Introduction to Computers/Personal

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Introduction to Computers Personal
This page is part of the Introduction to Computers project.


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Time shifting

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Time shifting refers to the saving of a program (audio/visual) to a storage medium for future use. Specific types of softwares are listed below. w:Time_shifting

TiVo is a common brand of DVR (Digital Video Recorder) in the United States. The DVR is a device which allows viewers to record television programs onto a hard disk, enabling the program to be watched at a different time than when it airs. The recording can also be done at the same time as viewing another program; this is called "time shifting". w:TiVo Tivo can be programed to automatically record specific shows, or even entire seasons of shows. Because it is set up with an account, it can be accessed anywhere in the world.

VOD, or Video on Demand is a system that allows viewers to watch videos or clips of videos over a network. It is part of an interactive television system. (Wikipedia 2007).

VOD has a hard drive around 200 hours and is able to save and play back video when you want at your convenience

Video on Demand has its advantage over pay per view because it allows you to start the movie you want as soon as you order. It also allows you to watch the movie as many times as you want in a 24 hr period.

The first commercial VOD service to take place was in Hong Kong in 1990. w:Video_on_demand

space shifting

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Is similar to time shifting only in the way of storage. Space shifted materials are usually converted into a different file type, which leads to legal arguments about copyright infringement.w:Space_shifting


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Is a global television and digital radio provider for mobile phones, palm devices, PCs and Windows mobiles. This service makes it possible for individuals to have access several popular TV and radio stations right from their personal phone! (wikipedia, 2007) [1]

TU Media

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TU Media stands for "TV for you". It was the frist mobile service company and is based in Seoul, South Korea. Currently there are about a half million subscribersw:TU_Media

digital radio

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Digital Radio

Digital radio is the next generation of radio. It has the capacity to provide listeners with more services, clearer reception and sound quality and a range of other features, including tuning by station name, record and rewind capability, text information, graphics, pictures and web pages. [2]

Digital radio offers:

Better Sound and Reception

The digital radio receiver locks on to the strongest signal it can find and ignores everything else.

More Choice

As digital radio transmission is far more efficient than analogue AM/FM, more stations can be broadcast within the same amount spectrum. This means it has the potential to offer new services to expand listeners' choice - specialist program formats, for example, such as sport or specialist music.

Easier Tuning

With digital radio there's no need to remember the frequencies of stations, as you can tune by station name.

Rewind and Record

Digital radio receivers are essentially computers that receive and decode a digital program stream into a format that you can hear (and see in the small screen). Like computers, they also have the capacity to store information. Digital radio receivers can therefore pause, re-wind for a few minutes or store audio (via a memory card) for later listening. [3]


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Satellite radio is also called digital radio. This radio service is sent from satelites that are orbiting the earth. Only people that subscribe to this service have access to decoding their signals. Exx. Sirius radio and XM radio Sirius Canada has approx. 300,000 paid subscribers while XM radio has around 270,000. (wikipedia, 2007) Approx. 4 million subscribers in the states. Subscription is approx $9.95/month - $12.95/month. There are are 2 SDARS ( satellite digital audio radio service ) providers in the states. Satellite radio allows the subscriber to access more content from different parts of the globe, providing greater variety in their music/talk show selection.

CD quality

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The quality is as good as a CD!

hundreds of channels

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Compared to a regular radio, digital radio has many more channels available.

No Commercials

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No commercials as the radio is sponsored by the satellite provider and of course, the subscribers also share the burden of the cost of operation.

HD radio

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Is a higher quality of media output compared to the traditional radio. Using better compression and better delivery methods to a propriety equipment, The client will be able to enjoy a wider range of programs at close to CD quality. How it operates (four steps): 1. Radio Stations 2. Digital Signal Layer 3. Combined Analog 4. Receivers Reduce Interface

analog + 2 digital

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Just because you want the latest and greatest, it doesn't mean you have to abandon the old analog format completely. The new HD radio receivers are often HYBRID which will allow the client to listen to more choices of stations.

better quality

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The compression of music is increase thus allowing close to CD quality medias to be streamed to the radio.

hundreds of channels

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1200 stations to choose from AM and FM frequency

YES! Like traditional radio stations, all the programming in HD Radio both in FM and AM are FREE as they are supported by commercial advertising.


internet radio

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Internet Radio

Internet radio is a free service provided so that you can access a wider range of music just as easily as digital radio. Internet radio can be streamed and played by a software media player in the computer, such as iTunes. Internet radio offers listeners with a continuous stream of audio that the listener cannot alter. It also provides listeners with the ability to listen in on international stations.[] [4]

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The most popular internet radio providers are Yahoo, AOL & MSN.

hundreds of channels

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Currently there are more than 4,000 broadcasts available on the Internet. [5]

Most internet radio broadcasts are free, such as SHOUT, Yahoo and Pandora. [6]

MP3 players

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Sony NWZ-S616F MP3 player

An MP3 is a device used to listen to music (or recordings) portably. The most famous of which is an Apple iPod. MP3 is a format that allows audio recordings to be compressed so they are small enough to be sent over the internet or stored as a digital file.

hard drive vs flash

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A hard drive is much more common than a flash drive as it allows for more downloads, although a flash drive is susceptible to a drive crash.

sampling rate

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This is the amount of times, in KB/second that a song is recorded and converted into a digital value. The better quality the song (or sampling rate) the more space it will take on your MP3.


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Some MP3 players, such as the Apple iPod offer music video downloads along with the song. This obviously takes a lot more space.

listening habits

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An MP3 makes listening to music in any environment possible. Some examples are: while working, during a boring lecture, jogging or while being forced to listen to someone's horrible taste in music in the car. (Selena & Mardi)

It is important because users have access to hundreds of songs while they are on the go!!!!

MP3 Webiste link: [7]


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Digital television (DTV) is a television system that uses digital signals, rather than analog signals used by analog (traditional) TV.DTV (digital television) is much clearer than analog TV. Picture and sound quality are noticeably better because digital transmissions are free of snow, ghosts, or static noises.

Less prone to interference than an analog TV

not pure digital

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DTV takes analog broadcast signals, coverts them into digital signals and then coverts them back into analog signals for viewing.

digital broadcast by 2006

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated that all TV stations must be able to broadcast DTV by 2006. Viewers will be able to get movie-quality pictures, CD-quality sound as well as receive different kinds of information services.

The expected problems are that the old analog tv's will not work after the switch to digital. Some governments have allocated money for people to purchase the converter boxes that will soon be necessary. They also plan to use some of that money for public education on the digital transition.[8]

Example of HDTV

HDTV is short for "high definition television". It has a wider screen and a higher resolution than standard resolution. The term "high definition" was first used in the 1930's and 1940's to describe the television systems in their infancy. The High Definition works with digital broadcasting signals and has a wider screen and higher resolution than standard resolution.[[Image:144px-HDTV_example_-_Fish_40x46_squares.svg.pngjpg]|thumb|200|] HDTV technology was introduced in the United States in the 1990s by the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance, a group of television companies and MIT. Terrestrial Analog Broadcasting will be terminated in all full power stations and replaced by Digital broadcasting, as of February 17, 2009.

Way More Clear

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HDTV makes its picture clearer by using a wider screen and a greater resolution

HDTV allows for smoother motion, more natural colors, surround sound, and allows several input devices to work together. w:HDTV#Standard_resolutions

pure digital

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Pure Digital refers to a constant stream of digital view as opposed to streams of digital-analog-digital

16x9 like movies (not 4x3 like TV)

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Standard televisions have a 4:3 width:height ratio, whereas in contrast a HDTV has a 16:9 width:height ratio.


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Brand new HDTV's can cost anywhere between $500- $2000, but it all depends on the style of the TV, a tube system will cost less than a projection system [9]

New York Leads in HD Uptake

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New Yorkers are leading in numbers when it comes to the HD movement. A recent survey shows that 17.5 percent of New Yorkers get HD broadcasts, above the 11.3 percent national average. [10]

It is important because it has a wider screen and resolution than a regular tv.

Aigo USB Dongle

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This new Dongle toy is one of many HD (High Definition) transmitters being installed in taxis, buses and public places all over China. It uses a chip which picks up China's new HDTV mobile broadcast network. The network was set up specifically for Beijing's 2008 Olympics. Just plug it into a laptop's USB port and receive the HD wireless feed.

click here to see picture

Standard-definition television or SDTV refers to television systems that have a resolution that meets standards but not considered either enhanced definition or high definition. The term is usually used in reference to digital television, in particular when broadcasting at the same (or similar) resolution as analog systems.

The difference between SDTV and HDTV is that the signal on SDTV is more compressed than that of HDTV. As the digital signal is compressed, broadcasters can transmit five SDTV programs, whereas HDTV can only broadcast one. Multiple program broadcasting, called multicasting, was not previously available with analog transmissions. The picture definition of SDTV is also slightly lower than on HDTV.

DVD clearer (less than HDTV)

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Standard definition is equal to that of a DVD.

Quality of media that does not match high-definition or enhanced definition, so it is refered to as standard. w:SDTV

more stations

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Because an HDTV is so expensive, broadcasters will use SDTV instead.

It is important because it enables broadcasters to transmit more info within the bandwidth allowing them to multicast their products.


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Do you need to freshen up your room? Usually, to acquire a pleasant smell, one must either light up a scented candle or obtain the object that produces the desired smell. But wouldn't it be easier to simply press a few buttons on your cell phone? NTT Communication has decided to attempt to create such a phone.

This may seem a bit far fetched, sending smells from cell phone to cell phone. But sounds and images and even videos have traveled with cell phones, why not smells? NTT Communication has found a reasonable, reachable, believable method of allowing smells to travel, too. In their new cell-phones, sixteen base smells are stored. To send a fragrance, one must simply select the scent they would like to send. Then, the sending cell phone gives a "recipe" to the receiving cell phone. This recipe instructs the phone to release certain amounts of certain base smells. These base smells will combine to give off a familiar fragrance, such as roses or vanilla. This is much like how a printer combines the primary colours to make thousands of colours.

Furthermore, a holder of these new cell phones can create new smells with the base smells. If they wish they can post these recipes on the internet for fellow scented cell phone holders to use.


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digital camera

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[[Image:800px-Small_sipix_ubt.jpeg|thumb|200px|Example of a digital camera]A digital camera is an electronic device used to capture and store pictures digitally, instead of using film like regular cameras. w:Digital_camera It then can be downloaded onto a computer to be edited and/or printed.[11]

Older types of cameras tend to use 35mm photographic tape to store images. Most digital cameras are multi-functional, being able to record video, sound as well as pictures in digital format. w:Digital_camera

point n’ shoot

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Point n' Shoot cameras are (compact cameras) designed primarily for simple operation (eg taking pictures on a trip). Most of them use autofocus or focus free lenses and automatic exposure as well. Point-and-shoots are by far the best selling type of camera. They are really simple to use.

SLR stands for single lens reflex in digital cameras. This particular design allows one camera to accommodate a very wide range of lens focal lengths. SLR has only one lens, and a mirror diverts the image from the lens into the viewfinder; that mirror then retracts when the picture is taken so that the image can be recorded on the light sensor.


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a megapixel refers to one million pixels. Each pixel is a single point or "sample" in a graphic image. With context to the digital camera, megapixels refers to the number of sensor elements or number of display elements. With a greater number of megapixels, the higher resolution photos a camera will be able to take, because the image will contain more data that translates to greater detail in the photo. Most digitals cameras today have approximately 5-10 MP. (


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Flash memory card stores pictures instead of being stored on film. Flash card come in different formats, such as: Secure Digital, Multimedia, Compact Flash, Memory Sick and Smart Media. Most digital cameras come with a starter card that holds a handful of photos. You can get reusable cards with at least 1 Gigabyte of storage space holding hundreds images.

battery life

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LCD screens

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LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. Liquid crystals are lined up between two sheets of glass. They are chemically altered to transmit or block light. LCD is used in digital cameras, cellular phones, and digital clocks.

3D LCD TVs Could Debut Within Two Years

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A Taiwanese research group has developed 3D (three-dimensional) television picture technology that can be used on LCD (liquid crystal display) TVs as big as 42 inches, and believes such TVs will be on sale within two years. Users would be required to wear a specific polarized set of glasses for a clear 3D picture on the 3D LCD TV. [12]

video clips

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The digital camera also has the ability to record images in video format. Whereas before, a digital camera could only shoot about 30 seconds of video, today some digital cameras can shoot as much as 44minutes of video.

transfer images

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The principal methods for transferring images from the digital camera: 1) By using a direct connection between your camera and computer usually with a USB cable. 2) Insert the memory card into your computer or a card reader. 3) Putting the camera in a cradle attached to the PC 4) Using a photo printer with a built in card reader. 5) Use a portable hard drive-a Tripper. 6) Use a portable CD burner 7) Use a photo lab or a photo-printing kiosk.

Stands for 'Personal Digital Assistants' which are basically a pocket sized computer that's used for calculations, calendars, reminders, e-mails etc. w:Personal_digital_assistant

flash memory

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A memory storage device in which the data is retained when power has been turned off.( non-volatile memory ) Lead to the introduction of small, light-weight items including PDA's. [13]


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The ability to coordinate data with a PC. Ensures that information stored on a PDA is up to date and consistent with the host computer. w:Personal_digital_assistant#Synchronization

future PDA

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Ex. Smart phones

Personal Digital Assistant might be able to play TV shows Both broadcasting and receiving moving pictures and sound over a distance. w:Television


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Rather than using a PDA as an organizer, it may also become a handheld device that takes and displays photos, or powerpoint slides w:Photograph

weather meter

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Handheld weather meter can be useful to predict future weather conditions when going swimming, planning to play golf, or even going on a picnic. Also, a handheld weather meter may even detect wind chill perfect for snowboarders

Wrist watch models of GPS (geo postioning system), a satellite based navigation system allows clients to monitor heart rates when jogging. PDAs and even regular cellphones also have GPS capability to allow clients to know where they are. GPS locators have already become popular with serious hiking buffs.


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A Tablet PC is a notebook or slate-shaped mobile computer. Its touchscreen or graphics tablet/screen hybrid technology allows the user to operate the computer with a stylus or digital pen, or a fingertip, instead of a keyboard or mouse.A user can enter text using handwriting recognition, an on-screen (virtual) keyboard, speech recognition, or standard keyboard. Shorthand-like entry methods, which enable pen-driven input at speeds comparable to touch-typing.

There are different types of Tablets:

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Slates, which resemble writing slates, are tablet PCs without a dedicated keyboard. Keyboards can usually be attached via a wireless or USB connection.

Thin-client slates
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Thin-client slates consist of a touchscreen and an integrated wireless connection device. These units by design have limited processing power which is chiefly involved with Input/Output data processing such as video display, network communications, audio encoding/decoding, and input capture (touchscreen input, bar code reading, magnetic stripe reading (credit card swipe). The unit transmits data via a secured wireless connection to a remote server for processing

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Convertible notebooks have a base body with an attached keyboard. They more closely resemble modern notebooks/laptops, and are usually heavier and larger than slates.

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Hybrids share the features of the slate and convertible by using a detachable keyboard which operates in a similar fashion to a convertible when attached.

This is not to be confused with slate models that have a detachable keyboard—detachable keyboards for pure slate models do not rotate around to allow the tablet to rest on it like a convertible.


mini tablet

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The mini tablet is a more advanced version of the tablet PC. The technology has improved to allow it to do things such as store electronic books. It is also significantly smaller, it measures 6" x 8". [14]


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Sim Chips

A Sim Chip is a chip that enables the use of GSM Cell phones in other countries. This can be beneficial for students, and those in any profession that involves travel.

A smartphone is a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities mobile phone. w:Smartphone


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I-phone - The I-Phone is a multi-media device which combines a cellular phone, camera, personal media player,and an internet-enabled computer with a virtual keyboard. It is designed and marketed by Apple inc.

However, this device does not fit the category of UMPC as the end user only have read function and not edit function. The document suites in the device will only allow you to open without making edit.

iPhone includes an SMS application with a full QWERTY soft keyboard to easily send and receive SMS messages in multiple sessions

new phone

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Cellphones are now a form of PDA, they double as music players, TVs and personal organizers. Cellphones are no longer limited to communications. Future cell phones will have the ability to provide live video conversation services. [15] [16]

Ever dropped your cell phone in the lake or pool or toilet and it never worked the same?

          You Need This!


Fujitsu has come out with the first 3G waterproof cell phone. It's the Fujitsu F705i.

Features of this awesome phone include:

  • waterproof up to 1 minute of submersion
  • eight levels of ZOOM to make reading emails easier
  • "super clear voice" automatically adjusts the volume of incoming calls to a comfortable and audible level based on the amount of ambient noise
  • 1.3 megapixel camera
  • noise cancellation to drown out background noise

[18] [19]

mainly voice

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more memory

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Finger-operated touch-screens are excellent in the iphone which is easy to use. [20]

LCD screen

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The screen's resolution is 320 pixels and it is 3.5 inches diagonal. It has a special feature called multi-touch, where you can touch the screen to navigate. [21]

It has a 160 ppi (pixels per inch) pixel density. [22]

The current iPod screen is excellent, with crisp 160ppi detail and a remarkable ability to let your mind read "in between the pixels" on album covers [23]


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The iPhone also features an e-mail program that supports HTML e-mail, which enables the user to embed photos in an e-mail message. PDF, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel attachments to mail messages can be viewed on the phone. Yahoo is currently the only e-mail provider. w:IPhone

the iPhone syncs to your address book [24]


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The iphone is equipped with a 2.0 megapixel camera. The images are clear in well lit areas; however, it lacks a flash and is not able to zoom. [25]


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The iphone Supports a veriety of media. It is able to support such video formats as *.m4v, *.mp4,*.mov file and Music formats as AAC, Protected *AAC, *MP3, *MP3 *VBR, Audible formats 1, 2, and 3, Apple Lossless, *AIFF, and *WAV. [26]


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The NEW itouch is very similar to the iPhone. The only difference is that iTouch has a touch-screen with a built in wifi syste. This means that the iTouch is an iPod with WiFi capability. You could say that the iPhone is superior as it comes with the same features plus the fact that it can be used as a phone as well.

iPhone to Become Blu-Ray Player Remote
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According to NetBlender, iPhone and iPod touch users will be able to control their Blu-ray players using an application called BD Touch. The application will use the network capabilities of Blu-ray hardware and Apple's handheld devices to transfer data, allowing you to do many different things beyond controlling movie playback.

It will include a number of features that will be supported by the technology, such as automatically updating film collections held on an iPhone, including a feature which lets Blu-ray players/discs send a digital copy of a video to an iPhone.

[27] [28]


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[[Image:800px-HFC_Network_Diagram.png|frame|500px|Cable example]Broadcasting, where one central location delivers content simultaneously to many users (cable TV w:Hybrid_fibre-coaxial, radio)


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users contact specific users as in a telephone network w:Public_switched_telephone_network

file sharing

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hackers invade your computer

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download virus

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2nd life

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Second Life is an Internet-based virtual world which came to international attention via mainstream news media in late 2006 and early 2007. A downloadable client program called the Second Life Viewer enables its users, called "Residents", to interact with each other, providing an advanced level of a social network service combined with general aspects of a metaverse. Residents can explore, meet other Residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, create and trade items (virtual property) and services from one another.w:Second_Life A similar program to the one Second Life will be adding is called BrainGate. It is a brain implant system designed to help those who have lost control of their limbs, or other bodily functions, such as patients with (ALS) or spinal cord injury. A computer chip is implanted into the brain, it monitors brain activity in the patient and converts the intention of the user into computer commands. Hair-thin electrodes sense the electro-magnetic signature of neurons firing in specific areas of the brain, the activity is translated into electrically charged signals and are then sent and decoded using a program, which can move either a robotic arm or a computer cursor.w:BrainGate

Second life is a program that can be used successfully with those who are paralyzed to stimulate mobility, it could also trace brain activity and arrest disease, it is capable of interpreting intention and commercial transations could be activated with the use of Linden dollars which can be later exchanged for US dollars.

Second Life can be used in a distance learning technology where virtual (but real) you can take classes; get a real filling of meeting other students, borrow books from libraries, do Tai Chi , go to the beach. This is very useful for people who are not able to go to the class or for people who don’t want to leave their homes. (,139969-c,technology/article.html)


Xbox the first game console developed by Microsoft It comes with a large hard drive, wireless controller and wired headset. Xbox 360 is the latest version and has the best graphics of any video console on the market. This gaming unit is excellent for all role playing games, sports and learning software. ( [29] w:Xbox_360

online video games

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Xbox has an online gaming platform called xbox live. People have to subscribe to play multiplayer with members from all around the world. With the exception of single player specific games, all of Xbox360 titles now are online compatiable. XBOX live also allows the player to interact with others through communication devices. XBOX Live is convienient in the sense that there is no monthly fee, it is annual. w:Xbox#Multimedia [30]

There are future talks of Microsoft merging the Xbox live with PC user platform with the "GAMES for PC" roll out. However, this will give the mouse and keyboard combination an advantage over game pad users on virtually all games.

media hub of house

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This is a system for extender play which is pre installed in all the x-box 360s. Includes movies, music, videos and pictures. [31]

PlayStation 3 at E3 2006

The PlayStation 3 is the third iteration of a home console produced by Sony. The PlayStation 3 offers a unified online gaming service known as the PlayStation Network. Other features include connectivity with the PlayStation Portable, Blu-ray disc and large hard-drive capacity for a console. The PlayStation 3 was first released on November 11, 2006 in Japan, November 17, 2006 in North America, and March 23, 2007 in Europe. w:PlayStation_3

movie quality graphics

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The PS3 features a Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels



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The PSP (Play Station Portable) is a handheld portable consel that consists of video, music, games and internet.

Reference Wikisite


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The functions are: -video capibilities: which you can buy (UMDs) and/or download (MPEGs) -music: download (MP3s) -access internet through WI-FI -pictures (JPEGs) -main function is to play games (UMDs- Universal Media Disc) w:PlayStation_Portable


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1. Many different variations and accessories (head set, carrying case, cleaning cloth, wrist strap, head phones, etc.) 2. New and exciting colours 3. More games 4. Download games 5. Play Back Movies 6. Access to Wireless Networks 7. Share Games with Friends 8. Slimmer and Lighter


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1. Screen is smaller 2. Only 2 hours of game play 3. You must buy your own memory cards 4. Fairly heavy 5. Design is not very attractive 6. Can't hook it up to your T.V. or stereo

cell interacts

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The ps3 cell is a 9 core processor, one of these cores is a PowerPC and acts as a controller. The remaining 8 cores are called SPEs and these are very high performance vector processors. Each SPE contains it's own block of high speed RAM and is capable of 32 GigaFlops. The SPEs are independent processors and can act alone or can be set up to process a stream of data with different SPEs working on different stages. [33]


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Nintendo Wii is fitted with a motion sensor so it allow players to simplify the game controls comparing to the traditional game pad. The games that are available on the Wii platform are often very intuitive and can be picked up by people of all ages.

This is a game system that kids/teens like to use.


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It cost less than $250 US [34] The first Nintendo was marketed for $199 US. [35]

wireless motion

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The Wireless Remote is motion sensing capability. It allows the user to interact with items on screen via movement and pointing through the use of accelerometer and optical sensor technology. [36]

sensor console

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Unlike a light gun that senses light from a television screen, the Wii Remote senses light from the consoles Sensor Bar (model number RVL-014), which allows consistent usage regardless of a television's type or size. [37]

Smart Downloads

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Japan has launched a download channel which allows Wii users to download game demos, view promos, and see screen shots free of charge. It downloads temporary information into hand held internal memory and is deleted once the unit is turned off. It is also smart because it recommends game choice based on your playing record, your age and gender preferences. [38]

Other benefits for Wii owners is that, they are able to view:Commercials, box art, game play footage screen shots, and interviews about various Nintendo products including prices and release dates for upcoming DS and Wii games. [39]


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The Wii is the fifth home video game console released by nintendo. The distinguishing feature of the Wii is it wireless controller (the wii remote) which can be used as a handheld pointing device and can detect acceleration in three dimensions. There have been many speculations as to why the company chose Wii for the name, the official reason is “ Wii sounds like 'we', which emphasizes that the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.[11] ”. The Wii remote is the main controler for the console. It uses built-in accelerometers and infrared detection to sense its position in 3D space when its pointed at the LED lights within the sensor bar. It connects to the concole using bluetooth.

Even Microsoft has noticed Nintendos success with their new Bluetooth infused controllers. In late 2008 Microsoft plans to release a "Wii" like controller for their current gaming consol, the Xbox 360.,144223/article.html?tk=nl_dnxnws

w:Wii They are a great alternative for kids and families as the games are generally rated E for everyone and it keeps kids active while they are gaming.

The Wii's price at the time of introduction was approximately $249.99, with the remote costing $39.99 and the individulal games costing $49.99. Prices have been $100 - $200 more than the asking price because of the high demand, but do expect to go down to the average of $250 soon. [40] [41]


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Wii is available for purchase at all major department stores. There have been some speculations that Nintendo has been producing fewer units than needed to meet demand, thus increasing the price people will pay for it. There are approximately 1.8 millions Wii units produced per month. [42]


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Since first launching the Wii in November of last year, Nintendo has seen widespread shortages at retail. The demand has been so high that Nintendo says it is working at maximum capacity in producing 1.8 million Wii units per month, hopefully in time for Christmas. [43]

Safety and Ergonomics

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Prolonged use of computers can be a health risk to your body.

eye suffering from CVS

The eye can also be a victim and symptom of extended use on the computer. This eye condition also called "Computer Vision Syndrome" or CVS and is a member of the family referred to RSI or Repetitive Strain Injury. Prolonged periods of continuous focusing on a computer screen for uninterrupted periods of time. Aggravating the condition can be improper light or air moving past the eye from overhead vents or fans. Symptoms of the condition can include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue, eye strain, dry, irritated and difficulty on refocusing[44].

A couple of ways to treat the condition is to allow time to rest your eye, redirecting your focus away from the screen, also the purchase of over the counter eye drops are both easy solutions. There is a catchphrase that has proven to be a well know solution among "computerites". It is called 20-20-20 ~ focus your eyes on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.


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Neck and back pain are common complaints. The cause is usually poor posture, which decreases blood flow to certain muscles. These muscles stiffen up and hurt.[1]

Neck Pain: Often begins gradually as a result of fixed staring at a small area or glancing repeatedly from one to another (from the screen to a document on your desk for example). If the head is held at an angle greater than 15 degrees (for example holding the phone between your neck or shoulder, or looking down at your keyboard) will cause greater muscular fatigue and pain will become apparent more rapidly [2]

Back Pain: Sitting is one of the hardest positions in which to maintain proper posture, and many computer users regularly feel back pain. Spinal compression is one of the most common problems because sitting tends to tilt the pelvis backward, flattening the lumbar curve and resulting in uneven and increased pressure on spinal disks. [3]


  • Be sure you have a proper workstation set-up.
  • Take active breaks, move around and do a few stretches.
  • Shift positions every now and then.
  • Try not to fall habitually into one computer position – even small changes help avoid overtaxing certain muscles.
  • Try not to round your shoulders – this puts extra pressure on your upper spine.
  • Stay active, get up and move around to circulate your blood. Sitting still for too long can slow blood circulation and muscle fatigue can set in.[4]



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RSI (also know as cumulative trauma disorder) is a soft-tissue injury in which muscles, nerves, or tendons become irritated or inflamed. RSI is caused by repetitive motions, excessive force, and extremes of motion. Over time these motions can strain the soft tissues, reducing circulation. These stresses create tiny tears in the muscles and tendons, which become inflamed. In extreme cases it can cause permanent tissue damage and disability.

The computer keyboard is an ergonomic nightmare. It tends to force you into an unnatural palms-down (pronated) wrist-cocked position. This strains the delicate muscles and tendons of the fingers and wrists, reducing circulation.


Carpal tunnel syndrome as referred to by many different websites is one of the main injuries associated with the wrist. Daily exercises and breaks away from the repetitive typing of the computer can help alleviate some of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms usually start gradually, with frequent burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers. Some carpal tunnel sufferers say their fingers feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent. The symptoms often first appear in one or both hands during the night, since many people sleep with flexed wrists. A person with carpal tunnel syndrome may wake up feeling the need to "shake out" the hand or wrist. As symptoms worsen, people might feel tingling during the day. Decreased grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist, grasp small objects, or perform other manual tasks. In chronic and/or untreated cases, the muscles at the base of the thumb may waste away. Some people are unable to tell between hot and cold by touch.

Prevention At the workplace, workers can do on-the-job conditioning, perform stretching exercises, take frequent rest breaks, wear splints to keep wrists straight, and use correct posture and wrist position. Wearing fingerless gloves can help keep hands warm and flexible. Workstations, tools and tool handles, and tasks can be redesigned to enable the worker's wrist to maintain a natural position during work. Jobs can be rotated among workers. Employers can develop programs in ergonomics, the process of adapting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of workers. However, research has not conclusively shown that these workplace changes prevent the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome.



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  2. Stigliani, Joan. The Computer User's Survival Guide. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. 1995.
  3. Sellers, Don. Zap! How Your Computer Can Hurt You – And What You Can Do About It. Edited by Stephen F. Roth. Berkeley: Peach Pit Press, 1994.
  4. Sellers, Don. Zap! How Your Computer Can Hurt You – And What You Can Do About It. Edited by Stephen F. Roth. Berkeley: Peach Pit Press, 1994.