2011 Audi A8 gets factory-installed wireless hotspot option

I heard that the 2011 Audi A8 would be getting a UMTS modem to help with things like Google Earth, and it looks like Audi has now delivered that and more. It’s just announced that the car is the first anywhere to be available with a factory-installed WLAN hotspot option. That will apparently let you either drop your SIM card into the car’s on-board system or pair your phone with it via Bluetooth, and then share wireless internet access with up to eight WiFi-enabled devices at speeds up to 7.2 mbps assuming you actually need any more devices than the two dozen or so that are already built into the car. Read more

First iPad 2 review in South Africa

The iPad 2 is on the cusp of greatness – but I believe in full disclosure. While I have the original iPad, and love it, I always felt that a laptop was a more suitable solution for the majority of people. Now that Apple is back with the second generation slate, that’s just changed.

When you spending R7000 to R8000 on a tablet, expectations run high. Considering the cost of a high-end netbook barely tops the R10000 mark, many find it difficult to justify the purchase. While this is understandable, the real value of a tablet is in the way we interact with the web and apps. Like google maps and news 24, it’s all in the fingertips. Read more

Steve Jobs Was First Choice For Google’s CEO

Back in 2000, when Google was just getting started, its venture capital backers insisted the fledling company find an experieced CEO to provide ‘adult supervision.’

Venture capitalist John Doerr arranged for Google’s young co-founders to meet with half-a-dozen Silicon Valley CEOs in an attempt to get the process started. Larry Page and Sergey Brin met with Intel’s Andy Grove, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and several others.

At the end of the tour, they were ready to hire a CEO but there was a problem, according to Wired senior writer Steven Levy:

… they would only consider one person: Steve Jobs. Read more

Turn Your Foursquare Data Into an Infographic

I came across a nifty little tool this week that creates an infographic from your Foursquare data.

Built by Stormpixel Studios at a Foursquare Hack Day event in February, the tool creates a simple infographic that displays a world map; your checkin, network and tip counts; your badges; your checkins by category, such as travel, or arts and entertainment; the number of coffees you have consumed and more.

Try it out for yourself at fourgraph.me.

 

Sick groom marries bride in Skype wedding

A California couple whose wedding plans appeared thwarted when a lung infection landed the groom in the isolation ward of a hospital were married over the weekend, in a ceremony conducted over Skype.

Samuel Kim and Helen Oh, both 27, had friends and family members traveling from as far away as their native Korea and from New York to their planned wedding ceremony in the southern California city of Fullerton on Saturday.

So when Kim began spitting up blood last week, he was initially too nervous to tell his bride for fear of causing her grief, he told Reuters.

When he finally did tell Oh later in the week, the couple improvised a solution by holding the wedding via the Web video conferencing system.

“Guests said it was inspirational, they really admired my fiance for being able to stand at the altar in the manner that she did, alone and not crying the whole time,” Kim said from his bed at UCI Medical Center in Orange. Read more

iPad 2 Smart Cover Case Is Amazing

I’m in love with the simple engineering ingenuity of the iPad 2….. case.

I never once expected to be taken aback by a case. Especially when the case serves as to protect something new and shiny like the iPad 2. But the newly arrived polyurethane & leather Smart Covers are beautiful (except for some dodgy colors…

Magnets are used to automagically clip the protective case to the iPad 2. The case can then be flipped to act as a stand at two different inclines – one upright and one at a 30′ angle. The stand is perfect for those wanting to use the iPad 2 to watch movies or use FaceTime, and as a keyboard stand.

 

iPad 2 is here!

Apple today introduced iPad 2, featuring an entirely new design that is 33 percent thinner and up to 15 percent lighter than the original iPad while maintaining the same 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen and up to 10 hours of battery life.

iPad 2 also features Apple’s new dual-core A5 processor for blazing-fast performance and stunning graphics and now includes two cameras — a front-facing VGA camera for FaceTime and Photo Booth and a rear-facing camera that captures 720p HD video.

iPad 2 is available in black or white, and introduces the innovative iPad 2 Smart Cover in a range of colors. iPad 2 will be available on March 11 in the US through the Apple Online Store, and expected to hit other countries including South Africa within weeks. Read more

Twitter Suspends @ceoSteveJobs – His Last Tweets

It’s a day of conflicting emotions. On one hand, Apple will today announce the iPad 2. On the other, Twitter has suspended the account of @ceoSteveJobs.

For those that don’t know, @ceoSteveJobs was a parody account that tweeted from the perspective of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The account had more than 450,000 followers at the time of suspension and it’s not know if the account will be reactivated. Read more

Steve Jobs Almost Received An Honourary Knighthood

Steve Jobs almost joined such Neo-Arthurian luminaries as Sir Elton John, Sir Robert of Hope and Dame Kylie Minogue, according to a former Labour Party politician, who says that the Apple CEO was almost offered a knighthood back in 2009 for his services to technology.

According to the former senior British MP, although the argument for Jobs’ knighthood was compelling, the Apple boss’ impolitic inscrutability ultimately cut him out of getting the war.

Although the suggestions for knighthood reached the final stages of approval, at the end of the day, Steve Jobs was irrefutably blocked by Downing Street because Jobs had once refused to attend an annual Labour conference, which would have been seen as a big political win for then-current Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Why was Jobs considered?

Apple has been the only major global company to create stunning consumer products because it has always taken design as the key component of everything it has produced. No other CEO has consistently shown such a commitment.

If it hadn’t been blocked, Jobs still wouldn’t be the first American to be a British Knight, or even the first tech magnate: Bill Gates won in 2005. However, due to his lack of British citizenship, he still wouldn’t be allowed to go around, belligerently demanding strangers to refer to him as “Sir Steve”.

The Facebook “Like” Starts to Replace the Share Button’s Functionality

Facebook is rolling out a change to its social sharing buttons: “Like” will now act a lot more like “Share.”

In other words, when you hit that “Like” button to express your thumbs-up approval of a particular site or story, Facebook will now post an update to your wall that includes a lot more details about what you’re approving. A Facebook “Like” will now include a picture, a headline and a little blurb, along with the option to comment, just as it does when you purposefully share a story to Facebook.

Facebook spokesperson Malorie Lucich told bloggers that Facebook will continue to support the share button but that like will be the “recommended solution moving forward.” Calling the changes today “a test,” Facebook says it’s looking for developer feedback on how this new functionality works. Read more