Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Google set to roll out Wave to 100,000 early users

Google Inc.'s highly anticipated communication and collaboration tool - Google Wave - is one big step closer to its first customer shipment.

The company is inviting about 100,000 users and developers to preview the new technology, Lars Rasmussen, an engineering manager, and Stephanie Hannon, a group product manager at Google, said in a blog post today. The users and developers will get the invitations tomorrow, they said in the post.

The Google bloggers acknowledged that Google Wave, which was unveiled this past May, still isn't yet ready for prime time. But, they added, the developers are now ready to get some feedback on the current iteration of the tool.

"We'll ask some of these early users to nominate people they know also to receive early invitations -- Google Wave is a lot more useful if your friends, family and colleagues have it too," wrote Rasmussen and Hannon. "This, of course, will just be the beginning. If all goes well we will soon be inviting many more to try out Google Wave."

The Web-based Google Wave application is designed to consolidate features from e-mail, instant messaging, blogging, wikis, multimedia management and document sharing. Using social networking-like interfaces, the tool should enable collaboration and community-building applications.


Motorola Cliq Gets Release Date, Price

Motorola on Tuesday finally revealed the pricing and release details for its eagerly anticipated first foray into the world of Google Android: The Motorola Cliq will debut on T-Mobile on November 2 for new customers, but existing customers will can sign up as early as Oct. 19.

The forthcoming handset, which was first announced earlier this month at the GigaOm conference in San Francisco, will be priced at $199.99 with a two-year T-Mobile contract. Voice plans for the phone begin at $29.99. Data plans start at $24.99. "[T]he CLIQ's total cost of ownership over the course of a two year contract stacks up well vs. the competition," writes T-Mobile in a press release issued today.

The touchscreen smartphone is built around Motorola's Motoblur OS, a skinned version of Google Android. The software is largely centered around social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Motorola is widely expected to launch a second Android handset early next month. Codenamed Sholes, the device is rumored to be the first Verizon handset to utilize Google's open OS.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Apple's App Store passes 2 billion downloads

Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch App Store has reached another milestone today as it was announced that over 2 billion apps have now been downloaded through the service. It was only in April of this year that the 1 billion mark was passed, nine months after the online store first launched.

The App Store now contains over 85,000 applications, in 20 different categories, which are downloaded by more than 50 million customers in 77 different countries, according to Apple. The apps themselves are created by more than 125,000 registered developers, who receive 70% of the revenue from their creations whilst Apple keep the other 30%.

"The rate of App Store downloads continues to accelerate with users downloading a staggering two billion apps in just over a year, including more than half a billion apps this quarter alone," Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, said of the news. "The App Store has reinvented what you can do with a mobile handheld device, and our users are clearly loving it."

MediaMemo have put this into perspective, doing some calculations on the figures released by Apple. In the first year of the App Store 1.5 billion apps were downloaded, averaging at 4.1 million downloads per day. Since then the next 500 millions app downloads have occurred within 76 days, averaging at a huge 6.6 millions download per day. They also say that the paid-for apps generate estimated sales of $200 million per month; with Apple keeping their 30% of this, that equates to $720 million a year.

Apple's iTunes music store is still eclipsing the app store, however, with sales of songs recently passing the 8.5 billion mark. The iTunes Store is said to account for over 70% of online digital music sales worldwide and the App Store is said to be the biggest applications store in the world.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Microsoft developing own brand smartphones?

Although Microsoft has repeatedly told the press that it would not be delevoping a Windows Phone of its own to go against the likes of HTC and other handset manufacturers, that hasn't stopped a new set of pictures leaking purporting to be just that.

Gizmodo, who seems to be on a Microsoft leaking role, are claiming that a pink handset manufactured by Sharp and sporting a qwerty keyboard will be released sometime in the not too distance future.

Aimed at the kids and leveraging Microsoft's Danger (the software company behind the sidekick) acquisition last year, the "Project Pink" phones are currently being referred to as Turtle and Pure and will have social media at its core and promise the usual array of communications skills.

"The hardware design has a definite younger feeling: Turtle looks like a chunky child's version of a Palm Pre, while Pure seems like a standard slider, and both are clearly plastic, with an overall sense of roundedness, thanks to lots of soft angles and circular keys," Gizmodo is reporting.

According to the story, the phones will also sport a Zune music store.
However as tech writer Richard Lai points out, the Turtle has a key marked with a ;) symbol suggesting this could just be a prank to entice and destroy Gizmodo's reputation.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Push mail for iPhone and Windows Mobile: the choice is yours

We believe that our customers should be able to access their information on the mobile device of their choice, using the applications of their choice. That's why we're excited today to announce support for push mail on iPhone and Windows Mobile devices. Google Apps now offers a complete mobile sync solution for businesses.

Apps customers who love native mobile applications can now get push mail, contacts and calendar across the major corporate devices: Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Mobile and of course, Android. With the over-the-air, always-on push connections, emails and changes to calendar events and contacts are reflected very quickly on their phones. And for those who prefer the mobile web, we also offer web applications for a rich experience, like threaded conversations and search across the entire inbox.

Google Sync is free to all Google Apps customers, and can be enabled by domain administrators in the US English version of the administrative control panel. If you're already using Google Sync for contacts and calendar, push mail is automatically enabled. iPhone and Windows Mobile users can set up Google Sync in a few easy steps directly from their phones, and those already syncing Calendar and Contacts can simply enable Mail sync on their phones. Google Sync is also available for people with personal Gmail and Google Calendar accounts.

You can read more about Google Sync here, and learn about our solutions for all devices, like Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server, on Google Apps mobile access page.

Official Google Enterprise Blog: Push mail for iPhone and Windows Mobile: the choice is yours

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Apple launches App Store Resource Center to ease submissions

Apple has created a new section on its site dedicated to iPhone developers that documents important details about the iPhone submission process.

The new App Store Resource Center within Apple’s iPhone Dev Center site is now live, providing access to much needed information detailing the App Store submission process.

According to Apple’s e-mail communication dispatched to registered iPhone developers this past Friday, the new online content assists developers with submitting and managing their iPhone apps.

Christian’s Opinion

We finally see Apple addressing the mounting criticism aimed at the App Store application process. The new resource center is an important step towards making the application process less painful and more transparent. Frankly, one would have expected this resource center back in March 2008, when Apple first announced the iPhone SDK and created a comprehensive online destination for iPhone developers dubbed the iPhone Dev Center.

Although the iPhone Dev Center has been providing a myriad of invaluable content to would-be iPhone developers, important details about the submission process have never been made public until now. However, the most important piece of the puzzle is still missing - the review process policies. Until Apple publicly documents its internal policies that govern the iPhone review process, the company will be bashed heavily each time it rejects an app over dubious claims.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Office Web Apps Live Now! – Invitation-only participants

Microsoft rolls out the Microsoft Office Web Apps Technical Preview program for a limited number of invitation-only participants, who’ll receive access to Word Web App, Excel Web App and PowerPoint Web App through Windows Live SkyDrive.

The OneNote Web App and additional Office Web App features, including further integration with Microsoft Office 2010, will be available at a later date. In Technical Preview, people’ll have the online ability to view, edit and create Excel spreadsheets, view and edit PowerPoint presentations, and view and share Word documents with others. For the record, the official name of the programs will indeed be Office Web Apps, Schultz confirmed.

A survey conducted by Microsoft previously had hinted at the possibility of more fanciful names, such as Ensemble, Optro or ArcLight. When they're released in final form, Office Web Apps’ll be available to consumers through Windows Live at no cost, supported by ads. In addition, Microsoft still plans to offer Office Web Apps to businesses as pure "cloud" services, from its own data centers, through its subscription-based Microsoft Online services. Alternatively, companies’ll have the option of running the apps from their own servers.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Pigeons Still Faster than Technology!!

One can not help wondering, if history is repeating itself in South Africa. The Unlimited, a South African IT company, conducted a race to administer which was faster–sending a carrier pigeon with a 4 GB memory stick 50 miles or sending the data on South African carrier Telekom.

It all started when an employee of Unlimited IT Company complained about the speed of data of the ASDL Internet and commented sarcastically that it would be faster with a carrier pigeon. Giving way to a new idea of organizing a race between the pigeon and the Internet.

“We renown ourselves on being innovative, so we decided to test that statement,” Unlimited’s Kevin Rolfe told the Beeld newspaper.

The company then selected Flies Winston, an 11 month old pigeon to perform the stunt and armed the bird with a 4GB memory stick and set off for the 80 kilometer journey from Unlimited IT’s call centre in Howick to deliver the message to the company’s office in Durban. And in the mean time, data download procedure was initiated via Telkom, the country’s leading Internet Service provider.

Winston, the pigeon, took two hours & seven minutes to carry the data and including the download process – in the mean time the ADSL had sent 4% of the data. Just like any other race, strict rules an regulations were followed, for instance, no performance enhancing seeds were allowed to Winston.

There is bandwidth shortage in South Africa, which is expected to improve after a new 17,000 kilometer underwater fiber optic cable is installed which will link South Africa and East Africa to other networks.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ARCHOS 5 Android Tablet Launched

The ARCHOS 5 Android Tablet has finally launched. We at Android Central have been expecting the ARCHOS 5 to release for months now and true to their word, September 15th was their date. The ARCHOS 5 Android Tablet specs are the same as we've previously reported and to quickly refresh your memory, that's a 800x480 4.8-inch screen, 800MHz OMAP3440 processor, 720p video and output over HDMI, capacity up to 500GB, 802.11n WiFi, etc. internet tablet for your liking.

Early reports on the ARCHOS 5 Android Tablet have been pretty positive, it's definitely a better offering than your run-of-the-mill media tablet. Who's interested in getting one of these for themselves?


Twitter Raising Money At $1 BILLION Valuation!

Huge: Twitter will raise around $50 million at a $1 billion valuation, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington reports, citing "multiple sources." Twitter CEO Evan Williams reportedly disclosed the round at a recent employee meeting.

Twitter raised $35 million earlier this year, led by Benchmark Capital and Institutional Venture Partners.

The company has no material revenue at the moment. But it has huge plans for growth. And when you can raise money at a $1 billion valuation, you do it.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Android 1.6 SDK is here

I am happy to let you know that Android 1.6 SDK is available for download. Android 1.6, which is based on the donut branch from the Android Open Source Project, introduces a number of new features and technologies. With support for CDMA and additional screen sizes, your apps can be deployed on even more mobile networks and devices. You will have access to new technologies, including framework-level support for additional screen resolutions, like QVGA and WVGA, new telephony APIs to support CDMA, gesture APIs, a text-to-speech engine, and the ability to integrate with Quick Search Box. What's new in Android 1.6 provides a more complete overview of this platform update.

The Android 1.6 SDK requires a new version of Android Development Tools (ADT). The SDK also includes a new tool that enables you to download updates and additional components, such as new add-ons or platforms.

You can expect to see devices running Android 1.6 as early as October. As with previous platform updates, applications written for older versions of Android will continue to run on devices with Android 1.6. Please test your existing apps on the Android 1.6 SDK to make sure they run as expected.

Over the next several weeks, we will publish a series of blog posts to help you get ready for the new developer technologies in Android 1.6. The following topics, and more, will be covered: how to adapt your applications to support different screen sizes, integrating with Quick Search Box, building gestures into your apps, and using the text-to-speech engine.


Google Apps and Government

Everyone benefits from cloud computing, though few stand to benefit more than government. The cloud helps agencies at all levels increase productivity, cut costs, keep pace with technology innovation, and become more open and transparent with their citizens.

That's why we were pleased to join other industry leaders today at NASA's Ames Research Center to hear Vivek Kundra, the CIO of the US Federal Government, announce the launch of is an online storefront that makes it easy for federal agencies to browse and purchase cloud-based IT services from a variety of service providers, including Google. The cloud is coming of age, and we applaud the Obama Administration's efforts to ensure our government realizes its many advantages.

We also want to do our part to make it easier for government to transition to cloud computing. We recognize that government agencies have unique regulatory and compliance requirements for IT systems, and cloud computing is no exception. So we've invested a lot of time in understanding government's needs and how they relate to cloud computing. To help meet those requirements we're taking two important steps:

  • FISMA certification for Google Apps. In July, we announced our intent to secure certification for Google Apps to demonstrate compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the law defining security requirements that must be met by all US Federal government information systems. Our FISMA process is nearing completion. We will submit a Certification and Accreditation (C&A) package to the U.S. Government before the end of this year. Upon review and approval of the Google Apps C&A package, agencies will be able to deploy Google Apps knowing that it is authorized to operate under FISMA.

  • Dedicated Google cloud for government customers in the US. Today, we're excited to announce our intent to create a government cloud, which we expect to become operational in 2010. Offering the same services and features as our existing commercial cloud (such as Google Apps), this dedicated environment within existing Google facilities in the US will serve the unique needs of US federal, state, and local governments. It is similar to a "Community Cloud" as defined by the National Institute for Science and Technology. The government cloud will allow Google to manage and meet additional government policy requirements beyond FISMA.

We look forward to working with governments across the country on these exciting initiatives in the months ahead.

Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Apps and Government

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nokia Acquires Plum Assets

Espoo, Finland-headquartered Nokia Inc has announced the acquisition of certain assets of Plum Ventures, Inc. These assets will help complement Nokia’s Social Location services.

Plum Ventures Inc is a privately-held company headquartered in San Francisco, with another office in Boston, Massachusetts. The company has funding from Vulcan Capital and Levensohn Venture Partners, whose representatives are on its board of directors. The company is in the business of developing cloud-based social media sharing and messaging service for private groups. The company’s products enable websites to install community-oriented pages where visitors can stay connected with each other by sharing and discussing content from the site, the greater web or their on computers, without leaving the site. In the long run helps visitors to turn into engaged, active users.

Plum’s platform has features such as Group builder, which adds the social hub to the site that can be customized; a topical directory that can be created by the site owner and the visitors, a widgets library that allows group activity to be displayed throughout the site, and also integrates user accounts into one single sign-in. Some of these features will be made us of by Nokia in its own services.

Plum Ventures was cofounded by Hans Peter Brondmo and Margaret Olson. The company is presently manned by about 10 employees.


Read news fast with Google Fast Flip

One problem with reading news online today is that browsing can be really slow. A media-rich page loads dozens of files and can take as much as 10 seconds to load over broadband, which can be frustrating. What we need instead is a way to flip through articles really fast without unnatural delays, just as we can in print. The flow should feel seamless and let you rapidly flip forward to the content you like, without the constant wait for things to load. Imagine taking 10 seconds to turn the page of a print magazine!

Today we're adding a new experiment to Google Labs: Google Fast Flip, accessible at Fast Flip is a new reading experience that combines the best elements of print and online articles. Like a print magazine, Fast Flip lets you browse sequentially through bundles of recent news, headlines and popular topics, as well as feeds from individual top publishers. As the name suggests, flipping through content is very fast, so you can quickly look through a lot of pages until you find something interesting. At the same time, we provide aggregation and search over many top newspapers and magazines, and the ability to share content with your friends and community. Fast Flip also personalizes the experience for you, by taking cues from selections you make to show you more content from sources, topics and journalists that you seem to like. In short, you get fast browsing, natural magazine-style navigation, recommendations from friends and other members of the community and a selection of content that is serendipitous and personalized.

To build Google Fast Flip, we partnered with three dozen top publishers, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Salon, Fast Company, ProPublica and Newsweek.

Google News Blog: Read news fast with Google Fast Flip

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bing 2.0 Is Coming

Bing 2.0 is coming! – The 2nd version of Bing search engine is most probably coming out on test as from next week. As you probably already know, Microsoft’s Bing has been launched some months ago and from we can see there are some really welcoming reviews about it.

However even with the high advertising and marketing of Bing, Google is still the best and most used search engine right now. In fact Google still rules a giant part of the Search Engine territory.

Microsoft however recently announced the arrival of a new updated version of Bing modified with some new and cool functionality for soon. A demo of the new Bing search engine is expected by the end of next week while the full release is expected in some weeks.

Microsoft has not given more details about this event.


Apple sold 30 million iPhones, served 1.8 billion Apps, iTunes sold 8.5 billion songs

Apple CEO Steve Jobs arrived at the event was greeted with a long standing ovation from the audience. Speaking about his health experience in the past couple of years, Jobs credited his life to a man in his 20s who had died in a car crash, and was an organ donor. "I'm very happy to be here today with you all," he said, before thanking Tim Cook and his executive team for the support and how well they ran things in his absence.

Anyway, on to other things. The first revelations include that iPhone's new milestone; it has sold 30 million units in its two years of availability. It's dedicated App Store has 75,000 applications available for the device and has so far served a whopping 1.8 billion downloads. If updates were to be counted too, it would be "a few times higher," according to Phil Schiller.

The iPhone 3.1 OS is also ready, and includes among its features, a port of "Genius", which will now be used to recommend what application you might like. It will be available as a free download from today. The recent rumor about record labels offering pre-made ringtones is also true; over 30,000 pre-made ringtones will be available for $1.29 each.

As for iTunes, the store is now available in 23 countries and boasts more than 100 million accounts with credit card details. It has sold 8.5 billion songs since it was launched.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Motorola's Android CLIQ Arrives

At an event on Thursday, Motorola announced its very first Android based device - the Motorola CLIQ. The phone, which would be made for T-Mobile, marks Motorola's entry into the Android platform. Will this be enough to boost the company's sagging fortunes? We will find that out soon.

The CLIQ is a decent Android device complete with a HVGA touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard and all the other "standard" fare that includes WiFi, GPS and even a 3.5mm jack. The 5 megapixel, autofocus camera takes care of the imaging part. Specs wise, the phone matches the features offered by its competitors - namely the Samsung Galaxy i7500, HTC Hero and the HTC Magic. The recently announced HTC Tattoo might pose some competition to the CLIQ as well. However, that would only happen if the CLIQ ever makes it out of T-Mobile and is offered SIM free.

The CLIQ happens to be the first Motorola device to feature its new MOTOBLUR solution. MOTOBLUR manages and streams together updates to contacts, posts, messages, photos and more from sources including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Gmail, and work and personal e-mail. The feature then delivers these updates to the home screen in easy-to-view streams so there is no need to open and close different mobile applications to keep up with the latest content.

The phone will be released in the fourth quarter of 2009 and while its pricing hasn't been officially revealed, it is expected to hover around the $399 (Rs.20,000 approx.) mark.

Source :

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another Five Trends in Technology

This is in continuance with the constantly transforming technology trends which we presented in the previous article. Here comes the other bunch of trends that are bound to make a stir in the market this year :

1. 3G; Next-generation networks : 3G allows fast Internet access on the move and fixed access in hard-to-reach areas, without cabling. It spurs new services like mobile video and multimedia. You'll see PCs and laptops with built-in 3G, like Qualcomm's Kayak prototype. Many mid-range handsets are already 3G-ready, so you may not need to change your handset. But don't expect WiMax taking off. While we patiently await it, 3G may overtake this always-around-the-corner technology.

2. Global Positioning System : The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit. Year 2007 mark the entry of GPS in the Indian market with maps. And in 2009 it will enter mobile phones and mid-range cars. Up ahead will be 3D GPS landmarks. Nokia Maps 3.0 is testing this for its devices. And new tech will combine real-time video with turn-by-turn directions, as with Blaupunkt's TravelPilot 500 "SafeDrive" navigation. The iPhone may also integrate Google Street View images with satellite data, to provide a similar interface.

GPS has a variety of applications on land, at sea and in the air. It offers cost savings by drastically lowering setup time at the survey site and providing incredible accuracy. Basic survey units, costing thousands of dollars, can offer accuracies down to one meter. More expensive systems are available that can provide accuracies to within a centimeter.

3. Green IT : Green computing or green IT is the study and practice of using computing resources efficiently. It refers to environmentally sustainable computing or IT. It is "the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems—such as monitors, printers, storage devices, and networking and communications systems—efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact on the environment.

Green IT strives to achieve economic viability and improved system performance and use, while abiding by our social and ethical responsibilities. Greening the IT products, applications, services, and practices is important from both an economic and an environmental point of view and counts as our social responsibility too. It includes the dimensions of environmental sustainability, the economics of energy efficiency, and the total cost of ownership, which includes the cost of disposal and recycling.

4. Business intelligence : The term is commonly associated with data warehousing. Business Intelligence (BI) refers to the tools and systems that play a pivotal role in the strategic planning process of the corporation. These systems allow a company to gather, store, access and analyze corporate data to aid in decision-making. Generally these systems illustrates business intelligence in the areas of customer profiling, customer support, market research, market segmentation, product profitability, statistical analysis, and inventory and distribution analysis to name a few.

5. Open Source Software : Open source harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The commitment of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in. It allow users to use, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified forms. It is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open source software is the most prominent example of open source development and often compared to user-generated content.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Windows Mobile 6.5: What to expect

For those of you who are out of the loop, Microsoft are planning a revamp of the Windows Mobile platform. The OS, used by a host of different manufacturers from HTC and Samsung to Sony Ericsson, has, in recent times, been accused of failing to keep up with the competition. To those who have used an Android device or the iPhone, going back to a Windows mobile handset is like watching a film on VHS; you still get to watch the movie but it’s a lot more hassle. But all that is about to change with the impending release of Windows Mobile 6.5

Windows Mobile 6.5 will be coming installed on range of new phones from the above manufacturers, and available for upgrade on others, but do you know exactly what it features? What makes Windows Mobile 6.5 stand out from the crowd? Let’s find out.

Windows Mobile 6.5 features a new user interface which gives the user a richer browsing experience. There are two new services provided on Windows Mobile 6.5: My Phone, where you can sync text messages, photos, video, contacts and more to the Web; and Windows Marketplace for Mobile, a new marketplace that will provide direct-to-phone mobile applications and can be accessed from both the phone and the Web.

The Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Steve Ballmer states “Windows phones bring together the best of the Web, the PC and the phone so you can connect instantly to the experiences you care about, no matter where you are.” And what more could you possibly ask from a mobile phone?

The home screen of Windows Mobile is designed to keep people up-to-date with important information by providing a dashboard-like experience to items such as new e-mails, texts, missed calls and calendar appointments. It also includes an improved touch-screen interface, making it easy to navigate with a finger, and an updated version of the latest Internet Explorer Mobile browser.

More Of This Story:

Apple iPod nano: Shoots Video

Apple unveiled the new iPod nano with upgraded capacities: 8GB and 16GB. Major new features include a video camera that can store H.264 video with a 640 x 480 at 30fps resolution and a larger 2.2-inch LCD with a 240 x 376 resolution (204 PPI). I’m not sure if you can use this video camera to take pictures.I’m guessing it does but there is no mention of it on Apple’s iPod nano site. Other things that are new:

  • Polished anodized aluminum finish

  • FM Tuner

  • Nine colors: Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Grey, Silver

  • iTunes Tagging: Use the click wheel to tag the song and iTunes creates a list of all your tagged songs so you can preview or purchase them when you sync.

  • Live Pause: Want to pause the radio? Now you can. Rewind live radio? Sure, up to 15 minutes.

  • VoiceOver: Tells you the title and artist when you click the click wheel or on the new earphones with the controls and mic.

  • Voice Memos: There’s a built-in mic, of course, so you can record voice memos now.

  • Pedometer: Uses the built-in accelerometer to act as a pedometer and works with the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit.

If the iPod nano can only take videos, this is an interesting development. The nano can take videos but not pictures. The iPod touch can take pictures but not videos. The iPhone 3G can take pictures but not videos and the 3GS can take both pictures and videos. I’m guessing that soon enough Apple will make it so that all the next-generation iPod nano and iPod touch devices will be able to take photos and videos.

News Source:

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Palm's does it again, unveils Pixi before Apple’s big day

While the Pixi isn’t likely to overshadow the buzz of Apple’s press event this afternoon, Palm is showing that it does indeed have the moxie (the audacity, if you will) to stand up to the big dogs. If you’ll think back just three months to the launch of the Pre, where Palm showed it had the balls to launch two days before the world knew Apple would unveil the new iPhone. Apple is expected today to show off their latest iPod line, while most eyes will be waiting to see if Steve Jobs and his patented Reality Distortion Field will be making an appearance, Palm’s going to be standing at the sidelines waving two Pixi phones over their head screaming “Look at me!” And the media will look, as they like nothing more than to compare to the iPhone.

Now, Palm and Apple aren’t going to be the only ones making noise today. The long awaited complete digital remastering of The Beatles’ albums will be released today. Also hitting the scene will be The Beatles: Rock Band, possibly the most anticipated release of Rock Band to date.

As I said above, it’s only been three months since Palm launched the Pre, also on Sprint. Since then they’ve launched the Pre on Bell Mobility in Canada and announced a partnership with O2 to carry the Pre in Europe. While these wouldn’t be notable accomplishments for a company of Apple’s size (35,000 employees and $32 billion revenue for 2008), it’s quite audacious for Palm. With just 1,000 employees, Palm is small potatoes in the smartphone market, especially when you consider that in 2009 Palm lost $739 million just trying to stay afloat.

The rapid fire pace of releases has several advantages for Palm. Firstly, it allows them to have an expanded product portfolio. This means that there will be more than one webOS device on the shelves in Sprint stores, as well as gives carriers different options for which phone they want to carry (look at RIM’s prolific BlackBerry line for evidence of how well this works).

By putting out a new device so soon, especially one that is visibly quite different than the Pre, Palm is setting themselves up in the public’s eye as being able to produce notably different devices, even if they are notably similar on the inside. By spitting out a lower-tier device like the Pixi, Palm is also opening up a new front in their war to regain their place as a top-tier smartphone provider. By unveiling the Pixi so soon after the Pre, Palm is staying fresh in the eyes of the media and consumers and may be able to capture the attention of consumers who were interested in the Pre, but turned off by the styling or price.


Flickr Comes To The Apple App Store

Flickr, Yahoo's photo sharing site, is rolling out an app for the iPhone, available now through Apple's App Store.

The free Apple iPhone app from Flickr was quietly released into the App Store before the weekend and provides the majority of the functions most users could want from the photo-sharing service. Photos can be taken and uploaded directly to the Web site, users can browse contacts and, for iPhone 3G S users, videos can be taken and uploaded as well.

The photo-sharing site knows that Apple's iPhone has long been one of its most popular cameras, which could be why Flickr rolled out the app. Regardless of the reason, iPhone users and amateur photogs are likely happy to see the white, red and blue icon available on their phone.

Yahoo didn't stop building features into the app, however. Users can also enter meta keywords, tag photos, as well as create and update photo sets. For users on the go, the Flickr app includes a geotagging feature that lets friends and contacts see exactly where a particular photo was taken.

Users can also comment on and forward favorite individual photos from the iPhone app without having to log in to a computer.

One of the pleasant surprises of the Flickr for iPhone App happens when users open the application. Photos from contacts and friends on the site play on the screen, letting friends stay in the loop and see what has recently been uploaded by people they care most about.

However, in limited use the app still appears to be a little bit flaky, and Yahoo may be working out some of the kinks. Using the app to take, tag and upload photos this morning has already resulted in at least two crashes for me since downloading it this morning. However, it's understandable since the Flickr app is still in version 1.0. But the goodwill Flickr has banked by releasing the app may diminish as quickly as will users' tolerance for lost photos and tags.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Top Five Trends in Technology

Technology transforms at a very fast pace. The up-gradation and progression of technology is a continuous process and we see a number of products launched with retailored technologies. Understanding trends in technology can mean the difference between increasing revenue on the one hand and a failed business model on the other. These technologies impact the organization's long-term plans, programs and initiatives. They may be strategic because they have matured to broad market use or because they enable strategic advantage from early adoption.

The launch of the EEE PC, the MacBook Air, Nokia E71, etc. in 2008 added glitter in the technology trends. This year seems no less promising. Let us take a look at the technologies that are bound to make a stir in the market this year.

Cloud Computing : sign of changing software trends : -

This is one of the most hyped and awaited developments. Cloud computing is a style of computing that characterizes a model in which providers deliver a variety of IT-enabled capabilities to consumers. They key characteristics of cloud computing are;

1) delivery of capabilities “as a service,”

2) delivery of services in a highly scalable and elastic fashion

3) using Internet technologies and techniques to develop and deliver the services

4) designing for delivery to external customers.

It centralizes your data and applications on the Internet, which is probably the single most important paradigm shift going on today. Instead of operating a LAN (local area network), with all of its connected workstations and security concerns, you do everything on a hosted internet solution. Gone are the old security problems of connecting a network to the internet, since your whole operation is already on the internet.

Although cost is a potential benefit for small companies, the biggest benefits lies in the built-in elasticity and scalability, which not only reduce barriers to entry, but also enable these companies to grow quickly. As certain IT functions are industrializing and becoming less customized, there are more possibilities for larger organizations to benefit from cloud computing.

Mobile Computing : Securing Future : -

Computing has adorn a new form in shape of portable smart devices like BlackBerry and iPhone. 2008 saw the launch of iPhone 3G, Samsung's Omnia, Innov8, the Xperia. Infinite number of functionality are being offered in these mobile devices as the number of available applications explodes. Most smartphones are likely to come with 640 x 480 displays. A lot of graphic improvements are likely to come. Most of the cellphones will incorporate GPS, and the trend of preferring them to standalone GPS devices have started. Business communication has gone portable and it's time you join the trend!

Social Software & Social Networking : New paradigm of business communication

Social software comprises of a wide range of technologies, such as social networking, social collaboration, social media and social validation. Using marketing tools which utilize sites like Facebook and Twitter is a common phenomenon. Open sharing and transparency of data are the new trend in communication. A number of companies launch their ad campaigns which utilize Twitter. Businesses are planning to create environments like this on their intranets for their employees, to share ideas and solve problems like never before.

Virtualization : A New World ;

Much of the current buzz is Virtualization of servers, where, one server impersonating 5 servers, and pulling it off, is the new world of network computing. Virtualization to eliminate duplicate copies of data on the real storage devices while maintaining the illusion to the accessing systems that the files are as originally stored (data deduplication) can significantly decrease the cost of storage devices and media to hold information. This cost effective way of handling the deluge of data in business today is just another trend with which you must contend.

Trendy Notebook or Netbook?

Notebook or Netbook? You may have seen them around. A small (10 inches!) laptop computer designed for wireless communication and Internet access. A number of manufacturers are hot on this trend trying to produce the perfect mobile internet device. Every PC manufacturer released a netbook last year to allure the growing user segment. This product has synergy with the cloud, as it is well suited for remotely accessing web based applications. This type of product will be developed further as the future in the cloud looms. Sleeker designs, snazzier cases and the plethora of color options will be in demand. Next on the demand will be notebooks with LED backlighting technology. They are lighter & thinner than traditional screens, consume lesser energy, save almost 10 per cent energy, and do not use mercury. You might expect to see the combo dedicated graphics cards and on-board graphics in laptops. It will provide you the option to switch between graphics power and battery stamina depending on the need.

Android Market Now More than 10,000 Android Apps!

Following a tip from a Tweet by, an Android App Market website (non-Google Website yet far better), reporting real-time stats that Google’s Android Market has more than 10,000 Android Apps.

At the time of this post, there were 10,072 to be exact; 64% of the apps are Free while 36% are Paid apps. According to that,the best resources for Android App Reviews, only reviewed about 2% of the Android Market apps… but I always say it’s about Quality and NOT Quantity. We’ve seen some really good and really crappy apps… even those that tried to pull the get-rich-on-an-idiot scheme by uploading $200 apps.

Recent outcry or better yet outrage on poor sales in the Android Market can make developers weary of the OS. Not to mention the numerous things wrong with the current state of the Android Market itself; but with a little time, Market corrections, more cellular carriers, improved SDK… Android can soon surpass other platforms as demonstrated in recent mobile operating system growth statistics.

Though nowhere near Apple’s one billionth iPhone app download by a teenager a few months ago… The Android Market shows strong potential as a mobile operating system and 3rd party software eco-system.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Benefits and Trends of Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the most effective marketing techniques available today. It is the practice of creating quality content related to your website or business and promoting it through social media channels. Attaining a fan following through social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and YouTube can generate massive amounts of traffic, much of it more relevant than what you'd get through typical banner advertising.

Many people are still wondering exactly how to benefit from the new networking possibilities. Here is a list of some of the biggest benefits that come from a successful social media marketing campaign .

Generating a strong base

Fabricating a strong, core base of supporters is essential to expand and grow, and creating compelling social media content is one of the best ways to do this. A loyal fan following assure that you will always have a market ready to buy what you have to offer, and if your offerings are good, it will ultimately add to your goodwill.

Brand Awareness

It adds in enhancing your brand's awareness. As more people watch your business name and the link to your site, your logo, and other details found in social media profiles, you establish more brand awareness among your potential client base.

Featuring High Quality Sites That Engage and Persuade

Always remember content is the only dominating factor, and has the ability to glued the casual onlookers to your point of view. Sites such as Xanga, Friendster, Bebo, Flickr and imeem are just a few that provide a well-formatted presentation to your following. This effect only serves to enhance the predominant message or image conveyed.

Improved Conversion Rates

The conversion rates comprises of the website visitor percentage that turn into leads and then customers. This concept is also known as sales funnel in which there are multiple stages through which prospects progress over time. Social media can improve this rates by allowing prospects to know, like and trust you more than in years past.

Affordable Method Of Globalizing Your Business

SMm helps business owners in making their products affordable and the company name visible to the global market. In return, they get clients in large number from the same forum and through the reference of the former. Henceforth, you are making friends and extracting cash from similar location at the same time.

The Social Media is not a destination but consider it as a tool in an integrated marketing plan which connects like-minded people. Your community will naturally grow given you provide quality content that engenders passion and loyalty to those relationships.

4 Facebook Mobile Updates You Should Know About

Yesterday Facebook made a number of mobile announcements in addition to a number of partners that made announcements about support for their Facebook mobile offerings. Rather than posting a bunch of articles about each of the news announcements, we’ve compiled all the announcements into a single list. It’s clear that an increasing percentage of Facebook users are using Facebook’s mobile services as their default method of accessing the site.

Facebook Surpasses 65 Million Users

Yesterday Facebook announced that they had surpassed 65 million mobile users, accounting for approximately 25 percent of all Facebook users. As Facebook expands globally, there is no question that the percentage of Facebook users that access the site on their mobile devices will increase over time. While the best interfaces are found on the iPhone and Blackberry (and soon on Android devices), any mobile device with internet access can view the site.

Nokia Announces Ovi Lifecasting With Facebook

Yesterday Nokia announced a new service called Ovi Lifecasting. In a relatively lengthy video (embedded below), Nokia highlights a new system which makes it possible to connect to your friends in real-time through a layer that’s built on top of Facebook. While the full functionality of the service isn’t really clear, it’s obvious that Nokia has realized that they need to provide integrated Facebook access in order to sell more phones.

T-Mobile Announces Sidekick Support For Facebook

Yesterday, T-Mobile announced that more sidekick devices can now access Facebook through a free application. The company is also attempting to sell a Twitter application for $1.99 (for some unknown reason) but all Facebook users can log in to Facebook for free. Over 65,000 people are already using Facebook for Sidekick but with this new version being accessible to older versions of the Sidekick, I’d expect that number to increase.

Facebook Announces Connect For The Mobile Web

Developers now have another library for developing Connect-enabled versions of their applications for all mobile devices. While there is already services for the iPhone and the web in general, enabling Connect on basic mobile sites was not an easy task until now. Yesterday the company launched Facebook Connect for the Mobile Web. It functions like all other connect applications but increases the number of people that will now be able to view the apps.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Yahoo Launches A Twitter Lookalike Microblogging Service

Yahoo, which is already not doing very well in the tech market, has finally taken the first step towards improving its situation. The giant has directly challenged the current favorite of netizens – Twitter and launched a microblogging platform called Yahoo Meme.

Yahoo had previously launched a Portuguese language micro-blogging product, Yahoo Meme, which was obviously similar to Twitter and Tumblr. Yahoo Meme is currently in an invite-only mode. Once the account is created after receiving invitation, users get a blank blog for micro-sharing text, images, music, videos or mash up of all these things.

Registration is quite simple. You will get a Meme URL based on Username like It is similar to Twitter and Facebook Username URLs.

The setting panel of Meme has very less options like Meme title, 100 character Description, avatar/photo and notifications. Meme also offers page layout customization with Themes. On the Meme page, users can post text, photos, videos and all together for sharing with other users. Just like Twitter and Tumblr users do, Meme users can search for other users using the Find option on the top of the page and Follow them to receive their Meme updates.

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Bringing MMS to iPhone September 25th

AT&T has announced that MMS will finally be available to US iPhone owners on September 25th, the official news comes after a report that Apple could release iPhone OS 3.1 next week. Despite the announcement of MMS availability AT&T still has no news on tethering support only saying that it will be offered “in the future”.

MMS will be enabled for iPhone 3G and 3GS owners on that day via a software update.

In the press release AT&T also makes mention that it is constantly striving to improve network capacity.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Streaming Video Better on Pre Than on iPhone?

Though it got off to a slow start, Palm’s App Catalog is slowly evolving into the ecosystem for which the company had hoped. It recently surpassed four million downloads and is poised for a bit of a growth spurt now that more applications have begun to appear on its virtual shelves. Indeed, in the last week, the number of applications available for the Pre increased by 40 percent to 58.

Now, that’s still a trifling number when compared to the 50,000 or so available in Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes App Store, but it’s something, and it shows that Palm (PALM) is managing to convince iPhone-addled developers that writing WebOS applications will be lucrative business.

Among the latest and most promising of those new apps, DirecTV’s (DTV) NFL Sunday Ticket. Though the app–which allows users to watch NFL games on their cellphones–is available for the iPhone as well as for the Pre, it may offer a better experience on the latter, as Pali Research analyst Walter Piecyk notes in a research alert this morning.

“We will be interested to see how this application performs on Sprint’s (S) network compared to how it will perform on the iPhone on AT&T’s (T) network,” Piecyk writes. “Sprint is more likely to allow a less compressed stream and therefore higher quality video on its network as we have seen with Sprint’s implementation of YouTube, which is much higher quality than viewing YouTube clips on the iPhone over the AT&T network. When the iPhone is forced to WiFi, the quality of the YouTube clips improves to the level we experience on the Palm Pre but that kind of defeats the purpose of the mobile internet.”

An interesting point and an interesting potential selling point for Palm and Sprint–especially given the beating AT&T’s network has been taking in the media lately.

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Chrome 4.0 vs Opera 10 vs Firefox 3.5

In a three-way cage match, LifeHacker threw Chrome 4, Firefox 3.5, and Opera 10 into the ring and let the three browsers duke it out to see which would emerge as the fastest app for surfing the web.

Lifehacker conducted the test and said "Like all our previous speed tests, this one is unscientific, but thorough. We install the most current versions of each browser being tested—in this case, Opera 10, Chrome's development channel 4.0 version, and the final Firefox 3.5 with security fixes—in a system with a 2.0 GHz Intel Centrino Duo processor and 2GB of RAM, running Windows XP."

Opera 10 final is out, Chrome just turned one year old, and Firefox 3.5 has settled into stability. It's time once again to break out the timers and speed test today's web browsers.

A number of tests were run, including a "cold start" right after boot, a "warm start" after the browsers have already run once measuring the time it takes 8 tabs to load, a JavaScript testing suite, and memory utilization.

Opera turned in the best cold start time and was slightly slower than Firefox 3.5 with a warm start, while Chrome trailed the competition in both. But once the browsers were open and it came time to load 8 tabs, Chrome whipped both Opera and Firefox by loading up to about 1.5 seconds faster. Chrome also performed best in JavaScript testing, but was far less efficient in memory utilization with 8 tabs open than either of the two other browsers.

See the full results here on Lifehacker


Friday, September 04, 2009

Vonage iPhone App Blessed by Apple

Vonage announced that Apple has given its blessing to an official Vonage VoIP application to give iPhone users the ability to make voice calls over WiFi, as does the Skype app for iPhone. The app will allow users to use their existing accounts and place calls using their Vonage number from their iPhone. It will give the users better international rates and some additional flexibility.

“Vonage is currently conducting a beta test and general availability will be announced at a later date,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “This new service, along with the recent launch of the Vonage World unlimited calling plan, continues Vonage’s heritage of using innovative technology to create significant value for its current and future customers.”

This announcement arrives shortly after Apple rejected the official Google Voice app and pulled all of the third-party applications for the service from the App Store. It did take a while for Vonage to get approval, but Apple's reasoning was that Vonage needed to fix a few software issues. Apple have previous approved various other VoIP services (as long as they only work over WiFi and NOT 3G). The approval of Vonage is sure to further confuse developers, and to stir up even more ire in Google Voice fans.

A clear limitation of an iPhone Vonage client, however, would be the users' inability to receive Vonage calls on the handset. Since the iPhone doesn't support applications running in the background, a friend calling your Vonage number would not reach you on your iPhone.

Some News from Android Market

I'm pleased to let you know about several updates to Android Market. First, we will soon introduce new features in Android Market for Android 1.6 that will improve the overall experience for users. As part of this change, developers will be able to provide screenshots, promotional icons and descriptions that will better show off applications and games.

We have also added four new sub-categories for applications: sports, health, themes, and comics. Developers can now choose these sub-categories for both new and existing applications via the publisher website. Finally, we have added seller support for developers in Italy. Italian developers can go to the publisher website to upload applications and target any of the countries where paid applications are currently available to users.

To take advantage of the upcoming Android Market refresh, we encourage you to visit the Android Market publisher website and upload additional marketing assets. Check out the video below for some of the highlights.

Android Developers Blog: Some News from Android Market: "Eric Chu"

Thursday, September 03, 2009

YouTube in negotiations to stream new movies

YouTube, always on the look-out for ways to solidify its leadership in video and increase its revenue has been in negotiations with the major movie studios to start streaming movies on a rental basis. Granted there are already some full length movies available on the service but they are generally lesser known movies or indie films looking for exposure.

This latest move is seen as a way to increase their revenue as well as one of its first moves towards charging for content instead of going with the typical ad supported model. At this point YouTube is in discussions with: Lions Gate, Sony, and Warner Bros. about including their movies in YouTube’s site. Additionally part of the talks include making them available on the same day the the movie’s DVD comes out.

Many of the details involved with the ongoing discussions are still in a state of flux. Included is whether or not at some point users will be able to download the movies. The figure being tossed around for the rental is $3.99 with the possibility of the traditional ad supported model being used for some of the movies. As it is the movie studios already get a 70% share of revenue generated by movies already on the site and the word is that this would be the same for the new movies being streamed.

In addition the studios would be guaranteed a minimum fee of just under $3.00 per title viewed. The thinking behind this is that since it is a flat fee the studios would get regardless it give YouTube some wiggle room to offer special deals.

At this point 10,000 Google employees are set to begin testing the service at some point after September, which was the original date for the internal testing launch; but that has been set back as negotiations drag on.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Windows Mobile 6.5 Gets a Launch Date

Microsoft has confirmed the release date of Windows Mobile 6.5. The Windows Phones will appear on retail shelves worldwide starting October 6. After iPhone & Blackberry, Windows Mobile will also get free Wi-Fi access from AT&T.

The launch means the first Windows Phone smartphones should be on sale from 6 October too, and we can expect to see handsets from HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and others.

Stephanie Ferguson, general manager, Business Experiences Team, in the Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft said in a blog posting: "on Oct. 6th, you'll see new Windows phones designed for a variety of tastes, needs and price points - with or without keyboards, with or without touch screens, as well as your choice of GPS, accelerometer and high resolution camera."

Windows Mobile 6.5 devices will link straight back into the Windows Marketplace for Mobile app store and will offer the free My Phone service, which allows users to back up photos, music and contacts.

According to sources who are familiar with Microsoft's plans, expect to see Windows Mobile 7 at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference later this year. Microsoft’s press release doesn’t give much more concrete information, but it does reveal that the Windows Marketplace for Mobile and Microsoft My Phone will launch on the same date.

Confirmed: eBay Sells Skype In Deal Valuing It At $2.75 Billion

We now have confirmation of the sale of Skype, a story we broke last week and was yesterday proclaimed a done deal by NY Times reporters.

The acquiring party is indeed an investor group led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, who likely paid the bulk of the amount Skype was sold for.

Other investors include VC firms Andreessen Horowitz and Index Ventures (a previous investor in Skype), as well as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board.

The new investors will buy approximately 65% of Skype, with eBay continuing to own 35%, in a deal valuing Skype at $2.75 billion US. eBay is expected to receive approximately $1.9 billion in cash upon the completion of the sale and a note from the buyer in the principal amount of $125 million. The transaction, which is not subject to a financing condition, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Worth noting: Andreessen Horowitz partner Marc Andreessen sits on the eBay Board of Directors.

Ebay had reportedly been looking to sell Skype for $2 billion, compared to the $3.1 billion it put on the table to buy out the company and pay out its founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis back in 2005. Since then, eBay has written down nearly a billion dollars of the deal value after realizing the supposed synergies weren’t going to pan out as planned. Skype is said to be making approximately $600 million a year in revenues, so it seems like the investor group acquired the company at a very reasonable price.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Apple Confirms Event on September 9th

Apple announced to host a music-themed event on Sept. 9th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco,the same site where apple already held Worldwide Developer Conference .Apple organize these type of events, usually near September, to show enormous changes to its business.

Apple has started sending out iPod-style invitation which features a woman in silhouette listening to an iPod, and reads “It’s only rock and roll, but we like it.” As expected ,Apple will be refresh iTunes and iPod updates.It looks that this event is purely focused on the music related updates.

SO wait for some new rocking updates on your iPods !Because Apple have a lot to display this year.