Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Portable Inkless Printer

Although digital photography reigns supreme nowadays, there are still a lot of people who miss the old days of paper photos, especially those instant ones provided by
Polaroid. And it seems that those days might once again come back, albeit adapted to the modern technology, since a company called ZINK has announced the development of a pocket-sized printer which can cough up photos without using a drop of ink.

According to the company, the most important component of the whole printing process is the special photo-paper developed by the company, an “advanced composite material with dye crystals embedded inside and a protective polymer layer outside”. This “paper” is initially clear, but when subjected to the action of the heated “printing” head, the crystals activate and create the desired image. Thus, you can get a high quality image in almost no time, and if some colors or details are not exactly satisfactory, you can always print the picture again, since the paper is recyclable.

These very innovative devices will be able to print out 2- x 3-inch photos and will be available in 2 variants: 1 standalone unit and another nit which, according to the company, can be "embedded" in just about any device, ranging from mobile phones to digital cameras. According to the Engadget website, the standalone format will be available for $99 and the camera / printer hybrid will be available for $199. A very interesting financial aspect related to this device is the fact that a pack of one hundred sheets will cost just around $19.95, which is not too much, if you're a hardcore fan of paper photos, that is. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether these things will take off or not, as digital photography is too powerful to overthrow right now.


Monday, January 08, 2007

100 Million Installations - Internet Explorer 7

Internet Explorer 7 has reached the 100 million-installation milestone. Tony Chor, IE Group Program Manager revealed that the browser had reached 100 million installations as of
January 8, 2007. Internet Explorer 7 was released on October 18, 2006. The browser's performance can be explained through Microsoft's adoption strategy.

Following the official release, and beginning with November 8, 2006, the Redmond Company debuted pushing IE7 via Automatic Updates at the rate of 1 million updates per day. Initially, the IE7 updates were released only to 1% of users of English versions of IE6 per day; but - starting on November 15 - IE7 updates started shipping through AU to users of the European language versions of Internet Explorer 6.

However, IE7's distribution through Automatic updates has not reached a complete global status. The IE7 AU updates are scheduled for the Japanese market later in the spring of 2007.

Microsoft additionally informed that IE7 is now the second most used browser in the United States after IE6. The Redmond Company will see these statistics increasing rapidly in February, concomitantly with the customer availability of Windows Vista that ships with its own version of IE7 integrated.

“I’m pleased to report that on January 8th, we had the 100 millionth IE7 installation. However, even more important than installations is usage. According to WebSideStory (the company we use to measure browser usage), as of this week, over 25% of all visitors to websites in the US were using IE7, making IE7 the second most used browser after IE6. We expect these numbers to continue to rise as we complete our final localized versions, scale up AU distribution, and with the consumer availability of Windows Vista on January 30, 2007. You won’t need to download it for Windows Vista as it has IE7 built in with all the same features as the XP version, plus Protected Mode,” stated Tony Chor.