June 18, 2011

HP's Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse

HP launched on Friday an industry-first Wi-Fi mouse for laptop users that may eliminate the frustrations often encountered with other wireless mice and Bluetooth mice. If you don't want to give up a valuable USB port for the mouse dongle or find Bluetooth a bit of a pain to set up (and reconnect), the $50 mouse may be worth the investment to you.

Both Bluetooth and regular Wi-Fi mice have their downsides. With Bluetooth, you'll need to go through some hoops to pair the mouse to your laptop, a process that's sometimes finicky. Many laptops also don't come with Bluetooth installed, unlike ubiquitous Wi-Fi. The HP Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse connects quickly to the PC's built-in Wi-Fi receiver and doesn't require you to constantly pair it again with your laptop. HP says the mouse also boasts up to nine months of battery life, twice that of comparable Bluetooth mice.

There are other wireless mice suitable for mobile users, but the HP Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse has one particular advantage: it doesn't require a USB dongle. Since many laptops only offer two or three USB ports, the Wi-Fi Mobile mouse enables you to save those valuable ports for other accessories. Apparently the mouse doesn't interfere with your Wi-Fi networking, so no worries about having to choose between your mouse and your Internet connection.

Besides the dongle-less connectivity, you'll find typical mouse features here: a scroll wheel, laser sensitivity, and programmable buttons. For those odd usage scenarios when you need to control your laptop from across the room, the mouse has a range of up to 30 feet..

A bit on the small side, the mouse fits in your palm and was designed for mobile use, so it may not be comfortable for all-day computing.Priced at $50 (Rs 2,400 approx), the Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse is currently available in the USA. Hopefully, it won't be too long before it hits the Indian market.

Source : HP's Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse

IBM is now 100 years old

Yep, the three-lettered computing corporation is celebrating its centennial anniversary this week. Big Blue officially hit the triple digits on Thursday; it was way back in June of 1911 that the company entered the world, bare-bottomed and red-faced (no wonder people paid attention).

IBM wasn't technically IBM in the beginning, though. The company initially incorporated as C-T-R, short for Computing-Tabulating-Recording. According to IBM's website, the original C-T-R had 1,300 employees and sold everything from "commercial scales and industrial time recorders to meat and cheese slicers."

Oh yes -- you read that correctly. Mock the odd combo if you must, but let me say this: If any modern tech company sold computers and cheese slicers in the same store, I'd be there every damn day saying "Swiss cheese and PCs, please." And you know you would, too.
But enough dairy dreaming; we're talking about IBM here. The IBM name actually came along in 1924, when the company decided it had grown and expanded too much (and probably sold far too many cheese slicers) to stick with the silly ol' C-T-R moniker. No amount of CPR could save C-T-R; the overly dashed name was dead, and International Business Machines was born.

Not many tech companies can claim a hundred year history -- heck, most other tech giants look like toddlers in comparison. Facebook is a mere 7 years old this year; Google is discovering the joys of manhood as it turns 13; and Apple and Microsoft are striding through their mid-30s. Converted into tech years, by my estimation, IBM is actually almost 4,976 years old.

June 17, 2011

Official Facebook Application is Coming to iPad

The Facebook app has been available for the iPhone and iPod Touch for quite some time now; however, nearly after a year of the inception of the iPad an official app designed for Apple’s tablet from the mega popular social networking site has still not surfaced. According to report this seems to be changing with Facebook set to unveil their app in the coming weeks.

The report claims that the app has been in development for quite some time and is in its last stages of testing and it has gone through several design iterations. The design of the iPad app is said to be slick and especially tailored for its touch screen interface. It is said that Facebook developers and designers have also overhauled the Facebook Chat and Facebook Groups features for the application. Another very interesting feature is that this app will go beyond the features seen on the Facebook website by allowing users to shoot, as well as upload media content such as photos and videos directly from the iPad’s built-in cameras. Facebook’s CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg has taken particular interest in this project and has heavily invested in the process by overseeing design decisions and unique features of the iPad app.

Like the iPhone and iPod Touch app, the Facebook app for iPad will also be free of charge. Previously people would have to depend on third party apps for accessing Facebook from their iPads with apps such as Friendly, Facely, Facepad, etc. This new app will be a welcome addition for iPad users who have had to wait a long time for an official app to be released.

Google Helps Your Online Identity

Google has launched a new feature called "Me On The Web" this week. This feature allows users to understand and manage their online identities, as well as control the search results they turn up in. Users with Google accounts can access this feature via the Google Dashboard and this section helps you control online mentions, public profiles on various social networking sites and blogs, manage online identity, as well as learn more about the process of what it takes to remove yourself off the web entirely.

Google says that a lot of people don't understand that while they are a major gateway to the 'internet', they aren't the 'internet' itself. Most people don't really even know how Google works i.e. they send crawlers across web pages and ranks the pages it finds so when you enter search words, the most relevant pages appear. Unfortunately, this means that for most people, their online presence isn't always in their own control. "Me On The Web" attemps to help users cyberstalk themselves. It has tools to show you where you appear online, basically reverting to older tools like Google Alerts or your Google Profile.

Yahoo launched Direct Display Builder in India

Yahoo! Inc. launched Direct Display Builder in India. This new search service places information directly into the search result pages, rather than following the traditional way of displaying it only after clicking the second time; something similar to Google's Instant Search feature. Thus, if you enter the search term 'Mumbai weather', a small box will open, showing the weather in Mumbai, even without you having to press ENTER.

Amit Dayal, Vice President (Engineering, Search and Marketplaces group), Yahoo! said, "DD Builder currently supports 15 categories, including movies, celebrities, stocks, weather, news, shopping and locals in India. Our idea is to at least double it here, and to 200 in the US soon. You will see a larger set of rich categories to smaller ones". He also said that the company had tied up with Nokia last year to introduce the mobile phone maker's digital mapping arm, Navteq's maps in the US later this year. When asked about the same for India, he said, "While Nokia will be the backend for the maps, we will be building the user experience. It s a global strategy and if it (maps) were to be offered in India, the partner will be Nokia".

Also, Yahoo! plans to launch Search Direct, which is a tool combining content and structured data, resulting in a rich search experience, and Bingo Algo: Transition by the end of this year. It must be noted that the search provider had recently also launched Vertical Intent Search and Quick Apps, which may have helped increase the number of people using Yahoo! By 1.7% from April (17.5%) to May (19.6%), while competitors Google and Bing registered a negative growth of 0.84% and 0.74% respectively.

June 14, 2011

HP TouchSmart 610 Quad All-in-One PC

The HP TouchSmart 610 Quad is a blazing fast, beautifully designed all-in-one PC. When we reviewed the TouchSmart 610 Quad back in April, we gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars. One of our few quibbles was its price, $1600 for the base model at launch. Now HP is taking $300 off the price, bringing the entry-level TouchSmart 610 Quad down to $1300--and it's throwing in a bunch of high-end goodies, like a free 8GB RAM upgrade and 1.5TB hard drive.

Nokia Siemens Considering Bids For Joint Venture

Nokia, of late, has been struggling hard to stay in the market, and it may only be a matter of time before the Finnish company finally gives in to speculations. Rumours of acquisition have been rife since the past few days; most of them being about Microsoft's willingness to offer a bid to the company, though Nokia has denied any such reports.

More recently, it was made public that Samsung has prepared a bid for Nokia Siemens Network (NSN), which according to the Korean conglomerate, is a 'standard market procedure'. Given Nokia's long existence in the Asian, African and European markets; some would think it's high time they refreshed their line up a bit. It finally hit Nokia when they announced a tie-up with Microsoft to produce Windows Phone 7 handsets with their hardware.

Then came the conspiracy theories suggesting that Nokia's newly appointed CEO, Stephen Elop, (who, incidentally, worked with Microsoft as the President of their Business Division) could be influencing the whole chain of events. Conspiracy theorists are still of the opinion that the whole episode was staged, with Microsoft has already having made an offer of US$20 billion to Nokia.

In the latest development, it was confirmed that Nokia and its partner Siemens were looking for companies willing to initiate a joint venture deal, thus making it official. Nokia and its partner Siemens said that they are currently looking into the bids, though information regarding the bidding companies is scarce at the moment. A spokesperson from Nokia, Doug Dawson said in a statement, "There has been unsolicited interest in NSN and we continue to be in constructive talks with multiple parties".

Nokia announced the partnership with German company Siemens in the year 2006, but it officially came into existence only in 2007. The two companies together, provide telecommunication facilities and data networking services. Running in about 150 countries worldwide, the NSN has been a burden on both the companies for much of the time since its inception. This deal between the two ends in 2013, and it would help both Siemens and Nokia to focus more on their respective businesses.

June 13, 2011

New YouTube Channel For Bollywood Blockbusters

Popular video-sharing and streaming website YouTube has launched an exclusive channel known as YouTube Box Office, which will put online one new blockbuster movie every month and you don t need to pay anything for watching. The service will start off with Yash Raj Films' Band Baaja Baaraat.

Other than Bollywood movies, this online channel will also feature regional movies and is already boasting of over 1500 such movies in its catalogue. This channel can be accessed only by users in India and will be blocked to the rest of the world. Chip-maker Intel is a primary sponsor with YouTube in this one-of-a-kind venture.

Gautam Anand, Director of YouTube Japan-APAC Content Partnerships said, "We wish to create a destination for users which is easily discoverable and also help our content partners get more viewers for their premium content. With over 48 hours of content being uploaded on YouTube every minute; this is our attempt to curate premium and exclusive content which our users enjoy. This initiative also opens up a new window of opportunities for marketers to utilise the platform and engage the YouTube community".

Sandeep Aurora, Director of Marketing, Intel South Asia added, "Intel is extending the 'Smart visuals, brilliant performance' positioning of its latest second generation core processors with this association. The YouTube Box Office channel provides the consumers an opportunity to view premium, high quality movies on their PCs".

YouTube has plans to collaborate with partners in India to work on a revenue share basis towards bringing more premium content and fresh offerings to this channel.

Anand Gurnani, General Manager of Digital and New Media, Yash Raj Films stated, "Apart from offering tremendous reach, evolved digital platforms like YouTube also enable the monetisation aspect through advertising revenues in an unobtrusive manner, while offering a great online viewing experience to the users. We are sure this project will throw up interesting insights and consumption patterns of the digital-friendly audience".

Recently, IPL was made available live on YouTube for cricket-lovers in India, and it met with a tremendous response. The blockbuster Dabangg, which was also available on YouTube got over 1.3 million views. It is not surprising that YouTube is looking at a very lucrative market in India.

HTC Salsa Launched

Running Android Gingerbread covered by HTC's polished Sense UI, the Salsa sports a 3.4-inch capacitive touchscreen with pixel dimensions of 320x480. A 800 MHz processor powers the device with 512 MB RAM and 512 MB internal storage. A 5 Megapixel rear camera with auto-focus, face detection, geo-tagging and LED flash lets you snap photos even in insufficient lighting conditions, while a VGA front camera takes care of video calling. You can plug in a standard headphone with 3.5 mm jack to listen to music, while the 512 MB internal storage is augmented by a microSD memory card slot supporting up to 32 GB.

3G is supported with GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS with A-GPS. This phone can be used anywhere in the world, thanks to quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and HSDPA/WCDMA (900/2100 MHz) network support. With the 1520 mAh battery, talk time for GSM is specified as up to 585 minutes, while standby time can be up to 465 hours. Weighing just 120 grams with battery, the Salsa measures a rather compact 5.89x1.23x10.91 cm.

This is one of the first HTC phones with a dedicated Facebook button first seen at the MWC 2011, as we had reported earlier. The other such phone was more affordable HTC ChaCha, which may also be released soon. The Facebook button (though HTC prefers to call it widget) grants you one-touch access to the social network, eliminating the need to dig deep inside to do the same. You can then easily post a text message, or even a photo or video made using the front-facing camera without any hassle. This phone will surely strike the right chord in the hearts of Facebook users.

Source : HTC Salsa Launched