Archive for October, 2011
Glasses-free 3D displays for smartphones and tablets aren’t exactly anything new, but Chimei Innolux (otherwise known as CMI) has devised a novel twist for its latest 4.3-inch screen. Not only does it boast a high 720p resolution, but it employs a new “cell gap” process that displays a standard 2D image when you view the screen at an off-angle, instead of leaving you with a murky 3D image. The company also promises that the 3D images are brighter with less of a moire effect than other displays, and it’s able to work in any orientation. As you might have suspected from the state of the prototype pictured above however, there’s unfortunately no word as to when it might wind up in an actual phone.
CMI shows off 720p glasses-free 3D display for smartphones with 2D off-angle viewing originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 31 Oct 2011 18:43:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Continue Reading »
Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers to see if the savings is really worth the time invested.
Melissa writes in: I’d be interested in knowing if its economical to make your own pasta. I did it the first time the other day to make noodles for my chicken noodle soup because i didn’t want to run to the store. The noodles were far superior, but it did take a bit of time as opposed to dumping a bag of egg noodles in the pot.
This is fairly hard to quantify, actually. Making your own noodles can be surprisingly inexpensive. All you really need are eggs and flour to put together noodles at a lower cost than what can be found in a store, and, as you mentioned, they are just fantastic noodles. Once you start using them, it’s really tough to go back to purchased noodles because the quality difference is immense.
The challenge here is time. To make your own noodles, you’re going to have to invest some significant time in making the dough, rolling it out thin enough to make noodles, then cutting it up.
Just to measure the time, I made a batch of egg noodles in my own kitchen recently. You just take four cups of flour, plus four eggs, plus enough water to make the volume of the eggs equal a cup (if needed, it might not be depending on your egg size). Knead the eggs and flour together until it makes a dough, then roll it out flat repeatedly, folding it over, and rolling it out again on a floured surface, then cutting the noodles and leaving them out to dry. This is about $1.20 worth of ingredients, and it took about forty five minutes to convert all of the dough into noodles working at a steady pace.
I then went to the store and found a pound of extra wide egg noodles for $2. In terms of cost, I saved about $0.80 on the batch, but the noodles I made were light years ahead in quality.
If you’re doing a strict cost comparison, I saved about $1 per hour of work making the noodles from scratch in a typical home kitchen environment. If you’re making them from scratch just to save money, it’s not worth it.
The problem with that simple conclusion, though, is that you’re not quite comparing apples to apples. The quality of homemade noodles far surpasses what you’re ever going to buy in a store.
If you really value the food you make at home, then making homemade noodles is going to be worth it. It’s enough to turn a regular meal into a memorable one and a great meal into a fantastic one. It’s the kind of thing that will leave your guests truly enjoying the meal you prepared and leave you with a satisfied mouth and stomach.
It’s also going to be healthier, because you control the ingredients. If you want to use whole wheat flour and egg whites, you can. If you want to make your own specific flour mix, you can. If you want to use farm fresh eggs, you can. You control it all. There’s no hidden ingredients or preservatives or mysterious industrial processes or anything else.
Such value, though, is incredibly hard to quantify because it comes down to the value you hold in such things.
If it were all about the dollars and cents, you’d probably never make your own noodles.
But sometimes, it’s not about the dollars and cents.Continue Reading »
Boo! No, that’s not your doorbell ringing again, that’s HTC popping out of nowhere in order to toss a Nah-nah-nah-boo-boo in the direction of Samsung and Apple. Just days after Strategy Analytics published a global smartphone shipment report for Q3 2011, Canalys — another formidable name in the sector — has pushed out a report of its own. Not surprisingly, the global figures line up almost precisely with what we’d already heard, with Samsung’s Q3 numbers rising above those from Apple, Nokia and the rest of the industry. The difference here, however, is the focal point on the US of A. Here in the States, Taiwan’s own HTC is pulling rank; the aforesaid handset maker edged out Apple and Samsung by shipping 5.7 million smartphones.
All told, it owned “around a quarter of the market,” with Samsung (4.9 million) claiming the second spot and Apple (4.6 million) pulling in for the bronze. Conspicuously absent from the leader board? RIM, which saw its volume decline 58 percent from a year ago and its US market share sink from 24 percent in Q3 2010 to just 9 percent this quarter. Our take? HTC (and Samsung, from a global perspective) best enjoy it while the quarter lasts — as soon as the iPhone 4S and Nokia’s spate of Windows Phone devices start figuring in, we’re guessing that the top spots will be completely up for grabs all over again.
Canalys: HTC nips Apple, Samsung to become top smartphone vendor in US for Q3 2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 31 Oct 2011 18:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Continue Reading »