Category Archives: pointpower

Muscatine School District helps those who need extra help – Muscatine Journal

Muscatine School District helps those who need extra help
Muscatine Journal
Collinson, the district's director of special programs, delivered a fast-paced 90-slide PowerPoint presentation on everything from special education and preschool education to homelessness — even allowing 15 minutes for questions afterward. n At risk

and more »

Amazon updates Kindle Fire, breaks root

The Kindle Fire.


Amazon released a promised over-the-air update for its Kindle Fire this evening.

Amazon says the update “enhances fluidity and performance, improves touch navigation responsiveness, [and] gives you the option to choose which items display on the carousel.” It also includes the option of adding a password lock to Wi-Fi access.

The update, which will be delivered automatically to the devices, comes in response to performance issues with the Internet retailer’s Android-powered tablet. Users had complained of problems accessing Wi-Fi networks and the Internet, slow and erratic scrolling, and inefficient apps.

However, users who have rooted the device’s operating system will find that the update breaks that modification.

The update comes 10 days after a company spokesman told The New York Times that an over-the-air update would be delivered “in less than two weeks.”

The Kindle Fire, which launched on November 14 as a potential “iPad killer,” is estimated to have sold more than 3 million units. Millennial Media’s November Mobile Mix report found that the number of ad impressions on the Fire grew at an average daily rate of 19 percent, slightly outshining the growth of the first iPad in early 2010.

[Read more]

Related Links:
Amazon: Kindle Fire update coming
Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet: How to choose
Kindle vs. Nook vs. iPad: Which e-book reader should you buy?
iPad feeling some heat from Amazon’s Kindle Fire
Amazon may be launching an 8.9-inch Kindle Fire in Q2 2012

Action teams tackle St. Paul achievement gap, recommend other big changes at SPPS – Twin Cities Planet

Action teams tackle St. Paul achievement gap, recommend other big changes at SPPS
Twin Cities Planet
Slide is one of a series of recommendations from nine District Action Teams — see pdf at end of article for full PowerPoint presentation. By Sheila Regan, TC Daily Planet Saint Paul Public Schools must “commit to dismantling the effects of racism and

Tesla prices Model S, makes navigation optional

Options for the Tesla Model S include the glass, panoramic roof and navigation.

Josh Miller/CNET)

Tesla has laid out the pricing structure for the all-new Model S electric car, and, as expected, higher range will cost you more.

The company launched a Web page today showing the base model, with a 40-kilowatt-hour battery pack, costing $49,900. The 60kWh model runs $59,900, and it’s another $10,000 jump to the 85kWh model. Go up to $79,900 for the Performance model, which also comes with the 85kWh pack and a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.4 seconds. All of those prices are after a federal tax credit of $7,500.

Those battery packs give the Model S an estimated range at 55 mph of 160 miles, 230 miles, and 300 miles respectively.

And then there are the options. Tesla wants $1,500 to build a glass, panoramic roof into the car, and another $1,500 for the rear jump seats, which can make the Model S a seven-seater. 19-inch wheels are standard, but $3,500 will get you 21s with high-performance tires, the latter being standard on the Performance version of the car. Microfiber seat covers are standard, with leather running $1,500.

An odd option on the list is the Tech package, which runs $3,750. A 17-inch touch screen is standard in the dashboard, but you will need the Tech package to get turn-by-turn navigation on… [Read more]

Related Links:
Trying to forecast EV sales? Good luck with that
Honda EV-STER takes up where Tesla left off
Electric vehicles show their range in 2011 (video)
Why Nvidia’s chips can power supercomputers
BMW and Toyota push the pedal on greener cars

‘Friday’ tops 2011 YouTube most-watched list

Rebecca Black is the reigning queen of YouTube. Fun, fun, fun, fun.

Rebecca Black)

I have to confess that I’m not among the nearly 200 million viewers who have indulged in YouTube’s most-watched video of 2011: Rebecca Black’s “Friday” music video.

Hold on a sec, I’m going to go check it out… OK, I’m back. Someone, please get it out of my head. It hurts.

This poor pooch was short a few treats, but had plenty of YouTube views.

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET)

According to YouTube’s list of the most-watched videos of 2011, the runner-up for most-watched vid of belongs to a four-legged creature. “Ultimate Dog Tease” features a talking pooch being teased by an owner listing a variety of tantalizing meats. That one racked up almost 75 million views.

The rest of the list includes viral hits like “Saturday Night Live” music videos, Nyan cat, a “Star Wars”-themed Volkswagen ad, and a momma cat hugging a kitten.

YouTube also revealed its list of fastest-rising search terms. Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden radio voice, took the top spot for January. More recently, … [Read more]

Related Links:
iPhone 5, Steve Jobs among top Google searches in 2011
YouTube’s new Analytics: How popular are your videos?
MTV in talks to license Vevo videos
Twitter looks back at the top topics of 2011
YouTube buys licensing-firm RightsFlow

Should you buy a PS Vita from Japan?

If you must have the PS Vita now, you can buy one from Japan, but there are a few things you should consider before doing so.

John Chan/CNET Asia)

The latest handheld game console from Sony, the PlayStation Vita, launched in Japan on December 18. Already, sister site GameSpot Asia has gotten its hands on a unit and published an unboxing and preview video.

We spent some time with GameSpot’s unit and have to agree that the hardware is indeed attractive. Some of the launch titles, including Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom, and Touch My Katamari, look great on the 960×544-pixel display, and the ability to use the touch screen for certain navigation controls is refreshing for this PSP successor.

Now, you might be tempted to run out and buy a set imported from Japan, since that’s the only country in which the Vita has been launched so far. It will hit the U.S. on February 22, and many countries in Asia will have to wait even longer.

Buying a Japan set seems to make sense–your local game shop probably has some units imported from the console’s home country; Vita games are not region locked; and the unit’s interface supports the English language. However, we have some misgivings about being an early adopter of the Ja… [Read more]

Related Links:
PS Vita’s user interface pictured
Can the PlayStation Vita succeed?
PlayStation Vita lands in Japan
Another round with the PlayStation Vita
PS3 firmware 4.0 makes it a hub for Vita

Battlefield 3 Easter Egg hints at Battlefield 2143

Anyone missing "Titan Mode" might be interested in this story.

Battlefield 3 Blog)

Is Battlefield about to go sci-fi, again?

A sleuth recently spotted what may be a hint to the next game in the Battlefield franchise.

Following in the footsteps of the 2006 futuristic shooter Battlefield 2142, the numbers 2143 appear to be inscribed on a cargo container near the airport on Battlefield 3‘s Wake Island map. So is it logical to believe that Battlefield 2143, or a 2143 expansion for Battlefield 3, is around the corner just from seeing those numbers?

Related stories

It could be–if you consider the evidence.

The Battlefield 3 Blog points out that in the Battlefield 2: Euro Forces expansion, a Chevy Camaro SS (usable vehicl… [Read more]

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Battlefield 3’s first expansion explodes onto scene
Meet Mrs. Violence, your not-so-average gamer
How EA is jumping on the ‘freemium’ bandwagon
iPhone 5, Steve Jobs among top Google searches in 2011
The 10 best games of 2011

Crave 70: Buying back the ’80s (podcast)

Ep. 70: Buying back the ’80s

For our last Crave of 2011, Bonnie and Donald revisit the ’80s with a retro Walkman case, bad Apple fashions, and a look at Crave photo submissions that have been Instagrammed into blurry, oversaturated works of art.

And whether it’s by ground or by sea, Crave has the latest high-tech methods for risking your life in pursuit of fun. In Geek News, Lego goes LOTR, and Batman goes Lego.

Subscribe in iTunes SD VideoSubscribe in RSS SD Video

Episode 70

The return of the ’80s

Walkman phone case
1986 Apple fan fashion flashback
Crave readers’ Instagram creations

Fun ways to die

Flyboard [Read more]

Related Links:
Crave 69: Candy for cuties (podcast)
Lego locks in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ deals
1960s ‘Batman’ in Lego form: Biff! Bam! Pow!
Crave 67: Elective bear mauling (podcast)
Crave 68: We’re all out of bubblegum (podcast)

Twitter-by-post breeds analog ‘Fail Whales’

The rare, endangered analog fail whale.


Twitter: @gilest

On the way to our digital world, a strange thing happened–analog became cool again. How else can you explain something like Twitter-by-post?

The idea is simple, the execution not so much. Freelance writer Giles Turnbull decided to take his tweets offline by responding to his Twitter feed using physical postcards. He laid out the mechanics of the experiment–done with the help of about 15 “volunteers” from among his Twitter followers–in The Morning News:

It worked like this: everyone involved sent me their postal address, while I headed down to the local Post Office and bought a job lot of stamps. Most of my helpers were here in the UK, but some were in the U.S., one in Australia, and one in New Zealand…
The mechanics of it took a while to work out. Most difficult was replicating my personal Twitter timeline–how could I post the same thing to everyone? Well, by writing it out lots of times.
For those “public” tweets, I wrote the same thing out 15 times, on 15 cards, and sent them to 15 different people. This took every moment as long as you might think; possibly a little longer.
Other tweets were easier to do. The analogue of sending an @reply or a DM is simply sending one card to one p… [Read more]

Related Links:
Twitter Fail Robot heralds an outage for some users
Charlie Sheen Twitter fail: He tweets his phone number
Wayne Gretzky closes daughter’s Twitter feed twice?
Juror’s bad-coffee tweets get death row inmate new trial
Twitter remembers the top stories of 2011

Google presses pause on Android Ice Cream Sandwich updates

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET)

Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich software update is hardly truckin’ it.

The Android 4.0 release, which the company promised last week would roll out to Samsung Nexus S owners, has hit a snag. Frustrated users on Google’s Android forum and elsewhere, have complained of over-the-air downloads failing to correctly install, leaving them with the previous software version, Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

“Mine downloaded to like 20% then just disappeared! And it says my device is up to date!” said one user by the name of Matt Mitchell.

“Mine did reach 100% and then it even asked me if I wanted to Install it and I pressed yes and that was all nothing happened after that,” Fozan wrote on the forum.

Responses flowed in from Pakistan, Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.

A Google employee and forums moderator named Paul posted that Google paused the update in order to “monitor feedback,” adding that phone owners would receive another notification when Google is ready to give their quad-band Nexus S device a second pass.

Updates to the Nex… [Read more]

Related Links:
Flash not coming to Ice Cream Sandwich–yet
Google tests Android update on employees’ Nexus S
Living with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, three weeks later
Feeling bold? First Cyanogen builds of Android 4.0 arrive
First-generation phone runs fourth-generation Android