Jun 29, 2011

Google goes social, 'Google Plus' is here

Remember all the speculations few months ago about Google's rumored social product "Google Circle", well it turns out the rumors weren't way off, but Circles isn't a product, it's one of the main features of Google's new "project" Google Plus. Not ready for everyone yet, but you could request an invite here, for the overview of the features, click here and to have a demo tour, click here





Now, Google + has mainly 5 core features along with many others namely, Circles, Sparks, Hangouts, Instant Upload and Huddle. Ok, so one at a time.


Circles: This is basically, organizing your contacts into groups. Contacts from your GMail will pop up and you can just drag and drop. Doing so, will help better sharing of right info with the right people. It kinda feels like Google has emphasized on this feature of Google +. Something like a stand out feature which of course, exists in Facebook and other social platforms, but may not be so intuitive and fun to use.


Sparks: It's the “sharing engine”. “Great content leads to great conversations,” Vic Gundotra told TechCrunch. So that sums it up. The user searches for a topic over Google and Sparks lets him see real time results, blog posts about it and then add it to to the interests list to refer to it whenever required.


Hangouts: Google pointed out in the interview with TechCrunch, that not many people use Video chat even though they have all the resources. With Hangouts, you let people in a particular circle know that you're interested in a video chat and then people in the same Circle can have something like a video conference, 10 users at a time.


Instant Upload: This feature mainly saves you the trouble of uploading your photo to the web from your Android device. While you are clicking photos and taking videos, Instant Upload will automatically upload it, so you can have the Circle of your choice be able to see them.


Huddle: This is a group text messaging app which works with Android, iPhone allowing you to send SMS to a particular circle. TechCrunch asked Bradley Horowitz, why Google wouldn't use "Disco", the group messaging app built by Google; the former just got a smile in return.


Then there is the Stream, which is your usual Facebook like News Feeds, which shows what people have shared.






What Google has attempted to do with Google + is, create a whole Google ecosystem, which takes advantage of the fact that if you are a person who cannot make it through the day without making a Google search, uses products like GMail, Picasa, Gtalk, share stuff you like with +1, use an Android phone, then you will most likely use Google Plus as well.

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Jun 27, 2011

Fedora 15 Review [video]

Well I might be a little late to post a review. But I came across this video which will take you through the stylish new GNOME 3 desktop environment.



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Jun 26, 2011

iPad still far ahead from Android tablets [country wise stats]

According to calculations made by Business Insider, based on the stats by comScore it's quite clear that iPad is the leading tablet in most countries and far ahead from the reach of those powered by Android which rank second.


The stats by comScore showed the internet traffic in countries(device-wise) where Non-PC devices were popular. India was one of the countries featured in the stats. China didn't make it to the list indicating that Android must be doing pretty well there.



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Jun 25, 2011

Conan O'Brien amuses viewers at the cost of Apple's Final Cut Pro X [video]

The host of a talk show, Conan O'Brien took time to speak about the recently released newer version of Apple's famous video editing software Final Cut Pro. While it looks like Conan's editors actually support the newer  version, they go on to joke about it by creating a video for "voicing their support". The video which is said to be made using the software, contains hiccups, black outs, audio discrepancies and the like.


The whole thing comes after many reviewers said that the newer version was very different from it's predecessor. Here's the video segment from the show. Enjoy!



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Jun 24, 2011

Moto Xoom is on sale in India [prices]

Both the versions of the Motorola Xoom i.e, the wifi+3G and the wifi only model are now on sale on flipkart. Motorola hasn't officially announced it in India yet.


The price tag attached, reads:

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Nokia's first Windows phone 'Sea Ray' [video]

Technet released a video earlier, showing Nokia's CEO at an event where he gives the first glimpses of the Nokia's Windows Phone. Coming to the build of the phone, it has striking similarities to the recently launched Nokia N9.


In the video Elop asks the audience to put down all of their cameras and recording devices because he was going to share with them something "super confidential". So much for the hype eh? I wish he would've done atleast half of it for the MeeGo phone, which seems to be looking parentless at the moment.


Here's the 21 minute video, the first glimpse of the phone is seen at 1:58. Also jump to 14:10 to see Mr. Elop speaking about the company's priorities quite frankly. One quality I've always been impressed with.


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Jun 22, 2011

WordPress detects backdoors, resets passwords

WordPress said in a blogpost, that it detected suspicious commits on popular plugins like AddThis, WPtouch, and W3 Total Cache which contained backdoors in them. They claim to have rolled back the commits and shut down the access to the plugin repository.


As a measure WordPress has reset all passwords and you need to recover the new password by providing the usernames.

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Jun 21, 2011

Nokia announces MeeGo based N9 [specs and video]

Here we are finally, Nokia just killed all the anticipation, by announcing it's Nokia N9 based on the MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan. Now, we know Nokia has chosen WP7 as it's primary smartphone, but Stephen Elop had promised that it will be releasing a MeeGo based phone and so far it doesn't seem like the phone was released just to keep up the promise. It's made up of pretty good stuff and also the UI looks beautiful.


Here are the specs of the phone:
Dimensions would be 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1 mm, 76 cc and weighing 135 g


DISPLAY:
Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 854 pixels, 3.9 inches
- Gorilla glass display
- Anti-glare polariser
- Multi-touch input method
- Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
- Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate

It'll sport a 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU, PowerVR SGX530 GPU. Camera will be an 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels with Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, dual LED flash.



You might say the mobile OS sector is getting a little crowded now. But if it's really worth it, then MeeGo surely deserves a good chance. Critics say that this might be the one and only MeeGo phone that will be released by Nokia, ever. That may possibly be the case, but if Nokia decides to show interest in MeeGo, it's still not too late But anyway it gives developers a guinea pig. Apps built on the Qt SDK 1.1.2 will be compatible; HTML5 support is built in as well.

Here's the one by engadget.com



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Jun 16, 2011

Apple launches "Back to School" campaign

Yes, you heard it. If Microsoft caught your attention a month ago with it's "Buy a PC for a college and get an XBox360 free" campaign, Apple will too. Apple just brought out it's "Back to school" campaign which says "Buy a Mac for college and get $100 to spend on the Mac App Store". No fancy ads featuring game characters yet, but instead Apple suggests apps which'll help you out with studying, assignments and of course a few games.


Here's how it works: When you buy a new qualifying Mac with Apple education pricing* from June 16, 2011, through September 20, 2011, you’ll get a $100 Back to School Card to use on the Mac App Store, the App Store, the iTunes Store, and the iBookstore. With the dip in PC sales last quarter, the launch of OS X Lion, something tells me Apple will do very well the next quarter. I'm really hoping for a commercial with references to a similar campaign.

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Jun 15, 2011

Google launches Search by voice, Image search [video]

With the announcement at the Inside Search event, Google confirmed two new services Search by voice(which was expected, as Google had said earlier that newer Chrome versions will support it) and also Image search. Search by voice is similar to what Android phones had to offer. The feature is now rolling out to users at google.com.


The search by image feature allows you to drag and drop images or type the url of the image to get search results out of it; also with a chrome or firefox extension, you can just right click on the image and click "search Google with this image".


Also check out the demo done by mashable.com. See what it returns for "Bing"



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Jun 14, 2011

Nexus S, Desire Z and more phones see huge price cut in India

In the span of a week or so, there are 4 worthy smartphones that have seen a huge dip in  prices. First up is the Google Nexus S. Launched in India for about 28K in the month of April in India, now available for 20K at Flipkart. The first Android phone to have NFC and also the first one to get Gingerbread. Nexus devices are also the first to get OS updates. It hosts the competitive 1GHz Hummingbird processor and at that price you're never going to get a better one. It's a little confusing as to why Samsung would do that, considering the launch of it's dual-core  Galaxy S II in India, which has got great reviews so far.



Next in the line is HTC Desire Z. The successor of the very successful HTC Desire, along with a qwerty keyboard. It has a 800MHz processor but is a great performer and is said to have great battery life as well. For all you qwerty keyboard lovers, this phone which was launched in India with a tag of 26K, at 17K today it's worth every penny. Click here to see the deal.

Also the price of HTC Desire has been slashed to just 15K. Here's a comparison of specs of the two HTC phones.

Next is Motorola's super strong bodied Defy, launched in India for 18.5K is now available here for just 15K.

Call it the season of price cuts or whatever, but this is got to be the best time to grab that smartphone you always wanted. Watch this space for updates on more price cuts.


Update:
HTC just said on it's Facebook page that the HTC Desire will not be getting the gingerbread update. I guess that more or less explains the price cut.

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Jun 11, 2011

Les Paul Doodle to be up on a web page forever

Loved playing the guitar on the 9th of June on the Les paul Google doodle? Well here's some good news; you will be able to continue playing it on web page created by google.



I can't really recall any other Google Doodle creating such a buzz(atleast worldwide) as that created by the Guitar doodle created on the occasion of the 96th birthday of American jazz and country guitarist Les Paul. The craze was shown by the numerous tweets by people around the world with the hashtags #googledoodle and #LesPaul.


With all the tweets flying around, even google tweeted saying that they'll hold the doodle up for one more day; and then another tweet saying that it's now up, forever. Happy Guitaring! 

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Jun 10, 2011

Microsoft releases Android app porting package

The very first thing I would do while comparing two platforms is, see the app capabilities on each of them, and for any new platform to excel, it sure needs to make sure that it has apps that are well liked on other popular platforms. After getting great reviews about WP7 since it's Mango update, Microsoft is looking ahead at the next aspect, the apps.


While the app growth for WP7 is steady, it's not enough when you compare it with the Apple's App store and Android Market. Yesterday, MS released a package for Android developers to learn the WP and port their apps to it.




The package consists of:
In the post, MS also promises to support developers with interoperability issues with somebody named the "App guy"; and why should you be doing all this? here's from the post:
"...And although you might have a preferred language, opening your mind to others will bring considerable value to your abilities and your resume." Woah! that was deep.

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Jun 7, 2011

Mac OS X Lion, get ready to fall in love [features] [video]

Here's a confession: The only thing that I was interested in the Apple's WWDC this year was iOS 5. Ok, maybe a bit of the iCloud as well, but that's it. But here we are, post WWDC and I admit that I'm amazed with something else. The OS X Lion.


The OS will be available in July only at the Mac App Store for $29.99. 250 new features is what Apple is saying, 10 of them were featured at the WWDC, which you will be able to see in the video below. Apple says the features are also inspired from the iPad (mainly gestures). Interestingly, the first look of 'Windows 8' gave a feel that it was inspired from WP7. But Apple has proved yet again, that having it's own hardware and having it integrate deeply with it's Operating System gives it an edge over Microsoft.


The features that I loved are:
  • Multi touch based gestures
  • Apps in full screen
  • Versions
  • AirDrop
See all of those and more in the video below. Enjoy!


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Jun 6, 2011

Accessing linux partition from Windows [app]

If there was a tech genie asking "wish for an app", then out of my numerous wishes, then I would definitely fit in  one which would help me access my ext partition(the one on which your linux OS is sitting) from Windows. It's a usual thing for me to download stuff or save a doc file in the "Downloads" or "Documents" folders while I'm using Kubuntu and then when I'm using Windows, there's no way to access them without actually booting into Kubuntu.


I came across this post at OMGUbuntu about an app named "Ext2Read" which will kinda solve this wish of mine. This open source app lets you access files from Ext2, ext3 or ext4 partitions and save them in a location of your choice within Windows.





OMGUbuntu lists a few drawbacks of this app, which I feel will be solved in the upcoming versions. Nevertheless, seems like a handy app. To download it for free click here

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Jun 3, 2011

Windows 8 Preview [video]

On the 1st of June at the D9 conference, Microsoft took time to show off the UI of the upcoming version of Windows codenamed Windows 8. Clearly the OS looks optimized for touch screens but a post in the website says it'll work well on laptops and desktops as well.


MS talks about the following UI aspects:

Fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.
Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps.
Fluid, natural switching between running apps.
Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows.
Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC.
Fully touch-optimized browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10.

The UI kinda resembles the tiles present in Microsoft's mobile OS, WP7. Take a look at it, yourself.

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Jun 2, 2011

Twitter's new Image Search; all for the iOS 5? [rumor] [video]

Twitter used the D9 conference to launch it's new Image and video search feature on wednesday. Now, when a user searches for a hashtag/keyword, he/she will also be able to see relevant images and videos.


The search feature will be rolled out gradually to users. For those who already have this feature on their twitter accounts will observe that running a search shows a new column added labelled "Top images and Top videos" and clicking on "view all" will take the user to a gallery showing thumbnails of all images and also a slideshow view which will show full sized image along with the associated tweet.


This feature comes a few days after the rumor that Apple's iOS 5 will have a "Send to Twitter" button baked into the OS which will allow iPhone users to quickly post their images to Twitter; that and a whole lot of features are expected to roll out at the WWDC next week. While the iPhone 5 launch looks unlikely, Steve Jobs will launch Apple's cloud services named "iCloud" and give a preview of the future of Mac OS X as well.



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