LCD Prices: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

David Hsieh, VP, Greater China Market, DisplaySearch:

Panel makers now intend to sustain panel prices at current levels (there is no room for prices to fall further as they are below costs in many cases), and then wait for the market to tighten in late Q3’11 when downstream customers will need to build inventories for the holidays. However, there is also a sense that if panel prices do not increase, then they will fall. Several people in the industry, especially from the panel buying side, have suggested that panel makers will face pressure to either reduce capacity utilization or reduce prices in order to maintain their shipments.

HP TouchPad Review

Engadget:

As we said earlier, it’s a 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 IPS panel up front that matches the iPad 2 pixel-for-pixel and doesn’t disappoint when it comes to other important aspects of viewing. Contrast, viewing angles, and brightness all impress, delivering plenty of light for bright or dark rooms and angles wide enough to make sharing with a friend a cinch.

By copying the leader, the iPad, HP didn’t mess up a good thing with the TouchPad’s display. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same 9.7-inch IPS TFT LCD that is used in the iPad. Good call, but this just solidifies my opinion that HP has merely become really good at copying Apple.

E-Book Readability

WSJ:

If you’re heading to the beach this summer and you plan to read an e-book, you won’t want to take your iPad. The screen of Apple’s otherwise enjoyable tablet has a glare that’s accentuated in bright sun, even if you’re under an umbrella and wearing a hat and sunglasses, as I learned last summer.

Luckily, alternatives abound, including several devices that use E Ink screen-display technology. These devices offer glare-free, matte surfaces, though the trade-off is a grayscale display with no backlighting.

Yes, the iPad’s LCD stinks when out in the sun. In Ways to make the iPad suck less in direct sunlight I make some recommendations.

The E Ink display is superb out in the sun, but here’s something to keep in mind when you’re planning to take your Kindle or Nook to the beach: neither are waterproof or sand-proof. Be careful.

Symantec Compares Apple iOS, Google Android Security Features

Khoi Nguyen, Enterprise Mobility Group Product Manager at Symantec via eWeek:

Apple’s certification and rigid control over what applications can be posted on the App Store protected users, Nguyen said. The iTunes App Store acts as a certificate authority to sign the app and is the only source for non-jailbroken iOS devices. Google’s “less rigorous” system helped trigger the increase in Android malware because it was easier to get malicious apps onto the Android Market, Symantec found. Luckily for Google, most Android malware to date hasn’t had a significant impact on users yet.

E-Wast Pollution A Threat to Human Health

ScienceDaily:

In addition to its damaging effect on the environment and its illegal smuggling into developing countries, researchers have now linked e-waste to adverse effects on human health, such as inflammation and oxidative stress — precursors to cardiovascular disease, DNA damage and possibly cancer.

I’ve read The Story of Stuff, which is a book that explains how our obsessions with stuff is trashing our planet. There are many great resources in the book, but I found one in particular that opened my eyes to how much pollution there is in my backyard. The site is Scorecard, a great resource for getting an in-depth pollution report.

I live in Santa Clara County and here’s what Scorecard says:

  • 90-100 percentile for non-cancer risk score (air and water releases)
  • 80-90 percentile for air releases of recognized carcinogens
  • 70-80 percentile for air releases of recognized reproductive toxicants
  • 60-70 percentile for air releases of recognized developmental toxicants
  • 50-60 percentile for total environmental releases
  • 40-50 percentile for cancer risk score (air and water releases)

Conclusion: Santa Clara County, according to Scorecard, is one of the dirtiest counties in the US. And guess which companies are responsible? The top ten, by rank in terms of pounds of released toxins:

  1. Owens Corning Corp.
  2. Hanson Permanente Cement
  3. Strongwell Corp.
  4. Chevron Prods. Co. San Jose Terminal
  5. Headway Techs. Inc.
  6. Jennings Tech. L.L.C.
  7. Marbled Elegance Inc.
  8. Lumileds Lighting US L.L.C.
  9. Equilon San Jose Terminal
  10. IBM

Owens Corning released more than 180,000 pounds of toxins into the environment in 2002.

New TV Features Not Strong Drivers of New TV Purchases

Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Research at DisplaySearch:

Some of the findings from this study show that newer features are not yet strong drivers of new TV purchases compared to fundamentals like trading up in size or getting a flat panel TV.

I think TV brands are trying too hard. Just keep it simple: deliver a great TV viewing experience for a good price. And having to find a pair of 3D glasses and a keyboard just to watch TV doesn’t make for a good viewing experience in my opinion.

McGraw-Hill: First Digital-Only Textbook

Mashable:

McGraw-Hill launched its first all-digital, cloud-based textbook for the K-12 market on Monday at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference.

Have you picked up a kid’s school backpack lately? It’s heavy. Too heavy. Kudos to McGraw-Hill for jumpstarting digital textbooks for K-12. Now we display guys need to make screens even better, devices more durable, and prices more affordable.

“When you sit on a regular bike saddle, you’re sitting on your penis.”

John Tierney:

Why, if you had an easy alternative, would you take any risk with that part of the anatomy? Even if you didn’t feel any symptoms, even if you didn’t believe the researchers’ warnings, even if you thought it was perfectly healthy to feel numb during a ride — why not switch just for comfort’s sake? Why go on crushing your crotch?

That’s a good question. I’ll be looking seriously at a no-nose saddle for my ride.

Steven Schrader, reproductive physiologist at Niosh:

There’s as much penis inside the body as outside. When you sit on a regular bike saddle, you’re sitting on your penis.

That’s it; no more sitting on my penis.

Rumor: Apple A6 by TSMC, Not Samsung

ars technica:

Apple’s increasingly tenuous relationship with Samsung as a component supplier for its mobile devices could end next year, according to numerous sources inside the semiconductor industry. The company will likely tap contract fab Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to build its next-generation ARM SoCs, currently dubbed “A6,” sometime in 2012.

Samsung pissed off its biggest customer.