I purchased my iPad Mini with Retina display, check out my full review, a couple of weeks ago and have been picking up various cases to test out. After looking online, I decided to purchase the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover and am quite happy with its functionality and design.
It is important to understand that you WILL have a compromised keyboard experience because the iPad Mini is a small device that is only 5.3 inches wide and 7.87 inches tall. Despite the size compromise, I still wanted a keyboard that would let me enter text faster than the software keyboards and after a week of use I can say I found that in the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard cover.
You will find five rows of keys with the keys, two shift keys, a large space bar, four directional arrow keys, and various function keys attached to the numbers. The key size is adequate for my usage, but they definitely are close together. I have medium to large hands and with my fingers up and angled I am able to enter text much more quickly than I thought I would be able to.
I also like to use these keyboards for propping up my iPad for viewing media. The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard cover works OK for this, but the angle is a bit steep for media and even a bit steep for entering text with IA Writer. It would be nearly perfect if I was able to rotate my iPad down 10 to 20 degrees.
The keyboard attaches via magnets on the left side of the iPad Mini with Retina display and stays very securely in place. I like that the keyboard acts as a durable cover for the iPad and the black one I bought matches my Space Gray iPad mini close enough for me.
The instant wake/sleep functionality of the iPad is supported with the keyboard cover. The keyboard charges up via microUSB and connects quickly and easily via Bluetooth. The specs state it will last for up to three months when used up to two hours a day so for my one hour of use a day it may seem to last forever.
The keyboard cover is just 208 grams and is available in black, white, silver, and purple. It is only 7.3 mm thick and also comes with a 3-year hardware warranty.
The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard is available at Apple stores, Best Buy, various other stores, and online at places like Amazon. The retail price is $79.99, but you can also find it on Amazon for $59.99 or even less for used models.
James posted a few thoughts on other keyboards for the iPad Mini back in October, but after reading that post and looking around at the Apple Store I think this one is the best for the compact iPad Mini with Retina display.
- iPad Mini with Retina display review: Perfect balance of size and specs
- 15 best iPad and iPad mini keyboards (hands on): Fall 2013
- Apple’s iPad Air, iPad mini launch: 6 not-so-obvious takeaways
- Apple iPad Air reviews are in: World’s best tablet gets even better
- Six things every new iPad (or iPhone) owner should do immediately
Closely, a social marketing technolgy company created and run by the founder of MapQuest and Jabber, has released version 2.0 of its Perch mobile application — which lets your organization keep tabs on what the social sphere is saying about your brand, product or services.
The biggest change is that the application isn’t just focused on activity related to your own company: it can help your team watch how your competition is faring, which might help them adjust or refine their own messaging and activities.
“The permise is the concept of creating a bird’s eye view of your business neighbor, so you can stay in the know,” said Perry Evans, founder and CEO of Closely.
Perch 2.0 includes a complete user interface overhaul, and a real-time stream of posts pulled from sources including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Yelp, Foursquare and various deal sites such as Groupon or Living Social. It offers reports that analyze social reach, providing a MarketPlace Graph that compares a company to its competition (expressed as a Watchlist) when it comes to social activity, promotional offers, consumer reviews and photo posts.
The application (available for Apple iOS and Android) is free. But if you decide to take action on an update or a suggestion that the app makes, you might wind up paying for resources that help your company rectify the situation. To that end, Closely has assembled a series of partners with services that help do this, including Constant Contact, Dudamobile and GoDaddy. More partnerships are in the offing.
“SMBs know that digital marketing is mission-critical, but the noise is deafening, and they just don’t have time to sort it all out,” Evans said. “Our approach is unique — we start by improving everyday productivity through personalized local intelligence and then serve up insights into their competitive position that the SMB can immediately apply to their digital marketing.”
Closely is signing up between 8,000 and 10,000 new small businesses per month for the Perch application, and Evans said its target is to reach 100,000 companies by mid-2014, and 250,000 by the end of the year. “We are comfortably on pace with that,” he said.
Most of the small businesses using Perch to track their social reputations will have about seven or eight competitors on their Watchlist, generating an average of 30 activities per month, Evans estimated.
What could be better at Christmas than a shiny new gadget? Perhaps a shiny new gadget that runs Linux? One that reminds me of Heathkit, and TRS-80, and days of experimenting and playing with computers for no reason other than curiosity, and joy, and learning? That’s what I got, a Raspberry Pi!
What I intend to write here is “Jamie’s Excellent Raspberry Adventures”: it will document my own experiences, discoveries, successes and failures with this little gadget. If you want authoritative information, go to the Raspberry Pi web site, and if you want concise instructions about setting up and configuring one, an excellent new article was just posted there.
What I write here will be my own experiences based on those and other information sources, and my own knowledge and previous experiences.
Ok, first, here’s what I got. I ordered all of this from the Pi-Shop here in Switzerland.
- Raspberry Pi Model B. The model A is still available, and costs a bit less. Both have the same basic design, and the same processor. The Model B has twice the memory (512MB vs. 256MB), dual USB ports instead of a single port, and RJ-45 wired network connection. In my opinion you would have to be pretty hard-core to choose the Model A today.
- 16GB Category 10 SD Flash Memory Card. The minimum size required is only 4GB, and it doesn’t have to be category 10; buying a 4GB Category 4 card would save a fair bit of money.
- 5.25V/1.5A Micro-USB power supply. This is essentially the same as most smartphone chargers today, and one of those could theoretically be used. However, if you are going to connect USB-powered peripherals, or other devices on the expansion bus (such as the optional camera), the power requirements could exceed what such a typical charger could provide.
- A multi-layer clear plastic case. The Raspberry Pi board can be run without a case, it doesn’t need cooling or whatever, so you don’t really need to buy this at all. If you choose to buy a case, they run from the simplest possible plastic box, to polished and/or varnished wood, and probably all the way to solid gold diamond-encrusted works of art. Go wild.
- Heat Sink. Absolutely not necessary, the Raspberry Pi web page specifically says it is not required, but I am old and paranoid and very conservative.
To these basic components I had to add a USB keyboard and mouse – no options here, there are no other ports or connection possibilities for them. I am using a Logitech Unifying receiver, so I only have to use one of the USB ports for the two devices.
Had to have a display, of course: I am using an HDMI to DVI cable and one of my standard monitors. Many people will simply connect to a TV, which I suppose has the additional benefit of giving you sound output via HDMI to the TV speakers, but I haven’t tried this yet so I can’t say for sure.
If you want a network connection, you have to either connect wired via the RJ-45 plug, or wireless using a USB wi-fi adapter. The safest way to ensure compatibility a wi-fi adaptor and other such peripheral devices, would be to order them from someplace like the Pi-Shop as well.
Assembling and connecting all of the hardware took about 10 minutes; the most tedious part was figuring out how to put the case layers around the circuit board. Many other cases are simple boxes that you put the board in – but they don’t look as cool as this layer-cake box!
Once everything was assembled and ready to go, I needed an operating system, of course. The simple solution here would be to buy the SD card with New Out Of Box Software (NOOBS) already on it, again this is easily available from specialty places such as the Pi-Shop, but I want to get my hands a bit more dirty and really understand what is going on, so I chose not to do that.
The alternative is to download the NOOBS package, and then extract it to the SD card. That is dead easy to do, regardless of whether you are working on Linux or Windows, and once you have done it you just slide the SD card into the Pi and you’re ready to go. There is no power switch. Seriously. When you want to start up, you plug in the power supply. When you are done, you shut down and then pull the plug back out again. That’s it.
When you boot with nothing but the NOOBS software extracted on the SD card, it boots to an operating system select/install menu. With the current NOOBS version (watch out here, there was a new release made on Christmas Eve), there are a nubmer of choices:
- Raspbian Debian GNU/Linux specifically adapted for the Raspberry Pi
- Arch Linux ARM Arch Linux for ARM processers, further customized for the Raspberry Pi
- RaspBMC XBMC Media Center
- OpenELEC XBMC Media Center
- RISC OS An alternative NON-LINUX operating system
- Pidora: Fedora 18 remix for the Raspberry Pi
If the SD card is sufficiently large, you can choose more than one of these to install.
For the first setup and experimentation, I chose only Raspbian, on the assumption that starting out with something familiar would be a good idea. The NOOBS installer then goes through partitioning the SD card and installing whatever has been chosen. That takes about five to 10 minutes per selection, during which it displays some general information about the hardware and software.
After the Raspbian installation was complete, I had to choose whether I wanted to boot to a CLI (text) or GUI (graphic) interface; I chose GUI, and after it rebooted I got this LXDE desktop:
Well all right: it works, and I’m up an running! I can’t tell you how pleased and impressed I was at this point.
What is it like to use? Well, compared to normal desktop or laptop systems today, it is very slow. That is to be expected, because it is a slow, single-processer CPU and a really slow system disk (the SD card).
One of the reasons I got the category 10 SD card was that I hoped it would make the whole thing faster – but if this is “faster” then I’m not sure that I want to see “normal” or “slower”. I suspect (and hope) that the difference in the SD card doesn’t really carry through all that much to user performance. But that doesn’t really matter much, honestly, because you don’t buy a Raspberry Pi as a desktop replacement. It is an educational tool, a toy, and perhaps a media center (I’ll get to that last bit later). So the speed is what it is, end of story.
Next, what is included in Raspbian? The current version (just released on 24 Dec) is based on Debian GNU/Linux 7.2. It’s kind of interesting that I have just been writing about various different distributions and desktops recently, and about “lightweight” LXDE and Xfce distributions in particular. Raspbian is a classic example of a very lightweight LXDE system.
Some of the obvious things are shown in the screen shot above – one that jumps right out is the Midori browser, rather than Firefox or whatever. There is also the LXTerminal emulator, and a variety of programming tools and games.
I checked the LXDE menus, and found that there is actually a pretty nice array of utilities and applications installed – things like a file manager, a simple image viewer (leafpad), an image viewer and a PDF viewer, a calculator, and lots more – almost all in “lightweight” versions. What it doesn’t have are things like Office tools (document editor, spreadsheet etc.), graphic/photo management and editing packages (GIMP/Shotwell/digiKam), and multimedia playback applications.
I also found that it includes the basic aptitude (apt-get and such) utilities for software/package management. It doesn’t include synaptic, which I have become very much used to, but that can easily be installed with
apt-get install synaptic
The next thing I wanted to do was look at how the NOOBS had partitioned the disk, but of course my favorite, gparted, was also not loaded. Again, easily fixed with apt-get (or synaptic if it was installed above).
On the other hand, the things which are installed give a clear idea of what the Raspberry Pi is really intended for – eduational programming use. Under the Programming item on the menus are listed:
- IDLE A Python IDE
- Scratch An interactive visual/graphic programming language from MIT
- Sonic PI A programming language for sounds
- Squeak A Smalltalk programming language development environment
- Wolfram/Mathematica Scientific programming/analysis
Raspbian also includes many of the standard Linux/Unix programming tools and scripting languages, such as perl (5.14), awk (actually mawk), and of course good old shell scripts (bash and friends) – guaranteed to keep old-timers happy.
Whew. That’s a lot of stuff to investigate, and an amazing little piece of equipment. I’ve got lots more to do, investigating Raspbian and trying out some of the alternatives. I’m particularly looking forward to Arch Linux.
Source Article from http://www.zdnet.com/raspberry-pi-and-raspian-hands-on-7000024642/
Treppenwitz or perhaps more correctly ‘l’esprit de l’escalier’ is the expression for when you think of the perfect thing to say, but long after the moment you should have said it. In this series of blogs I given myself a second chance to comment or correct topics I’ve covered this year.
I bemoaned the lack of apps for everything — which I know might seem unreasonable — but the consumerisation of IT means consumers are now ‘unreasonable’, so we need to deal with that.
On Dec 7th, the Apple App Store (US) alone passed one million apps. Not downloads, but different apps. (And back in May, someone downloaded the 50 billionth app.) Consumers are voting with their thumbs, and companies really need to get on this bandwagon (to mix a few metaphors).
My quest for a bigger cloud continues, as another 7.7 GB of music has found its way in to my iTunes library. Although iTunes seems to think I now have fewer albums… Best not to start me on iTunes, or how iOS lost its way for podcasts support.
Source Article from http://www.zdnet.com/uk/12-days-of-staircase-wit-for-2013-day-11-7000024606/
A few months ago I wrote about the AIRcable SmartDimmer, a home automation product that tried unsucessfully to secure financing on Indiegogo. However, I still haven’t given up hope that Bluetooth Low-Energy could still be used in other smartphone and tablet-controlled home automation products in the future.
The Zuli Smartplug, which is only 4 days away from ending its campaign in Kickstarter, is similar in concept to the AIRcable SmartDimmer, but instead of replacing a wall switch, it’s a small device that plugs into your existing outlet and allows you to control your plug-in lighting and other appliances in a similar fashion using an iOS application.
The Smartplug has some features that the SmartDimmer lacked, such as a more mature smartphone application and also location and user-aware preferences that utilizes the new “iBeacon” Bluetooth Low Energy features of iOS 7. This includes the ability to automatically turn lights on and off and at specific dim levels depending on who walks into the room, in addition to scheduling, energy monitoring and away detection.
However, unlike the SmartDimmer, Zuli doesn’t yet have a companion device which would permit the plug to be controlled from an external remote switch that could be mounted anywhere (and would not require a smartphone).
Additionally, the Smartplug lacks the ability to control internally wired porch/patio lights and master circuits, and it also lacks an integrated night light as well as room temperature sensors that the SmartDimmer had.
However, because it does not have to be installed and is simply plugged into a wall outlet, the implementation is much simpler.
Zuli’s target funding is $150,000. At the time of this writing, it had managed to secure just over $114,000 which is only $36,000 shy of their target. With 4 days remaining, it’s certainly possible they could meet that goal, but there would have to be a last-minute groundswell of interest in the product, not including any funding outside of Kickstarter, which the company is apparently securing to go ahead with production.
Zuli is currently offering 3-packs of smartplugs for a $135 funding pledge, as well as 10-packs for $400.
Source Article from http://www.secretsofthefed.com/aps-top-10-photos-2013/
MILWAUKEE — A judge’s shockingly merciful ruling over an officer charged with 25 counts of assault and sexual assault has sparked national outrage.
Many Americans argue that the ruling is an example of extreme injustice and even racism within the court system.
Officer Michael Vagnini gruesomely molested at least a dozen victims one of whom was a 15-yr-old boy,according to reports.
Vagnini would sometimes be assisted by his partners in uniform.
His partners would hold guns to the victims’ heads or otherwise restrain them as Vagnini violently assaulted their testicles and anuses, according to complaints.
As if the sexual abuse were not enough, many believe they were motivated by racism.
This is because officer Vagnini is white and targeted only black males, according to reports.
The reported molestations were so sadistic that many media outlets did not cover the story.
Vagnini and his partners would stop the victims for “tinted windows” or suspicion of “not wearing a seatbelt” and then begin sexually assaulting them, according to allegations described in court documents.
Vagnini would often use “searching for drugs” as an excuse. The Journal Sentineldocumented several cases.
One victim, Jerold Ezell, was parked in front of his grandmother’s house when officer Vagnini approached his car with a loaded gun drawn, according to the documents the details of which we share below (warning: graphic):
Vagnini started by feeling Ezell’s scrotum. Then, Vagnini inserted his fingers between Ezell’s buttocks.
Once he drove his fingers in between Ezell’s buttocks, Vagnini began clawing at his anus.
Vagnini attempted to penetrate Ezell’s anus as his partners watched.
Another victim, LLR, was pulled over by Vagnini and officer Gasser.
Vagnini put the victim in a chokehold and “violently” penetrated his anus as Gasser observed.
Another victim, SC, was stopped near his home. Vagnini approached him with a gun drawn and began grabbing his testicles with his bare hands.
Vagnini would routinely use his bare hands to penetrate the victims’ rectums, according to reports.
In one case, Vagnini is said to have used his fingers to penetrate a victim’s anus so violently that the victim’s anus began bleeding.
In another case, Vagnini is said to have probed two men with his bare fingers, penetrating one and then immediately penetrating the next without washing his hands.
One victim reported that Vagnini’s partner held a gun to his head while Vagnini felt his scrotum and fingered his anus.
Despite 25 counts of assault and sexual assault, a judge has rocked the nation by assigning Vagnini a little over 20 monthsin jail after a plea deal.
The judge even voided out Vagnini’s sexual assault, allowing Vagnini to escape registration as a sex offender.
Robin Shellow, a representative of one of the victims, stated that the arraignment wasracially problematic, according to the Journal Sentinel.
But the Assistant District Attorney, Miriam Falk, claims that it was not racist, discriminatory, or insulting to the African-American community, despite the fact that only blacks were targeted.
As for Vagnini’s partners, they have been charged with misconduct and being party to a crime. They are scheduled to appear in court in June.
In the meantime, they have not been fired. They are suspended and still receiving paychecks — made possible by Americans who are forced to fund their careers.
Michael Steinle, who is Vagnini’s attorney, claimed that Vagnini just wanted to “stop crime,” but that he simply “didn’t cross all the T’s and dot the I’s.”
According to the complaints, the sexual abuse occurred over a period of two years; the “searches” were done illegally without a warrant and often without gloves.
Many are starting to question the extremely hard push from many so-called self-proclaimed conservative talk show hosts regarding Mark Levin’s push for a Constitutional Convention. To many of us, it seems that the only time these talk show hosts (Limbaugh, Hannity, etc.) join together in this manner is when there is a time to bring Americans into another unconstitutional war or when it’s time to persuade Americans that they should support another self-proclaimed “conservative” candidate that believes that the U.S. Constitution is a living document that can be altered without regard to the laws of the Constitution.
So why is it that so many are being called on by self-proclaimed conservative leaders to promote a Con Con (also known as an Article 5 Constitutional Convention)? As cruel as they are, the leaders are often heard pulling on the heart strings of Americans by claiming that that this is a way to immediately put an end to things such as abortion, American flag burning, and an unbalanced federal budget. Mark Levin, leader of the push for a Con Con, pulls on the heart strings of Americans without warning them of the real dangers of a Constitutional Convention. He does this by telling Americans that the Constitution will only be reasonably amended because we can “trust” conservative Republicans to do what is right for us at an Article 5 Constitutional Convention.
No Such Thing In Article V As A “State Convention Process”
According to Washington Times columnist Michael Lotfi’s column titled “Nullification vs. Article V Constitutional Convention: Why Levin Is Wrong“, Mark Levin is incorrect when he says that it authorizes a “state convention process.” This is because Article V only allows states to apply for Congress to call a convention. In other words, Congress gets to choose the delegates not the states. Lotfi told BenSwann.com directly that “The idea that a Congress with a 5% approval rating could effectively choose delegates, which would protect our Constitution, is almost laughable.”
Since Congress is basically controlled by big pocketed lobbyists, most of us can conclude that it would likely be much worse for Congress to pick the delegates rather than our states. But for the purpose of blowing another hole in Mark Levin’s great idea, let’s assume that states get to pick the delegates rather than Congress.
As many of us know, most states have a majority in both state chambers of so-called conservative Republicans. Mark Levin has convinced Americans that the Republicans will basically control the “state convention process.” Although this sounds great to many members of the Republican Party, the vast majority of these Republicans can not be trusted to protect our constitutional liberties or most states would have proceeded long ago to exercise their constitutional right to nullify the NDAA, Obamacare, federal drug laws, and many other things. The majority of Republican state representatives and senators are Republican In Name Only (RINO) and are not the type of people we can trust at a national meeting where the giant risk would be that our whole Constitution could possibly be replaced or re-written.
Why Americans Should Be On High Alert
At this time, Mark Levin and the other so-called conservatives leading the Con Con effort have been able to convince far too many Americans into believing that a Con Con is a safe and easy way to solve most of the problems that America has. According to ConventionofStates.com, this month Virginia, South Carolina and Florida became the first to pre-file an Application for a Convention of the States Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
As Americans, we should not forget our history. Long ago during the last Con Con back in 1787 the leaders of the state of Rhode Island were deeply displeased by the unlawful actions of the representatives that attended the Con Con and therefore hesitated to ratify the new Constitution. According to the rules before the 1787 Con Con, all of the states were supposed to agree to any changes made to the Constitution but this rule was simply not followed and so the rule was made at the convention that only 9 states needed to agree on the changes to the Constitution. At the time, the leaders of Rhode Island considered withdrawing from the union and may have proceeded with doing so had it not been for the fear of facing world tyrants alone.
So will the rules be followed at Mark Levin’s Con Con? In the opinion of many, the rules would likely not be followed but that is not what most are concerned about. The fact of the matter is that entering into a Constitutional Convention at this time in America’s history would basically be like entering a game of Russian Roulette with the Constitution. The morality of our representatives needs to drastically improve before we can ever put our trust in them at an Article 5 Constitutional Convention.
What Should Americans Do?
Right now the best strategy to curing our country’s unconstitutional ills is not through a Con Con but through education, persuasion, and encouragement. Americans need to be better educated on how the U.S. Constitution as it is currently written can be enough for us to return to the glory days of living in a booming economy where civil rights are protected rather than taken away by our federal government.
Overall, there is no easy fix as Mark Levin wants Americans to believe and people need to be very skeptical of his intentions due to his lack of warning of what the dire consequences could actually be if a Con Con were held. As Americans, we should all do ourselves a huge favor in the coming days and make as many phone calls as possible to our local leaders, state representatives, and national representatives to let them know that a Con Con is not in our best interest. Together, let’s tell Mark Levin and his so-called conservative pals that they will not tread on us any longer!
BEN SWANN.COM – BY Evan Mulch
23-year-old suspect taken down by hair salon employees
Oklahoma City Police responded to an armed robbery call at Head Honchos hair salon around midnight on the morning of Christmas Eve.
Police arrested 23-year-old Corneilyus Howeth for robbery with a firearm. Howeth also had a prior felony arrest.
Howeth forced the employees of the salon inside, telling them to empty their pockets. But when another employee distracted him, the owner of the salon tackled Howeth.
The two fought for the gun for a short time before other employees stepped in and helped take the gun from Howeth.
The employees then stripped Howeth of his clothes to make sure he wasn’t hiding more weapons and threw him outside.
Police showed up shortly thereafter to take Howeth into custody.