CNET Update – The early buzz at CES 2015

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HP unveils 4K, 5K, and curved displays at CES 2015

By Jacob Kastrenakes

High-resolution displays are quickly becoming the norm, and HP is introducing a handful of new ones today to give buyers even more options. The company is expanding its display line with the addition of two 4K models and its first 5K model. It’s also introducing an extra-wide curved display, though it doesn’t quite reach 4K resolution. Most of the displays are selling for under $1,000.


The Z27s, a 27-inch 4K display.

YOU’LL PAY SIGNIFICANTLY MORE TO GO FROM 4K TO 5K

The two 4K models that HP is introducing are identical save for their size. The Z24s and Z27s are 23.8-inch and 27-inch displays with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 4K resolution. That works out to a pixel density of 185ppi for the smaller model and 163ppi for the larger model (for comparison, the 15-inch MacBook Pro has a pixel density of 220 ppi). Each model includes 4 USB 3.0 ports and a mixture of HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, and other inputs. The Z24s will be available in April for $549, while the Z27s should be available later this month for $749.


The Z27q, HP’s first 5K display.

For its 5K display, HP wants this first model to define what it’s going to being doing at this even higher resolution. As it turns out, that definition is fairly tame, but there’s really only so much you want out a display anyway. The Z27q is a 27-inch, 16:9, 5K display with a 218ppi pixel density. Like the 4K models, it also has four USB 3.0 ports, but HP didn’t say what other inputs it has. It’ll be available in March for $1,299.


The Envy 34c (also called the Z34c), a 34-inch curved display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.

Curved displays aren’t brand new for HP, but the new Envy 34c is among HP’s first. It’s a 34-inch display with a 3440 by 1440 resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio. HP says that it’s designed the display to have a reduced reflectiveness, hopefully making it easier to see the entire width of it. There are also built-in speakers on either side of the screen. It’s going to be made available in April for $999. HP is also already selling a smaller curved display, 27-inches diagonally, for $399.

HP is positioning all of these as displays that’ll help you get work done. While it suggests design and gaming too, most of what it’s been showing off on these are enormous spreadsheets. That’s probably not the best way to use a high-resolution display like this, but that may be part of the point: soon, this will just be an average display — and everything, even down to your boring spreadsheets, will look seriously good.

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Motix wants to replace your mouse with fine-tuned finger pointing

I’m a sucker for motion controls. From Leap Motion and Kinect games to industrial-level tools made by minds behind Minority Report’s interface, if it’s an attempt to kill mouse, I want to try it.

The Motix is trying to follow the same footsteps. The system is one part motion sensor (placed near the back of your keyboard) and one part tactile strip (placed just under your spacebar) compatible with both Windows and OS X. The idea is this: put one thumb the pad and use a finger to control the mouse without having to move your hand from the keyboard. You can adjust the sensitivity of the finger by moving your thumb left or right on the strip.

THERE’S DEFINITELY A LEARNING CURVE

In theory, that’s great. In practice, it’s a bit wonky. It took about five minutes to get a handle of the broader strokes. That’s to be expected; unlike Leap Motion, the Motix is designed for smaller, more precise finger movements. There’s also an element of being able to keep your finger still and mid-air while you use the thumb on your other hand to “tap” the strip to simulate a mouse click.

It requires calibration to use properly, and the size of your hands is a factor in how comfortable or effective you’ll be. I watched creator Brent Safer pinpoint exact lines in a Microsoft Word document, while at best I could select apps from the home screen.

I’m hopeful for the Motix, but if want to give it a shot, know ahead of time you’ll have to put some time into getting the hang of it. Safer says the software will evolve over time; the hardware will be available starting next month for $119.99.

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Settling of Outstanding Balances

It is important to remember that in order to be considered duly registered for Semester 2 2014/15 that students must settle their outstanding tuition balance for Semester 1 2014/15 by January 15, 2015.

The Guild Council urges all students to do their best to settle the outstanding balance as soon as possible so that they can be registered. Please also be reminded that the fees for semester 2 become due at the beginning of the semester. Failure to pay for semester 2 at the start of semester 2 will allow you to be registered however the one percent charge on outstanding balance will apply until you have paid for the second semester’s tuition related expenses in full.

Recap:

Will I be able to register if I have an outstanding tuition balance for the first semester?

– No. You must clear your outstanding first semester to be considered duly registered for Semester 2

Will I be able to register if I do not pay my second Semester tuition in full?

– Yes. However the one percent charge will apply to the balance until it is cleared.

Will I be able to sit exams in May if I do not pay my second semester fee in full?

– Yes. However you will be required to clear outstanding tuition balance (which includes the one percent charges accrued) before being allowed to register for first semester 2015/16

Will I be able to sit exams in May if I do not pay my first semester fee in full?

– No. You would not have been duly registered for any course in the first place as a result of not clearing your first semester fees.