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Futuristic Classrooms: “Pocketbooks” come of age

I remember as a child having to pull a bag filled with books going to school. When I got my first PC in the ’80s, I imagined a classroom where students are holding electronic “pocketbooks” that serves as their library of books, their electronic notebook / magic slate …

The recent news of a big deployment of Linux in schools got me back into thinking just how near the reality of my concept is actually unfolding. One thing caught my attention though, the deployment will use virtual Linux desktops using a CPU sharing scheme. The scheme that uses a single computer connected with several monitors is not something new but I wondered if it’s still feasible in this day and age.

After some checking and comparing alternative solutions and schemes, here’s what I found out — electronic “pocketbooks” are in.

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Site of the week: Stay at home mom learns Ubuntu

This weekend while surfing the Net, I came across a blog about an average Mom who started to learn Ubuntu. She was trying to rate how appropriate tagline “Linux for human beings” really is and it got me curious. I started to read her series of posts entitled “The Ubuntu Chronicles: The Saga of Amber and Ubuntu

What’s very interesting about Amber’s series of posts is that it gives some very good points on how well Ubuntu (Linux) has moved forward in terms of usability on the desktop. And some very good points which may very well help the community identify some improvement areas in terms of usability. Although I wouldn’t rate her as the average typical Mom, she has pretty much written things that provides some insight to how an average user might react to Ubuntu.

stay-at-home-mom-learns-ubuntu

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Dell Mini 10 officially announced

I’ve just read an announcement from Dell that the Mini 10 is now available for pre-order in the US. The Dell Mini 10 will be available on Dell’s web site by February 26 and shipment will start next month.

The model that’s going to be initially available is with 1GB fixed RAM (non-upgradable) and a non-standard 1024×576 screen resolution. That said, the new Dell Mini 10 is available with the either the Intel Atom Z520 and Z530, an integrated 1.3 megapixel webcam, an HDMI out port, integrated 802.11g Wi-Fi, a 3-cell 24Whr battery, 160GB 5400rpm hard drive, a 4-in-1 memory card reader.

Although the Dell Mini 10 uses the newer Atom Z5xx processor with hardware accelerated HD video capabilities, Dell said that such features will only be available on a future model of the Mini 10. Also for those of you using Ubuntu, no Ubuntu pre-installed just yet — although I doubt that will ever stop you from buying 🙂 . The newer processor is also more power efficient at an average power rating of 220mW compared to 600mW for the currently widely used Atom N270.

Great Dell, but what I’m waiting to hear about is the upcoming Dell Adamo. Can you please get it out soon. [via Dell Announcement]

Better Ubuntu Linux bluetooth management with Blueman

l found (courtesy of Bigbrovar’s post, thanks) a piece of software called Blueman that provides better bluetooth management under Ubuntu Intrepid (it’s also available for other Ubuntu versions). It basicall replaces the current bluetooth manager under Intrepid.

What’s cool about blueman is that in addition to better bluetooth management under Ubuntu, it is also able to manage wireless broadband (GPRS/EDGE/3G) connections hand in hand with Ubuntu’s Network Manager. I’ve tried it on my Motorola RAZR mobile phone and it is able to setup HAL so that I can easily connect / disconnect to the Internet using Network Manager.

The last time I tried if my cell phone is supported by the Network Manager, I had to use the mobile phone’s cable to be able to connect to the Internet. If I wanted to connect to the Internet via bluetooth on my cell phone, I had to setup ppp manually. With Blueman, it’s done automatically for you. Great!

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List of supported cell phones in new mobile broadband feature of Ubuntu

Since the last time I tried out how to setup a 3G connection on Ubuntu Intrepid, I’ve been trying out other cell phones that works with the new feature in Intrepid to allow users to easily connect via their mobile phones.

So far I’ve tried the following GPRS/3G/HSDPA mobile phones and they work under Ubuntu Intrepid.

Current list of supported cell phones in Ubuntu Intrepid’s mobile broadband automatic connection feature:

  • Motorola RAZR (3G/HSPDA works with Network Manager using a cable)
  • Sony Ericsson 810i (3G works with Network Manager using a cable)
  • Nokia N80ie (3G works with Network Manager using a cable)
  • Nokia N95 ( will try out this week 3G/HSDPA works with Network Manager using a cable)

If you have made your mobile phone to work on Ubuntu Intrepid, please leave a comment so I can try and make a list of supported handsets. Thanks.

Photo blog about the Philippines is site of the week

During the week, I’ve decided to dive into learning about digital cameras. You can just be overwhelmed at what’s on the Internet! It’s so full of very useful and interesting sites that touches the topic of photography. Seeing that I would have to put some laid out plan on how I need to go about my process of learning more about photography, I’ve decided to take a lighter activity this week by checking out blog sites featuring photos of the Philippines.

This particular photo blog caught my attention. The site named “My Sarisari Store” features photos of the Philippines. When I visited it, I was amazed at the beautiful shots of underwater fauna made by the photographer. Another thing that’s amazing is that the photo shots are featured on the photo blog of Belgian Sidney Snoeck who decided to move to the Philippines in 2002.

Here’s a sample photo of his guest photographer Stephan Jaeggi who created the underwater photo shots. Visit Sidney’s photo blog to take a look at more stunning photos.

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First cell phone with wind recognition fron Pantech

I’ve heard about mobile phones with voice recognition, handwriting recognition, face recognition, business card recognition but I have to admit this is the first time I’ve heard about wind recognition for cell phones. At first it seems a little strange as to what possible applications it can have.

Now that Valentine’s day is coming up, maybe pantech should have added a “nano fan” into the earpiece. While whispering sweet nothings to your love ones, you can blow some tingling breeze into her ears.

I’m pretty sure you can probably think of one of your own ideas. 🙂 [via Akihabara News]

pantech-wind-recognition-cell-phone

WordPress 2.7.1 now available

The WordPress development team has released version 2.7.1 of the WordPress blogging software. This is mainly a maintenance release which fixes several issues since version 2.7. If you’re currently using WordPress 2.7, you can use the new “Upgrade WordPress” feature by accessing Tools | Upgrade from the menu. You can read the announcement at the WordPress.org site or take a look at what was fixed in WordPress 2.7.1.

Intel to demo first 32 nm processor

Intel-logo

Intel has announced that it will be investing $7 Billion in US manufacturing facilities in a 2 year span. The facilities will feature state-of-the-art 32 nanometer chip fabrication. In line with the creation of the 32 nanometer facilities, Intel will be demoing a 32nm processor, dubbed as Westmere, during a press conference in Washington DC. The 32nm technology is the next step into the evolution of the current 45nm Intel processors.

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