Microsoft today announced a record revenue for the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009. Microsoft confirmed it had sold more than 60 million Windows 7 licenses in the second quarter making it the fastest selling operating system in history. The revenue increase was a 14% increase from the same period of the prior year resulting in $19.02 billion revenue for the second quarter. Microsoft tipped strong Windows 7 sales as a reason for the 14% increase. “Exceptional demand for Windows 7 led to the positive top-line growth for the company,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft for the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009". “This is a record quarter for Windows units,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “We are thrilled by the consumer reception to Windows 7 and by business enthusiasm to adopt Windows 7.” Microsoft's earnings per share were 74 cents which represented an increase of 57% when compared with the prior year period. Microsoft released Windows 7 on October 22, 2009. The latest operating system has received praise from consumers, businesses and the media. In November 2009, Windows 7 managed to surpass Apple's Snow Leopard market share in just two weeks.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Dutch designer Wendy Legro uses light as style element in a coat design which radiates simplicity and minimalistic sophistication. Her LED coat design features folds that open and close during movements. Inside the folds are LEDs which light up, illuminating the folds and the surrounding area. One of the most beautiful textile light designs we have come across. No flashiness and geeky but showing the technology savviness of the wearer. Adding light elements to clothing is a delicate balance between cheap looking, loud shouting light flashes and the soft sophistication fashion design demands. Light effects do not automatically become subtle, colorful plays on the garment by covering LEDs with textile. The light integration has to flow seamlessly with the garments design, the light element has to be part of the design much like the selection of fabrics, texture and colors, the cut and other trimming elements. Designer like Lynne Bruning, Alison Lewis, Marina Polakoff and Wendy Legro understand very well how to merge light with fashion design to create mystically beautiful dresses.
Egg-shaped Cocoon Shower Stall is an elegant design with high sense of aesthetical touch. It was designed by Arina Komarova, inspired by an egg shell and proteins contains in a egg that could do wonders on your skin. The inside is an usual spa features shower, bathtub, hydro massage (Jacuzzi) and mood lighting. The Cocoon Shower Stall’s showerhead is plum in the center ceiling at the inner side and and the sexy cocoons glass slides would just increase the atmosphere for user to enjoy their sensual bath. No info when this one will get manufactured yet, but I think some manufacturers might have saw this unique design over the Yanko. Cross your finger, hopefully it will soon be available in the market.
This device is called Symbio and it was designed by Elium Studio for Thomson. The gadget represents a cordless phone which, when connected via VoIP telephony, turns into an Internet radio, allowing you to surf through the regional, national and international radio stations. The Symbio boasts HiFi ring-tones, HD sound, stereo speakers and color screen. In addition it allows you to send SMS text messages. You are free to select from a wide range of Internet radio stations. Besides, you can manage and update RSS feeds by making use of a special option called MyInfoKiosk.
The leader of 3D LCD – LED TVs mass manufacturing in 2010 would be Samsung Electronics! According to news release by AVING, this is the first company that has begun mass production on the ‘3D Active Glasses’ of full-HD LED and LCD panels for 40, 46 and 55-inch TVs this month. These panels are using Samsung’s exclusive true 240Hz technology that is capable of delivering full-HD viewing in 2D, and also smooth natural full-HD 3D images capable to vividly capture rapid movements. By incorporating true 240Hz technology, operating at 240 frames per second, Samsung’s panels deliver a more lifelike picture with alternating left and right eye images through the use of 3D Active Glasses technology.
- Samsung’s 3D Active Glasses technology will first blocks the left and then right lens, causing a momentary lag when images are shown to each eye to achieve more lifelike 3D images. The term, ‘3D Active Glasses,’ was selected as an official term by the Glasses.
The response time is therefore shorten to less than four milliseconds on its LCD and LED panels, eliminating any possible interference between left and right eye images. In this way, Samsung able to deliver natural 3D images and also 2D pictures with exceptional clarity.
- The polarized glass method previously used in 3D glasses produced separate images for the left and right eyes, resulting in half the resolution of two-dimensional pictures as only half of the screen can be viewed through each polarized filter. Brightness was also lowered because of the polarized filter.
- According to a market research firm, DisplaySearch, the 3D display market is expected to grow from $902 million in 2008 to $22 billion in 2018. Specifically, the 3D TV market is expected to expand to a $17-billion market, with sales increasing from 200,000 units in 2009 to 64 million units 2018.
In a move to help curb piracy, Microsoft has partnered up with Lithuanian anti-piracy firm LANVA in order to take down the largest BitTorrent site in the country, LinkoManija. According to TorrentFreak, the two companies aim to do this by suing the site for 107 million Lithuanian litas, which equals out to about $43 million. $43 million is a lot of money to be suing for, though, unfortunately for the company (and fortunately for the torrent site), they'll only be allowed to claim $53,000 in damages at best, due to local law. However, the demands from Microsoft led to LinkoManija's alleged operator, Kestas Ermanas, having his assets & company seized, with the corresponding bank accounts frozen, leaving him understandably shaken after the events. The charges in which Microsoft is suing the site over are "facilitating copyright infringement of Microsoft's Office 2003 and 2007 through their involvement with the BitTorrent tracker." Things are as simple as that, apparently; Ermanas has claimed that Microsoft is after the wrong people, and that he and his company only ran the website until December of last year. Ermanas also told TorrentFreak that the sudden actions were surprising to him, as Microsoft has never sent any legal warnings to LinkoManija before. He stated, "We informed them that we wanted to cooperate with them, they just had to give us the links to the infringing torrent files. They never wrote back to us." In November of last year, LANVA decided to begin tracking the IP addresses of those who were illegally downloading Windows 7, and afterwards, sent that data to the police. They ended up with 106 addresses, with court appearances of those accused of breaking the law happening next month (though some have already been and gone). Despite the fact that LinkoManija is the largest torrent site in Lithuania, there are many more to be taken down.
The Wrap 920AR has a camera that can capture video a 752 x 480 resolution at 60fps, and combine it with a 1504 x 480 stereoscopic 3D image. You will notice the man playing the game is doing nothing but looking at a bunch of strange symbols. These are the augmented reality codes that we have seen before on other entertaining applications, and the Wrap 920AR has many uses. It should be out in March, but my source doesn’t have a price.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
A tablet should not be more expensive than a desktop pc, perhaps that’s somehow an idea that light-up the mind of Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder for an iPad. The new Apple iPad was released at the price below 500 bucks, a usual price for a desktop pc in the late nineties. The Wi-Fi models will be ready by late March, while the 3G models is going to ship by April this year. iPad supports various languages, including: English, French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Russian. Apple’s iPad has rich-features contents that would allow you to do many things: browsing,emailing, digital photo album, watching video, play youtube, iPod, iTunes, get software update via AppStore, reading iBooks, maps, taking down notes, viewing a calendar, organize your contacts, SpotLight Search for your database, Home Screen. Well, what’s the technical specifications?
Apple iPad Specs:
Apple iPad Specs:
- 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive;
- 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip;
- Ambient light sensorBuilt-in 25Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery;
- Up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music;
- Charging via power adapter or USB to computer system;
- Support for 1024 x 768 with Dock Connector to VGA adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Composite A/V Cable, 576i and 480i with Apple Composite A/V Cable;
- H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats.
- Height: 9.56 inches (242.8 mm);
- Width: 7.47 inches (189.7 mm);
- Depth: 0.5 inch (13.4 mm);
- Weight: 1.5 pounds (.68 kg) Wi-Fi model; 1.6 pounds (.73 kg) Wi-Fi + 3G model;
- 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology;
- 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi);
- Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating;
- Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously.
- Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n);
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology.
Wi-Fi + 3G model:
- UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz);
- GSM/EDGE (850, 900,1800, 1900 MHz);
- Data only2;
- Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n);
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology.
iPad a Disappointment For Some:
Today you can choose from a wide range of computer mice that boast futuristic designs and lots of new features. Recently an incredible computer mouse was presented by a Canadian company called Deanmark Ltd. Its new invention is called AirMouse and the name comes from the device's ability to work while attached to the user's hand, without the necessity to roll it on the desktop. It is worth mentioning that the company's founders Mark Bajramovic and Oren Tessler got acknowledged at the university. Mark mentioned that throughout the first year of study he developed a computer mouse related RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury) and was unable to use his right hand for several weeks. The same year the two students found out about an ergonomic mouse that had been marketed in Europe. After observing the device they decided that it lacked some features and thought about creating something of their own, coming up with this AirMouse. Their latest invention uses an optical laser. In addition, the computer mouse can run for a week on full charge. The computer mouse has an improved accuracy and speed compared to traditional devices. The new computer mouse stays inactive when you place your hand in a flat position, which allows you to easily shift from typing to using the mouse. It is expected that the AirMouse will hit the market in the next six to twelve months and its initial price will be $129.
Now that the iPad has been formally announced, let’s take it a step further with this iDesk. Actually, the technology that you see in this picture is called the Pictionaire, and it is under development by Microsoft Research and the University of California, Berkeley. As you can see from image, this 4 x 6 foot table has a camera mounted above it, much like the futuristic hexagonal-type board game. The user has the power to place a physical object on the Pictionaire, and, with a little drag-and-drop gesture, he or she will have a digital copy of that item. The original physical object can be moved, and the digital copy can be traced onto a whiteboard or a sketchpad. The user also has the option of putting a wireless keyboard on the table, and the table can become a display.
Google has just posted a set of core privacy principles to its official blog, in honor of today's International Data Privacy Day. There’s nothing revelatory here, but it’s a bit reassuring all the same given just how much Google knows about most of us. If you’re interested in more of Google’s privacy stances, they’ve got an entire portal dedicated to them here.
- Use information to provide our users with valuable products and services.
- Develop products that reflect strong privacy standards and practices.
- Make the collection of personal information transparent.
- Give users meaningful choices to protect their privacy.
- Be a responsible steward of the information we hold.
Since Google CEO Eric Schmidt made the following comment in a recent interview, it's hard to argue with them.
- "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place, but if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines including Google do retain this information for some time, and it's important, for example that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act. It is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities."
Not that we haven't seen multifaceted mousepads before, but there's something quite delectable about Razer's latest. The craftily-named Vespula is the company's first dual-sided gaming surface, complete with "speed" and "control" sides that supposedly give you the best of both worlds when switching from one genre to the next. Essentially, the speed side is as smooth as a baby's bottom, while the control side adds a textured layer to pick up on the finest wrist twists. There's also a bundled gel-filled wrist rest to keep the ergonomists happy, and if you're interested, you can get yours right now for $34.99 from their web site.
Apple has announced the new version of their iWork suite at today's media event, along with the launch of the tablet, named the iPad. Rumors predicted that today we'd see an update to iLife, not iWork, though Apple have certainly made sure it works well on the new device. There are no announcements regarding the OS X version of iWork, though Apple showed off a lot of how the new version works. Everything has been rewritten and redefined for the new resolution and interface, working much like it would on an iPhone, although, of course, you won't be able to purchase iWork for your iPhone. Typing is done either via an on-screen keyboard or with the keyboard dock from Apple, though the touch interface is very intuitive when it comes to other aspects of the software. The new software is available upon the launch of the iPad, in two months, for the price of $10 an app on the iPad. There are three apps, so for the full suite, it'll set you back $30. If you'd like to get your hands on this, you'll have to wait it out until the launch of the device.
Steve Jobs revealed the Apple iPad today, its much-awaited tablet computer. Jobs positions it as a third computing device between a laptop and a smartphone geared towards the “key tasks” of Web browsing, email, sharing photos, watching videos, playing games, and reading digital books. All current iPhone apps will run on the device, as well as new games and digital books designed specifically for it. An enhanced iPhone SDK released today will support both the iPhone and the iPad. Some specs: The device has a 9.7 inch display, weighs 1.5 pounds, and is half-an-inch thick. It is powered by new chip made by Apple itself, a 1 GHz A4 and will come with 16Gb to 64 GB of storage. It supports WiFi, has an accelerometer, compass, and built-in speaker and microphone, just like the iPhone. The screen is a full capacitive multi-touch screen. Battery life is supposed to be 10 hours. In addition to WiFi, it will have a 3G option from AT&T. The Wifi-only version, with 16GB of memory, will cost $499. A 32GB version will be $599, 64 GB will be $699, and with 3G from AT&T it will cost $829 (for the 64GB version). All the 3G iPads, however, will be unlocked, meaning they can be used on other carriers as well. On-stage, Apple highlighted the iPad’s use as a digital reader. The iPad comes with a new app called iBooks.
Today, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs took to the stage to introduce a new device named the Apple iPad. Jobs began by revealing that Apple has reached 250 million iPod sales to date. He then revealed that "Apple is the largest mobile devices business in the world today." Moving on throughout Jobs speech he questioned whether there is room for a third category device in-between a laptop or a smart-phone. Jobs then mocked competitors for investing in netbooks and immediately revealed the iPad. Jobs went on to demonstrate several features including browsing, Photos and built-in slideshows. The iTunes store is also built in and the usual suspects of a mail, contacts and calendar applications are available. Jobs also demonstrated the maps application and its location features. YouTube HD support is also included and Jobs demonstrated various videos during his keynote. After the video demonstrations Jobs moved onto the specifications:
- 1GHz Apple A4 processor (custom)
- 0.5″ thick
- 1.5 pounds
- 9.7″ Capacitive touchscreen
- 16-64GB of SSD storage
- 3G available but not in all iPads
- $14.99 for 250MB, $29.99 for unlimited data on AT&T (no contract)
- 3G iPads are unlocked, have GSM micro SIMs
- Accelerometer, Compass
- 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1
- Runs iPhone apps in window or pixel doubling
- Hardware-accelerated OpenGL graphics
- SDK out today
- $499 for 16GB base model, $830 for all maxed out
- Dock with hard keyboard
Prices start at $499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB. Adding 3G costs $130.
- No camera so no video chat
- Limited space — 64GB may be a lot for an iPod, but when you’ve got movies and such, it’ll disappear real fast
- No SD or multi-card reader means that’s all the storage you get
- It’s obviously no more customizable than the iPhone
Lost Values a UK based company founded by designer-maker Elena Corchero, added to their innovative, technology enhanced collection a beautiful looking example how a little technology that has been around for a long time in not-so-sexy-looking roadwork jackets into classy, stylish hats and scarves fit for the high-street fashionistas. The LFLECT Woolly Hat and LFLECT Wooll Scarf look like ordinary gear by day but comes night they start to illuminate due to the reflective thread used during the knitting of the hat and scarf. Chose them for safety and higher visibility reason or for the style and wow effect they will create, the LFLECT products are an excellent example how creativity applied to old technology can transform everyday objects into gorgeous looking designs. Lost Values offers each of these products for $105 with the option to chose from different hat designs, the knitting pattern as well as a large selection of colors.
Pathway Innovations and Technologies, a tech company with headquarters in California, has recently presented the HoverCam, an all-in-one scanner that can take a snapshot of a document in less than a second. In addition, the USB-powered device occupies less desktop space and can be used to perform scanning, faxing and emailing, as well as archiving and managing files faster and more accurate. All scanned documents are automatically filed in RIA format. It should be mentioned that the Rich Internet Application format is developed using Adobe Air 2.0 technology. Due to an anti-skew program, the user has the opportunity to automatically trim the docs that were scanned on a black background. You can also automatically create PDFs and drag and drop favorite pictures into different folders. Probably one of the most advantageous features of the device refers to the fact that you can use the HoverCam to easily scan both oversized and non-standard documents. Currently Pathway Innovations and Technologies offers two models: HoverCam X300 (2MP, maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200) and HoverCam X500 (5MP, maximum resolution of 2544 x 1936). Both models make use of HoverCam Flex software that allows connecting them to the Internet and facilitate easy sharing of scanned documents. With a built-in mic, the device can be useful for visual presentations in large conference rooms or classrooms. Besides, the HoverCam works perfectly with Skype, which allows you to take part in teleconferencing. If you ask about the price then the X300 model is available for $ 139.99, while the X500 can be purchased for $ 199.99.
This time Tengu's presents this lip-syncing USB desktop toy which makes a splash by coming in a polar opposite color – we’re talking about cool black here, with bright LEDs on his face responding to just about any sound, moving his lips even as you type away on your computer. With over 14 different facial expressions, Tengu is infinitely more emotive than your average office bod and is guaranteed to cheer you up every time you clap eyes on it. Of course there are other, more useful ways to employ your USB ports but none of them combine music, miming and dodgy face-pulling. And if that’s not reason enough to hit the Buy button we don’t know what is. Of course, if you want something whackier there are the Tengu All Stars collection to choose from, comprising of Rotten, Stardust and Woodstock characters which retail for £24.95 each, while the all new black Tengu is going for £19.95. This is one desktop toy worth having, even though it doesn’t stir your coffee cup or keep your drinks warm.
According to a public announcement from Canonical's Rick Spencer, Ubuntu will be undergoing a slight change, beginning with the release of Lucid Lynx. Firefox, which comes as the operating system's default browser, will now use Yahoo as its default search provider. However, this doesn't mean that Ubuntu users are stuck with it. Of course, a user can change it back to Google, or whatever else they desire. The change was made after Canonical made a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo. This will bring in extra revenue to a company that prides itself on offering free software. Here's Rick's statement regarding the deal:
- "I am pursuing this change because Canonical has negotiated a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo! and this revenue will help Canonical to provide developers and resources to continue the open development of Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Platform. This change will help provide these resources as well as continuing to respect our user's default search across Firefox."
So there you have it. For Ubuntu to continue its success as a free operating system, money is essential. This opportunity gives Canonical the ability to continue giving users what they want without having to worry about funding. It's seems like a small price for users to pay for their favorite flavor of Linux. If a user is savvy enough to run Linux in the first place, he or she won't have any problems switching their search engine back to something else. Ironically, since Yahoo will soon be powered by Bing, Microsoft, as someone at Slashdot pointed out, will essentially be paying users to use a non-Windows OS.
My.live.com, which was previously just Live.com, was launched in late 2005 as one of the first Windows Live services. Known as the Windows Live Personalized Experience, it has been a way for users to customize their homepages with RSS feeds, gadgets, cool layouts, and color schemes. The site serves the same purpose as the Google's iGoogle site, which grants users similar functionality. As pointed out by @robertmclaws on Twitter, come March 15th, 2010, Microsoft will be ending the Live Personal Experience in favor of MyMSN. Unfortunately, in an unexpected move, Microsoft will not be backing up your personalized settings, gadgets, and feeds. Instead, they are asking that you completely re-create you homepage on the MyMSN site. It's unclear why they have decided to go this route, as it's sure to annoy many loyal users. According to liveside.net, Microsoft has other plans in store for the Live.com domain, but for now, details are scarce. Fresh on the My.live.com site, Microsoft has posted the following message:
- "Thank you for using My.live.com. On March 15, 2010, My.live.com will be discontinued and all users redirected to My MSN. Please note that your settings, feeds and gadgets will not be migrated to MyMSN."
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Norway Browser maker Opera this morning released their latest State of the Mobile Web report, this time zooming in on the rising trend of social networking on the go. For the first time, Facebook comes out as the most-visited social network on the mobile Web, but Twitter’s growth has surged even faster in 2009. According to the report, unique users of Facebook grew more than 600% during 2009, helping the site surpass VKontakte, the Russian social network that was formerly the most popular among Opera Mini users (the browser is quite popular in Russia and Eastern Europe). Twitter saw its usage increase more than any other social network, surging more than 2800% in just one year. Opera reports that social networking on the go is a universal trend, and that all social networks have seen an increase in usage last year, with the notable exception of Friendster. In December 2009, more than 46.3 million people used Opera Mini, an 11% increase from November 2009 and more than 159% compared year over year. Those 46.3 million people viewed more than 20.7 billion pages in December 2009. Since November, page views have gone up 10.1%. Since December 2008, page views have increased 223%.
One of the differences between technology and fashion is the way inspiration for new designs are gathered. Technologists get inspired by looking in the distant future of Starwars while fashion designer draw a great deal of inspiration from the past. This is strictly generic speaking and I am not saying fashion designer are working on yesterday. As we combine both worlds into wearable technology each side has to give in a bit. Following the fashion designer side in this article we like to direct your attention to a wearable electronic project which we think provides a source of inspiration and insights on which present and future eTextile designer can build upon – technologists as well as fashion designer. In 2005 Joanna Berzowska, a pioneer in wearable electronics, created the Intimate Memory clothing consisting of a Skirt that records physical interaction such as touch events and gradually changing color to show how often it has come into contact with other people or objects. The skirt will show the touch memories at the end of the day in from of color changing patterns, depending on how often a touch occurred. Her second piece in this project is the Intimate Memory Shirt which has a microphone in the collar and a series of light points at the front of the shirt. When a friend or partner whispers something into the ear, the microphone will record this event and the lights will light up, showing that an intimate event has occurred. The number of lights indicates the intensity of the intimacy. Over time, the lights turn off, one by one, to show how long it has been since the intimate event took place.
It's been a white hot minute since we've seen a snazzy new timepiece from the labs at Timex, but it seems that the outfit will finally be dishing out a new GPS-laden watch a year after introducing the Expedition WS4. Set to debut next month, the Ironman Global Trainer with GPS is easily one of the slimmest, most not-ugly GPS watches we've ever seen. At a glance, you'd never know that such features as real-time speed, pace and distance data were included courtesy of the SiRFstarIII module tucked within, and you'll also get 50 meters of water resistance, a customizable display to showcase four metrics at once and the ability to push performance reports out to your PC. The device will be compatible with Timex heart rate and bike sensors, not to mention any third-party power meters utilizing ANT+ wireless technology. Unfortunately, it'll ship this May to REI stores the States, while the rest of the world will have to wait until September to strap one on.
Control4, the company that specializes in home automation solutions and products, came up with a program that represents an energy management system and which allows you to use your smartphone as a remote control for the system and an application store. The application can be use on all types of smartphones running on different operation systems. It allows you to control your home energy consumption, making it possible for you to save more energy. The device you see in the picture on the top right offers tips on how to cut energy consumption, being able to spot the devices that use the most energy. Below you can see the interface of the application.
The LivingColors lamp was created to change the mood of a room by emitting a variety of colors so that individuals can paint their walls and ceilings with a hue that reflects their personality and mood. By using innovative LED lights, individuals can create their own ambience through the use of color and light. Each lamp contains 4 light emitting diodes. Two are red, one is blue and the other is green. The red, blue, and green lights can produce 16 million different colours. The colours can produce everything from soothing pale pastels to intense and bright hues. The lamp is modern, neat, and comes with a remote control for easy adjustment. With the remote control, users can easily dim or change the colour effects from anywhere in the room. The lamp requires 3AAA batteries and also comes with a cable and adaptor. The lamp is energy efficient and doesn't emit much heat. This means that it can be kept on for hours without burning. The lamp itself is very attractive. It has a distinctive appearance and is tough and transparent with an oval shape and flat bottom. It is around 20 cm high. It can be placed in any room to stimulate a variety of ambiences. To produce the best effects, the lamp should be placed about 1 meter away from the wall.
The Nikko remote controlled helicopter can be controlled with the traditional dual stick remote, but its voice command feature knows how to respond to certain vocal commands such as “start engine”, “higher”, “lower”, “hold” and “stop”. By the way, it also comes with a sensor that knows where the ceiling is, and won’t go any higher. This is quite a relief, because we're sure that many a toy helicopter has bit the dust due to hitting a glass (or some other type of) ceiling. Now we can know why the Voice-Heli was nominated for Toy of the Year 2009 in the Netherlands. Considering that it almost won that award last year, we're surprised that it is yet to be available this year. You can see a demonstration (sort of) on the Nikko site. The company doesn’t seem to have any sort of price or release date for this guy, which is a real shame. It certainly is a toy that we want flying around in our household.
Google has officially announced on the Google Voice Blog that they have now made accessing your voicemail faster. Upon hearing this, one would think that is change is some sort of optimization or new feature. However, that's not exactly the case. The changes made to help speed up access to your Google Voice messages are simple and leave you wondering why no one else has thought of it.
The following two changes have been made by the Google Voice team:
The following two changes have been made by the Google Voice team:
- When you dial your Google Voice number to hear your messages, instead of being asked to press 1, it just starts playing them automatically (other options are still available from the menu)
- When you listen to your messages, the newest one will play first.
While these changes may be small, the reasoning behind them is not. Google is trying to make things simpler and more streamlined for users. Google explains the rationale behind removing the option to press 1. "Since listening to voicemail is the most common reason people call their own numbers, we thought it made sense to save you an extra step." Regarding playing the newest voicemail first, Google feels that users want to first hear the most recent message sent to them, rather than the conventional implementation of having to start from the oldest one and moving your way forward. This will save people time from having to sit through endless old messages that they've already heard, just to get to the latest one. The changes above only apply to you if you dial your Google Voice number to listen to your messages. Android and BlackBerry users have the option of viewing and managing their messages in an mailbox-like fashion with the official Google Voice application. It should also be noted, that any user can listen to their Google Voice messages via the Google Voice website, or via email (if they set it up that way).
Scott Guthrie, VP of Microsoft's Developer Division, originally demonstrated a Silverlight client for Facebook during his PDC 2009 keynote late last year. Today Microsoft has made the Silverlight Client available for Windows and Mac OS X users to install. The client requires Silverlight 4 and installs a simple link to the web version which loads in its own window. As is expected with Facebook clients, you can see a full time line from your feed, pictures, video and Facebook notifications. You're also able to drag and drop pictures to easily share with Facebook friends. Microsoft has also added the ability to take pictures from your webcam. According to Microsoft's Tim Heuer "The Facebook client is meant to be a working demonstration/inspiration of what one could do with existing services and providing different views into an existing application framework." Microsoft officials also confirmed no source code would be made available initially for the application. The application is also similar to what Microsoft demonstrated in April last year, originally named "Silverface". Microsoft also released a Windows 7 Facebook client named "Fishbowl" in November 2009. Fishbowl also includes Windows 7 only features, including taskbar notifications, jump-lists and taskbar previews.
Michael Vincent has made an awesome website for those who want to kick it oldschool. Whether you're old enough to remember using it, or too young to know what it is, Windows 3.1 was, undeniably, the turning point for Microsoft's Windows OS. While it didn't offer much in terms of new functionality over its predecessor, Windows 3.0, Windows 3.1 was the first widely used version of Microsoft's world dominating OS. Michael's website is a way to look back into the days of Windows 3.1 without having to install a thing. It's a site that emulates the operating system, allowing you to explore it as if you had it installed on your own computer. However, there are a notable differences. The browser isn't really the same as it was back then, you don't actually get to experience the boot up process, and Windows 3.1 didn't come with links to all of Michael's websites. Still, it's a great little emulator. Go ahead; try out Microsoft's never-too-old-to-forget, right-click-lacking version of Windows. Oh, and to make it even better. Minesweeper works (see the proof below). Just don't try the simultaneous right and left click trick. That'll throw you out of the emulator.
- "Best viewed in Firefox 3.
- IE 8, 7, and 6 acceptable.
- Resolution of 1024x768 or greater recommended."
Today Google has released a stable version of Google Chrome for Windows with bookmark sync and extensions. Google Chrome will now allow you to add extensions to your browser to make accessing news sites, activities, and many more things in a single click. Google Chrome extensions have a one click installation directly in your browser and work instantly without the need to restart your application. Google Chrome Mac and Linux both received extensions back in December, allowing users to customize their browser, personalizing what they see, and how they use it. Google Chrome for Windows also added bookmark syncing for users with a Google account, allowing them to sync bookmarks to their account. Users with a Google account can sync their bookmarks on different computers.