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At first glance, the Livescribe Sky looks just like a fat pen: perhaps something you’d give a child to more easily grip as they learned to write. Inside, though, there’s a lot going on. Livescribe says that, while externally the design is pretty much identical to its previous Echo model – bar a slightly different color scheme for the lower half – on the inside it’s almost entirely different.
The replaceable nib sits next to a small camera that faces down at the page, tracking what you’re writing. All you get in the way of physical controls is a power button, which sits by a monochrome, single-line OLED display, a microphone, and a small speaker. A 3.5mm audio jack is on the top, which also doubles as a microphone input, and there’s a microUSB port for hooking up your computer or recharging the internal battery.
In the hand, the Sky takes some getting used to versus regular pens. The thickness of the barrel feels strange, oversized, and the taper – which gets broader up toward the top half – can feel unnatural. That can end up making your handwriting in initial notes somewhat more untidy than usual, though you do get used to the feel of it over time. The lid – which slides in firmly to cover both the nib and the camera lens – can be a little tricky to remove, too, and is easily lost since there’s nowhere on the phone to clip it when you’re writing.
That’s the case for writing and sketching, but it also means Livescribe can print controls onto the paper and have the Sky recognize those. You get the usual buttons for menu navigation, record/pause/stop, jump forward/backward a few seconds in playback, media position, playback speed, and volume/mute printed along the bottom of the page, and tapping them with the nib triggers the appropriate function. At the back of the notebook there’s a scientific calculator – results are shown on the smartpen’s display – and buttons to set the time and date. It’s all very responsive, with no lag from when you tap.
However, the Sky version gets a new page of wireless controls, printed on the inside front cover of the notebook and – for those with pre-Sky notebooks – sticky labels printed with the same buttons. There’s a big WiFi setup section, with buttons to scan for networks, scroll through the list of results on the smartpen’s screen, and then select it, plus a QWERTY keyboard to enter the password; you also get buttons to turn WiFi on/off, trigger a firmware check, and sync with the cloud. A new block of WiFi Share controls will, eventually, allow you to fire off select notes via email (to yourself), to Google Drive, to Facebook, and to Dropbox, though those features won’t be available until Q1 2013.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to connect to WiFi connections that require you to log in via a webpage (such as is often the case in hotels or cafes). Instead, Livescribe recommends either using the mobile hotspot feature on your phone or laptop, or synchronizing notes via the free Livescribe Helper Application, which pulls them off the smartpen over a USB connection.
Livescribe Sky WiFi smartpen demo:
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We have seen how to create Mobile Hotspot, change Hotspot Name & Password, and how you can turn Windows PC into a WiFi Hotspot using Internet Connection Sharing. Now let us take a look at some of the best free WiFi Hotspot creator software for Windows 11/10/8/7 laptops or PC.Free WiFi Hotspot software
Windows 11/10 users may not find much use for these apps as the operating system lets you natively create a WiFi Hotspot; but Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users are sure to find them useful, as they make things easier.1] Baidu Wi-Fi Hotspot app
Baidu Wi-Fi Hotspot is a basic yet one of the most popular Wi-Fi hotspot apps currently. It comes with many different features and performs the same as the built-in Wi-Fi hotspot in your Smartphone. Once downloaded and installed, Baidu detects the Wi-Fi adapter and creates the virtual network automatically, and connects your available devices. You do not need to set up a password upon installation as it is already set. However, you can change your password and SSID whenever you want. Baidu is a reliable app and shares a secure internet connection.2] Connectify
Connectify is a fully-featured router that converts your PC into a real-time Wi-Fi hotspot letting you share the connection with your other devices like tablets, Smartphones, and other computer systems. It is one of the most popular portable hotspot software. Once downloaded and installed, this software automatically detects your PC’s network and creates a virtual network. It configures the hotspot automatically and generates the login details for you. You can manage the connected devices and can also track their peers. It is now no longer free. Take a look at these free Connectify alternative software instead.3] Virtual Router Manager 4] My Public Wi-Fi
As the name signifies MyPublicWiFi is a software that lets you create your public Wi-Fi. It supports Windows 10/8/7 and can be downloaded in both 34-bit as well as 64-bit Windows PC. Like the other such software mentioned above in this, My Public Wi-Fi is also a simple software with a user-friendly layout. You don’t need geeky knowledge to install this program and to start the hotspot. All you need to do is to install the program on your, add your network key, and Start. The program lets you allow or block file sharing and also enables or disables the URL log. If enabled MyPublicWiFi allows you to record and track all visited URL pages using that particular connection.5] Bzeek
Bzeek is yet another free servers& network program which transforms your Windows PC into a WiFi router and connects your other devices. There is a built-in Firewall in Bzeek to protect your network connection. Bzeek has a built-in Firewall that protects your computer and network. The Bzeek software once installed on your PC shows the wireless network named BzeekSpot. The control panel offers you full control over your BzeekSpot where you can easily manage your connections and devices. It is proved to be safe and secure WiFi Hotspot software for Windows 10/8/7.6] WiFi Hotspot Creator
WiFi Hotspot Creator is a simple application with an easy-to-use interface. With simple or no major configuration, this software lets you turn your Windows PC into a wireless card or a hotspot. It prompts you to change your browser homepage during installation, but sadly it does not give you the option to opt-out of the crapware linked with the download. It works on the same technology used by mobile broadband cards, DSL, and others, and thus gives you the same kind of shared connection. It is a very handy and useful tool that allows you to share your internet connection with all your internet-enabled devices while you are on the go.7] mSpot
mSpot is a simple free software that converts your Windows PC or laptop into a virtual Wi-Fi hotspot without even installing it. It can be used by anyone without having any technical knowledge about hotspots. It includes no complicated settings and is best suitable for beginners. It comes as a 400KB file and takes no time to download on your PC. mSpot allows up to 10 devices in a single shared connection and also secures your wireless hotspot with WPA2 PSK password security.8] Omnify Hotspot Free
Omnify Hotspot Free allows you to create a wireless access point and share your internet. It’s easy to use and quick to start, as you only need to give it a name and password and you can connect your smartphone, tablet, media player, e-reader, printer, laptop, and other wireless devices. Download it here.
How attribution data has informed the affiliate channel
I recently met Helen Southgate, Online Marketing Controller for Strategy & Planning at Sky, presenting their approach to media channel attribution and how it informed their understanding of the affiliate channel in context with other online activity. With that in mind she kindly agreed to this interview where I asked about how BSkyB manage their affiliate marketing. You may also find her presentation interesting for reference:1. You have been talking attribution for some time at Sky. How did you begin the process?
Yes, I have been talking about it for some time and to be honest it’s still in progress. It’s a massive project and one that is forever changing given the dynamic nature of online. I began the process by looking at what data we had access to and where it was being captured. Since then I’ve focused in on the paid marketing side of attribution, what I’d term “natural” attribution will be a phase 2, so we still have some way to go.2. How did you decide upon which technology to use?
If I’m going to be completely honest, this was inherited but I don’t think the platform is the challenge. The challenge is firstly ensuring all of your activity is tracking and you are comparing apples with apples. The next challenge is actually what you do with all of the data.3. Once you have the data how do you begin to interpret it?
Good question, this I think is the trickiest part of attribution. Most people think it’s getting the data but in my opinion it’s what you do with it.
At the moment we’re looking at data on a campaign basis, so say over 4-6 weeks. The key thing is to start basic then drill down into more granular detail.4. What for you are the biggest arguments in favour of attribution?
The output of this could be more effective use of marketing spend, identification of new opportunities or improvements to the customer journey, all massive wins for any marketer.5. What have you found to be the greatest challenges?
Time and Resource – it takes a lot of people to get this right and it takes a lot of time to interpret the data into something that is both insightful and useful.6. Can you give examples of some of the practical changes to your marketing activity you have made as a result of your work on attribution? 7. Working with the amount of data you have at Sky and the number of stakeholders, how did you cope with different departments’ agendas? How much of a challenge was it to look at the data impartially?
My role sits outside of any specific media channel so I’m in a unique position to be able to look at this agnostically. This is really important; as it is very easy to have a bias, when I worked across paid search and affiliates I would undoubtedly have had a bias to those channels, it’s human nature!
It is also really important to go into this with no preconceptions about what the data will tell you or what question you want it to answer. You can make data do anything so by going into a project without an open mind and no agenda you will bias the outcome.
Ethernet is the common standard for wired connections to computer networks. Devices using an Ethernet connection make use of a specific type of twisted electrical cable to connect with, send and receive data with other networked devices, as well as gain access to wider networks like the internet.
Using an Ethernet connection, you can connect two devices together, or create a local area network with multiple devices. These require a router or switch device to allow the connected devices to communicate with each other. Let’s explore the Ethernet standard a little further, as well as compare and contrast it to WiFi.
Table of ContentsDifferent Ethernet Standards
What is Ethernet? The Ethernet standard has evolved to cope with the changing demands of modern computer networks since it was first developed in the 1980s. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers produce these standards, under the umbrella reference of IEEE 802.3.
Each new Ethernet standard, whether it’s a minor or major change, gains a new incremental code reference to identify it. One of the more recent standard releases, 802.3bt, dealt with increasing the power output available to Power-over-Ethernet devices over Ethernet connections, for instance.
This is reflected, too, in the type of cabling you’d need to use for an Ethernet network. Cat-5 Ethernet cabling, for instance, only allows for connections up to speeds of 100Mbits (megabits), while Cat-6 cabling supports up to 10Gbits (gigabits).
This is also true for almost all variations of Ethernet standards. Devices using the Fast Ethernet standard (capable of 100Mbits speeds) will generally connect with devices using the Gigabit (1Gbits and higher) Ethernet standard, for instance.Ethernet vs WiFi
In the context of WiFi, obstacles are physical—walls and other objects can block or degrade WiFi signals between a device and a network router. By design, this isn’t a problem for wired Ethernet connections, assuming you have the space to lay Ethernet cabling. While it is possible to boost WiFi signals, an Ethernet connection does away with the problem entirely.
Security is also a problem for WiFi networks. WiFi networks can be breached with far more ease than an Ethernet-only network, where you would need physical access to be able to breach the network. You can secure your WiFi to help reduce this risk, although you can’t eliminate it entirely.
There is one huge downside to Ethernet vs WiFi, however. Wireless connectivity to networks has allowed mobile devices to become a practical possibility over the last few decades, trading speed and security for portability and size.
The best networks are those that use a combination of Ethernet connections for static devices like PCs and servers, and secure WiFi connections for smaller, mobile devices. This applies to networks in the home, as well as those in a business setting.Ethernet Limitations
There are some limitations to the Ethernet standard that must be recognized, especially if you’re looking to build a network using Ethernet cabling.
As we briefly mentioned, Ethernet isn’t always the most practical solution. Portable devices like laptops do, in some cases, offer Ethernet connectivity to allow for wired networking, but that requires the infrastructure to be in place to be able to use it.
That means cables being laid, hidden from view, through walls and other physical obstacles. If this cabling becomes damaged or misshapen through poor installation, the network connection will fail.
The same can happen if an Ethernet cable is poorly shielded from electromagnetic interference, especially in cheaper cabling and in older Cat-5 cables. Using higher rated cabling, including Cat-6 cables, can help to overcome this problem.
One of the biggest limitations, however, is cabling length. The longer an Ethernet cable is, the slower it becomes, and the greater the amount of interference it encounters. This is why the maximum approved length for certified Ethernet cables is 100 meters.
Longer cables could theoretically work, but the quality of the connection will likely suffer as a result.Alternative Uses for Ethernet
Ethernet cabling is quite flexible and can be used for other purposes beyond simply sending and receiving data.
One use is to provide power to certain types of devices, like Voice-over-IP (VOIP) phones and IP cameras, using Power over Ethernet (PoE). This allows you to send and receive data while also receiving power over a single cable.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) connections usually require additional equipment to operate, like a PoE-capable network switch.
Another potential use for Ethernet, especially in media setups, is HDMI over Ethernet. While a special convertor is usually required, HDMI over Ethernet allows you to vastly increase the distance between a media player and an output device like a TV, where typical HDMI cabling is otherwise limited to around 15 meters.
Finally, USB cabling can be extended using a USB-to-Ethernet converter. Given the USB cabling limit is around 3 to 5 meters, this is another way to connect devices (like a USB camera) over a larger distance where typical connectivity is impractical or impossible.Ethernet: Still Relevant
Ethernet is still the backbone that underpins modern local and wide area networks, remaining the fastest and most reliable method of communication between devices on computer networks. It can also be used to help extend the range of other output devices, like HDMI, as well as provide power to devices using Power over Ethernet.
SlashGear Week in Review – Week 29 2010
It’s that time again, welcome to this week’s edition of the Week in Review. If you are set to go to school this fall Livescribe has a new version of its Smartpen called the Echo set to land in stores soon. The pen is slimmer and has more storage capacity.
Anyone out there how has been waiting to get an unlocked Nexus One is out of luck. The shipments of the smartphone have dried up and the remaining devices are being prioritized for developers. Monday we offered up our in depth technical preview of Windows Phone 7. We liked it and hope that users will give Windows Phone 7 a try.
Sony confirmed this week that there will be no 1080p 3D gaming on the PS3. This won’t be that big an issue for most folks who are just as happy with 720p as they are with 1080p. Samsung has plans to launch a new unbreakable plastic AMOLED panel in the next few years. An unbreakable screen sounds fantastic to folks like me who have killed an iPhone or two.
Tuesday brought some confusion on the iPad front with some reports that users of the iPad would be charged to upgrade their devices to iOS4. Apple’s EULA for the iPad states the next OS update would be offered free. Verizon is said to be set to launch its LTE network in 30 markets around the country on November 15. Rollouts to other cities will be seen in 2011.
A geek made a sweet coffee table out of old computer parts and other hardware. The table is actually two stacked inside each other with the inner table holding the computer hardware. Thursday we reviewed the Seagate Momentus XT HDD. This is the drive that promises a combination of HDD affordability and SSD performance and it really did what it promised making for a win.
Rumors that Apple was set to offer up a refresh on the iMac AIO computer surfaced Friday. The rumors point to USB 3.0, CPU updates and a touchscreen. Apple started issuing refunds to users who purchased bumpers along with their iPhone 4 smartphones. The refunds are Apple’s solution to the issue with the antenna on the new smartphone.
A bunch of cute little Android figures turned up late in the week that Android fans can collect. The little things can be had in case quantities or individually and some designs found in the cases are rare. A guy developed a new remote control that changes the channel to a random channel when it detects a fart. You can build your own with the full instructions on Instructables.
We reviewed the Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7022 notebook this week. In the end, we were disappointed by the display’s lack of 1080p support. If you didn’t buy a bumper with your iPhone 4 and have been waiting to be able to get your free case, the iPhone 4 Case program has launched with an app on the App Store. You can get the official bumper or cases form Belkin, Griffin, Incase, or Speck free of charge. Thanks for reading, see you next week!
The best Android tablets
Samsung Chromebook Pro review
Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 review: This is not a laptop
Samsung just recently announced its latest convertible-styled Chromebooks, which now offer support for full blown Android apps – opening a gate that was once closed to them, so it’s especially intriguing how things have turned out. Now that by itself should make anyone question Samsung’s decision to launch its new Galaxy Tab S3, which comes almost two years after its predecessor. In that time, we’ve seen a radical shift in how consumers perceive tablets.
The Tab S3 is competing against other Windows 10 tablets and convertibles in the same price bracket, as well as these cheap Chromebooks and Apple’s iPad Pro tablets. So, do we really need another high-end Android tablet? Find out in our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 review!
The biggest change to the display, however, is that it now features high dynamic range – that fancy HDR tech allows it to adjust details, contrast, and color saturation to give videos more of that cinematic vividness. From what we saw in our demo time during MWC 2023, it looked really great in how the contrast in the shadows were adjusted to draw out more details in the scene. However, it’s something you’ll witness with content produced in HDR – so existing videos without HDR won’t necessarily see improvements.
The quad speakers deliver crisp-sounding audio perfect for videos
That being said, there’s no arguing that the Tab S3 is remarkable for media consumption, since it’s been bred for that purpose. In complementing the HDR-enabled display, Samsung pairs the experience with quad speakers; two sets of speakers positioned on both edges of the tablet in landscape. They’re tuned by AKG by Harman, delivering crisp-sounding audio perfect for videos – giving it the necessary stereo effect. But despite reaching a top output of 75.4 dB, it doesn’t sound more potent than the speakers in the iPad Pro.
Indeed, the Tab S3 handles most of the basic functions of a tablet, but it still stumbles when trying to juggle around more processor-intensive stuff. We see it happen when using Nougat’s baked-in side-by-side multitasking, as there are still some instances when it freezes momentarily. Most actions result in fluid movements, like surfing the web or using the S Pen in a painting app, but there are still times when hiccups do occur with the performance. It’s not frequent, thankfully, but that does make us wonder if it’s the software that’s the culprit.
The benchmark tests reveal it’s very much a powerhouse, in the elite class as you’d expect, rivaling the scores achieved by today’s top-end smartphones. One area that Samsung places a lot of emphasis on is gaming, thanks in part to the Vulkan graphics API engine – allowing it to deliver a solid gaming experience. The emphasis on gaming is especially noticeable in Samsung’s Game Launcher, which dishes up tools that allow gamers to do things like record their footage; without impacting its graphics processing performance in the process.
Aside from a few aesthetic changes to the design of the tablet, such as its quad speakers, everything else is pretty much in its usual position. Just like before, the power button and volume keys are located along the right edge of the tablet, along with the microSD card slot. Around the bottom, we have a 3.5 mm headphone jack with the newer USB Type-C connection port, which is positioned offset from the center.
Samsung has increased the battery capacity to a 6,000 mAh cell, up from its predecessor capacity of 5,870 mAh. That’s a very miniscule upgrade, which results in barely any difference with its battery life performance on a real-world basis. It’s average to say the least, which means that it’s something that would benefit from nightly charges.
Battery life on the Tab S3 is average, to say the least
In our benchmark testing, it topped out at 6 hours and 41 minutes with web surfing – while video watching lasted a minute more at 6 hours and 42 minutes. That’s really nothing worth bragging about, since they’re very average in comparison to other devices we’ve tested. However, it’s at least speedy enough with its recharging via its fast charging technology, taking only a mere 168 minutes to fully charge. That’s impressive given the capacity we’re dealing with, as most smartphones can take nearly the same time to accomplish.
Owners of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones will be able to continue having access to certain things on their phones while using the Tab S3, thanks in part to Samsung Flow, which allows us to share files wirelessly with the phone – and even respond to message and view notifications. We actually prefer using the old SideSync app, which essentially virtualizes the phone in all of its glory on the tablet. You basically have a window that displays the contents of the phone, so you can do things like send text messages, receive phone calls, and much more!
There still aren’t enough tablet-optimized apps on Android yet
The biggest flaw with the software in our opinion, which is a big deal breaker when you think about it, is how the platform lacks optimized apps meant to be used on tablets. We’re not even talking about third party apps here, just because some of the native apps still don’t support landscape orientation – so it’s an annoyance that forces us to place it in portrait.
Going back to third party apps, this is the disparity that allows the iPad Pro to expose Android’s weakness. There are a handful of popular apps that still don’t properly adjust dynamically in landscape, like Instagram for example. Due to this lack of tablet optimized apps, it really doesn’t help out the tablet’s cause – making it feel like we’re dealing with a very huge phone, as opposed to a tablet. And when you consider that some Chromebooks now offer support for Android apps, it lessens the value of owning an Android tablet nowadays.
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