My mom always told me “Make your passion your profession, and you’ll be a happy man.” She was right, and I am glad I followed her advice. Yet I appear to be part of a minority. In an article about growing disenchantment at work (“Hating What You Do”), this week’s Economist cites a survey conducted by the Center for Work-Life Policy, an American consultancy. It found that between June 2007 and December 2008 the proportion of workers who professed loyalty to their employers slumped from 95% to 39%, and the number voicing trust in them fell from 79% … Read more
yWriter 5 is an unusual but interesting bit of freeware that takes a coder's approach to writing a novel. Simon Haynes, a bestselling novelist and programmer, developed it to help the aspiring author by automating many of the tasks common to fiction writing. It's basically a specialized word processor that breaks down the elements of a writing project into discrete pieces that can be refined individually and then strung together, much the way a coder approaches a large programming job. Chapters, scenes, characters, and plot elements can be defined, developed, edited, and automatically integrated into the project. You … Read more
Hewlett-Packard's new back-to-school campaign, dubbed Declare Yourself with HP, isn't your typical laptop sales promotion. It probably could be used instead as a case study of how members of Generation Y tend to gravitate toward products that inflate their egos.
The online campaign, which rolled out this week in partnership with Viacom's MTV Networks, enables users to "declare" their goals with one-line summaries. HP is "hoping that this promotion will help (students) set obtainable goals that will help further personal growth."
Obtainable goals, eh? Let's check out some of the goals my … Read more
Formerly known for the iconic, if boxy, ThinkPads (which the company still does well: see our review of the T400s), Lenovo has also begun branching into more stylish consumer products, loosening up its slightly uptight design aesthetics along the way.
The recent IdeaPad line reflects the change most starkly: we looked at the 16-inch IdeaPad Y650 awhile ago, and were impressed by the thin, sturdy feel and bolder touches, including texture-patterned lids and glossy materials used in the interior.
While the IdeaPads retain Lenovo's comfortable keyboard and some of the same custom software, the prices are also more reasonable, … Read more
yBook offers you the opportunity to read books on your computer screen. While the design worked about as well as we could have wanted, a single flaw limited us to only a few book formats for download.
This program's design is very impressive, thanks in part to its simplicity and intuitive layout. While its Help file is unfortunately buried in the Windows Start menu and not on the book reader itself, we felt that all user levels could navigate this program without its aid. While yBook was not as easy as reading a physical book, it felt pretty similar … Read more
While 99 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds have profiles on social networks, only 22 percent use Twitter, according to a new survey from Pace University and the Participatory Media Network.
This is consistent with what some observers have said about Twitter's recent push from early-adopter territory into the mainstream: that it's catching on with a slightly older demographic than the teenagers and college students who formed Facebook's initial core.
But of those young people using Twitter, the survey found that 85 percent of them follow friends, 54 percent follow celebrities, 29 percent follow family members, and 29 … Read more
Sixteen-inch laptops comprise a growing category, perhaps because they sit between the semiportable, 15-inch, mainstream systems and the heavy, 17- and 18-inch models that are essentially desk-bound machines with hinged screens.
The $1,249 Asus F50SV-A2 ($1,149 for base configuration with less RAM) packs a Blu-ray drive and a new mainstream Nvidia graphics chip into a relatively on-the-go package that's lighter than gaming beasts, but heavier than a standard laptop.
Our review found it solidly performing, but a little lacking on the design and features front. Are 16-inch systems worth the compromise between mainstream and hardcore desktop-replacing performance? … Read more
In a media-saturated online world, it's no surprise that whole categories of laptops now seem made to appeal to the home streaming-video connoisseur. Lenovo's IdeaPad Y series, and the Y650 in particular, looks tailor-made for those who want to watch TV and media on a big, bright screen with better-than-average audio, and a decor-friendly design to match.
The $1,249 Y650 we reviewed is the higher end of the two fixed-configuration models, which includes a fast 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 and 4GB of DDR3 memory. The Y650 is the thinnest, lightest 16-inch laptop we've … Read more