Remembering hotel keys can be a pain in the behind, and I can't imagine how many walk away from hotels every day leaving the owners to have to buy more. The Clarion Hotel in Stockholm is trying to make key cards a lot less necessary with their trial of ASSA ABLOY's remote hotel check-in.
For four months, the hotel is providing near-field communications (NFC) equipped Samsung handsets to selected customers to give the remote keycard program a whirl. All of the room, check-in, and check-out information can be remotely downloaded, stored, and wiped if necessary with the provided application from any NFC-enabled handset. If this takes off, there may soon be no reason to ever see the front desk at all.
With USB 3.0 coming to more and more platforms, Mac owners may feel a little left out in the cold. When customer Tom Kruk e-mailed Apple CEO Steve Jobs on the issue a few days ago, he got a short and to the point reply.
Jobs' reply stated "We don't see USB 3 taking off at this time. No support from Intel, for example." This seems a bit odd considering the price drops on the platform across the board and growing interest. Jobs didn't exactly rule USB 3.0 out completely, but don't expect to see it pop up as an option when configuring your new Mac anytime soon.
Strategy Analytics, a research firm - has said Apple has taken 95% of the 4.4 million unit worldwide tablet market, while another firm finds a very high satisfaction record amongst iPad owners.
Obviously this isn't surprising - as there's not many tablets out there yet that compete with the iPad... but there's some juicier information.
"Global tablet shipments grew 26 percent sequentially to reach 4.4 million units in Q3 2010," said Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics. "Apple was the clear market leader during the quarter, capturing an impressive 95 percent share with the iPad and beating Android into second place."
If you are a mobile type that needs to get their data backed up no matter where they are, you are probably going to be looking for a small, compact external HDD that gets all the power it needs from the USB port. There are a number of offerings on the market that will do that, but some of them are more portable than others. A company called G-Technology claims to have the thinnest one on the planet.
The new USB external HDD is called the G-Drive and inside the metal housing hides one of the thin Hitachi GST Travelstar Z5K320 HDDs. The overall dimensions of the G-Drive are 128.6mm L x 82mm W x 9.9mm H. The aluminum enclosure is recyclable and the thing is designed to look a lot like an Apple notebook. The drive is pre-formatted for Mac users as well.
The SSD market is ripe with offerings that are aimed at the consumer and a bunch that are aimed specifically at the enterprise user. Kingston has SSDs for both of these users groups and it has announced a new SSD that is specifically for the enterprise user needing garbage collection that is OS independent.
The new drive is the SSDNow V+100 and it has 96GB of storage space. The drive's big feature is the always-on garbage collection feature that doesn't depend on the OS to collect garbage bits and clean them out. The drive will work in Windows machines with TRIM and in other OS computers that lack TRIM capability.
One of the most popular genres of video games for gamers on all platforms from consoles to the PC are shooters. In the world of shooters one of the most popular games is the Call of Duty franchise. The latest installment in the franchise is Call of Duty: Black Ops and the game is set to launch soon. Activision is talking up its launch event for the game.
The game publisher has announced that it will have the Grammy winning heavy metal band Metallica headlining the launch event for the game. The band will rock the Santa Monica Airport Hanger 8 venue in celebration of the games launch. Other than a performance by the band, the event will also celebrate all six branches of the armed forces.
If you are a Mac users that has eyed some of the Windows only sync services with envy, you don't have to be jealous anymore. A company called IDriveSync has announced that it is now making its cloud-based sync and sharing service available for Mac users. The service will let users share files of all sorts and synchronize those files across multiple computers.
Users wanting to try the service can get a free 2GB option that will support sync for up to five different computers and share with up to 50 different machines. If that 2GB of space isn't enough a full membership with all the storage you want costs $4.95 monthly.
Apple is dominating the market for tablets right now. An argument can be made that the main reason for its domination is simply that there are very few alternatives for shoppers to choose from. That lack of alternatives will soon be changing with a number of new tablet computers due to hit the market in the coming months, with several of them set to lend before Christmas.
Despite what is coming to compete with the iPad, the Apple tablet is huge right now with 95% of the tablet market according to Strategy Analytics. The research firm also states that the total market for tablets grew to 4.4 million units for the quarter running July to September. The market for tablets the previous quarter was 3.5 million units.
Our Download of the Day today is Paint.NET 3.5.6 Beta 1.
Paint.NET is an image and photo manipulation application.
Every feature and user interface element was designed to be immediately intuitive and quickly learnable without assistance. In order to handle multiple images easily, Paint.NET uses a tabbed document interface. The tabs display a live thumbnail of the image instead of a text description. This makes navigation very simple and fast.
Usually only found on expensive or complicated professional software, layers form the basis for a rich image composition experience. You may think of them as a stack of transparency slides that, when viewed together at the same time, form one image.
Many special effects are included for enhancing and perfecting your images. Everything from blurring, sharpening, red-eye removal, distortion, noise, and embossing are included. Also included is our unique 3D Rotate/Zoom effect that makes it very easy to add perspective and tilting.
Adjustments are also included which help you tweak an image's brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, curves, and levels. You can also convert an image to black and white, or sepia-toned.