Tuesday, 20 August 2013

REVIEWS:The Kindle Fire HD 8.9

So, as the apple ipad at last gets a completly slighter version, the Kindle Fire HD gets a rather bigger one.

Both models are, essentially, similar as the modern variants of the respective series. Though, both are oddly sized additions to their respective families. The iPad Mini is 7.9 Inches and so isn’t, strictly speaking, a 7 Inch tablet and, to not be beaten, this new Kindle Fire is 8.9 Inches and so is consequently not, strictly speaking, a ten-inch version of their (usually 7-Inch) Kindle Fire HD.

Historically, tablet pc’s come in 2 sizes, 10″ and 7″, and both sizes have their advocates, just as much as both sides have advantages and drawbacks. I checked out this latest Kindle Fire in an effort to find if larger actually is better…


Perhaps I would have been more contented evaluating the Kindle Fire HD to the Google Nexus instead. The Nexus 7 is, after all, really the only tablet pc in Kindle Fire’s price range that matches it for effectiveness, specifications and reputation.

Initially a 7 Inch tablet pc, the 10 Inch Nexus 10 was released to about as warm a welcome as George Costanza’s wig and sold pretty poorly from there. Actually, there is barely around 680,000 Nexus 10 models currently in use, which looks bad, especially in comparison to estimated 6.8 million Nexus 7 tablet pc’s.

Why is this? The Nexus 10 was just as good a tablet the Asus nexus 7 (and the Nexus 7 is an incredibly, excellent tablet). On the other hand, for some reason, it just did not cut the mustard.

Perhaps it’s a size thing. Bigger tablet pc’s basically are not as lightweight (or as cheap) as their smaller counterparts. Fundamentally, it appears that when people go big, they go apple ipad.

Seemingly, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is identical classy, multinational accessory as the standard Kindle Fire HD, however it’s just slightly bit bigger this time about. This implies it has a similar duel WiFi aerial, identical astounding array of downloadable apps and content and also the same specially designed Dolby surround sound system.


The 8.9 version + Kindle Fire HD is a great buy costlier than the 7 Inch model. For example, I can buy a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (with free delivery, no less) from Amazon for £160, but the 8.9-Inch version, that is, barring one or two minor modifications, the identical device, will set me back about £230. That is quite a bit to think about.


Right now, I’ve talked (at great duration) regarding the Kindle Fire HD in a variety of other places, so I’ll frankly summarise here so as to save space and avoid repeating myself.

The Kindle Fire HD is a stunning success of condensed computing; it offers a simple, likeable user interface, outstanding media playback with a fine array of apps to boot. The Kindle Fire HD is an excellent all rounder that provides great value for money and is a very sensible choice for the commuter, first-time purchaser and/or the casual consumer.

Experienced software engineers may find the Fire HD restrictive (Amazon are notoriously heavy-handed about what you can and cannot install, for example) and its not on the level of an iPad or a Surface in terms of processing power. Though, it is a good product overall.

The 8.9 Inch version differs in only one, achingly obvious, way.

The dimensions increase does benefit from a bigger display, that’s a genuine boon to the visually impaired user, but beyond that, this indicates slightly superfluous. The enlarged size makes the Kindle Fire HD feel that rather more cumbersome and clumsy, whilst also making it less prone to fit on your bedside, or as cozily right into a handbag or rucksack.

The difference in size is not as jarring as the 10 Inch model would have been, but it is certainly noticeable. #On the# one hand, its nice to have increased options, but on the other…


Basically, the smaller size of the Kindle Fire HD is among its main selling factors. Cheap and cheerful, the 7″ Kindle Fire HD was seemingly made for livening up boring bus journeys, replacing the book on your nightstand and being a perfect travel companion on the last-minute holiday. Conversely, the 8.9″ version lacks most of those charms, whilst at the same time also lacking the processing muscle of the 10 Inch pc tablet.

This new Kindle Fire HD continues to be a excellent device, but the size (along with the cost) increase does not seem prone to make it many new friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the series, but I forecast this one sharing the same fate to the Nexus 10.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Possible Cure for PKD

What it is:

PKD stands for Polycystic Kidney Disease, it’s a condition which effects some 12.5 million people worldwide. PKD is amongst the most common life-threatening genetic disease on the world. A person who has PKD will spread kidney cysts slowly throughout their life, affected organs can, after 40-50 years, reach the scale of footballs. It goes without saying that they can become a supply of acute hurt and, sooner or later, affected kidneys will succumb to renal failure, no matter what. Ultimately, a kidney transplant is the only way to save the patient.

For a few years, sufferers of PKD went undiagnosed and the illness claimed a great many lives without ever being appropriately identified. Now, however, it is an internationally recognized illness and sufferers are carefully monitored from an young age.

In November of 2012, doctors at the KU kidney institute in Kansas, USA, developed a drug called tolvaptan. The medication was found to slow the growth of cysts and also lessening the loss of kidney function, this was a much-needed step by the right direction, but it isn’t a treatment.

This year, things have been looking up even more. Scientists functioning at Massachusetts For the General Hospital were actually able to improve a viable rat kidney and transplant it into a living animal. In addition of this, Dr. Xiaogang Li of the KU Kidney institute recently discovered that vitamin B3 can slow the expansion of cysts; in fact, his team was able to completely restore kidney use in test mice with PKD. Now that’s development.

Why we would like it:

Because 12.5 million people around the world are suffering with that genetic, life threatening disease, also, babies with PKD are being born every single day. A cure is needed and it is needed now.

When can we expect it?

A bona-fide treatment may yet be decades away, but if standard vitamin shots should be considered to control the condition itself, allowing patients to live longer, better lives, then I would say that we were definitely on the right track.

Drugs that manage the illness can be obtainable soon, however. Large-scale Human trials have confirmed that vitamin B3 is safe for widespread use. This means that it must be available to patients all over the world comparatively soon.

Doctors eventually hope to be able to manage PKD in the womb, stopping the disease before it begins. That would, effectively, represent a cure. Such technology is probably 10 years (or more) away, but we are getting there.

Cool Factor: 5/5

Keep in mind that scene in ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home’ where the crew of the Enterprise journey back in time to that mid 1980’s and Doc McCoy encounters an elderly Woman who wants kidney dialysis. Exploding in disbelief, the great doctor cries “what is this, the dark ages!?” before giving the Woman a tablet that promptly grows her a brand new kidney, much to her delight. That’s where we can be within a few decades – ‘Star Trek’ technology. What could be cooler than that?

Joining the NHS organ donor list is the way you may help this situation, today.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

After weeks in hospital, Nelson Mandela is little by little getting better

Former South African President and civil rights icon Nelson Mandela, who is in hospital since the 8th Of june, has today showed some small signs of improvement, reported by South African President Jacob Zuma.

Reported by Mr. Zuma, who cancelled a visit to Mozambique so as to go to the 94 year old in hospital, “He is much better now than he was when I visited him last night.”

Mr. Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe has also reported that her father is “still there”, which has provided faith to tens of millions worldwide who wish the previous Leader a immediate recuperation. Yet, she has also affirmed “he does not look good”. Mandela’s condition remains to be believed to be precarious.

Large crowds have gathered outside the hospital, including a group of youngsters who released 94 balloons, one for each year of Mandela’s life. US President Barack Obama described Mr. Mandela as “a hero for the world” and commented that his inheritance will live through the ages.

Online, a large expression of support for Mr. Mandela, as well as his family and legacy, has dwarfed the relatively small, racially motivated efforts to sully the previous President’s name for shock worth and/or internet hits.

Nelson Mandela was the powerful force behind the replacement of that racist Apartheid regime with a multi-racial South African democracy.

For his proceedings as the member of the political underground, Mr. Mandela was locked up for 27 years. Before he was sentenced, Mandela famously made his case for independence and equality in the Rivona courtroom.

“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free civilization that all people live together in harmony and with equal possibilities (…) It is an ideal which I hope to live for also to achieve. When needs be, it is an ideal that I am prepared to die.” He said. Upon his liberate, Madela eventually grew to become South Africa’s 1st black Leader and was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, with former Leader F.W de Klerk, in 1993.

Since voluntarily stepping down as President in 1999, Mr. Mandela has worked as an envoy, campaigned against HIV/AIDS (an affliction which caused the death of his son in 2005) and negotiated peace treaties in Africa and somewhere else within the world. On his 89th birthday, he fashioned ‘The Elders’ a group of foremost statesmen and famous figures, with the intent of tackling some of our world’s toughest problems.

In 2004, he retired from public life generally, seeking to engage in “quiet reflection”.

I wish Mr. Mandela a powerful and rapid recuperation and stay hopeful that, despite his advanced years, the man known the world over as ‘Madiba’ can still work as a source for better on this world.




Thursday, 1 August 2013

How Do Headphones Work?

To put it exceptionally basically, your earpiece features a bit of plastic that vibrates in accordance to the signals received from the device it’s connected to. The plastic vibrates directly to the metal curl that is connected to a magnet, which helps the plastic to create the noise waves that play into your ear.

That is it, really. It seems easy enough, but I couldn’t have thought of it.

Jezen Thomas at eHow.com presents a more comprehensive explanation to us, he says that,

“Earphones consist of a speaker cone, an iron coil, a magnet and speaker cables. When earphones are plugged into a music-playing device like a stereo, electricity is sent along the speaker cables. The speaker cables feed this electrical current through the iron coil, which behaves as an electromagnet. The coil then attracts or repels the permanent magnet, depending on the electrical current sent by the music-playing device. This causes the coil to move, which subsequently pushes and pulls the speaker cone. As the speaker cone vibrates as a result of this movement, it creates sonic waves that resonate through the air and are transferred through small bones and membranes inside your ear”.

Evidently, you can find various kinds of earpieces, but fundamentally, that is it.

Some earpieces, though, do include bonus functions. Noise canceling headsets, for example, can make a small field of white sound round the amp itself, which acts as something of a vacuum and has the consequence of disabling exterior noise. These earpieces are also better for the physical condition of your inner ear than most other styles. Sam Costello at About.com

“The noise around us can contribute to cause us to change how we listen to an iPod. If there’s a lot of noise nearby, it’s likely that we’ll turn up the iPod’s volume, thus increasing the chances of hearing loss. To cut down on, or eliminate, ambient noise, use noise-deadening or –cancelling headphones. They’re more expensive, but your ears will thank you”.

Chris Woodford, writing for ‘Explain That Stuff.com’, provides a close portrayal of the major variation between earpieces and audio system. Even with fundamentally operating in a similar way, there are actually variations involving the two, it seems. He states,

“The biggest difference between loudspeakers and headphones is, of course, size. A loudspeaker needs to set all the air moving in a room so you can hear the sound it’s making, but the speaker in a headphone only has to move the volume of air inside your ear canal. That’s why it can be so much smaller and more discreet”.

 If, even after all this tech talk, you are still considering seeing what is happening within your headphones, the Youtube user Cayde Brown is known for a number of video lessons called ‘Take Apart’, which will probably be of interest. In a single episode (which I’ll link HERE), Cayde takes a pair of headphones apart and reveals to us exactly how they operate.