Explore the Space with SolarMax

The Solar Max is a fantastic way to get informed on space and the extraordinary galaxy that surrounds us. This nifty and stylish piece of software displays almost real-time data taken directly from the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory – all downloaded with speed to the Android device.

Each of these satellites follows the Sun’s activity continuously, while Solar Max provides users with high resolution images around the clock. The images come from a total of 19 solar image sensors across three spacecraft. The latest version of this extraordinary software comes with a load of brand new features, including an awesome new Pinch and Zoom system for users to get extra close to the sun, as well as the ability to actually download saved images of the sun, and watch the sun in all of its glory.

As said before, the images displayed are of high resolution, so download time will vary depending on the power of the particular service provider – but all image data is well worth the wait.

The Solar Max is an educational and stylish software to play with; a delight for anyone with a passion for technology, and an interest in the workings of our solar system.

download SolarMax

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Manage and edit your digital photo collection with ACDSee 14

With the holidays fast approaching, people are going to be taking a LOT of digital pictures. With my digital SLR, its easy, and not uncommon for me to take well over 300 pictures at a family gathering. After that, it’s usually transfer, convert and tweak…the first two are easy. The last one, however, can be a bit of a problem as finding the right tools to tweak pictures the way you want isn’t always easy. That’s why I’m glad I’ve got ACDSee 14. It’s an awesome digital photo manager and editor, and its available for Windows.

ACDSee 14 is the ideal photo editor and photo manager for your PC, with all the features you need to organize your photo collection. You can edit and add effects to your images, and share your photos online. You can quickly find and organize your photos, and with its easy-to-use photo editing tools, get a perfect result every time. If you make a mistake, don’t worry. Your originals are always preserved, so you can go back and start over if needed.

Getting the best exposure for your shots is often difficult. It’s easy to ruin a great shot with too much or too little light. If that happens, don’t worry. ACDSee’s patented LCE (Lighting and Contrast Enhancement) technology can instantly lighten shadows and reduce highlights in one click; or you can manually adjust individual sliders to fine tune every aspect of your photo. You can change the tonal range, white balance, and color balance of your photos with its easy-to-use adjustment tools.

You can unleash your creativity with its cool special effects and then share your images through e-mail, social media or your own personal space on ACDSeeOnline.com. You can showcase images in an attractive, advertising-free photo sharing interface and easily manage your online images. To insure that only the “right” people see your shots, ACDSeeOnline.com employs full privacy control. You can also control resolution settings. You’ll have a full 10GB of free storage space for your photo collection.

read full review | download ACDSee 14

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iPad 3 Rumors & Thoughts – Part 1: Hardware

With Steve Jobs gone and his legacy not completely publically known or understood, the iPad 3 is almost a complete unknown as well, though the rumor mill has been churning lately. Let’s take a look at some of the rumors and see what’s what.

I’ve been reading the authorized Steve Jobs biography, and quite honestly, I’ve been learning a great deal. Apple very much *IS* Steve Jobs, and vice-versa. It’s been an interesting read. Much of the design and thoughts for the iPad itself came before the iPhone. It was put on hold to address and release the need for the iPhone. However, the magic that is the iPhone will forever be beholden to the iPad. This was probably one of the most interesting revelations I’ve encountered in the book so far. But the iPad… that was Steve’s baby. He really wanted to do a tablet to counter the netbook surge and push, which is pretty much OVER at this point.

Apple has the tablet market pretty much sewn up. At this point, Android can try all it wants, but without the walled garden that Apple has cultivated and nurtured, it’s going to be hard for Google, any of their hardware partners, or ANYONE really, to catch up to them any time soon.

That being the case, rumors of an updated iPad have been circulating for quite some time. Many sites have been saying that the next generation iPad is already in production, and is readying for a March or April release. While I won’t say too much about that just yet, I do want to touch on some of the other rumors related to specific hardware feature sets that many are speculating will differentiate it from the iPad 2.

Better Screen – HD Resolution?
There’s been a great deal of speculation about this particular, potential feature upgrade. A Retina Display from Samsung, a Sharp IGZO display… No one really knows for certain what is going to happen here. However, I think it’s safe to say that Apple’s next generation iPad will have a much better screen than both the iPad 1 and iPad 2. Regardless of what type or which manufacturer really got the contract, Digitimes is reporting some (also unconfirmed) specifics on the screen:

  • A QXGA (1,536×2,048 pixels) display
  • Longer battery life
  • Although its other hardware specs may not be as exciting

The A6 Processor
Apple’s next system on a chip should have nearly twice as much punch as its previous iOS devices. The A5 chip is dual core. The A6 is rumored to be a quad core powerhouse. The tablet should be able to crunch through some major data at that point. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard how fast the chip is rumored to be, though I would assume 1.2-1.5gHz would not be unreasonable.

The Graphics Processor
Given that mobile gaming is on an uptick, and that iOS gaming is in no small part responsible for most of that uptick, it’s almost a certainty that an enhanced graphics processor will be part of Apple’s new iPad. There’s been very little about which processor…but with gaming becoming more important, and iLife apps like GarageBand and iMovie likely to be improved as well, the next edition iPad will need the additional punch of an improved graphics processor. This is probably more important than the implementation of the A6 processor.

HD Camera
The implementation of an HD quality screen begs the implementation of an HD camera. The implementation of a front and rear facing camera in the iPad 2, and the introduction of iMovie for the iPad really kicked this off. I would say that a 720p/8MP rear and 2-3MP front cameras are a safe bet as well.

4G-LTE
Apple clearly stated that it wouldn’t support LTE in the iPhone 4S. While speculation is ripe, no one is willing to make a FIRM say-so on the implementation of LTE. However, it is widely anticipated that Apple will support LTE in both the iPad 3 as well as iPhone 5. So as long as you’re in an LTE equipped market, you should be good to go.

Thunderbolt
This is probably my most favorite and most underused feature in my Early 2011 MacBook Pro. With the implementation of this high speed connectivity solution in its desktops, it seems logical that Apple will move to Thunderbolt and improve the throughput of local synchronization for all its iDevices. However, that would retether the devices it unleashed with the implementation of iCloud in iOS 5.

It would also totally hose about a gazillion iDevice accessories currently on the market today. Apple has been using their 30 pin dock connector forever, and while there have been a few changes to it, generally speaking they’ve stuck with it since the iPod was introduced many years ago.

This would be an interesting development; and one that I actually hope doesn’t come about. However, we’ll have to wait and see.

Come back next time, and I’ll dive into this a bit more with some speculation about iOS 6 and what it’s going to bring to the table.

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Roku 2 rocks the TV world

Meet Roku 2, the second version of the best-selling streaming player, a small gadget that can make you enjoy the best movies and TV shows, live sports, music and lately games all instantly on your TV, without the need of a PC. Forget about antenna or cable TV, cause Roku needs only an Internet connection.

Like its predecessor, Roku 2 can be connected to your TV, or wireless to your network at home in order to stream your favorite channels in minutes. With Roku you can access you existing subscriptions like Netflix, YouTube, AOL HD, Facebook, Major League Soccer, Live streaming FoxNews.com, etc.

The company brings the second generation of Roku again in three different models:

Roku 2 HD is the base model and can be acquired for $59. It has Bluetooth, and plays back resolutions up to 720p;

Roku 2 XD is an improved version of Roku 2 HD, costs $79, and features Bluetooth connectivity, but supports up to 1080p playback resolution.

Roku 2 XS is the ultimate Roku product which costs $99. It comes with Ethernet and USB inputs, supports 1080p playback resolution and features the new Roku motion remote very similar to the Wii remote controller. With its double functions, the Roku motion remote can be used also as a gamepad while playing the games supported by this gadget. At the moment you can only play Angry Birds, but there will be a complete list of games to be distributed through Roku network, games that will not surpass the $5 limit.

Roku 2 can be acquired only online, so in case you want to buy one, go to http://www.roku.com.

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Preprogram your desktop layout with DesktopOk

Having trouble with repositioning your desktop icons while changing the resolution? With DesktopOk you can preprogram your desktop layout for any resolution thus keep the desired order of your icons. This means that DesktopOk can save and restore the positions of icons for each used resolution.

Because of its tiny character, DesktopOk does not have to be installed and can be executed easily from the desktop, and can be carried on a small usb-stick or other memory device.

The application can run on any Windows based operating system from Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows 98 to Windows 7 and Vista including the 64 bit versions.

Features:
# Save your favorite icon locations for each screen resolution.
# Each user can then have his own arrangement.
# Automatically hide and display desktop icons
# Minimises to tray area for easy access.
# Easily minimize all of the windows on your screen
# Launch at Windows startup.
# Autosave
# Portable

download latest version of DesktopOk

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Twenty-Six New Color Cameras Allow Embedded Vision System to Better Solve Challenging Color Image Processing Applications

PPT VISION introduces twenty-six new IMPACT M-Series color cameras with dedicated color IMPACT software tools for sorting, monitoring and identifying color objects. The IMPACT M-Series Embedded Vision System is one of the fastest and most robust factory automation camera systems commercially available, and the addition of numerous new color cameras allows the system to solve an even broader range of challenging machine vision applications. Color M-Series camera models range from economical VGA resolution cameras, to 210 frames-per-second high-speed cameras, to a five megapixel high-precision model.

Grayscale cameras, like the IMPACT A20, solve the majority of machine vision applications. However, sophisticated color cameras and tools are needed to solve numerous critical inspection and guidance operations for industries ranging from food products to transportation equipment. Color IMPACT M-Series cameras can be used to detect food spoilage and determine the fat content in meat. Other applications solved with PPT IMPACT color vision tools include sorting and identifying pharmaceutical tablets, detecting wire placement and components in electronic products, and many additional possibilities.

The IMPACT M-Series Embedded Vision System allows users to perform up to four unique inspections that can be initiated independently–at different times or simultaneously–utilizing a single vision processor. Significant cost savings are achieved by eliminating the need to purchase multiple systems for separate inspection/guidance programs, and the comprehensive system greatly reduces setup and networking time over the traditional use of multiple systems.

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