Take a tablet
The biggest tech story so far this year, possibly this century, is the launch of Apple's iPad on Wednesday this week. According to consumer electronics blog, Engadget, who posted "The Apple Tablet: a complete history, supposedly" on the eve of the reveal, "Apple's been kicking around the idea of a tablet since at least... oh, 1983". No wonder then that geeks around the world waited with bated breath when there were murmurings late last year that the product would surface for real early this year. The iPad, which is basically a larger version of the iPod, has been well-received by most critics. There is no doubt that it is a wonderful machine, designed to fit into your life as comfortably as a well-bound novel, although it lacks a camera (a pity since it is crammed with picture-viewing features), video output (it is great for watching videos though) and USB and firewire ports. One would do well to note tech reporter Leo Laporte's comment on his uStream feed. Laporte concludes that the iPad should be view more as an "appliance" for media consumers rather than a computer in the traditional sense. The iPad is not a work tool unless your job is reading, watching movies, playing computer games and looking through your photo albums, but it will be a cash cow for application developers. All the applications that have been created for the iPhone will work on the iPad and, with the increased functionality thanks to the size of the touch screen, there will be space for many more. The tablet will go on sale in the United States at the end of March and will sell for upwards of R4000.
We have become so accustomed to zooming into our computer monitors that it is easy to forget that zoomed in versions of things can also be printed on good old paper. Map² is a pocket-sized map of London that allows you to zoom into part of a small scale map without you having to unfold the entire map. The map is folded so that you can unfold one quadrant of the map to reveal a blown up version of that section. You can buy the map for around R80 on the website at thezoomablemap.com.
Rickets makes a comeback
The British Medical Journal has published a report by two medical experts which claims that there has been an increase in the incidence of rickets, a disease that was common during the Victorian era, among British children. Professor Simon Pearce and Dr Tim Cheetham, of Newcastle University say that because children are spending more time indoors consuming digital media, they are being exposed to less sunshine, the body's chief source of vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D causes rickets, which is characterised by inflammation of the joints and muscle weakness. If left untreated, it can result in fractures and deformities and has also been linked to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, several cancers and autoimmune conditions. In adults, vitamin D deficiency causes osteomalacia, a painful manifestation of soft bones. Pearce and Cheetham are calling for a change in health policy to remedy the problem and recommend that vitamin D be added, by law, to foodstuffs such as milk.
Profiling for dummies
Dating site OKCupid.com reviewed 7,000 photos uploaded on their site and analysed them based on the number of messages and conversations their subjects received. Some surprising findings emerged: a flirty or mysterious face works better than a smile, self-shot webcam pictures are perfectly acceptable, wear a shirt if you have a large hairy belly, but if you have a six-pack, flaunt it and, if you don't want to show your face, you don't have to, just make sure you are doing something moderately interesting, like abseiling.
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