The Apple event is scheduled to start from 10 AM PST time (San Francisco) -- or 6 PM GMT (London time). From what is known, we should expect a new iPhone (iPhone 4G is the most probable name), a new software for iPhone (iPhone OS 4.0), and iSlate (Apple Tablet).We'll see what Apple will announce at event (so far, on internet appeared photos of expected iSlate and iPhone OS 4.0).
Another good extension for Chrome is, again, made for YouTube. It will make the white area from the browser darken, so you will have the sensation that you're in a cinema. I really like the feature. Try it by searching "Turn Off the Lights" in extensions (extensions homepage is here) and selecting the second result (Mac users goes here). It has a button, on the right part of the address bar.
You have probably read my article about the new feature from YouTube, that one related to HTML 5 content (if not, go here). The extension I'm now telling you about, will try to deliver you the content from YouTube into HTML 5, instead of Flash Player. It is available for all platforms (Mac users goes here), and has no button, it only does what I've told you (in the background). It's an interesting extension, because you will know anytime that the content is viewed through HTML 5, if available.
Chrome 4.0 version for Windows has been recently launched, but there is no 4.0 version for Mac yet (officially). But I have Googled a little, and I found a dev version of 4.0 for Mac, which is very close to the official version. I've installed it, and the main changes are that it supports extensions (finally!!), and the webpages are loading promptly than before (before meaning 4.0 beta).
Mac OS X is for sure, if not the best, the most complex OS ever developed. I'm talking now especially about its shortcuts, which are very various and not guessable in any case. For example, do you know how to take a screenshot into a Mac OS X based computer? All you have to do is to press at the same time the following buttons: "Shift", "cmd" (Apple key), and number "3". A screenshot will be instantly sent to you desktop. This is really simple. Give it a try! :)
Ubuntu launched their 10.04 Alpha 2 release on 7th January, and I've decided to test it now. So far, it has nothing new comparing to 9.10 Karmic Koala. Except probably that it boots a little faster.
The installation took a normal time, similar to 9.10. The boot-up takes about 18 seconds, which is better than 9.10, but I'm curious if the final release will attend what Ubuntu promised, less than 10 seconds to boot. That would be a real performance and a big challenge for any OS developer.
On my Dell D610 laptop everything works out-of-the-box, including wi-fi. After the first boot the touchpad stopped responding, but, using the trackpoint I gave it a reboot and now it is working. There are some problems with the notifications, which appear in a strange way. View the following image to see how What else I can tell you is that at a first look, the OS moves pretty fast, but the applications are crashing frequently and easily. I observed several flickers of the screen, so I guess it might be a problem with the driver of something like that.
Ubuntu 10.04 (so far, Alpha 2) comes with Empathy as a default internet messenger, Firefox 3.5.7 for brwsing, and OpenOffice 3.1 suite. There's also a new application included, named Pitivi Video Editor.
The 10.04 will be a LTS (long term support) distribution, so it should be an high stable release, which will be supported for 3 years for desktop edition, and 5 years for the server one. The LTS releases are launched every two years, while normal releases are launched every 6 months.
Here's the calendar of the Ubuntu 10.04 release schedule:
Ubuntu is capable of impressionable desktop effects, which are usually activated automatically from the first boot. If not, you can activate them by going on System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effect and selecting "Extra".
This will work if your computer started with 3D Accelerated drivers, and if not, when you select the "Extra" effects, you will be asked if you want to activate the drivers. This is done very simple, you don't need to know anything about Linux, don't worry.
If you want advanced desktop effects, I will recommend you to install two applications. I'm using them on my computers with Linux, and I am recommending them to you because I know that they are simple to be configured and won't create conflicts.
Go to Synaptic Package Manager (System -> Preferences) and there search for the following two applications, and mark them both for installation (the search will return two applications, mark them both):
After they have been installed, go again to System-> Preferences -> Appearance-> Visual Effects, and select "Custom". Now go to the applications you have just installed (found on System -> Preferences and one of them is called "CompizConfig Settings Manager", and the other one is called "Simple CompizConfig Settings Manager") and start customizing the way your computer moves and behaves.
Please note that this will work on 3D Accelerated drivers, which are either automatically activated, or are manually activated by you). If you can't find the driver for your graphic card, try to search on manufacturer's website (you will need advanced knowledge for configuration).
If you want to view YouTube video content, you don't need anymore Flash Player. And this is because the videos from YouTube can now be played on HTML 5, which runs the h.264 video codec. This plays the content faster and uses less resources, compared to the older way (with Flash). YouTube says that it's just an experiment, and from what I've already seen, the videos are running on the whole black area (which makes, because of the bigger image, its quality lower), and are playing faster than before. And I like the idea.
What do you need : Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame installed (Download Chrome Frame here). Anything else you need to know is that there is no fullscreen viewer and some videos that have ads can't be currently played using HTML 5.
The new version of Firefox, the browser developed by Mozilla, will be available for download tomorrow, January 21st, at 9:30 am Pacific Standard Time, says Mozilla. Currently, release candidate is the latest version available, which is generally about 90-95% of the final release.
A new feature is "Personas", which is nothing more than many themes for Firefox. Other feature implemented in Firefox 3.6 is a mechanism which will check for newer updates for your plug-ins, in order to keep you updated and make the navigation as safe as possible. Mozilla also claims that their browser is now 25% faster than the previous version, which makes it the fastest browser (any company says that when they launch a new version). But there is nothing surprising, that could attract me in order to leave Chrome...
There are some free alternatives for Office suite provided by Microsoft, the most popular being OpenOffice (or, from what I saw, it think so). But there is an ... unexpected rival for those Office solution providers, which is Google. It has its own free Office suite, named Google Docs, which worked unexpected well for me so far. It is more than an Office packet, it's practically a little OS dedicated strictly for Office tasks. The saving procedure is processed on Google's servers, so everything you saved will be accessible from anywhere, with any OS, without an Office pack on that computer. Everything you do is exclusively done through your browser. You can create documents, presentations, onto Google Docs, or you can directly upload them into their native format. You can upload even pictures, feature which should be used only on faster connections.
I really recommend you to use this Office suite, but don't base exclusively on it, save your work on computer/external drive, just for any case. You need an account at Google. http://docs.google.com
A big event has been announced by Apple some time ago, for the date of 27th January, on San Francisco, where everyone hopes that Apple will announce iSlate or iPhone 4G, or why not, both of them. ( these are the most probable names of expected products, even if they were not confirmed officially yet).
But it seems that Nokia couldn't let this simply happen, and announced, recently (few days ago), an event on London, UK, scheduled for 21 of January, inviting those who Apple already did. In my opinion, Nokia showed just how desperate it's, being afraid of Apple.
But I'm really excited about what will Apple announce there ( I'm a fan of Apple, sorry Nokia). What do you think about what Nokia is doing ? Which event do you think will have the most important effect ?
Even if Ubuntu is a great OS, it might have some problems on laptops with their touchpads. My laptop's touchpad is made by Synamptics, which runs, natively, on Linux, but for changing the way it responds and behaves, it needs a driver. The best way you can get it is via Ubuntu Software Center (located on Applications). Within the software center, search for "Touchpad". Click on the right button from the first result, and click install. Now, it will ask for your password (which you entered when you have installed Ubuntu). Wait for the installation to finish, then close software center, and go to System -> Preferences -> Touchpad. Now you can modify the way your touchpad moves, behaves, and others.
As you probably know already, a few days ago there was an attack which came from China, against about 38 companies (announced till now), the most discussed being against Google. Many experts say that the attack has been one of the most sophisticated that took place in the last years. After Google confirmed the attack, they said that they think about closing their business in China. But this thing is almost impossible to happen (the probably said that because they were angry after the attack). The attack attempt to get access to Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, which failed, says Google.
Another company attacked is Adobe, but it has less importance, everybody being focused especially on the attack against Google. The attack seems to came through Internet Explorer, many users being warned to stop using Internet Explorer until Microsoft launches a patch to fix the vulnerability which affects all versions (come on.... how many users are regularly updating Windows/Internet Explorer ?).
Twitter, the popular micro-blogging platform, is a network that anybody "should use". It's the best socializing platform I've ever seen. I've joined it about 4 months ago, and I'm actively using it every day. Twitter helped me to find really nice people from any part of the world, and also generated some traffic to my blog. But it also helped me to get the latest news very easy, in minutes after they were released on the internet, without having to wait for the magazines I'm usually reading until they appear.
Twitter has grown dramatically in the last year, so their servers are sometimes out of capacities when something important happens, and everybody tweets about it. Due to this aggressive increase of users, many programs appeared which can allow you to connect to Twitter in other ways than via "Web" method, providing you different ways to use Twitter, and many options to make it more efficient.
Yahoo!'s "Meme", a kind of Twitter, was launched by Yahoo! but so far, it has no success. I'm just thinking about how much time can Google resist without buying Twitter, because the more they wait, the more they will have to pay for it. And even if Google didn't declare anything about a possible acquisition of Twitter, many experts said that now is the moment when Google should take Twitter.
So, if you didn't do it already, I invite you on http://twitter.com/ to create an account, and then to start following me. My username is "ITeer". Enjoy Twitter !
Nexus One has been recently launched, being already very popular. The phone is very performant, having inside a "monster" Qualcomm QSD 8250 Snapdragon ARM processor which runs at 1 GHz, assisted by 510 MB of RAM, which makes the device one of the most powerful available on market. It has 512 MB storage memory, and a 4GB microSD card included, with the possibility to insert storage cards up to 32 GB.
The screen (capacitive one, of course) has 3,7 inches, and a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, with 100,000:1 contrast ratio and 1 ms response rate. It has a battery which a capacity of 1400 mAh, which offers up to 290 hours on standby, 10 hours while talking, and 5 hours while browsing. The camera has 5.0 megapixels, with recording possibility, geotagging, auto focus, and flash LED.
What I don't like about it is the plastic it is made of, which gives a sensation of cheap phone. Users complained, so far, about problems with connection through 3G networks. The phone runs on 2.1 version of Android, and it is available without any contract (network free) for 529 dollars.
What do you think about the Nexus One? Do you like it or not? Do you have plans about buying one, or you have already got one?
Google's browser, Chrome, is getting more and more popularity every day, and it could be, in the future, a great rival for both Firefox and Internet Explorer. It offers a very simple and efficient interface, which looks nice on Windows Vista/7. I dislike it's interface on Windows XP, but this is it. The application moves very fast, which is very important for slower PC's. The webpages are displayed very fast too, faster than any other browser available in normal version (I'm telling you this because there is a pre-Alpha version of Opera 10.50 available, which seems to be quite faster; read more about Opera 10.50 pre-Alpha here).
Chrome is available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Its great extensions are available for Windows and Linux versions so far, but Google is planning to send them to Mac soon. I observed different problems for the beta versions (which you must have for extensions), like intense using of resources or unresponsive state, especially on Linux, and in generally after using it continuously for several hours.
For those who recently turned from Windows XP to 7, there is an (very) useful option that can make programs made for Windows XP, to run on Windows 7, even if they're not compatible with it. All you have to do is to right-click on an application, click "Properties", then go on "Compatibility" tab. You now have to click on "Run this program in compatibility mode for:", and select "Windows XP (Service Pack 2)".
This trick works to applications, games, and even drivers. Even if this usually works, it is recommended to use the Windows 7 designed versions, especially for drivers, which may have different problems if they are ran this way (may be unstable, cause crashes, and even may not work at all).
Warning: this trick may not work for any application; i'm not responsable for any loss/damage you can occur by using this trick
The mobile version of the Twitter website offers limited options, and as we know, Internet Explorer welcomes you to the hell when you try to view desktop versions of websites. So, it is not a satisfying solution when we are talking about Twitter on Windows Mobile devices. There are a little few clients for Twitter available for Windows Mobile, but most of them completely suck.
But I found, after trying different applications, PockeTwit, which will give you many options for Twitter, exactly like those applications which are found on the iPhone. The program runs good, I can't say anything bad about it, except that the interface could be made a little more clear (its quality is not the best on HP iPAQ 111). The official website says you need .NET Framework Compact 2.0 or higher for the application, but it runs fine for me without it. If you need options, just slide right or left on the screen (into the application) to get them.
Some of the most requested features for Ubuntu are probably video and calling functionality for Yahoo! Messenger. The chatting functions for Y!M network are assured by Pidgin Internet Messenger and, from 9.10, by Empathy Internet Messenger (as default multi-chatting service).You can't use or view webcams, or call or receive calls, like as in the official Y!M for Windows.
There is a very complex (maybe too complex), Yahoo! Messenger dedicated chatting client, which can bring voice and webcam functionalities to you. It's called GYachE (or GYachI). It has many functionalities... such as webcam and voice calling (if the drivers from Ubuntu can permit this), mail checker, very customizable chatting options and many, many others (trust me, the're so many).
Program is perfect for experts (they should get how it works fast), but the others, it might take a little to learn how to use it and what it can. The interface is complicated, and I think that they could make it a little more... organized, but for me, it's fine. You can hide offline contacts by clicking where it says "Friends: xxx Online: xx", and selecting "Don't Show Offline Buddies".
The current version is 1.2.2, designed for Karmic, and it's pretty buggy. For installation, you must have an internet connection available because it needs some dependencies from the internet.
If the program becomes unstable, let it like that until it starts responding again, otherwise it has bigger chances to crash.
I've turned my laptop to Ubuntu a few hours ago, and, like usual, I installed a few programs, including TweetDeck. After I rebooted, I noticed that there were no shortcuts for TweetDeck anymore. I searched for it on Applications -> Internet, where isn't, and it is not even on my panel (where I put it after installation). It's not the first time I get this problem, so I've decided to report the problem to TweetDeck, hoping they have a solution (I searched through Google, but it seems that no one has reported problems like these with TweetDeck).
TweetDeck launches and works if I press "Launch TweetDeck" button on their website, so the installation is intact. I guess there are only some issues with shortcuts.If guys from TweetDeck will give me a solution, I'll post it here, even it will be to go where TweetDeck is installed and send from there a shortcut to desktop.
Update: I've talked to somebody from TweetDeck support team, and he told me that it sounds like being an issue with Adobe Air. He recommended me to reinstall TweetDeck, but since Adobe Air is managing it, I wasn't able to find a solution to uninstall it. I've just played a little with Adobe Air (just a few clicks inside it) and after I found TweetDeck into "Accessories". I don't know how it got there, what I know is that it was reseated in somehow, because that "welcome" window appears again (I set it when everything was normal not to open again).
So, I recommend you searching for the shortcut into "Accessories", and if you can't find it there, try to play a little with Adobe Air, eventually give it an uninstall, and then install it again.
I opened my laptop a few hours ago, because I had to do a project for school, and after Windows 7 booted completely, I found a desktop without any shortcuts. I saw only the bar from the bottom and the widgets. I tough that there was a boot failure... so I gave it a reboot, hoping it will help. But, surprising, the were still no icons after reboot. So I've started Google-ing for any problems about that, but with no result so far. I don't know what happened.
I've been using Windows 7 Enterprise (its the free trial) for about 25 days and I have experienced multiple problems using it, so I'm not satisfied by it. I think I'll turn to Ubuntu on my laptop. The experience between Ubuntu and Windows 7 is comparable, and I would say that Ubuntu is better (my opinion). And the difference between Mac (which I'm using right now) and Windows is enormous, Mac being definitely better.
If you know how to fix the problem with shortcuts, or if you have the same problems, please leave a comment.
Since Google launched Chrome for Mac and Linux users, I have been using it as my default browser. I discovered about one week ago Google Extensions on my beta version for Linux (the only one available for Linux),and I have to tell you that they're making Chrome the best browser (without any doubts). But at that time, Google was making a big mistake. Extensions are working only on Beta versions (Linux or Windows, no Mac), but their link for Chrome Beta for Windows was invalid.
I'm sure that was fixed very fast, but I checked for that only today, and now it works. The extensions are nice, I've already added one that will auto-replay YouTube videos, other that will shorten my links via bit.ly, and other one that helps me posting to my blogger account. Yes, that Chrome is a Beta version (4.0), but it works exactly like the stable one (3.0), with little problems so far (these were found even on stable version).
A new virus that attacks HI5 has been seen for the first time a few days ago. Users reported that it requests them to download "hi5update.exe" which will steal their password after installation. It has also been reported that the virus can be found on a few Romanian websites. The main idea is that you should NOT download an executable file which is named "hi5update.exe". I found informations about this virus from Romanian bloggers, who already submitted it to anti-virus companies in order to help them to offer users protection as soon as possible.
If you're already infected, try to do the following:
I ever wanted to have the ability to run different content/scripts on my Windows Mobile based HP iPAQ 111 PDA, including Flash Player. For YouTube I got a little program, but there are many other good sites for music/videos that are using Adobe's Flash Player. But I never got Flash working natively on any browser for Windows Mobile. As Internet Explorer can't display almost anything as it should, I tried browsing the internet with Opera, but due to reduced RAM memory of the PDA (64 MB), it remained frequently without memory and crashed. And there was still no Flash Player...
But recently, I discovered SkyFire. It has, so far, any scripts that I needed. My blogs are both displayed perfectly, and so any other site. Flash Player works without any problems, on all the sites I navigated through until now. If you are viewing a page exactly like in a computer/laptop browser, it's quality will be reduced in order to keep the device running fine. While zooming in, page quality will increase, because the power needed to display the page decreases as the area that needs to be displayed is getting smaller. The only problem I found is that the browser hits for desktop version on pages, and if you try to view a mobile version of a site it will generally turn you to its desktop version.
So, if you're satisfied with Opera, you'll love SkyFire. Available for download from the official site here (Symbian version also available): http://get.skyfire.com/
DNS - domain name system - represents, in the most simple terms, a system on the internet which will automatically attributes to the internet address you're trying to view, the correct ip address. For example, if you type in the address bar of the browser "www.google.com", your DNS will correlate it with "126.96.36.199". Without the DNS, browsing the internet would be very difficult, because we should have to know millions of ip addresses.
There are many DNS services available. Most users are browsing the internet with default settings provided by ISP (internet service provider), so they're using the domain name systems provided by the ISP. Here come's the problem. These domain name systems might not work very fast, and they can be even not synchronized with some of the webpages on the internet, or they can even redirect some webpages (which is completely unpleasant).
There are a few DNS providers on the internet, that can offer you better internet experience than your ISP can. OpenDNS offers fast DNS services, for free or not, depending on the quality of services you want to have. If you make an account at OpenDNS (free), you can view detailed informations about what you're doing on the internet, and you can activate if you want, different filters, for blocking access to websites that contains pornography, hacking tutorials, mail services, messenger services, and many others. You can even have protection against phishing, botnet, and if you pay, against malware.
Google launched recently their own DNS services, and they actually offer the fastest internet on most of the regions on the globe. On my network (ClickNet Romania) they're the fastest. They're offering automatically protection against malware, but I don't know how efficient it is.
Now you probably want to know how to change domain name systems. If you're connected to the internet through a router or a modem, you should firstly try to change DNS addresses there (router/modem). If you connect to the internet directly (your computer makes the connection) or if your router or modem is set to bridge the connection or has automatically settings, try to change DNS addresses from your connection properties on your computer. Here is a guide from Google which will tell you how to do that: http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/docs/using.html.
Opera 10.05 pre-alpha is now available. The new version has a nicer changed interface, and moves faster than the previous one. It seems that opera is again the leader when we are talking about the load time of the webpages, but I personally couldn't prove that. I will soon make some tests on the latest versions of browsers, and then I will tell you this version of Opera is the fastest browser available. As it is a pre-alpha, it is still recommended for testing purposes only. It might have problems displaying some websites, as it's not the final version. I can't actually post from it to my blog, because when I'm trying to do that, it gives me a 404 error and says that the page is not found (that's a strange error, Opera!). But I like it so far, so I think that the final version will be a real success.
Getting informations about skiing locations from all over the world on your iPhone is very simple. There are several applications that can do this job, but the application that I'm using is called "Snow Report". After the last update, the application loads really fast, and works without any problem. It can automatically detect the location where you are via GPS, or you can choose the location from a list. The maximum number of locations it can store is 12.
For each location, it will display how much snow is expected for the following 24 hours, 48 hours, and the following 7 days, the depth of the snow on top and on base, then, if the resort is open or not and how many lifts and trails are open and closed. Then it will show the temperature at the resort and the condition of the skiing surface, followed by three buttons which will show the following when pressed: five day forecast, resort webcam, and resort information. At the bottom, it will show how much time ago the informations were last updated.
The application is, of course, free, and it can be found on the AppStore by searching "snow and ski report by rei" (the application will have an icon on which is written "REI").