Also, Apple announces another press event, Google Street View travels the desert, Belkin routers work once again, get Dragon Age: Origins for free, and a machine gun that fires paper planes.
PC Sales Not As Bad As Expected
While the PC market continues to contract, the latest sales figures suggest the decline is slowing down. Both IDC and Gartner have reported their figures for the third quarter of 2014, and both are reporting very slight dips in the numbers of PCs being sold this year compared to 12 months ago.
IDC reports a 1.7 percent dip, while Gartner reports a 0.5 percent dip. The slight difference may be accounted for by the former counting hybrid tablet/notebooks but not Chromebooks, and the latter doing the exact opposite. Either way, this is a much smaller decline in sales than we have seen previously.
Interestingly, the top five PC manufacturers — Lenovo, HP, Dell, Acer, and Apple/ASUS all enjoyed growth over the last 12 months, which means the dip has mainly hit less popular brands. With Windows 10 arriving sometime in 2015, sales could bounce back in a big way, so perhaps obituaries for the PC were delivered prematurely.
Code.org Launches Hour Of Code Campaign
Code.org has launched a new campaign to get kids coding in schools. Since being launched in 2013, the Hour Of Code has introduced 43 million students to computer science, but the goal is now to bring this important topic to 100 million students worldwide. Sadly, doing so costs money.
The Hour Of Code is now the subject of a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo. The goal is to raise $5 million, with $2.5 million raised by generous individuals, and that total matched by generous donors including Bill Gates and Reid Hoffman.
Code.org is a non-profit organization promising to spend all money raised on “expanding access to computer science, by putting courses in schools that don’t teach it already.” Which means donating to this worthy cause is surely preferable to wasting your money on another failed Kickstarter.
Apple Teases New Macs & iPads
Apple has sent out invites to its next press event, with tech journalists invited to Cupertino on Thursday, Oct. 16. The invitation simply says, “It’s been way too long,” with the same colors and font used as the logo celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mac.
So, new Macs are guaranteed, and pretty much everybody is expecting new versions of the iPad Air and iPad mini to also be announced. OS X Yosemite (v10.10) is expected to be released for free on the same day, and there may be further details about Apple Pay and Apple Watch revealed.
In other words, if you hate Apple then you’ll be doing yourself a favor staying off the Internet completely on that day. You have been warned.
Google Street View Charts Liwa Desert
Google has added the Liwa Desert in the United Arab Emirates to Street View, and it used a camel to capture the 360-degree imagery required. The scenery offered by this addition to Google Street View is spectacular, but I’d personally rather traverse the landscape virtually rather than in person.
Why Belkin Routers Stopped Working
For around 15 hours on Tuesday (Oct. 7) some Belkin routers were unable to connect to the Internet. This led to lots of complaints popping up on social media sites. Belkin eventually fixed the issue, and anyone affected by the issue is advised to “reset their router and/or cable modem to regain connectivity.”
Belkin has since offered an explanation for the extended downtime, telling TechCrunch, “One of our cloud services associated with maintaining router operations was negatively impacted by a change made in our data center that caused a false denial of service. Normal operations were restored by 3PM PST.”
Get Dragon Age: Origins For Free
EA is currently giving away Dragon Age: Origins for free on PC. To get hold of the standard edition of BioWare’s beloved RPG for Windows PC, gamers need to download it via Origin (registration required) by Oct. 14.
The latest game in the series, Dragon Age: Inquisition, is released next month (Nov. 2014) on PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.
The Only Machine Gun You Should Own
And finally, while machine guns that fire bullets aren’t something most of us will ever want or need to own, we should all own one of these paper plane machine guns. Just think how much nicer the world would be if we all spent our days firing paper planes at each other.
This paper plane machine gun is the work of German mechanical engineer Dieter Michael Krone, who is so passionate about paper planes he runs a website dedicated to them. Named the A6 v1.0, Krone’s paper plane machine gun is comprised of 3D-printed components. And paper. Meaning a Kickstarter campaign is entirely possible.
I’d buy one. Would you? [H/T: Reddit]
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Are you surprised that PC sales are better than expected? What do you foresee Apple announcing at its next press event? Do you need the paper plane machine gun in your life?!
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Andrei Niemimaki via Flickr