Google Docs App For Android Released

Google has released an Android app for their popular online document editing service – Google Docs. The app will allow users to create, edit and upload documents to Google Docs, right from their Android handset.

However, the best feature of the Google Docs app for Android is its ability to convert text from any image into a document. Users can simply click pictures of any document, and the app will convert the text in the image into a document.

Sadly, the feature does not work as advertised. For me, the Google Docs app struggled to read the text properly from most of the images I clicked. Hopefully, with time this feature will become more usable on a day-to-day basis.

Also, the editor of the app is simply a web app. When a user wants to create a new document, the app will simply open up the Google Docs web app for Android.

The app will run on any Android device running Android 2.1+ or up, including Android 3.0 Honeycomb.

Android users can download the app from here.

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Windows 8 Cloud Features Detailed [Screenshots]

Last year, a bunch of presentations detailing planned Windows 8 enhancements were leaked. Those documents gave us a glimpse of what Microsoft was planning for its next desktop operating system. It was obvious that one of the key differentiators for Windows 8 is going to be cloud integration. Back then, I wrote:
With Windows 8, user accounts will finally become user centric. Your cloud based user account will follow you, from machine to machine.

Now, some leaked screenshots and some sleuthing from MDL forum members, have thrown up a fair amount of concrete information on Window 8?s cloud integration. According to Microsoft, more than 52% PC users work on multiple computers on a regular basis. In order to make switching between workstations effortless, Windows 8 will be introducing ‘Roaming Profiles’. When you logon to different devices using your ‘connected password’, your settings will be automatically transferred to the device. The ‘Roaming Options’ Control Panel item will allow you to add or remove the following from your roaming profile:

Desktop Wallpaper
Aero Glass Color
Ease of access control panel
Magnifier
On screen keyboard
Narrator
Speech recognition settings
Language profile
Text prediction preferences
IME dictionary
Application settings and search history
Windows Taskbar settings
Windows Explorer settings
Windows Search settings
Windows Mouse settings
Wireless network profiles
Saved website credentials

Interestingly enough, as pointed out by Long Zheng, Windows 8 seems to have the ability to detect if you are using a metered internet connection, or a connection with low bandwidth cap.

Furthermore, another MDL forum member has posted a screenshot that shows the cloud authentication feature in action. Windows 8 will provide the option of either logging in as a local user, or logging in using cloud identification. Quite obviously, Microsoft will be tapping into the Windows Live network for the cloud oriented features.

The public beta of Windows 8 is still several months away. In the meantime, if you want to get a taste of Windows 8, go ahead and download the leaked Windows 8 M2 (pre-M3) release.

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HTC ‘Doubleshot’ ROM With Sense 3.0 UI Ported To HTC Desire Z/T-Mobile G2

A week ago, we had reported that the HTC Desire Z has got a taste of the Sense 3.0 UI, thanks to the leaked HTC Sensation ROM. However, the Sensation ROM port had many issues due to the difference in resolution (WVGA vs. qHD).

A few days ago, rumors were flowing on the Internet that HTC is already working on the HTC Desire Z successor, with the codename ‘Doubleshot’.

Now, one popular developer over at the HTC Desire Z modding scene – rmk40 – has managed to get his hands on a leaked HTC Doubleshot ROM. He has even ported the ROM to the HTC Desire Z. Since, the ‘Doubleshot’ will sport a WVGA screen, the ROM works without any graphical glitches on the Desire Z.

Early users report that most of the hardware is working on this ROM. However, some bloat ware apps are continuously force closing, which should be rectified pretty soon. The ROM will also work on the T-Mobile G2.

From the screenshots above, readers can easily understand why developers want to port Sense UI 3.0 to the HTC ‘Vision’. The Sense UI in its latest version looks gorgeous!

T-Mobile G2 and HTC Desire Z owners should head over to this thread over at XDA forums for more information about the ROM.
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Motorola XOOM Gets A Software Update; Enhances Security Features And More!

Motorola and Verizon have started rolling out a new software update for the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb based tablet – the Motorola XOOM.

The update brings with it some much needed stability improvements, Bluetooth support for Google Talk and some enhanced security features.

Below is the full change-log -:
Access and stay connected to Wi-Fi networks with added Proxy support.
SSL data transfer with websites is now supported.
WPA Pre-Shared Key pass-phrases are now supported when using the device as a Mobile Hotspot.
Supports Google Widevine DRM and HDCP. Email and Messaging
POP3 HTML emails will display in their entirety. Call Features
Bluetooth® is now supported in Google Talk™.
Additional Device Features
Encrypted passwords can be entered during power up.
Calendar events will remain up to date after an installed software update.
Application storage errors will not appear unless the device has reached maximum storage capacity.
Safely dock the MOTOROLA XOOM into the docking adapter without interruption.
Ability to add and use a Bluetooth mouse. + A shortcut key for the Bluetooth keyboard has been added.
View and import pictures from digital cameras with Picture Transfer Protocol.
When using the device in accessibility mode, menus will no longer prompt with sounds.
As of now, this software update is being rolled out for only the 3G+Wi-Fi version of the Motorola XOOM. Hopefully, the update will be rolled out sometime soon for the Wi-Fi only version as well.

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T-Mobile G2 Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROM Leaks

Last month, the Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROM with Sense UI for the HTC Desire Z leaked.

Today, the folks over at XDA forums have managed to get their hands on the leaked Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROM for the T-Mobile G2.

The T-Mobile G2 and the HTC Desire Z are exactly the same phones, except that the former runs on stock Android while the latter has Sense UI on top of it.

Users who have flashed this ROM on their handset, report that the performance and stability of this ROM is top-notch. Sadly, the ROM does not feature the screen-off animation, which Android 2.3 Gingerbread brings.

The leaked ROM works perfectly, which suggests that the T-Mobile G2 Gingerbread update is around the corner. Another HTC ‘Vision’ developer – rmk40 – has already uploaded a de-odexed and rooted version of the ROM.

Interested T-Mobile G2 owners can head over to this thread to download and install the leaked ROM on their handset. The ROM will also work flawlessly on the HTC Desire Z.

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Android 2.3.4 Hitting Nexus S OTA, Brings Gtalk Video Chat

We have a good news for the Nexus S users. Google recently announced that, the Android 2.3.4 update is scheduled to roll out over the next few weeks. Google Nexus S will be the first device to get the Android 2.3.4 update. This update brings the much awaited voice and video chat to the Google Talk, along with some bug fixes and optimizations.

The Android 2.3.4 update officially brings the video chat on Google Talk for the first time on Android devices. It uses the same Google Talk solution as on Android Honeycomb tablets. The latest update allows you to voice and video chat with your Google Talk friends, over the Wi-Fi or using the 3G/4G connection.

Google Nexus S and Nexus S 4G owners will be the first ones to get the Google Talk with video and voice chat in the next few weeks as part of the Android 2.3.4 over-the-air update. This update will also be rolled out to other Android Gingerbread powered devices in the near future. Google has also promised another surprise for the Nexus users. Lets keep our fingers crossed. Until then, check out the video below.

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Sprint To Launch Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi On May 8 For $599

Earlier this year, Motorola announced its first tablet device, the Motorola Xoom. It is the first tablet powered by the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Operating System. Last month, Motorola released the Wi-Fi only version of this amazing tablet on Verizon. And now, Sprint joined the bandwagon and announced the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi for its customers in the US. This device will be available from Sprint beginning on Sunday, May 8th.

Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi features with a 10.1 inch touchscreen display, 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS, 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, Google Chrome bookmark sync and incognito mode, Android Market and more.

Other features include a 3.5mm headset jack, HD (720p) video recording, Full HD (1080p) playback, micro USB 2.0, Corporate Sync, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR + HID, 32GB internal memory, SD card support, 1GB DDR2 RAM, Integrated GPS, up to 10 hour video playback and a 3250 mAh Lithium-ion battery.

Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi comes with a price tag of $599.99 without any contract. This device will be available through Sprint Stores, Web sales, Telesales and Sprint Business Sales from May 8th. Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi allows you to read more than 3 million Google eBooks and access more than 150,000 useful applications, widgets and games from the Android Market.

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Black money comes mainly from India: Julian Assange, Wikileaks

See what Julian Assange has said about black money from India in a recent interview:

At a stage where governments around the world have tried to hide away from the embarrassment caused by WikiLeaks expose on black money , founder Julian Assange speaks exclusively to Times Now's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on the Swiss bank data and Indian names features in the same.

Julian Assange, made a stunning disclosure, that there could be Indian names in the data that WikiLeaks would publish. In the course of the interview, Assange appealed to Indians to absolutely not lose hope that the names of those with secret Swiss accounts will come out at one point in the future. Hinting that Wikileaks might work with specialized agencies before releasing the Swiss bank data he pulled up the Indian government for not being aggressive like Germany in going after the list of Indian account holders. In fact he said India should be more aggressive because India seems like it is losing per capita more tax money than Germany

This is the first time Assange has spoken about Indian accounts in these Swiss banks, and comes at a time when the national debate over Swiss Bank accounts has sharpened.

You have strong views on it. And I completely appreciate that you can't talk about it in detail. But let me ask you more generically, that is your heart, you would like to reveal the details...in your heart. I am not asking you when and under what circumstances, but having known about it, you would like to reveal details of how the system operates, wouldn't you?

Well, we have various types of information about different banking operations in the world. Over time, we have revealed those. In fact, most of the legal attacks on us have been from banks. Banks in Scotland...banks in Dubai...banks in Iceland. We all received legal attacks from these banks. And we will continue publishing data on these banks as soon as we are able to do so.

Have you encountered any Indian names? I am not asking you to tell me where, which banks...

Yes there are Indian names in the data we have already published or going to publish. I can't remember specifically whether there are Indian names in the upcoming publication. But I have read Indian names. Similarly, in these private Swiss banking concerns, where you need at least a million dollars...which is a significant amount of money...Not an average Indian.

And it is difficult to identify those names. Anything else you can tell us?

I can't tell you anything more at this stage. As we go through the process of releasing data, as always we have to do extra research. And once we understand which media organizations are best placed to help us with that research, then we operate with them. But we are not at that stage yet that I know all the research that is going on.

To all our Indian viewers, just one point. Should they lose hope that the names will come out at one point.

No

What would you say to them?

That you should absolutely not lose hope. It is quite interesting. There is a...There are different forces at play here. The German government in particular has been very strong. There needs to be transparency in banking operations. It has gone so far as to buy CDs off...in Liechtenstein and so on...To reveal this information. Very, very aggressive approach by the German government and the German government is the dominant power within Europe. So, those German attitudes are seeping into Europe as a whole. The US has also been applying pressure in relation to UBS and tax evaders.
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WikiLeaks to reveal Indians on Swiss Bank list ~

New Delhi: In comments that could fuel a fresh controversy over the black money issue, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today said there are Indian names in the Swiss bank data list that are going to be made public.


"Yes, there are Indian names in the data that we have already published or are going to publish. I can't remember specifically whether there are Indian names in the coming publication. But I have read Indian names," Assange told a private TV channel.


Indicating that there are bigwigs among the Indians having their accounts in Swiss banks, he said, "Similarly, in these private Swiss banking concerns, where you need at least a million dollar, which is a significant amount of money...not an average Indian..."

Asked whether the names will come at any point, he said on "that, you should absolutely not lose hope".

He, however, declined to reveal anything more on the issue at this stage.


Assange also dismissed contention of the Indian government that accords on double taxation were coming in the way of tracking the trail of black money.


"Double taxation does not have anything to do with asset hiding. It doesn't simply cover asset hiding," he said.


Assange said that the issue of stashing black money in foreign banks was much worse than just local corruption as when money is pushed offshore, "...then every time they are selling rupees and the result is that the currency of the nation is debased...everything for all Indians become more expensive as a result of that transfer."
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Exposure to Pesticides in Pregnancy Can Lower Children's IQ!

Moms-to-be have a lot to worry about while they're expecting, especially since everything they're exposed to has a chance of affecting their developing baby.

And that includes pesticides, from the kind that farmers spray on fruit and vegetable crops to the bug-killers that we use in our homes. In three separate studies published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers document that a mother's prenatal exposure to these chemicals can affect the cognitive development of her child, in some cases up to nine years later.

In one study by Columbia University researchers, which involved African American and Dominican mothers, children born to women who had the highest levels of an organophosphate pesticide known as chlorpyrifos in the cord blood during delivery scored three points lower on IQ tests at age 7, compared with children born to mothers with the lowest levels of the pesticide.

In another study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers, which looked at levels of a breakdown product of organophosphate pesticides in the mother's urine, the difference in IQ in children born to mothers with the highest versus the lowest levels of the metabolites was even greater at age 7 — seven points.

And in the third study, conducted at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City, children born to mothers with higher levels of pesticide metabolites in their urine scored lower on cognitive tests beginning at 12 months, with continued deficits in reasoning throughout childhood.

The studies, say one of the authors, are important because while others have linked pesticide exposure to potential developmental effects, these are the first to follow groups of mothers and their offspring over time and document changes in the children's cognitive development. Even after accounting for other factors that could explain differences in IQ, such as maternal education, the home environment, and possible underlying attention or development disorders, the relationship persisted. "These studies are unusual in that they are the first to look at prenatal exposure at a low level — at levels that would occur in everyday life, and not levels that would poison us — and followed the children prospectively," says Brenda Eskenazi, director of the center for environmental research and children's health at U. C. Berkeley.

How concerned should expectant mothers be about their exposure? First, the authors note that the levels of pesticides found in their participants, while slightly higher than the national average, still fell within the range of exposure considered acceptable in the U.S. What's more, in the Berkeley study, the participants came from an agricultural community in California, where they were likely to have been exposed to more agricultural pesticides than the average American. And the Columbia study was started in 1997, four years before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of chlorpyrifos indoors.

Still, there are ways pregnant women may be exposed to potentially hazardous levels of pesticides: through the food they eat, for example, particularly fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed with bug-killing chemicals (many have been banned for residential use but not for use on crops). In one study of children who were put on organic diets, scientists found that levels of chlorpyrifos in their urine dropped after their diet was changed, but went back up when they started eating conventionally grown produce again.

That supports the idea that it's possible to reduce your exposure to pesticides by avoiding crops treated with the chemicals. But if you can't afford to buy organic, what should you do? "You can wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, with a brush, which does remove some of the residue," says Virginia Rauh, deputy director of the Columbia University Center for Children's Environmental Health and an author of one of the papers.

The last thing the authors want to see is expectant women avoiding fresh produce, which contains nutrients that are essential for mom and growing baby. "The important message here is to wash fruits and vegetables well, not to avoid them," says Eskenazi.

Instead, mothers-to-be can reduce exposure to pesticides in other ways — by using different methods of pest control inside the home, for instance, such as baits and traps rather than sprays. Research shows that such strategies work. In studies of chlorpyrifos levels in the blood of expectant women, researchers found that levels dropped significantly following the ban on indoor use of the pesticide. And in California, where organic crops are on the rise, use of chlorpryifos and other organophosphates are now on the decline.

The findings, say Rauh, should be enough to prompt the EPA to tighten its restrictions on pesticide use for food crops, given that certain populations who work in agriculture, as well as everyone who consumes produce, may potentially be exposed to levels that can lead to developmental problems. "The differences we found are potentially educationally meaningful," says Rauh. "The differences could affect reading comprehension and learning in young children, and affect academic success in school. We don't think anyone will suggest this type of exposure can result in extreme retardation. But we're talking on average about slightly lower scores of intellectual development that aren't trivial, and could mean a lot to a child."

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TouchWIZ 4.0 Ported To Samsung Galaxy S

Last year, Samsung launched the Galaxy S with Android 2.1 on-board and TouchWIZ 3.0. Samsung spiced up TouchWIZ with some colorful icons, with the Android 2.2 update for the Galaxy S.

At MWC 2011, Samsung announced the Galaxy S successor – the Galaxy S II, which runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a new version of TouchWIZ (v4.0) running on top of it. TouchWIZ in its latest version features some new icons, and some new nifty features.

Now, one developer over the Galaxy S modding scene – fear2142 - has managed to port TouchWIZ 4.0 to the Galaxy S, thanks to a Galaxy S II system dump.

Below is a video of TouchWIZ 4.0 in action on the Galaxy S -

The mod will work on the Galaxy S XXJVB ROM de-odexed ROM. The mod also works on Galaxy S Custom ROMs based on the XXJVB firmware. The TouchWIZ 4.0 launcher does have some stability issues though.

Interested Galaxy S users should head over to this thread, for more information on how to install TouchWIZ 4.0.

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Engineers Create Millimeter Scale Device That Converts Vibrations to Energy

If the word is ‘energy’, the adjective to go with it is ‘small’. Electrical engineers at the University of Michigan have built a device that takes up less area than a cent and can produce electricity from vibrations. In doing so, they have created a machine with the highest efficiency per unit are than any other machine ever built.

The secret to the design is the use of an ultra-small piezoelectric crystal. Piezoelectric materials have the property that they can produce electrical power is they are subjected to mechanical stress. Thus, if such a crystal is vibrated, it will send out tiny electrical signals. This is expected to find wide application in wireless sensor networks.

The major USP of this device is that it is completely wire-less. Says Erkan Aktakka, a developer in the team:
If one were to look at the ongoing life-cycle expenses of operating a wireless sensor, up to 80 percent of the total cost consists solely of installing and maintaining power wires and continuously monitoring, testing and replacing finite-life batteries.

The active crystal sector of the device measures a mere 27 cubic mm. The energy produced by this tiny energetic heart is then used to charge a small powerful capacitor. The system works at 155 Hz, which is the vibration frequency for most electronic devices, with a generous bandwidth of 14 Hz.

The device is to be exhibited by the researchers at the 16th International Conference on Solid State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems to be held in Beijing in June.

The device is expected to be mass produced in a very short time. The potential is immense. This will be virtually indispensible for medical devices like pace-makers.

Tiny is big, as long as the energy is renewable.

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Android and Medical Tablet Computers

Lately, there is nothing but news about how the little ‘Droid that could’ is going to drown the iPad in a sea of lil’ green bots. It has not happened yet, but in at least one segment of the market, the predictions of this happening are carrying a lot of weight, and that field is the medical field. From the day that the iPad launched, Doctors were first in line to get one and use them in the field.

Data access is of growing importance to medical professionals with the Obama Electronic Medical Records initiative, and patient care is bound to improve greatly if Doctors are able to access patients’ prescription history, medical history, x-rays, or CAT scan results on the spot, rather than having to run to a terminal. Of course, the form factor has a lot to do with it as tablets are far easier to carry than laptops and are much, much easier to look at than a smartphone screen, especially if the Doctor is looking at an X-ray. Not to mention the need for email access and voice mail access on the fly.

Doctors in First

Businesses have had a warm, but cautionary reaction to tablets for a wide variety of reasons. Most of them are security related, and while the medical profession has even greater data security concerns, the obvious need for tablet access to data in the Doctor’s hand is great enough to drive their adoption in hospitals early-and fast. Recent studies indicate that as many and 1 out of 5 Doctors currently use a tablet, care to guess which one? Yes, it is the iPad.

However, this is for no reason other than it is the only, or was the only, tablet on the market reliable enough and having enough battery life and usability to warrant its use in hospitals. Many professionals surveyed, however, stated that just because 90 percent of tablets in the hands of Doctors are iPads, that does not mean that in a year, this will still be true. If another tablet, any other tablet, addresses a few specific issues, it will result in the iPad losing this vital, and high profile, market.

The one that they are all waiting for is an Android “Honeycomb” 3.0 running on any tablet PC, since just about any tablet running Honeycomb good enough. The main problem is ruggedness; if you drop an iPad, you might be in trouble because the display is made from glass. If the iPad gets wet or exposed to a harsh environment, you might just be in trouble because it is not durable enough to withstand the forces of the nature of the medical field. If a tablet comes along that is rugged and powerful enough to handle medical imaging display, the iPad may just find itself in the waiting room.

The Medical Droid

There are several reasons why Android is believed to be the real threat to the iPad. HP and the WebOS, along with its Cloud Computing strategy, are very business focused but the ecosystem may be too limited to support the kind of control that both Doctors and their IT staffs need to make a fully functional platform and, similarly, RIM and the Playbook have potential, but the same applies. Android is an open ecosystem, meaning that rather than Apple or HP controlling the system, the hospital can and they will be free to use applications they deem fit to use, as well as modify the device’s OS accordingly.

The hospital will have control over security issues and can address them directly. This is vital to the healthcare industry. In the hospital, tablets will be used on a Wi-Fi network and thus, carrier imposed limitations will not be an issue. A solid, rugged tablet with the performance and power needed can be loaded with Android, customized by the hospital IT staff, and issued to Doctors and nurses to speed healthcare delivery.

With Google’s strategy of providing its OS to a wide range of manufacturers, it makes it more likely that one of them will build the tablet that will win the race. The Motorola Xoom is one that is being closely watched as well as the relatively unknown Cisco Cius. The latter being a closed product only available through Cisco channel partners and build with business and teleconferencing in mind, making a potential threat to every business tablet wanna-be. Guess which OS it has slated to run, yep that’s right the little green ‘Droid.

=== About the Author ====

Jon T. Norwood is a managing partner at High Speed Internet, a site dedicated to providing information on Mobile Broadband News. Jon can be reached at jon@velocityguide.com.

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Space Mission: Endeavour Launch on 29th April, To Carry Anti-Matter Detector Into Spa

On the 29th of April, the space shuttle, Endeavour, will liftoff, primarily, to deliver a multi-billion dollar instrument – the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) – to the International Space Station. The liftoff is scheduled for 1947 GMT*from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

The date was fixed after a number of delays, mostly related to quality control measures and safety precautions. Endeavour is expected to spend almost 16 days in orbit, carrying astronauts, who will be doing four scheduled space-walks and various mission activities so that the space station and its instruments operate without shuttle support.

The International Space Station


The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer:

The device of central importance in this mission is the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), which weighs about 7 tonnes and costs more than US$2 billion. It is designed to detect signs of anti-matter and dark matter. It will inspect cosmic rays – streams of highly energetic charged particles coming from outer space.

The main component of the AMS is the 1900 kg permanent magnet, which can create a magnetic field more than 3000 times stronger than Earth’s. Scientists insisted on a permanent magnet, rather than a superconducting one, since the former lasts longer even though it is weaker.

Nobel Laureate Samuel Ting, principle investigator for the AMS, says:
When we tested the superconducting magnet in a thermal vacuum chamber to simulate space, we found it could only be operated for three years before it needed to get its liquid helium refilled, and there’s really no way to do so without the space shuttle, which has been terminated.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (Courtesy: NASA)


Why the AMS?

This mission needs to be carried out in space, because the most cosmic rays, being charged particles, interact with the atmospheric atoms and are absorbed. Cosmic rays provide scientists with energy scales that cannot be produced in the lab. A particle accelerator can only go so much high up on the energy scale, but cosmic rays have particles, which have huge energies since they were emitted from unimaginably energetic cosmic events.

Physicists are right now baffled by the questions of baryon asymmetry (why should matter dominate anti-matter, even though the equations don’t suggest that?). The AMS hopes to answer, or at least provide clues to, this and many similar questions; scientists are especially hopeful that it will be able to give some hints about dark matter and its role in the expansion in the Universe. Coincidentally, while the AMS hopes to detect anti-helium nuclei, anti-helium has already been detected on Earth, at RHIC, Brookhaven. (Read here) This detection might help calibrate the AMS with higher precision.

NASA had shelved the AMS project for quite a while due to the Columbia disaster in 2003. However, many scientists were keen to get AMS off the ground and into space. It is an international collaborative effort involving 600 physicists from 16 countries. Further, as Ting puts it,
The idea is that if building the International Space Station cost $100 billion, there should really be a good science project there.

Here’s wishing NASA and the Endeavour team the very best for this space mission.

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Google Chrome 13 Hits Canary Build; Stable Version Bumped to Chrome 11

Google has just released Google Chrome 11 to the stable version of the browser for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. In addition to that the Canary build is now Google Chrome 13. Google Chrome development version has also been updated with the new Profile Switcher feature.

Google Chrome 11 includes several enhancements including speech input through HTML which allows users to speak text and then insert them into HTML forms. The Chrome Blog has a detailed article on how this works with Google Translate.

In addition to that, Google has also update the development version of the browser to include the new Profile Switcher feature which will allow users to create and switch between multiple sync profiles for different windows. However, the feature is still being developed and does not allow you to create multiple profiles.

The Canary build of Google Chrome has also been bumped to Google Chrome 13 (v13.0.747.0). Both the development and Canary features look identical which means that most of the changes are under the hood.

Some of the visible changes in the development and Canary build include "Tab Grouping", focus existing tab on open and the experimental new tab page which still seems to be experimental. Google Chrome 13 might be shipped to the development version after the Multiple Profile features is fully functional.

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China Will Build a Manned Space Station In Next 10 Years

China’s venture into space missions is pretty recent, with the first spacewalk taking place just 3 years ago and the history of Chinese astronauts in orbit less than 10 years old. But with a stronger-than-ever economy and a bid to be the next super power, China is taking a bold step. Chinese authorities announced this week their plan to build a manned space station within next 10 years.

Though the name has not been finalized yet, the station may be called Tiangong, meaning “heavenly palace”. The station will weigh 66 tons and would support a crew of three people along with hosting two laboratories for different scientific disciplines including astronomy and biology. The station would have one central module and two science lab modules, with the central module being 60 feet long and the labs around 50 feet each. A part of the preparations, China will send 3 modules in space with the first one being later this year and the last module in 2015.

One of the most interesting observation, however, is the scheduled retiring of ISS (International Space Station) in 2020. If the ISS, sponsored by US, retires as scheduled and the Tiangong goes live as planned, it will be the only manned space station in the orbit. This will give China a great scientific and political advantage over other countries, something which doesn’t usually play well with most developed countries of the world. However, with the long history of space related projects being postponed and even cancelled regularly, we will have to see how this one turns out.

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Dropbox Raises Hue and Cry over Dropshi

Dropbox one of the most prominent and popular YC success stories is baffled over Dropship. Dropship is an Open Source project that has invented a cool hack. The problem is that this hack breaks the very model Dropbox is based on. The battle here is not between Open Source and Dropbox. It is between a seemingly rouge Open Source project and Dropbox.

Both Dropbox and Dropship are right in their own place, but if Dropship threatens the very existence of Dropbox, there is not much of a question here. It should end by all means. Imagine this. Instead of Open Source, a closed source software is released which does exactly this same thing. How would it have been received? Just the fact that Dropship is open source is no reason to vouch for it!

Coming to Dropbox, it has every right to defend itself here. Allowing Dropship to ship will make Dropbox accountable for a massive amount of illegal file sharing. The Dropship developers should not want that for sure!

Dropbox has issued a DMCA style takedown notice and people are taking this as a blow towards Open Source. Dropbox hacks have come out earlier as well. We have seen a WordPress plugin that uses Dropbox as CDN. Dropship hacked Dropbox, and maybe it was done with good intent. However, the developers of Dropship cannot expect Dropbox to keep shut when this hack is cracking Dropbox as a business.

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The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Has Gone Gold

Alright – slight disclaimer here, but the post that follows might have the tone of “giddy as a schoolboy” that you have heard from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. That is mostly because The Witcher was one of my favorite games of all time. With its non-linear storyline, excellent character progression and a unique experience not seen often in Role Playing Games it struck a chord with my Excellence-O-Meter and has forever remained as one of the pinnacles of modern video gaming.

CD Projekt RED reports that the much expected sequel, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has gone gold. In video game industry parlance, this means that the game has finished Quality Assurance testing and the last round of bug fixing, and is in production now for retail and digital release. This means, that Geralt of Rivia will grace our computer screens on time on the 17th of May.

Preorders for the game online will start on the 10th of May on both GOG.com as well as the other reputed digital distributors. On GOG.com, a lot of special goodies are available for anyone who preorders the game (without actually paying yet). The AAA title will not have any kind of Digital Rights Management (DRM) on GOG – a first for its kind in recent times.

In a time where most high-end titles are beset with postponement and QA woes, CD Projekt RED have gone and outdone themselves by announcing that the game will be released on time, and will be available DRM-free for those who want it that way. Additionally they are doing this without taking the unnecessary route of Downloadable Content (DLC) as a way to further the story and make more money in that process. Kudos to you!

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Nokia Knocking Off 4,000 Employees And Outsourcing 3,000 More

In a last ditch effort to reorganize and refocus their efforts, Nokia will be laying off employees and outsourcing some efforts to consulting agencies. The BBC is reporting that Nokia has announced the loss of 4,000 worldwide jobs and the movement of over 3,000 employees to Accenture, a consulting group, who will be taking over the development of Symbian.

In 2009, Accenture acquired the Symbian Professional Services Operation from Nokia in an effort to provide independent services to an open source ecosystem.

With Nokia planning on manufacturing more than 150 million Symbian devices in the future, Accenture will be providing essential services to the continued growth and support of the platform.

The recent news comes out of the decision for Nokia to adopt Windows Phone 7 as their main smartphone platform and ultimately bench MeeGo and Symbian for the long term future. Over 1,400 employees in Finland are expected to be let go, with the majority of them being MeeGo developers, Symbian architects and R&D researchers. Reductions in the UK are expected to be roughly 700 employees and it is said that Nokia will be saving upwards of 1.4 billion euros from recent restructuring by the year 2013.

Nokia is said to be providing assistance to employees with offering long-term re-employment programs with partners for affected employees. Accenture will be taking up employees from China, Finland, India and the United States in an effort to provide positions for talented Symbian employees.

via BBC

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Speculation: NSA Building Exaflop Supercomputer

The United States Government’s National Security Agency (aka the where-privacy-goes-to-die agency) is apparently building a new supercomputer called the for its High Performance Computing Centre. The supercomputer will cost about $895.6 million, as revealed by unclassified documents. The supercomputer is to be built at the headquarters of the agency in Fort Meade, Md. and is slated for completion by 2015.

The NSA is a surveillance organization (to use a nonspecific and broad generalization) that has been operating since 1952 and is responsible for the decryption of foreign intelligence and the safeguarding and encryption of USA’s domestic signals. The agency has a history of using supercomputers, starting with the purchase and use of one of the first Cray supercomputers (The Cray X-MP/24) which is now decommissioned and is on display at the National Cryptologic Museum.

While exactly how large this computer that the NSA is building is unknown, it is very likely that the computer will be able to perform at 1 exaFLOP. A FLOP, or FLoating point OPerations per Second is a measure of how fast a computer is. It is basically the number of floating point calculations performed in unit time by the computer. A simple hand-held calculator is about 10 FLOPS on an average to show instantaneous results.

An exaFLOP is 10 followed by 18 zeroes (10^18)

In comparison, the combined computing power of the top 500 supercomputers in the world is about 32.4 petaFLOPS (32.4 x 10^15). That is, the new supercomputer being constructed by the NSA is about 31 times faster than the top 500 supercomputers in the world taken together.

However, all this is still speculation, garnered by the power requirements for the new computer – about 60 megaWatts. The calculation is based on the Sequoia BlueGene/Q IBM supercomputer that is also under production that needs performs around 20 petaFLOPS and needs 6 megaWatts of power.

Of course, the NSA needs more computing power to sift through all the emails, phone calls and messages we send each day, right?

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Delicious Acquired By YouTube Founders

It has been a tough past few months for Yahoo and Delicious in general. The turmoil started out in December 2010 when a leaked PowerPoint slide showed that Yahoo was sun setting Delicious. This led to several users switching to Delicious alternatives.

Yahoo later on confirmed that Delicious was not shutting down and would be kept alive while they looked for potential buyers. They did have a hard time finding any buyers but have finally been able to sell Delicious to the founders of YouTube.

According to a blog post and help page on Delicious, Yahoo will continue transitioning the property and will operate it till July 2011 after which it will be handed over to the new owners.
Today, we’re pleased to announce that Delicious has been acquired by the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. As creators of the largest online video platform, they have firsthand experience enabling millions of users to share their experiences with the world. They are committed to running and improving Delicious going forward.

Providing a seamless transition for users is incredibly important for both companies. Yahoo! will continue to operate Delicious until approximately July 2011. When the transition period is complete, your information will be moved over to Delicious’ new owner.

Chad Hurley and Steve Chen acquired delicious as part of their company AVOS. They have promised users the same great service as they are accustomed to.

As a part of the transition process, users will have to login to Delicious and then transfer their account to AVOS. Users will have to convert their Yahoo accounts to Delicious accounts as part of this process. Users would have to either create new usernames or continue using their old Delicious accounts.

It’s definitely going to be a long journey for both Delicious and AVOS along with users of the service. If you think that you want to pack your bags and move out of Delicious here are some articles which might come in helpful to you.

So are you going to stick around with Delicious or move on to another alternative? Do let me know.

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BlackBerry 6.1 Won’t be QNX Based

Research In Motion will be hosting their BlackBerry World conference next week. We expect RIM to launch their new Smartphone and also unveil new OS BlackBerry 6.1.

When RIM acquired QNX, we expected them to announce QNX based handsets by at least mid 2011. RIM has already released their QNX based tablet – PlayBook. And despite the negative reviews that it gathered, RIM sold more than 100,000 PlayBooks in its initial week of availability, according to Wall Street Journal. RIM has indicated that Smartphones based on BlackBerry 6.1 will be made available only by end of this fiscal year and that it does not have QNX based Smartphones to showcase at the BlackBerry World Conference next week.

All we can gather from this is that BlackBerry 6.1 won’t be based on QNX RTOS, but will just be a major enhancement over BlackBerry 6.0. Apparently, we’ll get to see QNX based handsets only next year when BlackBerry announces BlackBerry 7 or 8 which kind of surprises us since BlackBerry eventually plans to move to QNX and yet continues to work on their previous OS.

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Google Releases Google Docs App for Android

Google recently released its official app for Google Docs on Android. With this app users can*filter and search documents *on your Google account. *Users can also*easily share items with contacts on their phone, right from within the app.

Besides that, this app also allows users to create documents with a single tap and users can*upload content from your phone and open documents directly from Gmail. For easy access users can*add a widget to your home screen for easy access to three core tasks: jumping to your starred documents, taking a photo to upload, or creating a new document with one tap.


One of the mind blowing feature Google has included in this app is*optical character recognition (OCR). With this you can click a photo of a document from your phone camera and convert them to text documents. Although at this point it cannot register user handwritten documents but Google promises to work on it soon.

You can download Google Docs for Android *from Android Market for free provided your device runs on Android 2.1+.

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Samsung Galaxy S 2 vs Apple iPhone 4. Fight!

The Apple iPhone 4 has been a huge hit and with the iPhone 5 launch being delayed to September, it will be the smartphone every new Android device will be compared to. And though it’s almost an year old now, comparisons of the iPhone 4 with new Android phones are inevitable, as it is one of the best smartphones known to mankind. In this post, I will pit the new Samsung Galaxy S 2 against the Apple iPhone 4. Expect some fireworks.

Design

While design preferences are subjective, I can safely say that both the Galaxy S 2 and the iPhone 4 have very stylish designs. The iPhone 4 has dimensions of 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm while the Galaxy S 2 has dimensions of 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm. The Galaxy S 2 is the slimmest smartphone around, slimmer than even the anorexic Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc.

It is also very light, with a weight of only 116 gms compared to the iPhone 4?s 134 gms. I would prefer the Galaxy S 2.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy S 2 comes with a 4.3 inch capacitive SuperAMOLED Plus display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It is easily the best display in town, in terms of size, contrast, display quality etc. It is perfect for watching videos and movies.

The iPhone 4 comes with a 3.5 inch IPS LCD ‘Retina’ display with a resolution of 640 x 960 pixels. It is one of the best displays in the market, but loses out before the Galaxy S 2 in terms of size as well as overall quality.

Again, the Galaxy S 2 wins.

Hardware

The Samsung Galaxy S 2 easily trumps the iPhone 4 when it comes to hardware, but that is obvious, as it is yet to be launched, while the iPhone 4 was launched in June last year.

The iPhone 4 comes with a 1 GHz processor with 512 MB RAM and 16/32 GB internal storage. The Galaxy S 2 comes with a 1.2 GHz dual core Exynos processor and 1 GB RAM. It also has 16/32 GB internal storage and supports microSD cards.

Winner: Galaxy S 2

OS

Now this is the part where we have two completely divided camps. Some prefer iOS with its ease of use, great user interface, huge library of apps and games (almost 400,000) while some prefer Android with its openness, customizability, better multitasking, and not-as-huge library of apps and games (200,000). With the Galaxy S 2, you get Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread and TouchWiz 4.0 which offer excellent performance thanks to the powerful hardware.

There is no clear verdict in this section, but I would prefer the Galaxy S 2 with Android. Just my preference.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S 2 has an 8 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash. It can shoot 1080p videos at 30 FPS and also comes with a 2 MP secondary camera. It is second only to the Xperia Arc and the Nokia N8, in terms of image quality. It definitely blows the iPhone 4?s 5 MP camera out of the water. The Galaxy S 2 is a clear winner in this department.

Multimedia

The Galaxy S 2 can play any video format which currently exists on Planet Earth. It’s a pleasure watching videos on the 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED Plus display, going by all the reviews I have seen. It is THE device to have if you want to watch videos on the move. It wins.

Web Browsing

Both the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy S 2 have excellent web browsers, both default and third-party. But as the Galaxy S 2 has a bigger display, and also supports Flash, I would go with it.

The Verdict

As you can clearly see, the iPhone 4 is now outdated. The Samsung Galaxy 2 is quite obviously the best smartphone on the market. It should be launched soon, and I expect it to be the best Android phone of 2011.

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Internet Explorer 9 Being Rolled Out Through Windows 7 Update

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 to the world last month to much fanfare and millions of downloads. However, the rollout was only done through direct downloads for users.

However, not each and every user has upgraded to the latest browser from Microsoft and they do have a way to get it out; through Automatic Updates. Microsoft has confirmed that they are now rolling out Internet Explorer 9 to all Windows 7 users through the automatic update channel.

The update will be rolled out as an important update to all users. It is not clear yet whether users have to upgrade to it compulsorily or not. I am unable to confirm this since I have already upgraded to IE9 but will do so shortly on another PC. The update will be a part of the regular updates rolled out by Microsoft.

If you haven’t used Internet Explorer 9 yet, you should definitely upgrade to it and check out our Ultimate List of tips and trick for IE9.

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Rumor from LHC, CERN: Higgs Boson Detected at ATLAS, CERN

Rumor is floating around since Saturday that the LHC has detected the Holy Grail of particle physics – the Higgs Boson – in its ATLAS detector. A mysterious peak at 115 GeV has been found and a memo reporting this find has been leaked. This has got the hopefuls buzzing. However, the majority of physicists, at this moment, are willing to eat their hats off, if this really turns out to be the Higgs – the ‘God particle’ – which is supposed to bestow all particles in the Universe with mass.

The Atlas Detector



This started about four days ago when someone posted a note on physicist Peter Woit’s blog ‘Not Even Wrong’ saying that this peak may not be an accident and might be an indication of the Higgs and even of physics beyond the Standard Model.

The energy at which the bump was found is 115 GeV, which is only slightly greater than the theoretical lower cut-off of 114 GeV (about the mass of a proton more!). This doesn’t rule out the Higgs, but it is highly unlikely to be at this energy. The ‘detection’ being in the very weak ‘gamma-gamma’ channel further questions it’s credibility.

Further analyzing the di-photon mass spectrum, in which this peak was found, scientists have found 30 times the expected peak count. This means that there have been 30 times the expected production, damning theoretical predictions, or there have been other heavy particles created.

Simulated Higgs Event at ATLAS


The leak hasn’t amused many from the physics community, who maintain that rushing to such conclusions is reckless and unscientific. The memo is just that – a memo, not a paper. Something that hasn’t been peer-reviewed cannot be taken seriously. Also, proper data analysis has also not been done. Even the preliminary sampling and background reduction has not been done rigorously, after which the ‘peak’ might reduce significantly.

Tommaso Dorigo, a physicist at Fermilab and CERN, speaks out openly against this rumor. He writes on his blog:
I bet $1,000 with whoever has a name and a reputation in particle physics (this is a necessary specification, because I need to be sure that the person taking the bet will honor it) that the signal is not due to Higgs boson decays. …I am willing to bet that this is NO NEW PARTICLE. Clear enough?

Physicists are a skeptical lot. They will be ecstatic if this is indeed a positive detection, but at this time, nothing confirmatory can be said.

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Nintendo Wii’s Successor Coming In 2012; Demo To Be Shown At E3

Nintendo released its motion based video game console – the Wii – way back in late 2006. Since then, the console has shipped in huge volumes, and has met with huge success.

However, 4 years is a long time in the general consumer electronics field, and the Wii has definitely become old now. The graphics of the console look dated and frankly, the lack of gaming at HD resolution in this age is downright embarrassing.

Nintendo realized this, and has announced that they will be releasing the successor to the Wii sometime next year. The company has also stated that they will have a ‘playable model’ available for demo at the upcoming E3 in Los Angeles.

Sadly, the company did not mention anything about the changes the Wii’s successor will sport. Hopefully, the company will reveal more juicy details about the Wii 2 before E3 (7th June).

The Wii 2 will surely have a tough task matching the popularity of the original Wii. Nintendo managed to sell a whopping 86.01 million units of Wii, between its launch and March 2011.

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Fable III Will Arrive On Steam And GFWL As Well As Retail

Fable: The Lost Chapters was the source of an unending amount of mirth that is not usually associated with Role Playing Games (RPGs) of yore. With some genuinely funny moments, derisive nicknames and a cartload of funny characters along with a decent story and progression, the game was a great overall experience. Fable III promises to entertain as much as Fable: TLC, if not more. However, just how much it does entertain is still debatable as the game is yet to be launched.

However, the Lionhead Studios game will be distributed on both Microsoft’s Games for Windows Live (GFWL) Marketplace, as well as Valve’s huge digital distribution platform, Steam. Preordering the game on each platform gives you a different bonus:-

Preordering Fable III on Games for Windows Live Marketplace gives you instant access to the previous game Fable: The Lost Chapters for you to romp about in the Darkwood Bordello (and other places of course)
Preordering it on Steam gets you the Rebel’s Weapon and Tattoo Pack which is basically “a collection of four exclusive weapons and five exclusive tattoo sets to customize their rebel hero.”
I guess that’s very nice. (I would go for the GFWL deal, if I were you. Just sayin’)

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Nokia C3-01 Firmware v06.00 Comes With Swipe To Unlock Feature


Last month, Nokia officially launched the C3-01 Touch and Type phone in India. This handset comes with a 2.4 inch touchscreen display, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi, 5 megapixel camera, 32 GB expandable memory and much more. Within a month, this handset has received a new firmware update numbered 06.00. The new firmware update comes with an amazing “Swipe To Unlock” feature, general performance improvements, etc. Check out the complete changelog below:

Swipe to unlock your device
Swipe to open Collection and Games
Performance and usability improvements
The latest firmware version can be downloaded from the Nokia Software Update or via. Over-The-Air (OTA). To get this software through your device, select Applications > Software Update, and choose the software you want to update.

It is advised to backup all your data before updating the device, just to make sure that no important files are lost during the installation. It may take few days or weeks for the update to reach in your region. If you find any other changes or improvements in this firmware update, then share with us in the comments section below.

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BlackBerry Style 9670 CDMA Launched In India For Rs.24,990

Last year, BlackBerry announced the launch of BlackBerry Style 9670 flip smartphone exclusively on the airwaves of Sprint in the US. Finally after waiting for more than six months, this handset has been officially launched in India. BlackBerry Style 9670 is a CDMA phone, so it can be used only with Reliance, Tata Docomo and MTS in India.

This handset runs on the Blackberry 6 Operating System and it comes with a two large display, full QWERTY keyboard, 3G Connectivity, 5 megapixel camera and more. The external screen can be used for quickly viewing notifications and messages, while the high-resolution internal screen can be used for web browsing and watching videos. Check out the complete specs below.

“The CDMA segment represents a significant portion of the overall mobile subscriber base in India and we are pleased to further our commitment to Indian consumers with the introduction of this powerful and stylish BlackBerry smartphone,” said Frenny Bawa, Managing Director, India, Research In Motion. “The BlackBerry Style is a new and exciting choice for customers, offering an attractive flip design and an intuitive user experience powered by the new BlackBerry 6 operating system.”

BlackBerry Style 9670 features a 2.7 inch QVGA internal display with 360 x 400 pixels resolution, 2 inch QVGA external display, BlackBerry 6 Operating System, Full QWERTY keyboard, Trackpad, Wi-Fi, 3G Connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with flash, continues auto-focus and image stabilization, VGA video recording and so on.

Other features include a 3.5mm audio jack, Multimedia player, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, GPS, 512MB internal memory, 32GB expandable memory, 8GB card included, BlackBerry Maps, 14 hours of music playback, 4.5 hours of talk time, 10.5 days of stand-by time and a 1150 mAhr battery.

BlackBerry Style 9670 comes with SNS apps for accessing YouTube, BBM, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. This handset comes with a price tag of Rs.24,990.

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Windows 8 M2 (Build 7955) Leaked

Although Microsoft has been sharing Windows 8 test builds with trusted partners for several months, us mere mortals had to wait until early April to get a taste of Windows 8. However, the flood gates seem to have opened, and we have another leak on our hands.

BetaArchive, the forum responsible for leaking Windows 8 M1, has done it once again. This time, they have managed to get hold of Windows 8 Build 7955 (6.2.7955.0). This build is a lot newer than the earlier build. If I am not mistaken, it is the final build of the Milestone 2 (M2) tree. According to the notes provided by the releaser,
You can unlock the following:
Ribbon UI
Application Folder (now working, in 7850 it was broken)
Full DWM (hideblur)
The following requires the ”red pill”:
Webcam
Login (that ugly guy with ctrl+alt+del, the fishy wallpaper, pattern login)
TaskUI (new taskmanager)
PDF Reader
Immersive Browser
At the moment Windows 8 M2 is available for download only on the private BetaArchive FTP server; however, it should begin popping up in various torrent websites in an hour or so. As always, keep in mind that installing a leaked build is fraught with danger. Besides the risk that it might have been tampered with, you might experience severe performance and stability issues. The file released by BA has the MD5 hash 40861A02CB14B0D2D7930910DB6CC6E4 and is a 2.47GB (2,657,079,296 bytes) download.

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Lenovo ThinkPad Android Honeycomb Tablet Leaked

The market is already flooded with Android tablets. And now, Lenovo has joined the bandwagon. The company will soon launch its first tablet device. Recently, the leaked pics and specs of this device has been emerged. Lenovo’s first tablet device will be called “Lenovo ThinkPad” and it will be powered by the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Operating System. Lenovo ThinkPad will have a stylus for hand-drawn notes. Check out the leaked specs below.

10.1 inch touchscreen display
1280 x 800 resolution
Tegra 2 processor
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Operating system
Wi-Fi
3G connectivity
Keyboard booklet and cradle (optional)
Pen and digitizor (optional)
8 hours battery life
Weighs 1.6 pounds and is 0.55 inches thick
16 GB / 32 GB / 64 GB version
One of the unique feature of this tablet is the keyboard booklet, which allows you to switch over to the laptop mode. Lenovo ThinkPad is expected to be announced in June and it will be available for purchase from July. Lenovo ThinkPad will be available from $499 for the 16 GB version.
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Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro II Gets Snapped in All Its Beauty


The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro II has surfaced once again, and thankfully, this time around, Mr. Blurrycam decided to stay at home. A Chinese website has published some gorgeous snaps of the successor to the Xperia Mini Pro. The Mini Pro II is no Arc, but it’s still quite a looker.


While the Mini Pro will be a tad bigger than its predecessor, SE is still quite serious about the ‘Mini’ tag. Leaked specifications suggest that it will feature a 3.0 inch screen with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. It’s expected to be powered by a capable 800 MHz Scorpion processor with Adreno 205 GPU.

Considering SE’s recent trackrecord, it seems pretty obvious that it will sport Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) at launch. Other features include FM Radio, 5 megapixel camera with HD video recording, and expandable memory (up to 32 GB). Of course, the biggest attraction of this handset is its physical QWERTY keypad.


Samsung has been making things tough for other manufacturers by launching attractive handsets like the Galaxy Ace at unbeatable prices. However, if the Mini Pro II is priced sensibly, Sony Ericsson might have a winner in its hands.

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Lenovo to Bring 7-inch Honeycomb Tablet by 2011Q4


After the 10.1-inch Honeycomb Tablet leak by Lenovo, it seems that Lenovo has tons of devices in its kitty. According to Thisismynext’s recent scoop, Lenovo seems to be prepping up for a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet as well.

Although we do not know much about the tablet as of now, here’s what we do know:
7-inch screen
Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” with Le OS (Lenovo’s custom UI)
1280*800 High resolution display
a dual-core ARM processor
The tablet is expected to be launched during the fourth quarter of 2011, Thisismynext predicts that Lenovo might even launch it earlier. Although there’s surplus amount of 7-inch tablet in the market, knowing Lenovo we know we wouldn’t be disappointed with the build quality of the product. More than that we are more excited to see how Lenovo’s custom UI on the top of Honeycomb performs. Google has a complete makeover with Honeycomb so that manufacturers wouldn’t feel the need to design custom UI and mess up with the update procedure yet none of the Manufacturers seem to follow Google and want to distinguish their product from their competitors.

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Yahoo Buys TV Tagging Startup IntoNow

IntoNow which is an iOS based TV tagging app, has been acquired by Yahoo!

For the uninitiated, IntoNow lets users check-in to TV content while they are watching the program on the TV. The app then lets users share it with their Facebook, twitter friends. According to TechCrunch, Yahoo grabbed the deal for the $20-$30 million. If that’s true then IntoNow made 2.5 million for each week they worked on the app, since the app has been live for only 12 weeks now.

IntoNow will enable Yahoo! to provide enhanced media experiences and video programming, bolstering its social engagement across the Yahoo! network and on all screens. IntoNow users are able to easily engage with friends around the shows they enjoy most.

IntoNow helps people discover new shows, discuss favorites with friends and learn more about them, and provides recommendations for what is currently airing based on their interests and those they are connected to. The application is also integrated with Facebook, Twitter, iTunes and Netflix to enable more sharing and information gathering.

While Yahoo made this acquisition, Facebook and Google have somewhat similar product in their kitty with the ability to stream content online. It’s to be seen whether Yahoo implements similar feature in their new product. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if the app gets neglected in coming months, considering Yahoo’s reputation, all I hope is it doesn’t get killed or gets rumored to be sunset’d.

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Nokia C3 Firmware Updated To Version 08.63

Nokia recently released a new firmware update for its budget phone, the Nokia C3. This handset is quite popular among the youth, since it comes with a full QWERTY keyboard, which helps them to stay connected with their friends on the go. Nokia C3 features a 2.4 inch QVGA display, GPRS/EDGE, Opera Mini, Wi-Fi connectivity, 2 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom and more.

The new firmware update is numbered 08.63 and it comes with application updates, improved features and performance. The latest firmware version can be downloaded from the Nokia Software Update or via. Over-The-Air (OTA). Check out the complete changelog below.

Improved features and performance
Updated applications
Better Stability
You can easily check for updates, just by dialing *#0000# on the home screen. To get this software through your device, select Applications > Software Update, and choose the software you want to update. It is advised to backup all your data before updating the device, just to make sure that no important files are lost during the installation.

If you find something new, let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more firmware updates.

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Apple Gets Its First Lawsuit on Undocumented Location Data Capture and Storage

The Internet has already been abuzz about Apple and Android stealing/storing location data. Everyone is baffled and this sheer disrespect for privacy has enraged everyone. It has become the discussion of talk tech talks, endless blog posts and To add fuel to fire, Steve Jobs has replied to all the location tracking allegations with one-liners,
We don’t track anyone. The info circulating around is false.

My best guess is, he took KISS too seriously and left the situation fubared. It was just time before a lawsuit came through, though I was expecting it on Android, not Apple. Android has got far more enemies than Apple. Vikram Ajjampur and William Devito have accused Apple on this issue and the lawsuit was filed on the 22nd of this month.

Even before reply to the allegation, Steve Jobs takes care to mention that Android tracks users, not Apple. The exact conversation that took place was,
Q: Steve,

Could you please explain the necessity of the passive location-tracking tool embedded in my iPhone? It’s kind of unnerving knowing that my exact location is being recorded at all times. Maybe you could shed some light on this for me before I switch to a Droid. They don’t track me.

A: Oh yes they do. We don’t track anyone. The info circulating around is false.

Sent from my iPhone

So much for accountability, now try saying that in court Steve Jobs.
(Image source)

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Humble Bundle Inc. Receives By $4.7 Million In Venture Capital

When I read the report for the first time, I was surprised that it was an entire corporation called Humble Bundle Inc., and not Wolfire Games that actually ran the Humble Indie Bundles. I blame my sudden loss of memory on the jaw-dropping amount of funding that the company has received from investors – the incredibly large sum of roundabout four point seven million US dollars.

The Humble Indie Bundle is basically a non-regular deal of a conglomeration of developers (except the latest) selling a bundle of their games together without any Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection at the incredible price of $pay_what_you_want.

The model has has tremendous success in all of the iterations, since the indie games on offer are typically very well known and liked and also because the customer can decide where his/her money will be going – whether to the developers or any of the participating organizations as charity.

All the games run on the recent versions of the three major operating systems (Windows, Mac OS and Linux) and recently redemption codes for the game on other platforms such as Steam or Desura have also been introduced.

There have been three Humble Indie Bundles so far, with the latest still on offer with Frozenbyte’s well known game Trine being one of the games in the bundle.

Gamasutra says that Sequoia Capital has led this series A funding round. The firm is well known to have backed other video gaming and entertainment startups such as Unity Technologies and GameGround.

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Sony Announces The ‘Sony Tablets’ – S1 And S2

Remember the Sony S1 Honeycomb tablet, which leaked a couple of months ago? Well, Sony has finally gone ahead and announced the S1, and the S2.

Both the tablets, S1 and S2, are running on Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS and support 3G/4G.

The S1 sports a 9.4-inch screen with a resolution of 1280*800, and is powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset. The tablet has a curve at the top, when held in landscape orientation, and an off-center gravity form-factor so as to give it a “magazine” shape.

The second tablet – the S2 – sports two displays, each measuring 5.5-inches with a resolution of 1024×480. The two displays can be combined to be used as one large display for web browsing etc. The tablet can also be folded, so as to make it portable. The Sony S2 is like the bigger version of the Kyocera Echo.

Sony has also modified the UI of the tablet to their liking, and integrated ‘Qriocity’ with it. Both the tablets are also PlayStation Certified, which means users will have access to Sony Ericsson’s PS Suite for a variety of PS1 and PS2 games.

According to Sony, the S1 can also control majority of their home entertainment devices including AV devices, thanks to Infrared. The S1 and the S2 are the codenames of the ‘Sony tablet’, and Sony will be assigning these tablets a new name before it’s launched sometime this fall.

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APGENCO Sub Engineer Results 2011 Available


When APSEB came into existence in 1959, APSEB started functioning with the objectives of maintaining the power sector efficiently and economically simultaneously ensuring demand meets the supply.During the last decade inadequate capacity addition and low system frequency operation of less than 48.5 Hz for more than half a decade considerably reduced the power supply reliability.The imbalance of the revenues against the cost of production, no significant reduction in technical losses and energy thefts, high cost purchases from IPP’s, other SEB’s gradually worsened the financial position of APSEB

Results Tr. Sub-Engineer(for Engineering Diploma holders in Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics & Civil)

Click here results for Sub-Engineer 2011

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AP Inter 2nd Year Exam Results on 28th March 2011


AP Intermediate 2nd Year Results Will Be Declared On 28th April 2011

AP inter 2nd year General results Click here

AP inter 2nd year Vocational results Click here

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Create New Tabs for Twitter, Youtube, Flickr in Facebook

Facebook lets you create customized tabs for your Facebook fan page by using FBML and iframes. These customized tabs act primarily as an engagement-enhancer for your Facebook page and create more possibilities for attracting others to your page, then ultimately, to your blog or website.

However, there is a problem. Creating these tabs for a novice is a painful thing if you do not know about xFBML. There is too much jargon involved in the process for creating customized tabs.* However, Involver helps you to remove all these limitations.

Involver is a social media Start-Up that has provided applications and monitoring tools to over 180,000 brands to date. The best thing is that it also provides some excellent applications for Facebook users free of cost. Over the past two years, Involver has shifted its paradigm from a Online-Video gatewey to* Social Media marketer.

What are the situations in which involver may help you?

You can add Twitter streams, RSS Feeds, Youtube Channels, Scribd documents and much more to a Facebook Page with no coding.

Situation#1. You want to create dedicated tab for your Facebook page that will show all the posts of your blog in reverse-chronological order by using your blog’s RSS feed.

Situation#2.You want to create a new tab in your Facebook page that will show videos from your Youtube Channel in a very interactive way.

Situation#3. A tab showing your Flickr Photo stream in Facebook page in an elegant format.

Situation#4. A dedicated tab displaying the entire twitter phenomenon from your twitter account to your Facebook fan page.

Situation#5. Finally, Static HTML application allows rendering of HTML in a Facebook iframe. You can use it as a fan gateway to get Facebook Likes. To use a bit of jargon here, you can use WYSIWYG (what you-see-is-what-you-get) to make HTML without actually knowing HTML. Then you can put it to Static HTML App of Involver that will convert it to a Facebook iframe. You may use this as a welcome tab for your Facebook page.

These are some of the well-known apps to make your Facebook page more interactive for free. There are also plenty of other options available for Professional users and Enterprises.
How to implement?

Go to Involver applications page and choose which application you want to use with your Facebook page. Free users are allowed to use only two applications for a Facebook page. So, if you don’t want to spend a penny and still want to engage your audience and drive Likes, choose only two of these apps.

After selecting apps, click on install. It will lead you to your Facebook account. Choose page from the drop down list and add the application to your page. After that, fill your credentials (RSS feed address, YouTube channel, Flickr and twitter account information etc.) based on what kinds of app have been selected and you are ready to go. It will take a few minutes and these tabs will be in action.

—- About the Author —-

Rizwan Noor is an internet lover by default and the founder of TechnoMistry, a technology blog aimed at helping readers with digital tips and tricks to enhance their productivity with the PC and internet.

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