Monday, August 31, 2009

Windows 7 Sensor and Location - Deep Dive

The Windows Sensor and Location platform, new for Windows 7, enables your computer and applications to adapt to their current environment. Previously, we introduced the Windows 7 Location Platform Overview; in this video, we take a deep dive into the Location Platform architecture and APIs. Join Alec Berntson and Yochay Kiriaty as they explains why location gets a special set of APIs and what makes the Location Platform such an amazing platform for developers.
In the Windows 7 Developer Kit you can find Hands On Labs and additional content on Windows 7 Sensor and Location. You can find additional information about the Windows 7 Sensor and Location Platform in the:
Windows 7 Sensor and Location Platform Developer Center on MSDN
Windows 7 Sensor and Location Platform series of posts
PDC session recording - Windows 7: The Sensor and Location Platform: Building Context-Aware Applications.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

GSCREEN SPACEBOOK 2009 - Dual Screen Laptop

The world's first laptop with twin monitors is slated to hit the stores by the end of the year.

The dual-screen laptop, entitled Spacebook, was masterminded by Alaska-based technology firm gScreen.

The pioneering technology, that will let users to multi-task while on the move, will have two 15.4 in screens, reports the Telegraph.

The PC is estimated to cost enthusiasts around 3,000 dollars but not without concerns regarding the weight of the Spacebook and the pressure on the batteries to meet the energy demands of running two screens.

Gordon Stewart, the founder of gScreen, told US technology website Gizmodo, that the gadget could be expected to be up for grabs on Amazon by December this year, provided final modifications had been dealt with.

He said: "We designed this knowing that many may not need the extra screen at all times."

Spacebook is thought to be the first of its kind with twin screens of equal size.

The gScreen Spacebook series.

Spacebook planned Specs:
- 2 LED backlit display screens
- Windows VISTA/ WIN XP PRO (optional)
- Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26-GHz
- 4 GB of RAM (2GB DDR2 SO-DIMM x 2)
- 320GB 7200-rpm HD
- NVIDIA® GeForce® 9800M GT with 512MB dedicated memory (or)
- NVIDIA® Quadro FX 1700M Graphics with 512MB dedicated memory
- 9-cell battery
- IEEE 1394 1 Graphics Card Output (15-pin, D-Sub) X 1, HDMI X 1 Mic-in X 1, Line-in x 1, Headphone X 1 PCI Express Card X 1 AC Power Adaptor Output: 19V DC, 90W Input: 100~240V AC, 50/60Hz universal Battery Pack Li-ion 9 cells

100% North American Sales and Tech support for all gScreen laptop computers.
The gScreen Spacebook is the first dual screen laptop with two 15.4-inch identical screens and a full-size keyboard, built into one laptop unit.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Microsoft Develop "White-Fi" Technology

Microsoft Researchers working in conjunction with researchers from Harvard University have developed a breakthrough technology which would allow the use of the “whitespace” spectrum for wireless broadband networking. White spaces are the portions of the unlicensed spectrum that’s between the parts previously used to broadcast analog TV channels. The FCC hasn’t allowed this portion of the spectrum to be used in the past because it would interfere with other users, most notably the TV broadcasters. Since the analog to digital TV transition, however, parts of the spectrum are now being made available for public safety communications (such as police, fire departments, and rescue squads) while other parts are being auctioned off for wireless services like wireless broadband.

Microsoft was one of the first companies to receive a license from the FCC to create prototype white space devices. In order for these devices to locate other spectrum users and not interfere with their signals (wireless microphones are often used in this space, for example), the researchers developed a special algorithm which measures the spectrum and locates available frequencies. If interference occurs, the white space devices switch to another channel quickly. In Microsoft’s experiments, the transition took 3 seconds.

The resulting set of protocols used for wireless internet networking using these methods are collectively being called “White-Fi” technology because of their similarities to the Wi-Fi systems used today. With “White-Fi,” the long-range wireless broadband necessary to cover rural areas, could soon become a reality. It could even allow you to connect to your home’s router from up to a mile away, noted Ranveer Chandra, a researcher working on this project.

Although White-Fi technology won’t provide as much bandwidth as other wireless technologies like WiMAX or LTE, it would at least provide broadband comparable to Wi-Fi networks but at longer distances. (

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

RockMelt! A Mysterious Browser

Have you met RockMelt? Neither have most people, it seems -- but the Web is definitely a-buzzin' with word of the mysterious new browser. Thanks to a high-profile story in The New York Times , RockMelt's rapidly becoming the talk of the tech community.

So what exactly is RockMelt, and who's behind it? Most of the available info is sketchy at best. If you piece it all together, though, you can get a very rough picture of what the browser might be about. Here's a roundup of what's been revealed so far.

1. RockMelt's founders are two former Opsware employees.

The guys reportedly creating RockMelt are Tim Howe and Eric Vishria, both of whom used to work at networking company Opsware. Opsware was founded by Netscape creator Marc Andreessen and sold to HP in 2007.

2. Andreessen himself may be involved with RockMelt.

Andreessen is investing in RockMelt, according to unnamed sources quoted by The New York Times. Andreessen apparently alluded to the project in an interview earlier this summer as well, telling The Times he had "backed a really good team." Within minutes, The Times reports, Andreessen "appeared to regret his comment" and declined to elaborate any further.

3. RockMelt will be "different" from other browsers.

It's a vague statement, but Andreessen is quoted as telling The Times RockMelt would stand out from the pack of browsers currently on the market, focusing somehow on the "network of complex Web sites and applications" into which the Internet has evolved.

4. RockMelt may feature some kind of Facebook integration.

One of the areas of focus may involve some kind of social network integration. A Times reporter claims to have seen references to a RockMelt-Facebook relationship in a privacy policy once posted on the RockMelt home page. (The policy is no longer accessible from the site.) The reporter says the policy discussed the presence of features tied to a user's Facebook ID, including built-in access to Facebook updates and other content.

The idea of a Facebook relationship is echoed by materials published by tech blog ReadWriteWeb. The blog's lead writer, Marshall Kirkpatrick, says he obtained an early build of RockMelt. He calls it a "semi-independent desktop client for Facebook," offering a screenshot as an illustration.

Despite those reports, Facebook is denying knowledge of any kind of formal relationship with the startup. A Facebook spokesperson has gone on the record as saying the company is "not aware of any details about RockMelt and its product."

5. RockMelt may have its own URL shortener.

RockMelt has registered the domain as a URL shortener, ReadWriteWeb's Kirkpatrick claims. He says the domain was referenced on the RockMelt home page up until early this week.

According to DNS records, the domain was registered on April 16 of this year under the name "Klute-Thiemann Informationstechnologie GmbH & Co. KG." As of now, it points to a generic server landing page.

6. RockMelt's team is staying decidedly quiet.

The guys involved with RockMelt definitely don't want to say much about it. Eric Vishria tells The Times he and his group are "at very early stages of development," adding: "Talking about it at this stage is not useful." (

Monday, August 24, 2009

Nokia Introduces Booklet 3G 'Mini' Laptop

Nokia rocked the world by introducing its spin on the laptop, called the Booklet 3G. If you're the rude sort (like us) you could call it a fancy netbook, what with its Atom processor and 10.1-inch display, but that screen is higher res than your average Eee, and it also sports integrated 3G wireless and a hot-swappable SIM card, so it's definitely trying to define its own niche. It looks to be running Windows 7, which isn't particularly netbooky, and also has integrated A-GPS with a copy of Ovi Maps, HDMI output, a rated 12 hour battery life, and the usual Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, all in a 2cm (.78 inch), 2.7lb aluminum body that's understated, sophisticated, and should make most Nokia fans very happy -- Nokia fans who are looking for a tiny laptop, anyway. There's a fancy promotional video after the break, and while we don't have any anticipated release date or price just yet, we'll be learning more at Nokia World 09 on September 2. (

Garmin's First Windows Mobile Phone

GPS device manufacturer Garmin teamed up with electronic vendor Asustek Computer to create their first Windows Mobile smartphone which launched earlier this week in Taiwan. The phone, the Nuvifone M20, features a 2.8-inch touchscreen, a 3.0-megapixel camera, 4GB of flash memory, QWERTY keyboard, a full web browser, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a Qualcomm 7200A 528MH CPU. The phone’s camera also automatically geotags photos with date, time, and location data.

Of course, the phone features Garmin software for turn-by-turn directions in addition to other pre-installed applications like Microsoft Office and a location-based social networking platform called Ciao!TM that integrates various social networks into one interface.

What’s really cool are all the included location-based applications that deliver info like real-time traffic updates, gas prices, flight times, weather, White Pages and local search.

The phone is currently available in Taiwan and Hong Kong and will soon arrive in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, and then later this year in Europe. No word yet on the U.S. (

Friday, August 21, 2009

Twitter To Add Geo-Tagging

Micro-blogging service Twitter adds features that to allow users to add their location to their status updates, adding to speculation about how the service will make money.

Twitter is adding the ability to geo-tag individual updates Twitter is bringing easy geo-tagging to the popular micro-blogging service, and it adds another possible way that the service might be able to make money.

Writing on the company's blog, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote:

We're gearing up to launch a new feature which makes Twitter truly location-aware. A new API will allow developers to add latitude and longitude to any tweet. Folks will need to activate this new feature by choice because it will be off by default and the exact location data won't be stored for an extended period of time. However, if people do opt-in to sharing location on a tweet-by-tweet basis, compelling context will be added to each burst of information.

As Stone mentioned in his post, third party developers like Germany's Twibble have already produced geo-location services for Twitter. They relied on information pulled from the location details in users' profiles or from location information in the form of latitude and longitude or hash tags in the tweet itself.

Twibble's mobile client was specifically designed add the location information by pulling the data from the GPS radios in smartphones. It is a relatively easy process, but it has its drawbacks. Updating my profile location took a few steps in addition to posting a tweet, which became cumbersome if I was moving a lot, and embedding my coordinates or a location hash tag in the tweet itself took up precious characters. Hopefully, the geo-location API will make the process much easier and embed the meta-data in my tweets in such a way as to leave all of my 140 characters. (

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

LifeCam Cinema HD Unveiled

Microsoft just unveiled the latest in their line of LifeCam devices, the LifeCam Cinema HD. This is no basic webcam by any means as it offers 1280 x 720 HD resolution at 30 frames per second. That makes it the first consumer webcam support this level of HD, in fact. (It will also lead to some seriously high-quality Vimeo vids!)

The camera also features USB 2.0 connectivity, auto focus, a glass lens, a 4x digital zoom, a noise-canceling microphone, and a technology called “ClearFrame” which aims to deliver smooth and detailed video.

The new webcam is compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP out-of-the-box and also integrates with the Windows Live suite of tools including Live Messenger, Live Photo Gallery, and Live Movie Maker.

However, before you run out to purchase this hardware (which becomes available on September 9th), you’ll need to first check the hardware requirements. Since this camera does some heavy lifting, you’ll need at least a dual core 1.6 GHz processor in order to use it. However, a 3 GHz processor is recommended. You’ll also need 2 GB of memory.

The camera will retail for $79.99 here in the U.S. (

Monday, August 17, 2009

TomTom for iPhone

Turn-by-turn car navigation for iPhone is here. Tom Tom has just announced Navigation application for iPhone. I think its very good idea.
TomTom has made navigation available for your iPhone 3G. All you need is:

the TomTom app including the latest maps
(coming soon to the iTunes App Store)
the TomTom car kit that offers secure docking, enhanced GPS performance, clear voice instructions and hands-free calling, while charging your iPhone at the same time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stinger CE 6.0 R2 Robotics Kit

Just came across Stinger Kit. Its very good for learners and based on Win CE. Stinger CE Robotics Kit provides an fun, easy, and robust way for students to learn Windows CE 6.0. The Stinger CE combines our Stinger Robot Kit, Serializer Robot Controller, and an ICOP eBox-4300 Windows CE 6.0 R2 Spark Jump Start Kit for a proven platform for software development.

The Stinger CE Robotics Kit is designed to allow students to learn how to develop an embedded Windows CE device by:

Building and Deploying a WinCE 6.0 R2 image
Developing and Deploying WinCE 6.0 R2 applications
Developing Robotic applications using the Compact .NET Framework

This kit includes all of the hardware, software, and documentation you need to get started, right out of the box.

The Stinger CE Robot Kit Includes
Stinger Robot Kit
Serializer .NET Robot Controller
ICOP eBox-4300 Windows CE 6.0 R2 Spark Jump Start Kit
Null Modem Serial cable for debugging
5V Switching Voltage Regulator
Power Cable (regulator to eBox-4300
Push Button I/O/LED/Buzzer Board
Line Following Sensor or GP2D12/GP2D120 Sharp IR Distance Sensor (3) Package
Please note: This kit DOES NOT include batteries.
These batteries work well with the Stinger.

The 35 Best iPhone Apps

The following is a round-up of top picks iPhone Apps so far this year:

++Most practical++

1. Slacker Radio
A fantastic alternative to Pandora, which carries a larger catalog and offers Premium accounts that offers something we?ve always loathed about Pandora ? unlimited song skips. (Similar: Pandora, WunderRadio,

2. Hey Where Are You
A beautifully simple application that takes advantage of Push Notification, by letting users ask and answer the question ?Hey, Where Are You??

3. Textfree Unlimited
Currently the best alternative to high SMS plan costs, offering free text messaging using Push Notification.

4. Bento
Create simple databases to store information about every aspect of your life.

5. TweetDeck
Our new, favorite Twitter client that takes advantage of the same layout as its desktop counterpart ? multiple columns, separation of user groups, and more. (Similar: Tweetie, Twinkle, TwitterFON)

6. Print and Share
Print files, emails, web pages, contacts, images and even snapshots direct from your camera, straight to your home printer. Simple setup and works perfectly.

7. Flight Tracker
Watch flights in real-time and get up-to-the-minute arrival and departure times. This has saved me countless delayed pick-ups from the airport.

8. Read It Later
Store any web page for offline reading or to mark as a reminder to read. A bit tricky to setup at first, but it will quickly replace bookmarking for articles.

9. iEmoji
Activate emoticons in your keyboard to include in emails and text messages. Works only for iPhones, but the end reader does not need the app to see emoticons in your texts.

10. Birthday Reminder
Rarely check Facebook to see upcoming birthdays? This app downloads all of that information so you can access and easily see upcoming bdays offline.

11. Mover
Swap contacts and photos with other iPhones in an easy way. Requires both users to have the application, but it is free and quick to download. (Similar: Bump)

12. Simplify Music 2
Listen to your entire music library from your home computer, streamed quickly and without any lag. (Similar: Simply Music, imeem)

13. Cell Minute Tracker
We prefer Cell Minute Tracker to AT&T?s minute tracker any day. Much simpler, easy to navigate and much faster.

14. QuickOffice
Edit Word and Excel documents on the go.

15. Photogene
There are a multitude of photo editing apps out there, but you really only need one. Crop, rotate, adjust colors, and add filters with Photogene. (Similar: Camera Bag)

16. Skype
Superb quality Skype-to-Skype over WiFi using the Skype application. Finally be free of your computer and microphone to make those long distance calls. (Similar: Truphone)

17. Kindle
Skeptical at first, but found eBook reader surprisingly easy on the eyes and good for taking in a quick chapter. Offers plenty of free content, but won?t be replacing your physical Kindle.

18. Beejive IM 3.0
We mentioned this on last year?s roundup, but it deems reiteration. So far, the best multi-IM service client on the iPhone, now with Push Notification. AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, and more.

19. Redlaser
Extremely reluctant to include this on the list, but it does deserve a bottom slot. Scan UPC codes for price comparisons on the go, but wait for an update for improved scanning and database.

++Best Games ++

20. Real Racing
Standard track based racing game, but has the best graphics on an iPhone game to-date. Worth it alone to see what the iPhone is capable of.

21. Sims 3
Slightly watered down Sims 3, but still an excellent version on the go. Fantastic graphics and runs well.

22. My Brute
Create a fighter and compete in daily arena matches. Very simplistic, but highly addicting and will bring you back daily.

23. Mecho Wars
Advanced Wars for your iPhone and iPod Touch, enough said. Interesting art style and background story.

24. Zenonia
The first fully featured traditional 2D action RPG for your iPhone and iPod Touch.

25. Peggle
The time sucking, simple Pachinko style casual PC game from PopCap ported to your device.

26. Marble Blast Mobile
Another PC game port where you roll your marble through various levels, filled with obstacles and hazards.

27. Myst
Do we even need to explain this one?

28. Merlin's Legacy
An original IP based around two dueling wizards, battling for control across a 2D side-scrolling field. Interesting game mechanic based on spells and timing.

29. Assassin's Creed
A smaller version of Assassin?s Creed on your iPhone and iPod Touch. Plays rather smoothly and provides solid entertainment.

30. Oregon Trail
The classic Oregon Trail, updated with fantastic graphics and animation. Will keep you entertained just like when you were in school. Try not to die of dysentery.

31. Rolando 2
The sequel to the popular game of rolling little Rolandos around to save the kingdom. Your hands may cramp from hours of play.

++ Fun Timewasters ++

32. Doodle Jump
Dominated the Top 25 list for quite a while. Accelerometer based movement¿you guide your Doodle to bounce off platforms, jumping to the highest point possible as you avoid getting hit.

33. Mouth Off
Cover your mouth with your device and show off an assortment of crazy mouths that animate to the input sound of your voice. I?ve annoyed dining mates with this one more than once.

34. Pocket God
Well done, episodic content based on a simple toy of dealing with your islanders. Fun to show off to friends and receive new updates.

35. Flight Control
Elegantly simple and highly addictive game. You direct various planes to different landing strips, all the while trying to avoid collisions. Updated with Bluetooth device co-op.

Rogue Hotspot Warning!

CNN's Phil Black sees just how easy it is for hackers to dupe unwary Wi-Fi users into logging onto rogue access points.

Looking To The Futur!

CNN's Jim Boulden tests out a hi-tech hotel room, and we put potential back-saver Live Luggage to the test.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What Is Team Work!

Teamwork is a joint action by two or more people, in which each person contributes with different skills and express his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group in order to achieve common goals.

This does not mean that the individual is no longer important; however, it does mean that effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments. The most effective teamwork is produced when all the individuals involved harmonize their contributions and work towards a common goal.

In order for teamwork to succeed one must be a teamplayer. A teamplayer is one who subordinates personal aspirations and works in a coordinated effort with other members of a group, or team, in striving for a common goal. Businesses and other organizations often go to the effort of coordinating team building events in an attempt to get people to work as a team rather than as individuals. (Wikipedia).

May be this video can explain it very well .

Good luck, leave comments!

Microsoft Zune HD - Ready

The new Zune HD wireless media player connects you to a new world of entertainment. With built-in HD Radio™ receiver, HD-compatible video, multi-touch navigation, OLED screen, and games, Zune HD delivers the next level in music and video experiences.

The 32GB version holds up to 10 hours of high definition video, or 48 hours of standard definition video optimized for device, or 8,000 songs, or 25,000 pictures.1

Reasons to buy
•HD-compatible video:
Play high quality video on the go or on your HDTV.
Watch supported 720p HD movies, TV shows, and videos in high definition on your HDTV through the Zune HD AV Dock (sold separately).

•OLED touchscreen:
Get instant access to your content with multi-touch navigation.
With a 3.3-inch size and vivid 16:9 display (480 x 272 resolution), truer and brighter entertainment is at your fingertips.

•Internet browsing:
Surf the Web anytime, anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. Check email, traffic, and news with a full-featured optimized Web browser, including a touchscreen QWERTY keyboard.

•HD Radio: Get more stations and better sound, without fees. The new Zune HD gives you access to many local HD Radio stations for more sports, news, and music with crystal-clear digital sound at no extra cost.

•Wireless: Buy, stream, and update your music – and download free games – wirelessly via a Wi-Fi connection. You can also wirelessly sync your Zune HD to your home PC via your home network.

•Quickplay: Cut through the clutter and get instant access to your content with shortcuts to favorites, recently downloaded or played music, videos, and more.

Preorder is available from August 13, 2009 until September 15, 2009.

More details & buy...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MS Office 2010 Web - Powered By Silverlight

The most ambitious goal Microsoft is striving for with Office 2010 is making the suite available via a familiar experience across the PC, phone, and browser. The Office Web Apps will help in achieving this goal. Microsoft has emphasized time and again the Office Web Apps will work well across different browsers without any plugins installed, but that Silverlight will be used to improve the experience.

Microsoft hasn't given away all the details on how exactly that will work, but we now know that at the very least, Word documents and PowerPoint presentations will prompt the user to install Silverlight. On the Office Web Apps blog, the software giant did talk about the improvements that are seen in Word and PowerPoint, worth quoting in full:

How Does Word Web App Get Better With Silverlight?

•Faster load performance, since typically fewer bytes need to be downloaded before showing the document.
•Improved text fidelity at 100% zoom. This includes better text spacing and rendering.
•Greatly improved text fidelity at other zoom levels not 100%.
•Text will respect settings set in cleartype tuner, so you’re able to determine how much (if any) cleartype you’d like to see. The cleartype tuner is available on the web for older versions of Windows, and is included in Windows 7.
•Improved accuracy of hit highlighting in Find.
PowerPoint Web App Gets Better With Silverlight Too

There are some automatic benefits to having Silverlight installed when running the PowerPoint Web App. For example, animations smooth out a bit, and the slide will scale with the browser window size. However Silverlight is not required for rendering or animation.

In short, if Office Web Applications users can install Silverlight on the computer they are using, they will definitely want to. If they can't install Silverlight, like at an Internet Café, Office Web Applications will still work.

The Office Web Applications (browser versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote) were announced in October 2008 at PDC. In July 2009, Microsoft disclosed that the Office Web Apps would be available in three flavors: at no cost but with ads through Windows Live, on-premises for all Office volume licensing customers, and via Microsoft Online Services where customers will be able to purchase a subscription as part of a hosted offering.

Microsoft is planning on supporting Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.5 on Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as Safari 4 on Mac. Testers will get access to the Office Web Apps in August and the final versions will arrive in the first half of 2010, when the whole Office 2010 suite is expected to arrive.

Google Caffeine

Over the past few months, Google has been working on optimizing its search engine architecture for better, faster results. For some this may seem ridiculous: isn't Google already the fastest and most reliable search engine out there? Perhaps, but Google isn't about to rest on its laurels; it's committed to evolution.

The secret project is named Caffeine -- a wink at its speed increase -- and is designed to "push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and other dimensions." Right now anybody can try out its coffee-amped powers. But don't expect a mind-blowing spectacle of change: Caffeine's tweaks are all under the hood. I Googled myself using both Caffeine and the ordinary search and found no difference between the two. "Most users won't notice a difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we're opening up a web developer preview to collect feedback," Google wrote in a blog post.

If you're dissatisfied with your new and improved search results, Google wants to know. Check out the bottom of your search page and you'll see a link asking "Dissatisfied? Help us improve." Click there and submit feedback on Caffeine. Google is always looking to improve its systems -- hence why everything stays in beta forever -- and could use a shout-out.

Matt Cutts, a Google software engineer, worked on Caffeine before its release and gave some Q&A on his blog. Cutts even answers the question that is likely on many minds: is Google giving itself a makeover in response to Microsoft's Bing? The answer is no. "I love competition in search and want lots of it, but this change has been in the works for months," Cutts wrote. "I think the best way for Google to do well in search is to continue what we've done for the last decade or so: focus relentlessly on pushing our search quality forward."

I'm not sure I believe that statement. Yes, Google has undoubtedly been working on Caffeine for months, but Microsoft has been building Bing for a while, too.

The test of Caffeine's success rests on whether or not people will care and understand, and if the changes prove more substantial than a few additional pages of faster results.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mac Tablet Touted As Billion-Dollar Device

Apple's rumoured Macintosh tablet device could bring the company revenues as high as $1.25 billion, according to one noted Apple analyst.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggested that the device, which he estimates to arrive early next year, could account for up to 3 per cent of the company's 2010 revenues.

Munster estimated that the device would cost $600 retail and serve as a mid-point between the iPod touch and the MacBook notebook model. The analyst estimated that company could sell up to 2 million of the tablets over 2010, accounting for some $1.25bn in total revenue.

The tablet device, according to Munster, would be similar in function to the iPod touch and would run on a variation of the iPhone OS. The analyst suggested that the tablet would primarily focus on web and media-viewing features and would use the company's App Store to deliver software to the device.
An Apple tablet has been rumoured to be in the works for over a year. The company has long contended that it was not ready to get into the growing netbook market, saying that such low-cost systems lack the quality which the company desires in its offerings.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Windows Embedded @ Imagine Cup 2009

Google Chrome - New Beta Released

Google has announced the availability of a new beta release of its Chrome Web browser. This version introduces several new features and user interface improvements, including support for a theming system that allows users to customize the browser's look.

Chrome was first released last year and hit 1.0 on Windows in December. Although the product was somewhat feature-anemic at launch, Google has been fleshing it out and adding a lot of useful features. The browser is attracting a growing number of users and is said to have overtaken Opera based on marketshare statistics published by several analytics firms. Google is building an entire operating system around the browser and is planning to thrust it into the fragmented netbook market later next year.

The new Chrome beta release brings significant improvements to JavaScript performance. Although Google adopted Apple's WebKit renderer, the search giant opted to build its own high-performance JavaScript virtual machine called V8. Google contends that the new and improved version of the V8 engine that is included in the latest beta is 30 percent faster than the one in the latest official stable version. This is a significant leap forward and it strongly confirms Google's assertion following Chrome's launch that V8 had plenty of room for further optimization.

The new beta also introduces support for themes. These can change the appearance of Chrome's chrome, including the tabs, the titlebar, the URL bar, the bookmarks toolbar, and the window frame. A Chrome design document draft has been published that describes how to create themes. Each theme consists of a JSON file that specifies the theme's graphical resources, colors, and positioning.

Google provides a gallery with some sample themes that can be used to test the system. Some of these, such as the Baseball theme, are rather exotic. To my eye, none of the sample themes really outshine the default look and feel, but the potential for customization will likely appeal to many users.

The browser's new tab page got a visual overhaul and now allows users to hide individual history items. The omnibox's built-in autocompletion got a subtle enhancement with the addition of icons that indicate the type of the individual autocompletion results. It's a nice improvement over previous versions and it helps improve the browser's usability.

The new Chrome beta delivers some HTML5 features, such as support for Web worker threads and rendering the
More here...

Windows Phone Demo

In case you haven’t heard, Windows Mobile has been rebranded. The term “Windows Phone” is now the name for all devices formerly called “Windows Mobile.” Along with the new name, the phone is about to receive a whole new look, too. At a recent Microsoft event, there was a demo given that showed off the new features of the Windows Phone’s upcoming OS update, aka Windows Mobile 6.5.

With the redesign, access to missed calls, text messages, and the like are available from the phone’s lockscreen. With just a tap, you can see the calls or texts you missed without having to first unlock your phone and launch the appropriate application.

You’ll also notice the phone’s new UI looks a lot like that of the Zune mp3 players with links to music, the phone, voicemail, text, email, your calendar, favorites, and more.

Included wizards make the process of setting up email, Bluetooth, and other options easy, especially for first-time users who have migrated to the Windows Phone from a feature phone.

Tapping on the “Start Menu” button no longer takes to you a folder view but instead delvers you to the brand-new homescreen interface where 24-bit icons appear linking you to all the Windows Phone applications. You scroll through the list up-and-down instead of side-to-side, so the list actually appears as one continuous page as opposed to “pages” you have to flip through.

One of the new application icons is “Marketplace,” an Windows Phone App Store where you can download both free and paid applications for the device. As with most smartphone app stores, the available downloads are arranged into categories for easy browsing. There will also be sections featuring showcase applications, the most popular applications, and the newest applications.

Another application icon on the homescreen will point to the new “MyPhone” service – a feature which synchronizes all the data on your phone to the cloud. The service doesn’t simply back up your contacts, either – it’s a place to store other phone data like text messages, photos, and music, too. For anyone who’s ever had a phone get lost or stolen, knowing that your data is safely backed up is a major blessing. And unlike some other sync services, MyPhone is included with the device for no extra charge. From the MyPhone site on the web, you’ll be able to manage your media and share files with friends on social networking sites. You can even upload photos to the website to have them synced back to the phone. If your phone is ever lost or stolen, you can use the MyPhone site to remotely lock and wipe your phone.
More here...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Toshiba Plans 64GB SDXC Memory Cards

Toshiba said Monday it expects to be the first to bring SDXC cards to market, with testing samples of a 64GB version shipping in November and the real thing shipping in the spring of 2010. Those dates will be key moments in what doubtless will be a gradual transition away from the prevailing SDHC standard.

SDXC backers promise higher capacities and data transfer speeds for SDXC, which is important for devices such as video cameras that can produce lots of data at a sustained rate. But initially, a new generation of Toshiba's SDHC line will match the SDXC's maximum 60MBps data-reading speed, and maximum 35MBps data-writing speed, the company announced, using a new high-speed interface called UHS104.

The fast new SDHC cards, though, will only be available in 16GB and 32GB models. SDHC tops out at 32GB, but the SDXC specification extends to 2TB. In addition, through use of Microsoft's exFAT files system on SDXC cards, individual files can exceed 4GB, which is important for longer videos.

Capacity is undeniably important when it comes to carrying your video camera around for extended periods of time. But do you really need all that Motransfer speed? Leaving aside the confusing muddle of minimum vs. maximum transfer speeds and certification, even high-definition video only pushes the envelope so hard.

For example, Canon's high-end 5D Mark II SLR, which can record 1080p video at 30 frames per second, requires only a relatively modest 8MBps write speed for its CompactFlash card; high-end CompactFlash today can handle 45MBps.

Of course, there's also the matter of transferring photos and videos to computers, a tedious task at best that benefits from maximum speed. But that's often constrained, though, by the card reader and its interface to the computer.