Archive for April, 2009

Windows —>>> Macs

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Almost half a dozen developers were eagerly waiting for Macs at work at Simply RFiD. The reliability and power are some of the factors which attracted these developers towards Apple machines. On the other hand Simply RFiD decided to switch over to Mac Pros to be used by its developers specially for Windows computers. The president Carl Brown of Simply RFiD declared that, ‘the company was small and in position to deal with tech support issues’. He stated that the company used Windows only because they were the developers for Windows. According to CIO reports Macs had gained a lot of popularity not only amongst the creative designers but also amongst the IT pros out there in the market. It is known that almost every techie out there prefers a technology oriented devise. This is the reason why most of them prefer working on Macs. On the other hand for most of the techies Microsoft’s vista operating system has been a compromise over quality and lacked innovation.

In the recent years, Macs had made substantial developments specially after its collaboration with the Intel platform. Apples stride towards Intel platform has been followed by developments such as software as a service and desktop virtualization. Thus, the corporate door has been wide opened after such developments. It was last year when Yankee Group surveyed more than 800 IT executives and found that about 80% were using Macs. This was a substantial leap especially after the same amount was not more than 47% in 2006. According to experts, five years ago Macs was not feasible as there were a lot of Windows applications which has to be run on a PC. It was noted that most of the Macs enthusiasts cam from the sales and creative ranks of an enterprise such as the marketing department. This was the same for Simply RFiD where the .Net developers were using the VMware virtualization machine for Visual Studio. This was primarily based upon the Mac Pro one of the fastest and most stable platforms used by the programmers. The developers stated that VMware performed much better on a Mac Pro when compared with Windows.

Not only can the developers easily switch over to Mac OS but also quick open iChat videoconferencing or move through various tabs and internet services used by RFiD. Macs has come out to be one of the best when it comes to interaction with internet based services. While Macs has gained a lot of popularity amongst the RFiD engineers, it is also in a lot of demand amongst other IT pros. The strongest reason for this demand is the stable and reputable hardware which comes along a promise of technological innovation on the part of Apple. The Mac OS X, being a Unix based platform meant that the developers will be provided with utmost simplicity while working. Some of the developers also tried running a Vista Machine with an Apple monitor. It was revealed that although there were several annoying prompts, the system was smooth to work on.

IE8 just launched and immediately hacked

Friday, April 10th, 2009

The final code for the Internet Explorer 8 by Microsoft was introduced recently. This was hacked by a researcher from Germany in the PWN2OWN contest eventually winning $5000 and a Sony VIAO laptop. Nils is a student of computer science from Germany. He ruined into Sony in just a few minutes by taking benefit of an undisclosed weakness in the new Internet Explorer 8. Tipping point was the sponsor of this hacking contest. The laptop used by the researcher was running on the Microsoft internal build for the Windows 7. IE8 is the final version of Microsoft which can be used for Windows Vista, XP, as well as Server 2003 and 2008. It has been tagged as the final edition to their Windows 7. The version has not yet been unconfined to the public.
Microsoft conducted the hacking contest to find out the bug and deal with it. This has helped them to build a more secure and safe Internet Explorer which is hacker free. There are situations when some vulnerability arises during the product development which will obstruct the release of the product. Microsoft wanted to evaluate any vulnerability which existed in the new Internet Explorer 8. Tipping point has bought these vulnerabilities and its rights and has awarded a cash prize to the hacker who cracked IE8. This helps in knowing about the low points of the browser and makes the necessary changes. Microsoft was brought down to ground zero by the hacker who hacked through the product even before its release. Microsoft just watched how a researcher from Germany hacked through their system and went away winning a cash prize and a laptop. Nils only took five minutes to hack through the all new IE8. Tipping Point has handed over all the codes and details to the operation manager Mike Reavey of Microsoft Security Research Center. Reavey was at CanSecWest where the security conference of PWN2OWN was being held.
The code was taken back to the company and it has been filed as a bug. It is said to be a real winner story for Tipping Point as well as Microsoft who had the chance to interact with Nils and know more about the problem. The bug has been reproduced in the labs of Microsoft and they are working to make IE8 more foolproof. The vulnerability has not yet been confirmed by Microsoft. After the vulnerability will be confirmed, Microsoft has claimed to take necessary action to protect all its customers. It is said that the build which was used in the contest is not original RTW build that was released. Nils after successfully hacking the IE8 has moved to the Safari browser by Apple Inc and the Mozilla Firefox. He has successfully attacked both these codes which he created earlier. Nils gathered total prize money of $15,000 by hacking some of the popular internet browsers. The contest opened up new avenues for Microsoft, Mozilla and Apple to make their internet browsers foolproof.

HyerSpace with ThinkFree Office

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Phoenix Technologies has already announced that their ThinkFree Office, which is a Microsoft Office-like productivity suit is made available through their fast-boot HyperSpace source. The HyperSpace is basically a ‘Lite’ operating system based on Linux which laptop users can easily boot within a few seconds, compared to the several minutes often required to load windows. Therefore by imitating the instant start experience in smartphones the HyperSpace has moved around one of the long awaiting complaints of Windows regarding its slow boot time which is also implicitly acknowledged by Microsoft.

According to Milpitas the Calif-based Phoenix, the HyperSpace would not just save user’s boot time but would also need less energy to operate compared to windows, thereby extending its battery life. Guarav Banga the CTO said that, with the HyperSpace the users will have the ability to access cut down versions of different applications including a video player with large variety of codec’s, Firefox web browser, a notepad, calculator and even some games. Banga claims that although Windows laptops can wake up from hibernate modes or from sleep quickly they are unreliable. He said, there are a lot of people in offices who go for meetings leaving their laptop lids open as in case it might take too long for the laptop to wake up and find the Wi-Fi.

Banga further said that apart from adding the new ThinkFree which is a latest update to HyperSpace it would also boast its resolution and color capabilities. Additionally the company is also working on to add instant messaging and email software. Phoenix also competes with another similar instant on Linux platform called the Splashtop. The Splashtop also fully competes with products like the $150 device offered by Lenovo Group and Research in Motion which automatically forwards mails from the Blackberries of users to even turned off ThinkPads.

Until now the footing for HyperSpace is still limited as only 2 major manufacturers the NCE Corp of Japan and Asustek Computers Inc in Taiwan have announced their plans to install the Hyperspace on their laptop and netbook PCs. Guarav Banga has promised that the company would announce some more details about the HyperSpace in a few weeks.

Apart from this Phoenix also offers HyperSpace directly to their customers in 2 different flavors which is a hybrid version through which the users can instantly flip front and back between Windows and HyperSpace which costs around $59.95 a year and the Dual Version which costs around $39.95 a year and it need the user to exit HyperSpace to move into Windows. The users can even take both the versions for 21 day trial. However although it is not disclosed about the number of HyperSpace customers, Banga says that there are plenty of trail downloads available. With regards to security concerns, the company controls the applications which can be installed to HyperSpace. Banga said that adding more applications is obviously their goal and so they are opening up the environment so that their users can eventually choose the software to install.

Gotta place for another browser? Try Safari

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Apple Inc. has launched the beta version of their new Safari 4 web browser which is available to be downloaded for Mac OS X, Vista and Windows XP users. It has actually the technology world by surprise as it offers even more surprising number of innovative features including under-the-hood updates to avail speedy rendering performance, in -your-face browser interface advances and an open standard compliance. Some of the features users would instantly notice are refined tabbed browsing, a new way to search through web browser bookmarks and history, an innovative top sites display which shows most visited websites and also a modified tool bar which drops down the reload button to refresh your web pages.

The changes in top sites and tabs features would basically call for comparisons to Chrome from Google which was recently introduced. The new Safari 4 browser, similar to Google’s Chrome places multiple tabs over the window and also offers a gallery view of recently visited sites. However, Safari is mainly designed to emphasize browsing and not the web browser. It boasts of an excellent design with just a single pixel wide browser frame. The scroll bar is only visible when it’s needed and by default there is no status bar, but the progress indicator turns as the page loads. Tabs are located at the very top of the browser thereby opening an even wider page to view websites.

Right from the beginning Safari has been launching a pad for innovative ideas and unique features which make web browsing even more enjoyable. Apart from the top sites features the new Safari 4 also includes a new cover flow feature. This feature offers a highly visual way to review your bookmarked sites and site history, by offering a full page view of websites which you last visited. You just have to flip through the websites preview in the cover flow feature just like you do for the album art in iTues. Additionally with cover flow and full history search feature you can actually see what you went through the previous day. The new browser has introduced a remarkable new way to revisit the websites while also letting you flip through a full page preview of the past visited sites.

Safari is still one of the fastest web browsers as it outraces most of the well known web browsers. Being designed with the new nitro engine, Safari 4 delivers blazingly speedy performance you might have ever experienced. For instance, the new browser from Apple can execute JavaScript much faster compared to IE7 and Firefox based on the performance test. Apart from this the new Safari 4 is also designed with a native windows look and feel. In case you are using Safari on Windows Vista or XP it would feel like other windows applications due to its native look feature. The developers can also find an excellent set of development tools that were never before included in a web browser. You just have to turn them on from the safari preference and use them to examine structure of a page, organize compatibility, debug JavaScript, test experimental pieces of code or inspect offline database

First post-Gates Windows release: 7

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

CEO Steve Ballmer said, Windows 7 would be the 1st operating system by Microsoft that is built without much knowledge from Bill Gates, where the technical manager of the company who had lead this development process had to change to things without the co-founder of the company and the previous chief software engineer. He continued that they have a lot of people who have stepped ahead and grown in different new ways. There is no question about that as he too is growing in some say. Ballmer said when speaking at McGraw-Hill Media Summit 2009 at New York.

Microsoft Windows 7 is estimated to make its entrance later during this year as it is a product that included some changes that were done since Bill Gates had retired from Microsoft and the company officials are really proud of its results, said Ballmer during the on stage interview held by Steve Adler the BusinessWeek editor. Ballmer further said that it is an excellent piece of work in the upcoming operating system and it is the work driven by an enthusiastic team independent of the leadership of Bill gates and according to Ballmer he feels that they are all feeling good about their product. They have got to finish the project sand they think it to be a big deal.

A beta version release of Windows 7 was already made available early during January which has until now received several positive reviews over its predecessors like Windows Vista that had taken nearly 5 years for the company to develop which had been criticized by several consumers and business users. However without saying so clearly Steve Ballmer implied that he and his executives were restricted in their capability to make firm technical decision at Microsoft after the retirement of Gates. Bill Gates was retired from his work at Microsoft at Last July and started working at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which is a Philanthropic organization. Some of his past duties at Microsoft would be now passed on to Ray Ozzie who had replaced Bill Gates as the chief software architect.

Steve Ballmer said that the first thing that should be changed at Microsoft is the way Craig Mundie and Ozzie interact as one team to make all the technology decisions. He added, the way all of three of them accomplish or their job at the technology leadership center is certainly different in the way Bill gates accomplished. According to Ballmer, Bill Gates had more in his final say in technical decisions, as he was also the founder. He added that Bill Gates did not give much orders but in case he thought something should is to be done then you clearly knew work would be intense if you did not agree. Additionally Steve Ballmer also said that if given the change then his team and he would be pleased to have back Bill Gates back. He said that they really miss Bill gates and he support for their work.

Hate PC? Try Linux

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Life was tough for the Windows users trying to use the Linux operating system. The main drawback which existed was the complications which arose when trying to install or upgrade the software. A lot of people have responded about the problems faced by people when trying install or update the Linux software. Now you can easily update the Linux software in a hassle free manner. There may be slight variations for different Linux versions but in general you can use this method for any Linux software. One should first understand the Linux world as Windows has become a monopoly for the PC operating systems. The windows users think that the whole system revolves around them and that all operating systems are similar. If you are trying to install Linux, then you should know that it uses a separate format from Windows and you should understand them before using it.

First thing to note is that there is no single Linux version as such. There are many different versions of Linux which is released by different companies. This is normally done through distributions and the common distributors are Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat and Gentoo. These are some of the examples of the various Linux distros. When installing a Linux version, one should know about the version specifically which means that the user should know about the Linux distro. It is easier than it sounds and you won’t have much difficulty installing it. For Linux, the way in which you install the software is closely related to the operating system of the desktop. Due to this, you can install the software without having to know about who is the Linux distributor. It is better to know the Linux distribution in case you run into any trouble. The nest step is to understand how the software is being distributed as well as installed for Linux. It is a little different from the ay the distribution is done for Microsoft Windows. The software of Linux is necessary for the installation or upgrading and it will be stored in some online repository where the Linux version will contact and perform the installation.

Earlier the Linux users had to muck around some command lines for installing the software. But now the software will directly handle the Linux along with all its packaging and installation information. You can even follow the command lines for installation but it might take a lot more time and effort. Now, the files and other information come in the form of a package. The package manager will have an operating system which will maintain the relationship of all the online repositories and will perform all the work of finding and updating the Linux software. This helps you to avoid the toil of searching for the software and updating it all by yourself. This helps you to avoid the difficulty in installing the software while enjoying all the applications of the Linux operating system. With some brief background, you can find and easily install the Linux software.

How to add lyrics to your iTunes

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

The people out there who have never added lyrics to a track especially in iTunes here is the simple procedure. Select the track, click on the file tab, move to info and then the lyrics tab. This will open up the info window where the lyrics can simply be typed or pasted. The process is not that difficult but for the people who need to do it more often it seems like a tiresome task. Another problem arises when the added lyrics are not confined just to the iTunes window but also appear on the iPhone and iPod. pearLyrics a utility which automatically added lyrics to iTunes tracks while playing was uncovered in 2005. Soon after its release it was discontinued due to heavy pressure from different ends. Since then very few product have been released but none have can perform as smoothly as pearLyrics.

According to the experts one of the utilities which can deliver with par pearLyrics is iClip Lyrics. Just leave the application running while listening to music at iTunes. The users can view the track name at the top of the screen while the exhisting lyrics are automatically saved to the ID3 tag. On the other hand the tracks which do not have lyrics the program automatically look out for the artist or track name and refer to LyricWiki for the lyrics. Thus, the lyrics are automatically added to the ID3 tag of the current track. As most of the processes are completed automatically the user ends up adding lyrics to almost every track he listens. I should be noted that LyricWiki does not have lyrics for every song out there, thus if the lyrics are not found the users can look out for it through Google search engine. iClip automatically sends a request to the browser which opens a clipboard at the iClips Lyrics window. This window can be used for entering text which after entering is automatically pasted to the iClip Lyrics clipboard. Thus, a simple click pastes the lyrics to the track played.

For most of the users this process can be a little tiresome when compared with the automatic operation competed by the utility itself. The manual task can also be performed after searching for lyrics in Google and pasting the same at the info window through iTunes. In case if the lyrics displays come errors, it can be easily changed right at the iClip Lyrics window. This can be easily done using the refresh button for applying all changes made. In case if LyricWiki provides wrong lyrics for the song the users can easily click on the delete tab. This will remove the lyrics from the track. According to the users the user friendly nature of iClip makes it hugely popular and easy to use. The lyrics can be simply added as the user enjoys his favourite music. As per the users the biggest limitation of iClip is in the form of LyricWiki which fails to provide lyrics of independent artists.

Steep drop in phone sales, says Sony Ericsson

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Sony Ericsson has recently issued the profit warning sheet which said that for the first quarter of 2009 they would sell nearly 14 million cell phones so has to make up for their just 8.3 million phones that were sold from the same last year period. Sony Ericsson also expects to post the s€340 million to a raised €390 million annual loss over taxes which exclude €10 million to around €20 million over the restructuring charges. The company would soon announce their first quarter results by the 17th of April. However for the first quarter of the previous year the company had sold around 22.3 million cell phones and had made around €133 million net profit.

According to the company’s statement their drop in sales had also increased their net losses which are the result of weak consumer demand and the slowing down of retail orders for new stock. During the year 2008, Sony Ericsson had announced plans to cut down the costs by nearly €300 million annually which had put down nearly 2,000 people. According to Carolina Milanesi the Gartner analysts, this news however does not come as a surprise. She said that the cell phone market has already picked up very little during the first quarter but not in the markets where Sony Ericsson is dependent. According to Carolina Milanesi , the sales of the company have taken a fall down turn because of the economic downturn, but this is obvious that their portfolio does not stand out any further.

Melanesi said that camera and music player have also become more extensive among the portfolio of their competitors which place more pressure on Sony Ericsson. She further added that Sony Ericsson still does not have a pure touch screen phone launched in the market. In the month of February 2009, the company had announced their Idou which is a pure touch screen mobile, designed with Xenon flash, 12.1 MP camera and an impressive 3.5 inch widescreen display. However it would not ship until the second quarter of 2009.

Additionally this profit warning also comes because Sony Ericsson is supposedly looking to exit the joint business with Sony think that Sony is perhaps overtaking them. However a spokesperson said that Sony Ericsson is still entirely committed to the joint business while other spokesperson said that the company does not to comment on their reports. On this Milanessi said that it will basically make sense for Sony to take over the joint business as Sony count integrate more if their technologies into other mobile devices. However Sony has also complained about the joint business with Sony Ericsson that the yare not making money and so it would only dampen the enthusiasm of the company to take over them.