University of Washington developing computer-like contact lenses

Washington University researchers are looking to develop contact lenses that would allow you to check your email, surf the web, and more , all with the blink of an eye.

The line between technology and human biology has become increasingly blurred over the years. We have come to rely on technology to augment or supplement our bodies own natural functions in many different ways, often to great success. You need not look further than the hearing aid, pacemaker, or laser eye surgery to see examples of technology intimately interfacing with our everyday lives and improving on it. In this digital age, even today’s smartphones perform functions we were resigned to doing on larger computers and devices no more than ten years ago.

With computers and smart devices decreasing in size and increasing in function, it seems that researchers at the University Washington are taking that concept even further. A team from the University has recently completed trials on a new generation of Terminator-like contact lenses that would allow wearers of the next-gen lenses to receive emails directly to their eyes and even supplement their vision with various information from the internet.

While the contact lenses are small, the circuitry within is even smaller. The lenses feature layers of metal measuring barely a few nanometers thick and LED diodes measuring one-third of a millimeter across.

Of course, there are risk factors inherent with any technology that seeks to integrate so intimately with the human body, and these computerized lenses are no different. Right now, the prototype lenses can only be powered while close (centimeters) to a wireless battery, which brings into question not only practicality concerns, but questions and concerns as to how the human eye and body would react to such long-term exposure of electrical circuits on the surface of the eye.

The team at Washington University has currently finished with animal trials and is attempting to explore the possibility of complex holographic imagery and consumer applications such as price comparisons through the lenses. There is also the hope that the technology can be expanded for uses within the medical field as well as home entertainment. One can only imagine that with streaming video beamed directly into your eyes it would give a whole new meaning to the term “sitting too close to the TV”.

Regardless of whether you approve of biology and technology overlapping, the reality would suggest that further integration between man and machine will not subside any time soon.

Europe’s largest IT company bans email

Atos is taking the plunge and not looking back: the international IT organization will ban email and look to chat clients for office communication.

Atos is an international IT company that employs roughly 75,000 people and rakes in billions of dollars a year. It’s also the official IT integrator for the Olympic games. To put it simply, Atos is a rather large company. Which is why it comes as a surprise that the corporation is banning email.

According to The Telegraph, CEO Thierry Breton has enforced a “zero email” policy that will go into effect within the next 18-months. “It is not normal that some of our fellow employees spend hours in the evening dealing with their emails,” he says. “The email is no longer the appropriate [communication] tool.”

Bretton says instant messaging services and a social-communication tool will replace the apparently archaic email message. The CEO also says that young hires will take more easily to this Facebook-like way of inter-office communication.

“Companies must prepare for the new wave of usage and behavior,” Bretton explains. “If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message. Emails cannot replace the spoken word.” The CEO says he has not sent a work email in three years.

So is Bretton just ahead of the curve or is his anti-email inspiration bound for failure? There’ plenty of “email is dead” fodder to go around, but cut through all that noise and studies show most of us still rely on it. A Pew study this past summer found that email remains one of the most popular online activities: “Among online adults, 92-percent use email, with 61-percent using it on an average day.” And a variety of surveys have revealed that the smartphone revolution has driven users to accessing their email even more, via mobile apps.

But to Bretton’s credit, the deluge of spam we’re subjected to on a daily basis has made the work email client difficult to wade through. And Atos has tools like the Atos Wiki and an office chat program that allow for project collaboration and communication. Still, cutting out email seems like something of a drastic step, and that there might be some stepping stones Atos is skipping in the evolution of email.

There are a variety of services trying to make email more efficient and meaningful, and they are probably part of the process of getting from where we are now to where Atos is already trying to be.

Of course, if you’ve hit your limit with email, in or out of the office, there are a few ways to try and improve the experience: is more of a personal mantra than anything else (there are also “two,” “four,” and “five” versions of this policy) that encourages users to keep things to the point.
AwayFind: AwayFind makes email truly mobile. Instead of pulling up an app to obsessively check out your inbox, this app acts like your personal assistant and notifies you of urgent messages only.
Shortmail: Sweet and to the point, Shortmail has a Twitter-like interface and adopts the idea of limited characters (500 only). No attachments, no spam, just quick, succinct, meaningful communication.

Little Printer delivers the Web in receipt form

Little Printer, from Berg design studio, browses the Web for you, then delivers updates on a receipt-sized slip of paper.

Sometimes browsing the Internet, from all your favorite websites to the endless list of “must-have” social networks, can be exhausting. If only there were a tiny robot that lives in your house that would do all the work for you, and just give you a little printout of the most important bits. Well, now there is. Say hello to Little Printer.

Developed by the London-based design studio Berg, Little Printer connects to the Internet via the “Berg Cloud” (Berg’s network for controlling the “smart” inanimate objects of our future), and is controlled entirely using a smartphone app.

According to Berg’s announcement, Little Printer “lives in your front room and scours the Web on your behalf, assembling the content you care about into designed deliveries a couple of times a day.” This delivery comes in the form of a piece of paper that is, essentially, exactly the same as the receipt you get at a store. But instead of a list of your purchased items, you get short news briefs, social network status updates from your friends, crossword puzzles and to-do lists. Each printout is even topped-off with a little smiley face with Justin Bieber hair at the end.

When Little Printer becomes available in 2012, it will have access to customized updates from Arup, Foursquare, Google, the Guardian, and Nike. Berg says it is working to bring more publishers on board for a later date.

We know what you’re thinking: Isn’t printing out the Internet pointless and a waste of paper? That depends on who you ask. According to Berg, analog is sometimes just better than digital:

We love physical stuff. Connecting products to the Web lets them become smarter and friendlier – they can sit on a shelf and do a job well, for the whole family or office – without all the attendant complexities of computers, like updates or having to tell them what to do. Little Printer is more like a family member or a colleague than a tool.

Plus paper is like a screen that never turns off. You can stick to the fridge or tuck it in your wallet. You can scribble on it or tear it and give it to a friend.

Little Printer certainly is nifty. And little. But do we really need to have more little scraps of paper to deal with? Isn’t going paperless one of the great things the Internet allows? We thought so. Apparently we were wrong.

Check out a video of Little Printer being cute below:

HP 2310e Review

Review: The HP 2310e LED-backlit LCD monitor offers a surprisingly slick design and excellent display quality.

Samsung. Apple. LG. All companies you might consider for a design-savvy monitor fit for the living room.

Now picture an HP monitor. If you’re envisioning a boxy black slab attached to some kind of industrial-grade metal arm, maybe situated in a beige cubicle at the DMV, you’re not alone. But no less misguided. While monitors still take a backseat to HP’s main business of, you know, the computers that power them, the company has made vast strides in design that now leave its desktop monitors looking downright desirable. Witness: The 2310, a 23-inch, 1080p monitor so thin and bright you’ll want to put it in the living room.

Features and specs

Although HP doesn’t go quite as far as Samsung’s unique translucent “touch of color” design, the slim, gloss-black frame and gunmetal base (in color only, it’s plastic) look sleek together. The skinny bezel bears a dime-sized HP logo, stripes that indicate where to press for the invisible capacative controls, and an aqua-blue power button, along with the model number scribed unobtrusively in the lower right corner. Flip it around back, though, and HP gets a little more aggressive in its branding with a glowing white HP logo the diameter of a pint glass. Unless you object to broadcasting the brand affiliation, it actually has a modern look that we grew to favor.

Thanks to its LED backlighting, 23-inch HP 2310e measures just over half an inch thick and weighs 9.5 pounds, making it one of the slimmer, lighter monitors you’ll find in this size class. It offers 250 nits of brightness, a fairly standard 5ms response time, and an 8,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Meaningless? Like a dynamic contrast ratios, sure, but as we’ll see in the performance section, it doesn’t disappoint.

The stand on the 2310e doesn’t raise, lower or swivel, it just reclines about 10 degrees or so. It also lacks the VESA brackets that would allow it to work with aftermarket mounting solutions.

Around back, the 2310e offers HDMI, DVI and DisplayLink input, forgoing any analog options like VGA. To make the display as thin as possible, the monitor uses a brick power supply similar to a laptop’s, which plugs into the back as well. Although it will leave another ugly black box floating around under your desk, it also provides plenty of cable for situations where the monitor may be placed further from a power strip.


Capacative controls may be invisible, but we’ve run into enough kludgy implementations to make us miss the days of ugly old buttons. While not perfect, HP’s don’t fall into this trap.

Touching the short white strip of lines below the screen lights up six otherwise-invisible buttons, then acts as a control strip, scrolling through on-screen options as you drag your finger along it. While it works well for quickly shooting across half a dozen options, it’s also imprecise and difficult to land on the one you want. We ended up getting “close enough” then reverting to the plus and minus buttons to select the exact one. Some of the other icons can also be obtuse (What the heck does a monitor full of boxes with an arrow pointing to it represent?), but you’ll pick them up quickly enough.

Besides the usual tweaks for brightness, contrast and other display settings, the 2310e includes a bevy of options for monitor-specific functions like turning the front and rear LED lights off, power saving, and even adjusting the position of the on-screen display itself.

“Quick View” presets include movie, photo, gaming, text and of course, custom. Fortunately, choosing a preset doesn’t lock you out of any fine adjustments, so any of them can be tweaked to taste.


Out the box, the text setting seemed to offer the most balanced, neutral image, with little tweaking. Thanks to a glossy screen and high brightness, the 2310e offers a lot of the initial “pop” that makes a monitor stand out when placed side-by-side among its peers. This makes browsing the Web and other activities with copious amounts of white and solid colors an impressive experience, but the weakness of the 2310 shines through in images with more nuance. While the monitor tiptoes around “crushing” blacks, it isn’t quite as nuanced on the opposite end of the spectrum. The brightest shades of grey tend to fall over into pure white, stripping some of the detail out of bright photos (think clouds and the like) and highlights in normal images (think the glitter on a sea of waves).

That said, the punchy brightness this monitor is capable of and inky blacks will still win it accolades among those who spend most of their time cruising the Web or sunk into spreadsheets.

Another redeeming factor turns out to be viewing angle. Although it uses a standard twisted nematic (TN) LCD panel, the 2310e exhibits excellent viewability from off angles, almost more in line with what we’ve come to expect from IPS panels. The only issue in bright rooms and offices may be the gloss, which turns the monitor into a black mirror when it’s off and interferes with viewing darker images.

At the standard 6500K preset, colors from the 2310e were accurate and required zero adjustment, while 9300K brought them to a predictably icy blue and sRGB settings favored a warmer look.

Despite the 2310e’s propensity to carry the brightest shades of grey a little too far toward white, it exhibited zero banding in gradients, producing smooth transitions across the color spectrum.


HP, we’re happy you’re sticking around with consumer products. As much as the company’s broad array of products can occasionally come across as bland and uninspired, models like the 2310e prove there’s still some zest to be found in its designs yet. With a solid display panel, slim, attractive design and reasonable price, there’s little not to like about the practical HP 2310e.


Attractive, lightweight design
Above-average brightness
Powerful OSD

Gloss screen catches glare
No legacy VGA input
Capacitive controls can be tricky at times

Laptop Wi-Fi may damage sperm

Guys, listen up. Using your laptop with the Wi-Fi on for hours on end may be upsetting some organisms living close by - ie. your sperm.

Wannabe fathers might want to take note, as according to research carried out by scientists from the US and Argentina, extended use of a laptop placed on your lap with Wi-Fi switched on could damage sperm.

In an experiment, sperm samples from each donor were separated into two pots, a BBC report explained. One was placed close to a laptop with the Wi-Fi function activated and left for four hours, while the other was placed in the same environmental conditions except this time there was no laptop present.

At the end of the experiment, the scientists discovered that 25 percent of the sperm that had been left with the laptop had given up the fight (ie. stopped swimming about) and had also undergone changes in their genetic code. For the sperm without the laptop, the non-swimmer figure was 14 percent.

While the scientists acknowledge that heat can damage sperm, they believe it isn’t this causing the adverse effect. Instead, they believe electromagnetic radiation may be the culprit.

Their findings are published in the respected Fertility and Sterility journal. “Our data suggest that the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality,” the scientists wrote in their report.

President of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, Robert Oates, questioned the findings, telling Reuters, “This is not real-life biology, this is a completely artificial setting. It is scientifically interesting, but to me it doesn’t have any human biological relevance.”

To maintain healthy sperm, Oates said “staying lean, eating healthy foods, exercising, not taking drugs and not smoking” are the most important factors.

Clearly, more research needs to be done to establish whether using a laptop on your lap for an extended period of time has any effect on sperm.

Of course, some common sense is required when using a hot laptop close to your particulars. The BBC reports the case of an unfortunate man who “burnt his penis after using a laptop resting on his lap for a long time.” But such an incident does rather beg the question: why didn’t he remove the laptop before the burning sensation started?

Advice: If you have to use your laptop in the nude, best keep it away from your private parts.

Is Microsoft Office coming to the iPad?

If Microsoft is indeed handing over Office Suite integration, it will be a major coup for Apple.

According to The Daily, Microsoft Office is heading to the iPad. “Sources” say iOS compatible software is currently in the works, as is an OS X Lion edition due sometime next year.  Microsoft is also busy beta testing Office 2012.

Despite is massive popularity and market dominance, the iPad has not been able to make a case for itself as a productivity tool. Its lack of Office Suite products only add fuel to this fire. Meanwhile, Microsoft has sat idly by: the company has made Mac OS Office products available, but it hasn’t budged when it comes to mobile.

So why now? Well Microsoft is notoriously late when it comes to mobile technology. It introduced a mobile OS long after Android and iOS had appeared (and began to dominate) the scene, and consumers are starting to get impatient waiting for a Windows 8 tablet. So it may figure that in the midst of trying to assess exactly what sort of chord tablets would strike with buyers and whether or not making Office available was worth it, Microsoft simply waited too long.

Again, this wouldn’t be the first time—but it would be a bad time. If, as we continue to hear, a Windows 8 tablet is on Microsoft’s roadmap, it seems like introducing Office products to the iPad would seriously diminish some of its intrinsic worth. Not only that, but users have found workarounds. There are apps to get the job done—maybe not as well or as efficiently, but definitely products that work.

On that note, if Microsoft is readying Office for the iPad, pricing is crucial. Set too high and users will default to what they’ve been working with for years now. Students and corporate types are pretty much pigeon-holed into paying steep prices for Mac OS Office products, but the iPad still hasn’t become a go-to product for these demographics. It’s still largely for personal use, meaning we aren’t compelled to pay top dollar for productivity applications.

Microsoft will have to strike a very certain balance to get this thing right.

Glass Multi-Touch Keyboard & Mouse makes input a see-through experience

Kickstarter computing project looks to make coffee and donut danger a thing of the past... and look good doing it!

If you’re the sort whose work area collects enough lunch (and snack) leftovers during the course of a normal week to feed a small country, there’s a good chance you could benefit from this glass multi-touch keyboard and mouse created by Giddings Product Development.

The input devices use infrared LEDs in conjunction with miniature cameras to to detect touches and movement on the tempered glass surfaces of the keyboard and mouse (making it virtually impossible to lose pieces of your donut between the “shift” and “return” keys). Both devices connect to your PC or Mac via Bluetooth, and are powered by rechargeable lithium polymer batteries.

What’s more, the devices will use open-source software, so there’s ample room to upgrade and improve the way you use them.

Heck, even if you rarely let a crumb go unaccounted for, the keyboard and mouse look pretty great in that ultra-minimal way.

Giddings is currently funding the project via a Kickstarter campaign, but the fundraising efforts have already hit the desired $50,000 mark — so it’s fairly safe to assume production will begin soon. A minimum donation of $150 gets you the glass multi-touch mouse, while $250 gets you the keyboard, and $350 gets you the complete package.

Still, there’s the little matter of actually naming the devices that needs to be decided, and donors to the project at any level are invited to make suggestions. If your suggestion is chosen, you’ll get your very own glass keyboard and mouse.

After flooding, Western Digital resumes production of hard drives

After devastating floods covered Thailand's landscape with enough water to close down factories of several prominent electronics and computer manufacturers, Western Digital has recovered one factory from the flooding.

As of this week, Western Digital has reopened an important production factory in Bang Pa-in, Thailand according to an official statement from the company. Production facilities within Thailand makes up 60 percent of Western Digital products and the company employs approximately 37,000 workers in the country. The heavy flooding that occurred in mid-October devastated the region and companies such as Western Digital and Sony were forced to close plants due to several feet of water within each building. Due to the limited production output, prices of hard disks and other products rose considerably over the last six weeks. The most notable increase were 1TB hard drives that went up 180 percent.

According to Western Digital, the facility in Bang Pa-in, Thailand had been submerged in six feet of water since October 15. The water was removed from the facility on November 17 and subsequently decontaminated. Power was restored to the building on November 26 and production began on November 30 after the company removed all previously submerged slider manufacturing equipment. The facility manufacturers the slider that keeps the HDD’s head at a consistent flying height above the actual disk and expects full production to begin in the first quarter of 2012. Western Digital has a second hard drive facility in Navanakorn, Thailand that’s still under approximately two feet of water, but company officials plan to have the facility pumped dry by the end of next week and decontamination procedures will begin.

Besides a lower availability of Western Digital hard drives, Sony was forced to delay the global launch of the 24-megapixel mirrorless NEX-7 camera due to the flooding and production of the Alpha 65 dSLR camera was also decreased. Sony has three facilities in Thailand, but only two closed due to the flooding issues. The October flood is the worst flooding disaster within Thailand in the past 50 years and over 1,000  factories were closed due to the overwhelming flood water.

AT&T quietly enables 4G LTE network in NYC

It's (un)official: AT&T's 4G LTE network is up and running in New York City, but it's not entirely clear why.

Late Thursday, AT&T customers in New York City began noticing something strange about their wireless signal: It wasn’t just 3G anymore. That’s because AT&T has quietly begun to roll out its long-awaited 4G LTE network in parts of the Big Apple.

The launch of LTE in New York is not yet official, even if it is real. The company has denied reports that its LTE network has launched in NYC, telling Business Insider that “AT&T has not launched LTE in NYC nor announced it — nothing new to add today.” Still, the company goes on to say that “as we work to turn on more markets, testing will be taking place. It’s possible you may see 4G LTE in markets we have not yet launched which would explain your experience and recent blog chatter.”

In other words, LTE has technically launched, but it may simply be for testing purposes, meaning the service may go down at any point. If you have one of AT&T’s LTE-enabled devices, which include the HTC Vivid, Samsung Galaxy S II “Skyrocket,” or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, and you live in New York City, today is the day to check out the new ultra-fast system, in case they decide to power down the system, now that all us pesky tech bloggers have let the cat out of the bag.

How fast, you ask? The Verge is reporting download speeds up to 41Mbps and upload speeds of around 15Mbps — far faster than the 5 or 6Mbps typically allowed on AT&T’s “4G” HSPA+ network.

How to get Macs and PCs to play nice together

Macs and PCs may work differently, but they can coexist together. Learn how to comfortably straddle the gap between both operating systems with these simple tips.

Microsoft and Apple have always been competitors on some level, and as a result, their fans often contain a bit of that old competitive spirit. It’s not uncommon for Mac buyers to become overnight loyalists, but Windows has an entrenched fanboy battalion as well.

Given the situation, it’s almost unnatural to think that – *gasp* – someone might own both a Windows PC and a Mac. Can you imagine the nerve? In the same household! Yet it does occur. In fact, I myself own a Windows PC as well as a MacBook, and so far one hasn’t killed the other (or me) while I slept.

With that said, getting the two to play nice can take some time. File, software, and hardware compatibility issues are not as bad as they were a decade ago, but they do exist. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome them.

Conquering old-fashioned file compatibility problems

There was once a time when trying to move a file between a PC and a Mac was a real hassle. Software on each end was wildly different, so files saved on a Mac often could not be opened in Windows without some form of conversion.

Today, this problem has lessened. However, the two operating systems continue to use different file systems. Windows relies on NTFS, while OS X uses HFS Plus.

This has no impact on actual file compatibility. A Word document written on a Mac using HFS Plus can be opened on an NTFS file system Windows PC. The problem is the method of file transfer. Macs can read files on an NTFS drive, but can’t write to an NTFS drive, while Windows can neither read nor write to HFS Plus drives. If you normally use physical media to transfer files, this could be a stumbling block.

What’s the solution? Get FAT…32. This file system, which was used by Windows back in the Windows 95/98 era, is read/write compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X. Thumb drives and external hard drives formatted with FAT32 will be compatible with both systems. Problem solved right?

Software compatibility continues to disappoint

Software is still a compatibility sticking point between Macs and PCs. It is still up to a developer to code for either operating system.

Microsoft’s debut of Office for the Mac was the only major software compatibility change to recently take place (and even this occurred years ago), but it was important. Basic productivity tasks are now much easier to complete if you own both platforms because you’ll have a set of familiar and compatible programs available on both.

However, it’s almost universally true that you must purchase the Windows and Mac versions individually, which can be a pain to your pocketbook. One notable exception is Steam for Mac. This gaming platform provides gamers with both a Windows and Mac copy of a video game (if the Mac version is available) when they purchase a title.

Syncing files between systems

File sync software is a blessing if you own multiple computers, but for those who own both PCs and Macs, software compatibility issues are a roadblock. Sync software often only supports one platform or the other.

Surprisingly, one of the easier solutions comes from Microsoft. The company offers a program called Windows Live Mesh that can be used to sync files between systems, and it has both a PC and Mac version. I’ve personally used this and found it works well – and it’s completely free, no matter how much data you need to sync.

Another option is, well, any service that’s based in the cloud. Dropbox is the most common example, but there are tons of similar offerings. However, you usually need to pay once your storage needs go beyond a certain point because the files are stored in the cloud, not on your computers.

Sharp develops world’s thinnest 12.1 MP CMOS camera module

Sharp has managed to pack serious technology into a tiny package, and production begins next.

The race to pack as many megapixels into the most pocket-friendly products has been heating up for awhile. While camera manufacturers have their work cut out for them, the smartphone industry has also taken notice. Picture quality has become important to smartphone users, which makes sense given that the iPhone 4 is one of the most popular cameras on Flickr.

And now Sharp has fueled the fire with the announcement that it has developed the world’s thinnest 12.1-megapixel CMOS camera module. The RJ63YC100 (rolls right off the tongue) measures in at 11x11x5.47 millimeters and packs image-stabilization, a backlit sensor, standard AF, and full 1080p HD video capture.

The best part is we don’t have to wait: this isn’t some product that Sharp is testing and is simply showing off. Mass production of 100,000 units a month will begin in January.

One of the largest hardware pieces in smartphones is the camera module, and if Sharp’s product is as capable as it sounds, we could easily be seeing thinner phones in the near future. In fact, according to some new rumors, Apple and Sharp could be striking a business relationship for manufacturing parts. While this speculation was specific to the fabled iTV, it could spill over into iPhone camera parts.

How To Create eBooks for iPod, iPhone and iPad

Learn how to create eBooks for your Apple products.

You can download apps that let you read eBooks pretty easily on your iPad and iPhone or Touch but that doesn’t help for all documents or eBooks.

Still, before you get started creating eBooks you need to have an app that will read eBooks. Most are free and include ones like iBooks by Apple. Most eReaders can read .txt and .pdf files, the standard is the .epub format. Kindle, which does have an app as well, uses the .mobi format.

We’ll take you how to create eBooks for your Apple products using the Calibre program. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay for Calibre; it’s a free program that lets you convert most types of documents to any eBook format, including the standard .epub and Kindle’s .mobi format. These steps can be used for self-published books, weirdly formatted documents or big projects.

1. Save the book into any common format like .txt, .rft or .pdf. Calibre won’t convert Microsoft Word .doc or .docx formats. For the best results we recommend saving it in .html or .xhtml formats.

2. If you’re self-publishing or creating a project you might like to have a title page. Create whatever you want using a design program of your choice (Photoshop, MS Paint, etc.). Save the cover in .jpg format. The dimensions can be anything but we’ve found that dimensions of 300 by 500 work the best, this is couple with a file size of around 50k.

3. You should have downloaded Calibre by now. Open it up and click the “Add Books” button.

4. Look at the bottom of the window and find the menu titled “Enable”. Select the format that you want to use for the book. Then locate your book and double-click it.. Calibre should be loading it into its library now.

5. Highlight the book in the center of the Calibre window by clicking it. Now hit “Convert Books”.

6. A new window will open up. Click “Output Format” and then you can choose which format you want to export the book in. For this example we’ll choose .EPUB.

7. Now, click “MetaData”, you should find it on the left side of the window. Type the title and author into the appropriate boxes. You can also add a publisher, keyword tags and a summary if you’d like.

8. Click the “Change Cover Field” button. Find your title page from earlier and select it.

9. Find the “Page Setup” button in the menu on the left side and select “Default Output Profile.” Now, click “OK”. Calibre will now begin converting your book to .epub format.

10. After the conversion is done, right-click your book in the main window. Hit “Save to Disk” and then click “Save Only EPUB Format to Disk”. A new window will pop up.

11. Select where you would like to save this copy of your eBook for the transfer to your Apple product. A copy will be kept in the Calibre library. 

How To Program an RCA Universal Remote

Learn how to sync a RCA Universal remote with your TV and other components.

RCA’s Universal remotes are nice for reducing and decluttering the amount and number of remotes you need to work the various components in your home theater. For this How-To we’ll be using the Automatic Code Search method. It may take some trial and error.

Grab your new remote and make sure the components you want synced are all hooked up.

1. Turn on the component that you want to set up.

2. Press and release the button that corresponds with the component that you’re programming. For example, if you’re want the remote to control the TV or VCR (or DVD player) hit and release the TV button or DVD button. The ON-OFF button will light up and should remain lit.

3. Now, simultaneously press and hold the component button and the ON-OFF button. The illuminated ON-OFF button will turn off. Then it should turn back on.

4. Release both buttons after the ON-OFF button relights. It should remain on.

5. Now, press and release the PLAY button. If the component that you’re programming does not turn off after 5 seconds, continue to hit the PLAY button until the component turns off.

6. Next press and release the REVERSE button. Wait to see if the component turns back on.

7. Press and release the STOP button to save the new code.

If you don’t press the buttons correctly you might mess up the syncing process. This is the main reason why it might take some trial and error to get the remote set up.

Students with smartphones study more often

While more teenagers and college students are utilizing tablets and smartphones in their daily lives, one study finds that students with access to these devices may be studying more often.

Based off a recent study from online student assistance site StudyBlue, students with access to smartphones study material for classes approximately 40 minutes more per week than students without access to a smartphone. This figure was tabulated from the combined data of nearly one million StudyBlue users over the Fall 2011 semester. Students are most likely to use the smartphone for studying while commuting or when at school or work.  Approximately half the students use the application to study when going to bed or just waking up as well as when standing in line. Nineteen percent use a smartphone for studying while in the bathroom and 17 percent study while exercising.

While the study found no correlation to higher grades due to increased study time, students that use study application on mobile devices are three times more likely to track progress of grades for tests and class assignments. The study also found that students with smartphones are less likely to pull an all-nighter when covering materials as students are twice as likely to study between the hours of 6 and 8 a.m. prior to en upcoming test. However, when students use smartphones to study, approximately 40 percent of all study sessions include some form of break to use other functions of the phone. While the most common break activity is spending time texting to friends and family, other popular activities include reading and responding to email, searching for information on the Web browser, talking over the phone, checking up on social networks and listening to music.

StudyBlue is also planning to launch an iPad version of the mobile application in the future. With more college students adopting the iPad for daily use during class, the rumored version of Microsoft Office that may be heading to the iPad will be a welcome application for students to use when working on class assignments.