Friday, 11 January 2013

Britain's National Portrait Gallery unveils official painting of Kate Middleton as the Duchess of Cambridge.

Britain's National Portrait Gallery has unveiled the first official painting of the Duchess of Cambridge.

The painting of Kate Middleton was undertaken by Paul Emsley, the 2007 winner of the Gallery's BP Portrait Award competition.

The gallery said that the duchess took part in an initial meeting to talk through the process of the painting. This was followed by two sittings, in May and June 2012, at the artist's studio in the West Country, England, and Kensington Palace.
"The Duchess explained that she would like to be portrayed naturally -- her natural self -- as opposed to her official self. She struck me as enormously open and generous and a very warm person. After initially feeling it was going to be an unsmiling portrait I think it was the right choice in the end to have her smiling -- that is really who she is," Emsley said in a statement.

The painting is due to go on show to the public Friday afternoon in London.

Schiller: Cheap iPhones Will “Never Be the Future of Apple”

Cheap smartphones will “never be the future of Apple,” according to an interview of Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller by Chinese newspaper the Shanghai Evening News Thursday. Mr. Schiller’s remarks, translated by The Next Web, put a damper on recent rumors that the Cupertino company will launch a low-cost iPhone in the near future.
Mr. Schiller made his remarks to reporter Huang Yinlong during his trip to China with the company’s CEO Tim Cook. When asked about Apple’s product plans, the longtime Apple executive replied, according to the translation:
Every product that Apple creates, we consider using only the best technology available. This includes the production pipeline, the Retina display, the unibody design, to provide the best product to the market.
At first, non-smartphones were popular in the Chinese market, now cheap smartphones are more popular and non-smartphones are out. Despite the popularity of cheap smartphones, this will never be the future of Apple’s products. In fact, although Apple’s market share of smartphones is just about 20%, we own the 75% of the profit.
The notion of cheaper iPhone options targeted at both emerging markets and the entry-level segment in developed markets recently gained traction, first with analyst predictions, then with reports from suppliers, and finally with statements by major news outlets.
Following Mr. Schiller’s comments, however, news agency Reuters withdrew its initial reports discussing the allegedly forthcoming cheaper iPhone, citing "substantial changes" to the interview's translation. It is unclear what changes the news agency was referring to.
Those still anticipating a low-cost “iPhone mini” may not be entirely disappointed. Apple has a history of releasing products that company executives previously and explicitly denied, including video-capable iPods and the iPad mini. Whether Mr. Schiller will later downplay his comments based on variable definitions of “cheap” remains to be seen.
The recent trip by Apple executives to China has generated substantial interest over a possible China Mobile deal. The state-run carrier, the largest in the world by subscriber base, has yet to officially offer Apple products on its network, thus far ceding that market to smaller carriers China Unicom and China Telecom. Mr. Cook is reported to have met with both government officials and China Mobile executives during his trip, with sources suggesting that a deal between the companies will be reached by the launch of the next iPhone.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Samsung Wins Biggest TV at CES Award . . . by an Inch

A 51-inch TV is great and all, but why stop there when there's another 34 inches of wall space just going to waste in the living room? Not to be outdone by the 84-inch TVs in Las Vegas, Samsung unveiled the biggest TV of CES with the S9 UHD (formerly know as 4K), an 85-inch display, designed in what the company called an "unprecedented" TV design, the Timeless Gallery. Raised off the ground within a metal frame, with another accent bar above the display, it's certainly not something we've seen in TVs before.

According to Samsung, the S9 includes proprietary technology that will seamlessly covert HD content from current devices to the UHD display. No word yet on price — expect five figures like most 4K and UHD display — or exact availability, but Samsung says it will have the S9 available to consumers in 2013. What do you think about the new TV design?

Is really a look at the pros and cons in the fresh

An instant have a look at the latest laptop or computer Rankings informs an appealing history: Despite the launch of the newest House windows Eight Operating-system, several Home windows 6 pcs are still available from many different stores, and several prime our Scores. In case you are shopping for a fresh laptop or computer at this time, there are several good reasons to choose House windows Several.

Is really a look at the pros and cons in the fresh operating-system, and a few reasons why you should get old-fashioned.

If it isn't out of cash. Glass windows 7 normally obtained advantageous reviews when it premiered. Many years soon after the '09 start cheap office 2010 key, there nevertheless haven't been plenty of problems. You will find many happy with Home windows Several and also Windows XP alternatives, there's no compelling explanation to switch in order to Home windows 8-10.

You aren't getting a touch screen. Windows 8-10 is focused on touch. Once you start this, the outlet display might be a interface. Yes, technology-not only which has a computer mouse or even touchpad, but it's built to make you intuitively desire to touch on your computer screen, and even swipe this. With no touch screen, reasons behind upgrading a well used program or buying a personal computer using House windows Eight diminish compelling.

You don't such as adjust. House windows 8 doesn't always have the comfortable Start key with regard to establishing plans and also final it straight down. Of course, it isn't difficult to kick off your software from the Start screen when the windows are 8 porcelain tile software. But then again, additionally it is distinctive from hitting your Begin button to see a summary of packages. If you prefer the outdated method, choose House windows 7.Owners still upgrading. Several Home windows 8-10 types are still not really undertaking along with predicted, as well as House windows Seven computer systems topped new ones. The requirement for sellers to be able to revise their particular Windows Eight drivers may make clear the less-than-optimal functionality (the Vizio CT15-A4 described earlier mentioned has been very, along with excellent performance).

You might be undecided. You may be more satisfied obtaining a House windows 7 laptop or computer for the time being, expecting your airborne dirt and dust to be in, as well as upgrading to Home windows 8 after. Despite the fact that we haven't but discovered rates shedding on more mature Windows Several types nevertheless, there are still some Very best Buys inside our Scores (including the Acer Would like TimelineU M5-481TG-6814, revealed at the top of this text). If you opt to up grade over the following couple of months, do it yourself simply $15 to take action, supplied you purchase your brand-new personal computer after The month of january along with sign up to update by February Twenty-eight, 2013.

Then again . . . You'll find good reasons to obtain Windows 8-10 personal computers, however they are most likely just a few individual desire. Should you be getting a touchscreen along with like the thought utilizing your personal computer somewhat which can be much like a capsule, House windows 8-10 may be to suit your needs. If you love the concept regarding "live" flooring that will adjust because brand-new e-mails or even social-network updates come in, you will comprehend the tile program on Home windows 8. We have a person included, with more than twelve advised Home windows Eight notebooks and 4 personal computers.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Update: Windows 8's early uptake lags behind Vista's

Final online usage numbers for 2012 released Tuesday confirmed that Windows 8 failed to match Windows Vista's uptake pace during its first two months.
Preliminary numbers from Net Applications last week indicated that Windows 8 would end the month behind Vista's uptake at the same point in its release cycle. Yesterday's data confirmed the earlier projections by Computerworld.
According to the U.S.-based analytics firm, Windows 8's December global usage share was 1.9% of all Windows PCs, slightly lower than the 2.2% Vista posted in early 2007 after two full months of availability.
Windows 8 did make its strongest showing in the month's final week, however. In the week ending Dec. 29, which included Christmas, Windows 8 accounted for 2.1% of all Windows systems, a jump of four-tenths of a percentage point from the week before.
It was Windows 8's biggest-ever week-to-week increase since its Oct. 26 launch.
The inability of Windows 8 to keep pace with Vista is a troubling sign for the new operating system. Vista was pegged a failure, in part because it was adopted by relatively few customers, so associations with that flop rather than with the triumphs before and after -- Windows XP and Windows 7 -- could paint Windows 8 with the Vista brush.
While Windows 8 competed with Vista in uptake, it clearly has lost the battle with Windows 7. By the end of Windows 7's second month of availability, the 2009 OS powered 6.2% of all Windows machines, or more than three times Windows 8's current share, Net Applications' data showed.
But Windows 8 debuted in a decidedly different environment than did Vista, or even Windows 7.
Analysts, who have been predicting a weak reception for the new operating system for months, have cited a sweeping set of reasons for their forecasts. One, enterprise upgrade fatigue -- companies that recently moved from Windows XP to Windows 7 have no stomach for another migration anytime soon -- puts Windows 8 in the same boat as Vista.
In 2007, most businesses relied on Windows XP, a proven workhorse with more than five years behind it. Few bothered to tackle Vista. Windows 8 faces a similar situation, with the three-year-old Windows 7 now widely used by enterprises. Experts have said it's unlikely companies will migrate to Windows 8 because of the robustness of Windows 7 and their recent move to it.
Economic conditions may also be playing a part in Windows 8's lethargic uptake, although the data doesn't completely explain the new OS's sluggishness.
The Consumer Confidence Index, a widely-cited economic indicator, averaged 68.3 in the last two months of 2012, a far cry from the high-flying 109.7 of Vista's initial two months of availability during the first quarter of 2007. By that metric, it's understandable that Windows 8 lags behind Vista.
But during the first two months of Windows 7 PC sales, the Index was even lower than currently, with an average of just 49.7 for the final two months of 2009, when the U.S. was in the throes of a major recession after the financial implosion in 2008. According to the Index, Windows 8's uptake should be greater than Windows 7's. It's not.
Instead of leaning on only upgrade tendencies and economics, most analysts have hammered a different observation: Unlike its two precursors, Windows 8 -- and the PCs that run it -- must compete with tablets, a device category jump-started by Apple's iPad in April 2010.
Under that explanation, dollar defections to tablets translates into a slow-down in PC sales -- and corresponding sluggishness in new operating system's uptake.
It's clear that users, whether consumers or enterprise workers, are increasingly choosing tablets -- virtually all of which run a non-Microsoft OS -- as their mobile device. That reduces sales of Windows machines, especially notebooks, and generally lengthens everyone's PC refresh cycle.
Research firm IDC, for instance, recently raised its 2012 tablet sales forecast to 122 million devices, up 72% from 2011. Meanwhile, sales of PCs -- although still dwarfing tablets -- have stalled, and will likely come in flat for the year or even down from 2011.
Last October, IHS iSuppli forecast the latter, noting that if its projections turned out accurate, 2012 would be the PC market's first annual decline since 2001, when the "dot-com" bust traumatized the industry.
Net Applications' numbers also reported on trends other than Windows 8's uptake.
Windows XP lost seven-tenths of a percentage point last month to close the year at 39.1% of all personal computers, or 42.6% of Windows-only machines. Vista slipped slightly as its share continued to edge toward zero.
Meanwhile, Windows 7 picked up four-tenths of a percentage point, ending December with a 45.1% share of all PCs and 49.2% of all Windows PCs.
Windows overall gained ground last month, increasing its share by three-tenths of a percentage point, the largest increase since last March. At the end of 2012, Windows powered an estimated 91.7% of the world's personal computers, down half a point for the year, just a third of Windows' loss during 2011.
Mac OS X and Linux both lost share in December, with the former down two-tenths of a point to 7.1% and the latter off less than one-tenth of a point to 1.2%. Apple's operating system finished the year up seven-tenths of a percentage point, while Linux was down two-tenths of a point.
Net Applications measures operating system usage by tracking unique visitors to approximately 40,000 sites it monitors for clients.

Windows 8 sales woes: are netbooks to blame?

The latest numbers indicate that Windows 8 isn't boosting the weak PC notebook market, causing some manufacturers to blame Microsoft for poor sales. But Paul Thurrott, longtime Microsoft enthusiast and founder of SuperSite for Windows, argues that Windows 8 isn't dragging down manufacturers — it's the other way around. "Many of [Microsoft's] 20 million Windows 7 licenses each month," Thurrott writes, "went to machines that are basically throwaway, plastic crap." Blaming netbooks particularly, he says that cheap notebook sales conditioned customers to "expect to pay next to nothing" for Windows machines, a strategy that backfired when Microsoft started optimizing Windows 8 for more expensive touch-based displays. His sentiment echoes that of NPD, which concluded in a private report that netbooks did "an incalculable amount of damage" to the PC market.

We've written before about the potential of touch displays, as well as the problems they pose for current-gen hardware. Thurrott's suggestions for solving the touchscreen conundrum are largely cost-based: prices, he says, need to come down enough to occupy a place between cheap Android tablets and higher-priced iPads. For that to happen, though, manufacturers would have to shave several hundred dollars off the prices of touch-enabled machines, shifting focus from high-specced ultrabooks to cheaper notebooks and ARM devices. And considering the problems both netbooks and the ARM-based Surface have seen, that introduces a whole new set of issues.