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April 2010

Apple

IPAD First Look

Cover Model Shakira Smith

Halo: Reach Coming To PlayStation 3


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Table Of Content First Look: Apple iPad Melissa J. Perenson PC World Thursday, April 1, 2010; 6:19 AM

Halo: Reach Coming To PlayStation 3 By Eddie Makuch Eddie Makuch is Blast's Director of Video Game News. Reach him at Makuch.E@BlastMagazine.com. Follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch.

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IPAD First Look: Apple iPad

Melissa J. Perenson PC World Thursday, April 1, 2010; 6:19 AM The Apple iPad ships this week, and with its arrival, Apple may singlehandedly usher in the era of tablet computing slate-style devices that look very unlike a typical computer. Bolstered by clever integration between hardware and software--as we've come to expect from Apple thanks to products like the iPhone--the iPad is a multipurpose slate that holds the potential to be different things to different users. The various pricing options also reflect this: $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB), $699 (64GB). Add $130 to each of these Wi-Fi models for a 3G option in late April. It's true that the iPad resembles an oversized iPhone, but in some ways, that comparison diminishes all sorts of new potential. The iPad's screen is three times larger than that of the iPhone/iPod Touch, and that extra real estate primes the iPad for activities you couldn't even consider doing with the comparatively tiny iPhone/iPod Touch screen.

Based on my initial launchevent hands-on with the iPad, this device's functionality exhibits both promise, and disappointment. The latter reflects its flexibility as a full-on alternative to a netbook. Equipped with the same underlying operating system as the iPhone and iPod Touch, it comes as no surprise that the iPad immediately feels familiar. The main menu mimics that of the current iPhone OS, with four icons across and four rows down, plus Safari, Mail, Photos, and iPod icons in a row at the bottom. Icons have the same characteristics as those on the iPhone, and include Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Maps, YouTube, iTunes, App Store, and Settings. One new item is a dedicated icon for Videos--a logical addition given the device's roomy screen. Beyond that, you can add apps from the Apple App Store; a separate section will highlight apps optimized for iPad. The 3G iPad won't have phone or traditional SMS functionality.

The iPad packs in 802.11 a/b/g/ n wireless, and as mentioned, a 3G option is expected in late April. The iPad also has Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and is powered by Apple's 1-GHz A4 processor system-in-a-chip. The 9.7-inch LED-backlit screen uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology to achieve better color and contrast, and a wide 178-degree angle of view. Its native resolution of 1024by-768 pixels is sufficient for watching high-definition video, viewing photos using the slideshow feature, and for flicking-through content. The screen dominates the device, with a wide black bezel surrounding its fingerprint unfriendly oleophobic (oilresistant) display. That bezel almost seemed like overkill, until I took the iPad in hand. Then, I found the bezel necessary, as that's where my fingers automatically gravitated in order to hold the device in my hands. While the iPad is super slim (just a half-inch thick), I actually had some difficulty handling it steadily in anything


longer than short spurt. At 1.5 pounds, and measuring 9.6 by 7.5 by .5-inches, I found it too heavy to comfortably hold in one hand, which is troublesome if you plan on using it as an e-reader. Other e-readers, like Amazon's Kindle 2 or Spring Design Alex eReader, are much lighter in hand and therefore make for a much more comfortable user experience. I found using two hands much more viable, but my relatively small hands then had issues trying to reach across the expanse of the vertical unit's on-screen keyboard. Furthermore, I quickly realized my hands would tire in this position after reading just a few chapters of a long novel. Because of the larger display, pretty much all of the native applications we're used to viewing on the iPhone look and function better on the iPad. What I've seen so far of video playback of content purchased on iTunes appeared stunning on the iPad. Like the iPhone before it--and unlike what we expect from future, competing Windowsbased tablet devices, the iPad has a minimalist design, with virtually no complexities and smooth, aluminum back. At the bottom of the iPad are the dock connector and the speaker grille. The sole buttons are Home Button centrally situated beneath the display, and the volume rocker on the side. The iPad is missing integrated expansion (via USB or flash memory, or both); and, so far as we know before shipping, it's missing multitasking--which the bigger

screen practically begs for in this Facebook-driven, alwaysconnected age. Yes, Apple will offer separate dock-connectors for accessing digital images via a USB port or an SD Card, but these are exorbitantly priced, and won't open the iPad for use in a way that mimics a more versatile netbook. And I find it stifling to think that a device capable of much more than my iPhone 3GS can't just take a USB flash memory drive and access any of an array of file types. This omission in particular is a serious limitation to iPad's functionality--and its ability to compete with less expensive, slightly heavier and bulkier, but more full-featured netbooks. A little more on the iPad's integrated input capabilities. Simply put, if you plan to do a lot of typing, the iPad's touch keyboard is no match for the physical keyboard found on a netbook. The touch keyboard is a larger version of the iPhone's. But in the preshipping version of the iPad, the keyboard lacks the iPhone's letter magnification when you press a key, and I missed this visual cue immensely. It also lacks the haptic (vibration) feedback common to Android phones. So with no physical or visual feedback when you press a key, I found myself frustrated as I tried to pound out a long e-mail or note. As I already mentioned, when using the keyboard in vertical mode, my small hands had difficulty maneuvering around the keyboard--my thumbs couldn't stretch across the whole device to reach the

keys. Horizontal mode felt much more natural, but as a touch-typist, I still made more errors than I would with a physical keyboard. More critically, while I've gotten fairly speedy with tapping away on my iPhone 3GS' keyboard, I didn't feel anything near the same speed or affinity for the touch keyboard on iPad during my initial hands-on--something I attribute to the physical expanse of the device, and how my fingers aligned with it relative to the keyboard. To type, I needed to put the device flat on a surface, not a particularly comfortable experience. (Apple will soon have a $69 keyboard dock accessory.) According to what was known as of the launch event, the iPad runs iPhone OS 3.2 (which has not been released for actual iPhones yet). While the friendly, easy-to-use, interface gives the iPad an immediate built-in audience, the lack of a freshened design for the iPad feels like a letdown considering how long the iPad has been in development. There might be some as-yet unknown incremental differences between versions 3.1 and 3.2, but on the surface, the iPad's interface looked exactly like a blown-up version of my iPhone 3GS'. In my hands-on before the iPad shipped, the OS didn't translate very well from the much smaller iPhone to the iPad. It's not so much about the touch aspect of the interface; in fact, navigating by touch is a huge benefit on the large screen, and superior


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experience to, say, the joystick-based navigation of the comparably sized, nontouch Amazon Kindle DX screen. But images, icons, and text weren't as crisp as I'd expected on the early model at the launch event's preproduction model. At times, I found the experience much like watching standard definition video on an HDTV, in that some aspects of the operating system's visuals didn't appear optimized for the iPad's display. I'll update this review after seeing the shipping product later this week. On the whole, Apple has done a good job of optimizing its built-in core apps for the iPad's large screen. As a photo viewer, the iPad shines. Photos looked superb on the iPad's display, and it uses all of the familiar multitouch gestures (flick, pinch to zoom) found on the iPhone's photo app. The iPad's ample screen showcase images well, and it permits you to preview many more images, more easily than on the smaller iPhone. The iPad's photo application is much better than the iPhone's, too, with on-the-fly slideshow creation (complete with transitions). Simply choose from among five transitions and pick the music you'd like to add (if any), and you're off. I don't see the iPad replacing inexpensive digital photo frames, but I certainly do understand how an iPad might double as a photo frame while it's standing upright in its dock. Another convenience: The photo app provides different

ways of viewing the images (including sorting by places, people, events, and a minithumbnail bar at the bottom of the screen to jump quickly to other photos in the album). Unfortunately, the sorting capabilities will only work if you're using iPhoto--which means that those of who use any number of alternative imaging applications for the PC or the Mac (the majority of potential iPad users) are left in the dark with regard to those features. And how convenient it is to use the photo viewer for non-Mac users remains a question I look forward to answering when I can try iTunes for the PC with the shipping iPad. The e-mail app has been redesigned to take advantage of the spacious screen, too. For example, when in landscape mode, the e-mail app shows recent messages and a search bar at the left, and displays the selected message at the right--an approach that's not viable on the iPhone's smaller screen. The Calendar app benefits greatly from the iPad's display. Now, calendar entries are more readable, and the day and weekly views in particular look terrific. For example, in the weekly view, a drop-down menu makes it simple to switch among different calendars for your household. The reimagined, highly visual iPod library looks very different on the iPad. In landscape view, you can easily see video-playback chapters, or view info about the video while previewing it in a pane at right. hows how video-playback

chapters look in the Video player. One of the big pitches for iPad is for using it as an e-reader. And here is where iPad has the potential to be divisive. On the one hand, Apple clearly has the retail digital download model down pat with its iTunes store, so it's reasonable to assume that Apple may be able to entice consumers to shop for digital books, too. The bigger question is, how well does the iPad--with its glossy, glarey screen and slightly greater weight--do as an e-reader? Stay tuned for our full review of the shipping iPad, complete with a report of the Apple iBookstore and iBooks reader experience. My first impressions on the subject? The iPad makes it easy to browse your library books, represented visually by colorful book covers. The iBooks app, in horizontal mode, allows you to have two pages on the display at once-and it tries to mimic the experience of reading a book, right down to the visuals of additional pages on the left and right, and the darker area in the center, where the spine would be. I could easily scroll along the bottom of a book to jump to a specific page, with no notable delay when doing so. And I particularly liked how the iPad showed the page number, and out of how many, you were jumping ahead to; and, how it indicated the number of pages remaining in the chapter. (Just one more chapter before I go to sleep...I swear!) Dedicated e-readers could learn something from this part of iBooks' design.


I found the iBooks reader's page-turn animations are both cool and annoying. The flicker for a quick page turn bugged me--nevertheless, it was better than suffering through the multiple flashes that one endures on most E-Ink readers as they try to redraw the page. One of the big concerns among developers and users before the iPad's announcement was whether iPhone apps would work on the device. Thankfully, they do, but the experience on the iPad isn't exactly ideal. You can either view an iPhone app as a small window or doubled to fill the display. On the preshipping iPad, I demoed the

3D-intensive Assassin's Creed and Oregon Trail apps, and was immediately put off by the obvious pixelation. Text in Facebook iPhone app looked fuzzy, too. Again, the analogy here is to standard definition content versus high-definition content on an HDTV. Another concern remains Apple's lack of Adobe Flash support, which means as-is services like Hulu and the full YouTube catalog can't be viewed on the iPad. Even as some sites switch to HTML 5, the lack of Flash is disappointing, given the format's prevalence across the Web.

Based on my initial handling of the pre-shipping iPad, I was a tad underwhelmed: The reality is that the iPad looked and behaved like an iPhone (or iPod Touch) on steroids--and that's not always a good thing given the potential for the iPad to make a run for replacing my netbook--or even my PC--for certain activities. I'm intrigued-but need to see the iPadspecific apps in use, and try the shipping version to get more of a feel of just how the iPad complements the existing pantheon of mobile computers. And how well it works together with the iPhone, in terms of sharing both data and apps.


Halo: Reach Coming To PlayStation 3

By Eddie Makuch

In a completely unexpected

move announced minutes ago, Halo studio Bungie, revealed it will bring Halo: Reach to Sony’s PlayStation 3 a week earlier and $10 cheaper than that of its Xbox 360 brother. “We’ve wished to harness the massive power of the PlayStation 3 for one of our games for ages now and truly felt Reach, with its epic scope, was a perfect match for the system,” Brian Jarrard, creative director on the Halo: Reach project told Blast Magazine this morning.

What’s more, the studio said it plans to offer the game for PS3 enthusiasts at a cheaper price point of $49.99 on September 7, a week before it comes to Xbox 360. “We wanted to make up for lost time with the PS3 crowd and saw this as an opportunity to dazzle the fans both creatively and where they truly care; in their wallets,” Marcus Lehto, marketing manager of Halo: Reach said. Reach coming to the PS3 will mark the first time in over a decade the studio has developed for anyone except Microsoft but Bungie promises that its team of engineers and designers know

how to program for the PS3 backwards and forwards. “We set up two teams after Halo 3 launched in September of 2007; one for Xbox 360 and one for Playstation 3 and since then have had only great things to say about the PS3,” Tom Patrick, a programmer for the project said. Backlash over the announcement is already permeating the Internet, as forum postings on sites like Halo-fanboys.com and TeamMasterChief.net all have scathing things to say about Bungie migrating the franchise to the longtime competitor.


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Suspected pirates nabbed after skirmish with U.S Navy ship By the CNN Wire Staff

The Nicholas, which sunk a suspected pirate skiff Thursday after taking fire, is part of the U.S. military's Africa Command.

(CNN) -- A group of suspected pirates was captured Thursday after attacking a U.S. Navy frigate in the Indian Ocean, according to a statement released by the U.S. Sixth Fleet. The USS Nicholas reported taking fire from a suspected pirate skiff shortly after midnight local time west of the Seychelles, the statement said. The Nicholas quickly returned fire and began pursuing the skiff, which was eventually disabled. A boarding team from the Nicholas subsequently captured and detained three people, the statement said. The team discovered ammunition and several cans of fuel aboard the skiff, which was later sunk by the Nicholas. Two more suspected pirates were captured on a confiscated "mother ship," the statement said. The detainees will "remain in U.S. custody on board Nicholas until a determination is made regarding their disposition," it said. The Nicholas, based in Norfolk, Virginia, is part of the U.S. military's Africa Command. The waters off the coast of Somalia -- the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean -- have been plagued by Somali pirates over the last couple of years. To crack down on piracy, the international community has adopted measures including naval escorts and expanded monitoring. Last week, one pirate was killed and several others were detained after a private security team thwarted an attack against a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship, the MV Almezaan. A European Union naval force was called in to assist the vessel.


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Erykah Badu's "Window Seat" Hank Byrd Writer, Promoter, Booking Agent, Event Planner

Video removed from Youtuve due to content copyright

Already a huge buzz on the web, the video for Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” single has the artist showing her freedom of expression…and freedom from clothing. Shot in her hometown of Dallas, Texas, the video features Badu walking along the grassy knoll where JFK was assassinated, stripping off her clothes as she walked along. The video concludes with her being shot in the head, and as she lay naked, the words “Group Think” would leak out of her wound instead of blood. Directors Coodie and Chike think this is simply the evolution of Badu and the symbolism of the video is profound.  Chike adds: “He (JFK) was assassinated there for what reason? There were reasons for his assassination that dealt with him doing things that went against the norm for positive reasons. People try to assassinate your character when you try to step against the grain....” While I would have cautioned her about doing what appeared to be an impromptu striptease in front of impressionable children, I realize Badu wasn’t stripping down for shock value alone. The video had a clear, cautionary message about the dangers of “group think” and people having their characters assassinated when they try to make positive changes. The debate still rages as to whether JFK was assassinated for his political ambitions.  Many celebrities such as Sean Penn, Wyclef Jean and even President Obama have felt the bitter sting of media scrutiny and criticism for attempting to do something positive. It can be said that Badu could have gotten her point across in another way, but she is an artist and this video won’t hurt sales of her upcoming album “New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh”. While that doesn’t give her a license to strip, is it worth all of the fuss? I think not. Unfortunately, I think the message will be slightly diluted by the overwhelming desire for men to see her naked.


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About NASA Explorer Schools This "pipeline" strategic initiative promotes and supports the incorporation of NASA content and programs into science, technology and mathematics curricula in classroom grades 4-9 across the United States. Targeting underserved populations in diverse geographic locations, NASA Explorer Schools will bring together educators, administrators, students and families in sustained involvement with NASA's education programs. Teams composed of full-time teachers and a school administrator develop and implement a three-year action plan to address local challenges in science, technology and mathematics education. This customized professional development plan will be available based on needs assessments and delivered through on-site school services and via distance-learning networks. Program elements for the NASA Explorer Schools include: •

Summer professional development workshops for teams of teachers and school administrators at the nine NASA Field Centers and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; one week of intensive training provides opportunities to begin integration of NASA content into existing school curricula and culminates in the development and implementation of action plans to meet local education challenges.

Ongoing research-based professional development during the school year, in collaboration with organizational partners and other federal agencies; this activity, coordinated by a network of teacher leaders and trainers, includes NASA aerospace education specialists, Space Grant consortia, educator resource centers and NASA Education networks.

Student programs that provide opportunities for active participation in research, problem solving and design challenges relating to NASA's missions and involve students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics explorations to encourage the use of scientific tools and methods; challenges will be grade-specific, supporting national and state standards. In addition, in-flight opportunities and competitions will provide access to unique NASA resources and personnel.

The NASA Explorer Schools Web site includes NASA resources; science, technology and mathematics investigations; collaborative tools; and opportunities to share student and school program results.

A grant to each school will support the purchase of technology tools, online services and inservice support for the integration of technology applications to engage students in science and mathematics investigations.

Family involvement in student educational growth, achievement and career exploration is the responsibility of the NES teams locally for school and home experiences developed in cooperation with NASA assets; online opportunities will be available through the NASA Explorer Schools Web site. Competitive applications and selection of the NES teams occur each spring. Up to 50 teams will be added each year, for a maximum total of 150 teams. To learn more go to: http://explorerschools.nasa.gov/portal/site/nes/


Magnetism Can Sway Man's Moral Compass

Hugh Pickens writes

magnetic resonance imaging to

morally wrong in themselves.

"Discovery News reports that

locate an area of the brain just

The scientists didn't

scientists have identified a

above and behind the right ear

permanently remove the

region of the brain which

known as the right temporo-

subjects moral sensibilities

appears to control morality

parietal junction (RTPJ) which

and on the scientists' seven

and discovered that a powerful

other studies had previously

point scale, the difference was

magnetic field can scramble

related to moral judgments.

about one point averaging out

the moral center of the brain,

Volunteers were exposed to

to about a 15 percent change

impairing volunteers' notion of

transcranial magnetic

"but it's still striking to see

right and wrong. "You think of

stimulation (TMS) for 25

such a change in such high

morality as being a really high-

minutes before reading stories

level behavior as moral

level behavior,” says Liane

involving morally questionable

decision-making." Young

Young, a scientist at MIT and

characters, and being asked to

points out that the study was

co-author of the article. “To be

judge their actions. The

correlation; their work only

able to apply (a magnetic field)

researchers found that when

links the RTJP, morality and

to a specific brain region and

the RTPJ was disrupted

magnetic fields, but doesn't

change people’s moral

volunteers were more likely to

definitively prove that one

judgments is really

judge actions solely on the

causes another."

astonishing.” Young and her

basis of whether they caused

colleagues used functional

harm — not whether they were


Cover Model - Shakira Smith

Shakira is a first year nursing student with a current G.P.A of 3.7. She often volunteers her time at the soup kitchen because she loves to help those in need. Shakira feels that we all can overcome our life obstacles if we have someone to help us see clearly when it seems all is lost. With that being said she is pursuing her Masters  of science  to become a DON so she can help make a difference in someones life.



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