Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lasagna Recipe gif animator
I made that GIF!
Lasagna must be one of my favourite meals of all time. Many people use roux sauce in the middle however it is just as easy to use natural yogurt, eggs and nutmeg as it saves a lot of time (like what it says in the following recipe).

397g/14oz extra lean ground beef
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into bite sized cubes
1 zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
14oz can chopped tomatoes with herbs
1½ cups/14oz tomato paste with herbs and garlic
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
low calorie cooking spray
12 dried lasagna sheets

For the white sauce:
2 cups/1lb 2oz fat free plain yogurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 level tbsp grated Parmesan
a pinch of nutmeg

1. Place a large, nonstick skillet over a high heat. Add the ground beef, bell pepper, zucchini, onion and garlic and stir-fry for 6-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and dried herbs, season well and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring often.

2. Meanwhile mix together the 'white sauce' ingredients. Season well.

3.Preheat the oven to 390°F/200°C. Spray a medium-sized lasagna dish with low calorie cooking spray. Spoon half the meat mixture into the base and top with half of the lasagna sheets. Spread over half of the white sauce mixture and top with the remaining meat mixture. Top with the remaining lasagna sheets, spread over the remaining white sauce. Sprinkle over the Parmesan if you're using it.

4. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with the mixed salad.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

The most expected iPhone yet

Over half a month ago Apple released the iPhone 5 and despite iOS6 and Apple Maps getting negative reviews, the iPhone 5 has been a hit with over 2 million people pre-ordering it and the responce being extreemly positive.
Despite this, on the 12th September 2012 when the iPhone 5 was announced there was nothing which surprised us. Rumours had spoilt everything. A 4-inch screen, 4G and Facetime over a cellular network was stuff that we already knew or what  rumours had said.
When the New iPad was released in March, Apple said that they didn't call it the iPad 3 becuase that would have been too predictable so why didn't Apple make some crazy feature last minute to throw into the iPhone 5 which would have surprised us a bit (or atleast called it the 'New iPhone' or something like that). Apple is making no sence.
I think Apple should make a department for making fake rumours and fake iPhones for the press just so we do get a bit of excitement at the next Apple conferance.

Also, in the last week a first rumour came out for the 4th iPad, apparenly it's going to have a flexible screen. That should be good. I'll post more about rumours on that soon.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Blackberry 10

Rumours and a few features have been announced about Blackberry 10 and yesterday a device that is exclusive for developers was announced. It is called the Dev Alpha 3, it has ridiculously simple hardware however the software running it is Blackberry 10. It has lots of gestures to access different things and it has an unique messaging app which can be accessed my sliding your finger up from the bottom and then right. It combines e-mail, text, Facebook messenger, Twitter and, of course, Blackberry Messenger.
There is an unique work mode feature which allows you to access all of your apps but under a work account instead.
It's closest competition is Windows Phone as both phones have a type of live tile and they both are fighting for 3rd place in the smartphone market.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Is there any weather Britain can cope with?

In the North of England there is currently vast amounts of rain coming from the heavens which is causing loads of roads to be closed and in extreme cases flooded houses. There are 850 calls to the AA every hour and the Met Office has issued an amber weather warning (which no-one knows what it means).
Watching the rain bounce of the car window, it made me think. Is there any weather Britain can actually cope with?
Rain, as I know from this week causes many people to struggle to travel around since so many main roads are closed. There is the same story with snow and ice. People can't and won't travel in those conditions either. There is an advantage to that, as you can have snowball fights instead, but that is beside the point.
When there was too much sun, like earlier this year, there was a hose pipe ban in London because there wasn't enough water in reservoirs to last us the rest of the year.
Finally, there is the usual British weather which is grey, mild and sometimes damp too. This causes the whole nation to complain how we don't get a good summer.
In conclusion, Britain doesn't have a favorite weather condition however it is more convenient for everyone if it stays boring like it usually is.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Inspiring the future (as long as it's in the curriculum)

Teachers always say that their goal is to inspire students and they can do that easily in History, Art, Music and other subjects along those lines. That is all well and good however they may be missing massive opportunities by no fault of their own.

Google recently released an advert on YouTube where they said that in 2020 there will be over 1 million jobs in computer science. This is making computers, software's, apps and websites. They also said in the advert that you should go and ask your School ICT administrators why the school doesn't teach computer science as it is such an important thing in the world. The answer to this is, they can't. Not in the UK at least anyway. The government is currently highlighting the importance of academic subjects instead of stuff like Computer Science. Teachers are under so much pressure to make sure that pupils perform well in the academic subjects, they don't have time or patience to teach Computer Science.

There is literally no awareness in Britain that jobs in Computer Science exist. There will be students getting high marks in subjects like Art and Music all the way through to university, some will end up getting a job in those subjects however a majority wont. However if instead they picked computer Science, then the job possibilities would be endless.

The world is evolving to being on the web and it might surprise the people in Britain but it's not automatic. Twitter has over 300 employees, Facebook has over 2000, Google has 24,000 and Microsoft has a staggering 94,290 employees. I'll admit that some of them work in the shops however for the people who engineer the software, websites and apps, they will be making loads!

There is the same problem with engineering because it's not a subject which is taught in schools. I'll admit that there are a few Science organisations that have engineering days where pupils get to learn what it's like to be an engineer however it is not something which is taught at secondary school.

A pupil might have potential in computer science or engineering however they might never know as long as the curriculum doesn't include even taster sessions of these.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

How Twitter alone is ruining the English Language

As more of the young generation get Twitter and mobile phones it is inedible that they are going to start using text language sooner or later. In some countries it is accepted and you are even allowed to write exam it the short version of English however in most places it is a language that is only allowed to be used on the Internet. In my opinion, text language is the most annoying thing in the world. Doing smiley faces is fine however when people start sending you stuff like OMW and BRB, it just gets confusing. I suppose text language is OK if it stays on social networks however when people are in a conversation in real life and say LOL, it just makes me want to cringe.

Facebook doesn't cause this as you don't have a character limit when posting a status however on Twitter, you have constant limitations. You can only post a tweet 140  character long and you can only use 160  character to describe yourself in your 'bio'. This causes people to start using abbreviations and text language. It's not good English and you're not allowed to use it outside of the Internet so why bother with it in the first place. I suppose when you're texting/messaging friends it is easy to give a quick reply however if they are friends, you could at least spent a minute or two giving them full words.

Friday, 21 September 2012

NFC Business Cards

Just came up with a brilliant idea for Windows Phone 8 users. I got given a business card yesterday (for the first time in my life) and I thought to myself how business cards are roughly the same size of smartphone screens. Then I thought about Windows Phone 8 and how the NFC technology is only mainly being used for playing music.
What if there was an app which let you build your own business card. Then share it via NFC with other Windows Phone users. The app could then have a card contact index theme so you could scroll through your business cards.
"The modern way to give and receive business cards." ~ PAPE"R"MAIL
Also, if you wants to make your business cards available without having to scan your phone, you also get a QR code.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

HTC amaze with Windows Phone 8

I have been the proud owner of a HTC Windows Phone 7.5 for almost 6 months now and I don't regret it one bit. The new Nokia Lumia's seem to be pretty average to me. Yes, I'll admit that they have awesome cameras and a few good apps however there is something that HTC does with hardware that I really love.

Rumours suggested that the next HTC Windows Phones were going to be called the Rio, Accord and the Zenith however the rumours were wrong and the 2 new HTC's are called the 8X and the 8S (I honestly perfered Accord).

Surprisingly, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft was also at the HTC press conference where they announced the phone.

The bigger phone is the HTC 8X and it apparently takes great photos in low light, so I'd  love to see how it compares to the Nokia Lumia 920. The camera on the 8X also has less noise and greater clarity. On the front it has a 2.1 megapixel camera for making Skype calls or something similar.
It is also the first Windows Phone to come with Beats Audio to come built in. This phone also has a 4.3 inch screen.

HTC are taking a massive risk and bringing 8X and 8S phones to more markets than any other phone HTC has ever shipped.
The 8X and 8S will be available in November on 150 operators and in over 50 countries. I can't wait.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Samsung launches new poster against iPhone 5


Nokia even joined in the fun and made a fake advert against the iPhone 5.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

HTC Windows Phone 8 rumours

The  HTC Accord running Windows Phone 8 
The Samsung's Ativ S was the first Windows 8 Phone officially announced and it has pretty much the same specs as the Samsung Galaxy 3 however it includes an NFC chip and a micro-SD slot (as standard with Windows Phone 8).
It was followed by the Nokia Lumia 820 and the Nokia Lumia 920 and on Wednesday HTC is going to be announcing it's new Windows Phones.

First rumour is the HTC Rio. It is the smallest of the new HTC phones to be rumoured with only a 5MP camera and a 4-inch screen (however that is still bigger than most mid-range smart phone screens).

Next is the HTC Acord, it is rumoured to have a 4.5-inch screen and an 8MP camera.

The 3rd and final HTC Windows Phone 8 to be rumoured is the HTC Zenith. It is bigger than the HTC Acord because it has a 4.7-inch display. It has the same 8MP camera as the HTC Accord though.

Small and maybe unnoticed differences between Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 on the hardware side is a new notifications light which (the clue's in the name) lights up when you have a notification and a new START button with the Windows 8 logo on.

Friday, 14 September 2012

The Windows 8 Device for me

Dell XPS One 27
IFA 2012 in Berlin showed us loads of new Windows 8 tablets, laptops and PC's which will be making their way into households around the world in the next few months. Most companies supporting Windows 8 launched a tablet with a detachable keyboard and the ways the keyboards are re-attached were fresh ideas. Some of the keyboards slid on, others with magnets and others with a dock connector.

After all the IFA hype, I've looked at all the Windows 8 PC's and decided my top 3.

3) The Dell XPS One 27 is a type of computer built for Windows 8. A tabletop PC hasn't ever had sufficient software before Windows 8 was released however now it has released we can trust Dell to make good use of it. The Dell XPS One 27 has a 27-inch touch-screen display which reclines so you can have it completely flat on a table. It costs £1,499 with Windows 8 although it is available now with Windows 7.

Sony Vaio Due 11
2) The Sony Vaio Duo 11 is a tablet with ultra-book statistics and a sliding keyboard. It is one of the only Windows 8 tablets which comes with a stylus and unlike other manufacturers, Sony hasn't went crazy with their Windows 8 tablet, in-fact Sony has been mature about Windows 8 and even fitted the Vaio Duo 11 a VGA port. It has a 11.6-inch full HD touch-screen and it runs Windows 8 Pro. The pricing is due in October when the device is released however by the look of all the specifications it is going to cost closer to an iMac than an iPad unfortunately.

Asus Vivo Tab RT
1) The Asus Vivo Tab RT is my favourite Windows 8 device as it has a very practical feature: It has a separate battery in keyboard offering another 15 hours worth of charge. This is a brilliant idea which is unique to Asus. The Vivo Tab RT also has an 8MP camera on the back and a 10.1-inch touch-screen. As suggested by the name, the Asus Vivo Tab RT runs Windows RT which is the versions which doesn't have as many new features as Windows 8 Pro however it is still a strong and finished operating system.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

What I need Google to do...

You may already be aware that I run a newspaper and I think it would be brilliant if I could edit and make my newspaper using Google Drive. This way, I can assess the newspaper whenever because it is online and more than one person can work on the newspaper at the same time.
What I am wanting to happen is for Google Drive and Microsoft Publisher to have a baby. It would be perfect if it had the features and feel of Microsoft Publisher 2003 (because the 2007 and 2010 versions are rubbish  and it has all the Google Drive extras like being able to revert a document to a previous version really easily.
I think the reason this hasn't been done before is because all Microsoft Publisher files are huge because they contain so many graphics and pictures causing it to run extremely slow on some computers. Remember though, we are entering the age of ultra-books so if Google made an online version it should run pretty fast on most computers.
This might even be a job for Skydrive since they have recently launched their new Office 13 apps and they allow multiple users to edit the same document at any one time. I just think Google will do a better job of it though (if it were ever going to happen) because they have simplicity at the heart of the business and they won't over complicate things.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

New iPod and iTunes

At the same time that the iPhone 5 was announced, Apple also announced a new iPod Touch 5th Generation which will be coming out in October for the same price as the old version.

Greg Joswick from Apple announced it. He started off by saying it is the most popular music player of all time, then he announced the new iPod Nano. It basically looks like a tiny phone. It is 38% thinner than the old Nano and it has a 2.5-inch multi-touch display. It has the classic Apple home button at the bottom and it comes in 7 colours. It can play wide-screen video and rewind live FM radio.
He then went on to talk about the iPod Touch. It is a popular music player and games device. The new iPod Touch 5th Generation is the thinnest iPod Touch yet at only 6.1mm and it has a new 4-inch display. It has the A5 Apple processor so it has better graphics. The new iPod has a longer battery now allowing you to listen to 40 hours of non-stop music before going dead. And, like the iPhone 5, the iPod Touch 5th Generation has the iSight camera. Unfortunately it is not 8MP, but 5MP is enough.
Weirdly, this new iPod has what Apple are calling the 'loop'. This straps onto your wrist so you don't drop your iPod.
The gimmick of the iPhone 4S, Siri, is coming to the iPod Touch 5th Generation for the first time ever.
Amazingly, Apple has finally allowed you to get a colourful iPod Touch!! (not just black and white)

Apple now have a new shaped headphones which will come with the new iPod Nano, the iPod Touch 5th Generation and the iPhone 5.

Apple also announced the new iTunes and App Store look for iOS 6 devices. iTunes is the number 1 place to download music and it is available in 63 countries around the world. Both iTunes and the App Store are now integrated with Facebook so you can like an app before you've even downloaded it.

iPhone 5

Rumours have been coming in thick and fast since the launch of iOS 6 in June and finally on September the 12th the iPhone 5 was announced.

The press conference started off with the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, talking about some of their current products like the iMac and the iPad. He told us that they now have over 700,000 apps in the App store and 250,000 of them are for the iPad. He also says that the average person uses over 100 apps.
Phil Schiller then takes the stage and says he is going to talk about the iPhone. First he confirms that it is called the iPhone 5 and then he shows the audience what it looks like. It has 6 rows of apps  and a 4" screen. The iPhone 5 is made completely from Aluminium and Glass, it is 18% thinner than the last version and it is 20% lighter.
He then talks more about the screen, it is bigger so people can see more content. The screen is taller however not wider so it can still fit comfortably in your hand. Big app developing companies have been able to update their apps so they will work on a bigger screen however apps built for a 3.5 inch display still work. Widescreen video mow also works better because the screen is wider (obviously) and according to Phil, the colours are better on the screen.

"This is the most accurate display in the industry. The touch sensors are integrated right into the display itself. We removed a layer and made it sharper. This is the world's most advanced display, and I couldn't be prouder of it." ~ Phil Schiller

Next, Phil talks about Wireless technology, he says the iPhone 5 has an LTE antennae which gives it a lot better signal and internet connection speed. The Wifi connection has also been made quicker.
The iPhone 5 has Apple's A6 chip inside which is twice as fast as the A5 chip. Phil shows us a table showing how much faster the new processing chip is.

Next person to come up is Rob Murray, he is the executive producer at EA Studios. He comments on how much better the graphics are and then he talks about how this makes EA games better. You can now see out of wing mirrors!!!!

Anyway, Phil Schiller comes back onto stage to talk about battery life. It has a longer battery than the iPhone 4S.
The New iPad which came out in March has a feature called iSight and now the iPhone 5 also has that feature. It has a brand new low-light mode (Probably a good challenge for the new Nokia Lumia 920's camera) and thanks to the new A6 chip, it also takes pictures 40% faster. The best thing about the camera according to Apple is the new Panorama mode which lets you take panoramic images which save as 28MP photos. Phil goes on to explain that the iPhone 5 also has face recognition and the ability to take photos whilst taking pictures (like what the HTC One is famous for).
After that Phil talks about microphones, there is now one of the bottom, front and back and they have a new and improved smaller design.
He then talks about wires and cables. The iPhone 5 was rumoured to have a smaller connector and the rumours were right, the new connector is called 'Lightning' and it is 80% smaller than the old cable.

Scott Forstall comes onto stage to talk about iOS6 next. The new Apple Maps app has over 100 million points of interest and it can give you turn by turn directions to get there. It works in landscape as well as portrait and by swiping with 2 fingers you can put it into 3D mode which shows you buildings in 3D.
Notifications centre now lets you post directly to Twitter or Facebook in one click. The most annoying computer voice, Siri, now has a full-screen mode.
Scott then talks about some more of the iOS 6 features which were announced earlier this year like Passbook, iCloud tabs and the ability to share your Photo stream.

Just to give some final details of the iPhone 5, Phil Schiller returns back on stage.

"iOS 6 is the most advanced OS for any phone. And it powers the iPhone 5." ~ Phil Schiller

The price is exactly the same as the iPhone 4S and it comes to the UK, US, France and Germany on the 21st September. The iOS 6 update come out on September the 19th. iOS6 is compatible with the iPhone 4S, 4, 3GS, new iPad, iPad 2, iPod Touch 4th Generation and, of course, the iPhone 5.

Apple then announced an updated version of iTunes and new colourful iPods... New iTunes and iPods

The conference finished with the Foo Fighters performing some of their songs.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


If you are not a big facebook user or you are not a person who uses maps much (a bit like me) you'll probably be wondering what the advantages of upgrading your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to iOS6 will be. Well, a new app Apple is releasing could completely change the way we shop and go about doing everyday things. It is called called passbook.
How it works is simple. It holds boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards and items like that so you can use it to get into train stations, cinemas, clubs, airports and more. According to Apple it even tells you if you are in the wrong terminal to catch your flight.
Windows Phone has a similar app which is coming on Windows Phone 8 (who came up with the idea first is unknown). The Windows Phone app has similar things (like coupons and vouchers) however it also holds debit and credit cards so you can just scan your phone's NFC chip in a shop to make a payment. It is unknown if Apple will have an NFC chip on the iPhone 5 but it is highly lightly.

The iPhone 5 is being announced tomorrow so keep tuned to my blog to find out more. Also, will all the rumours saying the iPhone 5 will have a 4-inch screen I genuinely hope Apple give it a 3-inch screen just to annoy everyone who has been making rumours.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Italian Grand Prix

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is one of the Grand Prix's that have been around for ages. It has extremely long straights and after them there is extremely tight corners. It was a McLaren 1,2 in qualifying with Hamilton starting in pole position followed by Button, Massa and Schumacher. Webber was the only driver we expected to see in the top 10 but didn't. He started 11th.

After a clean formation lap everyone got off to a good start, (compared to Belgium, anything is a good start) with no drivers retiring after the first corner. It didn't take long until Hamilton started to build up a lead for himself. Before the 5th lap he was already 1.4 seconds in front of Massa who was coming 2nd. Schumacher started the race struggling and as predicted, before long Alonso took over him for 4th place. An unusual thing happened down the home straight to Vergne as one of his tyres locked up whilst he was travelling in a straight line causing him to go spinning up into the air however not taking anyone else with him.
During lap 12 Mark Webber took over Paul Di-Resta for 10th position putting him in the points although it is irrelevant at this stage as no-one had pitted yet. Schumacher got told by his team to pick up the pace after another car took over him however he didn't have much time to race as cars started getting their first pit stop on lap 14.
Meanwhile at the very front of the race, Jenson Button took over Felipe Massa for 2nd. By this time Hamilton was 6 seconds in front of the rest of the pack, when he pitted Sergio Perez temporarily took the lead however after his pit stop Hamilton increased the gap again to 11 seconds between him and the person in 2nd place.
Sebastian Vettel got an alarming message from his team towards the end of the race telling him to immediately stop the car because his engine was going to over heat.
It was in the last 5 laps that the 2 Mercedes cars of Schumacher and Rosberg started to do a lot of take-overs however it was too little, too late.
2 laps before the end of the race there was a disaster for the other Red Bull car, it looked like one of Webber's tyres locked up causing him to slide off the track, when he rejoined he was in 10th position however his team thought it would be wise to just bring him into the pits to retire. I wouldn't have wanted to be Christian Horner this weekend.
Hamilton won the race followed by Perez and Alonso. Hamilton seemed untouchable this weekend from qualifying causing him to have his first ever win at Monza and his 20th overall Grand Prix victory.
In the overall standings Alonso is still winning however thanks to his victory, Hamilton is now coming 2nd. The driver of the day for me though needs to be Sergio Perez making it from 12th to 2nd.

Windows Phone - Not helping themselves

Windows Phone is the growing smartphone operating system which has just released a new version called Windows Phone 8. They announced some more of the key features of the system at the same time as Nokia announced their first Windows 8 Phone.

Windows Phone 8 only holds around 3% of the smartphone market, which is rubbish compared to it's competitors. Despite this, Windows Phone isn't helping themselves.

So far, only Nokia and Samsung have released Windows 8 phones (HTC to follow soon) and Windows offered no support whatsoever to Samsung. Instead they just left them to it.
On the other hand, Windows helped Nokia so much, they even shared the same press conference. I expect HTC will share the same amount of support that Samsung did. Why on earth are Windows only pushing one manufacturer of their phones?

Another thing, here is a question that got asked to Nokia at their press conference about the new Samsung ATIV Windows Phone 8:

Q: How do you feel about Samsung stealing your thunder with the Ativ Windows Phone 8 announcement.

A: Anyone can go on stage and announce a product. We're proud to show a phone that's fully working with features that set us apart. We're pleased to show the "first working Windows Phone 8 product."

In my opinion, the senior team at Windows who organised the joint event with Nokia should have told the Nokia team that if they got a question about other Windows 8 Phones, don't put them down like they are complete rubbish. Instead say that they have taken a different rough to Nokia or that they would rather not comment on competition phones.

The comment won't effect the selling of Windows Phone 8, however if Windows keeps failing to support other companies which make hardware for them, it might be a fatal move causing the manufacturers to stop making phones for Windows.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Office '13 Web Apps

For current Skydrive users the opportunity to preview the new 2013 Microsoft Office Web Apps was available. This affects Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote (although I still haven't worked out what OneNote is used for)
This new version of the Web Apps works on tablets too such as the iPad or, in the future, Windows 8 tablets.
At the moment all of the Web Apps, especially Word, only have basic features. That might be because it is still a preview or that Microsoft don't want to be giving you their best quality service for free (my guess is the latter).
Like the old version, it gives you the option to open all the online documents on the Microsoft Office you have on your PC.
And to be honest with you, I don't see that much change from the old version of the Office Web Apps. I can see Microsoft has changed some of the fonts and a bit of the layout however there are no brand new features which stand out to me which is disappointing. I will say again though that this is only a preview and when it is officially released in a few weeks/months time it might include many more feaures because unless they do, I'm extremely disappointed.
Maybe the only point of Office 13 Web Apps was to test if they actually could make a version of Microsoft Office which will work on tablet computers. I just hope that the desktop version of Office '13 is a lot better.

Friday, 7 September 2012

PAPE"R"MAIL addresses the issue: Population

Light blue - Population in 2010
Dark Blue - Estimated population in 2050
The population of the world is growing at a rapid pace, only last year did we hit 7 billion people in the world and that number is constantly increasing. In 1800 there was 1 billion people in the world, in 1930 there was 2 billion, 1960 - 3 billion, 1974 - 4 billion, 1987 - 5 billion and in 1999 there was 6 billion people living on this planet so what has caused that number to take such a big jump recently?

At the moment, the birthrate can not be competed to. It is a huge number. There are over 4 babies born every second and people are living longer thanks to breakthroughs in the development of medicine. Also, in the modern day people around the globe have been warned about the effects of smoking and drinking to much. Some people still ignore these rules however they are punished with the qualiy of life they have in the future.

Because of massive advances in health care and how we live the average person lives until they are 69 years-old. In 1960 the average person lived until they were 53. The current birth to death rate per second is 5 birth to 2 deaths so that means that by 2045 the population might be 9 billion people!

China has one off the biggest popuilations in the world and because of that, they Chinees Goverment has brought in a one-child policy (this means families are only allowed to have one child.) There is some extreemly bad side effects to this though, the abortion rate in China has went up as parents only want to have boys as they have a higher chance of being sucsessful and earning more money compared to girls. This is unfair however unless they remove the policy (which would have devistating effects) there is nothing the government can do.

The British Goverment has no restrictions whatsoever on how many children 2 people can have, infact the biggest family in Britain has over 10 children in it. This is OK now, however in the future there will be an extreme lack of resources for everyone. Unfortunately, the British government isn't being pro-active about this problem. My guess is, the British Government will only put some sort of restriction on how many children you can have when it's too late. When something bad has happened such as there is no more places to build houses and all the remaining fields are privately owned. Or we run out of coal, gas or oil. That is a realistic problem which might happen with in the next 10 generations.

5% of us consume 23% of the worlds energy and if more countries start using more energy we are soon going to run out.

One thing we are defiantly not going to run out of soon is space or housing; If everyone in the world stood side by side we could fit easily in the American city of Los-Angles. The National Geographic predicts that by 2050 70% of the worlds population will live in urban areas and by that time we will start to see a lot more megacities (which are basically enormous cities with a population of over 10 million people). I hate to even consider what the pollution is like and what it will be like in these cities in the future. It was made official in 2008 that more people lived in cities that rural areas so I wouldn't be surprised if that estimate by the National Geographic came true. (There are currently 21 megacities at the moment.)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Water Transparency Scale (VM)

A good idea however with disappointing limitations is how I'm describing my latest idea.
There is no current way to measure the transparency of water, mainly because in the past there has been no need to, however it might come in useful in some ways to tell how pure water or any liquid is.
There could be a scale called VM (Visible Meters) and you would measure the VM of a water like so: There is a bright yellow pole going down into water (in this case, the sea) measuring the meters down from the surface of the water, the further down the pole you can see, then the more VM the water has. The North sea has a much lower VM than the Caribbean. So using VM you can tell how much clearer the water is.

If you found a new waterhole in the Amazon Rainforest and you wanted to know how clear the water is, they could add a chemical decreasing the VM by 50% so you only need something like a ruler to measure the VM and then double the results (or something like that anyway). Unfortunately, almost 100% of germs make no difference on how transparent water is so it would not help 3rd world countries identify what is safe water and what isn't.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 & Windows Phone 8

Exactly 1 week before the launch of the new iPhone, Nokia and Microsoft had a joint press conference where they announced 2 new Windows Phones and loads of brand new features for Windows 8.

With most people expecting an awesome new operating system and a high quality camera, Windows Phone 8 had a lot to live up to.

The conference started off with the Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, talking about some off the current Nokia's like the Nokia Lumia family and the Nokia Asha family. He then talked about some of the apps that Nokia currently make for Windows Phone, like Nokia Music and Nokia Drive. He then went on to say that Nokia Locations is a new app which will be joining them in the Windows Phone 8 App Marketplace.

Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia then took centre stage and announced the Nokia Lumia 920. She describes it as "the most innovative smartphone" (however I'm sure every phone manufacturer says that about their newly launched smartphone).

The Nokia Lumia 920 features built in wireless charging and Pure Motion HD+. It doesn't have the same PureView camera as the Nokia PureView 808 however it does support PureView technology. Jo explains how the Lumia 920 takes exceeding quality low-light photos. Apparently it captures 5-10 times the amount of light more than any other smartphone camera does. It captures more light by keeping the shutter open longer however this doesn't leave you with blury photos as it has a 'floating lens' technology for image stabilisation.

She then goes on to talk about Nokia City Lens which we have seen being previewed before. It uses argumented reality to tell you about the shops, museums and other buildings around you. She describes it as "the most intuitive way to explore the world around you".

Some of the current Nokia apps like, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and Nokia Maps are being updated. Nokia Maps is now offering an offline map section so when you are stranded in the wild with no internet connection, you can navigate your way home. In the future, Maps is also going to get an argumented reality feature.
If you pre-set your destination on Nokia Drive and the time you want to be there, it looks at what the traffic is like and then it tells you when to set off.
Nokia Transport now gives you the times for public transport (which was the whole point of the app in the first place if you ask me).

She then moves onto the Pure Motion HD+ screen. It is a high quality display allowing blur-free scrolling, sharper images, and clearer pictures and videos. It also makes the screen viable in bright light. The Nokia Lumia 920 will have a 4.5-inch curved glass display.

Onto the battery now, it's the biggest battery ever fitted into a Lumia Phone, next to it is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. Which they claim is for the most responsive experience.

The wireless charger is called the 'Fatboy charging pilo' and Virgin Atlantic is supporting the charging pad by having some at airports and on their flights.

Jo Harlow then sums up the Nokia Lumia 920; "PureView, CityLens, PureMotion HD+, and wireless charging."

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore now walks onto stage to talk about Windows Phone 8. He starts by going through some of the features we already know like different sized tiles. Then he explains that it will be easy for developers to make apps for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Then he talks about screenshots and how the new Windows Phone operating system now supports it. You just hold down the home button and the camera button simultaneously.

Photography is his next point, the camera app now has pinch and zoom to zoom in and Bing Vision so it recognises the photos you take. A lens setting lets you run apps through the camera, so you can take panoramic shots with Microsoft 'Photosynth' or add effects with the new FXSuite. FXSuite basically allows you to add filters to different photos (which many apps allow you to do already).

Nokia senior VP Kevin Shields comes onto stage and talks about the strength of the device. He says it can handle every day life so he puts a pair of oven mitts on and he is still able to use the touch-screen (Quite impressive). The screen also apparently responds to fingernails.

Kevin then attempts to wireless-ly connect the Lumia 920 to a speaker dock and after some time he succeeds. The music streams to the speaker dock using Nokia Music. He says this also works with headphones.

After a technical issue, Kevin then tells us that Rovio has made an app for Windows Phone 8. It has wallpapers, news and ringtones (basically all things Angry Birds).

He then announced the Nokia Lumia 820, it has the same polycarbonate design, 4.3-inch display, built in NFC, comes with location services, CityLens, Nokia Music, and other exclusive Nokia apps. It also has the same wireless technology has the Lumia 920.

New Windows Phone 8 features

Windows has jumped on the bandwagon with Apple and Google, and is now offering a mobile back-up service for messages, music and apps. This means if you want to access your phone's content from the internet you can. It also comes in handy if you buy a new Windows Phone in the future so you can download all of your old phone's data and files onto your new phone.

They only thing similar to this that Windows Phone has in place at the moment is an automatic Skydrive upload service for photos which takes no setting up (Windows Phone does it automatically as soon as you log in).

Apple's iCloud service backs up your iPhones e-mail, contacts, calender, internet bookmarks, photos, music, videos and apps (so basically everything on your phone). Android's list of backed up items is similar to that so the only unique thing about the Windows Phone back-up system is the ability to back up text messages (which will definitely come in handy).

Another thing that is new in Windows Phone 8 is the ability to choose where you save apps, music, videos and pictures whether it's on your phone's internal storage or on an external micro-sd card.

Apple currently doesn't even have micro-sd support and with Android you need to go into every app separately to move them around so Windows is better than both of them from the storage aspect.

P.S. If you are wondering why I am posting so much about Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 recently it is because they are both launching soon and they are sooner or later  going to make a change regarding how we live our lives. Also, I am an avid Windows Phone user my self.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Nokia 820 and 920 rumours

With the launch of the next Nokia Windows Phone range coming on Wednesday a twitter account called @evleaks has been tweeting photos about what the smartphones could look like (left).
What we officially know about the next Nokia's is absolutely nothing. Only rumours have been discovered so far.
According to some sources they will be called the Nokia Lumia 820 and the Nokia Lumia 920 (Pureview?). The Lumia 920 might have 21MP camera making it what Nokia call 'Pureview' however we have no clue if that is true or not.
The Lumia 820 is estimated to have a 4.3-inch touch-screen and the slightly larger Lumia 920 is estimated to have a 4.5 inch screen.
Both of these phones apparently come in a verity of colours.

The picture that sparked the rumours
about a wireless charging pad
There are some rumours of accessories that come with the Lumia Brothers, such as a wireless charger, (which would be amazing if confirmed true) . Technology like this has been tried before however it has been proved to be very expensive and not very reliable. If Nokia pulls this off they might be doing something that will have a massive impact on the smartphone market.
If I'm being a bit bland with this, a wireless charger means that you just place your Nokia Lumia on a pad (you don't need to lock it in or anything) and then it starts charging as long as it's in contact with the pad.

We will find out if these rumours contain any truth or not on Wednesday 5th September in New York when Nokia is planning to announce it's Windows Phone 8 range.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Kids corner on Windows Phone 8

If you are going to get a Windows Phone 8 and want your child to be able to use it as well, to introduce them to technology, Windows has made a special feature for that. It is called Kids Corner.
It is an app for kids to use. It monitors what they play and listen to, you can also limit them to only assess certain apps. They can't simply click off the app either, you can password lock it.
The app is extremely customisable as it allows you to change the colour, front picture and name off the app.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Belgium Grand Prix

Spa-Francorchamps is one of my favourite races of the season because the track has a mixture off really long straights and tight corners. The 4.33 mile track is one of the longest of the season.

Spa's warm tarmac carpets challenges drivers as proved in qualifying when Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa failed to qualify in the top 10. Button started in pole position (his first pole position for McLaren Mercedes) followed by Kobayashi and Malaldo.

This race was special for Michael Schumacher because this was his 300th race. He started in 13th. After the formation lap Kobayashi had a lot of smoke coming from his brakes however the race started as usual. Just before the first corner Hamilton, Alonso, Grosjean and Perez crashed out. At first the crash was contrevertial about who was to blame however looking at the footage closer it is clear that Grosjean cut into the side of Hamilton forcing him to go over the top of Alonso and pushing Perez off the track too.
Maldonado got off to a great start however was clipped during the crash and later on had to retire from the race with a broken front wing. Also, Kobayashi, who did so well to get to 2nd position then spent the rest of the race at the back.
The only person who got something out of this crash seemed to be Michael Schumacher getting up to 5th position.
After 10 laps Button was still leading the race with Hulkenberg up to 2nd, Raikkonen in 3rd and Schumacher in 4th.
There was no more incidents in the race however lots of battling for position especially from Sebastian Vettel who by lap 38 had made it to 2nd position from 11th.
By the end of the race, Jenson Button had maintained his position, finishing first (being the only driver to lead for every single lap of a race this year) followed by Vettel, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Massa and then Webber. A unusual result with the big teams like Ferrari and McLaren not ruling the top ten.

Despite Fernando Alonso going out early this race, he is still winning the drivers championship with 164 points, leading with 24 points over Sebastian Vettel who is coming 2nd in the overall standings.

Windows 8 Devices

With the launch of Windows 8 getting closer and so many new devices being launched, instead of doing a separate post for all of the devices. Here is a spreadsheet with over 30 Windows 8 devices which are going to be launched.

Windows 8 Devices

Some of the cells on the spreadsheet are empty because most of the devices haven't had a final launch yet where all the specifications have been confirmed (or I couldn't find them when I was trawling through the internet).

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Samsung ATIV

With all the excitement about Windows 8, many people have forgot about Windows Phone 8 which is supposed to be launching before Christmas.
On Wednesday 29th August, Samsung announced that they will be returning to the Windows Phone market with the new Samsung ATIV S.
It has a gigantic 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and comes with a micro-SD slot (as standard with Windows Phone 8). Samsung says they are going to make a 16GB and a 32GB model.
The release date and the price hasn't been announced yet however I can imagine because of the specs and screen size, it will cost around £450.

This Windows Phone has 2 big brothers who are Windows 8 Tablets. The Windows RT version called Ativ Tab and the Windows 8 Pro version called Ativ Smart PC Pro.
Not much information has been released about these 2 tablets either however we do know that the Ativ Tab will have a 5MP camera, a 10.1-inch screen and it has really good viewing angles.
We know practically nothing about the Ativ Smart PC Pro, we only know that it is compatible with the Samsung S-Pen and it runs the better version of Windows 8 (Windows 8 Pro).