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Thursday, September 27, 2007
Pissed off: Why are my home theatre and winterwear posts not indexed?
This is the first one:
Home theatre setup and consultancy by expert audio video consultant in New Delhi, India: AV solutions
and the second
Buying knitwear in Ontario: Will winterwear like cardigans, pullovers and legwarmers sell online in Ontario Canada?

You know, you think you have posted something, and its indexed, and then it vanishes. How irritating.


posted by a correspondent @ 8:37 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Google accused of aiding promoters of movie piracy
A few major media companies have alleged that internet search engine giant Google has benefited from the sale of pirated movies and providing business support to two websites suspected of offering access to illegal film downloads.

The companies have accused Google of being too close with two websites accused of providing access to illegal download, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

Meanwhile, Google has assured the group of media companies that it would take measures to prevent a recurrence of the episode.

The media companies are considering launching their own service to compete with Google’s popular YouTube video web site, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reported that Google sold advertising to two men who allegedly marketed an application designed to find and download pirated movies online, a business relationship that has angered big movie and TV studios.

The extent of Google’s involvement with this allegedly rogue operation has been detailed in sworn depositions taken as part of an ongoing civil lawsuit major Hollywood studios filed against these two men in October 2005.

The defendants said, under oath, that Google assigned them account representatives who assisted them with their Google advertisement campaigns, including offering them credit and suggesting they use keywords like “bootleg movie download” and “pirated” to promote their websites. and generated New Zealand $1.6 million in revenue between 2003 and 2005, and Google received $1.2 million for advertising, the Wall Street Journal reported.

On learning that the defendants used Google to market their software, the plaintiffs – which include News Corporation, Viacom, Sony, NBC Universal, Time Warner and Disney – complained to the search engine company.

The accusation comes amid negotiations between Google and the big film and TV studios over the unauthorised use of copyrighted programming by YouTube, a free video website that Google bought in 2006 after the site quickly became a cultural phenomenon.

Media companies regard internet piracy – the unauthorised online transfer of movies, music and other copyrighted content – as a major threat to their businesses and claim it has already cost them billions of dollars.

Yet, Wall Street Journal says, the media companies acknowledge that consumers want the convenience of downloads and the companies do not want to miss out on a potential business opportunity or try to block downloads completely, as the music industry for a time unsuccessfully sought to do.


posted by a correspondent @ 8:44 PM   0 comments
Monday, February 12, 2007
Internet TV broadcaster JumpTV adds 11 more channels
JumpTV Incorporated, world's leading broadcaster of ethnic television over the internet, announced on Monday that it has signed 11 new exclusive internet broadcast agreements with channels from Pakistan, Thailand, Lebanon, Nigeria and Benin.

The new agreements expand JumpTV's network to 270 channels under licence.

The channels by signed JumpTV include ORTB (Benin), Channels TV, Lagos TV and MiTV (Nigeria), Zam TV and Rung TV (Pakistan), Popper, Rak Thai TV, Panorama 07 and Thai Cable Channel (Thailand), and Mlive (Lebanon).

The 11 new channels are expected to be individually priced at US $ 9.95 a month when launched commercially, and some will become a part of the country/region-specific channel groups at later dates.

The addition of the 3 Nigerian, 4 Thai and 2 Pakistani channels brings JumpTV's Nigerian, Thai and Pakstani channel lineup to 7 channels, 9 channels and 12 channels, respectively. Bundles will be launched for each of these countries soon.

The additional Lebanese channel is to be included in JumpTV's Pan Arab package, which currently includes 23 top Arab channels, for US $ 29.95 a month.

On the partnership with JumpTV, M Julien Pierre Akpaki, general director of ORTB said: "JumpTV is enabling ORTB to grow from a number one national channel, that is available only in Benin, to a global channel overnight. Since a majority of our programming is in French, we believe there is a real market for our content not only among the people of Benin, but anyone interested in West African television."

Sila Celik, head of content acquisition and global operations at JumpTV said: "JumpTV is thrilled to announce the addition of 11 channels from countries like Nigeria, Thailand, Pakistan and Lebanon. We understand that our subscribers want an array of content from their country or region of origin and these channels add substantially to our offerings."

Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, chief executive officer and president of JumpTV International said: "The first phase of JumpTV's business strategy has always been to aggregate the most television content from around the globe. Now, with 270-channel partnerships, JumpTV continues to solidify itself as the largest broadcaster of ethnic programming, providing its subscribers with live television, when and where they want it."

JumpTV, the world's leading subscription-based broadcaster of ethnic television over the internet, has over 250 channels from 70-plus countries. It delivers its subscribers full-screen news, sports and entertainment content on a real-time basis from all over the globe.

JumpTV has subscribers from over 80 countries who view channels on the JumpTV online network via high-speed internet connections on their home computers, laptops, internet-enabled televisions and mobile phones.

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posted by a correspondent @ 9:21 PM   0 comments
Websites of big travel firms, hotels, airlines go multi-lingual
Here is good news for those in different parts of the world who travel internationally. Big travel companies of the United States are moving fast on their way to become multi-lingual.

Large hotel chains and major airlines are launching foreign-language websites to expand their international appeal and to boost e-commerce.

Luxury hotel operator Ritz-Carlton will launch Chinese and Japanese sites in March 2007.

Starwood, which includes Sheraton, plans to add Chinese and Italian sites to four other languages, in 2007.

Marriott is working on Chinese and Spanish sites, adding to its German website.

Hilton recently launched a Spanish site, adding to German and Japanese. It will add Chinese in 2008.

InterContinental hotels, which includes Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, launched Arabic, Portuguese and Korean in the last two years, adding to its eight other languages. Before the company spent anything to promote its Japanese-language site, InterContinental customers had booked $250,000 in stays in its first two weeks.

According to an official of InterContinental, the Atlanta-based hotel chain, "our customers come from everywhere. To serve them, we needed to be able to speak their language."

Meanwhile, airlines have focused mainly on Spanish speakers, both inside and outside the United States.

American Airlines, for example, launched 18 Spanish sites tailored to different countries.

Delta has added more languages since becoming the United State's biggest trans-Atlantic carrier. It recently added French, German, Italian and Portuguese sites and will soon add Japanese, Chinese and Russian.

The move to use multiple languages on the Web promotes one goal shared by all travel companies -- to boost internet sales, which cost less to process than those handled by people. The companies also say that connecting with customers in their native language can generate greater loyalty and brand awareness.

"Many companies are moving in this direction as their businesses becomes more global," said an official of Colin Kinsella of Avenue A Razorfish, a leading online marketing agency that recently translated Singapore Airlines' website into new languages.

However, the process of translating hundreds or thousands of Web pages into different languages is not easy.

Ritz-Carlton, for example, could not translate "It's my pleasure" into Japanese because of sexual innuendo in that language. As a result, the phrase is used only in English on all its foreign language sites, explained an executive of Ritz-Carlton.

Also, customers on foreign-language travel websites still may need to understand a little English. United Airlines' Spanish site and Marriott's sites require customers to complete purchases in English.

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posted by a correspondent @ 9:20 PM   0 comments
Thursday, February 08, 2007
blogsearch indexing not working right now
The past post which I had added to this blog was about the allegations on Rahul Gandhi. For some strange reason, despite pining several times, the post still has not appeared in google blogsearch. This is the first time that I am seeing an indexing delay of more than 24 hours. I wonder why!


posted by a correspondent @ 11:04 PM   0 comments
Monday, February 05, 2007
Sunita Williams sets spacewalking record for women
Sunita Williams, the Indian-American astronaut, who is now spending her time in the International Space Station, has set a record – she has become the first woman to have spent the maximum time in spacewalking.

Sunita achieved the record by completing a total of over 22 hours in space on Sunday when she, along with International Space Station commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, spacewalked for over seven hours.

Her record of 22 hours and 27 minutes includes her two most recent walks, as well as a spacewalk in December, 2006.

Sunita has broken the record hitherto held by former astronaut Kathy Thornton.

For Lopez-Algiers, it was the eighth spacewalk. He surpassed astronaut Steve Smith to climb to the third place on the all-time spacewalking list for most hours spent outside a spacecraft.

Sunday's spacewalk was the 79th for assembly and maintenance of the International Space Station and the 51st done without a shuttle present.

Sunita Williams and Lopez-Alegria on Sunday returned inside the outpost's Quest airlock and shut the outer hatch, then settling down to enjoy the spectacular Super Bowl football game between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts.

On Monday, Lopez-Alegria and Sunita Williams recharged batteries and prepared their spacesuits and tools for the next spacewalk set for Thursday morning.

This walk will be the most attempted in so short a period of time by any space station astronauts without the crew of a shuttle present to assist them.

At the conclusion of the third spacewalk from the Quest airlock on February 8 and a Russian spacewalk planned for February 22, Lopez-Alegria will have completed his 10th spacewalk – a record for any astronaut.

Sunita Williams will then have a total of four spacewalks, the most ever by a woman.

During their first two spacewalks, Sunita and Lopez-Alegria had disabled the station's six-year-old, temporary cooling system.

By disconnecting and reconnecting a series of eight tubes, they re-routed the flow of ammonia coolant into a permanent network of external radiators.

The spacewalkers shifted cooling for computers and flight control boxes in the space station's US science module to the permanent system on Monday.

During Wednesday's spacewalk, they had done the same for the space station's life support systems.


posted by a correspondent @ 9:55 PM   0 comments
Home theatre setup and consultancy by expert audio video consultant in New Delhi, India: AV solutions
This is about my friend Denny, about to finally realise his dream of what he wants to do in life. His audio video showroom in New Delhi is almost done. For someone who has been obsessed about the intricacies of speakers, home theatre systems and setup, projectors and televisions, there can be nothing better than this!

I was quite thrilled by the news too - I am no home theater expert, but I have a passing interest in the entire area. For several years I kept buying AV Max, the audio video magazine and tried to make up my mind about which large screen LCD or Plasma TV or home theatre projector to buy, then got frustrated as everything seeme dto be well out of my budget range. Anyway, the first item is in place, and it is a new Samsung 32 inch Bordeaux LCD TV. I am a sucker for great design, and the Samsung LCD TVs definitely look better than anyone else's.

Now in a month, I shall get a home theater also set up. Most probably a Home Theater in a Box, unless Denny promises to sell me something at very friendly rates and set it up at my place. Right now, what I have in mind is the Samsung Ht-Tq 25 home theatre, it has wireless rear speakers. Something that is a great relief - I don't want to have wires running across the walls and floor everywhere.

But on the other hand, I am not sure if this particular home theater model comes with a HDMI out, which everyone and his dog tells me is what I need for getting the best quality picture on my LCD TV. Let's see how it goes.

Meanwhile, if any of you are interested in getting in a home theater, projector, LCD TV or Plasma TV or consultancy etc with speakers in New Delhi, do leave a comment here with your phone number and I shall get Denny to get in touch with you. The rest if between you and him!

Best of luck.


posted by a correspondent @ 12:04 AM   3 comments
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Vidzapper, Internet TV directory, launched
Vidzapper, a new Internet TV directory, was launched on Saturday, 3 February, 2007.

It provides a single interface for the best of the many new online TV channels available on the internet - ranging from traditional channels such as CBS and BBC to niche channels such as Veg TV and Single Malt TV.

The new TV directory helps one find the best video services on the internet in one place.

According to a Vidzapper release, all channels are pre-vetted by the Vidzapper team and only those offering the best video services are included.

Currently only free channels and video services in English are listed on the Vidzapper, but it is planned to add a directory of download, pay-per-view services and international online TV channels later.

The portal also features help and advice on watching internet TV, forums to discuss channels and an area where users can upload their own videos.

"There are a lot of video available on the internet," says Vidzapper representative Ian Poole, "but it's difficult to find and to navigate and not all of it's so great. At Vidzapper, we aim to sort out the best content for our viewers."

"We also provide advice on how to watch internet TV on your television and how to record streaming programmes," according to Poole.

A channel search function enables viewers to search for specific channels and content or they can browse channels from a variety of categories.

The service will publish the top ten channels on its service weekly to track the popularity of the new breed of TV channels available on the internet.


posted by a correspondent @ 7:21 AM   0 comments
IBM India plans to focus on education
India continues to be on the priority list for IBM. The IT major has registered a growth of 37 per cent year-on-year in 2006, in India. Sources attributed the success to servers, storage, software and services.

The tech major has seen more than 30 per cent year-on-year growth in India during the last four years. With the market posting 14-15 per cent growth, IBM has grown more than twice the market, according to top officials at IBM's India facility.

IBM currently employs as many as 53,000 in India. The company has also become the biggest MNC software exporter in India. The company, announcing its plans for 2007, has said that investments in education will remain a key focus. IBM will extend its KidSmart program and university relations initiatives across India, and create unique opportunities for its employees to contribute to social causes through volunteer and grants programs, it has been announced.

The company has also imparted training on open standards based technologies to more than 80,000 students in over 745 colleges in India during 2006. Its ‘great mind challenge' saw participation from over 700 colleges involving 21,000 students and 3,900 faculty from 24 states, reports said.

IBM has also said that it will play host to Global Innovation Outlook (GIO) 3.0 summit in Mumbai. The meet is expected to focus on identifying emerging business, technology and social trends that will lead to thought leadership and collaborative commercial opportunities for IBM, its clients and its partners.


posted by a correspondent @ 7:01 AM   0 comments
‘Connected generation' thirsting for more interactivity
There have been various studies conducted across the world - especially in the West - on the effects of television on children and vice-versa.

Many researchers have described today's school children as "the connected generation" since they have grown up in an online, digital environment - a world that is more comfortable for them than their parents.

Says Mark Prensky, an expert in education: "Children are the natives in the digital landscape and we, the adults, are immigrants." This view is certainly shared by any parent reliant on their child to download an album from pause a live programme.

Studies conducted in the West into children's media behaviour have revealed two common traits - active consumption and multi-tasking. Both will have significant implications for the media industry.

Years of immersion in computer games and the latest websites have given the children a thirst for interactivity.

Today's children may be called multi-taskers. They watch television, play hand-held computer game and read a comic - all at the same time.


posted by a correspondent @ 7:00 AM   0 comments
iPod Shuffle in fresh colours
The lowest priced smallest iPod - the iPod Shuffle - has arrived. And to label it as a fashion accessory, Apple Inc has rolled out the gadget in four additional colours.

According to a report, the iPod Shuffle now comes in blue, pink, green and orange in addition to its original silver colour, Cupertino, California-based Apple said today in a statement. The 1-gigabyte iPod Shuffle, which holds as many as 240 songs, sells for $79.

Apple began selling an updated version of the iPod Shuffle in November, adding a clip to the device that allows users to attach the player to their clothing.

The new iPod Shuffle is 1.62-inches long, almost half the size of the original released in 2005. Apple sold a record 21.1 million iPods last quarter and doesn't reveal how many units it sells of each model.

Analysts see the colour change after the holiday season as a move to maintain the product's mindshare with consumers. The colour versions of the iPod Shuffle are expected to help maintain the product's momentum.

With the iPod having become the best-selling music player in the US, with a 75 percent share of the market, Apple is on a high.


posted by a correspondent @ 6:55 AM   0 comments
Friday, February 02, 2007
UN study blames humans for global warming
Weather goes wild, temperatures rise; humans are responsible for global warming.

In its most comprehensive report so far on climate change, the United Nations has said global warming is "very likely" caused by humans.

Temperatures and sea levels will rise by the end of this century.

Global temperatures are likely to rise by 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century compared to the previous century, with a probable 2-4 degree range if carbon dioxide doubles from pre-industrial levels, the United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its report.

Sea-level gain over the same period may range from 18 to 59 centimetres (7 to 23 inches).

There is a key change in the report's language from that used in the panel's 2001 document - showing that there is more certainty that human activity is causing the warming.

The report, released to reporters in Paris, puts the probability of the link with humans at over 90 %, compared to the 66-90 % likelihood signalled in 2001.

"This report puts a full stop behind the questioning of the science underlying the issue of whether humans are causing global warming," Achim Steiner, director of the UN Environment Programme, said in Paris.

The global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) stood at 379 parts per million in 2005 - up from about 280 ppm in 1750 - before the industrial revolution. Concentrations of CO2, and methane, another greenhouse gas, exceed "by far" the highest in an Antarctic ice-core record stretching back 650,000 years.

Those increases are primarily attributable to fossil fuel use and land-use change.

The UN panel released part one of a four-volume survey, which was reviewed by over 2,500 scientists from 130 countries.

"The science of climate change, of global warming, is now unambiguous: the earth is getting hotter, the weather is becoming more variable and this is due to our own industrial revolution," Britain's Environment Secretary David Miliband had said in an interview on January 31. "All the predictions are that the problem is becoming more urgent, that the scientists are becoming more certain and that the dangers are becoming more real."

Scientists say that carbon dioxide and other gases produced by burning fossil fuels cause the earth to heat up when they linger in the atmosphere, trapping energy from the sun that would otherwise reflect back into space.

Scientists say that melting of Greenland’s ice sheet increased dramatically in the past few years, with one portion losing ice five times faster in the past two years than the previous year and a half.

Sea-level forecasts will be under more scrutiny following a report on Thursday in Science, which says that levels since 1993 have risen by 3.3 millimetres a year.

Many industrialised nations have already begun taking action by setting caps on emissions. Under the UN’s Kyoto Protocol treaty, 35 countries and the European Union have agreed to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by a combined 5 % from the 1990 levels by the 2008-2012 period.

The US and Australia did not ratify the treaty, and developing nations such as India and China are not subject to emissions reductions.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:37 AM   0 comments
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Adobe set for Lightroom 1.0 release
Lightroom 1.0 is here. Adobe Systems has made it public that its Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 software is now available for pre-order. The company is expected to ship the product by mid-February 2007.

According to expert reports, Adobe's new product allows professional photographers to import, manage and present large volumes of digital photographs, helping photographers spend more time behind the lens and less time at the computer. The company has said that more than 500,000 photographers have been participating in the public beta program being held over the last 12 months.

Photoshop Lightroom comes with a handful of features. All these features help in the streamlining digital photography workflows. Adobe makes pro photographers a bargain and is offering its Photoshop Lightroom at a special introductory price of $ 199. However, the company plans to sell the product at an estimated street price of $ 299, post April 30 this year.

Photoshop Lightroom incorporates new functionality added since beta 4.1, with significant changes to the Library and Develop modules complementing improvements to the Slideshow, Print and Web components, said a report. Other useful tools included in this edition of Photoshop Lightroom are a Hue, Saturation and Luminance targeted adjustment tool for precise and intuitive image edits, Clone and Healing features provide non-destructive edits to eliminate sensor dust across one or many images.


posted by a correspondent @ 9:48 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
YouTube among the most influential brands
It's just 18 months old, but has grown in prominence to be the world's third most influential brand in a very short period. We are talking of the YouTube, the online video portal that is on a high offering some consumer-generated content.

Though the brand has climbed up the popularity ladder, the revolution is not yet powerful enough to unseat major players like Google as yet.

YouTube's current position has been revealed by a survey by online magazine Significantly, YouTube had failed to rate a mention in a similar survey conducted last year. However, this year, it has been rated by as many as 3,625 branding professionals and students as more influential than Starbucks, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Toyota and Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Google, which bought out YouTube for $1.65 billion last year, continued its reign on top of the list. Apple finished second. Google has now been the numero uno brand in four out of the past five years . Online encyclopaedia Wikipedia came fourth.

The others prominent names in the top 10 included Starbucks, Nokia, Skype, IKEA, Coca-Cola and Toyota. Meanwhile, online auction shop eBay, which came in at number nine in the listing last year, saw a dramatic drop to the 28th slot. The NewsCorp owned community website MySpace debuted on the list at 72, just ahead of American Express, said reports.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:29 AM   0 comments
Vista enabled PCs from Dell
Windows Vista is here. But even before Microsoft launched the new software, computer maker Dell already began taking orders, and shipping desktop and notebook PCs pre-loaded with Vista.

According to the company, Dell systems equipped with Vista are designed to deliver a rich digital lifestyle experience, combined with secure operations, and ease-of-use.

Dell's new offering allows customers to record and watch HD video, organize digital photo and music libraries, quickly search data and multimedia files, and browse the Internet with excellent protection from spyware and phishing scams.

According to reports Dell has worked closely with Microsoft to make the computing experience faster, easier, and better in areas such as sales and technical support to make sure that customers purchase the right system to take full advantage of Vista.

These apart, Dell has also spent more than 100,000 engineer-hours testing and validating Vista on its hardware. Dell has told its customers that they can consider systems configured with dual-core or quad-core processors, more memory (2GB memory for optimal performance), a dedicated graphics card with 256 MB of memory or more, and large hard drives.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:15 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
China goes 4G mobile
4G has debuted. And, guess where? China has launched the world's first fourth-generation (4G) mobile communication system in Shanghai.

According to industry reports, the fully home-grown 4G system provides speeds of up to 100 MBPS in wireless transmission of data and images many times faster than that of current mobile technology.

The trial version had been rolled at a cost of USD 19.2 million. The venture is being dubbed by the Chinese media as a milestone in the development of China's 4G technologies. The technology trial testifies that the technology developed is feasible and brings China one step closer to put it into commercial use.

Earlier, China had initiated the B3G (Beyond 3G)/4G research project way back in year 2001 under the label future technology for universal radio environment, it may be recalled. It has now set a goal of conducting field tests of the 4G system and putting it into trial commercial use between 2006 and 2010.

The 4G system that debuted in Shanghai clearly provides hints that China has entered the final phase of the 4G system project. The future project involves about 10 leading domestic institutions.

The technology, according to reports, has got more than 200 patents and some of its core technologies have been adopted by international standards organizations.


posted by a correspondent @ 8:36 PM   0 comments
MySpace sex offenders, watch out
Sex offenders beware. MySpace, the social networking website owned by News Corp has provided database technology to help the US authorities collect information on convicted sex offenders, said a report.

Sentinel Safe, a database that has been developed by MySpace and Sentinel Technologies, based in Downers Grove, Ill helps law enforcement to search more quickly for criminals who prey on victims in online communities. MySpace has given the database to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which helps investigate crimes against young people.

According to reports, about 600,000 registered sex offenders are listed in more than 50 databases in the US. Sentinel Safe works in such a way that it uses information to help websites and third parties identify, remove and block convicted sex offenders over the Internet.

This according to NewsCorp top brass, would help in keeping the Internet safer by tracking down those who commit crimes against children. MySpace has more than 140 million registered users worldwide.


posted by a correspondent @ 8:35 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Windows Vista in retail store shelves from Tuesday next week

Retailers to burn midnight oil for Vista

Next week, most of America’s retailers would stay awake well past midnight. The move is in anticipation of the arrival of the new Vista, which is expected to go on sale after midnight on Tuesday.

The midnight madness has prompted retailers like CompUSA to keep its stores open past midnight on Tuesday, so that shoppers can get the new operating system as soon as it goes on sale. Other players like Best Buy and Circuit City are also planning to keep some of its stores open late to cash in on the new Vista.

The operating system's hardware needs are seen as offering retailers a big opportunity in the form of consumer support--both installing the operating system and upgrading machines to be more Vista-capable.

It may be recalled here that in August 1995 when Microsoft launched Windows 95, it had managed to get people line up for blocks to buy it.

Though not all retailers are counting on Vista, it is expected to have a big impact in the market, said analysts. CompUSA feels that it wants to ensure it can offer enthusiasts a first crack at Vista. A spokesman for the retailer said that it is a once-in-five-years opportunity to have the chance for incremental business. It also gives an opportunity to have an event, to drive extra awareness and extra sales.

Further, sellers might also announce freebies to those who buy the new products. While CompUSA said it is planning doorbuster deals on a variety of add-ons that go well with Vista, such as LCD screens, video cards, memory cards and hard drives, Circuit City is hoping to tap some Super Bowl excitement by bringing NFL celebrities in to its stores to sign autographs. And, Best Buy is trying to promote Vista throughout its stores, with displays not only in the computer section but also in areas like digital photography and home theaters, where the new operating system can also play a role

Meanwhile, Microsoft itself is offering Vista online through its Windows Marketplace software site.


posted by a correspondent @ 12:51 AM   0 comments
Linux Foundation formed: Free Standards Group and Open Source Development Labs merge
Linux has always been in the news. With so much being written about the software, now it is time for supporters to lunch a foundation in its name.

According to reports, the two biggest supporters of Linux software have merged to form the Linux Foundation. The supporters, the San Francisco-based non-profit body Free Standards Group, have merged with Open Source Development Labs of Beaverton, Oregon to form the Linux Foundation.

The Linux operating system is a open-source software, which means the code is publicly available and can be changed by anyone. The OS competes with Microsoft Windows and Unix as the computer platform for other software programs to run on.

According to reports, the Linux foundation's members include major technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle, as well as the two largest Linux makers, Novell and Red Hat. It will be led by Jim Zemlin, former executive director of the Free Standards Group.

The new group will defend Linux vendors and customers against intellectual property lawsuits. It also plans to help increase usage of Linux by aiding development of the software and helping the operating system work with open-source and proprietary software, it has been reported.


posted by a correspondent @ 12:46 AM   0 comments
Sun to use Intel Xeon chips, Intel to distribute Sun Solaris
It has all in it to be termed a landmark deal. Arch-rivals in the microprocessor industry, Sun Microsystems and Intel have inked an alliance. As per the deal, Intel's chips would power a Sun server product line, said reports.

The alliance has been described as historic and is expected to change the market for both the giants. Following the alliance, Intel would distribute and support Sun's Solaris operating system too. Significantly, the alliance has come as a body blow to Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the bitterest of Intel's rivals. According to industry reports, the alliance makes sure that that Intel is one step ahead in its quest to regain a technological edge it had lost to AMD, along with market share, in the server segment of the industry.

Meanwhile the Sum Microsystems top brass sad that the company would would begin using Intel's Xeon processors in the most common "x86" servers late in the first half. It uses its own processor in more high-end servers where it competes with Intel's Itanium product.

Industry experts have predicted that with the Intel Xeon having a better performance and power consumption features as compared with the AMD Opteron, Sun can now look at using of Intel processors in its x86 server line.

For Intel, pulling back Sun Microsystems as a customer again is a biggest win since it persuaded Apple to switch to its processors in 2005.


posted by a correspondent @ 12:45 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
MIM - mobile instant messaging - service in India soon
Have mobile, will MIM. The act of instant messaging via chat windows is now possible on your handheld devices too. Users can now chat instantly with their friends, colleagues, and family members using their mobile phones through mobile instant messaging (MIM), with this technology.

The GSM industry has announced the soft launch of its MIM initiative, and with this, all 10 GSM operators in the country will soon launch the MIM service. Significntly, this is for the first time all GSM operators are jointly launching a product. Operators like BSNL, MTNL, Bharti Airtel, Hutch-Essar, Idea, Aircel, Reliance Telecom, Spice, and BPL are expected to commercially launch this service in the next 3-4 weeks.

According to experst, MIM is set to offer a link to IM users, which would permit MIM users to chat with friends who are on laptops or PCs. To use MIM, a customer needs to have a GPRS handset, and the normal GPRS charges will be applicable depending on the usage, said reports. Though the service will be initially come in English, plans are afoot to offer the service in local languages.

MIM would use the Internet in a similar manner as chatting services and would combine the power of Internet chat on the PC, and the small handset screen. With the soft launch done, the commercial service would be launched in the next three weeks. The tariff for the service expected to be low, they will in fact be based on usage of bytes, and on the lines of the GPRS services.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:29 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Yahoo launches Ask the Planet
Ask the Planet. Ask Yahoo. Interesting, right? Yahoo India has unveiled an initiative christened 'Ask The Planet 2007'on Yahoo! India Answers. Ask the Planet is an open forum deigned to provide answers and opinions to questions relating to socially relevant issues in the Indian subcontinent, said a report.

The initiative, kick-started for Yahoo India by President Kalam, will feature questions from prominent personalities, around global issues of concern, in several categories. The forum aims at providing collective knowledge of the Yahoo! Answers community. This, the company explains, is because Yahoo!'s world audience is a great medium to build awareness for the causes that matter most to the global community.

According t the company top brass, Yahoo India aims to bring all available information on to a single platform, to upload and share with other people online. The idea is to create collective intelligence and participate in the spirit of sharing knowledge, with the help of Web 2.0, they added.

The Ask The Planet series is expected to provide an innovative platform for millions of Indians based on their real life experiences, to answer some of the biggest questions that touch their lives. The new type of search would allow more casual questions because it is not based on an algorithmic search. This new trend is called Social knowledge media on a Web 2.0 platform.

Yahoo India has said that the user-uploaded answers would be rated according to relevance. The best answers will get rewarded by the company too. In order to upload a question or answer on Ask the Planet 2007, one has to be a registered user of Yahoo, but unregistered users may view the questions and answers for free, on the Yahoo! India answers site. The company now plans to introduce Yahoo! Answers in different Indian languages too.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:58 AM   0 comments
Xbox on a tough China trip
The Xbox is on a China trip. Software behemoth Microsoft is mulling over the launch of its fast selling games console Xbox 360 in China in a few months time.

It has been reported that though China boasts of an estimated foreign reserves of US$1.3 trillion, a growing middle class and more than 120 million Internet users, is not yet prepared to spend on luxury products. This revelation culd be a hassle for Microsoft to sell its Xbox 360 there.

So Microsoft does indeed have a problem on this front. And the company which has not quite reached break-even on its initial Xbox gaming investment seven years ago, should also worry about the fact that China is a land with an invasion of software piracy.

After it debuts in China, Microsoft will be forced to sell consoles cheaper than in fully developed economies, so the loss on hardware will be greater. Recouping that loss on games software in a market where consumers are used to buying software on the cheap will be a challenge.

Further, Microsoft could also not afford to be a late mover in the booming Chinese market, where Sony is already market leader with PS2.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:57 AM   0 comments
New Pearl White Blackberry Pearl introduced

Enjoy some Blackberry Pearl photos here!

It is called the BlackBerry Pearl and has everything in to charm the socks off you. The new Blackberry Pearl unveiled by T-Mobile USA and Research In Motion (RIM) boasts of a stylish new colour and has hit the racks in T-Mobile outlets across the US.

The BlackBerry Pearl comes in a lustrous, pearl white finish, as well as piano black featres. Incorporating the easy-to-use phone, personal e-mail, and web browsing features, combined with T-Mobile's affordable $19.99 per month unlimited data plan1 in the US, the BlackBerry Pearl has redefined the art of sending an e-mail or chatting through instant messaging. It in fact is as simple as dialing a number on a phone.

It allows customers to have quick, one-touch access to friends and family. In addition to calling, instant messaging and texting, consumers are also just a tap away from sending an email to one of their five myFaves contacts – helping people stay effortlessly connected to the people who matter most, said reports.

Deatiling the unique features , reports said that the BlackBerry Internet Service allows access to up to 10 supported personal and corporate email accounts, a 1.3 megapixel camera with 3 zoom levels , multimedia player with stereo headset jack with support for MP3 and AAC music files, as well as MPEG4 and H.263 video formats, high-performance HTML browser , a newly enhanced version of RIM’s popular SureType keyboard technology that makes typing email quick and easy and an incredibly intuitive user interface with an easy-to-use trackball, dedicated 'menu' and 'escape' keys, and context-sensitive menus that make navigation feel instinctive and fast.

These apart, intuitive call management features such as smart dialing, conference calling5, speed dialing, and call forwarding, , Quad-band GSM/GPRS and EDGE network support for international roaming and BlackBerry Maps which adds mapping and location-based services to the BlackBerry Pearl make it fascinating.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:49 AM   0 comments
PayPal testing RSA Security’s SecurID token for extra security
Online payment transactions provider Paypal, is logging on to a ougher security mode. The company is reportedly testing a variant of RSA Security’s SecurID token.

With this, the PayPal Security Key would be free for business accounts but a $5 service fee will be issued to personal accounts, said reports. The new secured token would require users to key in a randomized six-digit code in correspondence with their username and password.

The initiative is aimed at protecting consumers and members from fraud, said reports quoting the PayPal brass. The new security key is currently in beta testing by PayPal employees. It will go into public testing in the next few months, reports added.

Explaining the mode of use, Pay Pal has said that the key by itself calculates a numeric password every 30 seconds, making the feature useful as the keys are designed for one use only. Users can activate the feature under the profile section of their personal PayPal account, and from there, sign up to get the key. PayPal added that even if users lose their keys they could still login to their accounts after a verification process.

PayPal hs come up with this new level of security due t the fact that it is often the target of phishing scams and many victims of online fraud stem from having their PayPal, and subsequently their bank accounts drained, because of it.

Industry watchers opine that the service is expected to be of great value to anyone who is persistent user of EBay or other online merchants with their PayPal account.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:46 AM   0 comments
Genetically modified chickens lay eggs that fight cancer
An egg a day could keep cancer away, may soon be the new norm. Scientists have revealed that cancer and other life-threatening diseases could be prevented by eggs laid by a breed of genetically modified chickens.

The new finding could prove to be a path-breaking one and could even result in snipping the cost of mass-producing drugs. Scientsists have said that the research findings may also save millions of pounds nw being pumped into drug manufacturing

It all started with the breeding of the world’s first genetically altered chicken which could lay eggs with medicinal properties. These eggs are seen as potential ingredients in the making of life-saving drugs. The research was done at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, where Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1997. The current study has been published in the January 15 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a report said.

Scientists at Roslin said they genetically modified a flock of 500 ISA browns, a French breed of chicken, which is a cross between Rhode Island Red and Rhode Island White chickens, and can produce up to 300 eggs a year. The team added human genes to the DNA of ISA Brown hens, enabling them to produce complex medicinal proteins. These human proteins are secreted into the whites of the birds' eggs, from which they can be extracted to produce drugs for humans.

It has been found that all the egg whites from the hens contained miR24, a monoclonal antibody with potential for treating malignant melanoma and arthritis, and human interferon b-1a, an immune system protein from a family of proteins that attacks tumors and viruses. Reports quoting scientists said that it is tough to develop these complex drugs in the laboratory.

It has also been fond that the technique could be used with a wide range of genes so that hens could produce many different drugs for a range of diseases, from Parkinson's to diabetes and other types of cancer.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:44 AM   0 comments
Joost - all about the Joost Web TV service

Joost, an internet-based TV service will be open for net surfers soon. The project, started by co-founders of Skype and Kazaa, hopes to combine the best of internet and television. Joost is being developed in such a way that it will have the ease of viewing of television and the community-based advantages of internet. Joost is currently underoing beta testing.

According to the founders of Joost, the internet TV service will have the advantages of Web 2.0, like browser based viewing, choice, control and reduced advertising. Like Skype, Joost users will have to download a free software, which is customisable. The Joost software is open-source, so that Joost add-ons and Joost enhancements can be developed according to requirements.

The interactive, secure, efficient and priracy-proof Joost net TV will fill a crucial gap between the internet and the television. According to Joost CEO Fredrik de Wahl, content creators are guaranteed copyright protection, while customers will have ease of use.

Though there have been several attempts to propularise the TV-on-internet, many of them have been non-starters. Technology and badnwidth issues have bogged down the development of viable TV shows across the Net. "We've received positive and constructive feedback from our early beta-testers and are now at a stage where we're ready to reveal our true brand. The Joost name has global appeal, embodies fun and energy, and will come to define the 'best of TV and the best of the Internet,'"said de Wahl.

"While we’re still in beta, we hope that Joost will become synonymous with the best of TV and the best of the Web," the developers said.

Joost web TV is co-founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis. The project aims to bring together web TV content producers, advertisers and web TV viewers in a high-quality broadband environment. The content on Joost TV service - video clips, movies - will be free for customers. Joost is pegged as the first global free web TV platform. The business will be supported by advertising - which means that the user has to pay nothing. Free.

Over the last few years, many enterprises on the internet have migrated to the advertising-backed model, emboldened by the success of Google, which earns its billions with the Adwords program. This is in contrast to the Microsoft model of charging customers for the products. An earlier Web business model based on paid subscriptions failed to pick up, what with the unlimited availability of valuable yet free information on the Net.

Said the Joost CEO: "People are looking for increased choice and flexibility in their TV experience, while the entertainment industry needs to retain control over their content. With Joost, we've married that consumer desire with the industry's interests."

According to the company, Joost(TM) offers a new method of viewing TV on the Web, which marries the best of full-screen TV entertainment with online interactive and community benefits to bring an unprecedented selection of video content. The Joost technology is based on the already-existing peer-to-peer technology.

Till now, Joost was known as the Venice Project. The beta testing site had invite-only visitors so far. The site promised to revolutionise TV viewing on the Web.

Though Joost promises the Moon, the comapny is yet to announce any tie-ups with programming stations for TV programmes. On the other hand, those like Apple have deals with TV stations which allow them to hawk content. Youtube is already way ahead in the Web video business, and unseating the leader is going to be a tough task. Currently, Joost Net TV offers only sports, music and documentaries. for Joost Tv to be successful, it will have to create major agreements with programming stations for TV programs. Youtube, which initially had problems with programming stations, finally got them to come around with a lot of persuasion. The Joost founders will also have to tie up similar deals if the TV service is to take off. However, Joost may have an advantage in the the copyright department, since it has taken a lot of efforts to protect the rights of content creators.

The service is currently being tested by a select community of users. Besides offering TV programs, Joost will also offer chat and search functionalities. The company will be launching the Joost 0.8 version soon.

However, Joost may suck up bandwidth, posing problems to users with a broadband bandwodth limit for downloading. The Joost Net TV service guzzles an average 320M bytes of downloaded and 105M bytes of uploaded traffic for an hour's worth of TV viewing. Joost warned beta-testers that the service "will exhaust a 1G-byte cap in 10 hours" and has detailed instructions on how they can exit the application to ensure it doesn't continue running once they've stopped watching.

Currently, Joost is available for Windows PCs. It runs on Apple with Bootcamp, not parallels. A Joost for Linux is also in the works, the company says. Beta-testers are encouraged to inform the company of bugs. Channels are available like playlists on iTunes or Windows Media Player. The TV channels start when you click on them. Once it ends, it starts looping. Advertisements also pop up occasionally on the Joost interface.

The company is allowing beta-testing on a selective basis. So some users, the company says, may not have received the password for accessing teh Joost service.

Joost service does not demand personal information.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:40 AM   0 comments
Friday, January 12, 2007
XO Laptops for the poor world

The OLPC initiative displays XO laptops at CES 2007.

Calling all the world’s poorest consumers. You too can have a laptop computer. Making this possible is a non-profit organisation based in the US .

The laptop computer is expected to suit some of world's poorest consumers, said reports. Developed by One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), the laptop computer XO looks like a toy. The laptop needs only three watts to browse the Web as against 40 watts for a regular modern machine. Further, it would need just less than a single watt to display an electronic book.

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) saw the prototype of the XO being demonstrated by OLPC. The ultimate aim of OLPC is to give every child a laptop , reports said.

Talking of the various features of the XO, the machine has an innovative screen hat can operate either in colour or black and white. In black-and-white mode, it can be viewed clearly even in the brightest sunlight, ideal for rural villages where many activities occur outside. The laptop also has a video camera and built-in speakers. What more do you look for?

Going into the technical details, it is learnt that the XO runs a trimmed-down version of the open-source Linux operating system. Though Microsoft and Apple are said to have offered versions of their operating systems for the project, neither of them was compact or secure enough to meet OLPC's needs, reports said. OLPC expects to start delivering the machines this summer, with the goal of delivering 5 million units the first year.

And guess the price? The goal price is less than 0 per unit, which the initiative hopes to achieve by 2008. The idea is to make all governments in the developing world afford the XOs.


posted by a correspondent @ 7:03 AM   1 comments
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Stephen Hawking hopes for a space jaunt

Hawking may go for a zero gravity flight, and perhaps on a space flight in 2009.

Sixty-five years young Stephen hawking nurses a dream. The renowned British astrophysicist looks forward to a trip to outer space. He has also made his plans very clear.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper has quoted him saying that he is planning a zero-gravity flight, to go into space in year 2009.

How does he want to fly? Hawking says he hopes to travel on British businessman Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic service, scheduled for a 2009 launch. It has been reported that Branson’s service will charge space tourists about US$200,000 for a two-hour, suborbital trip, 140 km above Planet Earth.

With year 2009 not far away, Hawking’s dream is likely to turn true. As the trip happens, it would be Hawking’s real life travel through a world he has written about and lectured about all along. Branson also wants to help the scientist realize his dream of space flight.

However, whether Branson would ask Hawking to pay up for the trip or not is not known. May be he won’t, feel many. The company has not discussed the issue of payment with Hawking, yet.

Hawking uses a wheelchair and communicates with the help of a computer as he suffers from a neurological disorder called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His theories and research on black holes, origins of the universe, and many more have been path-breaking. Interestingly, the scientist has also said that the survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy Earth.

Hope Branson would help him find the answer to where to go in case Planet Earth is on the verge of dying.


posted by a correspondent @ 11:16 PM   0 comments
V Cast Mobile TV to bring live TV to mobile phones

Channel surfing on a mobile phone, courtesy Verizon.

Live telly on a mobile phone would be something ground-breaking. Verizon Wireless is all set to make it happen. Verizon customers will soon be able to watch live TV over a network constructed by Qualcomm Inc, say reports. With this, Verizon would become the first wireless carrier to use the network created by Qualcomm Inc. The network, named MediaFLO, broadcasts signals to mobile phones over a different portion of the wireless spectrum than cellular calls and data services.

Christened V Cast Mobile TV, this service is being planned to be launched by Verizon in the first quarter of the current year. The pricing and availability would e made known closer to the launch date, said the company.

The mobile player has also upgraded its FIOS digital television service to allow cell phone users programme their home digital video recorders, change parental controls and perform other functions. According to reports, the television channels on the V Cast service will be live feeds from major broadcast partners, including NBC, CBS and Fox. Late-night talk shows would be added incentives in the form of recorderd programmes.

The launch of the new service will see Samsung and LG offering cellphone models to suit the facility. More handsets and TV channels are expected to be added soon, said sources. The phones will have dedicated TV keys and an antenna would boost signals.

The pre-lauch testing has been doen and the results have ben overwhelming, according to the players involved. The signals were strong and the picture quality sharp, without delays or hiccups, sources added. Customers would be able to do their ‘channel surf’ using the phone's keypad. The screens on the phones are about two and a half inches diagonally.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics has announced that it was working on technology that will become available sometime in 2009, after U.S. broadcasters make the switch to digital TV signals.


posted by a correspondent @ 11:14 PM   0 comments
SlingCatcher promises PC video for the telly

At CES 2007, Sling Media introduces Slingcatcher that can display vidoe from a PC on a television.

The Slingbox brains are back. This time it is a new media receiver product they plan to unveil at CES 2007, plus support for Windows Vista and Palm OS.

Sling Media which introduced its Slingbox two years ago now has an innovative product. If the Slingbox had grabbe TV content from satellites or cable lines and transmitted them to a remote laptop for the viewer, the new invention acts exactly opposite. The new SlingCatcher will take video content from a PC or notebook, or from a Slingbox, and display it on a television screen.

Come mid-2007, and the SlingCatcher will be available, at a cost of $200, Sling Media has announced. The SlingCatcher will support a wide variety of popular video, audio, and still image formats. For video and audio outputs, it includes composite video connectors, component video, and S-Video port, and an HDMI port. It contains an integrated Wi-Fi adapter and a 10/100 Ethernet port, according to the company. It will also support an optional hard drive for storing video data locally.

The company has also announced enhanced Windows Vista support and playback support for the Palm 700p. Accordingly, Slingbox users can watch TV from it on their handhelds, the company added.

Meanwhile, in another development, Sling Media and HP have announced an agreement to bundle Sling's player application into HP notebooks, in a feature called HP QuickPlay.


posted by a correspondent @ 11:02 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Apple iPhone priced at $ 599 and $ 499, iphone photo gallery and reviews

The Apple iPhone is here after much scoops and spyshots. So is it really the easrthshattering Apple phone we were all waiting for? Oh, and enjoy the iPhone photo gallery.

iPhone, the long-awaited mobile phone-cum-iPod from the Apple stable is finally here. The 8GB Apple iPhone will play music, make phone calls and function as a mobile computer. With the iPhone, Apple Computer has become the first to launch a three-in-one gadget boasting of all these three functions.

The 8GB iPhone, with a 3.5 inch touch-sensitive screen, comes for $599 in US. The price of the smaller 4GB iPhone is set at $499. The touch-sensitive screen of the iPhone eliminates the need for a keypad. iPhone, claims Apple, features the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse. It’s an entirely new interface based on a large multi-touch display and innovative new software that lets you control everything using only your fingers.

The iPhone is a bold attempt to marry the best in digital communications and portable entertainment, a segment so far dominated the BlackBerry. Apple, like some analysts say, has taken the best of what is already available around and added the cool factor, making for best-selling products. The iPhone is the latest in this Apple game to hit the market.

Apple hopes to sell 10 million iPhones this year. Despite the large numbers, it still amounts to only 1% of the global cellphone sales. The iPhone is expected to hit the US shops and retail outlets in June.

Though Apple's iPod is still the undisputed leader in portable music gadgets, the product however has been facing increasing competition in the last few years. Many iPod-lookalikes have cropped up, and some of them have started chipping away at iPod territory. Also, Microsoft's Zune music player with Wi-fi is expected to give the iPod a serious run for its money. For Apple, innovation is a question of survival now. The iPod still commands about 75% of the music player market.

Apple Computer chief Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone at the ongoing Macworld Conference. For a quite some time, there have been rumors that Apple is quietly planning an internet-enabled iPhone. However, when the wait got just too long, Apple-watchers had given up hopes that the iPhone will be launched any time soon. Jobs has even gone on record once stating that Apple has no interest in pursuing mobile telephony. The same Apple, however, has gone for an iTunes enabled phone earlier in conjunction with Motorola.

Speaking at the Macworld Conference, Steve Jobs said: "It's the best iPod we've ever made. No matter what you like, it looks pretty doggone gorgeous."

With the launch of the buttonless iPhone, Apple has abandoned all notions being just a computer maker. Jobs said that the company will soon be changing its name from Apple Computer Corporation to just Apple, signifying the company's shift from just a computer maker to a wider digital market.

Apple has already tied up with service providers like Cingular, Google and Yahoo to jazz up the iPhone experience. Cingular will be providing the phone service, while Google will provide search and maps. The iPhone will have search functions, including Google and Yahoo.. The Yahoo service will offer instant mail and messaging, just like on a desktop PC/Mac. It may be mentioned that the Google CEO Eric Schmidt is a director on the board of Apple.

A 2-megapixel camera and a 160 DPI color screen are built into the latest iPod phone from Apple. It is less than 12 millimeters thick. Apple claims that the iPhone can sync photos and video clips from your Macinotosh or PC to the iPod mobile faster than any existing mobile phone, with far greater ease. After syncing, the photos/ videos can be emailed to anyone with a few more finger taps. The HTML-rich email client enables you to view the text emails along with the accompanying pictures and graphics.

At the debut of the iPhone, Steve Jobs made a conference call with two one of his team leaders and a Silicon Valley neighbour to show off the power of Apple's latest iPod Phone. The iPhone can automatically sync the contact list from the Mac, PC or the internet service to the phone. It is surprisingly easy to make a conference call and to make a favourites' list of frequently-dialled numbers. The iPhone screen graphics are also pleasant and intuitive - just like the iPods.

The iPhone also comes packed with the Safari, Apple's web browser, besides the Apple operating system Mac OS X. The fully-functional Safari helps you read emails while you download files in the background. You can see webpages on the iPhone screen exactly the way they were meant to be seen.

Said Steve Jobs at the launch of the iPhone: "Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything."

With the iPhone, Apple has redefined the conept of smartphone, by taking it to the next level. Competitors will now have a hard time keeping up with the latest iPod phone. Sensing the upcoming competition from Apple, in the last few years, Nokia has launched its range of N-series music phones, while Sony Ericsson launched its Sony Ericsson Walkman phones. Some of the most expensive in the N-series of Nokia's music phones comes with 8GB, the same size as the iPhone. In a rather derisive tone, Jobs described the applications on the existing mobile phones as "crippled stuff."

The iPhone has a bunch of preloaded features, which may attract the consumer more. The iPhone has a Sim card slot and slots for earphones. It can also be plugged into a Bluetooth headset. The iPod mobile phone also comes equipped with what is described by Apple as visual voicemail. The iPod mobile also supports Bluetooth and Global Postitiong System (GPS) for satellite data.

The iPhone is designed to synchronise with iTunes software, Apple's interface for music and video transfer sales and updates. iPhone can make calls phone calls, play and store music & widescreen video, click pictures, sends and receive email, and browse full-sized Web-pages. The iPhone can also run Apple Widgets, which comes with the Mac OS. The distinguishing feature of the iPhone is the touch-screen which replaces the stylus made by many smartphone manufacturers. The touch screen can be managed with the thumb, where you can switch from regular screen to widescreen by "pinching" the screen. You can view the images in screen in a landscape or portrait manner. The iPhone uses a patented technology called MultiTouch which detects and understands finger movements.

The high-tech iPhone touch screen comes with a proximity sensor, which can detect inadvertent finger touches. Also, the iPod cellphone has an accelerometer for its screen, which will automatically swivel the image whether you are holding the iPhone horizontally or vertically. The iPhone also boasts an ambient light sensor, which adjusts the screen display’s brightness to the appropriate level for the ambient light, enhancing user experience and saving power.

However, the name iPhone may prove to be an irritant for Apple later - Networking major Cisco has claimed in the past that it owns the trademark iPhone since 2000.

The iPhone's twin advantages over other Internet-enabled, smartphones may turn out to be its superior music quality and preloaded Mac OS X, with Safari, which can be used for web surfing just like your computer. The Safari and iTunes are bound to convert more Windows followers to Mac faithfuls. The phone comes powered with Quad Band GSM and EDGE.

It is clear that investors in gadget companies have been surprised by the entry of the iPhone. Stocks in rival music player companies plunged, while Apple shares surged 6%. This also means that the market was completely unaware of the coming of the iPhone.

With its sharp iPhone screen, you can scroll through songs, artists, albums, and playlists with a simple finger movement. The iPhone also dramatically presents album artwork on the large display screen. The fast-moving icons make it a breeze to switch from screen to screen.

Steve Jobs, at the iPhone launch, also made a display of accessing Google Maps on the iPod mobile. With a few quick finger movements, he located the nearest Starbucks Cafe, and ordered 4000 cups of coffee before quickly hanging up - it was a prank! Jobs also displayed the iPhone's music capabilities by playing "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid," from the Beatles' "Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band."

The smooth screen of the iPhone makes it a pleasure type out SMS messages. The screen has a QWERTY keyboard, which is easier on the fingers. The built-in SMS application prevents and corrects errors on the go.

To begin with, only Cingular service will be bundle with the iPhone. Later, other mobile service providers will need to be considered, especially if the iPhone has to sell overseas.

Despite the worldwide popularity of Apple's iPod lineup, the little music player never became a big hit in India, because you cannot buy music online from Apple iTunes. Similarly, the iPhone may take a long time to come to India and become popular here. Many of the advanced iPhone features like Google Maps and live webpages may remain in the brochures, since fast net connectivity is a major problem here, which even frequently snaps voice conversations. Until the infrastructure to support the high-bandwidth technology phones are in place, it may still be a long way off for Apple iPhone to make a mark in India.

Besides the iPhone, Apple has also unveiled a digital gadget which can wirelessly connect the computer to the video. This device may bridge the final gap between the TV and the computer, a critical gap which has so far been seen as the missing link in the spread of online video. The Apple TV, which is a set-top device can be used to send the signals from a computer to a television. The Apple TV is expected to hit the stores some time in February. Priced at $299, the box will beam the signals from the PC to the TV, for better and delayed viewing. The project for Apple TV was earlier codenamed as iTV. The Apple TV's gigantic 40GB hard drive can be used to store long video programmes from the Web or the cable for viewing later. Apple TV has the ability to play 720p high-def video, and supports all major WiFi standards like 802.11b, g, and n.

Many iPod fans are upset with the fact the iPhoe is "locked" with Cingular. This means that if I am an American iPod-loving potential customer with a different mobile operator, I should either give up the existing connection and migrate to the Cingular-enabled iPhone, or keep an extra number. Neither is an interesting prospect. The iPhone would make far greater headway in far shorter time if the subscriber could pick any operator of his choice.

Apple iPhone Tech Specs:

Screen size 3.5 inches
Screen resolution 320 by 480 at 160 ppi
Input method Multi-touch
Operating system OS X
Storage 4GB or 8GB
GSM Quad-band (MHz: 850, 900, 1800, 1900)
Wireless data Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) + EDGE + Bluetooth 2.0
Camera 2.0 megapixels
Battery Up to 5 hours Talk / Video / Browsing
Up to 16 hours Audio playback
Dimensions 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches / 115 x 61 x 11.6mm
Weight 4.8 ounces / 135 grams

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posted by a correspondent @ 8:39 PM   2 comments
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Hitachi 7k1000 1 terabyte hard disk drive price announced
Hitachi 7k1000 1 terabyte hard disk drive

Electronics giant Hitachi has announced details of its soon-to-shipped, 1 TB hard drive. The proclamation comes soon after a brief statement by Seagate, which yesterday confirmed that it will also deliver a 1 TB drive within the next three months. Hitachi has said it will ship the product during the first quarter.

Hitachi plans to sell the 7K1000 for about $400 retail, which compares to about $450 for Seagate's 750 GB drive.To elaborate on the product, as many as 18 terabyte drives would be enough to store the entire contents of the Library of Congress, which currently holds about 18 million books.

1 TB is also enough to store more than 300,000 6-megapixel images, 250,000 MP3s, 1000 hours of standard definition video or 250 hours of high-definition video.

While Hitachi is using five 200 GB platters to reach 1 TB, Seagate will be using four 250 GB platters, which indicates that Seagate will be announcing a new storage density record in commercial hard drives of more than 180 Gb/in2.

The 1 TB drive proves that the industry has overcome serious concerns of how to keep increasing hard drive storage densities and is looking towards hard drives with multiple terabytes of storage capacity. Compared to a $10,000/MB price in 1956, a capacity of 1 GB is priced today at about 40 cents, according to experts.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:03 AM   0 comments
Samsung magic with new double sided LCD panel
Samsung Electronics is all set to unveil magic with its newly created LCD panel that can produce independent images on each side of a mobile LCD display. This is a first in the technology. The new creation is set to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show, which opens in Las Vegas on January 8.

What is so unique about this is that the new double-sided LCD can show two entirely different pictures or sets of visual data simultaneously on the front and back of the same screen. Other conventional double-sided LCDs can only show a reverse image of the same video data, said Samsung. With this, the double-sided LCD is seen as replacing two display panels with one, thereby reducing overall thickness of mobile products by at least 1mm.

According to the company, the double-sided mobile display is proof of its commitment to equip customers with advanced display technology that accelerates the trend toward slimmer mobile products. Samsung expects good demand as it readies for mass production of the LCD in the first half of 2007.

Samsung has explained that the new LCD panel makes use of its new double-gate, thin-film transistor architecture. Thethin-film transistor gates are electronic components that convert the necessary voltage at the pixel level, which controls the liquid crystal alignment needed to reproduce on-screen images. The double-sided display makes use of amorphous silicon gate technology.

With the new Samsung mobile display requiring just one backlight as compared to two by rival gadgets, the scene is totally tech advanced. While one side of the panel operates in a transmissive mode, the other works in a reflective mode.


posted by a correspondent @ 10:00 AM   0 comments
Bangalore logs on to cyber lab, plans better cyber crime detection and investigation
Bangalore's new cyber crime lab will train local police officials in the investigation and prevention of cyber crimes.

Law enforcers now have an added training space. India’s third cyber lab, set up through public-private partnership to train and hone the skills of law enforcement officials in tackling cyber crimes, began operations in Bangalore.

The cyber lab will be run by Nasscom, the trade body of the Indian software and services firms, and sponsored by Canara Bank. The Bangalore cyber lab is expected to train about 1,000 officials of law enforcing agencies operating in the state police department, law department, defence services, banks, insurance and allied sectors, annually. The lab is housed at the Corps of Detectives premises of the Karnataka police, which also houses the country's first cyber crime police station.

According to Nasscom, though there are various forms of cyber crimes are on the rise the world over, India continues to be a safer place in terms of a strong security framework. There is, however, need to retain vigilance.

The cyber lab will aim at strengthening the legal infrastructure and creating an effective enforcement framework, and also spread awareness on the impending threat of cyber crimes. The lab will have a full-time project manager from the police, two instructors and part-time volunteers from the student community, according to reports.

The lab proposes to train cops on the familiarisation on areas such as internet use, e-mail and online transactions and education on what constitutes cyber crime. Post-training, they would be able to carry out various tasks like analysing and scrutinizing data on hard disks, e-mail tracking, extracting evidence using Internet and mobile phones and on cyber crime-related legislation.

The Canara Bank, as part of the bank's social responsibility initiative, would associate with the Karnataka police and Nasscom to create an eco-system for checking cyber crimes, especially frauds taking place in the use of Internet banking, ATMs, credit and debit cards and e-booking of tickets.

Nasscom has plans to open a fourth cyber lab in Pune soon and in other cities across the country.


posted by a correspondent @ 9:59 AM   0 comments
Bluetooth patent issues dog Nokia, Samsung, Panasonic
Patent issues have pushed mobile handset makers Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Panasonic who use bluetooth in their phones into a fix.

The famed Washington Research Foundation (WRF) is suing the makers of mobile handsets for using Bluetooth technology, which WRF claims infringes its patents.

WRF is an organization that was founded in 1981 to assist universities and other nonprofit research institutions in Washington with the commercialization of their technologies. Its other jobs include enforcing patents, as well as providing various support measures.

The Foundation, on December 21, had filed a complaint at the US Western District Court of Washington State at Seattle on behalf of the University of Washington, alleging that Nokia Corp, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Panasonic, as allegedly infringing four patents sold under the Bluetooth name. The three companies have sold handsets and devices in the United States using Bluetooth chips from Cambridge, UK-based CSR Plc, which allegedly uses technology that infringes the University's radio frequency receiver patents, the WRF alleged.

Among the violated patents is related to research carried by Edwin Suominen when he was an undergraduate student at the University. Suominen received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1995, and he was awarded a patent in 1999 for a simplified high-frequency broadband tuner and tuning method.

Meanwhile silicon developer CSR said that it has a copy of the complaint, and it is being reviewed . CSR has more than a 50 per cent market share of the Bluetooth global chip market and its chips are used by Nokia, Samsung and Panasonic in their mobile and consumer devices.

Though the WRF has clearly stated that it is not targeting CSR saying that the chipmaker was not aware that its chip would be used in the US where the patent is enforceable.


posted by a correspondent @ 9:56 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
BBC tunes in to file-sharing territory with Zudeo
The BBC has forayed into unexplored territory. The trusted global news broadcaster has announced that hundreds of episodes of its popular programmes will for the first time be made available on a file sharing network.

According to BBC top sources the decision follows an agreement between the broadcast company’s commercial subsidiary BBC Worldwide and Java-based BitTorrent client technological firm Azureus.

It may be recalled that Azureus had launched a video sharing site similar to YouTube, christened Zudeo which enables users upload and view content.

The USP of Zudeo according to of Azureus, is that it offershigh definition videos. Zudeo users have to download a programme to access and upload content. With the new BBC Worldwide- Azureus agreement, users of Zudeo will be able to download legally, high-quality versions of popular BBC programmes.

The company has also made it fool proof by making preventing these programmes from being traded illegally on the internet. For this, the titles will be protected by digital rights management software, said BBC officials. The deal is part of a company drive to reach the largest possible audience.

Significantly, the pricing for the BBC content on Azureus’ Zudeo has not yet been revealed. According to Azureus, the new deal would be totally different from that offered by traditional file-sharing networks. Users will also be able to link to programmes from blogs, social networks, and fan sites, it is learnt.


posted by a correspondent @ 2:27 AM   0 comments




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