Monday, January 31, 2011

Android overtook Symbian in market share in 2010 Q4

Credit: Enterakt

Symbian, the mobile operating system made by Nokia has been the world leader for smartphones. For years. But things (finally) changed in Q4 2010. Android is in. Symbian is out.


Beginner Tip: See Facebook photos you are tagged in

Facebook of course, comes with loads of privacy concerns. You may want to see if you were tagged in the photos from yesterday. Or you may just want to untag yourself from stupid, cartoony photos when cleaning up your Facebook account. So here's how to see all the photos you are tagged in.

In Facebook, click Profile (top-right) corner. Or you can also click your name almost anywhere on the site. You will be taken to your Profile. [See what is the difference is between Profiles, Groups and Pages]

For the current Facebook profile layout, you must click 'Photos' in the list under your profile photo. Here, you will see your albums and below that, a collection of the photos and videos you are in. On the top of that section, click 'View Photos of Me'. You will now see all the photos you are currently tagged in. You can visit the photos and remove tags individually.

Want more tips, stay tuned.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

BlackBerry services back in Cairo?

Latest reports say that BlackBerry services seem to be coming back in Cairo. NBC reporter Richard Engel said that his BlackBerry was working.

It is still unclear whether the Internet is back or not. I hope that happens soon. It is also not clear if mobile services are coming back throughout the country or just in Cairo.

[via Mashable]


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Humor: Traps


Friday, January 28, 2011

Humor: The fastest way to give Apple your money

Click for a larger view

[via Scoopertino]


Kindle books outselling paperbacks on Amazon

Remember the books that were made out of paper? Me neither. Jokes aside (however, this won't be a joke in a few years from now). Amazon is selling more Kindle titles than they are selling physical books.

And coincidentally, these news popped up everywhere just two days after I ordered my Kindle. Seems like the world is taking a turn towards the sci-fi future.


Egypt goes dark on the web

There's a lot of unrest going on in Egypt right now. Riots are getting out of hand. It is said that online social media was extensively used to coordinate and plan all this. So the government came up with this novel idea of cutting off Internet connections throughout the country.

Credit: Arbor Networks (click image for bigger view, duh!)

Ingenious, isn't it?


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Google censors piracy related keywords

After a lot of pressure from entertainment industries like the Motion Picture Association of America, Google has finally (and silently) started censoring certain keywords from Instant suggestions and Autocomplete. It no longer completes words like 'torr...'

No matter how hard you try, you just won't squeeze the results out


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LG may bring a glasses-free 3D phone

The rumors now say that LG may bring out a new phone called Optimus 3D that will feature a 7-inch glassless 3D display, plus 3D photo and video recording. Later, the same source also said in an update that LG has passed out an invitation to bloggers and the press for an event. The invitation has a photo of a phone that looks like the LG Optimus 2X, the dual-core CPU handset releasing in Asia soon.

What the invitation says below the photo is even more interesting.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beginners' Guide to Microsoft Mathematics 4.0

Microsoft Mathematics is a really powerful graphing and mathematics software. A few weeks ago, it would have costed you about $20. But the newest version, 4.0, available for 32-bit and 64-bit machines is absolutely free. I downloaded it, and it looks... indispensable!

It can be a perfect alternative to a graphing calculator. Only that you can't take it to your exams. Hop in to know how it works.


Tech News Flash: Amazon to sell groceries, Nokia MeeGo tablet images leaked

Google Cloud Print comes to Android, iOS: The cloud printing feature in the new Chrome dev and the upcoming Google Chrome OS will make its way to the GMail and Google Docs websites for Android and iOS devices this week in the US.

Photos of Nokia's MeeGo tablet leaks: As reported in the news last year, Nokia is probably thinking of switching from Symbian to the Linux-based MeeGo for its operating system for mobile devices. Now photos that are possibly of a Nokia tablet running MeeGo have leaked out. And it looks really bland... for now.

The Pirate Bay launching The Music Bay: Illegal torrents website The Pirate Bay is launching a new service made to torture music artists: The Music Bay.

Amazon to sell groceries: Amazon is currently testing a free grocery delivery service. Though the prices will be inflated, you may be soon able to buy your groceries from your desktop. And Wal-Mart goes into oblivion.
[Financial Times (free subscription required) via Mashable]

App Store comes to Twitter: After completing ten billion downloads and after the funny joke with the $10K gift card winner (that made big news), the iTunes App Store has got a Twitter feed to help you "discover new apps, get exclusive offers, and share with friends".

YouTube launches the new homepage to everyone: YouTube was recently testing a beta version of a new, even more personalized home page. Now it has been pushed on to everyone. I like it, but to those who don't like changes, I'll give you one more reason to be angry (just for fun): It has a huge ad sometimes (at least in the beta) that stretches across the top, about half the screen and even has a video on it.


Monday, January 24, 2011

New Twitter worm exploits, Google's URL shortener

A new worm has affected links on Twitter. You know, the simple URL shortener by Google that integrates with your Google Account and lets you track clicks.


Winner of $10,000 iTunes card hung up on Apple (thinking it was a prank!)

Apple said that they completed the 10 billion apps downloaded milestone for the iTunes Store. But who was the winner? Who won the $10,000 iTunes Gift Card? It was Gail Davis, who thought that the call from Apple was a prank and hung up. And she nearly lost the too-huge gift card for iTunes.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Apple App Store gets to 10 billion downloads

Recently, Apple announced that the iTunes App Store is getting to 10 billion downloads soon, and the person who downloads the 10 billionth app will get a big fat $10,000 iTunes Gift Card. Well, they've got to 10 billion apps.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Larry Page to become CEO of Google

Eric Schmidt wrote today on the Official Google Blog that Larry Page will step up to become the chairman of Google from April 4th of 2011.

Here's a direct quote:


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tech News Flash: HP webOS tablet images leaked, HTML5 gets a logo

HP webOS tablet images leaked: HP was inviting people to an 'exciting' February announcement, which they later revealed to be related to webOS coming to tablets. Now, someone tipped Engadget with alleged images of the webOS tablet.
[Engadget via Ars Technica]

MS OneNote on the iPhone: Popular (and amazing) note-taking tool Microsoft OneNote that comes with Office has made its way to become an iPhone app that you can sync your notes to.
[All Things D via Lifehacker]

HTML5 has a new logo: HTML5 has got an official logo. I didn't notice it immediately, but I do agree with Download Squad that it does look like Superman's logo.
[W3C via Mashable via Download Squad]

Rumor - Next iPod could be 3D: CNET reports, via 9to5Mac, that the next iPod touch could get a glasses-free 3D display. To me, it seems highly unlikely.
[Macotakara via Tehnabob via 9to5Mac via CNET]

Soon you will be able to port your number to Google Voice (US): If you are a heavy user of Google Voice and other Google products, rejoice! For $20, you may be able to transfer your own number to Voice.
[Engadget via TechCrunch]

Kinect on Windows?: Some rumors say that Windows could be getting drivers for Microsoft's Kinect. I think this is plausible. It'll be awesome, and loads of more people will buy them.
[WinRumors via CNET


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fix low volume problem in the Sony Vaio E-Series notebooks in Windows 7

As I'm sure you're all aware, I'm an avid computer lover; however, I'm sure you're all equally aware that computers often come with problems and issues. I got a Sony Vaio E-Series laptop a few weeks ago. I reviewed it. I mentioned in that review that unlike other reviewers, I won't say that the sound is bad. I also said that I may write a post about fixing the low audio problem. So here it is!

I had the low volume disappointment when I first unwrapped the notebook, but I was sure that I will fix it as much as possible. I went to the audio settings and saw that all the levels were at the highest. But the volume was low anyway. But after a bit of poking around, I managed to squeeze quite a lot of juice from it.


Make MS Word distraction-free without the need of add-ins

I just wrote about Writespace, the add-in that transforms Word into the perfectly integrated and feature-rich distraction free writing app. But if you're not into installing all kinds of add-ins, or just that you don't like the claustrophobic feel of distraction-free writers, here's how you can transform Word into a distraction-free app with the same look and feel (in less than 20 seconds).


Writespace changes Microsoft Word into a distraction-free writing app

I have looked at applications that help you write without distractions, like WriteMonkey and the cloud-based QuietWrite. But they have their limitations. WriteMonkey, Q10 and other distraction-free writers save the text in a .TXT file, which many people may not like.

You can turn Word into a distraction-free writing app too, using a simple add-in called Writespace. You get the typical black-background-with-text interface, coupled with the advanced spell-check and other Word features.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Facebook removes home address and phone number permissions

Just last week, Facebook added permissions for home address and phone numbers for Facebook Connect and Application developers. You would get the usual Allow and Deny prompt as you normally get, but if the developer wanted, they could ask for your home address and phone numbers too. And if you were not careful to read it, you would potentially give it away.

Douglas Purdy from the Facebook Developer Blog writes that they have temporarily taken that functionality away.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Humor: PowerPoint slides are like children

[Garr's Posterous via LitmanLive via 'Cross The Breeze]


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Legal Grooveshark killer, 'mflow' here

Grooveshark is an amazing, almost-legal way to enjoy almost all the music in the world. The online service is ad-supported and there's a subscription, through which it compensates the registered artists. But that doesn't mean that all the artists whose songs are featured there are registered. Anyone can upload any music, so there may be some albums that are illegally there.

But here's a legal music streaming service (which doesn't have ads), and you get just some 5 million licensed songs free here. It's called mflow. Yes, with lowercase letters. And I can safely call it a Grooveshark killer.


China creates solar AC that can send excess energy to the grid

Chinese company Gree Electric Appliances has started manufacturing air-conditioners in December that use solar energy to run, and use electricity from the grid only when solar power is not enough. They are planning to sell the first 50,000 units in the US.


Humor: Facebook is Not Shutting Down. Nope. No Way.

You know. Facebook isn't shutting down right out of the blue... but...

[GeekCulture via All Things D]


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tech News Flash: Cyber-Shots leaked, Firefox 4 beta 9 out

Sony's new Cyber-Shots leaked: Looks like an online photo equipment retailer has leaked one of two rumored Cyber-Shot cameras. The DSC-HX9V also got its specs revealed. It has 3D panorama shooting too.
[CNET Asia via CNET] Note: CNET Asia links to a source, but the link seems to be dead.

Mozilla Firefox 4 beta 9 out: Mozilla has released the next beta of their next-gen Firefox. They say that some coding in the history and bookmarking has been overhauled, which speeds up startup.
[The Mozilla Blog via Download Squad]

Get a $10,000 iTunes gift card from Apple for 10 billionth App download: The ten billionth App Store download is nearing, and Apple is giving away a $10,000 gift card for the lucky one. Details in the linked article.
[iTunes via CNET]

BlackBerry Torch 2 details out: Boy Genius Report has detailed specs of the upcoming BlackBerry Torch 2.
[Boy Genius Report]


HP admits what the 'exciting' February webOS announcement is

Recently, I wrote about the invitation to a San Fransisco event HP has put out for February 9. It said "Think big. Think small. Think beyond." and "Please join HP on February 9 for an exciting webOS announcement."

So surely, there was something 'exciting' in store for us, related to Palm's mobile operating system called the webOS, which is now owned by HP because they acquired Palm. Now we know what that announcement is. And as speculated, it is really interesting too.


Facebook Connect lands in YouTube!

I went to YouTube normally this morning, and saw this:


Friday, January 14, 2011

Tech News Flash: Google Translate can interpret voice, iPad 2 coming in April

There will be over 200 million FaceTime compatible products by end of 2012: Analyst Ben Reitzes says that the number of devices compatible with Apple's FaceTime video calling will rise to over 200 million by the end of 2012. This will include the iPad 2.
[All Things D via Boy Genius Report]

Google Translate for Android can interpret your voice into another language: The newest version of the Google Translate app for Android can translate a conversation into a different language as you speak. I see where the world is getting to.
[TechCrunch via Lifehacker]

iPad 2 coming in April: According to a rumor, the next-gen iPad will launch on April 2nd or 9th. It will get released internationally in July.
[MacRumors via Boy Genius Report]

Final Firefox 4 is coming end of February: I have been using the beta for Firefox 4 since a really long time, and I like it. Now, after a really long time, it is finally being ported to everyone as a stable version (more than a month later).
[ at Google Groups via Boy Genius Report]

Credit: DenVog

iPad screen lock switch coming back: Apple took away the screen lock functionality (stupidly) and made the button a mute switch with an update. Reports say that the lock is coming back in iOS 4.3.
[MacStories via CNET]


Humor: How to stop WikiLeaks

From now on, I'll regularly post funny, geeky stuff from all over the web. Just to offer something for my visitors to laugh at.

Click to enlarge


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Sony Vaio E-Series notebook

So I recently got a new notebook. It's been a couple of weeks playing with it, and I decided to review it here. It's one of the Sony Vaio EA-Series notebook PCs. The exact model is VPCEA54FG.


So far, I just love it. It's powerful, cheap and beautiful. With the snazzy colors available, there's one for everyone. Let's get into the pros, cons and other details.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Verizon iPhone is here!

Finally, the much anticipated Verizon iPhone has come out in the US. It's all over the web now! After more than an year of rumors and waiting, Verizon users can enjoy the iPhone 4 without switching to the earlier-exclusive AT&T.


Wolfram|Alpha gets a new interface

The still-in-development, super smart and really useful Wolfram|Alpha, the computational knowledge engine has got a new look for the new year.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

T-Mobile changes fair-use limits in the UK, and gives a sharp warning

T-Mobile has put up a notice on their site saying that they have reduced their fair-use limits from 3GB to 500MB. They also say that mobile Internet is for browsing around and looking at sites for email, news, social networking and other stuff. But it is not for streaming videos, downloading files and playing games. Funny!


Tech News Flash: iPhone 4 coming to Verizon tomorrow, 3GS now just $49

The new Facebook profile forced onto everyone: Facebook announced on its blog that the new profile layout, that was an optional upgrade since a long time has come out for everybody.
[The Facebook Blog]

Newest version of Google Goggles solves Sudoku: Google Goggles, the app for iOS and Android that lets you search via the camera has a new version. It's faster, understand print ads and solves sudoku.
[The Official Google Blog]

iPhone 3GS $49 from Apple: The very expensive iPhone's price is always reduced to $99 when the new one comes out. iPhone 3GS was available for the same price too. Recently, AT&T started selling it for $49. Apple has followed suit. So the iPhone 3GS, which was once awesome and really expensive is dirt cheap. Equal to the price of an iPod shuffle.
[Apple via Boy Genius Report]

Verizon iPhone coming out tomorrow: Everybody is anticipating the new Verizon iPhone coming out tomorrow, that is the 11th of January in the US (12th in some locations) at a Verizon event.

Nintendo 3DS is not dangerous: There was a recent hype about the glassless 3D tech behind the upcoming handheld gaming device, the Nintendo 3DS would damage eyes of young children under the age of six. But Nintendo has declined the claim. BTW, the 3D will deplete the battery in 3-5 hours anyway.
[Wall Street Journal via Geek]


Verizon tweet comes from an iPhone, gets deleted

The Verizon iPhone is coming soon, and the first hints of its appearance are showing. Apparently, @Verizon tweeted via an iPhone. The tweet was removed later. What is happening?


Beginners' Guide to setting up a computer-to-computer network

Computer-to-computer networks, also called ad-hoc networks are really useful things. The only requirements are multiple computers, Wi-Fi adapters in them (or USB dongles) and a few minutes. Ad-hoc networks can be used for several purposes. Some of them are:
  • Sharing a wired (or 3G) Internet connection with multiple people
  • File transfer over Wi-Fi (it's faster than Bluetooth or flash drives)
  • Playing multiplayer games
Ad-hoc networks are made to be temporary networks to quickly and efficiently do the things listed above. Consider this scenario: You are at the airport with a few people. You don't have a secure wireless network at hand and you want to send a very large file to someone. You don't have any media at hand. You quickly fire up your laptops. You create an ad-hoc network (in a minute) and others connect to you. You drag the huge file to the others' public folders (or they grab it from yours). You have transferred lots of megabytes in just a couple of seconds.

Here's the structure of an ad-hoc network if you haven't understood already:

Before you begin
Ad-hocs can be set up only wirelessly. You cannot connect two computers via an ethernet cable. You need an ethernet crossover cable for that, and it is a very different thing. And for this computer-to-computer network, you will need the following:
  • At least two computers (duh!)
  • Wi-Fi support in all your machines (they're built into every laptop these days)
  • Windows installed on all of them. Note: Macs and Linux machines would work too, but this article focuses on Windows. I'll link to instructions for Mac and Linux later.
Important note: The computer with the Internet connection (where you set the network) is called the Host Computer (HC) and the other computers are called Client Computers (CC).

Ad-hoc on Windows XP
Let's begin at the beginning. Windows XP is the oldest edition of Windows that I'm supporting here. 

To set up a computer-to-computer network for Windows XP, you need to enable Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) separately first. If you are not doing this for an Internet connection, please skip this section.

Enable ICS:

On the host computer, go to the Control Panel. In Category View, click Network and Internet Connections. In there, go to Network Connections. Right-click the network connection that you get your Internet from. Click Properties. In the Advanced tab, look for a section named Internet Connection Sharing. Under that, check the checkbox that says Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection. If the connection in question is a dial-up connection, also check the box that says Establish a dial-up connection whenever a computer on my network attempts to access the Internet. Click OK and close everything.

Set up the ad-hoc (skip to here if not sharing Internet connection):

On the HC, go to the Control Panel and again (as above), navigate to Network and Internet Connections, Network Connections. This time, right-click your Wireless Network Connection and hit Properties. In the tab named Wireless Networks, click the button that says Add... under the section Preferred Networks.

A new dialog will pop up. Set it up as shown in the image to the left. The name of your network should be entered in the first text box, i.e. Network name (SSID). You can choose a stronger encryption by choosing WPA or WPA2 (or any of its variants) instead of WEP. Or you can keep the connection open (not recommended, as anyone else can connect to it). Remember to check the checkbox in the end to indicate that it is an ad-hoc.

Click OK for both the dialogs and close everything. Now when you search for available wireless networks on your client computers, you should be able to see your network and be able to connect to it with the password you set.

Ad-hoc for Windows Vista
In Windows Vista, setting up an ad-hoc is relatively simpler. You don't even need to enable ICS separately. On your host computer, click Start, then click Connect To. In the list of options, click Set up a connection or network. Select Set up an ad hoc (computer-to-computer) network and click Next.

Now the wizard should guide you to set the ad-hoc network up. Somewhere in the process, you will be required to click a button to share your computer's Internet connection. Click it to set up ICS, or don't click it if you're setting your network up for file sharing or for gaming.

Ad-hoc for Windows 7
For some reason, if you're on Windows 7, you'll be required to set up ICS separately, as in Windows XP. But this isn't very hard.

Skip this section if you don't want to share an Internet connection.

Enable ICS:

Click the Start button and type in View Network Connections. Press Enter and your network connections should be shown. Right-click the network you get your web connection from and select Properties. Go to the Sharing tab and Check the first box. Click Settings... and check the protocols you want to enable for your client computers. If not sure, at least check HTTP and HTTPS.

Set up the ad-hoc:

Click the Start button on your HC and type in Manage Wireless Networks. Press Enter. You should be able to see a list of saved wireless networks on your machine. Click the button Add at the top. Click Create an ad hoc network. Go through the wizard to set up your network.

Your CCs should now normally see the network you just set up.

For Mac, see this documentation for setting up an ad-hoc network.
For Ubuntu, see this page for ICS and this one for setting up the network.

Good luck and enjoy the convenience.

See also:
Beginners' Guide to BitTorrent
Enable checkboxes again in iTunes 10
Beginners' Guide to Windows 7 - Step-by-step
Set up a Linksys router without the CD
Sit around airline lounges for free Wi-Fi - Travel Tip


Monday, January 10, 2011

Send articles from Google Reader to Instapaper (without the bookmarklet)

I use Google Reader. I also use Instapaper. I hate the Instapaper bookmarklet as it just clutters my space and doesn't look good either. It works perfectly with Google Reader, and the Chrome extension that I use doesn't. But there is a way to send articles from Google Reader directly to Instapaper. This isn't new, but chances are that you aren't using it already.


Tech News Flash: VLC officially available on Cydia, Verizon iPhone to get unlimited data plan

Mac App Store brings Evernote 40,000 new users: The recently released App Store for Mac looked like an instant hit, getting 1 million downloads in 24 hours. It has got the popular note-taking tool Evernote 40,000 new users.
[Evernote Blog via Download Squad]

Verizon iPhone to get unlimited data plan (for a limited time only): Wall Street Journal reports that the iPhone coming out on Verizon in the US will be getting an unlimited data plan, but possibly for some time only.
Credit: iPhone Download
[Wall Street Journal via Gizmodo]

VLC Media Player now (officially) available on Cydia: Cydia is a popular iOS jailbreaking tool with its own unofficial app store. The VLC Media Player recently removed from Apple's iTunes App Store is now available on Cydia.
[@rpetrich via Download Squad]

Samsung has a Wi-Fi refrigerator with a touchscreen: Samsung showed off a Wi-Fi enabled refrigerator at CES. It tweets, displays Google Calendar, plays Pandora, and possibly more.


Facebook shutdown rumor spreading like crazy, company denies it

Credit: AeonScope
A humor media company, Weekly World News (whose every article has an all-caps title) reported two days ago that Facebook is closing down on March 15th. The rumor spread like crazy and there was a huge backlash with hate comments, blog posts and requests to keep the largest social network in the world running. I mean, just see the comments on the Weekly World News article alone!

Now here's the surprising part: I had no idea this was happening. Facebook had to announce that they will keep running on their Facebook Page as well as their Twitter feed. And I had no idea what they were talking about until I investigated.
Click the image to enlarge


What does the Verizon iPhone mean to AT&T?

The iPhone is a revolutionary iconic mobile phone. And it is selling real fast, especially in the US. The millions of handsets sold in the US alone are profiting carrier AT&T. Since the iPhone is exclusively available on the AT&T network, the company is surely getting thousands of customers only because of the phone. A lot of people are switching to AT&T for the iPhone, even though AT&T is the 'worst' network according to a survey. But now, the iPhone is coming to Verizon. What does this mean to AT&T?


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tech News Flash: Verizon iPhone coming, iPad 2 spotted at CES

VLC Media Player removed from Apple App Store: VLC Media Player is no longer available for iOS devices on the App Store. The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) speculates that the reason could be legal problems with licensing.
[TUAW via Download Squad]

40% of all tweets come from mobile devices: At CES 2011, the CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo said that 40% of all tweets come from mobile devices.

Looks like Verizon is announcing their iPhone on 11th of January: Everything points to a Verizon iPhone release soon. Apple employees have got their holidays suspended, as it always happens before the launch of a new product, especially an iPhone.
[Wall Street Journal via Boy Genius Report]

iPad 2 seen at CES: Allegedly, Apple sent iPad hardware to GoPod Mobile (Chinese mobile manufacturer). Mashable explains details.