Sunday, March 21, 2010

Opera 10.51 for Ubuntu is available.

Opera claims to be the fastest browser on the earth, so do you want to know if this is true or not? You can now test this by yourself if you are using Linux, because an official build of Opera 10.51 is available for download. Please note that this is not a final release (on the official website only 10.10 is available for Linux), but it works pretty good.

More details can be found on WebUpd8, by clicking here, and the official download link is here.

How about making traffic together?

FreeViral.com offers a free traffic system. It uses a really interesting mechanism, which I'm going to explain you in the next paragraphs. Please read the entire article in order to understand everything.

First, you are going to register on a website. Then, you will receive some ads that are going to be displayed on your website (you choose how many, and where). But the secret of this system stays in registration.

When you register, you have to view 7 websites which have 7 codes needed for registration. Then, after you put that banners on your website, when someone clicks on them, if we wants to use the same traffic system, he will need to register in the same way (as you did). Then, if somebody else comes from his site and wants to use the same traffic system, he HAS to view your website (which will be placed on the second place) to get the registration code. If there is anybody else that registers from the latest user, he will have to visit your website too (which will be on the third position).

I know that this is not simple to understand, but if you do, then it's simple. The main idea is that this is a mechanism which works, and your traffic increases, if you promote your FreeViral.com website as you should (you receive it after registration). And the best is that it never stops growing, it increases without any limit.

To register, just go here (many details, instructions, and exemples are also here): http://www.freeviral.com/?r=322110 (registration form is at the bottom). Let's grow together!!

BitDefender apologizes for a faulty update.

BitDefender launched yesterday a security update for all platforms. The problem is that it has an unnormal behavior under x64 version of Windows. It detects multiple files from Windows and from BitDefender as being infected with Trojan.FakeAlert.5, so they are quarantined. And this is what happens: many of these computers are unable to boot anymore, or if they are able to boot, other vital applications have higher chances to fail.

This update has been removed from download servers, so if don't have any problems, you can update BitDefender. If you are experiencing issues and eventually you can't boot, instructions can be found by clicking here. You may also try a system restore if you can't boot (if possible).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Very interesting videos showing the making of Nexus One.

Searching over the YouTube I accidentally found a series of videos which are documenting the making of Nexus One. They are only 5, they each take you only a few minutes, and you shouldn't miss them. Watch them:
  • Episode 1: Concept & Design: click here.
  • Episode 2: Display & 3D Framework: click here.
  • Episode 3: Testing: click here.
  • Episode 4: Manufacturing: click here.
  • Episode 5: Day One: click here.
I didn't post them here directly (embed) because they are going to be played via Flash, and users with slower computers might hate me then.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ubuntu One: free personal storage.

Ubuntu One is so far one of the best services of this type I've seen. It allows you to upload files from your computer, download them on any computer, and even share them with your friends, if you want so. A free Ubuntu One account allows you to have up to 2 GB of files uploaded, and, if you need more space, you can update it up to 50 GB for a $10 fee/month. You don't need any advanced knowledge in order to use this service, as it is simple and also fast.

Go and start using Ubuntu One: https://one.ubuntu.com/ (if you don't have Launchpad account, select "Subscribe")

Please note that it worked for me only under Chrome and Firefox (latest versions). Opera 10.50 wasn't able to display my files, and IE 6 displays everything wrong (I haven't tested it on IE 8, it might work into it).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Put Google Chrome buttons on the left (for Ubuntu 10.04).

Even Ubuntu changed its theme and putted the windows buttons on the left, Chrome is still using its own buttons designed by Google, which are on the right. This might create a lot of confusion for the users who updated to 10.04, because sometimes they have to work with the windows on the left (for almost everything) and sometimes with them on the right (for Chrome), and it's not pleasant at all, trust me.

So, if you need to change the buttons from Google Chrome from right to left, all you have to do, is to go on Chrome's settings (click on the tool icon from the right and click options). Here, go on the "Personal Staff" tab and check "Use system title bar and borders". This is all. Google Chrome should now be looking like this:


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CONFIRMED: Google is now selling a new version of Nexus One compatible with AT&T 3G.


Yesterday, Google has announced that Nexus one is available in a new version. Since yesterday, the Nexus One has been compatible with most 3G carriers worldwide. However, AT&T and Rangers Wireless from Canada are using a 3G frequency which is incompatible with the Nexus One. But with this additional version of Nexus, Google makes it compatible with the mentioned networks. Now, if you want to buy a Nexus One, you can select if you need this additional version right on the official site (when you make the order):

More on official Google blog here and also on engadget.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Will Windows Mobile 7 come in September, with LG?

After the announcement of Windows Mobile 7 at MWC (Mobile World Congress), rumors about the first phone which is going to have Microsoft's new mobile OS are heading towards both LG and HTC. The phone from LG will be most probably called "Apollo", and it seems that HTC is going to name their phone "Obsession". Nothing is unusual with the expected performances of these phones, except that LG Apollo might have a new Qualcomm processor, which will run at 1.3 GHz.

About the OS, Microsoft tries to attract people with the interface from "Zune", but I think that Windows Mobile 7 is going to be quite similar to Windows Mobile 6. Considering this, even if Microsoft tried to do a great impression at MWC, the new OS will still be pretty buggy, compatible with a low number of applications, and stylus-designed. The only new thing that is probably good related to Windows Mobile 7 is flash support, which Adobe announced that is working on.

LG Apollo is expected to come in September, while HTC Obsession is expected in October. I'm really interested what are they going to be capable of, but they will surely NEVER beat Android with their Windows Mobile 7.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Twitter comes to Ubuntu by default, in Lucid Lynx.


The new version of Ubuntu will be having Gwibber installed, a new social client that allows you to connect to
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • StatusNet
  • Qaiku
  • Facebook
  • FreindFeed
  • Digg
  • Identity.ca
Gwibber is already included into Alpha releases of Ubuntu 10.04, and it is a very simple and efficient client. It's easy to be configured, starts fast, moves fast, and it's easy to see your own tweets in the timeline.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The official Ubuntu 10.04 splash screen recorded.

If you have Ubuntu 10.04 up-to-date you now have by default the new Ubuntu 10.04 splash screen. Because of some errors (again), the splash screen will be displayed for a little period of time, but it's enough to see Ubuntu's new face, which is much nicer than the previous one. About it's new theme you can read more by clicking here.

Below is a recording with Ubuntu's splash and shut down screen (recorded with iPhone, sorry for low quality)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Testing Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) Alpha 3.

Today I've fully upgraded my laptop which had Ubuntu 9.10 on it, to Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. The whole upgrade process took some time, but the results are impressive. So, what I've observed in the following 30 mins after the installation:
  • The OS moves significantly faster than before
  • Notification problems from the previous Alpha release were resolved
  • Possible bug with the sound (or only with its icon)
  • Gwibber added (application, Twitter client)
  • Some changes in "Disk Utility" (interface)
  • Many programs have up-to-date versions
  • Human theme is pretty changed (most obvious changes are related to the panel)
  • 2 Completely NEW themes included; one is called "Radiance", and the other one is called "Ambiance"
About the themes. Ubuntu now has on all its themes the buttons for the windows on left (minimize, maximize and close), pretty much like Mac OS X. The new "Radiance" theme is completely inspirited from Mac OS X (wallpaper, colours, buttons, etc), and nobody can tell me that it isn't.

But they are differently placed. They are in the following order: maximize-minimize-close, order which is not present on any other OS. This seemed a little strange, but it didn't create confusion for me. Many Linux users declared that they don't agree with these new buttons, but if you want my opinion, I really like it. Update: the buttons are now placed like in the Mac OS X: close-minimize-maximize.

The other new theme called "Ambiance" is exactly the same with "Radiance", except that it has dark colours. I'm currently really tired, and I observed that "Ambiance" is really relaxing, compared to "Radiance" which has very bright colours and it's pretty unpleasant now. Below is the "Ambiance".
The OS is fully functional, like the previous version, and it is extremely stable (since it's an Alpha version, I was expecting to be pretty unstable). It offers quite a similar experience (compared to 9.10), except that is more responsive and moves faster.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Installing Windows XP under Ubuntu, via VirtualBox.

I wrote some time ago an article on which I described how to install Ubuntu on a Mac OS X via VirtualBox, and now I've installed a Windows XP on Ubuntu. So, it works pretty well, and the steps described in that article are 99% identical (with the exception of the first steps, where you select the Guest OS). The article can be found here: http://it-nthusiast.blogspot.com/2010/02/installing-ubuntu-on-macbook-via.html.

Some notes: You may have problems with the resolution, since the Guest OS doesn't see the Graphic Adapter. It will use a driver provided via Guest Additions. At times, Windows XP becomes quite unstable, but since now everything worked well (most of hardware worked out-of-the-box).

Below is screenshot which shows you my desktop, including my problem with my resolution.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It is 99% sure. Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx will have the buttons on left.

Since Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 3 came out, nobody knew for sure what was going to happen regarding the location of the buttons for closing, maximizing and minimizing windows.

Somebody put on the internet a photo in which the buttons were on left, then a developer put a photo in which the buttons were on right. Now, if you have Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 3 up-to-date, the buttons are on left. So, this is official now. The developers are trying to change the identity of Ubuntu from a normal OS (Windows like), to a Mac OS X like OS.

Many Ubuntu users declared that they don't like the new location of the buttons. I think that Windows users are now indirectly targeted with this new version of Ubuntu. If they were only once curious how is the experience on Mac OS X, they might now try Ubuntu (and most of them will like it, for sure). And the Mac OS X users are targeted directly, because they can now have a pretty similar experience on Ubuntu. And for those who don't agree with this change, they can put the buttons back on right, because Ubuntu is very customizable.

What seems quite weird is that the buttons are in the following order: maximize-minimize-close, while Mac OS X has maximize and close buttons inverted. This will cause confusion and had already caused for some users, and for unexperienced users will represent a real problem.

I really hope that the developers will let the buttons like they are now, because I like them like this. What do you think about this? Do you prefer the buttons on left or on right?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Google Nexus One vs HTC HD 2. Which one do you like more?


Which phone do you prefer? It is clear, both phones have similar hardware, but their OS's are completely different. HD2 runs Windows Mobile 6.5, while Nexus runs the Android 2.1, a pretty new OS, in full development, performant and fast. They are both clear the most powerful phones on market at the moment.

Which one do you prefer? Have you got any of these two phones? If yes, what do you think about it? Below is a table which shows you the differences between them.


Device

HTC HD2

HTC (Google) Nexus One

Operating system

Windows Mobile 6.5

Android 2.1

Processor

1 Ghz Snapdragon

1 Ghz Snapdragon

RAM

448 MB

512 MB

ROM

512 MB

512 MB

Screen

4.3 inch TFT, Capacitive

3.7 inch AMOLED, Capacitive

Multi-touch

Yes

Yes

Size

120.5 x 67 x 11 mm

119 x 59.8 x 11.5

Weight

157g

130 g

Battery

1230 mAH

1400 mAH

Battery life

Talk time 5.3 hours on 3G
Standby 390 hours on 3G

Talk time 7 hours on 3G
Standby 250 hours on 3G

Camera

5 megapixel with Dual LED Flash

5 megapixel with LED Flash

Video

640×480 at 30 fps

720×480 pixels at 20 fps

Connectors

3.5mm headphone, microUSB

3.5mm headphone, microUSB

Control

5 hardkeys, volume keys

4 softkeys, illuminated trackball, volume keys

Additional features

proximity sensor, digital compass, car cradle

proximity sensor, digital compass, dual microphone


Cloudo - Your virtual desktop OS.


Cloudo is a free internet application, which allows you to take everything from your computer with your, wherever you go, without carrying physically anything with you. It's practically a virtual PC. You access it via a username and a password, and you can upload, download and view different files on it.

It has basically a few applications and games available, but its secret consists into a XML editor. If you known XML, you can make anything using this markup language. Additionally, Cloudo offers an word editor, text editor, mail client, calendar, and even a contact manger. So, you can use it even you don't know XML at all. You can upload any file from your PC, and view them or download them anywhere on the earth. It's really simple. And free.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Apple banishes aggressively (and abusively, I think) apps from AppStore.

A large number of applications from the App Store capable of searching nearby access points, offering many details about them, and connecting to them, had disappeared recently. Today, I was surprised to discover this thing. So, I've googled a little, and I found that Apple pulled from the App Store intentionally some of that kind of applications.

There were more cases in which Apple pulled from App Store some applications, because they said that...they did it because for some legal reasons. I can't think of what could 6 WiFi manager apps (for current case) have violated, but I'm pretty sure that they did it because that's what they wanted to.

Recently, Apple published a clear list of apps that will not be approved or will be pulled from the App Store if they exist, in case that they will not respect that list. Apple said that that apps were explicitly referring to adult content. A completely abusive behavior of Apple, in my opinion. That apps were not really referring at what they said. Their official explication was that they "want to protect children".

But lets return to what made me angry today. I searched for eWiFi into the App Store, a way better WiFi searcher than what Apple offers by iPhone's settings, but it was not there. I found that a number of 6 apps of that type were banished: WiFiTrack, WiFiFoForum, yFy Network Finder, WiFi Get, eWiFi, and WiFi Analyzer. I was not able to find anywhere a clear explication from Apple regarding this situation.

That's not cool, Apple. I was some time ago a big fan of Apple. Today, I am a fan of them because of their laptops. Aggressive and excessive restrictions from iPhone made me a fan of Google's Nexus One. I think that its OS is definitely superior at the moment compared to iPhone's.

Spawn Lite: a free light show play on your iPhone (entertaining).

Spawn Lite is an iPhone App which will make a light show on your phone. It has some hidden features, which I'm going to describe you. You have to move two fingers in the same or opposite direction, on the following side:
  • (vertical) on the left side to change the length of the lights
  • (vertical) on the middle of the screen to change the length of the lights
  • (vertical) on the right side to change the color of the lights
  • (horizontal) on the middle of the screen to change the movement speed of the lights
It's simple. But because it's a lite version, it includes advertising (on the bottom of the screen). Multitouch is supported. Please leave a comment if you like it. Below is a video to demonstrate you how it works.
Search it in the App Store: "Spawn Lite".

Any webcam driver for Mac.

As we all know, Mac OS X is a great operating system. It normally works with a large of devices connected via USB, with the exception of webcams. They require additional drivers. Here starts the headache...you need to search on manufacturers website for it, but since most of manufacturers are oriented on Windows only, you have low changes to find one (which works like it should). But wait, I recommend you something better.

A small application, called "macam", is a real help in such situations. It has included the USB drivers for almost any webcam, from almost any manufacturer. And, it is capable of taking pictures and recording, with many configurable settings. And it's really simple to use.


To avoid problems of any kind (errors, conflicts, kernel panics, etc) and for a list of webcams which should work or which should not work, please visit the official site: http://webcam-osx.sourceforge.net/index.html

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 theme is now automatically installed via Update Manager.

The new theme from Ubuntu I showed you in my last post is now installed by default via Update Manager. Informations that it is installed automatically came on yesterday evening, and now I confirm this. You may activate it in Appearance after update. Below is a screenshot took by me.
Update: and here is a video took also by me. Enjoy (and leave a comment regarding what you think about it).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 official theme and boot splash video.

Ubuntu 10.04 is approaching to the final version, and screenshots from the official theme are already here. Below are two screenshots which will be present in the final release, available in both a light and a dark version.
It looks pretty nice, and I'm sure that the final release is going to be an extremely good one. Below is a video of boot splash video.


This screenshots are not mine. I've just updated my Ubuntu 10.04 ran through VirtualBox, but it keeps displaying me error messages (during boot and shut down), and I didn't get the new theme yet.

All these belongs to Web Upd8. More details here and here.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I can't understand why Google isn't selling Nexus One out of the U.S.

This is the question I've putted myself many times since Nexus One has been launched in the United States. It is currently unavailable (normally) anywhere else into the world, with the exception of the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore, which are "test" countries. This is pretty disappointing. I'm from Romania and I can't really understand why I can't get it here.

Hmmm...Ok, I can. A company is selling it here, but at about $740. Because, it is the only one who is selling it here, and there is no competition. Google says that Nexus One will probably be available in the spring 2010 with other carriers than T-mobile, so it might be available even in Romania then.

And this happens while HTC Desire is about to come. Google is now loosing millions of clients in the whole world, and the situation can get as bad as it can, because Desire is going to be a Nexus One replacement for the regions where it isn't available.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Apple vs HTC: the war of the patents.

Apple is accusing HTC of infringing 20 iPhone patents, because of which, they are now "fighting" in the justice. These patents were granted in a range of years between 1995 and 2010 (February 2). These is another interesting conflict between two big companies, which follows after the latest problems with patents (again, patents) between Apple and Nokia.

It seems that HTC has recently responded to Apple's attack, on Twitter, thanking everyone who showed their support for them.

Below is the list of the patents for which Apple is accusing HTC of:

  • Patent #7,362,331: Time-Based, Non-Constant Translation Of User Interface Objects Between States

This is an interface patent granted in 2008 -- it's not specifically related to phones. According to the claims, it's a method of moving a GUI object along a path with a non-constant velocity for a period of time -- one of the claims specifically covers minimizing windows with a scaling effect like OS X, and two others describe a row of icons that rearranges itself when icons are added or removed, just like the iPhone's app dock.

  • Patent #7,479,949: Touch Screen Device, Method, And Graphical User Interface For Determining Commands By Applying Heuristics

We did this one at length after it was issued in January of last year -- check out our Palm discussion for more. The big one here is scroll behavior: starting a scroll in a single direction locks you in that direction, but starting it at an angle lets you pan around freely -- just like the Android browser.

  • Patent #7,657,849: Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image

This one's cute 'cause it's brand new -- seriously, it was just granted on February 2. It's almost exactly what it says on the tin: it covers unlocking a touchscreen device by moving an unlock image. It's broad enough for us to say that it covers virtually every unlock behavior we've seen on phones, not just the iPhone's slide-to-unlock implementation.

  • Patent #7,469,381: List Scrolling And Document Translation, Scaling, And Rotation On A Touch-Screen Display

Yep, we covered this 2008 patent in our Palm piece too -- well remembered, friends. Jump back to that for the full details, but the executive summary is that it covers the iPhone's distinctive scroll-back-and-bounce behavior.

  • Patent #5,920,726: System And Method For Managing Power Conditions Within A Digital Camera Device

Granted in 1999, this patent is surprisingly broad -- it flatly covers managing power in a digital camera device to a power manager that sends state information to a processor controlling the camera.

  • Patent #7,633,076: Automated Response To And Sensing Of User Activity In Portable Devices

This was issued in October of 2009, and it's really quite specific: it covers a phone with multitouch input, a proximity sensor, and an ambient light sensor, which allows input when the sensors indicate one condition and doesn't allow input in others. In simple terms? It's how the iPhone shuts off the touchscreen when you hold it to your ear, a scenario that's specifically called out in the claims.

  • Patent #5,848,105: GMSK Signal Processors For Improved Communications Capacity And Quality

The year was 1998, and times were lean in Cupertino. Steve Jobs had just returned to Apple, and although the company's fortunes were turning with the introduction of the iMac, it was clear that a true breakout was needed. "We have the answer!" cried William A. Garnder and Stephan V. Schell, two of the company's employees. "We'll develop an an apparatus for extracting a signal of interest from a plurality of spectrally and temporally overlapping input signals containing digital data having a bit rate!" Years later, this patent would thoroughly confuse a young lawyer simply trying to make sense of this mad, mad world.

  • Patent #7,383,453: Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor

Another deeply technical patent, granted in 2008. On reading the claims, we're going to hazard a guess and say it covers powering down a processor when told to sleep, but this sort of patent is exactly why this litigation will take years and require many hearing to determine exactly what's covered.

  • Patent #5,455,599: Object-Oriented Graphic System

This is the oldest patent of the bunch, issued in 1995. (You can really get a sense for how Apple's counsel has changed the way it writes patents over time by reading all of these, by the way. The older ones are really quite terse.) Again, it's technical to the point where we don't feel comfortable saying exactly what it means, but it covers building graphics objects with a processor and outputting them through various means. Given the fact that this predates Steve Jobs' return to Apple, we'd say this one was thrown in because Apple's lawyers think it's particularly strong, not because it has something to do with phones specifically.

  • Patent #6,424,354: Object-Oriented Event Notification System With Listener Registration Of Both Interests And Methods

This one is actually quite interesting: it's from 2002 and is illustrated with drawing from Mac OS 9, but it covers event notifications passed among objects -- a system specifically described in the abstract as presenting a context-sensitive menu on the screen. That's very much the core of the Android UI, if you think about it. We don't know exactly what Apple thinks HTC is infringing with this patent, but it's one to keep an eye on, since it could have huge implications.


Okay, that's it for the federal case. Ready for the patents claimed in the ITC complaint? They're even more dryly technical, it's going to be a blast.

  • Patent #5,481,721: Method for providing automatic and dynamic translation of object oriented programming language-based message passing into operation system message passing using proxy objects

This one's fun -- it's actually an old NeXT patent from 1996. And we're talking old-school NeXT -- the inventors are listed at Betrand Serlet, Avie Tevanian, and Lee Boynton. Anyway, this one is large, broad, and technical: it covers passing objects in an OS between processes by way of a proxy object. Again, given that this is primarily an OS patent and that Apple claims all of HTC's Android phones infringe it, it's hard to shake the impression that this case is anything but a proxy for a larger fight to come.

  • Patents #5,519,867 and #6,275,983: Object Oriented Multitasking System and Object-Oriented Operating System

Apple lumps these older OS patents together, so we are too. '867 is from 1996 and covers accessing OS level services in a multithreaded way; '983 is from 2001 and describes an OS in which apps can access native system services and those services can make use of data associated with an object. Again, dry, technical -- and totally aimed at Android, not HTC itself.

  • Patent #5,566,337: Method and apparatus for distributing events in an operating system

Another OS patent from 1996, this time relating to passing event notifications between objects -- like changing app behavior based on battery status. If you're not getting that Apple is targeting Android with the ITC case in particular by including low-level patents like these, there's really nothing more we can do. Oh, wait -- we can drop another six patents on your head.

  • Patent #5,929,852: Encapsulated network entity reference of a network component system

This one is also interesting because of it's age -- it's from 1999, and describes a way for users to get at remotely-stored resources more effectively by using software "components" that deal with different data types."


Source: Engadget; more here and here.