Saturday, October 31, 2009

Apple TV 3.0 offers new interface

Apple has rolled out the Version 3.0 software for its Apple TV, offering a new user interface as well as new features including direct access to internet radio. A new update for iTunes software takes care of full interoperability.

The Apple TV 3.0 software comes complete with a redesigned main menu that helps in faster navigation. On demand HD movie buys and rentals, HD TV shows, music and podcasts have become more exciting with the brand new Version 3.0, according to Apple.

With the new version, iTunes Extras and iTunes LP can be enjoyed in fullscreen on the Apple TV; and Genius Mixes and internet Radio can be played back on a home theatre system. It comes with totally revamped user interface, making the set-top box experience much better than the earlier versions. The new menu also boasts of support for iPhoto Events and iPhoto Faces.

The iTunes Extras that have been added promises additional content such as deleted scenes, interviews and interactive galleries, while iTunes LP delivers “a rich experience for select albums on the iTunes Store,” such as live performance videos, lyrics, artwork, liner notes, interviews and images.

“The new software for Apple TV features a simpler and faster interface that gives you instant access to your favorite content,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s VP of internet Services, said in a statement.

“HD movies and HD TV shows from iTunes have been a huge hit with Apple TV customers, and with Apple TV 3.0 they get great new features including iTunes Extras, Genius Mixes andinternet radio.”

The iTunes 9.0.2 update adds Apple TV 3.0 support. The new Apple TV update might also kill unapproved software such as Boxee.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Wordpress for iPhone 2: Mobile Blogging Just Got Easier

The new version of Wordpress for iPhone just arrived in the App Store (iTunes link). While the first version was already quite usable, this update brings a number of new features and usability enhancements to the Wordpress experience on the iPhone. The new interface makes it easier to switch between comments, posts and pages. The comments interface now also displays Gravatars. Throughout the app, the Wordpress team has tweaked the interface and it's now easier to manage your blog from the iPhone.


The new version also now automatically saves posts and restores them if the network connection is lost during the publishing process.

Just like the first version, Wordpress for iPhone 2 is an open-source program.

It's important to note that this new version will not appear as an update to the old version. Instead, users will have to install a new app, which can run side-by-side with the older version.

The new version, of course, still offers the same basic feature set as the earlier version. These include support for multiple blogs, photo uploads and post previews, as well as full support for tags, categories and password protected posts.

Blogging on the iPhone

There can be little doubt that the iPhone - or any mobile phone for that matter - isn't the ideal platform for writing long, thoughtful blog posts. Maybe that's why Wordpress for iPhone 2 puts more emphasis on comment moderation than the first version.

For a quick blog post on the road, though, the app is perfectly adequate, especially if you just want to upload a few pictures. It's not as easy to use as the more specialized PicPosterous, but Wordpress for iPhone 2 is a far more flexible application and Wordpress has a different user in mind for this app.

Full News Here

Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 Released

Ubuntu today released its latest offering namely Ubuntu Karmic Koala version 9.10. Ubuntu Karmic Koala comes with lots of new features.

New Features in Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10

  • Upstart - an event-based replacement for the /sbin/init daemon which handles starting of tasks and services during boot, stopping them during shutdown and supervising them while the system is running.

  • Software Center - a graphical utility for package management in Ubuntu. It replaces the Add/Remove programs tool.

  • # GNOME version 2.28
  • Quickly - An easy way to develop applications for Ubuntu and package them in a deb format.

  • Ubuntu Karmic Koala is available in 25 languages.

  • Linux kernel 2.6.31

  • Ubuntu One - Integrates your Ubuntu machine with the cloud providing you free 2 GB of space to store and synchronize all your data like Tomboy notes, imortant files, contacts et al. More space is available for a nominal price of $10 / month.

  • Better support for Intel chipsets

  • .
  • Ext4 file system by default.

  • Grub 2

  • Improved and enhanced AppArmor.

  • More:

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    What is the best industry for starting a new business ?

    Guess which industry is ranked 2nd on Inc magazine list of "Top industries for starting a business".

    Apple launched its App Store last summer, creating a whole new burgeoning industry in the process. Sales of apps in the first month topped $30 million, leading Steve Jobs to predict that the marketplace would be worth $1 billion some day. To date, companies have produced more than 30,000 applications, ranging from games such as Tap Tap Revenge to apartment-hunting help to tools for finding out the name of a song; in all, Apple has processed more than a billion downloads. To capitalize on the trend, venture-capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins have begun investing in app producers; the venerable Sand Hill Road firm has earmarked $100 million for the market.

    The full story is here.

    Announcing Android 2.0 support in the SDK!

    I am excited to announce that the Android SDK now supports Android 2.0 (also known as Eclair).

    Android 2.0 brings new developer APIs for sync, Bluetooth, and a few other areas. Using the new sync, account manager and contacts APIs, you can write applications to enable users to sync their devices to various contact sources. You can also give users a faster way to communicate with others by embedding Quick Contact within your application. With the new Bluetooth API, you can now easily add peer-to-peer connectivity or gaming to your applications. To get a more complete list of the new capabilities you can add to your applications, please go to the Android 2.0 highlights page.

    Current developers can use the SDK Manager to add Android 2.0 support to their SDK as well as update their SDK Tools to revision 3. New developers can download the Android SDK from the download site. After the download, Android platforms must be added using the SDK Manager.

    Android SDK Tools, revision 3 is required to develop for Android 2.0. It includes support for code coverage through the Ant build system, as well as Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) support for the SDK and related tools. For those of you who develop using Eclipse, we are releasing ADT version 0.9.4 through the usual Eclipse update mechanism.

    Over the next few months, we expect to see more and more Android devices being released. These devices will be running Android 1.5, 1.6, or 2.0. We are also planning a minor version update of Android 2.0 towards the end of the year, and that will be the last update for 2009. Below are some of the things you can do to be better prepared:

    * Download the Android 2.0 platform and make sure your existing apps continue to work on new devices running Android 2.0.

    * Make sure that your apps work when using the WVGA (800x480) & FWVGA (854x480) emulator skins. We expect devices with these types of screen, running Android 2.0 to be launched soon.


    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Nasa releases iPhone application

    Nasa has released its own iPhone application, which allows users to view the space agency’s vast library of images and to track spacecraft in real time.

    Astronomy geeks can also keep up to date with the Nasa Twitter feeds, watch Nasa videos and do their own countdowns to the big launches.

    The app, available free through the Apple iPhone or iPod Touch, has four functions – “Missions”, “Images”, “Video” and “Updates”.

    It lets users see instantly where in the skies the International Space Station is, using a Google Maps-based system (at the time of writing it is over the North Pacific, just south of Alaska, moving towards the western United States and Mexico). If a Space Shuttle was flying, iPhone owners could track that too.

    You can also use it to keep up to date with Constellation, the proposed Space Shuttle replacement. The Ares 1-X rocket, the first test rocket of the new mission, is expected to launch on 27 October.

    It also provides an Image of the Day – currently a pre-launch shot of Ares 1-X – and an Astronomy Picture of the Day, currently a series of beautiful images of galaxies called Galaxy Zoo.

    This is not the only app targeted at stargazing iPhone owners. Pocket Universe creates a planetarium within the iPhone, letting users see what constellations are visible from where they are.

    Google Rolling Out Social Search (in Labs)

    There are two brass rings in search these days: real time and social. Google (and Bing) have been working on the real time thing with Twitter, and last week Google announced they were working on a Social Search option in Labs—and now it’s out.

    With Social Search, Google finds relevant public content from your friends and contacts and highlights it for you at the bottom of your search results. When I do a simple query for [new york], Google Social Search includes my friend’s blog on the results page under the heading “Results from people in your social circle for New York.” I can also filter my results to see only content from my social circle by clicking “Show options” on the results page and clicking “Social.”

    All of the info in Social Search is publicly available, but they highlight info based on their (massive data collection) information about you from:

    • Google profile contacts

    • Gmail contacts, chats and groups

    • People you’re following on FriendFeed or Twitter

    • Feeds in your Google Reader

    Story URL :

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Major Phone Manufacturers shifting to Android say NYTimes

    Over the past 6 months, the iPhone has been dominating - but a plethora of news that has been coming out appears to indicate that Android is gaining dominance. Some highlights from toda-y Nytimes article:

    - Twelve Android handsets have been announced this year, with dozens more expected next year. Motorola has dropped Windows Mobile from its line entirely in a switch to Android. HTC, a major cellphone maker, expects half its phones sold this year to run Android. Dell is using Android for its entry into the cellphone market.

    - All four of the largest carriers in the United States have now agreed to offer Android phones. When the first Android handset, the G1 from HTC, was introduced last fall, only T-Mobile offered it. Now, Verizon, the largest carrier, is putting a huge promotional push behind the Droid from Motorola, set to be introduced this week. Even AT&T, the home of the iPhone, recently said it would join the Android party next year.

    And at whose expense is this happening:
    - Android is on only 1.8 percent of smartphones worldwide, according to Gartner, and Windows Mobile software still dwarfs Android. But Microsoft is slipping. The percentage of smartphones using the Windows Mobile system has plummeted to 9.3 percent, from 12 percent in the second quarter of 2008. Microsoft fell behind Apple, which shot up to 13.3 percent, from 2.8 percent. (Nokia’s Symbian operating system is the world leader, followed by Research In Motion’s OS for its BlackBerrys.)

    - Nevertheless, Android is free, while Windows Mobile costs manufacturers $15 to $25 a phone.

    For the full story:

    Google Docs Batch Export

    Now you can export all your documents, spreadsheets, presentations and PDFs from Google Docs in a ZIP archive.

    The most difficult part is to select all your files: you need to go to the "All items" section, scroll down to the bottom of the documents list, click on the checkbox button from the toolbar and then on "select all visible". Google Docs uses "infinite scrolling", but it's not smart enough to select all the documents from a view.

    After selecting all your files (or only some of them), right-click and choose "export". A dialog lets you choose the download format for each kind of file: Microsoft Office formats, OpenOffice formats, PDF or some other formats.


    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    The new droid phone from Verizon

    The new droid phone is coming out. What is it going to be like. Looking at this early version picture from BoyGenius - it look like the 1st real alternative to the iPhone.

    Whats not to like:
    - Good sound.
    - Verizon network
    - outstanding battery life - it is good enough to last the whole day.
    - generous specs
    - Outstanding look and feel factor

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    Google Reader - More Personalization Added

    Google has added new personalization features to Reader, its RSS feed aggregator.

    One new feature is dubbed Popular Items. Using algorithms, Reader will "find top-rising images, videos and pages from anywhere (not just your subscriptions)." From there, the app will lump all those pieces in the new Popular Items section. Based on a user's subscriptions and what someone is reading, Reader orders those stories by what it thinks a person likes best.

    Reader's recommendations have been moved to the app's Explore section. Google also renamed it Recommended Sources. Like before, that feature will employ the user's Reader Trends and Web History to find a list of feeds he or she might like.

    To make it easier for users to find the information they're most likely to care about, all Reader feeds now feature a sort option called Magic. According to Google, Magic "reorders items in the feed based on your personal usage, and overall activity in Reader, instead of default chronological order." Google said that the ranking is tailored to the user. The more the user clicks the "like" and "share" buttons on stories, the better the Magic sort will be.


    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Windows 7 Launches – Mission Accomplished for Microsoft!

    Microsoft today has released their most awaited flagship product – Windows 7, officially as of October 22nd 2009. Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer led the launch ceremony which was held at an event in New York City. He was joined in by high delegates from Microsoft & their partners including the CEOs from Dell, HP, Toshiba along with hundreds of beta testers and enthusiasts.

    Windows 7 is Microsoft’s newest entry in the popular Windows family and is available as of today through all retail channels for consumers, businesses, developers and enterprises alike. The general impression of Windows 7 has been positive, unlike its predecessor Windows Vista which remained under spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

    Windows 7 Launch events are being held in almost all parts of the world to celebrate this big day in Microsoft’s history. We can rightly termed this day as Windows 7 Day!

    The retail prices of Windows 7 are as follows:

    Windows 7 Full Package Retail Price

    * Windows 7 Home Premium (Full): $199.99
    * Windows 7 Professional (Full): $299.99
    * Windows 7 Ultimate (Full): $319.99

    Windows 7 Upgrade Price

    * Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade): $119.99
    * Windows 7 Professional (Upgrade): $199.99
    * Windows 7 Ultimate (Upgrade): $219.99

    Our heartiest congratulations to Microsoft and the whole team behind Windows 7 for delivering an outstanding product!


    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    New Google Music Service Launch Imminent

    Google will soon launch a music service, we’ve heard from multiple sources, and the company has spent the last several weeks securing content for the launch of the service from the major music labels. One source has referred to the new service as Google Audio.

    We’re still gathering details, but our understanding is the service will be very different to the Google China music download service that they launched in 2008. That service, which is only available in China, allows users to search for music and download it for free.

    This new service will be available for at least U.S. users, our sources confirm, although it isn’t clear if it’s a download or streaming service, or both. Google already has a decent (if little used) music search engine that can be accessed by simply typing “music:” before a query (example). But songs are not available for streaming or download from those searches.


    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Facebook Groups Redesign Becomes Official

    Last week we wrote about Facebook testing out a new design for Facebook groups which is almost identical to Facebook Pages. As of today, that new design has become official. One significant component of the upgraded version of groups is that updates to them will now be delivered to the homepage News Feed. With the new design the Pages versus Groups debate will continue to rage on.

    It’s clear that the design of groups is almost identical to Facebook Pages and at this point there are few benefits of using groups over Pages which makes me think that the debate is moot to a certain extent. This new groups design also make one wonder whether or not groups will become a platform for applications. With over 45 million groups, it would only make sense to grant developers access to them.

    For now we’ll have to wait and see how the groups evolve but this is most definitely a significant upgrade. While I’d like to personally see Facebook Pages and groups merge together, many users argue that Groups have their own use case. With tons of invites to groups about different issues I’ve stopped using them for the most part, however many users still flock to groups daily.

    Do you think this redesign is useful? Should Facebook just merge groups and Pages or is there a reason for keeping groups?


    Apple Magic Mouse Hands On

    The Apple's Magic Mouse doesn't have anything on its surface. It's an aluminum base topped off with a smooth multitouch panel. It felt weird to use, but leagues ahead of the Mighty Mouse. I may go back to mice.

    The strange thing about the Magic Mouse is not how it works. It is that you have different gestures than on a standard Macbook Pro trackpad.

    One obvious example: Since you move the cursor by moving the whole mouse with your hand, there's no point in also using one finger to move the cursor, like on the trackpad. Moving your finger on the surface of the Magic Mouse allows you to scroll in all directions, 360 degrees around.

    You can also scroll with two or three fingers, if you move them up and down. But if you swipe them from side to side while using a web browser, your browsing history moves forward or back.

    Physically, the mouse is beautiful, and feels nice. The top is made of white polycarbonate that matches the keys on Apple's keyboards. It is one seamless touch surface, and, logically, there is no Mighty Mouse scroll nipple.

    The surface can also simulate the left and right buttons. Unlike in previous Apple's mice, the two buttons work perfectly. This time they also added physical feedback, so when you click the buttons, you actually get the entire surface to click—like the original clear Apple mouse.

    The mouse runs on AA batteries, and Apple claims 4 months of use per set. You can get it with the new iMac or pay $69 separately.

    Full Story:

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009 iPhone app hits 1 million downloads in no time

    Wow--on behalf of the team, thanks again for the warm reception! Here's the official blurb:

    Adobe today announced that its Mobile for iPhone application has been downloaded over 1 million times from Apple's App Store, a milestone reached in less than one week of availability. Additionally, the application has held the No. 1 position for all "Top Free" applications as well as the "Top Free" application in the Photography category for 10 consecutive days. Thousands of iTunes reviews have provided Adobe with positive feedback, insight and suggestions that will be considered for future versions of the application.

    The application is currently available in the U.S. and Canada only. I know that's frustrating to folks in other locations, and the team will keep working to broaden access.


    Apple Earnings up on strong iPhone, Mac sales

    Apple (AAPL) smashed market expectations for the September quarter with strong sales in its iPhone and Mac lines delivering increased profits.

    Mac sales jumped 17% from the same quarter of 2008 to 3.05 million units, 250,000 units above market estimates. iPhone sales rose 7% to 7.4 million, just below the market expectation of 7.5 million units. Notably though Apple said that it was struggling to meet demand for iPhones globally, a suggestion that the figure may be limited by supply as opposed to demand.

    Net profit rose to $1.67 billion/ $1.82 a share, up from from $1.14 billion/ $1.26 a share for the September quarter of 2008. The market had been expecting $1.42 a share. Revenue rose 25 percent to $9.87 billion. Gross margin of 36.6 percent, up from 34.7 percent a year ago.

    The figures are a huge boost for Apple after many analysts had expected them to take a bigger hit due to the global financial crisis. Apple’s Mac line, still the biggest earner for the company has continued to steam ahead, despite of (or perhaps because of)its premium pricing.

    AAPL shares rose 7.5% to $204 in after market trading,smashing its previous price high of $202.96 in December 2007.

    Source :

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Five Favorite Web Applications of Designers

    Webapps–compared to their desktop counterparts–have the distinct advantage of being flexible in terms of the environment they have to run in; if you have a web browser and an internet connection, you’re good to go. This allows designers who work in a variety of locations, from office cubicles to the neighborhood coffee shop, to do what they need to do without being bound to a single spot.

    Last week, we asked readers what they thought the best web application for designers is, and here we share the top five favorites( 1.Kuler, 2.DropBox, 3.Basecamp, 4.Google Analytics, 5.FreshBooks ) that gained the most votes. The web applications you’ll see here aren’t all specifically for designers but, as you’ll soon see, it’s not surprising why designers love them.


    FreshBooks (coincidentally Six Revisions’ longest standing site sponsor) is a time-tracking and invoicing tool targeted towards freelancers. It’s perfect for project-based work, with the ability to keep your time logs, keep track of your expenses, create repeating invoices, and much, much more. FreshBooks comes in many flavors, and for those wanting to try before buying, the free version gives you all the features of the webapp (but is limited to only three clients). As a FreshBooker myself, I can’t say enough good things about this web application, only that it’s crucial for people who work on contractual jobs.


    Google Analytics is a free web application that tracks site statistics. This is a favorite tool amongst web designers for seeing how effective their web user interface designs are. It lets you create custom reports that you can PDF and ship off to your clients (you can use it to show the effectiveness of that recent redesign you did for them). I use Google Analytics on Six Revisions for traffic reporting, and it’s, without a doubt, the best web analytics out there – free or otherwise.


    Basecamp is a project collaboration tool aimed mainly towards small-to-medium sized organizations. You can share and upload project files, create to-do lists, set milestones, participate in real-time collaboration (with Writeboard), and a lot more. I’ve been using Basecamp for roughly six months, and it’s made teamwork with co-workers and communication with clients a breeze.


    Read Full Story :

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Lets Get Together on BAD 2009

    Before it gets too late, lets get together for tomorrow's Blog Action Day, an yearly event in which participating bloggers post about a particular issue to raise awareness and trigger global discussion that will, hopefully, bring about positive change.

    This year discussion will be on climate change. Everyone can make a difference with their experienced and knowledgeable posts. Participating bloggers can raise the issues related to global warming including, CO2 emissions and the emission of other greenhouse gases, the melting of the polar ice caps, global sea-level rise, natural disasters and massive changes to lifestyles caused by global warming.

    BAD 2009 will be the largest-ever social change event on the web. One day. One issue. Thousands of voices. Climate change affects everyone and it also poses a threat to the environment in shape of famine, flooding, war, and millions of refugees.

    Given the urgency of the issue of climate change, bloggers community's communication has the unique opportunity to mobilize millions of people around expressing support for finding a sustainable solution to the climate crisis.

    Although no one can avoid or change the climate's transforming patterns, but still we can certainly control the wide-scale calamity. Climate risk management and adaptation is going to be the top priority this year.

    Which is better – Snow Leopard or Windows 7?

    With Snow Leopard finally been given a release date and a price, the comparisons with Windows 7 are starting to pop up all over the place. Everyone is asking “Which one is the better upgrade i.e. which provide more value for your money?”

    Snow Leopard is truly a release where the under-the-hood stuff is more important than user-visible changes. OpenCL, Grand Central Dispatch, removal of PowerPC code, fully 64bit, they all aid in making Snow Leopard faster and leaner. There are also some interface tweaks, but they are small (but useful!), and certainly don't draw that much attention.

    Windows 7 is a completely different story. Microsoft has made the operating system perform better than Windows Vista (and every report confirms that per osnews research team), with some even claiming performance on par with Windows XP, especially on more recent hardware. Snow Leopard could give a more substantial improvement in this area, but only very recent and powerful 64bit machines will see these benefit. Windows 7's (possibly) more modest performance gains over Vista will benefit machines that are much older and/or much less powerful. For instance, both that old Pentium 4 box as well as low-spec Acer Aspire One perform better with Windows 7 than with Vista. Similarly aged and/or spec-ed Macs can't even run Snow Leopard at all!

    However, where the difference really becomes obvious is the interface changes Windows 7 introduces, and all the pulling-together of frameworks and features introduced with Windows Vista, and exposing them to users in much more useful ways than Vista did. The best example of this is Homegroup, which pulls together various technologies and features introduced with Windows Vista, and presents them in a way that makes managing your network and shared files completely painless. Another example is that various driver upgrades no longer require a restart, such as graphics drivers.

    The interface of Windows itself has also been massively cleaned up compared to Vista. It really takes some intensive usage to reveal just how much of the interface has been cleaned up, made more consistent, and overall prettified without losing functionality. An example of this is Windows 7's Explorer file manager, which is such joy to use now, in comparison to Vista which was a busy and clumsy mess. Of course, there are still trouble spots, such as the overly crowded Control Panel.

    Snow Leopard simply doesn't bring these kinds of massive interface improvements. It can thus be concluded, Windows 7 seems to be more substantial.

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Black is the new Green: Myth or Reality?

    Blackle claims that if you are using CRT monitors or LCDs of size 24-inch or more, and use it will save lakhs of Watt hours (Actual figures are displayed on their homepage). Blackle is a website powered by Google Custom Search, which aims at saving electricity by displaying a black background color for search results.

    Google, on the other hand, claim that making its home page black will not reduce energy consumption. They also add that on flat-panel monitors, displaying black may actually increase energy usage. However, they do agree with the idea of reducing climate change by saving energy and applaud the spirit of such initiatives. This is an important effort that we all should join in especially in India, since it does not have energy in abundance. India still have a long way to go, but do keep in mind that it is still a developing country but is moving closer to the developed country mark very quickly.

    While experts debate if black is the new green or not, here are couple of things you can actually start doing at your end to make a significant contribution to the climate changes:

    • Turn off your monitor and computer when you are not using them

    • Turn down the brightness on your monitor

    • Turn on power management features that mostly all OS provides.

    • Look for words "EnergyStar 4.0 Compliant" when you purchase your next monitor.

    Google Wave: Tips to run on iPhone

    If you got an iPhone and want to test Google Wave on it, there’re two ways to get Wave to work on your iPhone: First’s to go to using mobile Safari. Click through the warning, as it works well, as the site is optimized for Webkit-based browsers. You can select different conversation “waves” (or threads) and contacts, or dive into a specific wave.

    To get rid of Safari wrapper to use web apps; save a Wave bookmark on your Home screen; clicking the icon takes you to Wave, but without the Safari wrapper which allows you to navigate to another page or search the Web. Instead, it looks more like a regular app and there’s no way to navigate away from it. Everything else works the same as in the mobile browser version. Google confirms that’s indeed the case, explained. When you bookmark Wave it launches in “app mode,” which’s an existing option for developers on the iPhone.


    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    In-house in the works for iPhone and iPod touch

    We've just received a tip that an iPhone is being developed in-house by Apple for use on the iPhone and iPod touch. From what we know, the app will be allowed to operate in the background like and will offer the same functionality as the FM radio in the new iPod Nanos.The source mentioned that this application could also be incorporated into the before release.

    The holdup on this app is that Apple is trying to integrate the Mobile iTunes Store purchases into the functionality of the program. For instance, if you like a song you are listening to on the radio (and that station supports tagging and you are in the US), you will be able to push a button and see the song (and all of the information around it) in the iTunes Mobile store. With another click, you'll be able to make a purchase. This is an extension of the Song Tagging feature used in the iPod Nanos. Perhaps they could even add some Shazam technology to help with those stations that don't support tagging.

    Though it wasn't specified, the app will likely have the same Live Pause functionality that the Nanos currently enjoy.

    Apple's iPods and iPhones have been able to receive FM radio signals for some time now. The latest generation of iPhone and iPod touch can even broadcast FM signal, for instance to a car stereo. The ability of the iPhone and iPod touch to receive FM signals has been used solely in the implementation of the Nike+ ecosystem to this point.

    This wouldn't be the first time Apple awoke sleeping hardware functionality from its mobile products. Apple sometimes chooses to leave hardware features dormant in their products until they feel the time is right.For instance, Apple didn't enable Bluetooth in its 2nd generation iPod touch until 9 months after it was released. Apple also hasn't enabled the 802.11N +5GHZ wireless networking (which we also hope to see updated shortly) in its latest iPhone and iPods.

    The addition of an FM radio would eliminate that advantage from the ZuneHD over Apple's line of Touch OSX products.


    Introducing Google Building Maker

    Some of us here at Google spend almost all of our time thinking about one thing: How do we create a three-dimensional model of every built structure on Earth? How do we make sure it's accurate, that it stays current and that it's useful to everyone who might want to use it?

    One of the best ways to get a big project done — and done well — is to open it up to the world. As such, today we're announcing the launch of Google Building Maker, a fun and simple (and crazy addictive, it turns out) tool for creating buildings for Google Earth.

    We like to think of Building Maker as a cross between Google Maps and a gigantic bin of building blocks. Basically, you pick a building and construct a model of it using aerial photos and simple 3D shapes – both of which we provide. When you're done, we take a look at your model. If it looks right, and if a better model doesn't already exist, we add it to the 3D Buildings layer in Google Earth. You can make a whole building in a few minutes.

    Our early beta testers insist that Building Maker is more like a game than a tool. Check out this video to see Building Maker in action:

    Google LatLong: Introducing Google Building Maker

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Patch Tuesday Will Be Biggest Ever with 13 Bulletins

    Microsoft will issue its biggest ever security update on 13 October.The update will include 13 bulletins that between them tackle 34 vulnerabilities.Microsoft said that eight of the bulletins were rated as critical - the most serious sort of vulnerability.

    The security patches will close loopholes in many different programs including different editions of Windows, Internet Explorer and some elements of Office.

    One update, rated as critical, tackles a loophole in Internet Explorer 8 running under Windows 7. The next version of Microsoft's operating system is due to be released on 22 October.

    Most people will get the updates automatically but links to download them can also be found on Microsoft's security pages. Once applied to a PC, the machine will need to be re-started before the fixes take effect.

    In a blog posting giving an outline of the updates, Jerry Bryant, a Microsoft security expert, said two of the fixes were for problems flagged up in earlier advisories.

    One of those loopholes, for the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) bundled in with Microsoft's Internet Information Server, is already being exploited by some hi-tech criminals.

    Windows is by far the most popular target for cyber criminals and the vast majority of the millions of malicious programs, including worms and trojans, are aimed at the operating system.

    Prior to the bumper October security update, Microsoft's biggest every update was released in June 2009. That package of 10 fixes tackled 31 vulnerabilities.


    Google introduces Search Options for Mobile on webOS

    The slew of enhancements coming our way from Google in the past week or so have been rather staggering. First, we found the Maps application for webOS was quietly enhanced to include transit and walking directions.Then AdSense was upgraded.

    Now,we have more search refinement options while searching on Google's mobile site. The Google Mobile Blog has announced enhancements in this area by allowing for filtering by Web, Forums, Reviews and time posted, reflecting the options that are available on desktop browsers.

    This update is reflected on the Android, iPhone, and webOS operating systems. Blackberry, S60, Windows Mobile and everyone else are left, once more, out in the cold. Webkit win!

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    Google Squared Gets Quality & Features Update

    The quality of facts table generator Google Squared seems to have improved, so you might want to give it another try. Entering the same search as I did when the tool was released in July this year, comic book character, I’m now getting better columns and more correct values. Perhaps there is also a higher confidence threshold required for values to show up, i.e. some values which were previously right are now missing, but some others which were previously wrong are also gone.

    Google also say they built Squared to “learn from edits and corrections, so as people have been improving their squares, Google Squared has gotten better for everyone”. As my single search comparison is very non-represenative I’m curious what you think of the update, and how your queries are performing.

    One feature I wished for when I first looked at the app was export of the data to CSV or Google Spreadsheets, which is now both possible via a top-right hand button, as Google’s announces. Plus, tables generated can now hold more data, increased from 30 fact cells to 120. Last not least, you can sort columns.

    Google squared was probably one of Google’s more premature releases (the crown still belongs to Google Open Social I guess!), but in just a few months it already made quite a jump. Wonder at what speed it will continue from here?



    Twitter to introduce live video-tweeting

    Twitter users may soon be posting real-time video tweets in addition to text tweets under plans to modernise the site.

    The upgrade, which is being discussed by Twitter's founders, will enable Twitter users to upload brief video snippets to their profiles directly from mobile phones, laptops and other devices.

    Third party sites Twiddeo and Tweetube already allow Twitter users to post video tweets but only by creating links to their sites.

    Both Twideo and Tweetube have so far failed to gain as much popularity as similar external service Twitpic.

    Twitter's founders hope by adding live video-tweeting it will help boost its prominence as a fashionable social-networking tool again.

    In recent weeks both British singer Lily Allen and Hannah Montana actress Miley Cyrus have snubbed the site by closing their Twitter accounts.

    Allen's last tweet read: "I am a neo-Luddite, goodbye."

    Some of Britain's biggest tweeters include Stephen Fry with 810,000 followers, Sarah Brown, the prime minister's wife, with 840,000 followers, and rock group Coldplay who have more than two million followers. Sarah Brown's Twitter following is already believed to be five times larger than the entire membership of the Labour party.

    Although many tweets describe mundane activities, the site has played a role in news events. Twitter was an active platform for protesters during the Iranian elections and in January, a ferry passenger was the first person to post pictures of people being rescued from an airliner in New York's Hudson River.

    Twitter has also been used as a campaign tool by Barack Obama and British politicians in support of the NHS.

    The site has yet to make a profit or find a way of making money but has been valued at £603m. Twitter has 54 million users around the world every month.

    Source for this:

    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    Android Gets Its Own Everything Search Box

    We wrote about Google’s Quick Search Box (QSB) a few months ago when the product was officially launched. We found the Twitter plug-in particularly interesting because QSB was able to turn into a Twitter app that let you post Tweets from the search box itself. Now, Google is launching a version of QSB for the Android Phone which provides similar functionality from the phone’s home screen.

    QSB on the Android aims to cut down on keystrokes by providing suggestions as you type and provides a single search box to let you search a variety pf content on your phone, including apps, contacts, and browser history, as well as content from the web, like personalized search suggestions, local business listings, stock quotes, weather, and flight status. And QSB is intuitive; the search box will pull up items that you search for and use most often.

    On of the most compelling features of QSB for the Andoid is that third-party developers can include suggestions in search, letting outside information from any apps make into searchable content. So if the app is built with QSB support, QSB will index the content in the app and it will show up in the box. For example, you could search a Twitter app for Tweets.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that QSB for the Android has the ability to Tweet from the search box itself, but perhaps that plug-in will be added in the near future.


    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    Adobe Debuts Photoshop Sharing App for iPhone

    Adobe has unveiled a strategic link in their social photo sharing experiment with the launch of Mobile for iPhone. This free photo editing thrill ride lets users revise and share photos with a simple but useful array of one-touch effects. The user interface is intuitive and easy to mange with minimal taps and zero lag time.

    The app provides about 15 individual enhancements that include the popular crop, rotate and flip for images, plus soft focus, vignette blur, sketch and pop art as part of the gang. The ability to easily add and undo photo effects makes this app a threat to many $.99 iPhone applications charging for less of the same.

    What Adobe seems to really be after here is building users for their social photo sharing network. The app was appropriately named after the company's goal of attracting users to upload photos from their iPhone to manage and share, offering a direct URL with sign-up. Once users get to Adobe's Beta website, the options to add photo effects and manage content are almost endless.

    The online side at already supports Windows Mobile devices along with the ability to upload, share and store videos as well. iPhone is only the latest addition to the party already in progress. offers users 2.0 GB of storage free in the Basic plan along with slick, seamless integration for Flickr, Facebook, Picasa and Photobucket accounts.

    Although Adobe is a tad late to the photo sharing social, drawing users to their online site via iPhone is a step in the right direction. I'm convinced that Adobe will need to add fresh effects on a semi-regular basis to keep iPhone users coming back to the app for return visits. All things considered, Adobe's photo editing app will be a hard one to beat. Did I mention it's free?


    Friday, October 09, 2009

    BlackBerry Messenger 5 is now available

    RIM has finally updated BlackBerry Messenger program. Thank goodness, the previous version felt old a few years ago. The 2.4MB update brings a wealth of new features like the ability to create an avatar, adding friends by scanning a bar code, group messaging, and the ability to share multimedia with multiple contacts at once. Plus, it looks a hell of a lot better. This program of course is meant just for communicating with other BlackBerrys using each phone’s unique PIN.

    You have two install options: either navigate to via your phone’s browser to initiate the OTA download or find the program in App World. Be warned though, the program requires a reboot to finish the installation.

    Click through for the full list of updates and new features.

      The follow is a subset of new or improved features found in BlackBerry Messenger 5.0. For more information on these and all features, please refer to the BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 user guide.

    • BlackBerry Messenger is supported for BlackBerry handheld software 4.5 and higher.

    • Certain features may require specific handheld code version.

    • Users using BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 will still be able to communicate with users of all older version of BlackBerry Messenger.

    • Enhanced SMS Integration
    • BlackBerry Messenger provides a unified interface for sending and receiving SMS/MMS messages.

    • Single contact list for most personal mobile to mobile communications.

    • Conversational Chat-like User Experience, similar to a BlackBerry Messenger
    • There is also a reply area at the bottom of the Conversation Screen for responding to SMS messages.

    • Personalization of SMS contacts, such as Avatars.

    • SMS integration only available on BlackBerry device software 5.0 and higher.


    Amazon cuts Kindle 2 price to $259, launches a global Kindle

    In a nod to both the price resistance of consumers in this economy and growing competition in e-book readers, Amazon today dropped the price of the Kindle 2, its flagship e-book reader, by $50. It also launched a version of the device that will work outside the U.S.

    At its new price of $259, the regular Kindle 2 is now priced below the Sony Touch, $299, which shares its 6-inch screen size. It costs more than the Sony Pocket, $199, the least expensive reader on the market, but the Pocket has a smaller (5-inch) screen and, like the Touch, lacks the Kindle 2's wireless access to content.

    The cut is the second for the Kindle 2 within the last three months: In July, Amazon dropped the price by $60 from the original $359. For now, the price for Amazon's supersized Kindle DX remains at $489. One wonders how long Amazon will maintain that stratospheric price, though, especially with two wireless connected competitors, albeit with smaller screens than the DX, set to launch in the coming months at $399: the Sony Daily Edition and iRex DR800SG.

    More Of this:

    Thursday, October 08, 2009

    Android to Be No. 2 Mobile OS by 2012?

    Google’s Android operating system is set for iPhone-trajectory sales over the next few years, Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney said in a report yesterday from Computerworld, and will be the second-ranking smartphone OS globally by 2012. Gartner predicts Android’s     share of the smartphone market will grow to 14 percent from less than 2 percent in the next three years as Symbian’s slide from dominance continues.

    That kind of performance would mirror Apple’s staggering success over the last two years. Apple launched its first-generation iPhone in the U.S. in 2007 and quickly took the worldwide market by storm; the iPhone OS enjoyed a global market share of 11 percent in the first quarter of 2009 and has watched its footprint continue to expand. But while there’s no denying Android’s momentum, overtaking Apple in just a few years seems like a monumental task.

    Dulaney makes a compelling case: A slew of handset vendors are jumping aboard the Android bandwagon (largely at the expense of Windows Mobile), the platform has effectively grown its developer community, and it now has the backing of America’s largest mobile network operator. And Android is built on open-source technology, Dulaney noted, giving it a decided edge over Apple’s proprietary platform.

    However, the iPhone remains the overwhelming device of choice for smartphone users, and is increasingly being offered by carriers around the world. And while Apple pretty much had the benefit of being a first mover in offering a consumer-friendly, Internet-capable smartphone, Android is battling it out not just with Apple but also with Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, Palm’s webOS and others. Android may appear to be an irresistible force, but the field is wide open in these early days of the superphone.


    Google Barcode Logo Celebrates 57 Years of Barcode Patent

    Google is celebrating the 57th anniversary of the patenting of the barcode with a Google logo that is literally a barcode.

    On October 7, 1952, Joseph Woodland, Bernard Silver, and Jordin Johanson were awarded US Patent 2,612,994, after waiting since 1949 for it to come through.

    The barcode could have ended up in the hands of IBM, where Woodland and Johanson moved to in 1951 and “continually tried to interest IBM in developing the system.” IBM commissioned a report which concluded “that it was both feasible and interesting, but that processing the resulting information would require equipment that was some time off in the future.”

    In 1952 Philco purchased the patent, and then sold it to RCA the same year.

    The common use of barcodes though was more recent. In July 1972 RCA began an eighteen-month test of their system in a Kroger store in Cincinnati. By 1977, there were scanning machines in fewer than 200 grocery stores in the United States. By 1980 the technology was being adopted by 8000 stores per year.

    At 34 I’m just old enough to remember shopping at a supermarket where every item had a price tag. During the 80’s old fashioned price tags
    disappeared, and today you even see self service checkouts in supermarkets.

    Although not yet confirmed by Google, it’s fair guess that the barcode logo on equates to something along the lines of Google, be it in the numeric form of the word.


    Wednesday, October 07, 2009

    New SDK for BlackBerry Widgest Uses CSS, HTML and JavaScript

    Research In Motion is offering the BlackBerry Widget Software Development Kit (SDK) to enable third party application developers to build applications for BlackBerry smartphones using common web technologies.

    The new BlackBerry Widget SDK allow developers to create web-based applications for BlackBerry smartphones with advanced features and functionality, a capability available for BlackBerry applications written in Java(R) earlier.

    A BlackBerry Widget uses the BlackBerry Browser engine to render an application's user interface using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Developers can easily use existing web content to create BlackBerry Widgets and can extend the capabilities of their web applications using BlackBerry Widget APIs.

    Using the new BlackBerry Widget APIs, developers can, for instance, create seamless interaction between a widget and the BlackBerry email and calendar applications, create widgets with the ability to view or edit files and documents stored on the smartphone, access location-based services or the media player, and more. Developers can also take advantage of RIM's unique push technology, enabling dynamic widgets that can run in the background and provide proactive alerts to users in a timely manner.

    "BlackBerry Widgets open up a world of opportunities for developers to build and bring to market web applications for BlackBerry smartphones that offer advanced, integrated functionality and an always-on user experience," said Alan Brenner, senior vice president, BlackBerry platforms at RIM. "We are very excited by the prospects of this new widget development platform which combines the ease of development of standard web languages with the rich functionality of Java development."

    Support for BlackBerry Widgets will be available on BlackBerry smartphones that run BlackBerry OS 5.0, which will include an enhanced BlackBerry Browser with support for Gears, SQLite and the new BlackBerry Widget APIs.

    BlackBerry Widgets can be easily distributed over-the-air, via BlackBerry App World or through BlackBerry Enterprise Server in corporate environments.

    Tuesday, October 06, 2009

    A splash of color to your browser: Artist Themes for Google Chrome

    In the most recent stable release of Google Chrome, we looked at ways to make a snappy, simple browser even more customizable, and we're happy to hear that you've enjoyed personalizing Google Chrome's look and feel with a few of our early themes for the browser.

    Today, we are introducing Artist Themes for Google Chrome. We invited leading artists, architects, musicians, illustrators, filmmakers and fashion and interior designers from across the globe to create artwork for an unusual canvas: the modern web browser. The result is a vibrant fusion of art and technology, with a hundred Artist Themes that we hope will add a touch of inspiration and delight to your web browsing experience with Google Chrome.

    One of our favorite themes comes from Yulia Brodskaya, whose innovative paper art techniques and passion for typography and illustration have brought her into the international spotlight. We were particularly intrigued by Yulia's approach to the design challenge at hand, explained in her own words:

    I was really curious to see how the traditional paper craft, which I use for creating my work, can be applied to the Google Chrome browser. I made a quick pencil sketch first, choosing the two main elements for my theme: green jungle leaves for the top and a very colourful parrot to accompany it. Then I followed my usual working pattern and created a physical artwork out of edge glued paper stripes. I used the photographs of the paper leaves and parrot to design my theme layout, and sent the resulting mock-up to Google designers who brought the whole thing to life.


    Monday, October 05, 2009

    Windows Mobile Marketplace Ready for Launch

    There is a good news for the new owners of Windows Mobile 6.5 handsets. Microsoft's App Store is all set to roll out the new 6.5 OS come this October 6th. But the older Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 versions, won't get a chance to purchase or download these third party applications.

    Windows Marketplace will be released in a couple of phases, with the first phase beginning this Tuesday, while the second phase will see an App Store release for Windows 6.0 and 6.1 owners that will happen sometime before 2009 is over.

    Microsoft official Todd Brix went on to mention even more stuff about the future of Marketplace and said, “In addition, this second phase will bring the PC based catalog and shopping experience, user generated app reviews, advanced key-based anti-piracy protection and other enhancements that expand your business opportunity and make it easier for a larger number of customers to find and buy your application.”

    LotusLive iNotes: Like Gmail, but Without the Outages

    As launch dates go, the timing could not be better. Less than a week after Google’s Gmail suffered its fourth service disruption this year, IBM debuted a competing Web mail service intended to undercut it. Called LotusLive iNotes it’s an email, calendaring, and contact management system aimed squarely at the enterprise space Google has been so diligently courting.

    Priced at about $36 per user per year, iNotes is cheaper than Google’s (GOOG) Apps Premier Edition offering, which costs about $50 per user per year. And while it might not offer as many bells and whistles (IBM’s 1GB of storage is significantly less than the 25GB that Google provides), IBM (IBM) claims it more than makes up for it in security, reliability and privacy.

    “We run the world’s most mission critical systems for banks, telcos and utilities,” said Sean Poulley, IBM’s vice president of online collaboration services. “It’s fair to say we’re pretty trusted….Candidly, Google has shown itself to be weak….There is a world of difference between supporting a consumer-grade service and a business-grade service. We’re bringing business class services and support with mission critical reliability at a price lower than the competition.”


    Saturday, October 03, 2009

    Bing Looses Search Share To Google

    Microsoft Bing was launched as a challenger to Google this summer. But according to the latest search engine statistics from Stat Counter, the MS search engine has lost its sheen to Google search. The decline isn’t limited to the U.S., either. The search engine’s global market share has dipped slightly to 3.3 percent in September from 3.6 percent the month before. It means that the initial hype is now fading and people are now looking for some “real search results” instead of all the fun and fancy results.

    On the other side, Google search was a big gainer. Google’s search market share went up from 77.83% to 80.08%. It also has a global market share of over 90%. The statistics have been collected using more than 4.6 billion search engine clicks on sites that are tracked by StatCounter. US traffic accounts for over 1.1 billion of those clicks.

    Verizon to announce Moto Tao next week?

    First came the rumors. Then came the leaked images. And now, 3 all-knowing (conveniently unnamed) analysts have predicted that Verizon’s long awaited foray into Android will happen some time next week with the announcement of Motorola’s Sholes/Tao smartphone. The timing seems feasible, especially considering that Motorola is holding a MOTODEV Android-related press event next Tuesday, October 6 (WinMo 6.5 who?).

    But, this is far from certain, folks. In fact, we have it on good word that Verizon retail employees have yet to train on Android, making a near term launch that much less likely. However, that does not rule out an announcement only like the recent Motorola CLIQ event.

    Either way, the speculation is definitely heating up. Just this morning the friendly folks over at AndroidGuys have posted information suggesting the Tao (or whatever it will end up being called) will be released on December 1, just in time for the all-mighty holiday shopping bonanza. But the fun doesn’t stop there.

    According to the super secret document that found its way to AndroidAndMe, the Tao will purportedly be the “world’s thinnest” slider QWERTY phone at 13.7mm thick. Yes, please! Other juicy tidbits include: a 3.7″ 16:9 touch screen display, 16GB built-in storage, 5MP camera with dual LED flash, full HTML browser with Flash support, and supposedly the next generation of Android, the big 2.0.

      Here are the rest of the leaked specs:

    • OMAP3430 – 600 MHz ARM Cortex A8 + PowerVR SGX 530 GPU + 430MHz C64x+ DSP + ISP (Image Signal Processor)

    • Dimensions 60.00 x 115.80 x 13.70 mm

    • Weight 169 g

    • Battery Li-ion 1400 mAh.

    • Standby 450 hours, talk time 420 minutes

    • 3.7-inch touch-sensitive display with a resolution of 854×480 pixels, 16 million color depth. Physical screen size is 45.72 mm by 81.34 mm.

    • 512MB/256MB ROM/RAM

    • microSD / microSDHC expansion slot

    • Camera: 5.0 megapixel with autofocus and video recorder

    • Connectivity: USB2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, Wi-Fi

    • Operating System: Android 2.0 (with Eclair, no Motoblur)

    • Package Contents: Phone Motorola Sholes, battery, charger, USB cable, 8GB MicroSD memory card and other literature

    [ VIA: ]

    Friday, October 02, 2009

    First Paid Apps for webOS Hit Tomorrow

    Our tipsters tell us that the first batch of paid apps for the webOS's new and improved App Catalog should land sometime tomorrow, October 2nd (barring any more delays).

    Paid apps will be tied to your Palm Profile, which results in a couple of nice things:

    * deleted apps can be re-downloaded for free
    * If you get a new webOS device (like a Pixi or a new Pre), when you sign into your Palm Profile you'll be able to get all your apps on your new device.

    Also, remember that nice new 1.2 feature where Universal Search can find apps based on hidden tags? For example, typing in "SMS" can bring up "Messaging." Those tags are being made available to developers, so they can make their apps easier to find on the Pre.

    We're digging the fact that Palm's doing the right thing by allowing us to re-download deleted apps - we imagine more than a few people will be hitting the frustration app memory ceiling soon and knowing that deleting an app now doesn't mean having to buy it later will make the Orange+Tap that much easier.

    Oh yeah, Canadians: you have to wait and we don't know for how long yet, but you're (sadly) used to that by now, we're guessing.

    Thursday, October 01, 2009

    Translate your website with Google: Expand your audience globally

    How long would it take to translate all the world's web content into 50 languages? Even if all of the translators in the world worked around the clock, with the current growth rate of content being created online and the sheer amount of data on the web, it would take hundreds of years to make even a small dent.

    Today, we're happy to announce a new website translator gadget powered by Google Translate that enables you to make your site's content available in 51 languages. Now, when people visit your page, if their language (as determined by their browser settings) is different than the language of your page, they'll be prompted to automatically translate the page into their own language. If the visitor's language is the same as the language of your page, no translation banner will appear.

    After clicking the Translate button, the automatic translations are shown directly on your page.

    It's easy to install — all you have to do is cut and paste a short snippet into your webpage to increase the global reach of your blog or website.

    Automatic translation is convenient and helps people get a quick gist of the page. However, it's not a perfect substitute for the art of professional translation. Today happens to be International Translation Day, and we'd like to take the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of translators all over the world. These translators play an essential role in enabling global communication, and with the rapid growth and ease of access to digital content, the need for them is greater than ever. We hope that professional translators, along with translation tools such as Google Translator Toolkit and this Translate gadget, will continue to help make the world's content more accessible to everyone.

    Posted by Jeff Chin, Product Manager

    Official Google Blog: Translate your website with Google: Expand your audience globally

    BlackBerry Desktop Manager Hitting the Mac Oct. 2

    We reported earlier that BlackBerry would be delivering its Desktop Manager software for Mac in September of this year. Keen readers will note that, in fact, that was not the case, since it is now the last possible day for that software to appear, and that software isn’t coming.

    It is, however, going to arrive just a little outside of the originally announced release window. On Oct. 2, which is this Friday, BlackBerry customers who are also Mac users will finally be able to enjoy equal status with their PC counterparts. About time, RIM. Be honest, you were just holding a grudge about the iPhone’s success, weren’t you?

    As of this Friday, you’ll be able to use BlackBerry’s own software to sync contacts, calendar items and appointments, notes and task from sources such as iCal, Address Book, and Entourage, among others. You can also add and remove software downloaded via BlackBerry’s App World using the Desktop Manager, which is good news for people who’ve been trying to manage their fledgling collections all via the device itself.

    BlackBerry users will also be able to sync playlists from iTunes, so long as the format is compatible. Last time I checked (just last week), the Tour still didn’t play back .m4a files. It recognized them and was able to retrieve track information, but it wouldn’t actually play them.

    People with RIM devices will also be able to schedule and encrypt backups for their phones, and install software updates from the desktop. BlackBerry Desktop Manager is designed to run on OS X 10.5.5 and above. BlackBerry devices used with Desktop Manager for Mac must be running OS 4.2 or higher. Set your alarm for 10 a.m. PDT on Friday, because that’s when the download goes live at the official BlackBerry site.

    Main Story: