These gestures work well and should already be familiar to users of touch interfaces

While people like to theorize that records are appealing because of their cover artwork and liner notes, or the exciting variances in sound quality between record players, the truth of the matter is, there’s never been a better hard format for single songs than the 7″ record.

Many of the largest and most serious vendors (which include my customers) take space in hotels around the city. They do so because they want a quiet place where they can control the variables to show vetted guests sensitive things like prototypes of potential future products or finished versions of products that will be introduced later in the year.

So what did I do? I paired the tiny Zi8 with a rather large Rode VideoMic on a $16 handheld bracket from Best Buy. Yes, the combination of a regular-sized mic and pocket-sized camera makes everyone do a double take, but the results are extremely good, and the whole unit weighs just barely over two pounds. With the Quantaray QSX Digipro 100 tripod (which is unfortunately now discontinued) it still weighs under four pounds.

As Sinofsky explains, batteries can report their capacity using ACPI in terms of Watt-hours (W-Hr); and from now on, Windows compares this capacity against design capacity. “In Windows 7 we set a threshold of 60% degradation (that is the battery is performing at 40% of its designed capacity) and in reading this Windows 7 reports the status to you. At this point, for example, a battery that originally delivered 5 hours of charge now delivers, on average, approximately 2 hours of charge.”

That’s a fairly simple calculation to perform, and theoretically, it’s been there since the turn of the previous decade. But it would appear that the readings reported by batteries may only have become reliable enough for Windows to rely on this conclusion, in only the last few years.

In Betanews tests since Wednesday’s release, we encountered a series of related, and perhaps obvious, functional anomalies. Opera has its own mouse movement interpreter, created so that users can make “mouse gestures” without the use of on-screen buttons or gadgets. The browser can interpret a special gesture as a command. But when trying to do ordinary things, like move imported bookmarks to a toolbar, we noticed several inconsistencies.

Bonanni didn’t precisely say whether he believes the materials in a “typical laptop” are environmentally sound. But Adele Peters, a participant in this year’s Greener Gadgets design contest, clearly thinks she’s come up with a better alternative to the computer mouse that ships in the same box as so many desktop PCs.

Good UI design is often about human usage context, and understanding longstanding design interfaces requires some understanding of historical context. Buxton used the example of buttons on a woman’s shirt. He called the buttons wrong, because of their placement.

But why are they that way? Buxton explained that when buttons were introduced, women didn’t dress themselves. The buttons were correctly positioned for the person doing the dressing. Men dressed themselves, so the buttons are on the right, rather than the left.

Many folks tell me they don’t do anything with their browsers that requires any significant number crunching. The most direct response I have to this is: Wrong. Web pages are sophisticated pieces of software, especially where cross-domain sharing is involved.

They’re not pre-printed and reproduced like something from a fax machine; more and more, they’re adaptive composites of both textual and graphic components from a multitude of sources, that come together dynamically. The degree of math required to make everything flow and align just right, is severely under-appreciated.

How so? AMD’s singular pursuit of 64-bit x86 computing solutions allowed the company to develop a sizable market and mindshare lead. Though it initially dismissed Opteron, Intel eventually dove into the market with a vengeance and eventually left AMD in its wake. That point is worth remembering in still-evolving markets like mobile computing.

The new Atom platform demonstrates, yet again, Intel’s ability to effectively adapt to changing circumstances by leveraging its considerable intellectual and human capital. These gestures work well and should already be familiar to users of touch interfaces.

While the device is immediately recognized by machines running either Windows or Mac OS, it lacks all of the gesture-based functions without the associated Bamboo driver. Once the drivers are installed, however, the user can orient the Bamboo Touch as either a right-handed, or left-handed peripheral, and begin using two-finger up and down page scrolling, pinch to zoom, two-finger rotate, and left and right page flipping.

If you are a digital music maker and frequently go on sample-scavenging missions, you can pop a disc onto the battery-powered Revolution, tune your FM recorder to one of the available signals, and rip a sample right there on the spot with no wires whatsoever. I’ve done it, and it works.

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