Breakfast briefing: HP “applauds” Surface, Mars update
In today’s round-up, HP is happy with Surface plans, Raspberry Pi lands in stores, Google Maps gets a public transport update and the Mars Curiosity Rover gets the ultimate over-the-air software update.
HP happy with Microsoft’s Surface plans
While Acer is unhappy about Microsoft’s move into hardware with the Surface range of tablets, HP is putting a brave face on the fresh competitor in the market.
According to a report in All Things Digital, HP welcomed the direction shown by Microsoft when it revealed its hardware. “Our relationship has not changed at all due to Microsoft’s announcement,” said John Solomon, senior vice president of HP’s Americas printing and personal systems division. “In fact, I applaud it — I think it’s great that they are getting out in front and demonstrating what’s possible.”
Mars Rover survives software upgrade
NASA has successfully upgraded the onboard software of its Mars rover Curiosity in a process that took four Martian days.
The upgrade was necessary to transition the rover’s two onboard computers from specialised landing software to a version designed for surface exploration, which was uploaded to the rover during its journey to Mars. “It came off pretty much without a hitch,” said Curiosity mission systems manager Mike Watkins, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “All four days went as planned, so we’re now ‘go’ to continue our checkout activities.”
Maplin offering Raspberry Pi package
The Raspberry Pi is now available in stores, with high-street retailer Maplin now stocking the stripped-down hackable hardware.
The company is selling a starter kit including the model “B” Raspberry Pi mainboard plus the latest approved Raspbian Wheezy OS on a Class 6 4GB Transcend SD card for £70. Whether the keyboard and mouse that come with the kit will be required by clutter collecting enthusiasts remains a moot point.
Google update adds Maps travel planner
Google has updated its maps service to include public transport timetable and route information, with 500 cities – including London – covered in a service Google says boasts one million stations and bus stops.
The search giant said the Android app would also be updated, adding that “can select a specific mode of public transportation to display on the mobile map, which is helpful in areas where there is a tight concentration of several types of public transit”.
SurfTheChannel.com owner hits back after jail sentence
Earlier this week, we reported that Anton Vickerman had been sentenced to a whopping four years in jail for running SurfTheChannel.com, a website that linked to copyright material. It was an odd story, with rights lobby group FACT hiring a private investigator to kick-start the case – and it’s just become a little bit stranger.
Vickerman has posted an 18,000 word document telling the story from his side – and some of the details are astonishing. Take a look at his response, if you have a spare half hour, and expect more to come from this story…
OLPC tablet to arrive early next year
Everyone’s making tablets these days, even One Laptop Per Child. The non-profit maker of cheap and cheerful educational laptops has said its XO-4 Touch device will arrive in the first quarter of next year.
Details continue to be scarce, but OLPC said the new device would “combine the XO’s existing laptop functionality and sunlight-usable display with a full-fledged tablet mode”. Pricing has yet to be revealed.
Ubuntu offers free cloud storage
Use Ubuntu? Have friends who do as well? Canonical is offering a free 500MB boost to your cloud storage allotment if you convince your friends to sign up to the free 5GB service. The offer is limited to 40 invites, so if you have 40 Ubuntu-using friends, you can get 20GB of cloud storage. The link to refer friends should show up in your Ubuntu One dashboard.