Tag Archives: still
Some people might think Adrian Peterson may be deflated after coming up just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record, but Mike Florio thinks the opposite. Florio thinks Peterson could be motivated to try and break the record for most rushing yards in a single postseason game, which is 248 yards, also held by Dickerson. He goes on to say that to make Peterson’s season more memorable, the Vikings will need to make a playoff run.
If they go one and out, Florio says the Vikings would have been better off having Peterson break the record at the expense of missing the playoffs. He thinks Peterson will be in the right mindset for this, but whether the rest of his team will be remains to be seen.
It’s been a few months since we heard anything new about Google Glass — fortunately, IEEE Spectrum has managed get a few questions answered by the project’s lead, Babak Parviz. While noting that Google Now could be “very compelling” on the new hardware, he stopped short of saying that it would make an outing on the headset. There will, however, be a cloud-based API, which Parviz hopes will help to maintain a consistent user experience — it’s already been used to build both the email and calendar functions on Glass. Perhaps more importantly, when asked whether Google Glass would display advertising to its users, the project lead said that there were no plans for ads on the device. Google’s keeping it vague with a precise feature list, but hardware-wise, Parviz says that the team is aiming for the headwear to last a full day on a single charge, with work still underway on head gestures — still likely to be the least subtle input option alongside the (now patented) trackpad and voice commands. He added that the product is still on track to ship to those early ‘explorers’ early this year — we’re already polishing our glass block in anticipation.
Source: Spectrum IEEE
Google’s (GOOG) Project Glass is one of the more intriguing products unveiled over the past year, as it looks to be the first-ever glasses headset that can project images and data directly onto users’ eyes. But months after first showing off Glass, Google is still trying to figure out just how people will use the headset in their daily lives. In an interview with IEEE Spectrum, Glass project leader Babak Parviz said that Glass would generally be used as “a device that would allow for pictorial communications, to allow people to connect to others with images and video,” but added that the company is still experimenting with ways to improve the headset’s interactivity and overall usefulness. Among other things, Parviz said that the “feature set for the device is not set yet” and “is still in flux,” and that Google has “experimented a lot with using voice commands” and “with some hand gestures.” When asked about the Glass business model, Parviz said that it is “still being worked on,” while adding that there were no plans to display advertisements through Glass “at the moment.”
A 15-inch Zenbook Touch U500VZ has quietly appeared on ASUS’ website. Though the company has yet to announce this model officially, it’s hardly a surprise, as its 13-inch UX31A is already available with a capacitive display, and the line’s 11-inch models are confirmed to get touchscreens as well. Aside from the new panel, this machine’s specs look familiar; it packs a Core i7-3632QM processor, discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics and dual 256GB SSDs. Though the laptop is listed online, price and availability aren’t yet clear, but for now you can click through to the website and feast your eyes.
While webOS is no longer officially around, thanks to HP‘s merciless hack and slash last year, developers are still keeping the operating system alive with the Open webOS initiative. We’ve already seen ASUS’s Transformer Prime tablet boot up on Open webOS, but it looks like the Google’s own Nexus 7 Android tablet has been given the webOS treatment as well.
The seven-inch Android-powered tablet built by ASUS from a partnership with Google was the premiere launch device for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and it’s now been unofficially webOS-ified thanks to the tablets open-source roots. While it’s a mostly unstable port at this point, a few key features appear to be working just fine, including the WiFi and web browser.
webOS Nation notes that the developer behind the Nexus 7 port got it up and running in about a week over his winter break from college — not a bad feat if you ask us, and it makes us forgive the fact that it’s not quite a stable build yet, since a lot of the essential features are still missing.
While there’s no doubt that webOS on the Nexus 7 is a downgrade in functionality compared to running full-blown Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it’s nice to see webOS continue on, even if it’s in an unofficial manner and only runs on a few devices currently. Hopefully we’ll see more from the Open webOS team in 2013.
[via webOS Nation]
Nexus 7 gets Open webOS port, still not a viable replacement is written by Craig Lloyd & originally posted on SlashGear.
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Apple’s (AAPL) share of the global tablet market is in decline now that low-cost Android slates are proliferating, but the iPad still appears to be the most used tablet by a huge margin. Ad firm Chitika regularly monitors tablet traffic in the United States and Canada and in its latest report, Apple’s iPad was responsible for almost 90% of all tablet traffic across the company’s massive network.
Using a sample of tens of millions of impressions served to tablets between December 8th and December 14th this year, Chitika determined that various iPad models collectively accounted for 87% of tablet traffic in North America. That figure is down a point from the prior month but still represents a commanding lead in the space.
The next closest device line, Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle Fire tablet family, had a 4.25% share of tablet traffic during that period, up from 3.57% in November. Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy tablets made up 2.65% of traffic, up from 2.36%, and Google’s (GOOG) Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets combined to account for 1.06% of tablet traffic in early December.
“Despite these gains by some of the bigger players in the tablet marketplace, there has been a negligible impact to Apple’s dominant usage share,” Chitika wrote in a post on its blog.
Apple’s Pages app is my current go-to app for writing. This is mainly because of the ease of using Documents in the Cloud to transfer files between my mobile devices and desktop. My day job and freelance writing business are segregated (day job is on an encrypted laptop). Therefore, for my non-day job needs, I don’t need the full might and power of Microsoft Word. That said, Pages for iOS ($ 9.99) has lagged so far behind even the OS X version of Pages, I’m thankful that for the most part, I’m just using it to write articles and short stories. While Apple has recently made some changes to its iWork suite of apps for iOS, some of the improvements are only half-way implemented.
The chief problem for me was that Pages did not show any sort of change tracking, making the app useless if your workflow relies on this feature. The good news is version 1.7 adds change tracking. The bad news: it’s so poorly implemented that it’s still almost useless.
While you now have the ability to review and accept changes on your iOS device, you still cannot use comments. For me, that is the most important part of the review process. Usually, that’s where a reviewer or editor asks questions and there’s a sidebar discussion in-line about the change. So, while I can accept the change someone made, I can’t see the commentary. I pretty much tend to usually “accept all changes” anyway. (I’m not in the legal profession, so your usage may vary).
The current state of change tracking, where comments aren’t handled, isn’t even something I can give Apple partial credit on.
Editing on the iPhone 5
Before the iPhone 5, editing in Pages on an iPhone was a complete mess. The screen was too small to display a lot of text and the keyboard covered up too much of the page. With the iPhone 5, well, it’s better, but sadly not by much. The chief advantage now is that I can fudge the margins a little bit and have my rows of text span the width of the screen in landscape so I’m not scrolling from side to side to see the text. While I can adjust the zoom level when reading with double-taps, once I edit the text, it zooms in.
Life would be so much easier if I could edit text in the zoomed-out view. So, for the most part I use Pages to refer to documents — meeting agendas, notes, etc. Performing more detailed tasks on a screen smaller than my iPad is something I might need to look at an iPad mini for.
iOS version still lags behind OS X
Styles still remain partially implemented. While you can choose from a list of styles, you can’t create your own. You also cannot update a style if you want the font to be different, though you can change the font manually.
Tables of contents also remain elusive, which can be a problem if you’ve made significant edits to a document and need to update the TOC.
Pages for iOS still lags far behind the OS X version of the app. Since we’re clearly past the myth of iPads existing only as consumption devices, and more professionals are eschewing laptops for iPads, I think Apple needs to seriously step up its game with its iOS iWork offerings. While I can accept that OS X Pages does not have feature parity with Microsoft Word, the lack of parity between iOS and OS X iWork apps is beginning to become tough to handle.
Even the best-laid plans to protect user privacy require a bit more patience to come to fruition. As part of the release of iOS 6, Apple took a big step for user privacy: it rolled out a new system for advertisers on its platform that replaced the use of unique device identifiers. The move was hailed for its intention to give users more control over their personal information, while at the same time allowing publishers to better target ads. But almost three months after the introduction of Apple’s new Identifier for Advertisers, the transition is slow-going: according to one estimate, at least 90 percent of advertisers, ad networks and publishers on iOS are still using UDIDs to track user behavior and target ads.
It took serious privacy concerns to get Apple to move away from UDIDs, which were supposed to be anonymous: Researchers showed that it was possible to identify an iOS user by their unique ID with just a bit of additional information. A Wall Street Journal investigation in 2010 first brought public attention to the fact that dozens of apps they tested were sharing personal information with these companies, like age, gender and location. That kind of information could be connected with UDIDs to identify and track specific users’ behavior.
The Identifier for Advertisers, or IFA, is a new set of APIs rolled out quietly in September specifically for advertisers. Unlike a UDID, an IFA is not a number that is forever associated with a particular device — users can choose to reset it, or opt out altogether. Still, since September, the new identifier is not being adopted very quickly, according to Craig Palli, vice president of business development at mobile app marketing company Fiksu.
“What we see is currently less than 10 percent of the traffic is supporting IFA,” he told me in an interview last week. The traffic he’s referring to is from hundreds of thousands of app publishers’ data his company has access to. While usage rates around 10 percent are pretty small, he believes that over the next few months there will be a rapid shift coming, especially after the beginning of the year. He is forecasting that IFA use “will achieve a critical mass in the second half of Q1 or first half of Q2” 2013. By that time, it will have been about 16 months since Apple first announced it would crack down on publishers and advertisers’ usage of UDID to track users.
What’s taking so long
There are three big reasons the IFA transition has yet to take hold in meaningful numbers. One of them is Apple’s fault — an egregious bug in the system — BUT one is simply a function of bad timing, and the other relates to the sheer effort needed to steer a very large industry toward a new practice.
Many publishers, advertisers and ad networks were all set to adopt IFA. But when Apple rolled out the change in iOS 6, there was a big problem: a bug that rendered everyone’s IFA as a string of zeroes.
“It killed the whole purpose of IFA,” said Michael Oiknine, CEO of Apsalar, a mobile behavior tracking platform.
That meant companies like Apsalar and its clients had no way to measure app user behavior or the effectiveness of in-app ads. If a company tried to use Apple’s new system, it would have had a big gap in its usage statistics in trying to track users that upgraded to iOS 6, said Oiknine. In other words, moving to IFA would have been a big setback.
Bad time for a big switch
The bug is fixed now. But for many publishers, timing the transition to occur in the fall was not ideal. Making the transition from UDID to the new identifier takes time, and a lot of companies don’t want to try to make the switch around a time when a lot of people are getting new mobile devices and starting to use different apps, many for the first time. There were over 6 million iOS and Android device activations on Christmas Day alone last year. Advertisers and publishers want to get to know their new users and start showing them ads from the start.
“The industry could’ve moved a little faster if this were released in a Q1 time period and not up against a critical holiday time period,” said Palli.
But even without the timing aspect, the reality is that getting any industry to adopt a new standard quickly is always a challenge.
UDID remains the standard, Palli said — but there’s also digital fingerprinting, and first-party HTML cookies being used instead of IFA. However, he’s positive the industry is going to embrace Apple’s new solution.
“There is definitive contemplation that there be an industry transition period between UDID and IFA,” so it’s not a huge surprise it’s taking so long. It’ll happen, said Palli. “I think that the industry is highly interested and motivated to get there.”
It’s not often that you hear “counterterrorism” and “football” in the same sentence outside of Tom Clancy novels and Homeland Security paranoia, but in the ongoing avalanche of insanity that is the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, no topic is out of bounds.
At issue: Sean Payton, once and future head coach of the Saints, who’s been suspended for the entire 2012 season for his role in a pay-for-hits scandal uncovered last offseason. The NFL has forbidden Payton from having any contact with his team this year, at the risk of a permanent ban. In specific terms, Payton is “prohibited from direct or indirect communication of any sort with employees of the 32 clubs, including through third parties; and such prohibited communications shall include, but are not limited to, phone or electronic contact.”
It’s a nice idea in theory, but in practice, how exactly would the NFL keep such a lid on Payton’s communications? It’s a key question, and as the New York Times’ Sam Borden notes, it’s a question the New York Giants, the Saints’ opponent this weekend, are asking.
“Of course he will get his message to them somehow,” says punter Steve Weatherford, one of several Giants who expressed concerns to the Times. “I’m not saying anything about Sean Payton as a person or anything, but I think any coach would do that. It’s not like he’s just going to sit at home and watch the games and not have any thoughts. His message will be heard.”
When head coaches get kicked out of games, their assistants are supposed to take over, but on occasion the head coach can still keep an active hand in the proceedings. One oft-ejected baseball coach would regularly shout directions from his office at the bottom at the dugout stairs. And Bobby Valentine famously once was thrown out of a game but snuck back into the Mets’ dugout wearing sunglasses and a fake mustache.
But getting kicked out of a game is one thing. Getting suspended for a season? That completely alters a team dynamic, and you can see why a coach might like to keep his ship from foundering on the rocks in his absence. Without Payton, the Saints are 5-7 and in real danger of missing the playoffs.
If a coach were inspired to communicate with his team, tracking him would be virtually impossible without starting to tread on his civil rights. The Times quotes Rick Nelson, a counterterrorism and intelligence expert who works at the Center for Strategic and International Studies:
Nelson ran down a long list of potential options for discreet communication, including dummy Twitter accounts, disposable cellphones and encrypted e-mails. Nelson said there are programs that can make it seem that an e-mail user has a different address each time.
In terms of trying to monitor Payton’s activities, Nelson added, the N.F.L.’s options are limited. The league is restricted by basic privacy laws — meaning, for example, it cannot be like the Central Intelligence Agency and tap Payton’s phones — though it could use private investigators to follow Payton or watch him from public areas.
Spies! Encryption! We’re starting to get into some serious Homeland territory now!
Payton has received approval to attend a few Saints-related events, like the game in October where quarterback Drew Brees broke Johnny Unitas’ record of 47 straight games with a touchdown pass. But he’s required to report any NFL-related contact to the league, even if it’s accidental.
So what does a coach do when he can’t coach? Well, golf, of course. But also: coach. Payton has served as offensive coordinator for his son’s sixth-grade team, which is sort of like LeBron James taking a year off to play church league basketball. His reinstatement is contingent on commissioner Roger Goodell’s approval, which is reason enough to keep Payton on the straight-and-narrow for 2012.
Still, even though there is no evidence to support any kind of cloak-and-dagger spy gaming going on here, we’ll continue to hope that there’s both smoke and fire. Makes the NFL even more interesting. Shame HBO didn’t jump on this story earlier. This would’ve made for the best season of “Hard Knocks” ever.
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