Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Nintendo: 3DS May Damage Vision of Small Children

The upcoming Nintendo 3DS is not positioned as a toy: In fact, Nintendo protects the 3D mode with parental controls and recommends that children under the age of 6 should play games only in 2D mode.



Alright, a $300 mobile game console is hardly a toy for small children, but we are very well aware of the appeal of Nintendo’s DS series to children in that age range. So it may be somewhat surprising to read  Nintendo’s warns about a potentially negative impact of the 3DS on the vision of children.

I cannot quite remember to have seen so many health warnings about a new game console in the past – warnings that may actually fuel already persistent rumors among consumers that 3D displays will damage their vision. We are now reading that some people may have a hard time to actually see the 3D effect, which prompted the company to include an adjustment of the strength of the effect. Nintendo warns that 3D games are more likely than 2D content to cause “fatigue or discomfort”.

In a rather serious note, Nintendo says that vision in developmental stage should not be exposed to 3D games at all. The developmental stage applies to children under the age of 6. Different left and right eye images/video can impact the “growth of children’s eyes”, Nintendo writes .

To protect children from negative vision impact, there is a default 2D video mode. The 3D mode requires a PIN that can be set as parental control feature.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Firefox 4 Mobile Beta 2 Released

Mozilla today announced the second beta of Firefox 4 Mobile for Android and Maemo. The software has made substantial process and is now among the most attractive browsers for Android. It scores in performance and HTML 5 compliance tests. iPhone users may be jealous.

The first Firefox 4 Mobile Beta was a rather rough release and a browser that was easily trumped by other popular Android browsers such as Dolphin. However, the second beta is a different caliber and is, according to our preliminary test run the fastest mobile browser for Android. Since it is based on Firefox 4, is offers amazing HTML 5 support, which is on par with the desktop version.


The new beta has dropped in size substantially – from more than 40 MB for the installer to about 17 MB. Mozilla says that future versions will get rid of more weight. There is a new interface that is now much more integrated with Android. Firefox Sync is now supported as well, which allows you to bring your bookmarks through the cloud to the mobile browsers.

You can download the browser for Android or Maemo here. The Android version requires an OS version of 2.0 or higher. The required storage space is about 32 MB.

Google Instant Comes To iPhone and Android

Google announced the availability of Instant Search for “most” iPhone and Android mobile devices. The beta version brings the functionality of the regular search to smartphones (Android 2.2 and higher, iOS 4 and higher) and tablets as long as the connection speed is fast enough.



The feature can be enabled simply by visiting the google.com front page. Instant Search is only available when there is a fast Internet connection. Instant Search for mobile is currently only available in English.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Your Smartphone Will Soon Have a 16 MP Camera

Sony's 16 MP smartphone camera module (left)
Sony last week announced a significant upgrade to its CMOS image sensor line. The company will begin producing 16.41 megapixel sensor by the end of the year, which means that you can expect 16 MP cameras to surface in late 2011 or early 2012.

You may be questioning the value of 16 megapixels in a smart phone camera, especially if the image quality does not keep up with the sheer size of the image itself. Compared to the sensors in regular digital still cameras, the tiny pixels on small CMOS sensors are at a severe disadvantage as far as light exposure is concerned, but that circumstance does not keep sensor developers to shrink those pixels and increase the overall image resolution provided by such a chip.

If Sony ha sits way, then we will be taking 16.41 MP snapshots with our smartphones sometime in 2012. The company today announced a 1/2.8 back-illuminated CMOS image sensor that is the technology foundation for such monstrous pictures. The chip will carry pixels with a size of just 1.12 μm. There is also a modest version of the chip that provides a resolution of 8.13 MP and a pixel size of 1.4μm. Sony says that the sensors are “highly sensitive” and can take high quality photos and videos even in low light settings – without a flash.

There are also two new auto-focus lens modules that are compatible with the back-illuminated CMOS image sensors, which will be released under the Exmor R brand. Sony claims that the IU081F for the 16.41 MP sensor is the industry’s smallest and thinnest auto-focus lens module (10.5 x D10.5 x 7.9 mm). The 16.41 MP chip will ship beginning in January 2011, the 8.13 MP chip will follow in April.

A Preview Of Chrome 8

It was a bit surprising to see Chromium 7 (Chrome 7 nightly build) to be switched to Chromium 8 (Chrome 8 nightly build) early this morning, as we were just told that the switch was scheduled for next week. The launch of Chromium 8 closes the feature set for Chrome 7 and opens a wave of cloud features that is quite obviously planned for Chrome 8.

With the release of Chrome 8 as a nightly build, we now know the final feature set of Chrome 7, which should be released as a final version within the next 4 weeks. Compared to the current stable version of Chrome 6, Google will add

-          Hardware acceleration, which accelerates the browser in complex graphics scenarios by about 225x and closely matches Firefox 4 Beta and IE9 Beta. While Google was late with this feature in a beta browser, it is interesting to note that it will be first to offer this feature in a final version of a browser.

-          Instant Search integration, which brings the website feature to the browser and virtually eliminates the need for you to visit the Google homepage as Google Search is available from at any location from the URL bar.

-          UI Tabs, which moves the content of traditional Windows to browser tabs, including the Options window.

-          Performance improvements. Using our own CT Mark, Chrome 7 will be about 3% faster in JavaScript than Chrome 6, about as fast in general website loading performance, about twice as fast in HTML 5 content rendering, and slightly faster in Flash.

Chrome 8 is very early in its stage, but as it was clear with Chrome 7 that it would focus on hardware acceleration from the very beginning, Google has already built some features into the browser that indicate that Chrome 8 will be much more tailored to the upcoming Chrome OS than any other browser before.  The 8th generation will get a huge array of cloud features that will enhance Chrome OS as an operating system that will mainly operate in the cloud and tie multiple PCs, handheld devices and tablets together.

Among the features are support for background web applications, host remoting, which enables users to centrally control features and settings that are distributed to other computers, as well as Cloud Print, which enables users to access a printer that is connected to a computer via a Google account. These features are already accessible via the Labs feature of Chromium 8 (type about:labs in the URL bar), but they are not functional yet.

We expect Chrome 8 to debut as final version before the end of the year.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kingston Water-Cooled DDR3 Dual and Triple-channel Memory Kits Unveiled

Kingston has been a brand for all in terms of cheap memory offerings, but this time they revealed new reliable and quiet water-cooled DDR3 memory (dual and triple) kits  targeted for those hardcore gamers. Normally it won't come that cheap, but the company will give you three options for you to select what's within your budget.

Kingston's water-cooled memory kits will come in dual- and triple channels, accordingly it would include 4GB dual-channel kits, clocked at 2000MHz and 2133MHz, priced for $157.00 and $205.00 respectively. And the 6GB triple-channel option, which is clocked at 2000MHz will costs you $235.00.

So hardcore PC gamer out there what are you waiting for? If you want rigs tacked this water-wonder memory for a more optimized gaming experience why not grab it now, yet be ready to shed some extra bucks for the kit.

Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta 3

Mozilla Firefox 4 beta 3 just got released. Mozilla is beginning to make more progress with its new JavaScript engine JaegerMonkey, which is now about 10% faster than the TraceMonkey engine that is integrated in Firefox today.

If we believe Mozilla’s latest crash report data, it may be the most stable Firefox 4 Beta to date. In fact, the data indicates that the browser is just as stable as the current 3.6.8. The fourth beta is already available as a nightly build and we noticed that Mozilla is making slow, but consistent progress to improve the performance of its new JavaScript engine. JaegerMonkey is now indicated to achieve a Sunspider performance of 596.2 ms, which is the first time Mozilla has broken the 600 ms mark. TraceMonkey is at 653.9 ms.

Mozilla still plans on releasing JaegerMonkey in September and it appears that the team has still quite a bit of work to do to take the engine below the stated goal of somewhere between 400 and 500 ms. In V8, JaegerMonkey comes in at 5916.4 ms vs. TraceMonkey’s 6623.4 ms. Google’s Chrome stands at 1670 ms, according to Mozilla.

Windows Phone 7


With the formal launch of Windows Phone 7 powered devices expected by October this year, NeoWin has had a tip that Microsoft Australia are arranging a launch event for late August.

So is this accurate?  Frankly there’s no reason to assume otherwise as enough handset manufacturers will be ‘almost’ ready by the time of this event and only five or six handsets will be required for an official launch.

Every day now there are new rumours surfacing and new handset prototype details leaked, it’s an exciting time for mobile communications.

NeoWin also report that FCC/Wi-Fi/SIG filings are now appearing all over the place as manufacturer’s step their work up a gear.

The next news to expect will be from the networks around the world.  Windows Phone 7 is expected to launch in Europe first and then in the US and Canada a couple of months later.  I myself am due a phone upgrade at Christmas so the timing couldn’t be better news and I’m looking forward to getting a Windows Phone 7 handset immensely.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Google Losing Market Share

Microsoft and Yahoo may have found a recipe to grab search engine market share from Google: Both sites exploit contextual search that tie content and related search together.

Google is still leading the U.S. market with a significant margin. According to Comscore, Google came in at 62.6% share in June, down 1.1 points from May. Yahoo gained 0.6 points to 18.9% and Microsoft’s Bing added 0.6 points to 12.7%. Comscore said that Americans conducted 16.4 billion searches in June, up 3% from May. Google Sites accounted for 10.3 billion searches (up 1%), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 3.1 billion (up 7%), Microsoft Sites with 2.1 billion (up 8%), Ask Network with 584 million (up 1%), and AOL with 368 million (up 2%).

Source: comscore and conceivablytech

Microsoft Releases Windows 7 SP1 Beta

Not quite ten months after the release of Windows 7, Microsoft announced the public beta of the first service pack for Windows 7. Unlike SP1 for Windows Vista, there are no new features in this update, but Microsoft pitches it as a rather unimportant maintenance release you may have installed on your Windows 7 PC already.


Microsoft said in the announcement. “SP1 is simply a combination of updates already available through Windows Update and additional hotfixes based on feedback by our customers and partners.”

You can download the beta Windows 7 Service Pack 1 here.

Source: nexus404

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 is out

Adobe has released Flash Player 10.1 and said that a final version for the Android mobile OS will be released "later this month".


There are improvements to conserve resources, reduce power usage and extend battery life. Adobe claims that Flash Player can now automatically reduce the power consumption for content running in the background on a non-visible browser tab to improve performance when users are multitasking.

There is better hardware decoding and buffering, P2P video, multicast and http streaming. Peer-assisted networking and multicast are available for Flash Player 10.1 by using Real Time Media Flow Protocol (RTMFP), which enables peers on a network to assist in real time communication and content delivery over the web.

Flash Player now supports peer-assisted networking groups, which allow an application to segment its users and send messages and data between members of the group.

There is also something called Smart seek which means that you can seek within a new 'back' buffer, making it possible to rewind or fast forward video without Flash Player calling back from the server.

There are also Actionscript 3 APIs for multi-touch and gestures. This means that it is possible to work with multiple objects simultaneously or work with native gestures, such as pinch, scroll, rotate, scale, and two-finger tap.

Flash 10.1 has been in beta for a while and it brings in GPU acceleration for H.264 content, if you are using Windows of course.

Apple users will not be able to use it, but since Steve Jobs says they are not allowed to they will not care that much. Users of the Linux based Android mobile OS will also have to wait a little while for a version that runs on their devices.

Adobe has been under fire for its Flash program in recent months, not least from Apple's Steve Jobs who says that it crashes his machines and smells bad. However it is still used on most of the world's websites.
You can download Adobe's Flash Player 10.1 here.

Source: adobe.com and theinquirer.net

Mozilla Firefox 4?

A Pre-Alpha version of Firefox 3.7 Alpha 5, which should give us a first impression of Firefox 4.0, went live last night on Mozilla’s FTP servers. Don’t get too excited just yet. It’s a Pre-Alpha.

Mozilla has posted the update as a “build 1” developer version on its servers. It measures a healthy 8.3 MB, and comes with features such as WebM support and Gecko 1.9.3. However, while it is promised to include many Firefox 4.0 features it still has the old GUI and had even trouble to render its GUI correctly.
At this point it is simply seems what Mozilla claims – a developer version or testing purposes – and not a browser to use on a daily basis. However, if you would like to run Mozilla’s latest Firefox, you can download it here.

source: mozilla.com and conceivablytech.com

Motorola Responds To The iPhone 4: A 2 GHz Android Phone

Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola’s consumer business and mobile devices division, today confirmed that the company will continue to roll out Android phones at a fast pace, including a 2 GHz smartphone by the end of the year.

In a long standing tradition, speeches at the Executives Club of Chicago are not the place to make specific product announcements, but the environment is apparently attractive enough for key leaders in the IT industry to drop notes about future product plans. Last year, Steve Ballmer talked about Project Natal, describing it as a “new Xbox”, which signifies the importance of the product for Microsoft.

Earlier today, Sanjay Jha talked about his vision for the mobile devices industry. If it is up to Jha, mobile computers will simply die within a few years. Many corporations will give their employees smartphones instead of notebooks within 2 years, he predicted. Smartphones are quickly increasing their computing power, driving by a convergence of applications and usage scenarios.

By the end of the year, Motorola will be releasing a phone with a 2 GHz processor, Jha said. While the executive did not elaborate any further, another Motorola executive who asked to remain anonymous said that this new phone is intended to incorporate everything that is technologically possible in a smartphone today. It will be based on Android, and include, like the iPhone 4, a gyroscope and add an Nvidia Tegra-based graphics processor with full Flash 10.1 hardware acceleration. It appears that the 2 GHz chip will be an evolutionary step above the current 1 GHz Snapdragon chip.

Source: conceivablytech.com

Monday, March 22, 2010

Internet Explorer 9

Microsoft has release a platform preview of Internet Explorer for Windows 7. This platform preview is intended for Developers. It contains a series of tests that IE 9 is undergoing and is used to compare to other browsers. It also contains several demonstrations showing how IE 9 will perform.











You can download the Preview platform here.

Google TV

The New York Times' Nick Bilton is reporting that Google, Intel, Sony, and Logitech are collaborating on a new platform for Internet-enabled TV called...Google TV, of course. Bilton doesn't have a lot of detail, but he says that it'll be an open-source platform that can run third-party apps; that it will include Google search; that it will run the Android OS and Chrome browser on Intel's Atom processor; and that Logitech is working on remote controls, including one with a tiny QWERTY keyboard. Google has a prototype box, but the technology could be built into TVs; consumer products may arrive as soon as this summer.

It would have been startling if Google didn't try to something along these lines, given that TV remains one of the most important screens in the lives of millions of people, and one without any Google presence to date. And nobody's figured out how to build an Internet TV platform that's truly a breakout hit-even Apple, which famously keeps insisting that Apple TV is a mere hobby. Roku and Vudu are both pretty nifty, but neither is close to becoming a household name.

If Google's plans involve an open platform that other companies can build apps for, they sound similar-in broad strokes, at least-to what Yahoo offers in its Connected TV technology. Which is well-done and available on a bunch of TVs from multiple major manufacturers, yet also kind of obscure.

So do teeming masses of real people even want the Internet on their TV? Or is it just that nobody to date has come up with anything that has the right features at the right price? I'm still not sure, so I look forward to more companies giving it a try-and I'm curious to see what Google and friends have in store.

source: pcworld

Facebook Users Targeted in Massive Spam Run

Facebook's 400 million users have been targeted by a spam run that could infect their computers with malicious software designed to steals passwords and other data, according to security researchers at McAfee.
Over the last two days, millions of messages have been sent, which McAfee detected through customers running the company's security software, said Dave Marcus, McAfee's director of security research and communication.

The messages appear to come from Facebook, with a return address that looks legitimate but has been spoofed, such as "help@facebook.com," Marcus said.

The messages say that the user's Facebook password has been reset and the user should download an attachment that contains the new password. The English-language messages are grammatically correct, but contain an odd sign-off: "Thanks, Your Facebook." McAfee has included a screenshot on its blog.

The attachment is actually a Trojan horse program, which infects a computer without any visible signs. Marcus said the spam run contained a variety of malware programs, including password stealers, rogue antivirus programs or botnet code.

No Web site would automatically reset someone's password and send the new one in an e-mail, Marcus said. Facebook's high number of users makes it a prime target for spammers and hackers.

"There's a huge victim pool to go after," Marcus said.

Although it's unknown how many people may have been inadvertently duped, "I'd assume a lot of people would fall for something like that," Marcus said.

The spam is believed to have been sent from botnets called Cutwail and Rustock. Botnets are groups of computers that are controlled by hackers and often used for malicious activity such as sending spam or conducting denial-of-service attacks against Web sites.

Security analysts have been experimenting with different ways to shut down botnets. Over the last few weeks, two botnets called Mariposa and Waledac were shut down after security experts were able to commandeer the command-and-control servers used to communicate with infected computers.

But botnets have become more and more sophisticated and harder to combat. Many computer users don't even know their computers are infected, and the botnet code is engineered to avoid detection by antivirus programs.

Source: pcworld

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Apple Officially Supports Windows 7

Apple has finally updated its Boot Camp Windows software to support Windows 7 as of late yesterday. The update, version 3.1, was originally scheduled for 2009, but late in the year was pushed back to early 2010, leading some to question Apple’s dedication to supporting Windows on their platform.

The update, which comes in both 32-bit (380.73 MB) and 64-bit (274.58 MB) flavors, supports Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. From Apple’s release notes:

This update adds support for Microsoft Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate), addresses issues with the Apple trackpad, turns off the red digital audio port LED on laptop computers when it is not being used, and supports the Apple wireless keyboard and Apple Magic mouse.

This update is highly recommended for all Boot Camp 3.0 users.

For more information, please visit this website:http://www.apple.com/support/bootcamp/

An additional Windows 7 driver pack was released for the new 21.5″ and 27″ iMacs, along with an applicable graphics firmware update for iMacs and Macs Pro. It’s hard to say why Apple couldn’t have released one driver package for all their Macs, but it looks like we’ll have to take what we can get.

Oddly, these packages only officially support installation under Windows XP or Windows Vista, which can then be upgraded to Windows 7.

Microsoft Surface

The computing community is slowly coming to understand that there is a lot more to the Windows 7 operating system than has be shown. Many features are slowly coming to the forefront because applications are coming out that take advantage of the OS features.

What is Microsoft Surface?

Microsoft surface is a multi-touch product (a table with a computer screen) that is a software and hardware combination technology. It is designed to allows users to change and work with digital content through hand gestures. The hardware surface is a 30-inch (76 cm) display in a table-like setting. The dimensions are 22 inches (56 cm) high, by 21 inches (53 cm) deep, and 42 inches (107 cm) wide. It has an acrylic tabletop, with a stell powder-coated interior frame.

The software platform runs on Windows Vista and Windows 7. In fact Windows 7 adds strong support for multi-touch displays and makes it similiar to using an iPhone. Surface also has network connectivity using Ethernet 10/100, wireless 802.11 b/g, or Bluetooth 2.0. Surface applications are written using either Windows Presentation Foundation or Microsoft XNA technology.









Remote administration of Microsoft Surface is available as units can be deployed to remote locations away from the immediate reach of an IT administrator. The standard administrative tasks can be performed such as taking a unit offline, installing applications, monitoring the unit, managing updates, and recovering the system. All of this can be accomplished with remote administration tools.











Core Applications

Here is a list of core applications that are available with Surface

  • Microsoft Surface Concierge: This program allows companies to display interactive maps and highlight specific locations.
  • Microsoft Surface Photos: Users can browse and control photos and videos that have been installed on Surface or downloaded from a device interacting with Surface.
  • Microsoft Surface Music: This program allows companies to add music collections to a Surface unit so users can select, and play.
  • Microsoft Surface Newsreader: Users can to stay up-to-date with news stories and videos in a variety of categories coming from MSNBC.com.
  • Microsoft Surface Games Pack: Classic games of Chess and Checkers can be played in a new way, plus use their fingers and gestures to try their hand at the innovative new Tiles and Ribbons games.
  • Microsoft Surface Water: This program behaves like a screen saver. the application runs when a Surface unit is not being used. But it lets users approach and touch the Surface, using life-like water ripples to demonstrate how Surface responds to touches and objects placed on the screen. This application comes pre-installed on Microsoft Surface units.

Other applications are under development.

Here is The Microsoft Site on Surface.