Google Reader revamp and Google+ integration coming

October 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Internet, News

Google has been updating most of its apps over the years, but Google Reader has remained one of neglected children of Google. Google realizes that too and is going to offer some new updates to its RSS reader in near future. According to the information given out by Google, every service of theirs will be getting a deeper integration of Google+, this includes Google Reader. The new features will now be able to easily share any RSS feed item from Google Reader to your specific Google+ circle immediately.

Although not a big change or visual upgrade has been promised by Google. Google has informed that many people has moved away from its RSS reader and that is why they would be adding an export feature to allow people to export their starred items, subscription lists, likes, friends list and shared items. So, that people can have their data with themselves if they are no longer interested in using the platform.

I don’t mind the export features, but I don’t like the pessimist approach from Google regarding the service. I for one use it on daily basis. Its sure that its interface is very old but it is still best online RSS reader. Many people have stopped using RSS in favor of social network updates, but I like to keep social networks only for “real people” and not for following blogs. And RSS is still my main source of whats happening around on my favorite blogs. Moreover the software solutions are not feasible in this day and age where I am constantly switching between home PC, office PC, smartphone and laptop. This is where an online RSS reader comes to work at best by keeping all my read and unread record for me. So, I do welcome the changes coming to Google Reader and do hope that Google puts in a lot more effort to improve the service rather than throwing hints at people to move away from it.

Siri’s Phonetic name feature for sms/calling

October 22, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Tips

Siri is an amazing Voice command software by Apple but no one expected it to be 100% perfect with different kind of names or pronunciations we have. But if you are getting tired of Siri not recognizing to some of your commonly used contact names then don’t worry as there is a feature in Siri with which you can assign a “Phonetic name” to the person in your address book. This way Siri will recognize the person when you pronounce his or her name.

To do this goto address book open the contact whose pronunciation of name doesn’t match spelling of name, then use option of “Add custom Field” and you will get list of options to add detail of your contact in address book. There you will see the new option of “Phonetic first/last name”. You can use these to type the spellings which it will be easier for Siri to understand and recognize the name. Now you will be able to use voice commands to call or sms this person with ease.

Do note that it is being reported that due to some bug, this option is not available on all iPhone 4S models. Even though OS version may be same on two iPhones, but it is still possible that one of them may have this feature and other may not have the Phonetic name field. For such people you just have to wait till Apple releases a bug fix.

YouTube adds a secret “Jump to exciting portion” feature

October 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Internet, News

There is an internet meme called “Wadsworth constant”, born out of reddit user comments that any video on YouTube doesn’t get interesting till 30% of time has lapsed. Apparently someone at YouTube office actually programmed that feature into the site to skip to 30% of the total time of video.

To use this feature just add &wadsworth=1 at the end of the YouTube url and the video will start to play from 30%. So, e.g. you wanted to watch a video with url:

then just change it to:

and it will work like a charm.

Nokia awards $250,000 Innovative prize to a cloned game

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Of all the things Nokia is not doing right, this has to be the dumbest of them all. They were hosting a “Calling all innovators” competition to attract developers to build some innovative apps for Nokia. But the innovative game prize of Quarter of a million they gave to “Sparkle“, which is not innovative at all. In fact it is a direct clone of Zuma, Puzz Loop, Luxor and many other games of same type where you throw balls of same color to rolling marbles to match and eliminate same color marbles in an effort to remove all marbles before they reach the end.

But the Irony just doesn’t end there, this “Sparkle” was not even a new game developed for the competition. This game was already available on PC, Mac, iOS, Android and even WebOS. They just released a symbian version. Nokia should really do their research before shelling down such prize money. They should ensure that the game is made exclusive to their OS and the game is really innovative to be worth the purpose of the prize.

This decision also indicate that maybe Nokia didn’t receive any good entries and they were forced to pick the best one amongst them irrespective of innovation or exclusivity issues. Which is kind of sad as it paints the gloomy future for Nokia if they keep stubborn about not shifting to Android.

Samsung looking to block iPhone 4S sales

October 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Apple, Industry, News, Smartphones

Remember that few months back Apple blocked the display and sales of Samsung Galaxy Tab in Germany? Well now it was Samsung’s turn to strike back as they have filed preliminary injunction in the Japan and Australia to stop the sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S. They also seek an judicial order to immediately stop the sales of iPhone 4 and iPad 2. These injunctions are based on Apple’s unlawful use of Samsung’s patented technologies in these countries.

In Japan Samsung has HSPA standard related patent and 3 user interface patents that Apple is infringing. In Australia the infringements are related to wireless telecommunications standards such as WCDMA and HSPA. Samsung hopes to give Apple a tough time just like they did over their flag ship Galaxy Tab 10.1 and keep their sales in control while Galaxy brand continues to dominate sale figures in absence of Apple’s products.

(via Samsung Tomorrow)

Father of C language dies at age 70

October 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry, News

Father of C language, Dennis Ritchie has passed away this week. He was one of leading innovators and tech gurus of this generation. C language marks a big milestone in programming languages. It converged many developers to one platform due to its powerful nature, easier syntax and all rounded performance as compared to other task focused languages. C and its variants like C++, Visual C, C# are still the most dominant language used in the world. Death of its founder marks a sad day in tech history for us.

Ritchie was not only founder of C, but also co-author of “The C programming language”, which is termed as the definite guide to C language. He also made significant contributions to development of Unix OS. He received Turning award in 1983, National Medal of Technology in 1999 from President Bill Clinton and many other national and international awards.

Nokia 603 revealed, powered by Symbian Belle

October 15, 2011 by  
Filed under News

Nokia has announced their brand new phone Nokia 603 using Symbian Belle. This Symbian phone aims to give users an Android inspired interface and good features packed in a cheap price. The targeted price is 1000 AED when it launches later this year and Nokia is nice enough to pack a 1 GHz processor in this price. The 3.5″ display using Nokia’s ClearBlack technology is the centerpiece of attraction as you would get vivid display even in sunlight. Moreover the phone packs NFC support to wirelessly transmit data and pair with other NFC devices.

Detailed Specifications are as follow:

  • 1Ghz processor coupled with 512MB RAM
  • 3.5″  ClearBlack display
  • Seven hours talktime and 460 hours in standby
  • The phone measures 113.5 x 57.1 x 12.7mm and weighs 106.9g.
  • Pentaband reception (WCDMA 850/900/1700/1900/2100, GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900)
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • WiFi
  • NFC Support
  • 5MP camera with 720p video recording
  • 1500mAh battery

Even though the specifications being offered in budget price look alluring and the updated Symbian Belle does look attractive yet do consider that Nokia has outsourced Symbian OS now. Although not officially confirmed but most sources say that Nokia will completely shift to Windows Phone 7 after this one. And it is never a wise choice to get a phone with a discarded OS these days. So, we recommend that you wait out and see how Nokia and Symbian relation work out after Nokia 603 is released and then make a purchase decision.

MapsGL: Google Maps now using WebGL

October 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Internet, News

WebGL is a web 3D graphics standard which was developed mainly by help of Mozilla and Khronos group. Google jumped the bandwagon also by providing support in Chrome and launching lots of WebGL demos for Chrome. But it has not been embraced by the web developers till now. Those who want 3D applications use Unity 3D engine but forget that WebGL is native web language now which doesn’t require any plugin on supported browsers. But now Google is first major company to use it for more than just some tech demos in their Google Maps. This new 3D layers is called: MapsGL which allow you to view 3D translucent buildings on top of web based maps.

3D buildings aren’t the only thing brought by WebGL, but Google has added a lot of animations as you zoom in, shift to street view tilt the map etc. The MapsGL is not openly available right now in Google Labs to be enabled. If you see a “Want to try something new?” in the bottom of your screen then the option is available to you and you can click it to enable the MapsGL feature.

WebGL is supported in latest Firefox and Google Chrome browsers. If you use Safari then you have to enable it first in your browser options. If you are an Opera user, then you will have to shift to Opera 12 alpha version for now. Android maps app has MapsGL support too.

Polycom launches tablet video conferencing app

October 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Mobile Apps, News, Software, Tablets

Polycom is a well known name in offices as they provide majority of conferencing related audio and video equipment. To cater for the emerging market of tablets they have launched their video conferencing app for Android tablets and iPad 2. This app runs on same Polycom RealPresence platform which is used in their dedicated video conference equipment. This will allow people in a conference room to have video conference with some executive on the move as well as discuss things in the field with the field team using tablets.

Polycom is also in talk with Skype and Apple to make their app compatible with Skype and Facetime. But their app already has an edge especially for business users. The video conference app can connect up to 16 users at a time. You can share documents on screen with them or display presentations etc using same technology. Moreover the app comes with a built-in VPN, which allows users to share data / send files from office to remote sites easily.

Polycom is offering the application in Apple’s App Store and Android Marketplace for free. It currently work on the iPad 2, Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and will eventually expand to other tablets.

Run Android apps on PC now with BlueStacks

October 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Desktop Apps, Mobile Apps, News, Software

BlueStacks have released their Android app players which allows you to run Android apps in a virtual environment on PC in full screen. This software for Windows, comes preloaded with many android apps and you can install more via their service. There is also BlueStacks Cloud connect app on Android market which will allow you to push your mobile apps to your PC so that you can run those apps and games on the big screen too.

Since the virtual environment runs like Google Android emulator, so you will get 100% of same results as on android phone but controls would suffer as most of the apps are made for touch screen and using a mouse and keyboard may not feel just as easy. But the app does support multi-sense touchpads of laptops so that may feel a tad bit better.

Although this software may not be ideal for news or software apps, as PC has alternate of those already. But it does come in handy for exclusive apps and especially games that are released only on android.

Download Android app player @ BlueStacks official site

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