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Showing posts from January 20, 2011

HP / Palm tablet to feature Touchstone dock, cloud storage, Beats audio and Tap-to-Share smartphone integration

Now that the kitty's out of the gemstone bag, we're slowly starting to connect the dots that obscure the details of Palm's soon to be announced "Topaz" and "Opal" tablets. First up is information from one of our original trusted sources who claims that the Opal will measure 180 x 144 x 13mm (making it a bit shorter and wider than the 190.1 x 120.5 x 12-mm Galaxy Tab) and feature a 1,024 x 768 pixel TFT LCD display. We're told that the bigger Topaz tablet will ship about three months before Opal and measures in at 241 x 190 x 13mm (making it nearly identical to the 242.8 x 189.7 x 13.4-mm iPad) with a pixel resolution that could be the same as the Opal (our source wasn't 100 percent on this). We're also hearing that the "premium audio" we saw on that leaked marketing slide will indeed be powered by HP's Beats audio processing, and that the tablets will be provided with "tens of gigabytes" of cloud storage -…

Samsung ST95, ST90 and ST65 digicams pack 720p HD

Samsung‘s ST30 and ST6500 aren’t the company’s only new digicams today; there’s also the mid-range ST95, ST90 and ST65 on offer. Set to arrive in February, the cameras are under 17mm thick, with 16-megapixels on offer in the ST95 and 14-megapixels in the ST90 and ST65. The Samsung ST95 also gets a 3-inch touchscreen, but all three models support 720p HD video recording (with the ST95 also throwing in H.264 support). A 5x optical zoom is standard across the range, as is smart auto and smart filter. Samsung expects the ST95 to be priced at $199.99 when it arrives next month, while the ST90 will be $149.99. Finally, the Samsung ST65 will be a mere $129.99

Starbucks Starts Accepting Mobile Payments Nationwide

Nearly 6,800 company-operated Starbucks stores in the U.S. will begin accepting mobile payments Wednesday. Customers using the Starbucks Card Mobile app on their iPhone, iPod touch or BlackBerry will now be able to use those devices as tender. The nationwide rollout marks the official launch of the Starbucks Card Mobile payment program, which has been piloted at Target stores and select San Francisco, Seattle and New York Starbucks locations. Starbucks Card Mobile [iTunes link] lets users add their Starbucks Cards, track rewards and reload cards as needed via PayPal or credit card. To pay with their phone, app users simply select “touch to pay” and hold up the barcode on their mobile device screen to the 2-D scanner at the register. An Android application is also said to be in the works, but the company has yet to disclose a release date. Starbucks is using its own custom-built technology to enable the 2-D mobile barcode scans. The coffee retailer opted for barcode scanning ove…

Leaked: New ATT text messaging plans in preparation for Verizon iPhone

AT&T customers, get ready for new text messaging rates to go into effect starting next week. As the Verizon iPhone approaches, the company is looking to make their plans look a bit more attractive, and not so different from what Verizon will be offering. Above is an image leaked out of Best Buy showing that AT&T will have two text messaging plans going forward. The first is a new $10 per month for 1000 text messages (with each additional costing $.10,) while the second is the $20 unlimited text plan ($30 for family plans.) Going away are the $5/200 message and $15/1500 message plans. If you're  a current customer on one of those plans, you are grandfathered in and can hold onto it, but new customers won't have those choices starting on January 23rd. Also on that day, AT&T will be raising activation fees. We're not sure how much this will do to keep people from jumping ship, but it certainly makes the texting plans a little clearer. Also, be sure …

Running an ASP.NET MVC 3 app on a web server that doesn’t have ASP.NET MVC 3 installed

Some BackgroundWe support two ways for you to install and use the assemblies that implement ASP.NET MVC 3 on a machine:
Have the ASP.NET MVC 3 assemblies installed in a central place on a machine, and have web projects reference/use the assemblies from there Copy the ASP.NET MVC 3 assemblies into the \bin folder of your web project, and have your web project reference/use the assemblies from there The first approach is the default approach we use with Visual Studio, and has the benefit of enabling us to easily service the ASP.NET MVC 3 assemblies using Windows Update (in the event of a bad bug).
The second approach is also fully supported, and has the benefit of not requiring ASP.NET MVC 3 to be explicitly installed on a machine in order for it to be used.  Instead you can just copy/ftp your web application onto a server (with the ASP.NET MVC assemblies contained within the \bin directory of the application) and it will just work.  You should use this second approach if yo…

Pinguy OS - An Ubuntu Based Linux Distribution on Steroids

Ubuntu has helped spawn umpteen Linux distributions. Pinguy OS is yet another Linux distribution based on Ubuntu (version 10.10 to be exact).

Pinguy OS is targeted at lay persons - people who are going to use Linux for the first time, or those who want an out-of-box working OS.

It is currently available to download as a DVD ISO (~1.3 GB size) for the 32 and 64 bit architecture PCs.

I was visibly impressed with the screenshots of Pinguy OS desktop I chanced at various places on the Net that, I decided to download this Linux distribution (essentially built from Ubuntu Minimal CD) and take it for a spin.

I tried out Pinguy OS on my two year old PC which has Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB RAM, 128 MB onboard Graphics memory, and a 320 GB hard disk.

My Thoughts on Pinguy OS
Put in one word - Fabulous!


The Pinguy OS Desktop is awesome. Clearly, a lot of work has gone into building this distribution. When you first boot into the LiveDVD, you are presented with the super tweaked GNOME…

Introducing AWS Elastic Beanstalk

I've been looking forward to being able to tell you about this new part of AWS for quite a while. Perhaps I'm biased, but I do think that this is a pretty big deal! I think we've managed to balance power and ease of use in a nice tidy package that will make AWS even more approachable for developers wishing to build powerful and highly scalable web applications. AWS Elastic Beanstalk will make it even easier for you to create, deploy, and operate web applications at any scale. You simply upload your code and we'll take care of the rest. We'll create and configure all of the AWS resources (Amazon EC2 instances, an Elastic Load Balancer, and an Auto Scaling Group) needed to run your application. Your application will be up and running on AWS within minutes. Much like the beanstalk in the popular fairy tale, Elastic Beanstalk allows you to start at ground level and climb toward the sky. However, as you will soon see, the beanstalk is built us…

AMD Announces Embedded G-Series Fusion APU (video)

AMD has today announced it has created the worlds first and only APU for embedded systems with its new low-power AMD Embedded G-Series platform with new x86 core integrated with GPU and DirectX 11 support. The AMD Embedded G-Series, based on AMD Fusion technology, delivers a complete, full-featured embedded platform and incorporates the new low-power, x86 CPU based on the “Bobcat” core with a DirectX 11-capable GPU and parallel processing engine on a single piece of silicon designed for set-top boxes, SFF PCs and many more applications. AMD has already partnered with a companies to use the new G-Series chips, including Fujitsu – who will use it in the D3003-S1 and D3003-S2 Mini-ITX boards, and Kontron, who will put it in three SFF PCs.

Asus E600 WP7 Phone Shows Off on Video

Asus E600 Windows Phone 7 handset first appears on a December FCC leaked. But, we have only seen bit of pieces on the device. Fortunately, a Vietnamese site called Tinhte managed to capture a video of Asus E600 in action. The WP7 phone will shipped with a 4-inch display screen and a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. Also, featuring a 1300mAh battery, micro-USB port, lock/power button and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The device will officially unveiled in Barcelona at MWC.

Compulab’s Fit-PC3 gets a spec bump

Just when you thought the folks at Compulab couldn’t  pack any more into their itsy bitsy desktop computers, they go and surprise you. The company’s latest is called the Fit-PC3 and it drops the Intel Atom chips used by its predecessors in favor of one of those newfangled AMD G-Series embedded chips. the computer comes with a dual core processor with integrated AMD Radeon HD 6310 or 6250 graphics, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, HDMI and DisplayPort video output and 7.1 channel audio with S/PDIF and analog output. There’s room for a 2.5 inch hard drive, integrated 802.11n WiFi, 6 USB 2.0 ports and 2 eSATA ports. The Fit-PC3 is a bit chunkier than Compulab’s older models, but it’s still pretty svelte at 6.3″ x 6.3″ x 0.98″.

Samsung Galaxy S2 packs 8MP camera & dual-core Orion CPU tips insider

Samsung isn’t exactly holding back when it comes to teasing what it has for MWC 2011 next month, with its “Evolution is Fate” campaign promising a replacement for the best-selling Galaxy S, and spec tidbits continue to leak out of Korea ahead of the big reveal. According to Nocut News, the Samsung Galaxy S2 – internally known as the Samsung Seine – will use the company’s new 1GHz Orion processor, based on dual ARM Cortex A9 cores, paired with an 8-megapixel camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

The Galaxy S2 camera is said to be capable of 1080p Full HD video recording, while up front is a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen. Samsung is believed to have included NFC, as on the Nexus S, along with 1GB of RAM, and the whole thing is said to be just 9mm thick. In contrast, the original Galaxy S is 9.9mm thick.
Orion began sampling back in Q4 2010 and was scheduled to go into mass production sometime in the first half of this year. It supports Full HD output via an HDMI 1.3…

Nintendo 3DS gets a price and a date: $250, March 27th launch

We finally know what the pricing and availability of the Nintendo 3DS will be, as at a Wednesday, Jan. 19 NYC press conference, the company announced both: a launch date of March 27, and a price of $250.

Feature-wise, the Nintendo 3DS is adding a lot of functionality to combat the iPhone and iPod touch, which have been grabbing portable gaming market share. For example, in addition to the 3D support, it will have a front-facing 2D camera, and a pair of rear-facing cameras for 3D pictures.

Its game card slot will DS and new 3DS games. The 3DS will come a 2GB SD card and charging cradle. It even has a pedometer, and Mii Maker will allow users to more easily create Miis, even ones based on images taken with the 3DS' own camera.

The StreetPass feature will alert an owner if he passes another 3DS owner on (where else) the street. The owners can then check out what games the other has been playing, trade Miis in the new Mii Plaza, and, naturally, challenge them to a quic…

Glasses-free 3D TV tries to broaden out its appeal

TELEVISION makers have shifted their sights from HD to 3D. In 2010, the first 3D TVs from major manufacturers went on sale, and a spate of 3D channels launched around the world.

However, many viewers dislike the special glasses that existing 3D TVs require. Over half of the people asked to watch 30 minutes of 3D TV found the glasses "a hassle", according to a recent report by the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing, a non-profit cable TV industry body in National Harbor, Maryland. So the emphasis in 2011 is likely to be on "autostereoscopic" displays. These aim separate images at the viewer's right and left eye, with no need for special glasses.

Unlike the 3D TVs already on the market, many of the first glasses-free devices deliver 3D images to just one viewer at a time. That's the case with the Nintendo 3DS, a hand-held gaming unit due for release in Japan in February. It works by interlacing vertical strips of the images fo…

Smart contact lenses for health and head-up displays

Lenses that monitor eye health are on the way, and in-eye 3D image displays are being developed too – welcome to the world of augmented vision

THE next time you gaze deep into someone's eyes, you might be shocked at what you see: tiny circuits ringing their irises, their pupils dancing with pinpricks of light. These smart contact lenses aren't intended to improve vision. Instead, they will monitor blood sugar levels in people with diabetes or look for signs of glaucoma.

The lenses could also map images directly onto the field of view, creating head-up displays for the ultimate augmented reality experience, without wearing glasses or a headset. To produce such lenses, researchers are merging transparent, eye-friendly materials with microelectronicsIn 2008, as a proof of concept, Babak Parviz at the University of Washington in Seattle created a prototype contact lens containing a single red LED. Using the same technology, he has now created a lens capable of monito…

Internet biggies join hands in support of IPv6

 Bangalore: As the date of the IPv4 addresses depleting is fast approaching, the world is gearing up for its able replacement. In the same vein, Internet giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo have come together to support the adoption of IPv6 that has been designed to follow IPv4.

The Web biggies have decided to switch to the newer version of Internet Protocol for a day on June 8 this year to show their solidarity to the cause. Incidentally, the day has been christened as the World IPv6 Day.The IPv4 has been used as the Internet Protocol since 1981 and has provided for nearly four billion addresses. However, it is anticipated that the addresses will run out completely this year and hence the search for an alternative has begun.

The Internet companies, along with the Internet Society, will join content delivery networks Akamai and Limelight, to try out the new IPv6. The Internet Society is supporting World IPv6 Day as part of its efforts to accelerate IPv6 deployment.

Le…

Tablets to push growth in 'lite' OS device shipments

Hyderabad: The global shipments of portable Internet devices running on 'lite' operating systems (OS) is set to reach 150 million per year by 2015. As per research firm Ovum's latest forecast, shipment of devices based on lite OS will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 60 percent.

Lite OS is used in devices of Apple's iOS, Google's Android and RIM's BlackBerry Tablet OS and include tablet devices such as the iPad and the BlackBerry PlayBook as well as clamshell and convertible form factors. Tony Cripps, Principal Analyst, Ovum said, "This huge growth in shipments will be dominated by tablet-style technologies such as the iPad and will mainly be driven by consumers buying devices to complement their smartphones. This will either be as a 'third device' where there is a high-penetration PCs or the primary computing device where there is low-penetration."

The prediction further says that in the next four years, the maximum pe…

Crystal sieves could make oil sands greener

A FILTER made from natural crystals may help dirty, carbon-emitting fossil fuels green up.

Zeolite crystals are a popular industrial "sieve" because their tiny pore spaces allow only certain molecules to slip through. Now a group of researchers led by Steven Kuznicki at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and Anthony Ku at General Electric think they can be used to screen out the carbon dioxide produced when processing or burning fossil fuels.

The vast oil-sand deposits of Alberta are estimated to hold up to 170 billion barrels of recoverable oil, second only to Saudi Arabia. But extracting the oil accounts for millions of tonnes of carbon emissions each year, and the industry is growing rapidly. Much of the emissions are generated when superheated steam is pumped into the deposits. The steam pushes oil to the surface, but also picks up carbon from the oil and surrounding bedrock, which is then released into the atmosphere.

The team found that passing…

Prince Charles ‘to build eco-friendly utopia’ in India

Prince Charles wants to build an eco-friendly shanty town near Kolkata or Bangalore for 15,000 poor Indians, inspired by the one he saw in Oscar-winning film ’Slumdog Millionaire’, a media report said.

The multi-million-pound venture plan includes schools, shops and 3,000 homes in a tiny area the size of 14 football pitches, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

In fact, the heir to the British throne plans to turn a 25-acre swathe of Indian wasteland on the outskirts of either Kolkata or Bangalore into a “mini oasis in the desert”, to be modelled on Poundbury, the Dorset model village that has been Prince Charles’s 30-year pet project.

“When you enter (shanty town) what looks from the outside like an immense mound of plastic and rubbish, you immediately come upon an intricate network of streets with miniature shops, houses and workshops, each one made out of any material that comes to hand.

“We have a great deal to learn about how complex systems can self-organise to create a har…

On-line power bill payment starts in west Uttar Pradesh

Ghaziabad: About 32 lakh consumers of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) in western Uttar Pradesh will now be able to pay their electricity bills on the internet, a statement said Sunday.

The on-line bill payment facility was introduced by UPPCL Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) in districts such as Bagpat, Bijnor, Bulandshahr, Gautam Budh Nagar/Noida, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Moradabad, Muzzafarnagar, Rampur and Saharanpur.Consumers shall have to pay an additional 10 which will be passed on to the service provider for making on-line payments.

Consumers will have to go to the website http://www.pvvnl.org/ of PVVNL for making the payment.