Smartphone Translator App Translates Foreign Texts From Pictures, Walls, Newspapers, And Whatever.

I think the Translator app on Windows 8 App Store is awesome.  It allows me to point the camera of Lumia 920 smartphone at whatever foreign texts on whatever (e.g., pictures, wall, newspapers, etc…) and it translates such texts into my preferable language that I can understand.  Cool?  Well, check out the video which I had posted right after the break for brief demonstrations and a brief talk on it.   Enjoy!!!

Apple Begins Taking Pre-Order Purchases Of iPhone 5 Today

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Appl...

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Apple Inc.. The design of the logo started in 1977 designed by Rob Janoff with the rainbow color theme used until 1999 when Apple stopped using the rainbow color theme and used a few different color themes for the same design. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apple begins to take pre-orders for iPhone 5 today.  At Apple website, Apple only allows 2 iPhone 5 pre-orders per person.  As usual, you can totally do a finance deal with Apple through Barclaycard credit card service.  At the purchase time, before you even add your iPhone 5 pre-order into a checkout cart, Apple would post a link to Barclaycard credit card service to allow you to sign up for a finance deal.  The deals are, at checkout, if everything you purchase on Apple at the time which is under $999, you don’t have to pay interest on the debt for 6 months.  Anything you purchase at the time is over $999, you don’t have to pay interest on the debt for 12 months.  If you’re already a Barclaycard credit card member who has an active Barclay credit card, you can totally use the promotional finance deals for iPhone 5 as long you purchase iPhone 5 with Apple (with Apple only) before October 18th.  The promotional finance deals for current Barclaycard member are the same as the new applicants for Apple/Barclaycard promotional deals (i.e., under $999 – no interest for 6 months, over $999 – no interest for 12 months).  Prices for iPhone 5 models are, $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB.  iPhone 5 only comes in black or white color, not much choice eh?  You still have to pay shipping fee, sale tax and so on at the checkout.  So, it won’t just be the listed prices of the iPhone 5 models that you have to worry about paying.  I almost forget to mention that you have to also weigh the prices of the 2 year contract that you want to sign up with which wireless provider.

The big differences I see when comparing iPhone 5 against iPhone 4S, one iteration back, are few.  The first big difference is that iPhone 5 has the latest processing chip known as A6, because the iPhone 4S uses A5 chip.  According to others, A6 chip has better performance and yet more energy efficience than A5 chip.  Perhaps, according to Engadget’s “Apple: A6 chip in iPhone 5 has 2x CPU power, 2x graphics performance, yet consumes less energy” article, A6 chip is a lot smaller in size, consequently allowing A6 chip to be more energy efficient.  The second big difference is that iPhone 5 is 0.37 inch taller, .07 inch thinner, and 0.95 ounces lighter than iPhone 4S.  The third big difference is that iPhone 5’s display resolution is higher than previous iPhone 4S and older models (i.e., iPhone 5 has 1136×640 resolution).  The fourth big difference can be an iffy, because I’m not exactly sure if this is the case — iPhone 5 supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard (the newer wireless standard which allows faster wireless data transfer/bandwidth speed across Wi-Fi network).  iPhone 4S and older models definitely do not support 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.  On the same note, iPhone 5 supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless bands, and older iPhone models only supports 2.4 GHz wireless band.  The fifth big difference is that iPhone 5 does not support existing Micro-SIM cards, therefore it only works with the new Nano-SIM card.  The sixth big difference is that iPhone 5 has better FaceTime camera which enables 1.2MP photos and 720p HD video; other previous iPhone models only support VGA-resolution photos and video.  The seventh big difference is that iPhone 5 won’t support 30-pin connector, because the new connector is much much smaller.  The eighth big difference is that iPhone 5’s battery lifespan of a single charge lasts longer in terms of browsing and standby time.

What do I think about iPhone 5?  According to other people, iPhone 5 isn’t that different than iPhone 4S and 4 in term of fashion, because iPhone 5 looks very similar to iPhone 4s and 4.  I can’t say I’m excited about having to see iPhone 5 keeps the same look of iPhone 4S and 4.  Nonetheless, iPhone 4S and 4 look really good from the beginning, therefore nothing can go wrong when iPhone 5 adopts the same polish look of iPhone 4S and 4.  So, I’m not terribly exciting, but I’m not disappointed either in term of iPhone 5 fashion.  There is one thing I must point out though, I don’t know how much I would like iPhone 5 for being taller than iPhone 4.  I guess, until Apple actually begins to ship iPhone 5 to pre-order customers, then I will know how much I would like iPhone 5 in term of being taller than iPhone 4.  Gotta feel it in your hand to know exactly how you feel about it, you know?  On other specs, I actually glad to see that iPhone 5 has better chip and is support 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.  Other than what I had said I like about iPhone 5, I can hardly say iPhone 5 is any more exciting than the first iPhone or iPhone 4.  How come?  If you have iPhone 4S, you know your iPhone 4S is just as capable as iPhone 5.  If you have the first iPhone, wasn’t it that excited to be one of the first iPhone generation users?  You get the gist!


According To Gizmodo, iPhone Bug Allows You To Be Spied On Unintentionally

English: Original iPhone 8GB, iPhone 3GS 16GB ...

Image via Wikipedia

Don’t ask me, but I’m not too clear on how one man’s iMessages has got onto another iPhone which clearly belonged to someone else, consequently allowing a stranger to basically see every single iMessage text which had been sent from this man.  This story is being reported by Gizmodo.  Gizmodo suggested there was a bug in relation to how Genius Bar technicians proceed in swapping SIM card somehow to fix an iPhone, but the end result was the tethering of the iMessage data of a SIM card onto the iPhone which it wasn’t belonged to.  Somewhat unclear of how the bug actually had happened, but this whole mess has allowed one iPhone owner to unintentionally see every iMessage text of another iPhone owner.  Gizmodo went as far as posting some pictures and iMessages of the man who got spied on unintentionally.


Very Soon UK Homeowners May Control Home Appliances And Devices From Abroad With Smartphones

British Gas intends to push a “smart home” technology that will allow UK homeowners to use smartphones to turn on/off many appliances and home devices from afar and abroad.  Even without smartphones, users of this technology can send text messages to turn on/off appliances and home devices from afar and abroad.  The technology will be priced affordably, but as now the affordability will not yet be for certain.  The company plans to distribute this package under 200 pounds.

The technology will work as long homeowners are having broadband network within their homes.  They hint that there will be a wireless central hub that designs to work with various smartplugs.  Smartplugs send and receive instructions and commands from a wireless central hub to have smart appliances and devices to be turned on/off.

What are the benefits of allowing homeowners to use smartphones to control their homes’ smart appliances and devices?  They argue that people can save money with the ability of allowing smartphones to control “smart home” appliances and devices.  One example they give is that the ability to turn off smart heating and cooling systems from abroad knowing one does not return home for a long time can save money on electricity and gas bills.  Others also insist on the awesomeness of having the convenience of allowing one to control the appropriate temperature within a home during a very cold or very hot day from abroad.  How about turning off a stove from one’s office, fearing a stove could create fire hazard somehow when one had forgotten of turning it off in the first place before leaving home for work?  With “smart home” technology, smartphones can communicate with home appliances and devices from abroad.  The list of benefits for utilizing this sort of technology for everyday use is obviously long.

In my opinion, it’s great for people to be able to communicate with home appliances and devices and the houses from abroad, but there is a security issue which cast some doubts in regarding to this so called “smart home” technology.  There is an ongoing belief that smartphone technology of today isn’t secure enough, because hackers can hack into smartphones with ease.  I’m not sure if that is the truth, but I know one thing is true to the fact is that smartphones of today do not have appropriate applications to provide computing security measures.  Unlike laptops and desktops, smartphones and tablets do not have antivirus and anti-malware software.  What is even more disconcerting is that smartphones and tablets do not even have a firewall.  I think these mobile devices must have application firewall level to protect these devices from hackers’ probes.  Without being secure enough, I doubt it’s good idea to have smartphones control home appliances and devices and many other things within the houses.  Knowing the magnitude of the lacks in security for these mobile devices, I can totally imagine there will be enormous headaches and pains that will inflict on the homeowners by hackers through series of frequent hack-probes and hack-attacks.

In conclusion, I think the idea is awesome and very modern, but the implementation of it is very crude indeed.  Why?  Security in terms of computing security measures for smartphones and tablets is so important, because without proper security measures in mobile devices I fear hackers will have so much fun with homeowners.  On the other hand, it’s so pleasing to see British Gas intends to roll out this “smart home” technology in abundance with relatively affordable prices, making homeowners more willingly to adopt this new technology.  Circling back to the security measures of these mobile devices that will be the remote control of “smart home” technology, I fear without proper security measures for these devices and allowing large waves of homeowners to adopt “smart home” technology might lead to a plague of dangerous hack-attacks.


Google Releases Google Wallet, Allowing Users To Mimic Their Credit Cards With Smartphones

Google has just release Google Wallet to the public, but only users who have Nexus S 4G smartphone from Sprint would be able to use Google Wallet.  Other Android users have to wait as Google is working hard to make Google Wallet available for other Android devices.  So what is it anyway?

Google Wallet allows users to make payments with their smartphones.  Google Wallet relies on the participation and cooperation of Citibank, Mastercard, retailers, and merchants to make the transactions for Google Wallet users.  The video right after the break shows you how Google Wallet works.

I’m not certain it’s a good idea to use a smartphone as a credit card.  My uncertainty of this idea isn’t stemming from its applicable aspect, but more of how uncertain I am when it comes to smartphone security.  Smartphone hackers describe smartphones as computer technology in the 90s, because very little security is there to actually secure smartphones from hacking activities.  The video right after this paragraph shows how easy it’s for hackers to hack smartphones and ultimately compromising users’ privacy and sensitive information.

In conclusion, the idea of using a smartphone to pay for something is a very good idea.  After all, users will carry their smartphones around with them at most of the time anyway, and so it’s sort of convenient for users to consolidate physical credit cards into digital form through Google Wallet and other third party software.  Google Wallet is great in this aspect, but I’m not sure Google Wallet can prevent smartphone users from being hacked.  It’s most likely that hackers will see Google Wallet as an incentive to target more smartphone users.  The smartphone industry has to better come up with some sort of security methods so smartphone users can be more confident when it comes to use their smartphones for any financial situation such as paying something with Google Wallet.  Lastly, when users begin to use their smartphones for financial transactions, their smartphones can suddenly become more attractive to thefts.


Homemade Science Project Launched Video Camera and iPhone Into Space In A Balloon Equipped With A Parachute

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Luke Geissbuhler and his son put together a space project where they had launched a balloon into space that carried a video camera and an iPhone so the video camera could record the flight in space and the iPhone could transmit its location using GPS.  Surprisingly, the balloon lasted quite long and escaped the earth atmosphere even though it was struck frequently with wind rate at high at 100 mph.  The video camera recorded the entire flight until the very last part where it had given up when the parachute was about to land.  The result is that the trip to space for the balloon and the video camera and the iPhone is now on YouTube.  Check it out below: