Sunday, December 27, 2009

A new range of 3G-enabled ME series laptops, HCL ME 06, was Wednesday unveiled by HCL Infosystems Limited – a well-known hardware, services and ICT system integration company. The design of the new series laptops reportedly matches the persona of youth and is a perfect device for the on-the-go business executives.

Going by the press release pertaining to the new series of laptops, the 3G-integrated HCL ME 06 - which boasts energy star 5.0-certification - offers flawless connectivity and a much speedier access to the Web.

The Rs 19,990-priced HCL ME 06 will be available in black, red and blue colors.

In addition to the HCL ME 06, the company has also launched its new HCL ME 45 laptop, which features a multi touch gesture touchpad to enable users expand, shrink and rotate the picture by moving their finger on the touchpad. Other noteworthy features of the Rs 39,990-priced HCL ME 45 include sharing data; a theft-prevention system; and data encryption for keeping unauthorized access at bay.

Both the new devices, HCL ME 06 and HCL ME 45, will be available in stores all over the country. The price-tag of the devices includes an assured gift for the buyers – the gift can include a Yuvraj Singh-autographed Reebok Track suit worth 5999; or a Nokia 3500c mobile phone worth Rs. 6289.

source: Read More


Monday, October 26, 2009

As Windows 7 was launched last week, we can expect a flood of new devices incorporating it. Amongst these is the all new netbook from Samsung - the N140.

  • The N140 is equipped with 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor with 1GB DDR2 RAM. Samsung boasts that this netbook has 250GB HDD for storage.
  • It comes with a battery life of 11 hours with a 6 cell battery.
  • Samsung claims that it is the first netbook in the market that has a 250GB Hard Disc Drive.
  • It is a slim device with 10.1" LED Backlit display that delivers clear high resolution images
  • In addition, users can enjoy an enhanced multimedia experience with the good sound quality and SRS effects that produce High Definition 3D sound. Weighing just 1.27 kg, the N140 is compact enough to be carried anywhere.
  • The N140 features three USB 2.0 ports (one chargable), Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, 3-in-1 memory card reader, and comes with a spill proof keyboard.
It is priced at Rs. 24,990.

source: Read More


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lenovo is known for making some robust notebooks that perform well but have zero sex appeal. The machines have looked basically the same since IBM owned the ThinkPad brand. Today Lenovo announced that it has added Windows 7 to a couple new machines called the SL510 and the SL410. The notebooks hit overseas already, but today is the official U.S. coming out.

The two notebooks are similar with processor options ranging from dual-core Celeron parts to Core 2 Duo processors. The SL410 has a 14-inch LCD while the SL510 sports a 15.6-inch unit. Both screens are LED backlit. Graphics for the pair are from Intel X4500 integrated GPUs. System memory is up to 8GB and storage is up to 500GB.

Both machines use a 6-cell battery and have optical drives built-in. Other features include available WiMax, Bluetooth, spill resistant keyboards, multitouch track pads, VoIP ready microphone, and more. The notebooks start at $529.


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The first thing you'll notice about Windows 7 is that it looks like Vista. It also works like Vista, in the sense that it has the same plumbing underneath, except for a very welcome graphics upgrade to DX11. However, it works much better than Vista, and most of Vista's annoyances have either been removed, or (mostly) can be changed so the system works the way you like. It takes personalisation to extremes.

Microsoft has analysed the data from millions of user computing sessions to find out exactly what people do with their computers, then attacked the "pain points" to make Windows 7 quicker and smoother. (About 15 million people used the Windows 7 beta.)

The most obvious difference is that Windows 7 doesn't keep annoying you with prompts — though it's also true that the latest version of Vista is much less annoying than the original. In fact, you can set the degree of annoyance on a sliding scale, though reducing it increases the risk of security breaches. However, Windows 7 is vastly more secure than XP and, in any case, the threat landscape has changed since XP was trashed by worms such as Blaster and Slammer. Today, the more important security changes are in the Internet Explorer 8 browser which, uniquely, defends against cross-site scripting.

Another obvious difference is that Windows 7 uses fewer resources.

Where Vista really needed 2GB of memory, Windows 7 will run quite happily in 1GB on a slow dual-core Intel processor, though I'd still recommend 2GB or, for preference, 4GB with the speedy 64-bit version of Windows 7.

The reduced footprint and some optimisation means Windows 7 sleeps and wakes up faster (though it's still not in the same class as Mac OS X).

And laptop batteries should last longer. I've been running Windows 7 on an Asus UL30 laptop with a claimed battery life of around 11 hours with Vista: it now does more than 12 hours.

Any PC that currently runs Vista will be better at running Windows 7 – a first for Microsoft – and it should also run on most PCs that will run XP SP2. (Search YouTube and you will find users showing off by loading it on unsuitable systems, including antiques with Pentium III chips.) The catch is that upgrading a PC running Windows XP requires a clean installation of Windows 7: you can't do an in-place upgrade. This has been a source of complaints, because it means reinstalling all your applications as well.

However, we've known for a dozen years that a clean installation of Windows usually works better, and geeks have generally recommended it.

Indeed, people used to reinstall Windows 95, 98 or Me just to clean up their systems, so it's silly to get hysterical about it now.

The Windows 7 interface has a few noticeable changes. First, the Vista sidebar has gone, but you can still use the clock and other gadgets, and you can position them wherever you like. Second, the QuickLaunch area and the TaskBar have been replaced by a sort of combo-pack.

Instead of putting applications in the QuickLaunch area, you can now right-click and pin them to the new-style Taskbar, alongside running applications.

As in Vista, hovering over a Taskbar icon shows one or more mini-previews, depending on how many windows you're using, except now they're interactive. Hovering over a mini-preview shows it full size on the desktop, while right-clicking provides a Jump List of options.

It makes it dramatically easier to see what you are doing. However, if you are an inveterate Alt-Tabber, that shows the same mini-previews. And if you liked Vista's Flip 3D feature, that's still an option.

Incidentally, you can now move TaskBar icons around to change the order, like browser tabs. As I always try to keep XP TaskBar items in the same order, I find this useful. It's a small point, but Windows 7 has lots of small points, and they add up.

There are a few party tricks that Windows 7 users can show their friends, such as Aero Snaps, Aero Peek and Aero Shake. Aero Snaps lets you put two applications side by side for easy comparison and copy-and-paste. Aero Peek makes open windows temporarily transparent so you can see what's on your desktop. Aero Shake means that if you shake a window, all the other windows will disappear. All are both useful and fun.

The My Documents section has been reorganised under one heading, Libraries. This includes Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos, with Windows 7 sorting things into these "shell folders". Each of these has two subfolders, such as My Music and Public Music. This makes it easier to keep stuff you want to share away from stuff you want to keep to yourself.

Sharing is an important part of Windows 7. It has a HomeGroup feature that makes it very easy to set up a home network and share things. It only works with Windows 7 machines, which I expect will sell a few family packs of Windows 7 (three copies of Home Premium for £149.99).

Right-click a photo, for example, select Share, and this gives you four options: Nobody, HomeGroup (Read), HomeGroup (Read/Write) and Specific People. "Plays to" lets you display a video, for example, on a different PC.

Support for the consumer electronics industry's DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) standard should help Windows 7 PCs work with other devices, though I've yet to see an example.

There are also some "location awareness" features where Windows 7 figures out where you are — on a home network or an office network, for example — and selects the appropriate printer. There's a section of the control panel, Location and Other Sensors, where sensors can be installed and controlled. One example is "adaptive brightness": if your PC has a light sensor, Windows 7 will adjust the screen brightness to match.

Multi-touch is also supported, if you have the hardware to take advantage of it. There is an emerging flood of laptops with multi-touch pads and new all-in-ones with multi-touch screens, but it remains to be seen whether these will be successful.

When it comes to Windows applications, the very old ones have been dramatically improved. Paint and WordPad now have "ribbon interfaces" like Office 2007, and both the Calculator and command shell (PowerShell) are much more powerful than before. Technically, several standard applications have also been removed from the operating system, though I expect most PC manufacturers will install them.

What Microsoft has done is decouple the Windows Live Essentials suite of applications – Mail, Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, etc – from the operating system. It means the Live programs can be updated from the web every six or nine months, or whatever, instead of on a three-year operating system development cycle. It also reduces the attack area for anti-trust complaints.

But one thing that's missing from Windows 7 is the Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus program, formerly codenamed Morro. You get Windows Defender and an improved firewall, but Microsoft appears to be too scared of the European Commission to do what would be best for users and include anti-virus software as well. As it is, specialist anti-virus companies install trial versions on new PCs, and pay PC manufacturers very handsomely for the distribution. If Microsoft did the right thing and defended users for nothing, it would upset the financial applecart.

All round, then, Windows 7 is generally good, and some Windows fans reckon it's better than Apple's Mac OS X. It's certainly easier to use than Mac OS X if you are already familiar with the Windows way of doing things. Also, Windows 7 – released to companies on August 6 – has so far proved to be a lot less buggy than Apple's Snow Leopard, which has even lost users' data.

If you dig into Windows 7 you will, of course, find numerous relics from the past, going right back through Windows 95 to DOS.

There are lots of inconsistencies that still need cleaning up.

However, Microsoft's business depends on running millions of programs that stretch back decades, supporting vast numbers of peripherals, and providing a platform for thousands of competing manufacturers who make everything from handhelds and tablet PCs to racks of data-centre mainframes. That's just the baggage Windows carries.

But with luck you will not see too many of these relics, and on the surface, Windows 7 is impressively smooth.

I'm a full-time Windows XP user who didn't upgrade to Vista on my two main PCs, but I can't see a good reason for sticking with XP now that it looks doomed. I've bought a cut-price Amazon Windows 7 Pro upgrade for my desktop, and I'm planning to buy a new Windows 7 laptop to replace my very old ThinkPad X31.

Windows 7 is a long way from being perfect, and it's not an essential upgrade if you're happy with XP. But nor is there a real reason to avoid it. Windows 7 is simply the best version of Windows you can get.


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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Microsoft unveiled plans to integrate its Zune digital entertainment service with the highly popular Xbox 360 platform, in a move designed more to confirm rumors than to provide specifics. The company will also bring a new Zune device to market this fall, called the Zune HD.

The company has talked about integrating Zune with the Xbox 360 since the service's launch, so the evolution to finally doing so carries significance. However the content included at first is limited to video, not music or games. Exactly what kind of video content will be shared between the two services is not yet clear; details are expected next week.

However Chris Stephenson, GM of global marketing for Zune, tells that the Zune video service will essentially replace the current Xbox Live Video Marketplace feature. All Xbox Live members will have access to the new content and the expansion of Zune into the Xbox 360 allows Microsoft to offer the service internationally.

The new HD Zune, meanwhile, is also focused heavily on video, with a high-definition LCD screen and widescreen viewing mode. The WiFi connected device allows for instant music and video streaming directly from the device, a newly added Internet browser, as well as compatibility with the growing HD-Radio standard. But overall, Microsoft's new Zune details are focused on video, which Stephenson insists does not reflect a distancing from music.

"It's absolutely about music as it is about video," he says. "As we prioritize the things we need to get to market, video was the thing that really lit up. The Xbox experience is a living room experience. So it's important to think of this as a first step."

Digital video delivery - either to portable devices or within the home - is a wide open market that no single provider has yet dominated the way Apple has in the music space and Nintendo has in the handheld gaming space.

To be sure, this represents a baby step for Microsoft's broader effort to merge the Zune, Xbox and, eventually, Windows Mobile communities into one. The vision is to deliver content to the PC, the TV and the mobile phone. Microsoft wants to unify that experience through coordination of the backend technology that power content delivery to each.

"It's really allowing your content to flow across the different screens you have," Stephenson says. "Everything feeds back to a single ID. If you think about the backend all of this is built on, whether it's the content or the billing or the identity, it's all on a common infrastructure. At a technical level, it allows those experiences to happen."

But a "connected entertainment" strategy has been a core part of the Zune pitch from the start, which the company has yet to implement in a meaningful way from either a content or a device level. Details on how it will integrate video content between Zune and the Xbox 360 are expected next week, during Microsoft's press event at the E3 videogame convention next week.

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Research Triangle Park, N.C. — Lenovo has released several new computers across their laptop, netbook and all-in-one lines (AIO).

The new netbook is the next-generation 12-inch IdeaPad S12. It is the follow-up on the S10-2 released earlier this month.

In addition to the larger, 12-inch display, the new netbook features a thinner and lighter industrial design, said Charles Farmer, Lenovo’s consumer marketing manager, all of which was done at the behest of the company’s customers.

The S12 has a $449 suggested retail, but consumers can buy add an Nvidia graphics card for an extra $50. Other features include an Intel Atom N270 processor; 1GB of DDR2 h33MHz memory; 160GB, 250GB or 320GB hard drives; and a 3-cell or 6-cell battery option.

The S12, and the other new models, will be available in late June through Lenovo’s online store. Other retailers will be announced at that time, Farmer said. The Nvidia option will not be available until late summer.

Lenovo’s new thin and light laptop offering is the U350. It has a 13.3-inch display and will be available with several different Intel processors options, including the ultra-low voltage and small form factor chipsets. It can support up to 8GB of DDR3 1,066 MHz memories, a 500GB hard drive and an eight-cell battery. It weighs 3.5 pounds. Suggested retail is $649.

The G550 will be available in several configurations, including versions with a 15-inch or 14-inch display, an Intel Centrino2 Core2Duo 2.26GHz processor, Nvidia GeForce G105M graphics, 4GB of DDR3 memory and a $599 price tag.

The C300 is Lenovo’s latest all-in-one offering. The unit is based on a 20-inch LCD, uses Atom 230 processors, has up to 2GB of DDR2 memory and will have hard drive options ranging in capacity from 160GB to 640GB.

Source: Read More


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yahoo Inc is looking to buy companies that will allow it to become a bigger player in social networking and revamp its family of products, Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh said on Wednesday.

"It's a good time to be buying now," he told the Reuters Global Technology Summit, pointing to valuations that have come down from levels six to nine months ago. While declining to give specific names, Balogh said Yahoo has had conversations with companies about partnerships and "more interesting" possibilities, such as on building out its platform and basic computing in addition to search.

"I can guarantee you there will be some acquisitions, and we will do some stuff in-house," Balogh, who is executive vice president of products at Yahoo, said by videolink.

Yahoo will introduce new products this fall that will give users a more unified experience across its network of websites and showcase the company's strategy to grow again, after much of 2008 was marred by the failed deal talks with Microsoft Corp.

Yahoo is striving to revive its fortunes as sales decline because of the recession and competition from other Web heavyweights, including Google Inc and Facebook. While conceding that Google has "won the game" of search as we know it today, Balogh says search will be about much more than "10 blue links" in the future. "The thing I will tell you is that, core to great experiences for people online may not necessarily be this version of search," Balogh said. "I believe search is going to be far richer...there's a whole other round or two to go in the search game and that's where we intend on playing.

The future of Yahoo's Internet search business is a big question for investors. Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer have talked about partnering on search, according to a source familiar with the matter. Balogh said any decision about a search deal was up to Bartz and Yahoo's board. But he said that whatever happens, Yahoo will continue to invest in its own search capabilities. Balogh said search technology is a vital part of the consumer experience that Yahoo delivers, "and having leading edge scientists and technologists who understand search technology and where search is going is critical to Yahoo."

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Dell launches its first "netbook" designed for young students at a time when adult consumers and businesses have cut back on technology spending.

Dell's new Latitude 2100, which is being unveiled today in Sydney, is part of a newly popular category of computer that's much like a laptop, but cheaper, smaller, lighter and less powerful.

Unlike Dell's other netbooks, the 2100's shell is made from brightly coloured, easily gripped rubber, not slippery plastic. Its underside is free from vents and other openings, so plopping the computer on spilled milk won't do any damage. And a light on the lid of the computer tells teachers when kids are connected to the internet.

The extent to which laptops improve academic performance remains debatable, but Dell Chief Executive Michael Dell, perhaps not surprisingly, argues that computers in classrooms are a key ingredient to better schooling.

"There's no question that technology can play a role in improving outcomes for students," Michael Dell said in an interview. "This is not to say that putting computers and (information technology) systems in schools solves all problems - there's no chance of that. But it is to say that, look, these are required skills that people need to be successful."

The 2100, aimed at students in kindergarten through eighth grade, has a 10-inch screen and a keyboard that's a little bigger than regular netbooks.

It can be configured with a touch screen, which Dell says is useful for kids' small hands, and an anti-microbial keyboard, because those hands are often grubby. A web camera add-on is also available. It can run basic versions of Microsoft's Windows XP and Vista operating systems and the Ubuntu version of Linux.

Unlike the still-mythical "$100 laptop" envisioned by the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child organisation, Dell's machine starts at $706 and includes 1GB of RAM, 80GB HDD and runs on the Ubuntu operating system. It goes on sale tomorrow through Dell's online store.

Dell would not say how much money it makes selling computers to schools. Michael Dell said the company's public sector segment, which also includes governments and health care institutions, takes in $US14 billion a year, about 23 per cent of Dell's 2008 revenue.

PCs for schools and universities made up just 6 per cent of the total shipped last year worldwide, according to IDC, with about a third going to theUS. Worldwide, Dell was the top player with nearly 20 per cent of the market.

In the US., its grip was even tighter - about 36 per cent for kindergarten through 12th grade and 43 percent at the university level.

Source: Read More


Monday, May 11, 2009

Let's take a test drive through the new XP Mode and Virtual PC under Windows 7.

XP Mode is Microsoft's solution to legacy application compatibility under Windows 7. I won't get into the details a second time, but if you're curious how it works, check out the previous post on the subject.

With the Windows 7 RC Release, we have been able to now download and install the Virtual PC Beta, as well as the XP Mode package included with it. The first thing we will notice is that running the XP Mode Virtual Machine prompts us to create a password and let the initial setup start.

On the first 32-bit system I attempted to start up the XP Mode VM I was met with an immediate blue screen and reboot. On the second system, this one a high powered Core i7 64-bit edition I found myself stuck in an endless Initialization cycle. So far I'm 0-2 and this new XP Mode/VPC Beta is not looking so hot. Both cases I had made an upgrade from Beta to Release Candidate and that may have something to do with the problems encountered.

A clean reload on the first system with a fresh copy of the 32-bit RC presented a fully functional XP Mode system. XP Mode is fast and defaults to a mere 256MB of RAM during setup and use. You can of course adjust this but for now it seems to do just fine as is. Unfortunately, the XP Mode can be a little tricky to utilize and trips over itself if you don't shut it down after messing around inside it. Shutting it down however proves tricky because the standard Shutdown button in the Start Menu is missing, replaced with a simple "Disconnect" button.

The easiest way to handle switching from container to apps is to treat this XP Mode as you would a Remote Desktop or Remote Terminal Session with a Windows Server. Use the "Log Off" as you would in Remote Desktop, and simply close the container window once the login prompt shows up. Unlike Remote Desktop, logging off doesn't close the container, presumably to allow for the usage of multiple accounts like an ordinary XP installation. Once the system is logged out, you can safely utilize the XP applications once again seamlessly from Windows 7.

Possible problems you might encounter would include not logging out before closing the container. Should this happen there's no need to worry, unless you left something unfinished running on the VM. Attempting to launch one of the applications published to Windows 7 will merely give you a prompt asking if you want to launch the app anyway or go back into the VM to do a proper log off. Launching the application will force log off the XP session, losing any unsaved work you had there.

One thing I noticed during all this testing was the insane amount of CPU utilization during the startup and shutdown of the VM. During the initial startup or initialization when running an app the first time the CPU usage took a solid 80-100% of a Core 2 Duo core, giving it a 40-50% total system draw. Memory demand seemed low during the entire process but clearly launching the VM and getting it running in the background takes significant CPU power to accomplish. Once the system loads and sits in the background ready to handle your requests CPU usage drops back to around 1-2%.

At this point I'm fairly impressed but want to see just how far this pass-through goes and what the limitations are. To test this I created a shortcut to the Administrator's account desktop (Any folder will work it seems). I placed this shortcut in the All Users"Start Menu directory and closed down the VM. I found the shortcut and was able to access it from Windows 7. Opening the shortcut gives me the familiar Explorer window navigated to the path I specified in the shortcut, as well as access to all of its files. Furthermore it appears I can utilize it for navigation, file creation, modification, and more.

In fact I was able to kick off an install of 7-zip from within this environment and have it ready for use without messing with the host container at all. The only caveat to this is that the container seems to prevent dragging and dropping files to and from the window, regardless of having the VM Additions loaded. In VMWare, Virtual PC, and other products it was always possible to drag files from the host to guest systems and vice versa. This functionality is locked out unless you explicitly launch the XP container as a standalone VM. Any applications seem locked behind bulletproof glass preventing direct interaction with the host system. This is handy for security purposes I suppose as nothing gets in and nothing gets out.

The normal Virtual PC window for managing all of your Virtual Machines is no longer present. Instead, navigating to your user directory will present you with a "Virtual Machines" folder. Inside this folder you will find all of your virtual machines with the management program integrated right into the explorer shell much like Music, Video, and Pictures are with their respective programs. Given this trend it's safe to assume Microsoft is trying to back off from opening full applications for simple common tasks and merely integrate most of those functions into the shell whenever possible.

There are three options on the shell that are required to make the VM's work. One is the "Create new VM" and it operates exactly like VMWare, VirtualBox, and VirtualPC did before. The "Settings" button can be clicked at the top or you can alternatively find it on the right-click menu of each VM. The Settings page hasn't really changed. The addition of a few new options such as "Auto Publish" are present but otherwise it's the same ever popular VM Properties panel. Something else to note is the "Open" button near the left side. Clicking this allows you to open the VM's with something other than VirtualPC, potentially allowing other vendors to plug in here as well. To use this, simply select the VM you want to open, click the "Open" dropdown button and all of the VM programs installed can be selected. Selecting one causes the VM to immediately launch from the selected application.

XP Mode is a solid product and definitely something I look forward to Microsoft expanding in the near future. So far XP SP3, and Vista SP1 (or 2 if you have the RTM) can be loaded as guest systems according to Microsoft. Software to allow the usage of pass-through utilities in both versions is available from the Virtual PC webpage, under the download types for the VirtualPC Client it's in the box marked "Developers".

Source: Read More


Word has it that Verizon Wireless’ first netbook offering in the guise of the HP Mini 1151NR will be arriving on May 17th through all channels - virtual and conventional. It is also the day where Verizon’s MiFi personal hotspot drops. There is no word on pricing, though there are whispers of a $199 price tag to accompany the 2-year contract alongside a mail-in rebate. Of course, bear in mind you'll still need to fork out anywhere from $40 to $60 monthly for data access, which means across the span of two years, you'll still need to spend a fair bit.

Source: Read More


Thursday, May 7, 2009

dell android netbookLoose lips sink ships. Or, in the mobile space, they lead to juicy rumors.

This morning, software maker BSquared released a press release that hinted PC maker Dell was involved in launchig a new netbook powered by Google (NSDQ: GOOG) lightweight Android operating system. The press release seemed to confirm that Dell is indeed working with Android over the past several months.

This is where it gets interestin., Dell fired out a statement later today to announce that the press release was a mistake. There was no mention of whether it was the timing of the press release or the reference to Dell’s Android plans, only that the PR was accidentally published.

Dell has been rumored to have an Android device in the works, and this latest leak seems to confirm as much. What we could be looking at here is a case of a PR director’s itchy trigger finger announcing Dell’s Android plans before Dell. Now that would be interesting!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

First face transplant recipient steps out in US
An Ohio woman who was the first US recipient of a near-total face transplant unveiled the results of her surgery which restored key features after she was shot by her husband five years ago.

Connie Culp, 46, who was left without a nose, a palate or lower eyelids following a shotgun blast in 2004, underwent a procedure last December that lasted 22 hours at the Cleveland Clinic in the state of Ohio.

Surgeons transplanted about 80 percent of Culp's face using facial tissue from a dead woman that was placed like a mask atop her own. Almost her entire face was replaced, except for the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip and chin.

The team of 11 surgeons who performed the operation said Culp, who was missing bone support and had been unable to eat or breathe without a tube in her windpipe, could now perform functions normally.

"We think this ... procedure has changed her life dramatically," Maria Siemionow, the clinic's director of plastic surgery research, told a news conference.

Although the clinic had revealed the surgery in December, Culp's identity and the incident that had disfigured were kept under wraps.

"Well, I guess I'm the one you came to see today," Culp said after being helped up to the podium.

But, she added, "I think it's more important that you focus on the donor family that made it so I could have this person's face."

When Risal Djohan, a plastic surgeon at the clinic, first looked at Culp's injuries two months after she was shot, "he told me he didn't think, he wasn't sure, if he could fix me, but he'd try," the patient recalled.

"Here I am, five years later. He did what he said -- I got me my nose," she said with a laugh.

Siemionow said the transplant "was the most complex functional restoration in the world today."

"We have transplanted for the first time in the world the largest scheme of the face, which was combined with the bones, with the entire nose and functional units, including lower eyelids, upper lip and including also her palate" she said.

The world's first partial face transplant was conducted in France in 2005.


Connie Culp stepped forward Tuesday to show off the results of the nation's first face transplant. Five years ago, a shotgun blast left a hole where the middle of her face had been. Five months ago, she received a new face from a dead woman. (May 5)

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Microsoft Windows 7 is the next release of the Windows client operating system, built on the secure foundation of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Performance, reliability, security, and compatibility are core tenets of this release as we collect your feedback to meet our engineering goals of making Windows 7 the best-performing and most stable Windows operating system to date. New innovations in the product are designed to augment your ability as an IT professional to better provision and manage increasingly mobile PCs, protect data, and improve both end-user and personal productivity.

This is the 64-bit version of Windows 7.

You can directly download from this URL, but you'll need to paste it into your browser's address bar.

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Google has launched a contacts manager that users of services like Google Docs, Picasa, and Calendar can use, without having to be a Gmail users.

Aimed at letting users share contacts more easily between different services, Google Contacts works like any other contacts function. You can import and export your contacts from other sources such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Yahoo, or Hotmail. For Apple you must use a utility called "A to G."

If you are part of a business, school or other organization using Google Apps, the administrator will have to enable this functionality within the control panel by clicking on the "add more services" link, finding the "Contacts" option and clicking the "add it now" button.

You can find the stand alone contact manager here.

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Asustek Computer plans to launch an 11.6-inch Eee PC later this month, but will still consider 10-inch the mainstream specification for 2009, accounting for 50% of total shipments, while 11.6-inch models will account for 30%, according to company president Jerry Shen.

The company will launch a 15.6-inch mid-range to high-end CULV-based ultra-thin notebook, the XS15, priced at 799-999 euro (US$1063-1330) and a 13.3-inch model priced at 599-699 euro in July. The company also plans to launch 14-inch models this year, Shen noted.

Shen also pointed out that panel supplies will have a chance to suffer shortages in May and June, while DRAM may see price increases, but is unlikely to face a shortage.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

How long does Microsoft plan to keep selling copies of its Windows Vista operating system after the upcoming launch of Windows 7? The company isn't saying.

With previous versions of Windows, Microsoft used a transition period when old and new versions of Windows were available to help corporate customers manage their transition to the new version of the operating system.

This time Microsoft aims to put the ghosts of its Vista troubles to rest as soon as possible, and could stop selling Vista as soon as Windows 7 is released.

"We are still not sure if [computer makers] will be able to ship Vista once Windows 7 is made available. Having said that, an enterprise customer that purchases a PC with Windows 7 pre-installed is allowed to downgrade to Vista should they desire, similar to what we have today on Vista to XP," wrote Richard Francis, general manager and Windows client business group lead at Microsoft Asia-Pacific, in an e-mail.

Microsoft will stop supporting all versions of Vista in April 2012, Francis said.
The launch of Windows 7 could take place within a few months from now. Last week, the company released the final beta version of the software, one of the last steps before locking down the code and sending the finished operating system to computer makers.

Microsoft had high hopes for Vista, but users found the OS sluggish on some computers and they complained about the number of permission prompts required for some tasks. Dissatisfaction with Vista kept user demand high for Windows XP, but many companies -- including Eastman Chemical and Continental Airlines, among others listed on Microsoft's Web site -- decided to roll out Vista within their organizations.

Microsoft appears to be betting that Vista won't be missed once Windows 7 is released.

"It's been a long time since we've had a version of Windows that will actually run better [than the previous version] on the hardware that most customers have," said Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the Windows product management group at Microsoft, during a conference call with reporters last Thursday.
Compared to Vista, Windows 7 will be faster and work better on systems such as netbooks, which have less powerful processors and less memory than other computers, he said.

While Microsoft hasn't detailed plans for Vista after the launch of Windows 7, Nash said Windows XP will continue to be available on netbooks for one year after the launch of the new operating system.

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Apple Prepping Cheaper and More Affordable Macs

Owing to the soaring popularity of cheap netbooks in ongoing economic situation, Apple is gearing up to slash prices of some of its renowned Mac models, according to a report from AppleInsider.

The new set of rumours suggests that Apple is all set to come up with less-expensive versions of its 13-inch Macbook and iMac devices in as early as in a month. As of now, the cheapest Macbook model costs $999 and the iMac range starts at $1,199.

“It’s believed that the first batch of more affordable Macs could turn up as early as this spring as part of a restructured MacBook line”, the report says.

The report further stated that the expected price-cut isn’t actually a response to Microsoft’s recent ad campaign that targets Mac as overly cool and expensive device, but it is tailored to get some space in netbook market that saw incredible rise in sales during past year.

Apple doesn’t have any presence in netbook domains, saying that these are compromised systems sporting “cramped keyboard, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens, and a [a poor] consumer experience”.

But, with around 3 percent decline in Mac sales in the first quarter from a period year ago, coupled with a significant rise in netbook sales, it seems that Apple has finally acknowledged the significance of these small-sized systems.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Panda Security has announced that it is releasing the industry's first cloud computing antivirus system for free.

The company has made the beta release of the Cloud Antivirus software available for download and says it will scan and quarantine malware with 50 per cent less performance load than traditional antivirus systems.

"We truly believe that Panda Cloud Antivirus represents a quantum leap in protection over the traditional approach to antivirus architecture," said Juan Santana, chief executive for Panda Security.

"We're excited to make it available today for free, which is Panda's way of paying back to the community and growing our Collective Intelligence network so that we can deliver even greater protection to all customers."

Panda says that the system uses a new method of virus scanning that installs detection systems n the host PC but then uses cloud analytics to check for security problems. On average this uses less memory, only 17MB of RAM the company claims.
By making it available the company is trying to increase the size of its Collective Intelligence network from its current user base which pulls in 50,000 software samples a day.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cablevision Systems Corp plans to roll out super-fast Internet access connections that can allow a customer to download a full-length high-definition movie in less 10 minutes.

The New York-based cable operator said on Tuesday it is also doubling the speed of its Wi-Fi wireless Internet service -- free for subscribers -- as it steps up its offerings to counter the competitive threat of Verizon Communications' FiOS service.

Cablevision customers will pay nearly $100 a month to use the new high-speed Internet service, which will deliver download speeds of up to 101 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 15 megabits per second. Such speeds can enable the download of up to 750 digital photos or 150 songs in one minute.

The company plans to roll out the service across its entire market starting May 11. Currently Cablevision offers download speeds of 15 megabits per second for $45 to $50 a month.

It remains to be seen how much customer demand there is for new super-fast Internet access, which cable companies charge premium prices for. Comcast Corp charges up to $139 a month for its 50 megabit Wideband service in certain markets, for instance.
"Right now the real demand for 50 to 100 megabits is pretty limited," said Todd Mitchell, analyst at Kaufman Bros. "But over the next two to three years, the number of video applications we all use will grow exponentially so it will become a necessary level of service."

Cablevision will be the first of the major U.S. cable operators to roll out new super-fast speeds to its entire network using a new cable technology called DOCSIS 3.0. Other cable operators like Comcast and Charter Communications started trying out the super-fast access speed in some of their regions last year.

The cable companies are increasing access speeds in response to the launch of advanced digital services from phone companies Verizon and AT&T Inc, and also encouraged by the popularity of Web video services like Google Inc's YouTube and Hulu, a venture of News Corp and NBC Universal.

Faster speeds will make it easier to watch video programing over the Web, but there are industry concerns that they might also make it easier for customers to 'cut the cord' of traditional cable TV subscriptions.

"The cable operators are trying to walk a fine line," said Craig Moffett, analyst at Sanford Bernstein.

Moffett said the challenge for the operators is how to preserve their current technology and speed advantage over phone companies without harming their core video offering.

"They don't want to provide so much bandwidth that they foster the means to bypass their core service," he said.

Cablevision is also doubling the speed of its wireless Internet access to 3.0 megabits per second using Wi-Fi technology. The company offers the service for free to Cablevision subscribers using their laptops and other mobile devices around certain locations in its local area.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Hewlett-Packard is today launching a new line of inexpensive business laptops with fresh features targeting small and medium companies.

The machine will be the company's new mainstream business notebook and replaces the HP Compaq line, although the Compaq name will continue to be used in other PCs.

The ProBook offers an optional Linux-based operating system pre-installed - Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11, the company's first-ever Linux pre-install on a standard business laptop.

The machine comes with a choice of finishes - including an optional "Merlot" color - dark red to you and me - and a raised keyboard design that the company promises makes it easier to clean.

"The stunning HP ProBook s-series delivers exceptional style and aggressive pricing that will captivate small and medium business users," said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. "But it's not just about good looks or low cost, the HP ProBooks deliver the right blend of features and professional innovations to provide a great user experience."

The ProBooks come with 14-inch, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch screen sizes, with prices starting at $529. Some models incorporate HP Mobile Broadband. There is built-in Qualcomm Gobi technology, enabling them to use a single module, the HP un2400, to support multiple mobile broadband network technologies and mobile operators.

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SEAGATE ANNOUNCED a USB backup appliance aimed at Windows PCs on Monday.

The company's easy to use backup system, which it calls Replica, doesn't require the user to do much more than plug in the device. It plugs into a USB 2.0 port and draws its power over the same USB connection, so it doesn't need a separate power brick, cord or plug. The drive is about the size of a paperback book and weighs about half a pound.

Once the user connects the Replica, all they have to do is click OK to accept the software licence. The device then copies everything on the system it's connected to, including the operating system, settings, applications and all the data files it finds - documents, emails, pictures, music, movies and whatever else the user has on their PC. The system is capable of backing up either a single PC or multiple PCs.

Once the Replica finishes its initial backup, it runs in the background as long as it remains plugged-in, quietly and continuously backing up all changed files.

Terry Cunningham, a Seagate senior vice president, said in a statement, "While people continue to amass digital content, many still don’t understand the importance of backing up their libraries of personal memories, or they don’t take the time."

He reckons: "The Seagate Replica is about as easy as it gets."

Seagate's Replica mindless backup appliance for Windows PCs doesn't come cheaply, however. The 250GB model for backing up one PC costs $130, while the 500GB model capable of backing up multiple PCs is priced at $200.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peapod was announced late last year as a small street electric vehicle which I would say is notable for the smile-like design of its grill. It's a low-speed machine that has a max speed of 25 mph the designer, Peter E. Arnell (whose name acronym is PEA, thus the car is named Peapod), calls a Mobi; a term he coined and branded. Starting this coming Earth Day, April 22, 2009, Peapod will finally be available directly to consumers through the company web site, the first batch of orders slated to be delivered by October.

The final Peapod model differs a bit from the prototype shown before, completely removing the doors for the backseat. Besides that, it retains most of its design which is inspired by a combination of Japanese bullet trains, space helmets, turtles, and of course, Star Wars storm troopers (as was mentioned to Treehugger by Arnell). Wired takes note that it doesn't make sense for the Peapod to actually require an iPod or an iPhone to start, even if it comes with apps that analyze your carbon footprint and how much money is saved by using the electric vehicle. But just in case non-iPod users plan to purchase one of these $12,500 babies, there's an in-dash iPod you can buy separately.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Indiana in March joined seven other U.S. states with a jobless rate of at least 10 percent, and unemployment surged in Oregon, Washington and West Virginia as the worst employment slump in the postwar era rippled through the economy.

Indiana’s jobless rate jumped to 10 percent last month from 9.4 percent in February, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. Michigan, with 12.6 percent, remained the state with the highest unemployment rate, followed by Oregon at 12.1 percent. The rate in California rose to 11.2 percent from 10.6 percent.

“There is a bad news story in just about every part of the country right now,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Economists at Wachovia and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch are among those predicting the rate nationally, currently at a 25-year high of 8.5 percent, will also reach 10 percent. The need to cut costs and boost profits means payrolls will keep dropping even as the economy begins to recover from the recession.

Forty-six states registered increases in the unemployment rate in March from the prior month, three states had no change, while North Dakota and the District of Columbia posted a drop, the Labor Department said.

Oregon Jumps

Unemployment in Oregon saw the biggest jump for the month, climbing 1.4 percentage points from February’s 10.7 percent. Joblessness rose by 0.9 percentage point in Washington, to 9.2 percent, and in West Virginia, where it reached 6.9 percent, Labor said.

The Northwest “is getting the double whammy from the slumps in trade and aerospace,” said Michael Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC in Boulder, Colorado. “We may be seeing the impact from the collapse in trade along the whole west coast.”

Payroll employment in March decreased in 48 states and the District of Columbia. California led with a loss of 62,100 jobs, followed by Florida with 51,900 workers dismissed. Texas, North Carolina, Illinois and Ohio rounded out the six states with the biggest loss of jobs.

“Economic weakness is greatest in parts of the country with the most direct links to the housing boom and bust,” Wachovia’s Vitner said. “Also, those with the greatest concentration in manufacturing” are hurting, he said.

RV Collapse

A “collapse” in production of recreational vehicles in the area of Elkhart, Indiana, combined with links to the auto industry have contributed to the surge in unemployment in the state, said Marc Lotter, communications director for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Bob Warnock, 52, president of Teamsters Local 364 in South Bend, which covers North Central Indiana, including Elkhart, said the collapse of the RV industry has affected many of his members, from vending machine operators that once stocked now idled plants to truck drivers.

“I’ve been with this local for 26 years and I have never, ever seen it this bad,” he said in an interview. “The trickle down just spreads and spreads. It’s affecting everything.”

A factory slump also hurt Oregon, said David Cooke, an economist at the state’s employment department. In addition, Oregon residents that lost their jobs in neighboring California have returned to their home state seeking work, causing the labor force to bulge and having a “substantial effect” on the jump in joblessness, he said.

Exceeding 10%

Other states with unemployment exceeding 10 percent in March were South Carolina at 11.4 percent, North Carolina at 10.8 percent, Rhode Island at 10.5 percent and Nevada at 10.4 percent, figures showed today.

The economy has lost about 5.1 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. Payrolls fell by 663,000 in March and the jobless rate jumped to the highest level since 1983. This month, Labor Department figures showed the total number of people collecting unemployment benefits climbed to a record 6.02 million in the week ended April 4.

Finding work again is getting harder because expertise isn’t necessarily transferable from industry to industry, said Craig Hewitt of Atlanta, who lost a management job in October with HSBC Holdings Plc’s auto-finance unit after six years.

Specific Skills

“Employers who are out there have become very specific in what they are looking for,” said Hewitt, 43, who hasn’t landed a single interview after six months of searching for a job and applying for about 40 positions. “It is challenging for all those who have been in financial services as a career as that business has been decimated.”

Fewer job postings are eroding advertising revenue at newspapers, causing firings and prompting some journalists to consider other lines of work. Robert Taylor, a feature writer for the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, California, lost his job in July after eight years.

Taylor, who also worked at the Oakland Tribune for 25 years before that, said he is a month away from finishing classes for a marketing certificate program at San Francisco State University. He has rewritten his resume numerous times, applied for at least 15 jobs, and is still searching daily for public relations or marketing positions.

“I’ve never been unemployed for so long in my life,” said Taylor. “When I was laid off I thought I’d certainly have another job by year-end. Now I doubt I’ll ever work for a newspaper again.”

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headquarters in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, where Sony Ericsson cut 450 of 750 workers last fall.

The mobile phone manufacturer officials did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment on how the new round of cuts would affect RTP.

Sony Ericsson saw its first quarter sales fall 35 percent, to 14.5 million units, from the same period a year ago. Sales totaled $2.25 billion, down 36 percent from the first quarter of 2008.

As a result of the losses, the company announced it would look to cut its operating expenses by $520 million and reduce its total work force by 2,000 people. Those cuts should be completed by mid-2010.

The latest round of cuts come nine months after Sony-Ericsson announced plans to shave $300 million in a round of cuts that dropped the ax on 2,000 jobs. Those cuts have already been completed.

“We are aligning our business to the new market reality with the aim of bringing the company back to profitability as quickly as possible,” company president Dick Komiyama said in a statement.

The company has continued to struggle in the cell-phone market. Sony-Ericsson estimated its market share fell about 2 percentage points to 6 percent overall.

The company also expects global cell-phone sales to fall about 10 percent from 2008, when almost 1.2 billion units were sold.

The handset maker is a joint venture between Japan’s Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Sweden’s Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC).

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

T-Mobile is plans to make two new devices running on the Google Android platform early next year. The wireless carrier will introduce a home phone and a tablet computer, both powered by Google's mobile operating system.

Confidential documents cited by The New York Times suggest that alongside its current offering of Google Android devices (T-Mobile G1 and soon the G2), T-Mobile will venture into unchartered waters with a home phone and a small form factor tablet computer, also powered by Google's mobile OS.

The home phone from T-Mobile is said to plug into a docking station and also come with another device used to synchronize data while it recharges the battery. The tablet computer will feature a seven-inch touchscreen and won't have any physical keyboard.

T-Mobile was the first wireless carrier in the world to launch a Google Android phone -- the T-Mobile G1. Despite starting off slowly, Android gained user traction and more mobile phone manufacturers committed to building devices using it. The wireless carrier will launch the T-Mobile G2, its second iteration of the Google phone later on this year.

After delaying its Android offering, Samsung is also set to launch several new Google devices, the first one reportedly coming out in June. Motorola is building an Android phone as well, with an expected launch date sometime in October.

For more information visit here
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Suggestion: Fun With Google Suggest

Google Suggest is a Google Search feature that automatically completes a search query with suggested phrases as you type in the Google search text field. Suggestions are meant to be helpful--but they can sometimes be funny, bizarre, or downright creepy.

We initially got lassoed into playing around with this Google feature when we noticed that select search queries were generating inexplicably odd auto-complete suggestions. The phrase "What would Jesus..." generated the suggestion "What would Jesus do for a Klondike bar?"

First, though, a bit of background. Google says that its software makes suggestions based on complex popularity algorithms that are designed to predict the queries you are most likely to want to submit. Suggestions appear in a drop-down menu; and next to the suggested search phrases are green numbers approximating how many search results each particular query would return.

Google Suggest works with current versions of the Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Chrome Web browsers. If you find the service annoying, you can turn it off by visiting your Google Preferences page.

We spent way too much time playing with this feature. We were hoping Google Suggest might shed some light on important questions such as “The meaning to life is...” But what we found instead was "The meaning to life is Christopher Walken." Who knew?

What follows are funny and sometimes insightful answers to random questions.

For more fun with Google services, check out:

  • -- The Strangest Sights in Google Earth
  • -- Strangest Sights in Google Street View
  • -- Google's Top 17 Easter Eggs, Gags, and Hoaxes

And as the search results pictured above suggest, when you've had your fill of fun with Google, you can turn your attention to "fun with goats."

For more images and information visit here
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

'Elke' the four-day-old hand raised Francois Leaf-Monkey is shown for the first time at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. The Leaf-Monkeys native habitat is Northeast Vietnam and Southeast China.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Adobe has partnered with one of the most popular social networking Web sites, Facebook, to give developers a new set of tools to create applications.

The applications will use Adobe's Flash platform and the new ActionScript 3 Client Library for Facebook the two companies developed together. The client library is a free open source programming language that supports Facebook application programming interfaces (APIs) including Facebook Connect.

Adrian Ludwig, Adobe's group manager for platforms, told Macworld that the companies will release the library and then gather feedback from developers. The libraries will be updated, adding functionality based on that feedback, allowing developers to make better applications.

The number and types of developers using Flash is increasing all the time. Some of the developers are focused on Flash, while others are coming from more traditional segments of the market.

"We are seeing that it's becoming quite easy for traditional developers to start using Flash," said Ludwig. "That's quite a change from where it was five to eight years ago when Flash was focused on animation."

Adobe said that Flash Player 9 has 98 percent penetration, meaning that 98 percent of all Internet connected computers have the application installed. The company did a study two months after the release of Flash Player 10 and found 55 percent penetration. While not released yet, Ludwig said he expects the latest adoption rate for Flash Player 10 to top 80 percent.

Those numbers give Flash Player 10 the fastest adoption rate of any version of Flash Player, according to Adobe.

Writing Facebook applications in Flash is not new. In fact, 12 of top 20 apps on Facebook use Flash. However, the new tools should make it easier for developers in the future.

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Microsoft plans to make those announcements and others related to the Marketplace on Tuesday at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas.

Some of the features of the Marketplace match those of existing mobile application stores from Apple and Google, but Microsoft -- and any other company that launches a new mobile app store -- will have to add exciting capabilities in order to match the popularity of the iPhone's App Store.

Microsoft plans to announce that people who buy an application from the Marketplace will have 24 hours to return the application for a full refund. The setup is similar to one adopted by Google when it launched its Android store last year, but different from Apple, which doesn't allow returns of iPhone apps. If a user returns an application, Microsoft will refund its 30 percent share of the sales price and the developer will return its 70 percent share.

Marketplace users will also have more options on how to pay for applications than do users of the competitive stores, said Aaron Woodman, director of consumer product management for mobile communications at Microsoft. Windows Mobile 6.5 users will be able to pay with a credit card or put the purchase on their mobile service bill. iPhone users pay for apps through Apple's iTunes content platform, and Android phone users can only pay for applications through the fledgling Google Checkout payment service, a limitation that some developers blame for slow sales.

Microsoft will also let mobile operators create stores within the Marketplace, Woodman said. The operator stores will appear among categories such as games and productivity applications in the store.

Windows Mobile users are likely to be most interested in some of the name-brand applications that Microsoft plans to announce at the conference. Despite Microsoft's financial stake in Facebook, there is not yet an official Facebook application for Windows Mobile phones. That will change in four to six weeks, when a Facebook application will become available for current Windows Mobile users. Facebook also plans to release an application

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Nano Costing just 100,000 rupees ($1,979; £1,366), the TATA Nano is being launched in Mumbai later, before going on sale across India over the next 10 days.

Tata hopes the 10 feet (3 metre) long, five-seater car will be cheap enough to encourage millions of Indians to trade up from their motorcycles.

Car industry analysts estimate it will take five or six years for Tata to start to make a profit from the Nano.

Factory row

The four-door Nano has a 33bhp, 624cc engine at the rear.

The basic model has no airbags, air conditioning, radio, or power steering. However, more luxurious versions will be available.

A slightly bigger European version, the Nano Europa is due to follow in 2011, and is expected to cost nearer to £4,000.

Analysts said that if the car proves an immediate hit in its home market, Tata may struggle to meet demand.

This is because the main Nano factory in the western state of Gujarat, which will be able to build 250,000 cars a year, is not due to open until next year.
In the meantime, Tata will only be able to build about 50,000 Nanos at its existing plants.

The delay happened when Tata had to abandon plans to build the Nano in a new plant in the eastern state of West Bengal due to a row over land acquired from farmers.
This caused the launch of the Nano to be put back by six months.
Quarterly loss

Even if Tata can sell 250,000 models a year, it will add only 3% to the firm's revenues, says Vaishali Jajoo, auto analyst at Mumbai's Angel Broking.
"That doesn't make a significant difference to the top line," he said.
"And for the bottom line, it will take five to six years to break even."
Yet with seven million motorcycles sold last year in India, Tata is eying a huge marketplace for the Nano.

Like almost all global carmakers, Tata has seen sales fall as the global economic downturn has continued.

The firm made a 2.63bn rupees loss for three months between October and December.
In addition, Tata is struggling to refinance the remaining £2bn of its £3bn loan it took out to buy the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford in June of last year.
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

There are probably a bunch of things in your life that you wish you could undo, but cannot. Thankfully, technology allows you to do that, to some extent.

The next time you realize you will invite a devil's wrath after sending an email from Gmail to someone you shouldn't have, you'll have an option to undo this action. But you have to hurry up; you'll have only 5 seconds!

This feature, called "Undo Send," is yet another experimental feature that comes from Gmail Labs. After enabling the feature, Gmail shows an "undo" link whenever you send a message.

Now, when you undo the sending of a mail, Gmail saves it as a draft and you can continue editing the message or discard it.

How to Activate:

1. Go to Gmail Labs
2. Look for "Undo Send"
3. Choose Enable

Also, if keyboard shortcuts are enabled in your Gmail account, a better option than clicking on "undo" is to press "z."

It is debatable whether 5 seconds is enough for you to realize whether the message you sent was a mistake.

"Goggles" is another Gmail Labs feature that helps you to not send messages when you're sleep-befuddled (at night). It does so by making you solve math problems before your message can be sent.
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) will release the latest version of Internet Explorer at noon Eastern time on Thursday, bringing major changes in a bid to hold onto the browser's dominance and fend off an increasingly crowded field of browsers, including the still-surging Mozilla Firefox.

Internet Explorer 8 brings to the table a number of new user-friendly features, increased standards support, and much improved security. The browser has been downloaded tens of millions of times since it entered public testing mode a little more than a year ago, constituting one of Microsoft's largest beta tests ever. Improved security is one of IE8's most significant features. NSS Labs released an independent study early Thursday showing IE8 significantly besting Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera in catching and blocking malware. With its SmartScreen filtering, IE8 Release Candidate 1 caught 69% of malware, while Firefox 3.07 caught only 30%.

In telemetry from beta testers, Microsoft has found malware to be a common occurance -- one IE8 user in 40 has gotten a malware block, while 1 million users per month are prevented from browsing to phishing sites.

IE8 also contains a number of other security features, including an InPrivate Browsing mode that keeps no trail of browsing history and new features that prevents certain cross-site scripting attacks, click-jacking, and the installation of malicious ActiveX controls.

Nevertheless, a hacker successfully hijacked a machine running the IE8 release candidate and Windows 7 beta -- competitive browsers were hacked, too -- in a contest at the CanSecWest security conference on Wednesday.

The user interface in IE8 has been overhauled, adding new features such as color-coded browser tabs to group recently opened tabs together, the ability to recommend sites, a new visual search feature that allows users to see pictures of things such aseBay (NSDQ: EBAY) and Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) results, auto-completion of searches and URLs, and a toolbar like Mozilla Firefox's for searching within a page. New tabs also show commonly visited Web sites as links, and tabs work in isolation so that if one tab crashes, the entire browser doesn't.

Throughout the testing process, Microsoft has focused most heavily on two new usability features, Web Slices and Accelerators. Accelerators let users perform actions like translation, mapping, and search from the right-click context menu, which brings up a window inside the current page to show translated text, a map, or search results.

Web Slices, which requires work on the part of site developers and therefore are still few and far between, let users create a link on their favorites bar, which brings up only a small portion of a Web site such as a condensed local weather forecast.

Microsoft claims that IE8 is faster or as fast as its main competitors, though the claim is debatable since Microsoft itself did the tests. The company released a high-speed video last week showing highly trafficked Web sites loading side-by-side in multiple browsers; IE8 came out ahead more often than not. Still, Microsoft isn't overplaying its hand here, simultaneously raising and downplaying the results. "These differences come down to milliseconds," Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft's general manager of Internet Explorer, said in an interview.

The other significant -- and controversial -- new feature in IE8 is standards support. While developers and standards advocates have long complained that IE didn't support Web standards well enough, standards support comes at a cost, namely compatibility. In IE8, Microsoft includes both a legacy browsing mode and a standards browsing mode so that non-standard sites still load.

Developers can add a tag to their sites letting IE know if the site should be opened in standards mode or compatibility mode. Microsoft also maintains a blacklist of standards-mode incompatible sites.

IE8 will be available at launch in 25 languages, for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Server in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. However, IE8 won't be available for the Mac.

For more information visit here
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Networking giant Cisco has unveiled its Unified Computing System (UCS) strategy, targeting IT managers with what chief executive John Chambers described as "not a product announcement, but a datacentre architecture announcement."

Chambers said the new platform would "unify compute hardware, network and storage access, with the power of virtualisation."

"We enter markets when we see an inflection point and this is the third of a five phase approach to our datacentre strategy," he said.

"It's going to be enterprise services-led - we've got high-touch engagements with enterprise customers and service providers."

Cisco said the datacentre architecture would incorporate a new server product, the UCS B-series blade server containing Intel's latest chip, the soon-to-launch Nehalem processor. No technical specifications were announced at the launch, but Cisco's designate executive vice president Rob Lloyd said more details would be released in April.

Currently Cisco has rolled out test systems to 10 beta sites and plans to seed trial rollouts to selected businesses as well. One customer who was named was IT service provider Savvis, although Chambers said there were also financial, automotive and service provider clients trialing the system.

Cisco said UCS would be an open system allowing, Microsoft, VMware and other virtualisation packages to run on top of the hardware, and several of Cisco's partners were involved in the global announcement.

VMware chief executive Paul Maritz said its customers were, "reaching for new levels of flexibility and efficiency."

"There's no more debate as to whether virtualisation is a good strategy, but it's incumbent on us to remove the roadblock from the current level of servers that have been virtualised by businesses. We're trying to move our software from enterprise-grade to cloud-grade – basically attempting to achieve 'cloud'-like levels of service," he said.

Microsoft's president for server and tools business, Bob Muglia, said that while all customers were looking to save money through virtualisation, there is also a chance "to save people costs in datacentre management."

EMC chief executive Joe Tucci described UCS as "game changing in terms of speed, cost, scale and eliminating complexity."

One of the current conundrums for datacentre managers is how to increase the percentage of servers being virtualised, while making the resulting virtual infrastructure easier to manage. BMC chief executive Bob Beauchamp said what was needed, "was a single pane of glass to manage all firms' virtual infrastructure. "

However, Blade Network Technologies president and chief executive, Vikram Mehta, warned customers that: "For Cisco, it's all about getting a bigger share of wallet from IT customers. There's not a lot of markets you can step into, and servers are a $60bn market. It's Cisco's relentless quest for growth that is overtaking what's best for customers."

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google has begun testing a service that will make transcripts of voice-mail messages and make them searchable.

For now, Google will only offer voice-mail transcription to existing customers of GrandCentral Communications, a telecommunications service provider that it bought in July 2007, it said in a posting on the Official Google Blog.

GrandCentral offers customers a single number through which they can forward calls to their work, home or mobile phone, filter calls before answering them, record conversations and access an archive of recordings and voice mail via the Web. Just like Google's promise that with its Gmail e-mail service, you'll never need to delete another message, GrandCentral promises to archive voicemail "for life."

Google isn't saying yet whether it will make and store transcripts of recorded conversations in addition to voice-mail messages.

GrandCentral stopped accepting new customers after Google bought it and even now, rebranded as Google Voice, the service is still closed to new business. Since its acquisition, GrandCentral has invited prospective customers to leave their e-mail address to reserve a number, and Google said it will begin responding to those requests "in a matter of weeks."

Google claims its service is the only fully automated voice-mail transcription service on the market. The transcriptions may include mistakes, and Google will make accuracy improvements over time, it said.

In contrast, other automated transcription services already on the market rely on a small amount of human intervention to improve transcription accuracy and teach the software new words on the fly.

Last week Skype began transcribing its customers' voice mail messages into SMS (Short Message Service) text messages using technology from U.K. company Spinvox. If the Spinvox software is unsure about a word, it plays that part of the recording to a person who confirms or corrects the transcription.

Spinvox began launching services in the U.K. in 2005 and now powers the voice-mail transcription services offered by North American carriers including Alltel, Cincinnati Bell, Rogers and Telus. Telus will send transcripts to its subscribers via SMS or e-mail.

Another software company, Nuance Communications, announced a competing offering last April. It hasn't named any customers yet, but operators in France and Spain are deploying its voice mail-to-text service, a company spokesman said last month.

Skype makes its transcription service pay for itself by charging for the SMS messages, but Google hasn't said how it will make money from its transcriptions, which like other GrandCentral services are free.

One obvious revenue source for Google would be targeting advertising: when a friend leaves a message suggesting you meet for dinner, the transcript might be displayed alongside an advertisement for a local restaurant. Google might also use the transcripts to improve the profiles of its users' interests that it is building in order to deliver interest-based or behavioural advertising, a move it announced on Wednesday.

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Apple have unveiled their new iPod Shuffle.

A new feature means that the MP3 player can talk to the user in 14 languages, telling them the artist and title of the song they are listening to.

The revamped iPod Shuffle, which measures around 46mm by 8mm, is the smallest ever made, and weighs only 10.7 grams.

Controls are mounted on the headphone lead for the first time, rather than on the body of the player.

The third generation iPod Shuffle, which comes in only silver or black, can store 4GB of music or 1,000 songs.

It talks to you because there's no screen. It could be the beginning of an Apple virtual DJ.

The player, the entry level in Apple's range, was originally launched in January 2005.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Apparently, Internet Explorer is on its way out. is saying that Internet Explorer 8 will be the last traditional version of Microsoft's web browser, and that Microsoft's next web browser will be based on a promising Microsoft Research project dubbed "Gazelle".

Reading through the Microsoft Research paper on Gazelle, it becomes clear that it is an intricate beast. It relies on a "browser kernel", 5000 lines of C# code, that exposes the underlying system to webpages using a set of system calls. Web content does not interact with the actual operating system at all; all communication goes through the sandboxed browser kernel. The browser kernel takes care of all resource protection and sharing.

In addition, Gazelle takes the multi-process approach used by Google's Chrome and Internet Explorer 8 a few steps further by not only running each tab or webpage in a separate process, but by also giving separate parts of each website their own process. The authors of Gazelle believe the model introduced by Chrome isn't sufficient. "This granularity [in Chrome and IE8] is insufficient since a user may browse multiple mutually distrusting sites in a single tab, and a web page may contain an iframe with content from an untrusted site (e.g., ads)," they explain. They go even further by considering content coming from "" to be separate from "". Plug-ins are also run in separate, sand-boxed processes, so that if they go bad, they only affect that particular sandboxed plug-in process.

Currently, Gazelle is built with some additional IE bits on top, and is not production ready. Still, it renders most websites correctly, but there is an additional performance overhead thanks to the IE bits. The authors also state that they have made no concessions to backwards compatibility in favour of security.

JCXP now claims that Gazelle will be the basis for Microsoft's next web browser, which won't sport the IE name, but there's no source. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen; when news of Singularity came out, the entire web automatically assumed that this Microsoft Research project would be the next Windows. Still, the ideas behind Gazelle are sound, and don't sound too far-fetched to be implemented.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

TAIPEI -(Dow Jones)- Apple Inc. (AAPL) is planning to launch a netbook computer with a touch screen monitor as early as the second half of this year, two people close to the situation told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday.

The mini laptop computers will likely have monitor screens that are between 9.7-inches and 10-inches, one person, who declined to be named, said.

Another person said other specifications and functions are still under evaluation.

Apple is working with Taiwan's Wintek Corp. (2384.TW), a contract manufacturer of small and medium displays, to make the touch-screen displays and Quanta Computer Inc. (2382.TW), the world's largest notebook maker by revenue, to assemble the new netbooks, the second person said.

Netbooks are primarily designed for Internet browsing and mobile computing. They cost less than conventional laptop computers, and are lighter and smaller.

A slew of PC makers including Dell Inc. (DELL), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and Acer Inc. (2353.TW) have in recent months entered this market segment. The companies are hoping to tap new computer users in emerging markets.

Apple's entry may come in what is expected to be a very tough year for computer sales. Desktop-computer shipments in particular are expected to fall by nearly one-third globally in 2009 as consumers increasingly shift to laptop computers, according to projections released by research firm Gartner Inc. earlier in March.

While netbook computers have become a major sales driver for computer companies, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs last year dismissed netbooks, even going so far as to suggest Apple's third-generation iPhone - a smartphone device that offer multifunctions - could serve as a netbook. Jobs told analysts in October Apple isn't "tremendously worried" the slump will drive customers to less-expensive PCs and added, "we don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk."

Jill Tan, a spokeswoman for Apple in Asia, declined to comment Tuesday. Wintek spokeswoman Susie Lee and Quanta Computer investor relations officer Carol Hsu declined to comment.

Apple, like many other big personal-computer and consumer-electronics brands, doesn't actually make most of its products. It hires manufacturing specialists - mainly companies from Taiwan that have extensive operations in China - to assemble its gadgets based on Apple's designs.

The arrangement frees Apple and its fellow vendors from running complicated, labor-intensive production lines, while the ability of Taiwanese companies to slash manufacturing costs helps cut product prices over time.

Quanta assembles Apple's MacBook and iMac computers.

Shares of Wintek and Quanta rose on the news. Wintek shares rose 6.9% to NT$ 11.70, while Quanta shares gained 4.4% to NT$37.60. The broader market closed up 0.9%.

But Yuanta Securities analyst Vincent Chen said the share price gains may be limited as orders from Apple may not be large.

"Apple is unlikely to make very cheap products. The netbook would most likely be very niche, meaning volume is going to be small."

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