Mar 31, 2011

Blogger introduces 5 dynamic views

Blogger announced 5 new dynamic views for it's users, which makes it even more irresistible. Google promised to revamp the look and feel of Blogger at the SXSW earlier this month. 2011 promises to be a year where Google will be rolling out features for Blogger one after another. Here's the video that came along with the announcement.

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Mar 30, 2011

iPhone 4 new ads [video]

Apple came up with new ads for it's iPhone 4 a week ago, titled "If you don't have an iPhone you don't have an iPhone" an attempt to show the "non-iPhone" users what they're missing. Well, doesn't really look like an attempt to win over the haters, but more of an ego boost to the iPhone 4 users. Anyway cheers to the theme and here are all the ads. Enjoy!

Do comment about what you thought of these ads.

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Mar 28, 2011

Nexus S in India early April, Pre-orders on Flipkart

The first Gingerbread phone and the second in the Nexus series, the Samsung Nexus S is all set to step foot in the Indian market. Pre-orders for the smartphone have begun by Flipkart and the shipping will probably begin in the early April; the price tag? Rs. 27999.

Nexus S was also the first Android phone to implement NFC in it. It includes a ARM Cortex A8 1 GHz processor with a 512MB RAM, a 4 Inch display, 5 MP Camera; to watch a review video of the phone click here. If you want to find out more go to YouTube and search "Explore Nexus S", you will find a set of videos showing off the features of this phone. Here's the advertisement video:

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Mar 26, 2011 and the hype

Would you pay $350,000 for a domain name for the website of a company that you're going to start, which is not completely ready yet? Well that is exactly what a new startup Color has done; well, considering a funding of $41 million doing that doesn't seem completely crazy.

CrunchBase says "Color is a social app for photos. You take photos and then the photos appear on the fly with other photos in your vicinity. You get to see the photos your friends are taking as well as other people within 100 feet of your photo.
The app will group photos based on who your friends are so you are more likely to see photos that you are interested in. The service is available on Android or iPhone."
In a report by TechCrunch, the CEO of color, Bill Nguyen has hand written a note which you may find if you happen to pass by a street in Palo Alto. The note reads:

“What is Color? We are an open social network for your iPhone and Android.
This is our home that we’ll be opening to our community. You can come in during the day and participate in our product vision. We’ll take your ideas and build them into our efforts. Whether you are a high school student, Stanford Phd candidate, or just an interested Palo Alto neighbor we can’t wait to meet you.
Bill, CEO, Color"
TechCrunch confirmed that this isn't a marketing strategy, but Color actually wants people to come up with innovative ideas to make the product better.
You can follow Color on twitter here
If you have used Color, then please do share your experience by commenting below.

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Mar 25, 2011

YouTube includes video creation tools

Ever thought of making a video based on your idea? but you didn't because you didn't have the equipment or video editing skills? Well, the biggest video directory on the web is pushing you to do this now. A couple of days ago, YouTube incorporated 3 video creation tools that will allow you to make great videos with simple clicks right within the website. You can use Xtranormal, Stupeflix, or GoAnimate based on the kind of video you would want to create. Check the tools out by clicking here and who knows, you might just post your first YouTube video in the next 30 minutes or so.

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To the little blue bird, with love [video]

On the occasion of the 5th birthday, Twitter launched a new website that allows you to discover people sharing the same interest as yours; also a video was made showing 16 prominent personalities that use twitter, each one sharing their thoughts about why they love twitter just like most of us do.

The video includes tennis player Serena Williams, rapper Snoop Dogg, astronaut Paolo Nespoli and also Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Here's the video.

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Mar 24, 2011

Asus Eee Slate + W7 Commercial

Just in case you forgot, there is one more OS that's going to make appearances in tablets this year; our very own Windows7. Last year, Asus had announced that it would make tablets with W7 on it and at the MWC earlier this year, the product was released. Microsoft has a tough job in the tablet section considering the success of iOS and Android; got a lot of catching up to do. Anyway, here are couple of commercials of the Eee slate. Watch out for the words "I don't need to go to an app store" in the first commercial. Yes MS, we all know what you mean. Enjoy!

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Mar 23, 2011

Firefox 4 out, Chrome 11 beta(that talks) follows

Mozilla released Firefox 4 yesterday and it hit 5 million downloads in the first 24 hours(7.2 million, while writing this) and that's almost twice the number of IE9 downloads on it's first day. The features that we are familiar from the beta releases are hardware acceleration and also it has the fastest JavaScript Engine when compared to it's previous releases. When it comes to the UI, it's a whole different thing; the new version takes a lot less space(definitely chrome-inspired) as you will see in this video. Another must see feature is that of "panaroma" which makes managing tabs simpler and also brings in the concept of grouping tabs.

Firefox sync allows moving all your browsing information from the PC to the browser in your mobile phone. It also incorporates support for open multimedia formats and the latest of web technologies such as WebGL, CSS3.
To download, click on the image below

While all of this happened, Google released the beta version of Chrome11. A new icon...yes, we knew that, but what we didn't know was this version will be able to use HTML5 speech input API that will allow users voice to be converted to text. Cool isn't it? The official Chrome blog said, "When a web page uses this feature, you simply click on an icon and then speak into your computer’s microphone. The recorded audio is sent to speech servers for transcription, after which the text is typed out for you"

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Mar 22, 2011

iPad 2 to be released in 25 countries this friday

Apple gave an official confirmation that after the US release of the iPad 2, the tablet will be available for purchase in 25 more countries. In typical Jobs style, the CEO had proclaimed "“While competitors are still struggling to catch up with our first iPad, we’ve changed the game again with iPad 2,”. 

iPad 2 with Wi-Fi will be available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK on March 25 for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) the 64GB model. iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G will be available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. 
The post also said that the iPad 2 will be available in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and additional countries in April.

Samsung has it's Galaxy Tab 8.9 release scheduled for today, the specs of which have already been leaked, hope Apple's announcement doesn't fill Samsung's stomach with butterflies as we've seen earlier. Come back to this space tomorrow for the official Galaxy tab release update.
For the specs of the iPad 2, click here.

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Help design the Ubuntu 11.04 countdown banner

April 28 2011, the date for the final release of Ubuntu 11.04(codenamed: Natty). A lot of new things to watch out for especially with Unity taking over GNOME. While we wait for the release, Ubuntu is calling out to designers to help make the official Countdown banner.

The Guidelines mentioned are

  • width: 180px
  • height: 150px
  • optimized png, gif or jpg, or
  • iframe containing interactive content (using static html, css, js and images - no PHP)
  • no flash - must work perfectly with only free software
Also there are plans to make an official widget for Android. To submit your entries, Click Here

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Mar 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Twitter!!

twitter (noun): The sound of a succession of chirps as uttered by birds.
twitter (verb): 
  1. (intransitive) To utter a succession of bird's chirps.
  2. (intransitive) (of a person) To talk in an excited or nervous manner.
  3. (neologism, Internet) To use the microblogging service Twitter.
For us, the last meaning of the word "twitter" makes most sense, doesn't it?

Exactly 5 years ago March 21 2006, Jack Dorsey, the chairman of Twitter posted the very first tweet, it read:  "just setting up my twttr"

Here's the story of how the small wonder grew big:
While sitting in a park on a children’s slide, Jack Dorsey introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group. The first Twitter prototype was used as an internal service for Odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on July 15, 2006. 

The tipping point for Twitter's popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. During the event, Twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000. Twitter is ranked as one of the ten-most-visited websites worldwide by Alexa's web traffic analysis.

The company experienced rapid growth. It had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007. As of June 2010, about 65 million tweets were posted each day, equaling about 750 tweets sent each second, according to Twitter. When American singer Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, company servers crashed after users were updating their status to include the words "Michael Jackson" at a rate of 100,000 tweets per hour.

In the year 2009, rumors spread that Google wanted to acquire Twitter but Sergey Brin denied the reports later that year. The truth is anyone's guess. 

From September through October 2010, the company began rolling out "New Twitter", an entirely revamped edition of Changes included the ability to see pictures and videos without leaving Twitter. Here's the promotional video that showed up on the NewTwitter

Source: Wikipedia

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Mar 20, 2011

Startup Jumio gets funding from Facebook co-founder

Yes, it's the season of startups thanks to the ongoing SXSW at Austin. Group messaging apps for smartphones seems like the theme this year, but the one that has caught my eye is Jumio. Jumio is co-founded by Daniel Mattes who had started Jajah a VoIP company which was sold to Telefonica for $207mn. Jumio seems like a mobile/online payment solution with a solid plan. It's still in the development stages. A reason for it's popularity already is maybe because the advisory board includes people like former Google exec Zain Khan, former Amazon exec Mark Britto and Maarten Linthorst, CEO of CSI Communication Systems. Recently, the co-founder of Facebook, Eduaro Saverin funded Jumio with $6.5mn. He will also be a part of the board of directors. According to CrunchBase, "Jumio simplifies payment. Everyday transactions in a quick, one-click solution for individuals and businesses. Bullet proof security, easy and universal handling. Nothing more, nothing less". The video below is from the Jumio website; has a pretty serious tone. Check it out!

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Mar 18, 2011

Creators of Angry Birds to go public

The company behind the super famous mobile game Angry Birds, Rovio plans on making their company open for investments. The finnish company has come a long way thanks to their baby that caught the world's attention. "We’re aiming to be as large as Facebook or Google,” said Rovio Board Chairman Kaj Hed. The company has $42 million as funds and it has managed to generate more than $7 million in revenue from July to December

Angry Birds was first released for Apple's iOS in December 2009. Through the App store the game was downloaded 42 million times, making it the best selling game and a total of 100 million downloads across all platforms. The game runs on iOS, Maemo, Palm webOS, Android,Symbian^3, PSP/PlayStation 3, Windows, Mac OS X. Ports of Angry Birds are also proposed for the Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS systems, as is a version for Facebook. Rovio has also confirmed that it is preparing a Windows Phone 7 version of Angry Birds for release later in 2011.

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Mar 16, 2011

PressPausePlay premieres at SXSW [trailer]

On th 12th of March, the ongoing SXSW at Austin, Texas witnessed the premier of the movie Press, Pause, Play. Yes, this is still not the place for movie reviews(although I plan on doing that someday), but this one has got something for the geeks. It's a documentary containing interviews about how the digital revolution has gone on to push talent to the next level(or maybe suppress it).

"Does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity?"

The swedish makers of the movie try to answer this question. Here's the official trailer

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Mar 15, 2011

Google announces "Blogger makeover" (finally!)

I can't be happier as I'm writing this. The change which was long overdue was finally announced by Google in the official blogger blog. The post says "Blogger users published more than half a billion blog posts, which were read by more than 400 million active readers across the globe." It boasts of the features that Blogger has and also says that 2011 will be the year where Blogger goes to the next level. Google promises a more cleaner and a modern UI with the inclusion of Google Web Toolkit. With the sophisticated tools that Wordpress offers, this was necessary. Another interesting thing to be expected is the content discovery feature that lets you uncover interesting and related content based on the topics of the blog you’re currently reading. Here is a video which sums it up; has a catchy beat too!

The sneak peak of the new stuff will be showcased at the ongoing South by Southwest (SXSW); but a lot more will be revealed throughout the year, Google promises.

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Mar 14, 2011

Galaxy Tab 10.1 not really "inadequate" [video]

Just about a month ago, Samsung released specs of it's new tablet, the successor of Galaxy tab. The tablet would be the second to be running "Honeycomb", the first one being Motorola Xoom. Even though Samsung's VP himself called the Galaxy 10.1 as "inadequate" when the iPad 2 was released, engadget says that it's a pretty decent device. You can watch the 11 minute video by AndroidHD and decide for yourself. If that's a bit too long for your time, atleast watch it till 3:12; starting from 2:45 the video shows the Honeycomb UI and it's worth it. You will be able to see the specs as the video runs. Enjoy!

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Mar 13, 2011

WP7 has higher app growth than iOS and Android

According to a report by Pocketnow, the WP7 marketplace has hit the target of 10K apps in 4.5 months beating the record of Apple App Store which took 4.7 months. The Android Market took 11 months to reach that target. The app approval rate by Microsoft has been increased to about 1200 apps per week which was about 1000, couple of weeks ago. Now the app store and the Android market boast of 3,00,000 and 2,00,000 apps, therefore WP7 has a lot of catching up to do. Though it's just around 10K for now, that number will surely shoot up once we see a Nokia phone with WP7 on it.

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Mar 12, 2011

Micromax, Karbonn mobile brands not a joke anymore

Saw someone having mobile phones of these brands and thought it was funny? Well you may not think of it as funny by the end of this year. The Indian mobile manufacturing industry is going big and by big I mean, globally. 
Upfront is Micromax which entered Mobile Handset Industry in 2008. It has recently seen a rise in market share. Micromax is the largest Indian domestic mobile handsets company in terms of units shipped during the quarter ended March 31, 2010 and the third largest mobile handset seller in India as at March 31, 2010. Micromax has 23 domestic offices across the country and international offices in Hong Kong, USA, Dubai and now in Nepal and has a revenue of 1600 crores. To get to the international standards is a difficult job, but Micromax has been brave enough. It released a Windows mobile based phone in the month of April last year, the W900. Running on the version 6.1 of the OS, maybe it wasn't the best of phones, but it was a sign of the times to come. It was pretty obvious that Micromax would also go the Android way and in the month of November 2010, came the Micromax A60. Just a start of things, it's also possible that we may see high end phones and tablets coming soon.
Next up in this list is Karbonn MobilesThe company's total investment in Indian consumer market is over $5 million and expects to gain Rs. 1000 Crore revenue in the current fiscal year. The company has tied up with leading semiconductor companies worldwide for their handsets and targets mainly the budget conscious consumers. The company currently has around 500 Service centers all over India with around 150 dedicated exclusively for Karbonn. Recently, the company made plans to buy a South Korean Android phone design specialist for about $40 million. Karbonn plans on targeting low-cost 3G phone markets in Latin America, Africa and South Asia. We'll have to wait and see how this deal will affect the Indian mobile manufacturing industry. 
Love them, hate them but you will definitely not be able to ignore them.

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Mar 10, 2011

Chrome10 is out, IE9 to appear on March 14th

"Speedier, simpler and safer: Chrome’s basics get even better" is what the Google Chrome blog has to say about the freshly baked Chrome 10. Google says that the web apps will now run
faster than ever and to be specific, it says 66% improvement in JavaScript performance. About the basics that Google is talking about, is an add-on to the settings interface. The blog said, "We’ve added a search box that shows you the settings you’re looking for, as you type.", that's a user-friendly move. Another little thing done is "password synchronization", that will allow users to sync their website passwords when they switch computers. Coming to security, Chrome10 has been empowered with sandboxing technology for the flash player. Sandboxing restricts external access to system registries through software components.

Now, why is the war getting hotter? Mozilla looks all set to release Firefox 4, the RC of which was released on monday with WebGL hardware acceleration. Microsoft gave an official confirmation that the long awaited final version of Internet Explorer 9 will show up on March 14th.

To download Chrome10 click here.

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Mar 9, 2011

Karbonn to buy South Korean Android phone design specialist

According to a report in Economic Times, Indian mobile manufacturer brand, Karbonn will buy a South Korean Android phone design specialist for about $40 million. “We will soon acquire 100% ownership in a reputed South Korean cellphone design house that is a specialist in Android smartphones,” Karbonn chairman Sudhir Hasija told ET but declined to divulge the name of the company. The Korean firm will design handsets and they will be tested at Karbonn’s Bangalore software development facility. Karbonn plans on targeting low-cost 3G phone markets in Latin America, Africa and South Asia. The company was founded in 2009 and it's investment in the Indian consumer market is over $5 million and expects to gain Rs. 1000 Crore revenue in the current fiscal year. Karbonn has it's overseas locations at South Asia, Middle East and South Africa. This venture will give a boost to the company's plans to launch Android smartphones and tablets.

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Mar 8, 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 named "Oneiric Ocelot"

Mark Shuttleworth, head of Ubuntu development at Canonical has mentioned the name of the November release of Ubuntu, it's "Oneiric Ocelot". In the post he said,  "Oneiric means “dreamy”, and the combination with Ocelot reminds me of the way innovation happens: part daydream, part discipline. Our desktop has come together beautifully, and in the next release we’ll complete the cycle of making it available to all users, with a 2D experience to complement the OpenGL based Unity for those with the hardware to handle it. The introduction of Qt means we’ll be giving developers even more options for how they can produce interfaces that are both functional and aesthetically delightful." Nokia recently sold Qt rights to Digia, so what it means for Ubuntu and KDE is something we'll have to wait to see.
Shuttleworth further added “Ubuntu is now shipping on millions of systems from multiple providers every year. It makes a real difference in the lives of millions, perhaps tens of millions, of people.”
According to me, the 10.04 version took a little leap considering performance and looks as well. The next version 11.04 appearing this April has something to speak for itself. Ubuntu will be using the Unity desktop instead of GNOME 3, the default music player will be banshee and the windowing system will be based on Wayland instead of the X Window.

Here's the first official Ubuntu ad released on October last year. Enjoy!

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Mar 6, 2011

Backup blues? A synchronizer is what you need

Do a lot of heavy downloading and then back it up on your external drive? After you have downloaded a month worth of stuff and then you finally decide to take a back up, you need to compare your stuff in both the places so that you make sure you don't copy duplicates. For anyone who finds this task a little uphill, here's a perfect solution, FreeFileSync. Simple, Light weight, cross-platform and a huge boon.
You can simply select your target folders in your PC and the external hard drive and then hit the compare button which will show you an overview of the files in both source and target folders.

 and once you've done that, you can hit Synchronize which will take you to the window below where you can choose the preferred option
  • Automatic: Identify and propogate changes on both sides using a database. Deletions and conflicts are detected automatically.
  • Mirror: Mirror backup of left folder; Right folder will be overwritten and exactly match left folder after the sync.
  • Update: Copy new or updated files to right folder.

Click here to download this software.

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Mar 4, 2011

iPad 2, WOW!

January 27 2010, Apple announces iPad. It gets to the market and becomes the leader in the tablet market; the other players spend the year 2010 keeping the iPad as the benchmark and as a outcome we see Android tablets all over the place(and must say that very competetive ones are out towards the end of 2010). While many may agree that there's nothing that can beat the iPad, Apple says "Yes we can" and finally the long-awaited iPad-2 is out and it's screaming "beat this"!
What's inside? Dual core A5 1GHz chip which is said to be twice as fast as it's predecessor; graphics are said to be 9 times better. No Thunderbolt connectivity though. The 8.8inch device(33% thinner than iPad) will be shipping on March 11th with the latest version of the iOS, 4.3. Here are two videos below, the first one is a hands-on by engadget and the second is a promo by Apple.

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