March 26, 2011

Facebook Rolls Out its Version of Questions

Facebook's adding a Questions service on the social network. They found that a lot of users were asking their friends, in their status updates, for opinions (such as "What's a good restaurant to eat at in LA") or even just information about themselves (such as, "What pet did you have growing up"). Friends would reply by commenting on such statuses. Facebook wanted to make this interaction more useful and began experimenting with Questions.

Through Questions, they want to make questions faster and easier to answer. The service will let you answer a question with either a single click to an existing answer, or you can add your own answer to the mix. This works in two ways, one, it's faster for people to answer, two, it helps to see what the popular choices are. When one of your friends answers a question you posted, their friends can see it too and can choose to answer. This is supposed to cast a wider net. For out of the ordinary questions, you can open up the question to a broader group, but Facebook will filter it to show you your friends' responses before non-friends'. By clicking on 'others', you'll be able to see what the non-friends say.

Firefox 4 Review Round-Up: The Critics Weigh In

Firefox 4 is finally here, and its reviews are rolling in. Mozilla's new browser is its slickest yet, and adds new features like Tab Groups and Do Not Track. But with the recent launches of Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome 10, do critics think the latest version of Firefox can handle the competition? Let's check out highlights of the reviews.


Firefox 4 is loaded with features to help you manage tabs, the most impressive of which, according to Ars Technica's Ryan Paul, is "Tab Groups." This feature lets you group frequently used pages together by category, and then call them up at will.

Another new tab management feature is "Switch to Tab." When typing in a URL, this feature lets you jump to the website you're trying to reach if it's already open in another tab. Critics liked the idea but said it needs improvement. "Any search results that match open tabs get mixed in with your history list, previous searches and so on," Preston Gralla writes for Computerworld. "So it's difficult to see at a glance if your matches are in open tabs."

Firefox 4 moves the add-on manager from a pop-up window to a browser tab. "This is much more easy on the eyes and makes finding and installing or removing add-ons and browser themes more fluid," Christina Warren writes for Mashable.

 Warren says add-ons have been a blessing and a curse for Firefox, because while they've been largely responsible for the browser's popularity, they can also hurt performance and ding Firefox's reputation. Mozilla's trying to fix this by letting add-ons use lighter, more stable technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. "Still, at this stage, most major Firefox add-ons still use the traditional add-on API and require a browser restart when updated, installed or uninstalled," Warren writes.


Still, most critics didn't have any glaring complaints with Firefox 4's performance, and said the browser easily beat its predecessor. "In hands-on experiences, one of the best performance differences between Firefox 3.6 and the current version is that Firefox 4 crashes far, far less," CNet's Seth Rosenblatt wrote.


As Rosenblatt notes for CNet, Firefox 4 adds HTTP Strict Transport Security, which tells the browser to automatically create a secure connection when logging into a website. The new Content Security Policy is designed to block cross-site scripting attacks.

But the most publicized security feature is Do Not Track, which attempts to tell websites not to follow you around the Internet, thus preventing them from sharing your browsing habits with advertisers. "The problem is that websites don't have to honor this request, thus rendering the tracking protection feature useless," Nick Mediati writes for PCWorld. "Mozilla is working to make this feature an industry standard, so hopefully things will improve in time."

March 25, 2011

Google: Android 3.0 Needs More Work to Be Smartphone Ready

Google will not release the source code for Honeycomb, the version of its Android mobile OS optimized for tablets, until it completes work to make the software better for smartphones and other devices, the company said Thursday.

"Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites... While we're excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones," Google said in a statement.The company said it will publish the Honeycomb source code "as soon as it's ready" but did not say when that will be.

The comments reflect the fact that Google designed Honeycomb for tablets, devices with screens larger than the smartphones earlier versions of Android were designed for, and needs more time to tweak it for other devices, such as smartphones and TVs. Companies in the red-hot tablet sector had demanded a tablet version of Android, but now that it's arrived, open source advocates and smartphone lovers want Honeycomb, too. News stories and blog postings in the wake of the decision have pilloried Google for the delay.

"While large manufacturers already have the access to Honeycomb, small companies and developers will have to wait for some months before getting their hands on the code. It will surely [anger the] majority of open source enthusiasts," wrote Gaurav Shukla on his blog, which is not affiliated with Google. The success of Apple's iPad last year in grabbing global attention and becoming an instant best-seller sent companies scrambling to compete with rival offerings. Device makers around the world needed an OS for the job, and many talked to Google about designing a version of Android specifically for tablets, including Samsung Electronics, which put an earlier version of Android in its first Galaxy Tab it launched last year.

Google responded to the requests by designing Android 3.0 "from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets," according to the official Google Mobile Blog. Google's success with Android has made it a big player in mobile OSes, and its work with hardware makers around the world means it has to respond to their requests, not just move in its own direction. Indeed, market researcher Ovum predicts Android will emerge as the dominant smartphone platform in coming years, "dramatically outperforming Apple."

"The success of the Android platform is being driven by the sheer number of hardware vendors supporting it at both the high and low ends of the market," said Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum, in a statement.

Lenovo launches laptops, all-in-one PCs and business desktops

Lenovo has brought to India many of the new laptops it introduced has introduced since CES 2011 this year, including its range of all-in-one PCs and enterprise desktops, sporting the latest second-generation Intel Core Sandy Bridge processors or Fusion APUs. All the models are already available at various retail outlets across the country.

The laptops include two new models in the IdeaPad series, namely the entry-level 14-inch IdeaPad G570 (prices starting from Rs. 30,490), and the mid-range and stylish 15.6-inch IdeaPad Z570 (prices starting from Rs. 33,190). Both come with Sandy Bridge processor options up to Core i7 processors and 8GB of RAM, though the G570 also has the option of an AMD Brazos Fusion APU.

Lenovo also introduced two new 14-inch models in the ThinkPad series of enterprise laptops – the ThinkPad L420 (prices starting at Rs. 64,195) and ThinkPad T420 (prices starting at Rs. 83,322). Both are rugged, and adhere to military specifications. The laptops are also eco-friendly, fully recyclable and power-efficient. The ThinkPad T420 can sport up to a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-2620M CPU, and features Nvidia Optimus graphics switching for better battery life. It also has improved audio sound, becoming the first business-class laptop to offer Dolby Home Theater v4, with virtualized surround sound and dialog enhancement technology. The ThinkPad L420 is an entry-level business laptop with Intel HD graphics that can be configured with up to a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-2620M CPU and a maximum of 8GB of DDR3 memory.

Lenovo has also unexpectedly released three models of A and B series All-in-One PCs in India, which were only expected to arrive in June. The new models include the A320, B320 and B520, all of which feature Intel Sandy Bridge processors. Both the A320 and B320 have 21.5-inch full HD widescreen displays and sport Core i5 processors and up to 8GB of RAM. The B520 however has a 23-inch full HD display and a Core i7 processor, and can sport up to 16GB of RAM. No official prices are available at the moment however. The Lenovo M91 ThinkCentre business desktop range was also launched, with enterprise features like a Hardware Password Manager for additional security. No official prices are available for these either.

Source : Lenovo launches laptops, all-in-one PCs and business desktops

March 24, 2011

Samsung shows off new super slim Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1

The Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2011 CTIA event was meant to introduce the world to just the Galaxy Tab 8.9, but Samsung had a surprise in store – a completely new Galaxy Tab 10.1 than it had shown off at MWC 2011, with a fancy new slim design that’s thinner than Apple’s latest iPad. Admittedly, the iPad 2 is the device to beat, and this isn’t the first time Samsung has taken a pill from Apple’s diet designs - the MacBook Air openly inspired the Samsung 9 Series laptops after all.

The two Honeycomb tablets have been given competitive prices pegged to the iPad 2, with the 16GB WiFi-only 10.1-inch model priced at $499 and the 32GB model at $599, while the 16GB WiFi-only 8.9-inch model will retail for $469, and the 32GB model for $569. For now, only WiFi models of the two tablets have been announced, though 3G and 4G HSPA+ tablets were detailed. The WiFi-only Galaxy Tab 10.1 is scheduled to hit shelves in the U.S. on June 8th, and the WiFi-only Galaxy Tab 8.9 has been given an ‘early summer’ or July-August arrival.

While Samsung has still not revealed exact nature of the 1GHz dual-core application processor that powers both tablets, it’s still assumed to be Nvidia’s Tegra 2 offering. Both tablets are thinner than the 8.8mm thick iPad 2, measuring just 8.6mm. The large 6000 mAh and 6860 mAh batteries that power the devices are expected to give about 10 hours of video playback. Both tablets also pack Wi-Fi a/b/g/n connectivity, will support Flash 10.2, and have dual speakers for stereo surround sound.

As confirmed in yesterday’s leak, both the 10.1 and 8.9-inch tablet have an impressive WXGA 1280x800 resolution screen, and both feature Samsung’s TouchWiz 4.0 UI onboard. While this last fact has bothered many, Engadget reports that a few additions and features were actually quite useful, such as the ability to resize widgets, both its own Live Panel and Google’s native widgets. The Mini Apps Tray was also deemed useful, but redundant in the fact of Google’s app launcher. Samsung has also thoroughly customized the native apps in the Galaxy S-style. The CTIA event also showcased some TouchWiz 4.0 features like Readers Hub, Social Hub, and Games Hub. Some regions can expect vanilla versions of the tablets however.

Source : Samsung shows off new super slim Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1

Mozilla Firefox 4 Released

Mozilla Firefox 4 - faster, more secure, easier to use and sporting a new look, this latest Firefox release sets a new standard for web browser innovation. Mozilla Firefox project (formerly Firebird, which was formerly Phoenix) is a redesign of Mozilla's browser component, written using the XUL user interface language and designed to be cross-platform. It is small, fast and easy to use, and offers many advantages over other web browsers, such as the tabbed browsing and the ability to block pop-up windows. Firefox has the most ways to customize your online experience specifically for the way you use the web. There are more than 6,000 Add-ons (little extras that augment Firefox to meet your unique needs) just waiting out there to help you do more, have more fun and be more creative online. Firefox keeps your personal info personal and your online interests away from the bad guys. Simply put, your security is our top priority.

What makes Firefox different? Most importantly, we re open. That means anyone around the world (and we have thousands of experts watching our back) is able to look into our code and find any potential weak spots in our armor. And when we hear about a problem, we roll up our sleeves and get to work fixing it right away. It s in your best interest (and ours) to take care of the issue, even if it means admitting we re a little less than perfect.

The TraceMonkey javascript engine brings screaming fast performance to Firefox 3.5. With javascript that's more than twice as fast as Firefox 3 and 10x faster than Firefox 2, you ll be able to see the difference without breaking out your stopwatch.

Faster, Safer, Smarter, Better
Things move quickly online, and we ve beefed up the engine that runs Firefox to make sure you can keep up: Firefox 3.5 is more than twice as fast as Firefox 3, and ten times as fast as Firefox 2. As a result, Web applications like email, photo sites and your favorite social networks will feel snappier and more responsive.

More Ways to Keep You Safe
Keeping you safe while you surf is our top priority, which is why we ve upgraded our anti-phishing and anti-malware technologies and have added private browsing and forget this site options to ensure your privacy. Plus, our open source security process means we have experts around the globe working around the clock to keep you (and your personal information) safe.

One Size Doesn t Fit All
Everybody uses the Web differently, so why should your browser be exactly like the next guy s? Whether you re into chatting, cooking or coding, Firefox has more than 6,000 add-ons to help you customize it to fit your exact needs.

Advancing the Web
We ve been working hard to make sure Firefox  brings you the best of the modern web. With new features like private browsing, tear-off tabs and enhancements to the Awesome Bar, plus major performance enhancements, you ll enjoy life on the cutting edge.

New In Firefox 4.0:
    * Tabs are now on top by default on Windows only - OSX and Linux will be changing when the theme has been modified to support the change.
    * On Windows Vista and Windows 7 the menu bar has been replaced with the Firefox button.
    * You can search for and switch to already open tabs in the Smart Location Bar
    * New Addons Manager and extension management API (UI will be changed before final release)
    * Significant API improvements are available for JS-ctypes, a foreign function interface for extensions.
    * The stop and reload buttons have been merged into a single button on Windows, Mac and Linux.
    * The Bookmarks Toolbar has been replaced with a Bookmarks Button by default (you can switch it back if you'd like).
    * Crash protection for Windows, Linux, and Mac when there is a crash in the Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime or Microsoft Silverlight plugins.
    * CSS Transitions are partially supported.
    * Full WebGL support is included but disabled by default at this time.
    * Core Animation rendering model for plugins on Mac OS X. Plugins which also support this rendering model can now draw faster and more efficiently.
    * Native support for the HD HTML5 WebM video format.
    * An experimental Direct2D rendering backend is available on Windows, turned off by default.
    * Web developers can use Websockets for a low complexity, low latency, bidirectional communications API.
    * Web developers can update the URL field without reloading the page using HTML History APIs.
    * More responsive page rendering using lazy frame construction.
    * Link history lookup is done asynchronously to provide better responsiveness during pageload.
    * CSS :visited selectors have been changed to block websites from being able to check a user's browsing history.
    * New HTML5 parser.
    * Support for more HTML5 form controls.

March 23, 2011

HTC Introduces the Evo View 4G Tablet

HTC brings a version of its HTC Flyer Tablet stateside, calling it the HTC Evo View 4G. The7-inch tablet was introduced at last month's Mobile World Congress, but at the time, HTC didn't supply U.S. launch plans. Sprint's unveiling today pulls that curtain back; we now know we'll see the Evo View 4G this summer, same time frame as the HTC Evo 3D, also introduced today.
The Evo View 4G runs a tablet-optimized version of HTC's Sense interface, on top of Android 2.3. Sprint says the operating system will be upgraded at some point in the future to Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). The tablet also has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, dual cameras (5-megapixels rear facing and 1.3-megapixels front-facing). And it will be able to play Adobe Flash.

The display's resolution is 1024-by-600 pixels; and, it supports pen input using HTC's Scribe pen. The digital pen accessory comes with the tablet, and lets you capture notations digitally--for example, highlight a passage or sign a document--and on audio.
Like the Evo 3D, the Evo View 4G has HDMI output and DLNA support. Plus, the tablet can serve as a mobile hotspot for up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices; competing tablets typically support just five Wi-Fi devices.

HTC Incredible S launched in India with Super LCD screen

HTC has unexpectedly launched the Incredible S smartphone in India, a little over a month after its international debut at MWC 2011. Pricing the Android 2.2 Froyo-based smartphone at Rs. 28,990 (MOP), HTC has already promised a Gingerbread update for the phone soon, in the second quarter of 2011. We expect an Android 2.4 update to follow soon after, if the company sticks to its word.

The HTC Incredible S is the updated version of the company's popular Incredible model, and has a large 4-inch display, which has surprisingly remained a Super LCD screen on its journey to India, unlike the Desire HD and Desire Z. It is based on the Qualcomm MSM8255 chipset, featuring a 1GHz Scorpion processor, and the Adreno 205 GPU. It operates on 768MB of RAM, and 1.1GB of ROM. It has an 8MP autofocus camera onboard, equipped with dual-LED flash and image stabilization, which is also capable of recording 720p HD video at 30 frames per second. It also has a secondary front-facing 1.3MP camera for video calls.

A 3G-capable phone (HSDPA, 14.4 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps), the HTC Incredible S also supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with DLNA, and Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and EDR. Surprisingly, at its price, the phone comes without a document editor bundled onboard, though a document viewer is provided. It has a 1450 mAh Li-ion battery that is rated to deliver up to 370 hours of standby time (3G), and 9 hours 40 minutes of talk time (2G).

According to the press release, the Incredible S also features stereo surround sound, as well as dual microphones for active noise cancellation. HTC also proudly introduced the special UI auto-rotate feature of the Incredible S – its touch-sensitive controls for the default Android keys (home, menu, back and search) automatically rotate themselves based on the phone’s orientation.

March 22, 2011

Viewsonic LCD Monitor, the VA 2431wm Launched

Rashi Peripherals today announced the launch a new Full HD, widescreen LCD monitor by ViewSonic, the VA 2431wm. This monitor is an ENERGY STAR 5.0 certified, environment friendly 23.6-inch widescreen monitor, which makes it consume almost 40% less power. It has a piano-black finish and can be mounted on the wall as well. The VA 2431wm also has inbuilt speakers.

This monitor has a few features such as a 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and multi mode input technology, supporting both digital (DVI) and analog (VGA). It also has the aspect ratio auto adjustment feature, which helps maintain the correct image proportion for both widescreen and native 4:3 ratio content. This should hopefully allow viewers to have a clearer, less distorted picture while using the monitor.

Here’s a full list of all the specifications:

  • 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
  • Aspect ratio adjustment
  • Certified green
  • ECO-mode
  • Integrated speakers for the ultimate multimedia experience
  • OptiSync digital/analog inputs expand your connectivity
  • PC and Mac compatible
  • Widescreen aspect ratio with 1920x1080 resolution
  • Windows 7 and Windows Vista certified

The ViewSonic VA 2431 wm LCD monitor has an MRP of Rs. 11,500 and comes with a 3 year Onsite warranty.

Laptops and a Desktop from HCL

HCL officially launches two new laptops and a desktop PC. While the laptops are called the ME 1014 and 1015, the desktop is called the Infiniti M A365 Pro. All of them have a special HCL Touch button for customer service and EC2 for fast data recovery.

The ME 1014 has a 14-inch LED-backlit display with 8 GB of DDR3 RAM. The laptop has a storage size of 640 GB HDD and comes with Windows 7 Professional pre-loaded. It also has a 1.3 megapixel webcam and connectivity features like Bluetooth 3.0. Additional features include a multi-touch gesture trackpad with three Quick launch buttons for faster access to features.

The ME 1015 has a slightly bigger screen in the form of a 15.6-inch HD LED-backlit display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. All other features are similar to the ME 1014 but the ME 1015 also includes WLAN.

The Infiniti M A365 Pro has a micro-ATX cabinet and an 18.5-inch widescreen display. The desktop PC supports up to 2 TB of hard disk space and a maximum of 16 GB DDR3 RAM. The PC also comes with a 3-button optical mouse and a DVD Writer, plus it’s loaded with Windows 7 Professional operating system.

All three devices come in choices of the Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors and although the prices haven’t been disclosed, the ME 1014, 1015 and the Infiniti M A365 Pro are available in the market.

March 21, 2011

HTC Desire Z is out in India

HTC’s Desire Z has finally been unveiled in the Indian market. Its a slide-out phone with QWERTY keypad with a 3.7 inch LCD display and runs with Google Android 2.2 Froyo.

The phone also has a number of other features like 5 megaxel camera with 720p HD video recording, 480×800 pixel resolution giving immense clarity to the images, 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7230 CPU, 512 RAM, 1.5GB internal memory, 1300mAh battery giving 9.8 hours of run time and others like optical trackpad, GPS, digital compass, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and DLNA support.

SMS lovers who slightly hate touchscreen phones can make full use of this phone which is also expected customers because of its sleek design being carved out of Aluminium. Priced at Rs 25590 this phone also has an updated Sense UI and support.

Liquid Metal launched by Acer in India

Acer has finally launched the Liquid Metal smartphone in India. The phone has been on sale for quite some time though.

 The Acer Liquid Metal is an Android smartphone running the no-so-latest Android 2.2 Froyo with Acer's 4.0 Breeze UI on top. It has a 3.6-inch, 480 x 800 resolution touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash that can also record videos in 720p resolution. 

The Liquid Metal runs on a Snapdragon MSM7230 SoC with an 800MHz Scorpion CPU and Adreno 205 GPU. It also has 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM and expandable storage via microSD card slot. The phone is powered by a 1500mAh Li-Ion battery. 

Spice Popkorn Projector M9000

Spice has just launched a new type of mobile phone at an affordable price it can project images on the screen. The Spice Popkorn Projector M9000 mobile comes with an inbuilt projector, allowing you to project the phone s contents on a large screen. You can therefore project presentations, movies, pictures or even live TV, thanks to the analog TV chip inside the phone, which can receive free terrestrially broadcast TV channels.
The M9000 has a Document Viewer, which lets you view various office document formats such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and even PDF on the handset. The mobile also sports a laser pointer, which is very useful while making presentations, though we think that the projector and laser pointer cannot be used at the same time.

Basic phone features include a 6 cm (2.36 inch) 262K color QVGA screen, dual GSM SIM, quad band capability, WAP, GPRS, EDGE, JAVA, 3.2 MP camera, support to play various video formats including 3GP, mp4, AVI, FLv, RM and RMVB, MP3 player with FM radio and stereo Bluetooth and support for up to 16 GB T-flash memory card. With dimensions of 119.2 mm x 50.3 mm x 17.35 mm, this candy bar phone weighs just 123 g.