Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Is Facebook down at this moment? Some users report so.

There are some users currently (1:50 PM GMT time) reporting that Facebook is down, via Twitter. It is not clear, however, what's happening, because there are other users reporting that Facebook works just fine for them. I have to mention that Facebook works for me quite well. Downrightnow.com, which is the website that monitors lots of services and reports if a service or another is working or not, is currently displaying Facebook as "Likely Service Disruption".

This state comes from users that reporting both on Twitter and on downrightnow that Facebook is down, while the Facebook officials didn't confirm (yet) that their service has any kind of problems.

If you want to see the progress of Facebook, just follow downrightnow.com. If you are an user of Facebook, please leave a comment telling us either if you have problems in accessing Facebook, or if works fine for you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

AMD officially killed the ATI brand.

AMD decided to kill the ATI brand after they made some studies which showed that people don't care too much about it. In case you didn't know, ATI has been bought a few years ago by AMD, because it wanted to enter on the market of graphic cards (and AMD considered that buying ATI and starting a fight directly against NVIDIA was the best option).

Starting from now, every new card which will be released by ATI AMD is no longer going to be called ATI. This is a bad news for some people who really liked the ATI brand, as they might now consider of turning to NVIDIA. Or....not. But, anyways, I don't see this as a quite intelligent move made by AMD. First graphic cards to be named AMD are going to be launched later this year.

OK, this is going to be really weird. How can you say AMD Radeon 5870? 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Samsung sells over 1 million Galaxy S devices in the US.

Samsung announced that it sold over 1 millions Galaxy S phones in the US, fonarena reports. Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile, says that the availability of Galaxy S to a large number of carriers, has given to millions of customers the chance to getting one.

Galaxy S is currently sold in the US under the following names:

  • Samsung Captivate (AT&T)
  • Samsung Epic 4G (Sprint)
  • Samsung Vibrant (T-Mobile)
  • Samsung Fascinate (Verizon)
Moreover, it is soon going to be available at U.S. Cellular and Cellular South.

It is the time for Apple and RIM to wake up and see the reality. Selling 1 million devices on a highly competitive market isn't really easy. Samsung has became an important competitor on the market, and surely this hits directly Apple and the market-share of its iOS.

Read more on fonearena.

Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha changes its look, I hope you like orange....

Ubuntu 10.10 gets, while still in Alpha 3, a quite big change at its interface. The default wallpaper has been updated a little (this isn't that big change), but there were new, much cooler wallpapers added from which to choose. Its theme has also been updated, and even if the older one was changing with every update, it has been removed and newer Ambiance and Radiance themes were added.

Ambiance looks really good, nice finished, not like the older one, which seemed so unfinished. Regarding to the new Radiance, it looks so...white. It isn't currently very pleasant for the eyes (it's 9:30 P.M. right now and it's completely dark outside, maybe because of that), and, most probably, changing the brightness of the monitor to a (much) lower value would make it pleasant (or trying it while there's sunny outside).

Anyway, you will feel with these new themes like you are returning a little bit in the past. They are bringing back some of that orange I liked very much at Ubuntu, but now it is much more vibrant than before. Window buttons, which are still on the left side (and I hope they'll remain there), look quite strange now. They are a little bigger than before, but they are interesting.

I can't take screenshots (I don't know why, Ubuntu simply doesn't want to take them), and that's why I am sending you to my friend from WebUpd8, which has made a few screenshots of everything which is new in Ubuntu 10.10 Beta.

I want to remember you that on September 2nd the Beta version of Ubuntu 10.10 is going to be released, the Release Candidate comes on September 30th (it represents around 95% of the final product), and the Final Release is expected on October 10th.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fennec (Mozilla Firefox) for Android, or how to run out of storage on your device.

The first Alpha version of Fennec (a.k.a Firefox Mobile) has been released yesterday. The advantage which Mozilla wants to use against other browsers is the possibility of adding add-ons in the browser, in order to increase its functionality. Mozilla says that their new mobile browser tries to bring the desktop experience (which is not something extraordinary, however), on the mobile devices.

Everything looks good, at least in theory. In practice, the program itself takes around 30 MB just to install, and this is way too much for some Android devices (eg. Nexus One, which has only <200 MB internal storage). I've successfully installed it and I remained with only around 100 KB free storage on the internal memory. But there's a problem. When I launch it, the screen stays blank and then it returns to launcher. The application has the possibility to move to SD card, and I've done that, but the situation remains the same (the application doesn't launch).

You can read more about Fennec and download it from the official Mozilla blog, here. If you want to install it, make sure you have at least 30 MB of free internal storage, otherwise the device will warn you that you're completely running out of internal storage.

Friday, August 27, 2010

TweetDeck announces new Beta version for Android, includes few new features.

TweetDeck announced today their new Beta version for Android, v0.9.5. This new version brings some updates and features, such as:

  • Full compatibility with all Android 1.6 devices and above.
  • Added option to remove Facebook, Buzz and ForeSquare accounts, but also to delete tweets sent by you.
  • Added multi-Twitter account compose.
  • New More button for Twitter profiles and updates, allowing users to: Reply All, Sharing, Translation, Copy update text, Copy update URL.
  • Tapping on top of a column automatically updates that column. 
I really used to be a fan of TweetDeck when I was a user of iOS, but now my favorite Twitter client is HootSuite (both on my Android device and on my computers). TweetDeck seems so unfinished on Android (it's normal, however, as it is still a Beta version), and I think that just the possibility of using other social networks from the same client (such as Facebook or Buzz), isn't a good enough reason just to choose TweetDeck.

The complete changelog of this new Beta version of TweetDeck is available here.

TweetDeck v0.9.5 is available for download from here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Exclusive: Install Google Earth 1.1 on your Android 2.2 device (without Market) !!

You probably heard that today Google launched "Google Earth", version 1.1 for Android 2.2 devices. It should be normally available for download via the Market (as everywhere writes that) or via a scan of its QR code, but, unfortunately, it isn't. Or at least, I can't find it in the Android Market, and there are many users complaining about this. If you are one of these users, I have a good news for you. I found a way of installing Google Earth on Android, without the use of Market.

We are going to use another application in order to install Google Earth, and app that has similar functionality to the Market. So, open the Android Market, and search, download, and install "AppBrain App Market". In the meanwhile, go to AppBrain.com from your desktop (most recommended) and create an account using your Google account.

When you finished creating your account, open AppBrain App Market, and sign in with your Google account (you should see in the upper right corner "Sign in"). When you have successfully signed in on your account in AppBrain App Market, go again in the Android Market, and download "Fast Web Installer". It will ask after launch for the permission to your Google account, so give it, and then the app will quit by itself.

The following step is to go on your browser from your Android device to AppBrain.com (you should be automatically logged on; if not, login with your Google account), search for "Google Earth", click on the first result, and then click "Install" (not "Download directly from the Android market!). The download will start automatically, and you'll have Google Earth on your device installed in a few moments.

So, enjoy Google Earth and if this really helped you, please share this page with your friends! :-)

HootSuite say Twitter API is currently experiencing a critical issue that affects some third-party clients.

HootSuite announced on their official blog that Twitter's API is currently experiencing a critical issue, and that is the reason of which some third-party clients (including HootSuite), have some problems. They said that "Home" and "Mention" streams are currently not updating correctly, and this also affects the users of iOS and Android. Additionally, some users may also experience crashes when they try to view certain streams.

They also said that the guys from Twitter are aware of the problem, and they are working in order to fix this.

You can view the current status of Twitter's API here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seesmic force close problem was fixed a few minutes ago via an update !!

Seesmic announced a few minutes ago on their official twitter account the availability of an update in the Market, which promises to fix the problem with the Twitter API users from all over the world had today (which was causing Seesmic to force close). However, it seems that the problem has been fixed for the previous version also (maybe Twitter changed something at their APIs in the same time?).

The new version is 1.4.3, and yes, I confirm that it fixes the problem.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Setting up WDS between Asus WL 520GU and 520GC + WPA encryption gets the whole network into a conflict.

I've decided a few days ago that in order to improve the security of my wireless network, I should change the encryption of the network from WEP (which can be decrypted in under 60 seconds, that's proved), to WPA (which can resist even a year to a decryption attack, experts say).  The reasons was that I had some doubts about the devices operating on my network, but everything is clear now (I have over 10 devices usually connected on the network).

I have two Asus routers, a WL 520GU one (with print server), and a WL 520GC one. I've written some time ago an article on how to set up WDS (or Wireless Distribution System) between them (a method of improving signal into your house for example, by setting them to operate in the same way, under the same name), which is available here (it should be applicable to almost any other models of Asus routers).

So, let's return to the problem from the title. I've changed their both encryption method to WPA, and I've let them continue working. Everything worked smooth for a few tens of minutes, than my devices were disconnected.They reconnected very fast (a few seconds), and continued working, again, for a few tens of minutes.

Then, suddenly, the entire network crashed, all devices were disconnected, and all tries to reconnect failed, as the main router (from which comes the internet connection) was refusing to give addresses to the devices requesting them. I said that it refused to give addresses, because it is practically the one doing the whole job, with the second one only repeating what it "says" to the network. As I wasn't able to receive the addresses, there was no possibility of getting into the routers in order to check the reports to see what could possibly fail like this. A restart of the routers (disconnecting their power cables) made the network start working again (this happened somewhere around 1:30 A.M. in the morning).

And they continued working until the following afternoon, when the network crashed again, creating exactly the same situation. I've searched for an update for the firmware of the routers, but there wasn't any. I've also searched to see if somebody else was having the same problem, and I found a few users reproducing quite the same situation, but the provided fixes were not helping at all.

I changed the encryption back to WEP in that afternoon, and everything has been working perfectly since then (very stable). I can't imagine what could be the problem that caused that crashes, probably that there's an incompatibility between these routers when they're operating in WDS while encrypted with WPA.

So, I repeat. If your Asus WDS crashes while secured with WPA, try changing that with WEP. Hope this helps you.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Apple about to patent a technology that allows them to detect if your iPhone was stolen or jailbroken.

Apple has made something like a....passion from patents. The last thing they want to do is to implement a technology which can detect if your phone has been stolen. This technology should help you in case if your device was stolen by notifying you about this situation and allowing you to remotely find it. However, the situation can stay a little bit different in practice, because Apple might be able to audiovisual spy you, by detecting if somebody with a different voice or face is using the device, and shutting down the device remotely.

But what's really worse, the technology should allow Apple to identify if the device has been jailbroken and unlocked, so they might have the possibility to kill the device remotely. A line in the patent also mentions that cellular carriers could shut down or cripple the device, if it is detected as jailbroken.

That's a good news for the retail, but for the customers, it is definitely something unacceptable.

You can read more on Engadget.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, declares really interesting things.

Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, claims that the young users of the internet will have, most probably, to change their names in the future because of data explosion and the lack of privacy which, in his opinion, is going to be a real problem. He warns that those users who share a lot of data on the internet, for example, their location in real-time with the help of FourSquare, are at an enormous danger. By regularly following somebody's location, there is a possibility to predict that that somebody is going to be in a certain location, at a certain time.

What's worse, Facebook is the social network which is going to create the biggest problems for the young users of the internet. Eric says that by a simple search, pretending that you're a teenager now, any employer will able to find out anything about you. Practically, all what's there is only user generated content. The employer will see what you've done on Facebook, you're profile data, what you've shared with others, you're comments, and even your photos, so the employer can immediately make an idea of who you are.

And the problem is that this data can be stored even for many years, so even if you've changed a lot and you're a really serious person now, because you had a lot of fun 10 years ago and you seemed like a crazy person, for example, an employer might refuse you.

He even says that CIA doesn't need to work very much to profile you. You already profiled yourself. They just need to browse a little bit, and they'll find what they need. They recently bought web software capable of predicting the future, and this is something which says a lot.

Only the time can prove that what Google's CEO predicts now is true. And if it is, I don't see a bright future for many of us (nowadays teenagers).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04.1 released, if you used Update Manager regularly, you already got it.

Ubuntu 10.04.1 has been released, WebUpd8 announced yesterday. Like usually, this version puts together all the updates that Ubuntu 10.04 had until now. So, if you used the update manager regularly, you already have it. It has been released just for those two want to make a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04 (because this version has all the updates until now and they don't have to wait to download and install them).

This is what is called a maintenance update, and it's available for both desktop and server versions, and for both i386 and amd64 architectures.

It's available for download at the known, official download page, here.

AccuWeather Android app gets an update which breaks it.

AccuWeather.com is probably one of the most known weather websites in the world (together with weather.com), and it has, of course, a dedicated app in the Android Market. It has been recently updated (I don't know exactly when because I just came from Greece and I couldn't see there any updates because of the weak connection I had), so I updated it today.

It has a much cooler interface than before, but, unfortunately, it crashes every time I try to open it. It can be used for about one second, then, it stops working and has to be force closed. I'm running Android 2.2 on a Nexus One, but it seems that this doesn't matter, as everybody reports the same problem after update. I've already reported the problem, and the guys from AccuWeather have to move fast, because even if the app currently has 3 stars and a half, I'm sure that its rating is going to fall soon.