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Showing posts from February 12, 2011

Acting on Feedback: IE9 Release Candidate Available for Download

The Release Candidate of Internet Explorer 9, available now at www.BeautyOfTheWeb.com in 40 languages, reflects our unique approach to building the best experience of the Web on Windows. IE9 also reflects a more open and transparent approach with its regular cadence of platform previews for developers and enthusiasts. With the Release Candidate, we’ve taken to heart over 17,000 pieces of feedback about IE9. You will find the product has made progress on all fronts—performance and standards, user experience, and safety and privacy.
We want to thank the millions of people who have installed and used Internet Explorer 9 during pre-release testing. The value of your feedback in developing the product is hard to overstate. The rest of this post highlights some of the changes made as we listened and acted directly on this feedback.
Performance & Standards: The Web Platform for Developers
The IE9 RC is faster with real world sites. In …

Top 6 Help Design Patterns for iPhone Apps

User Experience Designers usually aim to make application interfaces intuitive and easy to use without relying on help or a manual to guide the user through how to use the app.  However, there are times when an interface is most effective and efficient to use once some initial behaviors are learned.  In these cases, designing an application to be completely intuitive upon first-time use can be impractical or detrimental to repetitive use.  There are also times where a quick introduction on how to use an app simply makes the user feel more comfortable interacting with it for the first time, and is not a reflection of a poorly designed interface. iPhone applications that introduce new, innovative interaction models or that allow the user to access a wide range of information or complete several tasks often use first-time use help screens to help users learn how an app works.  This help can come in a wide variety of styles: demos, tutorials, single screen overlays, walkthroug…

Introducing the Google Translate app for iPhone

Back in August 2008, launched a Google Translate HTML5 web app for iPhone users. Today, the official Google Translate for iPhone app is available for download from the App Store. The new app has all of the features of the web app, plus some significant new additions designed to improve your overall translation experience.

Speak to translate
The new app accepts voice input for 15 languages, and—just like the web app—you can translate a word or phrase into one of more than 50 languages. For voice input, just press the microphone icon next to the text box and say what you want to translate.

Android 2.3.3 Platform, New NFC Capabilities

Several weeks ago we released Android 2.3, which introduced several new forms of communication for developers and users. One of those, Near Field Communications (NFC), let developers get started creating a new class of contactless, proximity-based applications for users. NFC is an emerging technology that promises exciting new ways to use mobile devices, including ticketing, advertising, ratings, and even data exchange with other devices. We know there’s a strong interest to include these capabilities into many applications, so we’re happy to announce an update to Android 2.3 that adds new NFC capabilities for developers. Some of the features include: A comprehensive NFC reader/writer API that lets apps read and write to almost any standard NFC tag in use today.Advanced Intent dispatching that gives apps more control over how/when they are launched when an NFC tag comes into range.Some limited support for peer-to-peer connection with other NFC devices.We hope you’ll find these…

Flash Player 10.2 is Here: Available Now for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Today, we’re launching Flash Player 10.2 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. We’re especially excited that this release introduces Stage Video, a full hardware accelerated video pipeline for best-in-class, beautiful video across platforms and browsers. Additionally, this version of Flash Player offers all the new capabilities previewed in our beta release, like custom native mouse cursors, multiple monitor full-screen support, Internet Explorer 9 hardware accelerated rendering support, and enhanced sub-pixel rendering for superior text readability. In The City That Knows How*, A History of Moving Images Here in San Francisco, we’ve had a bit of tradition around changing how folks see the world with images. In the 1870s, a San Francisco photographer named Eadweard Muybridge captured some of the earliest motion pictures. In 1927, Philo Farnsworth transmitted the first electronic television image in his laboratory on 202 Green Street. And way back in 2002, a small team in San Francisco intro…

Motorola XOOM with Wi-Fi only hits the FCC

We do know that the landing page of the Motorola XOOM has already gone live a few days ago, and that will clearly heighten the anticipation for folks who want one of the more promising tablet devices out there in the market sometime down the road. Well, as you all know, any electronic device that intends to make their way to the US will first have to jump through the hoops put forward by the FCC, and there is a new Motorola XOOM apparently that has arrived at such a turning point.
This model seems to be a Wi-Fi only version (reminds you of the iPad as well as the Amazon Kindle, doesn’t it?), so if such a variant were to make its way to the market, you can bet your bottom dollar that this means it will be more affordably priced than the $800 quoted for the 3G Motorola XOOM tablet.
The recent filing spotted pointed towards the FCC testing a “wireless tablet with embedded WLAN” manufactured by Motorola, and surely it doesn’t mean another tablet apart from the XOOM, does it?…

The Philippines’ SMART and Red Bend to unveil world’s first operator-managed smartphone with WAC widgets

Smart Communications, which is the Philippines’ leading mobile operator with 44.1 million subscribers, and Red Bend Software unveiled the Netphone, touting it as the world’s first smartphone featuring widgets from the Wholesale Application Community (WAC) that can be independently managed over the air.
The revolutionary part — at least when mobile operators are concerned — is the ability to add widgets without user’s permission. This way, mobile operators can increase ARPU while at the same time presenting users with new features they may haven’t tried or seen before.
The mentioned Netphone is an Android 2.2-powered touchscreen smartphone that comes with popular social networking clients alongside relevant customer account services and select apps that are said to be relevant to emerging market customers.
Using Red Bend’s standards-based vRapid Mobile Software Management solution, SMART is able to manage its suite of embedded software and applications, including WAC-compl…

Turn by Turn Navigation Tweak for iPhone Map Coming Soon [Video]

Good news for iPhone users. Soon you will be able to use Android like turn by turn navigation Maps app on your iPhone. Currently iPhone developers TheZimm & InfectionFX are working together to bring Android like turn by turn navigation to the native Maps app on iPhone. In order to activate voice based turn by turn navigation on your iPhone this new tweak will work along with VoiceActivator.
Currently there is no information available about the price and availability of this new tweak. This tweak is going to be available in Cydia soon. You can watch the video embedded below to see it in action. Stay tuned we will inform you as soon as this tweak will available in Cydia.

Japanese Docomo and Korean KT team-up on cross-border NFC

NTT Docomo announced an agreement with South Korea’s KT Corporation to use near field communication (NFC) technologies to develop cross-border services for mobile payments, mass-transit ticketing, promotional coupons and other services. If everything goes as planned, the two market-leading operators will launch in their respective markets from around the end of 2012.

Powertrekk Fuel Cell Charger Keeps You Juiced Up

I am an indoor person most of the year, thanks to the blistering heat we get half the year here in Texas. If you live where you can get out and enjoy the outdoors, but are geeky and need power for your gadgets, Powertrekk has a new fuel cell charger for you.

IBM and Samsung announce patent cross-license agreement, we pray for a z196-based Galaxy Tab

The dirty details are few and far betwixt, but IBM and Samsung have just joined up to announce a patent cross-license agreement that could have significant impact in the world we obsess with. According the (admittedly brief) release embedded after the break, the two will license their respective patent portfolios to each other, but considering that specific terms and conditions are being kept under wraps for now, it's on us to imagine what kind of magic will result from the agreement. Of course, the patent portfolios for each of these companies is staggeringly vast -- covering everything from mobile technologies to semiconductors, and just about everything in between. We're told that the deal will allow each company to "innovate and operate freely," and to use each other's patents to keep pace with the rapid expansion of technology. Is a 5.2GHz z196-based Galaxy S just months away? A boy can dream, can't he?
[Thanks, Peter]

Despite digital books readers remain loyal to hardcovers

The sales of digital books in India is expected to pick up in coming months but that will not impact the aficionados love for hardcover books as has been the case in the West, say major publishers here.
India may see good rise in sales of digital books as downloading them on mobiles becomes a possibility but their growth trajectory may not be same as in the West, they say.
Managing Director of Rupa & Co, Kapish Mehra does not see iPads or Kindle book readers replacing the hard copy.

Facebook, Twitter to be used for Census 2011

Bhopal: Social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter will also used to make people aware of the importance of Census 2011, an official said Friday.
The Madhya Pradesh government and the UN Children's Fund (Unicef) held a day-long workshop on the role of media in Census 2011.
It was announced that two pages on census related information had already been made on Facebook."While the centre's brand ambassadors are Sachin Tendulkar and actress Priyanka Chopra, lyricist Gulzar and television actress Divyanka Tripathi would be the brand ambassadors for census work in Madhya Pradesh," said Sachin Sinha, director of the directorate for census work.

"It is a real challenge for us to include everyone - from beggars to the elite class - in census," he said.
The second phase of Census 2011 will begin Feb 9 and continue till 28 across India.

Indians prefer business-oriented apps: Study

Bangalore: A recent study has revealed that most smartphone users in India (58 percent) are of the opinion that the applications on their phones benefit their lives and they make use of these apps everywhere from their homes, to work and while commuting.
The study, conducted by Nokia along with Professor Trevor Pinch of Cornell University, also highlighted that most Indians prefer business oriented apps like email and expense managers. Another pointed that came into light through the study is that having and using apps are not synonymous. Indians scored a high point in claiming to use all of the apps on their phone (14 percent).The study patterned the men and women behaviors with respect to apps. More men (93 percent) are likely to download an app as compared to women (87 percent). However, women are more into using social networking apps (43 percent). Here men score low with only 38 percent doing so.

New Wave: Efficient Source of Terahertz Radiation Developed

JILA researchers have developed a laser-based source of terahertz radiation that is unusually efficient and less prone to damage than similar systems. The technology might be useful in applications such as detecting trace gases or imaging weapons in security screeningJILA is a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

First Stars in Universe Were Not Alone

The first stars in the universe were not as solitary as previously thought. In fact, they could have formed alongside numerous companions when the gas disks that surrounded them broke up during formation, giving birth to sibling stars in the fragments.These are the findings of studies performed with the aid of computer simulations by researchers at Heidelberg University's Centre for Astronomy together with colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching and the University of Texas at Austin (USA). The group's findings, just published the journal Science, cast an entirely new light on the formation of the first stars after the Big Bang. Stars evolve from cosmic gas clouds in a fierce and complex battle between gravity and internal gas pressure. The density of the gas increases due to its own gravitational pull. This causes the gas to heat up, as a consequence the pressure rises, and the compression process comes to a halt. If the gas manages to …