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.