.

Check out this video for a good overview of all the new features:

The biggest new feature release is the update to Google Voice – aka the “Siri Killer”. Initially I was skeptical that google could beat siri on its first release, but check out this video to see just how good it is:

Google Voice certainly seems to be a LOT faster. Now Siri’s new release can do a  few things that Google can’t like launching apps etc – however speed is massively important as if it’s even a bit laggy you’re just not going to use it. Considering it’s their first proper release its very very impressive. It even fully works offline!

Some articles worth reading:

Time – Android’s most important update yet
Engadget – What’s new in Android 4.1
Forbes – What Android’s Jelly Bean Does To Advance Mobile

Android is now steadily pulling away from Apple more and more in the mobile OS race. What is really needed to solidify this win is a decent marketing campaign. 98% of people are plastered with Apple’s incredible marketing yet know little of what Android is – and so do not know there is a far better alternative to Apple when it comes to smartphones.

In typical Apple fashion, yesterday they were granted an injunction to stop Google’s Nexus phone from selling. It cost them $96 Million to achieve this. I really wish Apple would stop acting like a pissy little child and focus on innovation, instead of spending all their time & energy suing people.


Video from Google’s new Project Glass

If you have not heard Google is working on a futuristic type technology where you will wear a set of glasses and it will project certain data onto the glass so you can do a lot of the functions your Smartphones does, totally hands free by using your voice. It even has a pretty decent camera and video-camera built in. Here is the first video.

Very impressive considering he’s bouncing on a trampoline. Try that with your camera phone and the result would not be much/any better.

My guess is that everyone is basically going “What, no way anyone is going to wear those stupid looking things!” but 20 years ago people used to say “I would not be caught dead walking down the road holding a phone to my face” – and I’d bet in time things will change.

Typical, I just get laser surgery on my eyes after wearing glasses since I was 13, and now they come out with super cool technology to make it actually properly useful to wear them.



Download torrents from anywhere using DropBox – Cool!

This is very cool. Not sure how often I’m going to use it, but for the one time it will come in handy, it’s priceless. You can use DropBox to download torrents on your (home)computer – from absolutely anywhere! Here’s what you’ll need to do:

First, make sure you have a BitTorrent client capable of automatically loading .torrent files from a folder. All the big ones are capable of this, including uTorrent, Vuze, and the standard BitTorrent client. Next, set it up to monitor your DropBox, or a folder in your DropBox (My Documents/My Dropbox/Torrents for instance) and automatically open any .torrent file added to that folder.

Now, if you see a file you want to grab, just download the .torrent file to your Dropbox/Torrents folder, and your home PC will start the download as soon as DropBox syncs. It’s as simple as that. Sweet!

If you do not have DropBox, get it. It’s really handy and everyone should have it. Please sign up using this link – and I’ll get extra freee space! :)

Blurring the lines between technology and reality

The graphics in this video are simply breathtaking. It’s a tribute to the new Ferrari 458 Italia made by the guys of Gran Tourismo. Parts of it if you were not looking closely you’d swear that it was actual video footage. Make sure to watch it in HD and full screen:

Can’t wait to see what “Gran Tourismo 10” might be like in 10 or so years time. They’ll probably be beaming it into our heads in a virtual reality that will be indistinguishable from real life! Fingers crossed anyway..

List of Facebook Smilies

Well yes everyone knows the basic smilie and wink etc, but I for one can never remember what to write to get the other emoticons, and I end up typing random characters which just confuses whoever I’m talking to. So, below is a big list of all the facebook smilies you can do, and the characters you need to type (or copy and paste) to get them!

Smile :) or :-) or :] or =)
Frown :( or :-( or :[ or =(
Tongue :p or :-p or =P
Grin :D or :-D or =D
Gasp :O or :-O or :o or :-o
Wink ;) or ;-)
Glasses 8) or 8-) or B) or B-)
Sunglasses 8| or 8-| or B| or B-|
Grumpy >:( or >:-(
Unsure :/ or :-/ or :\ or :-\
Cry :'(
Devil 3:) or 3:-)
Angel O:) or O:-)
Kiss :* or :-*
Heart <3
Kiki ^_^
Squint -_-
Confused O.o or o.O
Upset >:O or >:-O or >:o or >:-o
Pacman :v
Colon Three :3
Robot * :|]
Putnam * :putnam:
Shark * (^^^)
Penguin * (Added 17 Sept 09) <(“)

Making a house from Shipping Crates

Here’s a mind-boggling statistic: 84% of the world’s refugees could be housed with a year’s worth of recycled American pallets–those wooden platforms used for shipping crates. That figure inspired the Brooklyn-based firm I-Beam to design the Pallet House, a 250-square-foot low-cost shelter constructed of 100 discarded pallets.

Nearly 21 million pallets end up in landfills every year; if repurposed, they could house more than 40,000 refugees. And since the pallets are designed for transport, they can first be used for carrying shipments of other types of aid, including food and medicine. Once onsite, it takes a five-person team less than a week to assemble and nail the modules together using basic hand tools. Tarps or corrugated roofing could serve as temporary measures to prevent water from penetrating the interior until enough locally available materials like dirt, wood, and thatch can be gathered to thoroughly cover the exterior and fill the wall cavities.

In addition to having the pleasing aesthetic of a garden shed, the Pallet House is far sturdier and more permanent than the tent structures common in refugee camps, where displaced individuals stay an average of seven years. I-Beam has built prototypes in New York, Indiana, and at the Architecture Triennial in Milan and is currently working on housing for those who lost their homes during the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan.

The 12 year old App Developer!

This is incredible! A TED talk given my a 12 year old who has been developing his own apps!

I think its fantastic and this type of thing should be taught in schools! Just imagine the advances in technology if a portion of kids this young came out of primary school with a vivid imagination the ability to make applications!