Thursday, December 29, 2011

Intel Ivy Bridge Chips Launching Early April 2012

Intel may unveil its next generation of processors--nicknamed "Ivy Bridge"--in April, according to the latest reports. The Ivy Bridge chips for desktops and laptops promise a 37 percent performance increase over the current generation of Sandy Bridge processors.

The new Ivy Bridge CPUs use a 22-nanometer architecture, which makes them almost 30 percents smaller than the current chips, which use a 32nm architecture. Smaller chips mean lower power consumption (which is great for battery life) and more room for the integrated graphics chip. Ivy Bridge will support DirectX 11, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.0.

Taiwan-based trade publication DigiTimes reports that the first Ivy Bridge processors to launch will be quad-core desktop processors: the Core i7-3370 series and the Core i5-3570, 3550, and 3450. Because Ivy Bridge is backward-compatible with existing Sandy Bridge motherboards, desktop users should have an upgrade path available.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Google to Pay Mozilla $300M Annually in Search Deal

What's Firefox worth to Google? A cool $300 million a year, according to a Thursday report by AllThingsD.

Two days ago, Google and Mozilla announced that they had reached an agreement to keep Google as the default search engine in the Firefox browser. The pact was crucial to keeping the lights on at Mozilla, which in 2010 earned 84 percent of its $123 million in annual revenue from its Google search contract.

According to AllThingsD, Google will pay Mozilla nearly $300 million annually for another three years. Not surprisingly, Google's main competitor in the bid was Microsoft's money-losing Bing search engine, which currently has 15 percent of the U.S. search market, according to the latest comScore estimates.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Camera Captures Light in Motion

Hollywood has to resort to trickery to show moviegoers laser beams traveling through the air. That's because the beams move too fast to be captured on film. Now a camera that records frames at a rate of 0.6 trillion every second can truly capture the bouncing path of a laser pulse.

The system was developed by researchers led by Ramesh Raskar at MIT's Media Lab. Currently limited to a tabletop inside the group's lab, the camera can record what happens when very short pulses of laser light—lasting just 50 femtoseconds (50,000 trillionths of a second) long—hit objects in front of them. The camera captures the pulses bouncing between and reflecting off objects.  

Raskar says the new camera could be used for novel kinds of medical imaging, tracking light inside body tissue. It could also enable novel kinds of photographic manipulation. In experiments, the camera has captured frames roughly 500 by 600 pixels in size.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

AdBlock Plus defends decision to allow some ads

The developers of AdBlock Plus, an extension for Firefox that blocks advertising on websites, are trying to contain a brewing controversy over their decision to allow some non-flashy ads to be displayed by default.

On Tuesday, the Germany company Eyeo will release the 2.0 version of AdBlock Plus, which has a feature enabled by default that will not block ads that are, as company co-founder Till Faida puts it, not annoying. The feature, called "Allow non-intrusive advertising," can be turned off. 

"The feedback we've been getting over the years from users is 'We don't mind ads but they are too annoying," said Faida, who works with Wladimir Palant, the project lead for AdBlock Plus since 2006. 

"The feedback we get from webmasters is 'You're destroying our only revenue stream. We can't create content for free if our ads are blocked'," said Faida.  

The new feature will allow ads to be shown that are static with no animation or sound; those that are text-only without attention-grabbing images, and those that use at most one script that delays the loading of a page. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

MythBusters Test Launches Cannonball Into California Neighborhood

If there were an urban myth that suburban homes are impervious to becoming cannon fodder, it just got busted.

Two homes, a sidewalk and a van all took fire after a test for the show MythBusters went awry Tuesday and sent a cannonball out of a bomb range and into a nearby residential neighborhood in Dublin, California.

The cannonball, which took an unexpected bounce off a safety berm during the test, traveled 700 yards outside of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department bomb range where it was fired, hit a sidewalk, crashed through the front door of a home, traveled upstairs and went through the bedroom of a sleeping couple.

“They didn’t actually hear the cannonball come through the house, what woke them up was the settling of the sheetrock,” Alameda County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson told reporters after the incident.

MythBusters, the Discovery Channel show where hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman prove the validity (or lack thereof) of various commonly held beliefs, was running the test to determine if other materials could be fired from a cannon and have the same effect as a regular cannonball, Nelson said.

The cannonball didn’t stop in the sleeping couple’s bedroom. After leaving a 10-inch hole in their wall, it crossed four lanes of traffic and bounced off the roof of Ming Jiang, whose mother was watching his 10-month-old son inside his house.

“She had no idea what was going on — it was a very loud boom,” Jiang told reporters. “She thought a tree fell, or maybe a meteor, but it was not clear it was some cannonball that landed on a roof.”

The projectile finally crashed through the window of a minivan and landed in the vehicle. Surprisingly, no one was injured in the incident. Nelson told the San Francisco Chronicle that MythBusters had used the San Francisco Bay Area bomb range without incident for more than 50 episodes.

According to a statement released by the Discovery Channel to, Nelson is an explosives expert for the show and was on site for the test. “All proper safety protocol was observed,” the statement said, adding that the show’s producer, Beyond Productions, “is currently assessing the situation and working with those whose property was affected.”

Prior to the incident, show co-hosts Tory Belleci and Kari Byron had apparently tweeted images of themselves with various cannons, but those images have since been taken down. However, the photos have been posted online.

Heres a video with more details.


Friday, December 2, 2011

“Napster” No More

After being bought out in October by eternal archrival Rhapsody, music subscription service “Napster” has shut down. Heading to now gets you an explanation of what happened and a Rhapsody sales pitch.I put “Napster” in quotation marks–a practice I’ve followed, albeit inconsistently, for years–because the “Napster” that just died wasn’t really Napster. Napster was the peer-to-peer music sharing service founded by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker in 1999. It changed the world, and was sued out of business.

“Napster,” on the other hand, was a commercial enterprise–formerly known as Pressplay–that acquired the Napster name. The folks who did the rebranding presumably thought they were pretty smart, but I always thought it was a mistake. If you loved the original Napster, you probably didn’t want to pay a monthly fee for music. If you did want to pay for music, the “Napster” name sounded slightly disreputable. Either way, it smacked of false advertising and congitive dissonance. 

The fact that “Napster” petered out wasn’t shocking. Between Rhapsody, “Napster,” eMusic, Spotify, Rdio, Slacker, MOG, and Zune Pass–am I forgetting any?–there are a lot of subscription music services out there. Given that music with a monthly fee has never become a breakout hit, there may not be enough subscribers to go around. And for several years, “Napster” had felt like it was winding down rather than ramping up. (It was a latecomer to the iPhone, for instance.) 

I like subscription music–I happily pay for Rdio–and would like to see it catch on. The fact that the major services are on a bevy of devices–computers, phones, tablets, TVs, and devices like Sonos–certainly makes them more appealing. Are you paying for subscription music, and if so, from which service?


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Linux Mint 12 'Lisa' to Come with a Customized Gnome 3 Desktop

Linux Mint 12 'Lisa' will come with its own customized desktop and it will be based on Gnome 3. The core desktop will be based on a series of Gnome Shell extensions called “MGSE” (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions) that will provide a layer on top of Gnome 3.

The main features of MGSE are:

  • The bottom panel
  • The application menu
  • The window list
  • A task-centric desktop (i.e. you switch between windows, not applications)
  • Visible system tray icons
MGSE also includes additional extensions such as a media player indicator, and multiple enhancements to Gnome 3. Thus Linux Mint 12 will be more like a hybrid desktop balancing traditional desktop and new modern technologies.
Also Gnome 2 fork MATE can also make it to the live Linux Mint DVD if all the remaining integration issues are ironed out in time, thus providing users a side by side experience of both Gnome 2 and Gnome 3.


Monday, November 21, 2011

123456: The Worst Passwords of 2011

Internet users never learn. No matter how many times we hear about obvious, hackable passwords, people keep using them. And the situation doesn't seem to be getting better.Below is a list of the 25 worst passwords of 2011, compiled by SplashData. The security software developer generated the list from millions of actual stolen passwords, posted online by hackers. Not surprisingly, the most common passwords are also the worst, including "password," "123456" and "qwerty." Even passwords that seem kind of unique, like "trustno1" and "shadow" are actually quite common. And why does "monkey" always show up on these lists?

Anyway, here's the full list:

1. password
2. 123456
3. 12345678
4. qwerty
5. abc123
6. monkey
7. 1234567
8. letmein
9. trustno1
10. dragon
11. baseball
12. 111111
13. iloveyou
14. master
15. sunshine
16. ashley
17. bailey
18. passw0rd
19. shadow
20. 123123
21. 654321
22. superman
23. qazwsx
24. michael
25. football

SplashData has a few recommendations for keeping your data safe:

First, create a strong password consisting of letters, numbers and symbols. If you're worried about remembering long passwords, try using phrases of short words separated by underscores, such as "shiny_phones_rule_1." A phrase is easier to recall than a long, abstract mish-mash of characters.

Second, try not to spread the same password all over the Internet. At the very least, use separate passwords for important uses like online banking and e-mail. The last thing you want is for some poorly protected web forum to hold the same password as your bank account.To make things super-simple, you can also use password management software, such as LastPass, Roboform, eWallet, SplashID or the free KeePass. These programs remember your passwords, allowing you to create long, complex strings of letters and numbers that you otherwise wouldn't be able to remember.

                                                                                                Source :

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Version of Stoned Bootkit Said to Bypass Windows 8 Secure Boot

A security researcher who has in the past has created low-level rootkits capable of staying resident on an infected machine after reboots, said he has now accomplished the same feat on Windows 8, which hasn't even hit the shelves yet. Peter Kleissner said he has created a new version of his Stoned bootkit that defeats the pre-boot security checks included in the forthcoming OS and survives reboots.

Kleissner is known in the security community for his creation of the Stoned bootkit, a sophisticated form of rootkit that is designed to load from the master boot record and stay resident in memory throughout the boot process. The previous version of the bootkit was designed to work on Windows XP through Windows 7, but the new one that Kleissner has written also works on Windows 8. He said in a message on Twitter Thursday that Stoned Lite is a small footprint bootkit that can be loaded from either a USB stick or a CD.
He said he may also add some other functionality to the software in the near future.
"Might add in-memory patching of msv1_0!MsvpPasswordValidate, so it allows to log on with any password.. nothing new but nice and fancy," Kleissner said in a later Twitter message.

The pre-boot security mechanisms in Windows 8 have drawn a lot of scrutiny in recent months, particularly the fact that Microsoft is implementing a version of UEFI instead of the traditional BIOS. UEFI includes some functionality that allows Microsoft to require that any software loaded during the boot sequence of a Windows PC be signed by one of the keys loaded into the firmware. Open-source advocates have argued that the technology could allow the company to prevent users from loading alternate operating systems, but Microsoft and officials from the Linux Foundation have said that isn't necessarily the case.

Kleissner said that he notified Microsoft of his work and has given the company the source code of the bootkit and the paper he's written for a conference presentation.

Microsoft has not confirmed the details of Kleissner's claims.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Steam’s 35 Million Users Compromised in Hack

Gamers who use the digital distribution network Steam were warned that their account information may have been exposed to hackers following a compromise of the company's Web page and back end databases.  The incident yielded a slew of sensitive customer information, including user’s passwords and encrypted credit card numbers, Steam said.

The warning came after an investigation of a Web site defacement  that affected Steam's forums on November 6th. Hackers were able to bypass the message boards and access the site’s database, according to a message sent to the site’s users last night by Steam co-founder Gabe Newell.
The database contained customer’s user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card numbers, according to the note.

Newell urged users to keep tabs on their credit card activity and their account statements, but said that there’s no proof attackers took any sensitive information, as a precaution. 

As a result of the hack, all forum users will be required to change their passwords upon logging in, while regular users of Steam are being encouraged to do the same, especially if they use the same password on both accounts.

While it remains to be seen how much personal information was actually swiped from Steam’s database and how well certain passwords and credit card numbers were encrypted, it of course recalls Playstation Network’s mammoth breach from earlier this year.

When hackers made off with the information of more than 77 million members of the video gaming platform worldwide in April, it left the network reeling to cover its tracks and make good on security after a series of embarrassing missteps.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Mozilla Developers Testing Mobile OS

Mozilla has been experimenting with an interesting idea called Boot 2 Gecko. Essentially, B2G (as it’s called) is a mobile operating system based on the Web, as opposed to what the project’s wiki calls “proprietary, single-vendor stacks”. Mozilla has something there--open Web technologies indeed increasingly provide an intriguing platform for lots of things, mobile and otherwise.

The developers on the B2G project are looking at the following areas:

  • New web APIs: build prototype APIs for exposing device and OS capabilities to content (Telephony, SMS, Camera, USB, Bluetooth, NFC, etc.)
  • Privilege model: making sure that these new capabilities are safely exposed to pages and applications
  • Booting: prototype a low-level substrate for an Android-compatible device
  • Applications: choose and port or build apps to prove out and prioritize the power of the system

The B2G project is still pretty new, but according to the project roadmap, testing has already begun and will continue through the rest of 2011. Messaging, telephony, and battery aspects of the OS are underway, and contacts, screen/power management, and settings are either on track or scheduled. Testing for more features is in the offing.

As the end of 2011 quickly approaches (Thanksgiving is in two and half weeks away, people!), a more exciting milestone for the B2G project looms: a product demo, scheduled for sometime in the first quarter of 2012. We may see an actual product as early as the second quarter of 2012.

Mark your calendars, friends; we may be seeing a viable new player in the mobile OS market soon.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Angry Birds downloads pass half-billion mark

It started as a somewhat stupid, if entertaining, game (seriously, launching cartoon birds at thieving green pigs?).

But soon Angry Birds became an incredibly successful stupid, if entertaining, game. How successful? According to Finnish developer Rovio Mobile, Angry Birds has just surpassed the 500,000 download mark, making it one of the most successful games in the history of, um, gaming.
And that’s all in less than two years. Angry Birds first surfaced in December 2009 on Apple’s iOS. It proved such a runaway hit (with more than 12 million sales from Apple’s App Store) that Rovio rolled out versions for other platforms, including Google’s Android OS, Symbian, Windows, Mac OS X and PlayStation.

Not only that, the Angry Birds franchise has flown far beyond gaming platforms. Rovio says it has shipped more than 10 million Angry Birds toys worldwide and published numerous Angry Birds books.

Rovio also is set to open the first official Angry Birds retail shop in Helsinki. (Can Angry Birds restaurants and theme parks be far behind?)

Here’s Rovio chief executive Mikael Hed gushing about his company’s incredible fortune:
” This is a fantastic landmark achievement for us, and we’re extremely delighted to see such an incredible amount of people enjoying our games. We remain committed to creating more fun experiences and bringing exceptional quality to Angry Birds Fans everywhere.”

Beyond the half-million downloads, Rovio trotted out some other amazing Angry Birds metrics:
Angry Birds Fans around the world have so far played a total of 200,000 years of Angry Birds, with 300 million minutes of playing time daily. Moreover, more than 266 billion levels of Angry Birds have been played, with 400 billion birds launched into action, and over 44 billion Stars collected in the process.

Sounds like great fun. But think about all the potential productivity wasted on Angry Birds! If you look at the numbers above through the prism of the “10,000 hour Rule” -– which posits that the key to mastery of any discipline is to practice, practice, practice for roughly 10,000 hours –- well, let’s just say there’s a lot of “mastery” being left on the table (or mobile device, as it were) by people engrossed in Angry Birds.

On the other hand, if the hundreds of thousands of people addicted to Angry Birds had spent those countless hours improving their skills and lives -- perhaps achieving that elusive state of true self-actualization and maybe making a valuable, lasting contribution to society -- instead of lobbing cartoon digital birds at green pigs, I guess those 44 billion Stars wouldn't have been collected.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Google Launches Indoor 'Street View' Shots

Google is taking its Street View mapping service indoors. No, it won't capture you vegging out on your couch, but the feature will be exploring the interiors of certain businesses.A pilot program started in April 2010 and back in May, Google announced plans for 360-degree Business Photos, a program that would send Google photographers to various businesses to snap professional photos for their Places Page. A spokeswoman said today that "we're seeing renewed interest in the past few days because as promised, as more of the imagery becomes available, we're getting more of it online."

"This experience, using Street View technology, includes 360-degree imagery of the business interior and storefront," Google said back in May. "With this immersive imagery, potential customers can easily imagine themselves at the business and decide if they want to visit in person."

Photographs are taken by "trusted" photographers, Google said, though businesses can also upload their own images via Google Places. The company is currently setting up shoots in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Japan, France, and the UK. In the U.S., that includes Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Austin, D.C., Boston, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. Google said it is starting with businesses "that we know are searched for most regularly," like restaurants, hotels, retail shops, gyms, salons, and repair shops.

If you want your business photographed, you can apply online. Google will own the photos it takes, but businesses can request to have shots they don't like removed.Naturally, taking internal photos and posting them online brings up some security questions. But Google said its photographs will "capture nothing different to what a customer would see by visiting the business in real life." The search giant asked that stores notify customers about the photo shoot by putting up signs so they don't inadvertently end up in the background of a shot.

If someone does end up in the photograph, "we'll either run the 360-degree imagery through our state-of-the-art blurring technology to blur out faces of any employees and customers who appear in the imagery, or we won't publish the still photos if people are in view," Google said. "Remember, only people with the authority to make agreements on behalf of the business can submit an application for photography, and by submitting the application you're confirming that you have that authority and that you will follow the steps set out here."

The main Street View feature, meanwhile, has made headlines recently for privacy concerns abroad. In May, Google voluntarily opted out of enlarging its Street View program within Germany. Last year, Italian officials required Google to provide adequate warnings about when its Street View vehicles would be passing through. A month before, Google was banned from expanding Street View in the Czech Republic due to security concerns. Not everyone is hesitant, though. In August, Google said Street View will expand to Israel.

Heres an example.   


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Firefox's built-in PDF reader

Not long ago, Mozilla coders announced that they were starting to build PDF.js, a way to display Acrobat documents in the browser using pure web code. No longer will you have to fight with an external PDF plug-in in Firefox. Huzzah!

Mozilla’s PDF reader for Firefox is quite different from the one Google ships in Chrome. The Chrome PDF plug-in makes use of code written by the folks at Foxit. It’s not, therefore, part of the open-source Chromium code. Firefox, on the other hand, is developed completely in the open — and that’s the case with all its components as well. Pdf.js source code is available for download from GitHub if you’d like to check out its inner workings or integrate the code into your own projects.

As far as functionality goes, the built-in PDF reader in Firefox offers pretty well the same experience to users as the one in Chrome. Documents load quickly, font rendering is good (though not razor sharp in all cases), and printing works flawlessly.

Not all of Adobe’s advanced features are supported — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when you look at the number of security incidents related to PDFs in 2010 and 2011. You’ll still be able to read the majority of the PDFs on the web, anyway, and all through the magic or pure, open web code!

Development is still on the way but you can already try it out.
The restart-free add-on is available from the GitHub repository — just download the .XPI in Firefox and click to install.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Biggest Hack in Swedish History Affects Politicians, Journalists Among Others

Login credentials for nearly 200,000 individuals, most Swedish citizens, have been exposed in what experts are calling the largest data breach in that country's history.

According to a report from The Local, a Sweden-based, English language news publication, a popular Swedish blogging platform, Bloggtoppen, was hacked with login information for around 60 Web sites hosted on that platform - an estimated 90,000 account passwords - made public via the twitter account of a 23 year-old Swedish Parliamentarian, William Petzail.

Petzail, who is currently hospitalized, involuntarily, on account of his struggle with alcohol and prescription drugs is not believed to be responsible for the breach.

Petzail’s lawyer contends his client’s Twitter account was hijacked and that he is not responsible for publishing the information.
Blogtoppen’s operator, Jimmy Holmund, told the another Swedish publication, TT news agency that the hack was the result of “a weakness in the code that lies behind the service". Blogtoppen has since been shut down and will remain offline “until further notice”, according to a notice posted on the site.

Local reports note that prominent journalists and members of Sweden’s Liberal Party were exposed in the leak. Though news of the breach broke this week, local reports note that much of the exposed information was made public in August by a Twitter user operating under the handle, “sc3a5j.” The hacker responsible for that account claims he published the information to make users aware that their information was not being handled properly. However, the breach went largely unnoticed until the information was posted to Petzail’s account.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Galaxy Nexus vs iPhone 4S vs Droid RAZR

Google’s Galaxy Nexusis the latest addition to this year’s hot smartphone line-up, alongside the iPhone 4S and the Droid RAZR. Unveiled last night, the Galaxy Nexus, manufactured by Samsung, embodies Google’s idea of the perfect smartphone, together with the brand-new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich mobile OS.
But does the Galaxy Nexus stand a chance against Apple’s iPhone 4S, which is currently selling like hot cakes, or the skinny Droid RAZR, also unveiled this week?

The first thing you’ll notice on the Galaxy Nexus is the huge, curved 4.65-inch display, which is larger than the 4.3-inch one found on the Droid RAZR, and considerably bigger than the 3.5-inch display on the iPhone 4S. The Galaxy Nexus display doesn’t skimp on pixel density either; it has a 1280- by-720 pixel resolution, the highest in the comparison. The iPhone display however, still retains the highest pixel density at 330 ppi, a slight lead over the 316 ppi screen of the Galaxy Nexus.

The Galaxy Nexus is also very thin, but not thinner than the Droid RAZR (8.84 mm on the Nexus compared to 7.1 mm on the RAZR), which makes the iPhone 4S look a bit bulky at 9.3 mm. The Droid RAZR is also the lightest smartphone out of the bunch at 127 grams, while the iPhone 4S is the most compact given its smaller screen size.

Inside, the Galaxy Nexus, the Droid RAZR and the iPhone 4S run on the latest dual-core processors, namely 1.2GHz dual-core on the Android side, and 1GHz dual-core on the iPhone 4S. The Android phones also run on 1GB of RAM, while the iPhone 4S features half that amount. As for storage, all three phones come with 16GB of built-in memory, so you have plenty of space for your apps and media. The Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S come in 32GB flavors, too, or even up to 64GB at the high end for the 4S, which doesn’t have a MicroSD card slot for expandable storage. The Droid RAZR also comes with a 16GB MicroSD card included, so the total of bundled storage is bumped to 32GB.

In the multimedia department, you won’t run out of options with either of these phones. The Droid RAZR and the iPhone 4S have 8-megapixel cameras at the back that can record full HD 1080p video. The Galaxy Nexus can also record 1080p video, but, surprisingly, Samsung put only a 5-megapixel shooter on Google’s phone, which is less than what we have seen on other phones from the manufacturer, such as the Galaxy SII. All three phones also have video chat cameras on the front.

If you’re looking for extra tricks from your phone, the Galaxy Nexus might be what you’re looking for. Out of the three phones, the Nexus is the only device with Near Field Communication support, which allows you to make wireless payments (at a small, but growing list of retailers), as well as to beam contacts, websites, apps or maps to other NFC-enabled devices by just bringing the phones together and making them touch.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Pi Computed To 10 Trillion Digits

A Japanese programmer that goes by the handle JA0HXV announced that he has computed Pi to 10 Trillion Digits. This breaks the previous world record of 5 trillion digits. Computation began in October of 2010 and finished yesterday after multiple hard disk problems, he said. 

Details in English are not fully available yet, but heres the link to the Japanese page.
JA0HXV has held computation records for Pi in the past.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 is here

Ubuntu received a major update today. The developers behind the popular Linux distribution released version 11.10, codenamed Oneiric Ocelot. The update brings a wide range of improvements, including some much-needed enhancements to Ubuntu's Unity Shell.

New Ubuntu releases are issued every six months in conformance with the distribution's time-based development cycle. The agenda for version 11.10 was announced back in March, shortly before the release of version 11.04. Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth chose the codename Oneiric Ocelot to reflect the 11.10 cycle's dual emphasis on daydreams and discipline.

The 11.04 release was a major milestone because it introduced some radical changes to the Ubuntu desktop experience. Like you should know, Unity exhibited enormous potential but fell short of expectations due to some weak areas. During the past six months, the developers have been working hard to close key gaps in the shell implementation.

As a result of their efforts, the Unity environment feels more robust in Ubuntu 11.10. The solid support for a work-alike 2D fallback for the shell is a particularly big step forward, ensuring that users can still get the Unity experience even if their graphics hardware doesn't support compositing.

The Unity dash is a bit cleaner in 11.10 and gained a new panel for music search and playback that is designed to integrate with the Banshee audio player. The menus in the top right-hand corner of the screen have been streamlined and reorganized so that they are easier to navigate.

Although Unity has come a long way, there are still some areas where mediocre design compromises Unity's intended usability advantages. The eccentric application launcher, for example, is still a sore spot in an otherwise elegant desktop.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple iPhone 4S Preoders Top One Million in 24 Hours

While the iPhone 5 was a no-show, consumers still seem just as interested in pre-ordering the latest Apple handset.

Apple announced pre-orders of its iPhone 4S have topped one million in a single day, surpassing the previous single day pre-order record of 600,000 held by iPhone 4.The iPhone 4S is the company’s latest smartphone and comes with new features including Apple’s dual-core A5 chip an all new camera with advanced optics full 1080p HD resolution video recording and Siri, an intelligent assistant application that helps users get things done by asking it questions “We are blown away with the incredible customer response to iPhone 4S,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing. “The first day pre-orders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched and we are thrilled that customers love iPhone 4S as much as we do.”

The iPhone 4S will be available at all 245 Apple retail stores in the U.S. starting Friday, October 14. Every customer who buys an iPhone 4S at an Apple retail store will also be offered free Personal Setup service, helping them customize their iPhone 4S by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store and more.

The smartphone also includes iOS 5, Apple’s latest edition of its mobile operating system with over 200 new features, and iCloud, a set of free cloud services that work with a user’s iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC to automatically and wirelessly store content in iCloud and push it to all user devices.

The iPhone 4S comes in either black or white and will be available—with a two-year rate plan-- in the U.S. for a suggested retail price of $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model and $399 for the new 64GB model. The handset will be available from the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and select Best Buy, Target and Walmart stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. The last version of the device, the iPhone 4, is available for just $99 and the iPhone 3GS is available for free with a two-year contract, the company noted. 

Although Apple’s press event to launch the next iPhone disappointed some Apple fans who were expecting the release of the mythical “iPhone 5”, most analysts were sufficiently satisfied with the latest iteration of the popular smartphone. "While the form factor does not have a bigger screen or thinner body, the processor improvements, HSPA+ [Evolved High-Speed Packet Access] speeds [particularly beneficial for AT&T and European subscribers] should drive a large number of upgrades, especially as outside the U.S. LTE [Long-Term Evolution] deployments are not being rushed," said Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Microsoft updates on the way.

So, is this really news?

Microsoft is set to release eight bulletins in the October edition of Patch Tuesday. Two of the bulletins are rated as critical while the remaining six were given important ratings.
The critically affected software includes Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Silverlight, Microsoft Windows, and Internet Explorer. Windows also has vulnerabilities rated as important, as does Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway and Microsoft Host Integration Server.
Unpatched machines will be susceptible to remote code execution, elevation of privileges, and denial of service attacks.
Check out their website on October 11 for the full Patch Tuesday release. Microsoft will also hold a webcast Tuesday at two PM Eastern Time (11 AM Pacific Time) to address customer questions regarding the patches.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Are You disappointed by yesterdays Apple event?

Well while most people were waiting for the new Iphone 5 they didnt showed it to us yet. Instead they showed us an updated version of the Iphone4. Iphone 4S.
This new upgrade will have an A5 dual core chip (also used in Ipad2).
It will support both GSM and CDMA, the camera has now 8 megapixels (60% more than the previous one).

The biggest new however is Siri.
Voice control is by no means a new concept, but interpreting what has been said and working out the context is something that has not been fully explored on a mobile device before.
Google is doing great work with its own voice software, but Siri appears to have taken things to a new level.

For a great comparation between the smarphone elite check out this

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Amazon's Cloud Gives Its New Browser an Unfair Edge

Among the features announced with Amazon's new Kindle Fire tablet is an unexpected and innovative new piece of software: a Web browser called Amazon Silk that taps into Amazon's enormous cloud infrastructure to speed up the delivery of content to a mobile device.

 See the whole article here:

The Silk browser—developed for Amazon's Kindle Fire—could make for the fastest mobile browsing experience yet

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 holder comes with bike attached

For a tablet that prides itself in being thin and lightweight, the latest Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 accessory sure adds considerable heft to the device. The Korean manufacturer's UK branch has teamed up with 14 Bike Co to bring the world the Samsung Galaxy bicycle -- a mild-mannered bike with a custom paint job and a detachable holder for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 made from carbon fiber. So, why carry a tablet on a bicycle? For checking things like mileage planners and route trackers on the go, apparently. No word on pricing yet, but we're guessing that this'll be among the more expensive tablet accessories out there.

First Post

In this blog I will be posting some tech related news as a part time.
Tomorrow is the new Iphone 5 release date so stay tuned.