Indian government’s $35 tablet unveiled


Now this is curious; having only been mentioning the Indian government’s “$10 laptop” the other day, the Human Resources Minister of the Union of India, Shri Kapil Sibal, has officially unveiled their device.  Contrary to our previous expectations, it’s an all-in-one tablet that they reckon will retail for around $35 and that’s supposedly YouTube capable, has a color display and can browse the internet.

Confusingly, two different designs of device have been spotted at the launch event, both with a tablet slate form-factor.  The Indian government is yet to confirm solid specs – WiFi and 2GB of storage, together with a touchscreen, USB port and 2W power draw are the only things mentioned – but there are apparently almost 8,500 colleges signed up to take part in the initial rollout, and a site set up full of digital education content.

The new device is expected to go on sale to students next year, and the Indian government hopes to use market competition to drive down pricing until they can sell it for just $10 apiece.  This site mentions the possibility of a subsidy, though it’s unclear if that’s on top of the $35 price or if they’ve just squeezed the heck out of their manufacturing partners; even $35 seems frankly unbelievable.

Microsoft says 74 percent of work PCs still use Windows XP, extends downgrade rights until 2020

The latest Microsoft operating system may be selling seven copies a second, but it’s no match for the behemoth Windows XP, still the most popular OS in the world despite recent nefarious attempts (we kid) to invoke spontaneous shutdowns, slow hard drives and trigger blue screens. In fact, a Microsoft exec admitted today that practically three-quarters of business computers still run the nine-year-old OS on hardware averaging 4.4 years old, and Computerworld‘s now reporting Microsoft will extend XP’s lifespan through 2020 (you read that right) as a result. “Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they are ready to use Windows 7,” an official Windows blog post reads. We’ve heard the reluctance to upgrade is due to a reliance on older software and the cost of additional IT, but it probably doesn’t hurt that Microsoft doggedly keeps distributing the OS despite the other choices on offer. Perhaps the futuristic Windows 8 will finally win the workplace over, but it seems Redmond’s hedging its bets on this one. Look on the bright side: this way, when intelligent robots battle for control of the moon, at least the wrathful victors will still be vulnerable to the blue screen of doom.

Hottest Gadgets of the 1980’s

1970’s, and before that we published gadgets from the 1960’s. This may not be the first time these types of technology hit the market, but in the 1980’s these are the products people would have stood in line for, much like they do for the iPad and iPhone today.

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Source and read more . . .

Iran’s got a walking humanoid robot,Surena II -video

Two years ago, Iranian students built Surena, a white humanoid machine that reportedly wheeled about via remote control. For 2010, robots experts at Tehran University decided to update the creature — and apparently, channel a little bit of  japanese Asimo .  Named after a famous Persian warrior, the robot stands 4.7 feet tall, and can walk about slowly carrying its own weight of 99 pounds and is 4.76 feet tall . Gulf News reports the robot will get vision and speech modules later on down the road. If it ends up conducting orchestras or performing show tunes, we’ll be sure to keep you informed.

It was developed by more than 20 robotics experts at Tehran University.


Goodbye HDMI, Hello HDBaseT

Goodbye    , Hello


Founded by Samsung, Sony, LG and others, HDBaseT looks to replace the HDMI standard while offering more bandwidth.

LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor have been secretly conspiring to kill HDMI. And today they set their plans into motion, introducing a brand new audiovisual standard, HDBaseT. While that name may sound confusing, before you slap your head, this will not likely introduce a new kind of cable to your house.

Past A/V standards from industry groups have introduced a plethora of connectors (S-Video, HDMI, DisplayPort for example), so that makes this release all the more unusual. Instead of a new connector, it is based on the Cat 5e/6 network cables, commonly referred to as “ethernet cables”.

It supports cable lengths up to 328 feet. The cable can pass HD and 3-D video signals, as well as data through an integrated 100MBit Ethernet connection. That data feed should allow for new internet-connected TV services, such as Google TV which delivers advertising-funded services to TV sets.

The standard also has many other advantages. For one, it will help declutter the growing mess of cables in the average household. By repurposing ethernet cables, it should also dramatically lower costs, both for the manufacturer and the consumer.

About the only loser in the situation may be “premium” cable makers like Monster Cable Products. However, it’ll only be a matter of time before Monster finds a way to throw gold or other precious metals into a Cat 6 cable and release it as a “premium” HDBaseT cable.

About the only loose end is what mini-connectors will arise out of this new standard. Currently many smart phones, such as the HTC EVO 4G offer mini-HDMI connections. Perhaps more advanced mini-USB connections will answer that dilemma, though.

The standard will begin its rollout later this year. The majority of its volume will hit in 2011. Check out the comparison table below:

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