Microsoft Office 2013, 365 Home Premium Annual Subscription Now Available

OfficelogoOrange_WebHere’s the actual bit of news you need to know: Microsoft Office 2013 is completely revamped and modern, and comes in two versions. First, there’s Office 2013, which is your normal Word, Excel, OneNote and Powerpoint suite for $139. Home and Business adds Outlook for $219, while the top-of-the-line Professional package includes all of the aforementioned Office 2013 apps, along with Access and Publisher for $399.

But what if you like the cloud? Well, there’s Office 365: a cloud solution with no disc which costs $99 per year (and comes with 20GB of SkyDrive storage), with new software updates for free, which gets you authorization to install the software on up to 5 PCs and Macs, with the option to remove a computer in order to free up a license. Now you’ll finally be able to trick out your new Microsoft design scheme with Windows 8, if that’s appealing to you.

Via: Microsoft 

What Happens If You Fly A Plane On Other Planets?

xkcd-whatif-flyingAs Randall Monroe from xkcd so accurately describes and explains using his drawings and tests inside of X-Plane (a flight simulator used by pilots with 20 years of engineering behind it) it’s rather difficult to fly a plane in on a planet with no environment. Not to mention temperature and pressure changes, along with gravitational pull. But the intriguing thing is that on Titan, a moon of Saturn, is better to fly in than on Earth: you could technically use a human glider, except that it’s really cold, at about 72 degrees Kelvin (-330.07 Fahrenheit). That’s really cold.

Via: What If?

iOS 6.1: Siri Lets You Buy Movie Tickets, Now Ready For Download

ios-logo

Just a heads-up for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users: iOS 6.1, has is now available as a free download. According to the release notes, the update adds LTE support for additional carriers (36 for iPhone, 23 for iPad), the ability to purchase movie tickets through Siri (US-only) and last but not least, the opportunity for iTunes Match fans to download individual songs from iCloud. the update should be arriving on iOS devices every few minutes. Press release is below.

Brevity Review: HuMn Mini Wallet

HuMn Mini in Hand

Remember the HuMn wallet review? It’s an RFID-blocking, smooth aircraft-grade aluminum “wallet”, with a tough elastic band that keeps two metal plates together so you can place credit cards, IDs, and cash in between or in the front or back of the HuMn Mini wallet (pronounced “human mini wallet”).  There’s nothing that really has changed: the HuMn Mini costs the same amount as the original, bigger, edgier wallet, and basically is just an alternative for people who want to fit a wallet into skinny jeans or some other piece of clothing were storage is extremely limited.

The H.265 Video Format Will Help Your Network Watch Better Video

Galaxy S IIIs In A RowSo this is something that will work for the future, and the present. The constant problem of using HD video streaming on a smartphone is that it always buffers, even on a 4G LTE connection. The solution? Change the video format. So, as cool as that seems, it gets better: the new format is called High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), shortened as H.265, and it’s a standard that should make HD video streaming easier and could make even Ultra HD (formerly known as 4K) a possibility on a cellphone.

So when will you see it on your phone? Not immediately. First, the software encoders have to be developed (that’s in progress), then the hardware chips have to be built, but it is possible that current high-end cellphones could start running it this year. Seems promising!

Via: ITU 

Scientists Have Built A Microscopic Tractor Beam

Tractor Beam Mockup

What’s a tractor beam you ask? Something a fan of Star Trek (or alien movies)  would recognize: a beam that pulls something towards it. What’s so cool about this? Well, scientists have created a tractor beam that actually works: on a microscopic level, for microscopic distances. The Czech Republic’s Institute of Scientific Instruments and Scotland’s University of St. Andrews have created an optical field that can drag particles towards it, as long as they’re made of the right materials.

Tractor beams in space and for the air force, anyone? Via: Nature

Brevity Review: Samsung Galaxy Note II (Verizon)

Galaxy Note II Verizon

Reviewed once, twice, and now three times. The Samsung Galaxy Note II is a great smartphone, despite how humongous it is. Like its brethren on AT&T and T-Mobile, the Verizon Galaxy Note II has a 1.6GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD screen, an S pen, a large 3,100mAh battery, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Samsung’s Touchwiz interface, and an amazing 4G LTE reception, even in New York City. If you really want the scoop on how the Note II is as a successor to the Note I and a smartphone overall, then read the original AT&T model’s review.

All that aside, it’s once again more of the same: still awesome and somehow even fun to use.

AT&T Buying $1.9 Billion Worth Of Verizon’s 700MHz Network

LaptopMemo at AT&T Daybreak 2012 in NYC

Verizon has been doing plenty of business lately, selling off parts of its 700MHz spectrum (basically, towers and radio waves it has access to and operates). AT&T is perhaps the biggest buyer so far, buying $1.9 billion worth of 700MHz spectrum in 18 states which covers nearly 42 million people. The deal isn’t set in stone; AT&T still needs regulatory approval to close the deal by the second-half of 2013. The press release with the list of states can be found after the break.

Via: AT&T