Friday Grab Bag: Apple’s big iPad? And NCAA football changes thru history

Rumors are that Apple is now looking at a large format iPad, one that would be in the 13-inch screen size territory, at least according to a recent piece in Forbes that is relaying news from the Korean Times.

It would be interesting to see as the current trend in tablets has been strong growth in the 7- to 8-inch format, but as tablets start to increasingly replace notebooks and desktop PCs a larger tablet might meet this segment’s needs.

PC sales lag as tablets fill their place

Speaking of tablets as PC replacements eWeek reports that according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker shipments of PCs are expected to fall 10.1% this year in the consumer market and 5% in the business space.

PCs are still used more that smartphones and tablets, but mainly for computational and work exercises while the use of more mobile platforms has seen a dramatic increase as they fill many of the needs that a PC used to perform.

A history of NCAA football conferences

For casual fans, and even some of the more than casual college football fans the changing face of the different conferences, with teams coming and going, can be confusing. The New York Times has a very interesting interactive page that shows the changes since 1965.

It highlights the moves and you can trace teams and conferences over that span as the morph and in some cases dissolve. Also interesting is the huge decline of unaffiliated schools.

Amazon to develop drones for delivery?
One of the funnier news articles from last weekend was the proclamation of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that the company was developing drones that would deliver packages in 30 minutes. It was widely reported and commented on, and yet no one, at least initially put any thought into this.

Really? Drones? Aside from getting FAA approval, the logistics would be a nightmare and they would have to have thousands of warehouses and airports across the nation to support the effort. Who would be controlling them, Sidd Finch?

The perfect holiday gift from the NFL
Teams sell all sorts of swag for their fans and as it is the holiday season many are looking for the perfect gift for both the NFL fanatic as well as the more casual fan who follows the local team but thinks a quarterback that retired 5 years ago is still at the helm.

Mike Tanier of Sportsonearth kindly went to all of the trouble of tracking down the proper gift for all types of fans. Want a toaster that embeds your team’s logo? Got it! A Cleveland Browns thong-uh yeah about that.

Friday Grab Bag: Microsoft Goes Small and MLB hits it Big

People seem drawn to March Madness pools like moths to a flame, and this year ESPN’s mammoth pool, 8.15 million strong had a surprise winner, Lanny Kekua. If that name does not ring a bell it is the fake dead girlfriend of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o.

The name was used as an alias by a fan named Craig Gilmore, who won the tournament and successfully selected Louisville to defeat Michigan in the final. He is now entered into a drawing for a $10,000 Best Buy gift card.

Reebok Spartan Race hits the baseball circuit
Last year the Sparta Race held an event at a baseball park, and it proved to be very popular. So this year it is upping the ante and will be holding a series of events at ballyards, and it has announced the first four venues.

Athletes living near The New York Mets’ Citi Field, The Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizen Bank Park, The Milwaukee Brewers’ Miller Park or The Boston Red Sox Fenway Park can start practicing for the event near you.

Did Windows 8 Launch hurt PC sales?
Market research firm IDC has reported that sales of personal computers continued a downward fall, and is ascribing part of the blame to the latest operating system release from Microsoft, Windows 8. The most recent IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report shows that in the first quarter of 2013 there was a total average drop in PC shipments of 13.9% compared to the previous quarter.

Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays said that the company’s research showed that not only did Windows 8 not provide the hoped for boost in sales that many had been planning on, it actually served as a major detriment to sales.

At Bat Starts off with hot streak
Major League Baseball’s popular At Bat program for mobile device users has been a hot download at the start of this year’s season. The program surpassed the 4 million download mark last week, five days into the season.

Last year, when the app was also on a record setting pace, it took it 45 days to reach the 4 million milestone. For the year the app was downloaded 6.7 million times in 2012. MLB’s other two major apps At the Ballpark and Beat the Streak had roughly a million additional downloads.

The Rumor Mill

Tom’s Hardware is showing what is reportedly the next generation tablet from Acer, the Iconia tab A1-810 that had been accidentally briefly advertised by a French retailer. The 7.9-inch tablet is said to be powered by a 1.2GHz Cortex A9 processor featuring 1GB of RAM.

Newly leaked images of the forthcoming iPad from Apple appear to show a device that is thinner than previous releases and has reinforced the rumor that Apple is completely redesigning the popular tablet, currently reported to have the name iPad 5.

To the surprise of no one it has been reported that Microsoft has a 7-inch tablet in the works. With the rapidly growing popularity of this form factor a better issue might be what took them so long? The Wall Street Journal, via The Hispanic said that the tablets are expected to go into production later this year.