Tech News

PC Sales Higher Than Expected, Coding For All Students, And More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 09-10-2014

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 Everything You Need To Know About Switching To A Chromebook Chromebooks run a slimmed-down operating system optimized for getting on the web with just the Chrome browser and Chrome apps. Can you switch to a Chromebook? Read More , 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 Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? It's official, the new Windows will be a perfect 10. Why Windows 10? Because Windows 7 8 (ate) 9. And here is what you will find inside the Technical Preview. Read More arriving sometime in 2015, sales could bounce back in a big way, so perhaps obituaries for the PC Dead PCs, Gmail Stalking, Bitcoin Overstock, Kindle Kiosk [Tech News Digest] Desktops are declared dead, Gmail stalkers love Google+, Overstock starts accepting Bitcoin, scanning irises for passwords, Snapchat apologizes, Amazon starts selling hardware from a vending machine, and two companies fight over the right to pin. Read More were delivered prematurely. Launches Hour Of Code Campaign 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 Open For All: 6 Computer Science Projects From MIT Media Lab That You Can Try Today Every great educational institution has one common quality – innovation. MIT Media Labs is one center of excellence which promotes multifaceted thinking, and its “prime directive” is to focus on developments which are at the... Read More , 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.

Advertisement 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 When Kickstarters Fail [Feature] Crowd-funding has finally transformed from niche idea to mainstream concept. Credit for this surge in popularity can be thrown at the feet of Kickstarter and its contemporaries. Some highly publicized projects have raised millions of... Read More .

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 Illegal NSA, Mac At 30, Facebook Vs Princeton, Top Gear Street View [Tech News Digest] NSA activities branded "illegal," Microsoft posts record revenues, Apple celebrates Mac turning 30, Hunter Moore arrested, Facebook and Princeton argue, Twitter celebrates 'A Year On Vine', and Top Gear test track on Google Street View. Read More .

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 iTime For An iWatch: Funny Reactions To The New Apple Watch [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Apple Watch. It's a watch, a smartwatch, a watch that is smart. Sort of. And it's ripe for mocking. Read More 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 10 Curiously Geeky Virtual Tours You Can Take On Google Street View Set your bowlines free and travel. Why not use Google Street View to combine the best of travel and geek-dom. Pack your bags then for these ten geeky virtual trips. Read More 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 Destiny Information, Huge PS4 Update, Dragon Age Inquisition Release Date [Video Game Hub] This week, we have a slew of new information on Bungie's Destiny, a huge update for the PS4 that adds a ton of new features, and we have a release date for Dragon Age Inquisition. Read More , 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

Related topics: Apple, Education Technology, Programming.

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  1. dragonmouth
    October 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    WOW! Your lead picture looks like a picture of my basement.

    "PC Sales Not As Bad As Expected"
    That's what happens when you listen to pundits and "experts." They have a tendency to be wrong. These are the same pundits and "experts" that have been forecasting the imminent death of the mainframe for the last 40 years. But then they are paid to opine and bloviate, they are not paid to be right.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 10, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Wait, perhaps it IS your basement.

      You may have a point there. I previously reported on the huge declines in PC sales, and they certainly made it look as though the market was on the slide never to return. These latest figures give me hope that's not the case.

  2. dragonmouth
    October 9, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    WOW! Your lead picture looks like a photo of my basement.

    "PC Sales Not As Bad As Expected"
    That's what we get for listening to pundits and "experts." These are the same folks who keep insisting, year after year, that "the mainframes are dead."