Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry christmas and happy new year.

It is time for real life socializing and we will be back in new year. happy holidays to all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Galaxy S II gets an extra SIM card slot in China

According to, Samsung will be releasing a dual SIM variant of it's flagship smartphone, Galaxy S II. Named Galaxy S II Duos (I929), this new phone will support CDMA and GSM networks. There isn't much difference in specs. 

iPhone share goes up in USA and UK, down in other parts

Apple iPhone's marketshare in USA and UK went up by 10% during the last quarter (compared to previous year). In USA, iPhone commands 36% of marketshare while in UK, it went up to 31%. However, marketshare for iPhone has started to decline in other markets around the world (albeit few exceptions like China) where Android smartphones are commanding huge marketshare. The effect is more in Europe where buyers are a bit more price conscious these days, thanks to economic volatility. Research firms expect Apple to bounce back in current quarter, thanks to release of iPhone 4S and the holiday shopping season.

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Google+ grows to 67 million users

According to comScore, Google+ has got 67 million unique visitors in October. Even though the number too far away from Facebook's 1.43 billion visitors in October, it indeed is a good sign, showing that the social network is indeed growing (though at a snail pace).

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Acer's 699$ ultrabook (rumor). Start of a new era?

Acer and ASUS pioneered low cost netbook. While ASUS went to build a strong lineup of notebooks, thanks to the reliability and low failure rate, Acer on the other hand relied on low cost notebooks/netbooks for too long and are getting fierce competition for tablets.

If the rumors are true, Acer might kickstart a new era in notebook computing. Every laptop maker has shifted focus to ultrabook category (thanks to Macbook Air), eyeing it as having most potential in the future. Acer seems to merge ultrabook and netbook categories and create a low cost notebook that works like Ultrabook but with netbook's pricing (almost). The product is supposed to be unveiled during the CES event and may release for 700$. Will Acer do something that no other manufacturer was able to do (due to high product costs for Ultrabooks), we will get to know in January.
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Sony announces PS Vita game titles, accessories and memory card prices

PlayStation Vita: North America Launch Line-Up

The following is the list of titles available for PS vita on launch:

SCEA Launch Day Titles
Escape Plan (PSN Only)
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
Hustle Kings (PSN Only)
Little Deviants
ModNation Racers: Road Trip
Super StarDust Delta (PSN only)
UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss
wipEout 2048

Launch Window Titles
Gravity Rush
MLB 12 The Show
Reality Fighters
Unit 13
Third Party Publisher Launch Day Titles
Army Corps of Hell Square Enix, Inc.
Asphalt Injection Ubisoft, Inc.
BEN10 GALACTIC RACING D3 Publisher of America
Blazblue: Continuum Shift EXTEND Aksys Games Localization, Inc.
Dungeon Hunter Alliance Ubisoft, Inc.
Dynasty Warriors Next Tecmo Koei America Corporation
F1 2011 Codemasters
EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer Electronic Arts, Inc.
Lumines Electronic Symphony Ubisoft, Inc.
Michael Jackson The Experience Ubisoft, Inc.
Plants vs. Zombies (PSN Only) Sony Online Entertainment LLC
Rayman Origins Ubisoft, Inc.
Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Tales of Space: Mutant Blobs (PSN Only) Drinkbox Studios
Touch My Katamari Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Capcom Entertainment, Inc.
Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition Sega of America

Launch Window Titles
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. Inc.
Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention NIS America, Inc.
NINJA GAIDEN ∑ PLUS Tecmo Koei America Corporation
Ridge Racer Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Silent Hill Book of Memories Konami Digital Ent. America, Inc.
Supremacy MMA: Unrestricted 505 Games

Sony has also announced the prices of memory card that is compatible with PS Vita:

4GB: $19.99
8GB: $29.99
16GB: $59.99
32GB: $99.99

Few other accessories available during launch:

Starter Kit with Memory Card : $39.99
 In-Ear Headset : $19.99
 Carrying Case : $19.99
 Travel Pouch : $19.99
 Protective Film (2 pack) : $9.99
 Card Case : $5.99
 Cradle : $19.99
 Portable Charger (available in Spring 2012) :  $49.99
 AC Adaptor : $14.99
 Car Adaptor (available in Spring 2012) :  $14.99
 USB Cable : $14.99

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Galaxy Tab 8.9 gets Icecream Sandwich port

XDA devs rock, ain't they? Head here if you are desperately waiting for Icecream Sandwich on your Galaxy Tab 8.9. But do note that Wi-Fi doesn't work yet. Here is a log from XDA:

What works:
Hardware Acceleration, Tested angry birds and it works, transitions seem to fly!
GPS works!, a bit slow but since wifi doesn't yet I have no agps data

What Doesn't
Green flashing screen (on mine, not poisike)

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A million paid users, 10 million songs per day for Rhapsody

Online subscription music service Rhapsody has crossed a million paid subscribers. Also, there are around 10 million songs played everyday.

"We've accomplished quite a bit over the past decade, so it's no small statement to say that 2011 was probably our biggest year yet," John Irwin, who shaved his head celebrating the achievement (as promised to users) said in a statement. "I told our team that when we topped one million paid subscribers, I'd shave my was probably the best free haircut I've ever had." 

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KDE 4.8 RC is available for download

KDE 4.8 Release Candidate is now available for download here. The following are the highlights of KDE 4.8, courtesy

  •      Qt Quick in Plasma Workspaces -- Qt Quick is making its way into the Plasma Workspaces, the new Plasma Components provide a standardized API implementation of widgets with native Plasma Look and Feel. The device notifier widget has been ported to using these components and is now written in pure QML. KWin's window switcher is now also QML-based, paving the way for newly designed window switchers.
  • Dolphin's file view has been rewritten for better performance, scalability and more attractive visual appearance.
  • KSecretService optionally enables a shared password storage, therefore making your saved passwords available to many other applicatios, leading to a more secure system and better integration of non-KDE apps into the Plasma Workspaces and KDE apps into non-Plasma workspaces.
  • Many performance improvements and bugfixes improve the overall user experience, making the KDE Applications and Workspaces more productive and fun to use than ever before.


Google books for Chrome get offline support

You should now be able to read those books that you got from Google books, even when you are offline, thanks to the udpated Google books for Chrome extension. This is how you enable offline reading for a book using the extension:

1. Hover over a book and you will see a dialogue box asking your whether to open the book or to enable offline reading
2. Once you select 'offline mode', download of the book will start
For more information on offline reading (android/weblink etc), head here.
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R.I.P Jacob Goldman, Xerox PARC founder

Jacob Goldman, the founder of the 'rich neighbour to Microsoft and Apple' died on Tuesday. He was 90 years old. It is sad to see that the death of head of Research Center that pioneered and/or invented modern technology like Graphical User Interface operated using mouse, object-oriented programming, laser printing, ethernet, ubiquitous computing, VLSI is ignored by the world whereas death of few visionaries was overhyped and over-emotional.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nuance adds Dragon Dictation to Swype, says "Go Ninja"

This video is a fun to watch. As you can see, Swype, one of the best qwerty keypads now gets Dragon dictation, thanks to Nuance (hope your remember that Swype was acquired by Nuance few months ago). Once the update is installed, you can just click on the flame (voice enabler) and dictate text instead of swyping on the qwerty. And guess what, Dragon Dictation  supports English, French, Italian, German and Spanish as of today but Nuance is going to add support for 50+ languages in near future.

Go Ninja!

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Kindle for iOS gets update, a big one

Amazon's Kindle ebook reader application for iOS has received a major update, most changes targeting iPad and here is the change list:

  • iPad application gets a new design layout for magazines and now have access to over 400 magazines and newspapers (that are on Kindle Fire). Users can buy a single issue or subscribe to popular magazines and newspapers. 
  • Read print replica textbooks
  • Email documents to send-to-kindle email address to deliver the same to your iOS device. In case you want to download the doc again, you can download from Amazon's cloud storage
  • Open PDFs from Mail or Safari by sending them to send-to-kindle mail address or by transferring from iTunes.

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Evernote Clearly extension for Firefox released

Evernote Clearly extension is used to remove all the clutter from a webpage, usually very useful for reading blogs etc (removes ads and unnecessary content). This extension was first released for Google Chrome browser and today, Evernote has made the extension available for Firefox. You can download and install the extension from here.

Here is a short video showing the features of Clearly:

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Ice cream sandwich served with SenseUI for HTC Sensation XE

Robocik, at XDA Developer forum had released a new custom ROM for HTC Sensation XE  that is based on Android 4.0 (Icecream Sandwich) with SenseUI on top.

  • Base - 3.06.401.101 Sensation XE, Android 4.0.1
  • Kernel - Stock, 3.0.13-g8085863 htc-kernel
  • Face unlock
  • Movie Studio
  • Added Keyboard pop up animation. THX Capy
  • EVO Latin IME (standard android keyboard)
  • As stock as possible, for now.

Known bugs:
  • cant set wallpaper from gallery...
  • You tell me, remember that this is an early leak... still test build.

Hit the source button below for more detail and download links


Microsoft not to take part in CES after 2012

"We have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES. We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won’t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing."

Looks like Microsoft will rely on special and in-house events rather than multi-brand mega events  from 2012, thanks to rapid pace at which technology is evolving so that the announcements are made at the right time and at the right place.

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GNOME 3 based shell fork, Cinnamon announced

Cinnamon is GNOME3 based fork that is designed with GNOME 2.x users in mind (similar to what we see on Linux Mint 12). This shell is already available for download and if you want, you can test by downloading form here (can be very buggy, mind it!). So, what extra does it provide over Mint 12's MGSE extensions?

"Cinnamon is a Linux desktop which provides advanced innovative features and a traditional user experience. The desktop layout is similar to Gnome 2. The underlying technology is forked from Gnome Shell." says Cinnamon developer Clement Lefebvre. 
 According to Clement, though the layout looks a bit similar to GNOME 3 with MGSE, there is more functionality to this. 

Hasbro sues ASUS over 'Transformer Prime' tablet name

Another day and another lawsuit. Hasbro, maker of Transformers series of toys has sued ASUS over the product name 'Transformer Prime' that ASUS has used for one of it's tablet that can be transformed into an ultrabook using a dock. 

“Hasbro continues to aggressively protect its brands and products and the specific actions we are taking today against Asus underscores yet again Hasbro’s willingness to pursue companies who misappropriate our intellectual property for their own financial gain.”

As of now, Hasbro seeks damages and a ban on the tablet in USA. We don't think this will effect ASUS as these are entirely different product categories/markets. Anyways, lets wait and see what the Los Angeles federal court says. 
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How to BSOD WIndows 7

Trust me, it is much easier than you think. All you need to do is install Safari web browser and open a webpage containing a snippet like with an extremely high height attribute (eg:  < iframe height='18082563'    >. And voila, Windows 7 will crash. Do note that this effects only the 64-bit version of Windows 7 and Microsoft is already working on a fix. The problem is due to faulty win32k.sys kernel-mode driver that fires memory corruption error.

Please do not try to reproduce this BSOD as it can crash. Security firm Secunia has released an advisory that this vulnerability can be used to execute malicious code instead of just crashing the OS. For more information on the same, head here
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Dell Streak 5 gets Gingerbread, HTC EVO View 4G (Flyer) gets Honeycomb

Dell is pushing out Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) ROM to it's discontinued tablet-smartphone Streak 5. Do note that the update is around 155MB in size. On the other hand, HTC Evo View 4G (Sprint's Flyer tablet) users can finally have Honeycomb. HTC is now pushing OTA update to this smartphone and it is 217MB in size. Below is the statement from HTC:

This update adds Android 3.2.1 (Honeycomb) and a new virtual and holographic user interface.
Updates include:
  • Physical Hard keys replaced with on screen Soft keys
  • New Google search, available on every page
  • System Bar: Quick access to notifications, status, and soft navigation buttons available at the bottom of the screen
  • Notifications menu moved to the bottom right corner of the screen, on the System Bar.
  • The Action Bar—which can be accessed by touching the Plus Sign icon at the top right of the screen—is the key to contextual, changing menus that are controlled by each application.
  • Enhanced security including Sprint Data Link and 3LM
Fixes include:
  • Google video chat 
  • Bluetooth capable in Airplane mode

Enhanced by Zemanta to be HTML5 site.

Whether it is Adobe's intentions to stop supporting Flash or the goodness of HTML5, we don't know but BBC has announced that their site will be moved to HTML5. Right now, as part of test program, the 'health' section of the site is moved to HTML5. If successful, there will be a full rollout of HTML5 based website. And it's not just the site that is going to be moved to HTML5. BBC is already working on HTML5 based BBC smartphone and tablet applications.
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Evernote Skitch is now available for iPad

This is an amazing app and is one of the highly downloaded application available for iPhone/iPod touch and for Android devices. If you are not sure what Evernote Skitch is, this is what Evernote says

Get your point across with fewer words using annotation, shapes and sketches, so that your ideas become reality faster. Use shapes, arrows, sketches and text annotation to get your point across fast. Mark up photos, screenshots, maps, and webpages then share them with anyone you like.
And here is a demo video:

So, what are the features of Skitch for iPad?

  • Create (drawing etc)
  • Annotate (add shapes like arrows to your images)
  • Edit (move, remove, change color etc of your annotations)
  • Share/Present (email/twitter/facebook sharing allowed)
  • Remember (Save to evernote)
What does Evernote say on what you can use Skitch for?
  • Sketch and share
  • Point out objects and locations in a photo
  • Brainstorm design ideas with your team
  • Identify a point of interest on a map
  • Annotate a screenshot of your awesome high score
  • Have fun!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kube2 is the world's smallest touchscreen mp3 player

That cube shaped thing resting on palm is the world's smallest touchscreen mp3 player. Already released in South-east Asian countries, this cute little gadget will be unveiled at CES. With a six hour battery life and a 4GB internal memory (supports 32gig microSD cards), it should be good enough for early morning workouts and casual listening.

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Dropbox for Android 2.0 is out

Update: Dropbox 2.0 for Android is official. Go and get it from Android market.
What's new:

  1. Completely redesigned the app and added lots of new features!
  2. • Favorites: quick offline access to files
  3. • Bulk upload photos and videos
  4. • Rename files and folders
  5. • Single-tap access to all file and folder actions
  6. • Improved gallery view
  7. • Upload from and export to local storage
  8. • Optimized for Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)
  9. • Numerous bug fixes and stability improvements

Dropbox has made available a preview version of their android application. The new version will have refdefined interface, better ICS integration blah blah blah. Following is the post on their forum:

Hey all,
We're excited to have an updated preview to our upcoming Android release for you to try out!
Since our last preview we've fixed a bunch of bugs, added support for the languages we support beyond just English, and have optimized Dropbox on Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)
As a reminder, in this release the app has been given a huge visual and under-the-hood overhaul, adding a bunch of new features:
• Favorites: quick offline access to files
• Bulk upload photos and videos
• Rename files and folders
• Single-tap access to all file and folder actions
• Improved gallery view
• Upload from and export to local storage
• Numerous bug fixes and stability improvements
Grab it directly from here: scan this QR Code: it out and let us know what you think!
P.S. For any issues you encounter with this build, please reply to this thread so we can help you most quickly! 

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OMFG! A trilion views for Youtube videos in 2011

Google has announced on Youtube blog that there were a trillion hits to Youtube vidoes in 2011. Yes. A bloody trillion hits.

Here are the popular lists/channels, courtesy Youtube.

Apple to make flash memory on its own, acquires Israeli firm Anobit

Israeli newspaper has reported that Apple has finalized deal to acquire flash memory maker Anobit for $500 million. Anobit is specialized in providing flash solutions for the enterprise and mobile devices. Apple has been using flash memory from Anobit for a variety of devices. However, there is no official statement from Apple or Anobit 

Samsung and Google takes the crown from Apple in Australia

Thanks to extremely good response to Galaxy S II Android powered smartphone and the wait for iPhone 4's successor, Samsung has become the No.1 smartphone hardware maker in Australia and New Zealand. The real beauty of this is that 65% of phones sold in Australia in Q3 2011 are smarpthones and Android capured 49% of the market while Apple has 36% marketshare. While Samsung is the top Android vendor in Australia, HTC took the runner up spot.

“Collective efforts to expand brand presence from all Android manufacturers at all price points will increase consumer choice and drive demand, which in turn will help Android grow to at least 40% market share over the next 3 years. Samsung has climbed to the no.1 position as a result of a strong push for its Galaxy S II, “said Yee-Kuan Lau, market analyst for IDC ANZ. “HTC, being the no.2 Android vendor in Australia, continues to grow its market presence with its product portfolio expansion in the second half of 2011.”

It will be interesting to see how the marketshare will be in final quarter of 2011 and also for 2011 on the whole.

Superbowl Live stream, exclusive for Verizon users

After successfull online streaming of various sports events, NBC will stream Superbowl XLVI NFL live for the first time online and to mobile users on Verizon's network.

“We are especially excited to now bring our unique and innovative SNF Extra video experience to the NFL playoffs, Pro Bowl, and Super Bowl,” said Rick Cordella, vice president of NBC Sports Digital Media. 

“We are pleased to work with our partners NBC and Verizon to bring our fans more ways to watch their favorite sport during their favorite time of the year,” said Hans Schroeder, NFL senior vice president of media strategy and development. 

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Apple replacing faulty first-gen iPod nanos with 6th gen micro Nanos

Shocked? Yes, I am. Remember that issue where first gen iPod Nanos get too hot? Well, Apple is replacing those that are sent for RMA with 6th gen iPod nanos. Many have already reported to have received the replacement units. Hit the source button to learn more.


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Apple awarded patent for app usage during calls

I would say, let there be a fresh set of patent wars. Because Apple is granted a patent on app switching and starting an app while on a call. After reading the patent description, first thing that I came to mind is, how come Nokia missed out on this patent. I remember doing something similar on Symbian devices and my N900 too supports this.

Patent 8,082,523 Description:

Inventors: Forstall; Scott (Mountain View, CA), Christie; Greg (San Jose, CA), Lemay; Stephen O. (San Francisco, CA), Van Os; Marcel (San Francisco, CA), Chaudhri; Imran (San Francisco, CA) Assignee: Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)
Appl. No.: 11/969,908 Filed: January 6, 2008

 A portable electronic device displays, on a touch screen display, a user interface for a phone application during a phone call. In response to detecting activation of a menu icon or menu button, the UI for the phone application is replaced with a menu of application icons, while maintaining the phone call. In response to detecting a finger gesture on a non-telephone service application icon, displaying a user interface for the non-telephone service application while continuing to maintain the phone call, the UI for the non-telephone service application including a switch application icon that is not displayed in the UI when there is no ongoing phone call. In response to detecting a finger gesture on the switch application icon, replacing display of the UI for the non-telephone service application with a respective UI for the phone application while continuing to maintain the phone call. 

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ICS for Nexus S delayed, Adobe AIR available for ICS

Due to performance issues, Google has postponed Android 4.0 update for Nexus S smartphone to a later (unknown) date. Those who have already received the update should be aware of possible performance issue and those who have notification about the update will not be able to update yet and they will be receiving another update once the performance issues are addressed.

Adobe, on the other hand has updated the AIR platform to support  Android 4.0. While the only fix is the support, here is a list of Known Issues that might event your Android 4.0 powered smartphone

Known Issues

  • Seeking while video is paused will not update the frame on ICS device
  • StageVideo using On2 and Sorenson does not work on ICS devices
  • PHDS content stops after playing for ~10 seconds
  • OS does not prioritize incoming call - audio remains playing before and after call is received
  • Enter key does not work on the multi-line text input field

Sony sells 321,400 Playstation Vitas in two days

Sony has announced that they have sold 321,400 Playstation Vita handheld gaming devices in two days after Japanese launch. The new generation gaming handheld will be launched in USA and Europe in February 2012 and Sony is already accepting preorders.

Feature set:

  • Corex A9 quad core CPU, SGX543MP4+ GPU
  • 5" OLED touchscreen with multitouch
  • Rear touchpad with multitouch
  • Front and rear cameras
  • Six axis motion control
  • GPS and Wi-Fi/3G
  • Built in mic and speakers
  • GPS
  • Crossplay. Continue the game started on PS3 console in PS Vita
Pricing in USA:
  • $249.99 for Wi-Fi only edition
  • $299.99 for 3G+WiFi
  • $349.99 for first edition bundle. Limited edition PSVITA case, Little Deviants PSVITA game 
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