Professionals using iPad

So far, we all know the iPad. The shiny new tablet from Apple was constantly present in the media. Web browsing and gaming just became a new tactile experience. And the iPad became the brand new toy everybody wanted to have.

But the iPad is more than a toy. It isn't too strange to find that an iPad is used by professionals in their daily jobs.

Examples of iPad professional usages

It's surprising that iPads are becoming popular in conservative businesses as legal practice. In this Apple iPad review for lawyers, an attorney explains how he uses such gadget in his daily job, as a medium between laptops and smartphones.

Some universities are starting to give iPads to their students, like in this new. The idea is that such device would be good to read on screen textbooks in full color.

Professional graphic designers and photographers are using iPads to introduce their works to their customers. The shiny screen of the iPad works pretty well with images and demo reels, being an eye-catching showcase of that visually appealing work.

Even some IT professionals that need to manage simple interfaces just use it whenever a wireless connection is available, for professional applications like managing servers with a remote console on the go.

Another interesting approach used by professional advertisers and publicists consists of displaying videos in several synchronized iPads, having that way a big, array-style screen composed of many iPads - a really eye-catching idea.

Even some professionals use iPads to read scripts in a full color, compact and easy-to-carry way, removing the hurdle of having to print lots of pages, or having to carry a heavier laptop.

What makes iPad useful for professionals

Since iPad is starting to become useful for professionals, the obvious question would be asking ourselves what gives an edge to the iPad for professional usages as the previously mentioned before. And in fact, there are several advantages for the iPad when compared to other similar gadgets:

  • An iPad has a big, full color screen. Typical e-book readers don't have such a big screen, and color e-book readers are just starting to appear (still, e-book ink is rather faded, while the colors on an iPad are quite vivid.)
  • An iPad is a quite lightweight, compact and easy to carry device. Some laptops (and even netbooks) are heavier and harder to carry.
  • You can read in an iPad even when standing. That's really hard to do with an open netbook. If your professional work consists of reading information while waiting on a queue or moving between areas, the iPad is unmatched.
  • The iPad has a tactile integrated keyboard and a big color screen. This is much more comfortable than the keyboard or screen of any small smartphone.
  • Some iPads come by default with WiFi and 3G connections. It works with exchange servers too, so it has enough connectivity for professional usages and to keep work synchronized.

iPad professional shortcomings

But iPad has its obvious shortcomings for professionals as well:

  • iPad is a rather expensive device. The most basic iPads start from around $600. You could buy a good laptop, or any netbook or advanced smartphone for such price.
  • The shiny screen of iPad is not specially optimized for reading texts. The e-ink system of other e-book readers (together with an anti-reflection screen) provides better results for pure document reading.
  • The on-screen tactile keyboard of the iPad is not very comfortable. If you are going to write more, then you would need an additional wireless keyboard.
  • Some professionals experience synchronization problems with their exchange servers and the iPad, so network compatibility is not fully developed at this point.
  • iPad lacks multitasking. If you are that kind of professionals who needs two windows open at the same time while writing on your documents, then forget about using the iPad.
  • iPad still lacks good sofware for professional usage. On top of that, some iPad apps aren't specifically designed for the iPad (they are mostly iPhone apps) so their graphic quality would be lacking.

Is the iPad worth buying for professional usages?

It seems that if your work consists of reading documents, showcasing eye-catching images to your customers, browsing and performing quick edits while on the move, then the iPad might be for you, as it is for many system administrators, lawyers and photographers.

On the other hand, if you depend on multitasking capabilities, specific professional apps, and easy synchronization, a smartphone, netbook or laptop might be better for you - and probably, cheaper.

If you want to know more about the topic, you can read / comment the following articles:


How to reduce Illustrator file size in PDF exports

Have you ever noticed that some Adobe Illustrator files just weigh too much? That can be a problem when uploading files for print, as several online printing sites have tight file size restrictions.

Some typical solutions for the exceeded file size problem are:

  • Removing unused layers and elements.
  • Removing the image parts hidden by cropping masks after flattening their transparency.
  • Exporting the Illustrator file in .PDF format instead of .AI format.

Using PDF format is a wise choice, as those Portable Document File formats keep the information as vectors (whenever possible.) So the PDF files will keep the high vector quality that Illustrator files already had.

But sometimes this export in PDF isn't enough to reduce the Illustrator file size under tight size requirements.

Uncheck a PDF option in Adobe Illustrator to reduce the file size

Fortunately, reducing the exported PDF file size a lot is in fact a simple, one-step solution. Just follow these easy instructions:

  • Select a High Quality print preset in Illustrator to assure that the resulting image would have enough quality for professional printing purposes.
  • Then just uncheck the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities option in the General PDF export menu inside Illustrator.
option to reduce Illustrator PDF size

That's all you need to achieve a dramatic size reduction of a PDF file exported from Illustrator (even containing both, vector and raster elements.)

It seems that Illustrator just keeps some of the original information in .AI format inside the exported .PDF file - that's how Illustrator assures that you would keep editing capabilities inside the exported .PDF file.

But truth is that, if you are uploading your final art file to an online printing service, those editing capabilities would be unused, and you would be much more worried by the Illustrator file size itself.

So uncheck that option, send your high-quality PDF file with the optimized file size, and don't worry about Illustrator editing capabilities in such exports!

Music playback commands in the headphone buttons of iPod touch and iPhone

A little trick to control iPhones and iPods is that they support certain voice control commands as well as some functions or shortcuts in their headphones.

Some models of the iPod Touch and the iPhone have a small control panel in the very cable of their headphones. We can use these headphone buttons to control the music playback in a quick way, with no need of taking out our music player from our pocket.

This control panel in the iPhone / iPod headphones is composed of 3 front buttons and a voice recognition microphone in the back.

iPod headphones controls

With the iPod buttons "+" and "-" we can control the playback volume. And with the central button (pressing the small box in the middle) we can perform the following actions:

  • 1 click: Pause / Resume music playback
  • 2 clicks in a row: Skip to the next track on our playlist.
  • 2 clicks, keeping the button pressed after the second click: Fast forward in the current music track (release to continue at a normal speed from the chosen point in the track).
  • 3 clicks in a row: Skip to the previous song in our playlist.
  • 3 clicks in a row, keeping the button pressed after the third click: Rewind the current track, (release to resume the playback from the chosen point in the track).
  • 1 click, keeping the button pressed: activate the voice recognition mode to use the Voice Control commands on our iPod / iPhone. So we can issue commands to our gadget by speaking to the microphone embedded in the headphones. We could even start phone calls using our iPhone.

The iPod voice control commands to play music are:

  • Play
  • Play music
  • Play (Album) (Album name)
  • Play (Artist) (Artist name)
  • Play (Playlist) (Playlist name)
  • Pause
  • Pause music
  • Next
  • Next track
  • Next song
  • Previous
  • Previous track
  • Previous song
  • Play more like this
  • Play more songs like this
  • Shuffle
  • Genius

The call comands that we can issue to our iPhone to control it with our voice are as follows:

  • Call (name)
  • Call (name) (home, mobile, work, etc.)
  • Call number (555-555-5555)
  • Dial (name)
  • Dial (name) (home, mobile, work, etc)
  • Dial number (555-555-5555)

Other iPod control information commands, answered by a computer synthesized voice:

  • What's Playing
  • What song is this?
  • What song is playing?
  • Who sings this song?
  • Who is this song by?
  • Who plays this song?

It's also possible to issue voice correction orders to the iPod / iPhone:

  • Wrong
  • No
  • Not that one
  • Not that
  • Nope

And it is also possible to cancel the iPhone / iPod voice control mode with the simple voice order "Cancel"

Why to uninstall W3 Total Cache in WordPress

W3 Total Cache is an amazing cache plugin for WordPress with lots of advanced options. But for small sites on shared hostings, W3TC is overkill, and might be too complex for your needs. And even worse: if you aren't an experienced user, an error in your configuration of W3 Total Cache might slow down the performance of your WordPress based site.

That's why installing W3TC and then uninstalling it after seeing that it isn't worth in terms of performance improvements in low end hostings is not a strange practice (Hyper Cache would be much easier to install, and probably, more appropriate for novice users or just at shared WordPress hostings with limited resources.)

How to fix 404 pages after uninstalling W3 Total Cache in WordPress

A common bug experienced by several users after uninstalling W3 Total Cache is that all pretty urls in all existing WordPress posts now lead to 404 pages with not found errors.

But fortunately, this problem has a pretty easy fix. After following the basic uninstall instructions (and removing all W3TC rules in all .htaccess files) you just need to check that these lines are present in the .htaccess file at your WordPress install folder:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /yourBlogBaseFolderHere/

That should go in the .htaccess file, making sure that you encode it in ANSI format, and just after these lines:

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

And that should fix any 404 page not found error that you might be experiencing on all your pretty links of previous posts.

Other steps to uninstall W3 Total Cache

Of course, the 404 not found error for a malformed .htaccess file is just a specific bug after uninstalling W3 Total Cache. If you are considering to uninstall this cache on your WordPress blog, I'll suggest you to take a look at these other insightful articles first:

If you follow all those steps, you should have your WordPress site up and running again, with no 404 error pages or traces of W3TC at all.


Apple and Adobe (infographics)

(Click the image below to view the full resolution version of the infographics)

Apple and Adobe infographics

Since so much has been said about not having Flash support in the devices of Apple (mainly the Apple iPhone and the iPad) I put together as much facts as possible about Apple, Adobe, the iPhone and Flash, plus some on video codecs including Theora, H.264 and HTML 5 video.

I hope these infographics help you better understand the big picture with the current situation of these technologies and companies.

If you liked it and found it useful, share it!

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Automatic CSS3 code generator

Thanks to CSS3 (that is, Cascading Style Sheets in its version 3 of the standard) modern web browsers support lots of advanced effects. Those effects that once required several images or hacks are now available in a few lines of CSS3 code.

The best way to get your hands on CSS3 is to use an automatic CSS3 code generator which could write the CSS3 code for us just by specifying a couple of easy options.

I would suggest you this generator for CSS3 code, as it is very complete and easy to use.

Which effects can be created with the CSS3 code generator?

Using CSS3 code you can create effects like:

  • Rounded corners.
  • Text or box shadows.
  • RGB colors.
  • Multiple column layouts.
  • Outlines.
  • Color gradients.
  • etc.

And all this just using a few lines of CSS3 code, with no need of additional images or HTML markup. That is really a big advantage in terms of code maintenance: if you want to update advanced effects of your site, you only need to rewrite a couple of lines of CSS3 code.

Which browsers support CSS3?

CSS3 is the future, and it will be the CSS standard used for all web browsers in a few years. But, by now, only a few web browsers support all CSS3 features.

So it depends on the CSS3 feature chose. But in overall, we could state that Chrome 4.0 and Firefox 3.5 (or better) support the most important CSS3 features.

Opera 10.5 and Safari 10.1 are also other web browsers that support nearly all main CSS3 features as well.

Finally, Internet Explorer 9 has a rather limited support for CSS3 features. So Internet Explorer could be considered the main obstacle to start using CSS3, as it only allows you to use rounded corners and advanced font face selection.

Fortunately, the suggested CSS3 generator would also specify which browsers could use the CSS3 code that was created in an automatic way. That is a very useful feature to be sure about browser version compatibility when using CSS3 effects.

If you want to get serious about the upcoming technologies of CSS3 and HTML5 I would suggest you to read a book on CSS3 and HTML5, and be the first when those technologies fully arrive.

What is the H.264 video codec?

You already know H.264. It is a video codec used in YouTube videos, Blu-ray and lots of other videos with very good quality / compression ratio.

But did you know that such standard created by the MPEG group is not free? Yes, H.264 usages aren't free, as it is a patented software algorithm.

So H.264 has changed from being a great video codec to being one of the obstacles which make difficult having a good, common open source video standard as part of the HTML 5 standard, so that it could be used throughout all web browsers free of additional charge.

The On2 codec alternative

More than 5 years ago, Flash video achieved an extremely good quality / compression ratio using a new proprietary video codec called Sorenson Spark. Thanks to it, some small videos started appearing on our web pages.

But the days of glory of Sorenson quickly ended when the On2 codec (specially, its On2Vp6 version) was released. This is the video codec that has been used on most Flash videos that you can see out there. The amazing part is that On2 allows nearly full screen high quality videos that load in nearly real time using just an average ADSL connection.

Google could make On2 free and open source

The interesting part is that On2 was purchased by Google. And Google owns YouTube, the biggest video site in the world. So Google has a golden chance of making the last version of the On2 codec (On2Vp8) an open source codec. And it could start using it through all its YouTube videos, making it a de facto standard in a blink.

If Google did such open source effort, it would be removing the need to use proprietary technologies from the web video landscape (Flash Player still contains some proprietary pieces of code, and remember that the H.264 codec is not free as it is patented till 2028). That would really lead to a new open video standard. And that would be progress.

Good web design e-books available in PDF

If you have some special interest about increasing your skills in web design, website development and web coding, you definitely need to check out this list of useful (and free) web design e-books.

They really cover every interesting topic that a good web developer should know: from web typography to accessibility and usability, including even some freelance business management tips.

This kind of resource, together with the lots of free e-books available, are possibly the best excuses to finally grab a good e-book reader (and, if you were wondering, the answer is yes: the number 1 e-book reader, Amazon's Kindle, already supports native PDF reading).

Error 8001050F solved in all PS3

Finally! The in-famous error 8001050F that has prevented many PS3 gamers to play during a whole day has been solved automatically. This trophy sync error that forced many modern PS3 games on the first PS3 models to quit, was a real problem that started on 1st of March 2010 but that should be fixed now, 2nd of March 2010.

Below is the original blog post

Error 8001050F PlayStation 3

Many PlayStation 3 users have recently been welcomed by the Error 8001050F when trying to connect PSN or play any game.

Surprisingly, this error 8001050F does not happen in the new PS3 Slim, but just in the big, original PlayStation 3 models.

So the error 8001050F in PlayStation 3 is probably making most Sony engineers work agains the clock, as the error is already reported in its official website as being currently fixed.

Error 8001050F at PSN and PS3 trophies, but not at PS3 Slim

This weird PS3 error has nothing to do with the overall network connectivity of the PS3 system, because it happens even when the PlayStation has a working Internet connection. Nevertheless, the error 8001050F prevents from logging in to PlayStation Network (PSN).

But the worst part of error 8001050F is that it doesn't allow to play some PS3 games which could have some kind of DRM or trophies data sync. The PS system will display a message such as "trophy load failed - reboot system". But rebooting your PlayStation 3 won't fix the problem.

Error 8001050F is not solved rebooting PS3 or restarting games

In any case, it is important to warn PlayStation 3 users that such kind of error message about a wrong trophy data load, or trophies out of sync, won't be fixed rebooting the PlayStation system. Restarting games does not fix this this error either.

So the best course of action is to keep as they are the current saved data, as well as any other configuration data stored in the PS3 till Sony finds a patch for this error 8001050F, as well as its related PSN, trophy and game related problems.

How to create CBR files

Creating .CBR files is very easy. The CBR file extension is just an image container. If we have a set of image files that we want to group in a comic or book format, we only need to:

  • Sort alphabetically the images that we want to pack iinto the CBR file. The images will be displayed in their original alphabetical order inside such CBR file. Select all the images and compress them inside a .zip file. You can do so with "right click / send to / ZIP compressed folder". Or even with "right click / add to file", depending on your file compressing utility.
  • We need to display the file extension in order to modify it. If your operative system isn't currently displaying your file extensions, in Windows XP just select the menu tools / folder options, tab display, and then uncheck the option Hide extensions for known file types, and click accept.
  • Once we have created the .ZIP file and checked the file extensions, just select that compressed file and then we click right click / change name, and then change the extension to CBR (replacing the final .ZIP by a final .CBR, and we are done.

Note: the images inside the containing CBR file need to be in the root of such path. So when compriming all our images together we need to select all the images (but not the folder containing the images) because this could generate a compressed file with a sub-folder of the same name, which could not be read by some specific CBR readers.

How to open CBR files and extract images

To open a CBR file and extract their images we only need to invert the previous process. Just right click the .CBR file and select /open with, and then select WinZip, WinRar or any other software capable of uncompressing our .cbr file (there are several compatible compression software that should handle CBR files). That will open the CBR file and show us all the images that we can extract out of such type of files.

Or, if we have the option to display all file extensions, just change it from CBR to ZIP renaming the file extension, and uncompress the CBR file like any other zipped file.

How to open CBR files in iPhone / iPod Touch.

There is an iPhone APP called MyComics, available just by 2.99€, which will allow us to open and display CBR files, as well as other file formats such as CBZ, PDF, RAR, ZIP.

And if you want to open your CBR files on the go, one of your best choices taking into account a good quality / price ratio could be an Apple iPod touch 8 GB (3rd Generation) NEWEST MODEL (affiliate link - it is a product that we tested and that we loved).

Apple iPod touch 8 GB (3rd Generation) NEWEST MODEL

Guide about how to buy a flat screen TV

As a starting point, we have to remember that it isn't possible to pick the best flat TV and the cheapest TV at the same time. The key is to find out which kind is the most important TV feature for us, and then, take into account the quality / price balance. This guide is only orientative so you won't be fooled by biased TV features and data, because while a TV can be very good at some aspects, other TV features might be lacking.

What Flat Screen TV buy?

Resolution and screen size

Let's remember that a bigger TV doesn't imply higher resolution. The resolution of a flat screen TV is the number of pixels displayed. While the screen size (in inches) is related to the TV surface where those image pixels are displayed. Having a Full-HD television does no mean that you would be watching all conents in high definition, because you also need a high resolution image source.

  • 1080p and 1080i. 1080p is the maximum TV resolution, 1920x1080, also known as Full-HD. means that you have 1080 lines of vertical screen resolution in your TV, progressive and no interlaced. Nevertheless, 1080i means that you have 1080 lines of resolution, but interlaced. At 60Hz, 1080p refreshes all the dots (pixels) on screen 60 times per second, while 1080i alternates even and odd lines in each refresh cycle, refreshing each half set of screen lines with a 30Hz rate, which can lead to the well known effect of "ghosting" or slipstream. In fact, a 1080i HDTV resolution works like a 720p.
  • 720p are 720 lines of vertical resolution, 1280x720 is HDTV.
  • HDTV stands for High Definition TeleVision, and as a concept, contains every television whose screen resolution is over NTSC resolution of 720x480 (or 720x576 for PAL TVs). So HDTV could be used with a 1080 flat screen TV, but it doesn't have to be this way. HDTV ranges from 720p to 1080i only (1080p is considered Full-HD). So we should pay special attention to the actual resolution of a flat screen TV, because the High Resolution tag could be somehow deceptive.
  • HD Ready just means "prepared for High Definition" but, as well as before with the HDTV tag, we have to pay special attention to avoid being fooled by this tag. HD Ready doesn't necessarily mean that a flat screen TV is in Full HD. A 720p TV could also be called an HD Ready TV. Nevertheless, HD Ready 1080p actually means Full HD.

TV Screen Technology: Plasma, LCD and LED

  • Plasma was the main technology used in flat screen TVs some years ago. Plasma TVs usually have vivid colors, but that does not last long, as its main drawback is that they need to be recharged after many hours of utilization, as it contains a mixture of noble gases (neon and xenon). Flat plasma TV has also the highest energy consumption, and the lowest image refresh rate.
  • LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. Flat screen LCD TVs are the most common nowadays. Their underlying technology allow a higher variety of sizes ranging from 15" to 100". LCD screens have a lower energy consumption than plasma TVs, have a longer lifespan, and are a cheaper technology.
  • LED means Light Emitting Diodes. Flat screen LED TVs are the latest trend. The whole screen is split into small segments that turn on and off independently. LED flat screens have the lowest energy consumption, and the highest real contrast ratios. On the other hand, it is the newest technology, which makes these TVs expensive, specially at big sizes, having only a few different models available.

Flat screen TV image parameters: contrast, response...

There are many flat screen TVs out there that seem cheap, and that also seem to have great performance in resolution and size. But you must not get fooled by just a couple of TV features. Those parameters aren't everything you need to check when you go to buy a flat screen TV. You need to check other TV features that have probably the same importance, and which could be lacking in cheap TV models.

About TV Contrast, it is necessary to distinguish 2 different kinds of contrast: Static contrast which is the real TV contrast, and Dynamic contrast which could be the difference between a white and dark gray pixels, instead of measuring a color against black, which could bias the result towards a high contrast value, but that is not an actual contrast value.

Most flat screen TVs also have contrast enhancement options called dynamic contrast, which increases the original contrast levels, losing in exchange some tonal image range, with stronger and harder color gradients, higher color saturation, and in overall, sacrificing some image quality.

Unfortunately, most data displayed when you need to pick the right flat screen TV are about dynamic contrast, because using such data the TV specifications look better, but that isn't a completely reliable information. Before buying a new flat screen TV you should search for specific technical information in detail, and for product reviews through Internet.

TV screen refresh rate. Another important feature that should be taken into account is that your flat screen TV should have a good refresh rate, also called response time or Hz, which cause seamless image transitions. With a 50Hz refresh rate a screen can convey a sensation of flickering, specially in very high screens. These are often overlooked data in the flat screen TV advertisements (except in those models that have very good values, because they take special care to highlight these data well for these TVs), as response time is usually an unknown factor by people, and so they don't recognize its real importance. A good refresh rate value is 100Hz. There are some models that feature up to 200Hz, and obviously, this good performance highly increases their price tag.

Some models include a special mode called Motion Plus / Fast Motion, which calculates when extra frames are needed. Depending on the effect level in which you configure this feature, you could either achieve an even more seamless image transition, or in too high values you could experience some image "travelling effect", like a blurred screen image feeling.

Pick the right flat screen TV according to its usage

You have to take also into account the main usage an purpose of your new TV, as that can really help you to identify the most meaningful features of your target TV.

  • If you are wanting to buy a flat screen TV to watch blu ray discs, then you really need a Full-HD TV, as it is the only way to appreciate all the details include in such high quality video.
  • Nevertheless, if you are going to use your new TV to watch regular TV, resolution is not very important, as HD TV broadcasts are just starting, and the source image is not in very high resolution - you could en up watching a blurred TV image in very big screens.
  • Finally, if you are wanting to play HD videogames take into account that most of them won't run at native 1080 lines, so an HD ready TV would suffice for most videogames. Nevertheless, the trend is to create full HD games, and that's why a Full-HD TV is your best option - even lower resolution HD games are scaled pretty nicely in Full-HD screens. Videogames have also quickly moving images, so a good refresh rate becomes specially important for this purpose.
  • According to the TV size, the rule of thumb is to pick a flat screen that is completely covered by your vision angle, which is around 30º, so you would be appreciating small details while achieving an immersive TV experience. That means that a widescreen TV of 40 inches will look good at a distance of around 1.7 meters.

Other flat screen TV details

According to the color, as well as to the smooth flowing of the image (the refresh rate, Hz, previously mentioned) the best we can do is to see a TV in real life and check it by ourselves. We have to take special care to identify whether the flat TV that we are currently watching is with the dynamic contrast option enabled or not, because that could highly affect the original color.

Another fact to take into account when picking a new flat screen TV is that most TV shops feature their products under strong lights. That's why the usually pick the higher contrast settings in all the exhibited TV screens. But such high contrast would be really extreme in a normal TV environment at your house. So take that into account when buying your new TV, as you could not be needing such high amounts of contrast ratio, and even those flat TV screens that seemed somehow dull under strong lights could look great at your home. Usually color accuracy is a more important factor than just color contrast.

Flat TV screens have what is called a vision angle. That means that the screen is not seen the same way straight from the front or a little bit from its side, so it is another fact worth checking. As well as the type of screen, gloss or matt (non reflective) finish. At first sight, and specially at a shopping center, the glossy TV screen could look more vivid, specially if the flat TV is displaying very colorful images in its screen. But watch out, as this supposed image improvement doesn't need to be necessarily real. It is worth taking into account when buying a new flat screen TV that glossy finish could also reflect objects and light sources, specially when displaying dark images or black areas.

All the information in this guide is focused in flat screen TV features, given as technical data. But according to the underlying technology of the TV (plasma, LCD or LED) and its specific manufacturing, it could display the final images better or worse. So at the end, our best suggestion is to check the TV with your very own eyes. From we only expect to assist you about how to buy a flat screen TV checking which kind of TVs should be taken into account, what does each TV feature mean and how to prevent being fooled by deceptive TV specifications.

From the original guide to buy an HD TV at Triple Clic

The right flat screen TV

Some examples of good flat screen TVs to buy

Samsung LN32B360 32-Inch 720p LCD HDTV is probably one of most competitive TV options, specially taking into account its cheap price tag. It isn't full HD, and 8ms of response time might be rather slow, but nevertheless, you are getting a 32 inches flat screen TV with great colors with a low cost - perfect for watching regular TV and even HDTV programs (thanks to its built-in HD digital tuner) without eating all the empty space of your home.

Samsung LN40B530 40-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV goes a step beyond than the previous model. With its 40 inches flat screen and an improved response time of 6ms, this TV delivers rich colors, big images and quick response. So this is a very good choice for watching full-HD blu ray discs and playing videogames, still with a very competitive price tag.

Finally, if you buy a Samsung LN52B750 52-Inch 1080p 240 Hz LCD HDTV, you will be getting it all. It is an expensive TV, but if you can afford it, you will realize that it is worth it. With a huge screen of 52 inches, a quick response time of 5ms, a dynamic contrast of 150,000:1, and a refresh rate of 250 Hz, this TV is perfect for just everything.

iPad, the new product from Apple reports:

Apples latest product was a "secret" known by everybody. The Net will be flooded with detailed information, but our objective is very different. So, to summarize, we are providing you the most relevant Apple iPad facts:

  • iPad is a mini-netbook Table with a multi-tactile LED screen of 9.7 inches, a screen resolution of 1024x768. Depending on the model, you can also use WiFi and 3G connections, with capabilities of 16, 32 and 64 Gb. iPad price ranges between 500$ and 700$.
  • The surface of the iPad measures 24 x 18 cm, and has a width of 1.34 cms. (that's 9.45 x 7.09 x 0.53 inches). It weighs around 680 gr. (WiFi version) and 730 gr (3G version), with a non-removable internal battery with a duration of 10h of video and WiFi usage.
  • Inside the iPad is an Apple A4 processor of 1 GHz, whose microprocessor integrates a graphic processor with video support up to 720p at 30fps in H.264.
  • iPad runs on the same operative system than the iPhone, and the old iPhone apps will be adapted for iPad with no additional cost for the users who already purchased such aps at the Apple store.
  • A single USB port, a headphones output of 3.5 mm, accelerometer, light sensor, WiFi N, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and 3G (depending on the model), A-GPS, compass.

Summarizing, the fact is that iPad has the same usages of an iPhone or an iPod, in big, with the advantages and limitations that this implies.

iPad de Apple


Haloscan comments closes at 10th February 2010

The blog comments service, closes the next 10th of February 2010.

According to Haloscan sources, a physical failure of its system forces them to close their commenting service. They provide 2 different alternatives:

  • Exporting your existing blog comments, so you can import them in a different commenting service.
  • Migrating your account to Echo, a different comments system which is not free, probably owned by Haloscan.

According to this second Haloscan migration option, they seem no to have no physical system failure that forces them to cut off the service. It all seems to be a rude justification to discontinue their current commenting service and then charge for the same service. Of course they have the right to do so, but their commenting service was somehow limited, with even less features than other free blog commenting services.

These kind of practices betray in some way user's confidence. They decided to start at some point with a free blog commenting system (well, not completely free, let's remind that you accepted such service in exchange to including advertisements in your own blog comments window), and in the long term they have to face this closing situation. Let's see whether an important drop in their number of users teaches them a lesson.

If you are a user of and you want to keep your previous blog comments, we suggest you to backup such comments before the closing deadline.

What are Google Analytics notes?

Google Analytics has a new feature that allows you to create notes for your statistics. With Google Analytics notes you can attach a description or a comment to any date in your graph. It is just a matter of clicking a point in your graph, and then, writing down your annotations.

Why are Google Analytics notes so important?

This feature is very interesting because, till now, you had to keep a changelog for any maintained sites. But by embedding notes straight from Google Analytics, attached to specific dates, you can keep your historic of changes together with your statistics.

In a nutshell: with Google Analytics notes you better understand how is your site behaving. And only by understanding your measures you could optimize your site.

Adding notes in Google Analytics

The best 5 ways to use Google Analytics notes

Since you can write your annotations in Google analytics to understand perfectly how it works (and being thus able to improve it), now the key is writing only those notes that are really meaningful.

For me, these are the 5 best ways to write notes in Google Analytics:

  • Write notes with brief descriptions of your major site changes. That is, adding lots of new content, changing the website design, modifying the site navigation, and so on. After all, website analytics were designed to measure scientifically how human users and search engines navigate your site, so you have to pay special attention to strong changes in your statistics from that "major site changes" mark.
  • Write a comment when any part of your homepage changes. Most returning users don't bookmark inner pages in your site: they just type the address of its homepage. And, of course, most new users are guided straight to your homepage. On top of that, your homepage is usually the main page rank distributor to the rest of your site. So any subtle change on your homepage could deeply impact both your users and search engines. And that's why you should pay attention after the "homepage changed" note in Google Analytics.
  • Add a new note when any promotional campaign starts. When you put any special effort in a promotional campaign (either AdSense PPC, e-mailing, link building, and so on), you have to measure its impact. Is your campaign worth your time and effort? Does it attract new traffic? Now, you just have to look at your Analytics after the "promotional campaign started" annotation.
  • Add annotations to your Analytics whenever you publish a new article, blog post or site page. If you really have the good habit of posting high quality content each day, this amount of notes could become overwhelming. Nevertheless, if you just update your contents once a week or less, it is important to measure how your content writing efforts affect your analytics. Check the "new content title" tag inside your Google Analytics graph and discover what is your best kind of content for traffic building purposes.
  • Write a note whenever you detect a traffic spike in your statistics. That is, when a lot of users suddenly access your site, you register a peak in the graphs of Google Analytics. Finding the cause of such spikes is usually very easy: just look at your traffic sources. It will mostly be caused by a link pointing to your site from a very popular site. This way, these eye-catching traffic spikes won't distract you too much when understanding the subtle meaning of your Google Analytics statistics, now being marked with the "traffic spike cause" note below. And keep an eye trying to repeat such useful spikes.

Starred notes in Google Analytics

Specially meaningful annotations can be marked with a star icon, so you can filter out such less-important notes by selecting the starred option.

My suggestion is that you should try to mark everything in your statistics using these Google Analytics notes, because that will give you lots of fine-grain information. Couple this with the new Google Analytics Intelligence feature and you will be discovering tiny details that can really influence your results.

Nevertheless, Analytics notes are a time-saver feature. If you want to perform a broader analysis than the default last month statistics glance (let's say, a one year analytics report), you won't need lots of annotations - trust the most important, starred notes to get the big picture.

Google Analytics notes are a great way to understand and at glance the results of your Internet marketing efforts. Quick statistical understanding is the key to measure and optimize. So take advantage of this new time saving feature of Google Analytics when tracking your statistics. Use it wisely, following these best 5 ways to use Google Analytics notes

From the original online marketing consulting report by E. Serrano