Grow Your Windows Vista Boot Partition  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

It's come to this: You fire up Vista's Computer window and see that your boot partition—the hard drive section on which Vista resides—is running out of space. You spend a few hours getting rid of as much fluff as you can, but a week or so later, the free space is disappearing once more and Vista warns you (with a red bar under the drive name) that you have a problem. What to do?

If your hard drive has only one partition—meaning that your entire hard drive really is filled up—there's nothing you can do but buy a new drive and transfer files over to it. Of course, you could just reinstall Vista on the new drive and start all over, but that's a huge job. If you have more than one partition on your boot drive, though, you might be able to salvage the situation. And just for fun, let's say you don't have third-party partition management software available and want to avoid spending money if you can. While Vista doesn't have comprehensive partition management capabilities, it will give you some help.

WARNING:

Modifying the boot partition can render Vista unbootable, although if you follow the instructions here it shouldn't. Still, it's a very good idea to ghost your system in case something goes wrong.

To work with your drives in Vista, open the Disk Management console tool. The easy-to-remember way is to click Start, right-click Computer, and choose Manage, yielding the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). The slightly more direct way is to type diskmgmt.msc in the Search field at the bottom of the Start menu; this time you get only the Disk Management console tool. We'll work with this one here.The full Microsoft Management Console, with the Disk Management section selected.

The Disk Management console tool on its own—opening this saves some screen real estate.

In both these screenshots, the current Vista boot partition—ATA160-Partition2 (C:)—is selected; the diagonal lines highlighting the partition show the selection. As you can see, this 160GB drive (known as Disk 1 to the system) has three partitions, respectively 65.06GB, 68.08GB, and 19.53GB in size. But 68.08GB is proving a bit too cramped for the boot drive, mainly because Vista, like all Windows versions, expands as you use it and add to it; adding some space would be useful. (full Story)

AMD Phenom X4 Normal & Wide Screen Wallpapers  

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AMD Phenom X4 Wide Screen 1920×1200 Wallpaper

You can find more HQ HD wallpapers "Here" and more Dual Screen wallpapers "Here".

AMD Phenom X4 Normal Screen 1600×1200 Wallpaper

You can find more HQ HD wallpapers "Here" and more Dual Screen wallpapers "Here".

Dual Screen HQ Wallpapers 09  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in ,

Some new Dual Screen HQ Wallpapers No. 09 Wallpaper: You can find more Dual Screen wallpapers "Here" and more HQ HD wallpapers "Here".

HQ HD ubunt Wallpaper 002  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in ,

here is new HQ HD ubuntu wallpaper, No. 002
You can find Dual Screen Wallpapers "Here" and more HQ HD Wallpapers "Here"

Dual Screen HQ Wallpapers 08  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in ,

Some new Dual Screen HQ Wallpapers No. 08 Wallpaper:
You can find more Dual Screen Wallpapers "Here" and more HQ HD Wallpapers "Here".

Dual Screen HQ Wallpapers 07  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in ,

Some new Dual Screen HQ Wallpapers No. 07 Wallpaper:
You can find more Dual Screen Wallpapers "Here" and more HQ HD Wallpapers "Here".

Dual Screen HQ Wallpapers 06  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in ,

Some new Dual Screen HQ Wallpapers No. 06 Wallpaper:
You can find more Dual Screen wallpapers "Here" and more HQ HD wallpapers "Here".

Israel-Hamas Malware  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in ,

Trend Micro is reporting the latest variant on the "please install a fake Flash player that is actually malware" attack, this one using CNN and the war between Israel and Hamas.

The attack comes as an unsolicited e-mail with news about the conflict. The sender and subject change with every message. The message claims to contain a link to an Al-Jazeera video. Clicking the link brings the user to a fake CNN page with a video on it. Start the video and the user gets a dialog box telling them to "Please Download the correct Flash Media Player!" Clicking OK starts a download of the malicious file Adobe_Player10.exe, which Trend detects as TROJ_DLOADR.QK.

This malware is a "downloader" which then downloads and installs other malware, TROJ_INJECT.ZZ, which "...is an info-stealer that logs keystrokes and launches a sniffer to retrieve passwords from network packets. It then uploads the gathered data to several URLs. It also drops a rootkit component detected as TROJ_ROOTKIT.FX." Bad news. (story Link)

Three vulnerabilities in SMB networking were patched in a single update today my Microsoft: MS09-001: Vulnerabilities in SMB Could Allow Remote Code Execution.

Two of the three vulnerabilities are rated critical for Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003; the third is rated Moderate for those platforms. Two are rated Moderate for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, and the third does not affect those platforms at all.

The first vulnerability, SMB Buffer Overflow Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2008-4834), is a frightening one: an unauthenticated networking bug. This is the one that doesn't affect Windows Vista or Server 2008, but on 2000, XP or Server 2003 an unauthenticated user could invoke a remote code execution over the network. Microsoft says that most attempts to invoke this bug will result in a denial of service, but that remote code execution is theoretically possible. This being SMB, a firewall could very well block it, depending on the configuration. So it's not likely that users would get attacked directly over the Internet, but if one system inside a network is compromised through some other exploit, it could then attack other vulnerable systems from inside the network.

The second vulnerability, SMB Validation Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2008-4835), is very similar to the last one: an unauthenticated network vulnerability that can theoretically allow remote code execution, but more likely denial of service. This vulnerability also affects Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, although not in the default configuration, thus they are rated "Moderate." (full Story)

Reviews: HP Mini 2140  

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The HP 2133 Mini-Note was (and still is) ahead of its time design-wise, with an aluminum finish that made the original ASUS EeePC 4G look like a toy by comparison. As one of the first netbooks that helped spur the ongoing revolution, it was enticingly presented and crafted to look like its EliteBook business siblings. But it wasn't without flaws. Specifically, the VIA processing innards were slow and required excessive cooling, resulting in significant fan noise and heat coming from the base. The newly minted HP Mini 2140 ($500 street) replaces the older parts with faster and more energy-efficient ones from the Intel Atom platform while keeping the impeccably fresh design intact. It's basically a business and education version of the HP Mini 1000.

From the outside, you can't tell the Mini 2140 from its predecessor. The aluminum alloy finish, a glaring departure from the white lacquered designs of the Acer Aspire One, the MSI Wind, and the Lenovo IdeaPad S10, is what made the Mini-Note exceptional in the first place. The 2140, starting at 2.6 pounds (with the three-cell battery), is slightly lighter than the 2133. It's as heavy as the Mini 1000 (2.5 pounds) and the MSI Wind (2.6 pounds), and a bit heavier than the Acer Aspire One (2.1 pounds), the lightest in the netbook category.

The 2140 could have been as light the Acer One had it not moved to a bigger screen. It now sports a 10-inch LED widescreen like those of the Wind, the Mini 1000, and the ASUS EeePC 1002HA, rather than an 8.9-inch one. The hinges are concealed when the lid is open, dropping down so that the bottom of the screen meets the system's base, which gives it a modern look. The optional 1,366-by-768-resolution screen is the first on a 10-inch laptop (HP is calling it its high-definition display). My test unit came with a 1,024-by-567 display, which is more consistent with the resolutions found on most netbooks, and it will save you a couple of bucks. The 92 percent keyboard is one of the biggest among netbooks I've seen, as big and as nice to type with as those on the Wind, the 1002HA, and the Mini 1000. The Samsung NC10-14GB, however, has a minuscule advantage with its 93 percent keyboard. As with its predecessor, an exceptional keyboard doesn't help the placement of its mouse buttons, as they flank the touchpad on each side. I found it easier to navigate with two hands.

The 2140 ranks high in features. Its two USB ports don't sound impressive, but it forgoes a third USB port for an ExpressCard 34 slot, which is a better choice. This slot can be used to expand the netbook's capabilities by adding, for instance, a FireWire ports, extra USB ports, a TV tuner, or mobile broadband. Oddly enough, this business netbook doesn't integrate mobile broadband or 3G wireless. Meanwhile, the Mini 1000—a consumer netbook, mind you—does. Otherwise, the 2140 has an impressive selection of storage options, including 160GB (5,400- and 7,200-rpm) spinning drives or an Intel 80GB solid-state drive (SSD). Capacity-wise, the Samsung NC10 has a slight edge with its 320GB, 5400-rpm drive. Like all netbooks, the 2140 comes with an SD slot for digital camera cards and a webcam for video chat… (full Story)

How Private Are Private Browser Modes?  

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One of the latest trends in browser security is a private browsing mode. Browsers leave evidence in many forms of where you've been browsing, such as your history, cache and cookies, and these can be used to compromise your privacy. Private browsing is supposed to clean up all these identity droppings, or even prevent them from being stored altogether. The pioneer in this feature was Apple with Safari; there is also such a mode in Google's Chrome, and private modes will be in the next versions of IE and Firefox. Most browsers also include a poor-man's version of this function that allows the user statically to remove any private data; in Firefox, for example, you can do this by pressing Ctrl-Shift-Del.

Now the security consulting firm iSEC Partners has released a study of private browsing features in popular browsers and other Internet software, specifically Adobe Flash. The results are pretty disappointing. iSEC Partners wrote a tool to test the efficacy of these features and released it with the study.

In fact, all of the existing private browsing modes have some form of data which is not cleared when users enter or leave private browsing modes. Although Chrome cleared the only tested type of data it stored, it was surprising to find that [Google] Gears data was not cleared, since Gears is included in the browser. However, this behavior is consistent across all browsers tested...

Both IE8 and Firefox 3.1 left significant data uncleared, but both of the tested products were beta and neither has yet been released. Let's hope this study will press the browser authors to clear this up before the programs go final… (full Story)

BlackBerry Typing Tricks  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

Here are a few of my favorite tips for using a BlackBerry keyboard:

1. To capitalize letters, don't bother with the Shift key; instead, hold down the key for the letter you want to capitalize for one second.
2. While Web browsing, press K to bring up your bookmarks list at any time; press A to add a new one.
3. Scroll down a message or Web page quickly by pressing the spacebar. Scroll back up by pressing Shift-Spacebar.
4. Dial a phone number that contains letters (1-800-PICK-UPS) by pressing Alt and then typing the correct letter using the QWERTY keyboard. (story Link)

Palm Launches Radical 'Pre' Smartphone With Sprint  

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Palm launched the most radical new phone since the iPhone on Thursday here at CES. The company's new Pre smartphone, running its new webOS, puts people at the center of the smartphone experience and uses Web standards to extend the platform.

"This platform is going to be the basis for innovation at Palm for a decade to come," Palm chief executive Ed Colligan said.

The Pre and webOS are colorful, simple, and touch-centric – in a lot of ways, a lot like Apple's iPhone. The Pre is the most people-centric smartphone ever. The webOS consolidates your contacts from various locations, including Microsoft Exchange servers and Facebook, into a unified contact list. It automatically eliminates duplicate information, consolidates photos and lets you connect with people via any way you've got: texting, IM, e-mail, phone calls, or Facebook.

The people-centric view of information which Palm calls "synergy" carries into other applications as well. The Pre's calendar, for instance, can show information from multiple online calendars at the same time. If you're having an IM conversation with someone, you can switch into texting mode without leaving your window.  That's not the only radical thing here, though. The webOS is based on the idea of "cards," which are like desktop windows. Any action you're doing can be reduced to a card on the screen, moved around or thrown away. It's easy to switch between, say, writing an email and checking your contacts, by flicking between reduced email and contact card screens.

"Cards are a completely new metaphor for managing multiple activities on mobile," said Palm's senior director of human interface and user experience Matias Duarte. "The webOS really gives you so much control and so much power with a UI that's almost invisible."

Searching seems to be a breeze on the Pre. The OS seems to automatically index everything on the phone, so as soon as you start typing the name of a person or thing it begins to search, dropping to search on the Web if it can't find anything on the device.

The webOS has many other attractive little touches. Alerts, like new messages, appear unobtrusively at the bottom of the screen. You can maximize them a little bit if you want to, say, pause music. Everything seems to rotate into landscape mode easily, thanks to an accelerometer in the phone. The Web browser uses thumbnails of pages as bookmarks, and the email program supports HTML and attachments. In Palm's demo, at least, everything ran very smoothly.  The Pre is a sliding phone with a large 3.1-inch, 320x480 touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard below.

"Sometimes, those cheesy virtual keyboards just don't cut it," Colligan said, taking an irresistible jab at his number-one competitor, Apple.

The touch screen has a "gesture area" below the main screen where you can safely flick or twirl your fingers to manipulate content. And yes, the screen has iPhone-style multitouch, including pinching to zoom into Web pages.

The phone connects to the Internet using Sprint's EVDO Rev A network and 802.11b Wi-fi. It has GPS, stereo Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, and 8 GB of built-in storage, though it appears to have no memory card slot. It's the first phone built on TI's fast new OMAP 3430 platform, Colligan said. On the back, there's a 3-megapixel camera with autofocus, an LED flash and unusual depth of field, according to Colligan. On top, there's a standard 3.5-mm headphone jack, a ringer switch and the power button. The volume buttons are on the side. The device weighs 4.8 ounces. (full Story)

Macs Hit With BitTorrent-embedded Malware Attack  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

For years, Mac users have long been rightfully smug about their platform's relative immunity to virus and malware attacks, but it's inevitable that those days will eventually come to an end. (As the Mac gains in popularity, it also earns more attention from malware developers, and it's this lack of malware being actively developed, not some special, inherent security, that have really kept the Mac a "safe" platform for the time being.)

Now we're seeing one of the first moderately-sized exploits to take advantage of Mac users. The iServices.A Trojan horse is an attack being distributed via BitTorrent, where it's disguised as a bootleg copy of the new iWork 09. Once installed, the malware takes administrator access and connects to remote servers over the Internet, where it can be given additional instructions as the author commands, from installing additional malware to stealing information off the Mac in question. The malware creator can also take complete remote control of any compromised machine.

Security firm Intego said that just 20,000 machines had been infected as of January 21 but that the risk of ongoing infection was "serious, and users may face extremely serious consequences" if they are stricken with the malware.

Mac users are suggested to use common sense -- that is, don't try to download and installed pirated software -- and to update any antivirus definitions immediately. If you're a Mac user and aren't using security software, well, this might be a good time to start.

As well, if you've been hit by this piece of malware, a removal tool is available here. (Please note: I have not tested it.) (story Link)

Mac: No Viruses for macs - Not For Low Market Share  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , ,

The core of Mac OS X is BSD Unix, and that OS has been around for two decades in open source form, inspected by all concerned. That's why Mac OS X is more secure than Windows, according to InfoWorld.

For a long time, apologists for Windows have been arguing "security through obscurity." However, if it has a CPU, hackers will try to attack it, and Mac OS X has been a big target for a long time.

"The difference isn't market share, it's the foundation of the operating systems. Given that most virus authors and hackers are in it for the ego, don't you think that there would be a huge incentive to be the first one to write a widespread OS X, Linux, or FreeBSD virus?" Paul Venezia asked.

The key is the foundation of the OS. If the OS is designed on a shaky foundation, everything on top will suffer. When Apple moved its customer based from Classic Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X, they did so consciously with the idea that they needed a firm foundation for the future. But that meant leaving every Classic app behind in the long term.

Microsoft has never been able to make that commitment and retained the backwards compatibility with Win32 apps. That has put a strain on their whole Windows OS. "Simply put, Microsoft had the chance to beat Apple to the punch and make a giant leap back in 1997 or so, killing off the existing Win32 platform in favor of an NT-based client and server that did not have to run legacy applications natively. They didn't, and we are still paying the price for it today. Even if you're not running an MS OS, most of the spam in your mailbox came from zombie Windows systems in the control of spammers," the author noted. (full Story)

XP Service Pack 3 Hose Your System  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

From the moment Microsoft released it, Service Pack 3 for Windows XP has been the subject of almost daily reports of bugs, incompatibilities, and general headaches.
You can install SP3 with confidence — providing you take certain precautions — or, if you prefer, use Windows' Automatic Update settings to keep the service pack off your system.


Multiple problems plague SP3 adopters

Windows Secrets has been reporting problems with Windows XP's Service Pack 3 almost from the instant the patch collection was first distributed. In fact, so many readers have contacted us with questions or complaints about SP3 — the last major update to Windows XP — that we've synthesized everything you need to know about this update in a single column.
Here are the most glaring SP3-related problems:
• Internet connectivity fails when using black hole routers, which drop packets (see Susan Bradley's May 1 column in our paid content and Microsoft's Knowledge Base article 314825).
• False positives are generated by Norton Internet Security and other security applications (see my May 2 Top Story).
• Device Manager settings go missing, especially in connection with using Norton Antivirus (see Susan Bradley's column in the May 29 newsletter as well as KB 953791).
• Repeated rebooting occurs on machines using an AMD processor (see Susan Bradley's May 22 column and KB 953356).
• You can't install any new updates (see KB 943144).
• Third-party visual styles encounter problems (see the Support Alert Newsletter of June 19).

Making an upgrade decision that works for you

In light of these and other problems, you may wonder whether you ever want SP3 at all, especially given that many of its enhancements focus on networking and IT-level administration. Here's the case for SP3:
Think security: In addition to new features, SP3 — like most service packs — includes numerous security updates that were available individually in the past.
Consider support: If you think you might require Microsoft's assistance to install SP3, you need to add the service pack before April 2009, when the company will end such support. And because overall support for SP2 expires in early 2010, you'll need to have SP3 installed by that date if you want general support for XP.
Be prepared: Before you install SP3, take a few precautions. First and foremost, perform a full system backup. Microsoft has digested all recommended pre-install steps in KB 950717, which also includes troubleshooting information if all does not go well.

How to remove SP3 from your Automatic Updates

If you decide you don't want SP3, Microsoft offers a tool for suppressing the automatic installation of the service pack. The Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit won't prevent you from downloading SP3 manually from the company's site, nor will it stop you from installing the patches from a CD or DVD. All it does is stop the service pack from being installed via Windows' Automatic Updates.
In addition, the Service Pack Blocker postpones the installation for only a year from SP3's release date last April.
Surf over to Microsoft's Service Pack Blocker download page and click the Download button for SPBlockerTools.exe. Click Yes to accept the license agreement and type in the path to the folder where the files will be stored (click the Browse button and navigate to the folder if you want to avoid typing).
Now open the folder containing the extracted files and double-click SPBlockingTool.exe. A command prompt window appears for a few moments and displays the statement "Action successfully completed." Unfortunately, that doesn't tell you very much. The action the message refers to is the addition of a Registry entry instructing Windows Update not to send you SP3. (The same setting on Vista blocks SP1.)
If you want to see the code that is added, do the following:
Step 1. Choose Start, Run. Type regedit and press Enter.
Step 2. In the Registry Editor, navigate in the left pane to this entry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ Windows \ WindowsUpdate
Step 3. With the WindowsUpdate icon selected in the left pane, look in the right pane for a key named DoNotAllowSP.
If you later decide you want Automatic Updates to offer you Service Pack 3, simply select the DoNotAllowSP key and press Delete (or click Edit, Delete).
If you're concerned about editing the Registry (which involves risks of its own), the Service Pack Blocker can also undo the block in 3 easy steps:
Step 1. Choose Start, Run. Type cmd and press Enter. (full Story)

Intel’s Core i7 Gets Cold Reception  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

Intel’s channels are finding few takers for its newly launched Core i7 processors, due to reasons ranging from a slowdown in economy to prohibitive costs of building blocks used to build systems with Core i7.

Core i7, which was previously code named Nehalem, had won rave reviews across the globe. However, it has so far received luke warm response as the costs of building a fully fledged system based on Corei7 is approximately Rs 50,000. This is largely because the mainboards supporting Nehalem only support DDR3 memory, which though superior in performance to DDR2 memory modules, costs more than three times. Moreover, the cheapest available motherboard supporting Nehalem is currently the Intel BOXDX58SO which is priced at just over Rs 15,000 on the street. “Unfortunately, the current market situation does not help either, as the usual buyers of high-end technologies have tightened their purses,” informed Sunil Kumar, CEO of Bangalore-based Lampo Computers, an Intel Premier Provider.

Though vendors such as Transcend and Kingston have launched their DD3 memory modules, the prices are very steep. Street price of a 2 GB DDR2 memory is less than Rs 1,000 mid-January, but 2 GB DDR3-1333 is priced at about Rs 3,500.

Intel distributors are also said to be carrying limited stock of processors, as they are not finding many enthusiastic buyers. “The demand is low, and anyone who asks for the motherboard and processor, usually is discouraged after hearing the price,” informed a senior manager at an Intel distributor. 

“It’s a proverbial Catch 22 situation. Till demand drives up, you won't see volumes increasing and prices plummeting. It is very unlikely that the demand and volumes will increase till the price drops,” observed Kumar. (full Story)

Intel Cuts Quad Core Chip Prices by 40 Percent  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , , ,

Intel on Monday announced price cuts across a wide range of chips used in mobile and desktop PCs, including cuts of up to 40 percent for its quad-core chips.

Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9650 processors are now priced at US$316, a 40 percent drop from December. Other Core 2 Quad chip prices were cut between 16 percent and 20 percent. The quad-core chips are used in high-end desktops like gaming systems.

Intel's move could be a response to increasing price pressure exerted by rival Advanced Micro Devices, which recently announced the Phenom II quad-core chips for high-end desktops. AMD has priced its Phenom II quad-core chips between $235 and $275.

Intel also cut prices of its Xeon chips for servers and Celeron processors for mobile devices by up to 48 percent. The quad-core Xeon 3370 is now priced at $316, a 40 percent drop from December, while the Celeron 570 chip was cut by 48 percent from $134 to $70.

Amid the price drops, Intel also introduced three power-efficient quad-core chips with the "s" moniker. The Core 2 Quad Q9550s processor includes 12MB of L2 cache, runs at 2.83GHz and draws 65 watts of power. The chips are priced at $369. The chip is power-efficient version of the Core 2 Quad Q9550 chip, which draws 95 watts of power.

Intel also introduced the Core 2 Quad Q9400s processor, which runs at 2.66GHz, and the Core 2 Quad Q8200s, which runs at 2.33GHz. This chips are priced at $320 and $245 respectively. (story Link)

Intel’s CULV to Come in Q2  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , , , ,

Intel’s new platform for thin and light ultraportables should appear as early as Q2 2009, according to Digitimes. The new platform, dubbed CULV for consumer ultra-low voltage, is a tweaked ULV Core series architecture, designed to take on AMD’s Neo platform.

According to reports, the top three notebook vendors are working on CULV based products, and expect to sell as many as 10 million CULV based units before the end of the year. As the platform is scheduled for launch in Q2, this is quite an impressive number, but the $699-899 price tag of upcoming CULV notebooks is quite tempting.

Intel apparently plans to divide the notebook market into four segments. Everything above 12.1-inches will be traditional notebooks, it will have a Atom netbook segment, Menlow MID segment and the new, thin and light 11 to 13.3-inch market segment.

Intel’s CULV platform should fill the gap between Atom based netbooks and ultraportables, or even classic 12.1-inch machines, mainly due to its competitive pricing. Intel’s decision not to allow Atoms in machines over 10 inches also makes sense, as it would hurt its own upcoming platform and further lower the average selling price of its mobile CPUs.

Recently it was reported HP would ash Intel to allow it to build 11.6 and 13.3-inch Atom based machines, but it seems HP has opted for the CULV platform instead, following pressure from Intel.

AMD launched its Neo platform on CES, and at least on paper it is in the lead, but we have still to see actual product announcements or any word from AMD on the number of design wins. When Puma was launched some six months ago, AMD boasted 90+ design wins at launch day, and we all know Puma didn’t manage to make much of an impact on the market. (story Link)

How to Add All Regional Themes to Windows 7  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

Each version of Windows 7 will ship with its own regional themes depending on the default region of the operating system. So if you have an Australian copy of Windows 7, it will contain Australian regional themes. Each copy will only have themes specifically for their region. There are seven different packs in total: Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, United States, and South Africa.Windows 7 Regionalized Themes

Fortunately, we have a little trick that will allow you to enjoy the beauty of all 7 theme packs. First, you need to download and extract this .rar file which contains all the theme packs. You can download the theme packs by clicking here.

Then you need to extract them to your MCT folder located at:
C:\windows\ Globalization\MCT

Once you’ve done that, download this registry file and double-click on it to add the following entry into your registry. This registry file automatically adds all your themes to the theme list under Personalization so you don’t have to manually add each theme pack.

If Windows 7 is not installed on a C Drive, make sure you open the registry file with notepad and change all the Cs to the appropriate drive.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft
\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\InstalledThemes\MCT]
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-AU\\Theme\\AU.theme”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-CA\\Theme\\CA.theme”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-DE\\Theme\\DE.theme”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-GB\\Theme\\GB.theme”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-JP\\Theme\\JP.theme”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-US\\Theme\\US.theme”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-ZA\\Theme\\ZA.theme”=”"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Wallpapers\ KnownFolders\0\Windows Wallpapers\MergeFolders]
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-AU\\Wallpaper”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-CA\\Wallpaper”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-DE\\Wallpaper”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-GB\\Wallpaper”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-JP\\Wallpaper”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-US\\Wallpaper”=”"
“c:\\windows\\Globalization\\MCT\\MCT-ZA\\Wallpaper”=”"

(story Link)

Price Watch: Aspire One Netbook, $289.99 Shipped  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , , , ,

Notebook or Netbook? It's a question for the ages, or at least for anyone shopping for a new portable PC. Buy.com has the Acer Aspire One Netbook for a tantalizing $289.99 shipped. The hitch: it's a refurb.

The last time I posted about the Aspire One, it was $309.99 new. However, this refurb has much beefier specs, including 1GB of RAM, a 120GB hard drive, and Windows XP instead of Linux.

The One also features a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, an 8.9-inch screen, a Webcam, and 802.11b/g wireless. It's modeled in sapphire blue, which I can tell you firsthand looks mighty attractive.

That's because I've got one of these babies right here. You can read about my experiences with it in The Netbook Diaries, but I'll sum up: it's a great little travel companion if you don't mind a slightly cramped keyboard and screen and have easy access to AC power (battery life bites).

This configuration sells for around $370 new, so if you don't mind a 90-day warranty instead of the usual 12 months, the refurb is definitely a good deal. If Buy.com runs out, you can get the same model for the same price from TigerDirect. (story Link)

Foolish Forecast: AMD Is Stronger Than It Looks  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

Semiconductor underdog Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) will report fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday night. The last few quarters have been disastrous, and AMD's share price has shrunk to microscopic levels. Is this where the proverbial rubber hits the road, or will long-suffering investors continue to suffer? Let's have a little chat about all of that.

What Fools say
Here's how AMD's CAPS rating stacks up against some of its peers and competitors:

Company Market Cap (billions) Trailing P/E Ratio CAPS Rating
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) $73.42 14.3 ****
Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) $19.2 7.8 ****
NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) $4.0 11.9 ****
Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) $2.73 N/A **
AMD $1.26 N/A **

Data taken from Motley Fool CAPS on 01/20/2009. Financial data courtesy of Yahoo! Finance.

CAPS member skymutt2 wrote the following in bearish volley in early December: "Burning thru cash, loads of debt, no end in sight for the losses." Ouch.

"This is a big one for a come back," says all-star member Vet67to82, who has an "outperform" rating on AMD. "Intel's only competition ... AND saving Intel from regulatory heat as a monopoly. Intel needs AMD to survive and prosper. ... Less price competition will be good for both companies bottom lines. Sooo, I'm looking for AMD to go from $2.00 to $10 to $20." (Story Link)

Red Hat Version 5.3 Released  

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 became globally available on Wednesday, with the new enterprise OS featuring virtualization improvements, support for Intel's Core i7 architecture and inclusion of the Open Java Development Kit from Sun.

When interviewed in October 2008, Red Hat global chief executive Jim Whitehurst said virtualization was one of the company's key priorities. "Virtualization should be part of the operating system, not a separate layer," he said at the time.

Virtualization in RHEL 5.3 has been improved, including the ability to make larger virtualized machines — supporting up to 32 virtual CPUs and 80GB of RAM — in x86-64 environments. RHEL is currently used to run a number of large virtualization instances, including Amazon's elastic computing cloud, known as EC2.

RHEL 5.3 also includes support for Intel's latest chip architecture, Core i7, code-named Nehalem. Released in August last year, Core i7 is the successor to Intel's Core 2 Duo architecture.

Finally, RHEL 5.3 includes the Open Java Development Kit, an open-source implementation of Java SE 6 supported by Sun. This inclusion is intended to support Red Hat's Java application server, JBoss. (story Link)

Microsoft officials have said relatively little about the features and functionality the company is building into Windows 7 for business (as opposed to home) users. But a new blog post on the Windows System Deployment blog previews some of the changes enterprises can expect around Windows 7 deployment tools.

Post author Patrick Azzarello, a Senior Program Manager on the Windows OS Deployment Team, notes that the deployment changes with 7 should be smaller and less onerous than those introduced with Vista:

“Don’t worry though – these are mostly enhancements (where in Windows Vista we pretty much changed all the tools and infrastructure used to build and deploy Windows).”

In his January 20 blog post, Azzarello said the deployment changes in Windows 7 fall primarily into three buckets: Windows set-up; servicing infrastructure and tools that are part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (for corporate users) or OEM Pre-installation Kit for resellers); and network-based deployment.

In terms of set-up, Microsoft has moved the license key to the Windows Welcome page. It also is enabling “specific, licensed components,” as an alternative to re-imaging a system to make upgrading  from different Windows 7 versions (like Home Premium to Ultimate) easier, Azzarello blogged. (full Story)

It has been over 2 months since I wrote up my first impressions of the Nokia E71. At that time I was getting flooded with review and purchased devices such as the Palm Treo Pro, Samsung OMNIA, Touch Diamond, Treo 800w, MWg Zinc II, iPhone 3G and loads of applications with iPhone 2.0, Touch Diamond updates, and the iPAQ 910. Most of those devices are gone now, but the one that keeps earning the honor of carrying my AT&T SIM card is the Nokia E71. The fantastic hardware, valuable notifications on the standby screen, outstanding 3rd party application support, and form factor keep it in my pocket most of the time.

The device I took you on a tour around before was a European version and since that time I picked up the North American version that supports 3G on AT&T’s network. The hardware is the exact same as I detailed before, with the exception of the internal radio now supporting the U.S. bands so I won’t go over the hardware again. I will say what I keep on saying to everyone that I talk to about the device, the hardware ROCKS!

Looks and feel: The E71 is targeted to the enterprise user and as soon as you pull the device out of the box you realize this is one classy and professional device with the sleek stainless steel and dense body. The front facing QWERTY keyboard challenges the BlackBerry and the business user who have Exchange should be pleased with the device. The E71 is one of the first Eseries devices that no longer supports the BlackBerry Connect functionality, which some people may understandably miss. I use an Exchange service and have been using RoadSync because it provides an advanced Exchange experience compared to the free Nokia Mail For Exchange utility (for example, better folder support).

I did notice there is more light present between the display and keyboard than there was on the European version and haven’t seen folks mention this on the forums so I think this is just a slight device flaw that is not present across the line.

Keyboard: The keyboard is surprisingly very good and I actually like it better than my BlackBerry Curve for the most part because the keys feel more solid and smooth (the Curve buttons are hard and a bit loose) and I rarely enter text I didn’t intend to enter. I love that there is a button for the @ character, comma, period, and question mark that do not require any press of a FN button like they do on my Curve. Unfortunately, Nokia hasn’t fully embraced the keyboard into the device since there are very few shortcuts that you can perform on your device and most shortcuts are application specific. For example, did you see the TON of fantastic shortcuts I listed in my Nokia Email service post I would like to see Nokia integrate these types of shortcuts throughout the system and applications. (full Story)

Global Mobile Awards 2009 Nominees Announced for MWC 09  

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Global Mobile Awards 2009 nominees announced for MWC 09In just over three weeks Mobile World Congress 2009 kicks off in Spain and the press releases are already starting to appear as companies get ready for big announcements and product showcases. One of the first releases concerns the nominees for the Global Mobile Awards. MWC is a mobile show focused on world markets so you will see many services that are provided outside the US in the list of nominees. I was pleased to see two of my personal favorite devices, the Nokia E71 and T-Mobile G1 appear in the Best Mobile Handset or Device category along with the INQ1, LG KS360, and BlackBerry Storm 9500.

I have to admit I am unfamiliar with a majority of the services nominated for these awards since I am heavily US focused in my coverage and experience. Some familiar faces in the crowd are Shazam for the iPhone (love it on my G1 too), Palringo IM client, and the BB Storm SurePress display. (story Link)

Securing the Windows 7 Beta  

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Despite the fact that security programs are often some of the toughest code to make work with a new operating system, Windows 7 already has several companies ready with products aimed at keeping it safe from attackers.

By comparison, only one antivirus firm--McAfee--had its security software commercially ready by the time Microsoft launched Vista for businesses in November 2006.

That said, it stands to reason, given that Microsoft was making far more dramatic changes to the operating system's underlying architecture in Vista than it is in Windows 7.

This time around, it is AVG, Kaspersky, and Symantec that have products that are being touted from Microsoft's site. McAfee said it will have support by the time Windows 7 launches, while Trend Micro is working to have a compatible product in the next month or so.

"It is great to see that these partners were able to have their solutions working so early in our development process," Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc said in a blog posting.

Dave Cole, a senior director of product management at Symantec, said his company decided to offer up a test version of its Norton 360 product for use with Windows 7, even though the company knows there are still a few things left to work out.

"We determined that we could run reasonably well under Windows 7," Cole said. "There are bugs that we know about, but we're comfortable enough with the effectiveness of the product that when they called us to participate we took them up on the offer." (full Story)

How Not to Get Twitter Followers: Our Top Tips  

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Over the past few weeks, I've quietly researched what works and what doesn't when you're trying to get more people to follow you on Twitter. There are some surefire ways to add followers--promote your Twitter stream to friends, colleagues, or family; say something that's retweeted by thousands of Twitter users; have notoriety; or have your username crop up on sites like CNET that Twitter users frequent.

But for all those successes, I've found many more ways to utterly fail at adding Twitter followers. From begging to stories to gimmicks, there are a variety of ways to make yourself look foolish on Twitter without getting one more person to follow you.

Asking: Laugh, then ignore

Will you please be my follower on Twitter? My username is "DonReisinger" and hey, I'll even throw in a link!

Didn't work, did it?

Last week, I tested this out a few times on my followers by asking them to tell all their followers to follow me, and all I got back was a few snide remarks from followers saying things like, "Nice try, Don" or "Um, no." Unperturbed, I decided to try again later in the day, since I figured a different group of Twitter followers were using the service now and I might have better luck.

Nope.

Asking for Twitter followers is a major faux pas in the world of micro-blogging. First off, most of your followers will probably laugh at your willingness to show how desperate you are for more. Secondly, all your Twitter followers simply don't see that kind of request to their own followers so you can reap all the rewards. What do they get out of their tweet? You guessed it: nothing.

Fake stories: Anger and betrayal

Realizing that asking my followers for help wasn't going to work, I next tried telling them that I had entered into a bet with a close friend to see who would reach a certain follower count quicker. But to make it believable, I had to create an elaborate trail of logic: "A close friend and I have $50 on who can reach 2,500 followers first. Whoever does so, wins the cash. Will you help a friend out and find me some followers?"

Unfortunately, my followers had a few unhappy thoughts to share with me and my obvious ploy to add more. Suffice it to say that family friendliness wasn't a concern in their replies. (full Story)

Inside Google’s Gmail: What’s Next?  

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Earlier this week, I sat down with Gmail Product Manager Todd Jackson to talk about the future of the service and to find out what's been keeping the team busy behind the scenes. Here are five tidbits from our meeting you might find interesting.

1. More Themes are coming - including ones designed by you.

No new Gmail Themes have been added since the feature launch in late November, but Jackson says more of the skins are coming. "We want to keep adding Themes. People like it. We don't know exactly how we'll do that yet. The 30 Themes that we chose were hand-designed to look great in Gmail."

Jackson says the team was split on whether to open up the design process to third parties, like what's been done on Google's customizable start page, iGoogle.

"We've thought about continuing to do it the way we did, and we thought about opening it up for other people to (design them)." Most of the hesitation has centered around Gmail's design, which makes skinning tricky business. "Gmail's structure is an application that's written all in JavaScript. It's a different beast. The detail level we did on Themes--we went pretty deep."

That complexity doesn't mean that the Gmail folks are beyond letting users design their own themes. When pressed if there would one day be a design-your-own Theme tool, Jackson said the closest thing users might be getting is a tool that lets them choose the colors of each Gmail element, similar to the color picker used for Gmail's labeling system.

As to when new Themes are coming, Jackson wouldn't say. However, I got a peek at a few rejects and early mock-ups, including several iterations of plaid that would get the lumberjack or golfer in all of us a little excited. Gmail via Safari and Mail. app is all you're getting for now.

2. No iPhone Gmail app in the works

For iPhone users who are fed up with Apple's built-in Mail application and wish that they could get a native Gmail application like the ones for Android and J2ME phones--don't hold your breath. "We could make one for mail, potentially," Jackson said, "but we'd also have to make one for Palm and BlackBerry. For each platform, it's time consuming."

Instead Jackson thinks the future of Gmail on phones centers around improved 3G coverage and new standards such as HTML 5 that will make using Gmail on your handset's browser less painful. "If we can design for the Web and give you the client-like experience that you're used to getting with Gmail on your browser, it's going to be a good experience."

3. Video chat is capable of HD

Gmail got video chat last year. However, instead of using Adobe's Flash to serve up the video, Google went with a small 2MB plug-in that had to be installed on your machine. Jackson says the team had gone back and forth between doing the add-on and Flash, but in the end, what mattered was quality, which the plug-in delivered. Going forward, Jackson says the plug-in route will be able to provide even higher-quality video as people's connections improve, going to Video Graphics Array (640x480 pixels) all the way up to high definition. (full Story)

Seven worthy Google Notebook Replacements  

Posted by Mohammad Talha

With Thursday's news that Google is discontinuing development on its Notebook service, it may leave a few people looking for a viable replacement. The good news is that there are a handful of really solid products that do the same thing, and in some cases--do it better. Here's a list of seven of our favorites, in no particular order.

1. Evernote

Evernote has a few big things going for it, the main one being its cross-platform architecture which lets you access and add to your Evernotes from multiple devices. It also has optical character recognition, which means any photos you send in will be scanned for text, which gets indexed for searching.

Serious desktop users will most likely want to download the local client, which enables you to create and edit notes even when you don't have an Internet connection. There's also a browser plug-in that lets you clip entire Web pages, or simply bits of them, to save for later.

If you want to get at Evernote on your phone there are clients for both the iPhone and Windows Mobile handsets. Both let you access your notes collection and create new ones right from your device. This includes things like voice messages and snapshots from your phone's built-in camera and microphone.

The service is free to use up to a certain amount of data per month, which you can easily go over if you intend to use it for archiving high-resolution photo scans or for storing large files. However, if you're just using it for quick notes, and a few photos and Web clippings you'll be well under the limit.

Shortly after the news that Google Notebook was ceasing development, Evernote announced it would soon be providing an escape hatch for users to export their stuff over to Evernote free of charge.

2. Zoho Notebook

Zoho's Notebook is probably one of the best services for ex-Google Notebookers to flock to if only for its collaborative features. Several people can work on the same notebook at once, and it combines a handful of Zoho's other Web productivity services into one place. For instance, you can drop in a presentation from Zoho Show, add a video from YouTube, Viddler, Vimeo, or any other site that uses embed code, as well as upload files from your desktop to share or squirrel away on Zoho's servers.

Additionally there's live chat with other Zoho users and collaborators, voice recording, and the capability to link to other notebooks within any notebook.

Its learning curve may be a bit steep for Google Notebook users unfamiliar with other Zoho products, but one thing that might help is the optional browser extension (for IE and Firefox) that lets users clip bits of Web pages to send to specific notebooks.

3. Clipmarks

If you were never really big into Google Notebook's writing feature, you'll probably dig Clipmarks. Once installed in your browser you can start clipping bits and pieces of any page you're on. These get stored in a central archive that you're able to search and browse through from any computer.

Like Google Notebook, Clipmarks lets you team up with other people to create a repository for various clippings. You can group together with these folks and send certain clippings to the shared space right when you're clipping them.

Where Clipmarks trumps Google Notebook is with its sharing, by letting you publish your clipping for the entire Clipmarks community to see and comment on.

4. Ubernote

Ubernote is right up there in both matching and surpassing the utility of Google Notebook. Like Google Notebook you can use it to grab bits and pieces of pages you're on, or simply as a storage space for collaborative writing and bookmarking. It also employs tags to let you sort and search through your content.

Ubernote works in all major browsers, has both an installable toolbar and a bookmarklet that lets you do the clipping. You can access it from the Web or on your mobile phone, and everything you create can be shared with others both in public and private groups.

One thing that makes Ubernote particularly attractive is that it lets you download your notes as an HTML file. This can be squirreled away on your hard drive or as an attachment in an e-mail due to its small size.

5. Springnote

Springnote takes a wiki-like approach to group notebooks. Like Google's effort you can keep a notebook personal or work on it with others. It's also entirely Web-based and employs tags and a quick search engine that lets you browse and sort through your work.

Springnote offers a much richer text editor than Google Notebook does. Like Zoho Notebook it also lets you insert all sorts of random media objects from anywhere on the Web or from your desktop. This includes document files that can be converted into Springnote notebooks. Like Ubernote, notebooks can be exported into HTML files for archiving or sharing.

In addition to its Web editor, there's also a free iPhone application that lets you view and edit your Springnote pages. You can use it to send photos you've taken to any one of your notebooks. Springnote's one limitation is the 2GB cap per account, which you might run up on quickly if you're using it to store media files. (full Story)

What this Firefox User Misses about Chrome  

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Call me fickle, but I switched my default browser back to Firefox for the time being. In doing so, I discovered the features I really miss about Chrome.

Why did I switch back so soon after lavishing praise on Google's open-source Web browser? Well, when Google added the option to use a cutting-edge "developer preview" version, I signed up, and guess what--it's not as stable. Specifically, both 2.0.156.1 and the newer 2.0.157.2 that I now have installed inexplicably become unresponsive for long periods of time--at least 10 seconds, which is about 9.5 seconds longer than my tolerance limit.

But I like some of Chrome's new features, so I didn't want to downgrade to better-tested stable or beta versions. Instead, I thought perhaps I'd see what my second-favorite browser felt like again while waiting for the newer Chrome features to settle down.

I was a little surprised. What got me to switch to Chrome two months ago was performance, but what I missed most upon heading back to Firefox was Chrome's user interface.

More than once, I found that even after a few weeks of Chrome, my muscle memory had been reprogrammed to expect different behavior. Switching back to Firefox wasn't just different, though--I wanted the old features. Here's a list of what I didn't even know that I'd come to like.

The location of new tabs
When you open a link in a new tab with Chrome (I often middle-click to do so), the new page shows up in tab immediately to the right of the current tab. This naturally groups related tabs, and for me at least, eases the process of switching among many.

When you open a new tab in Firefox, it appears to the far right of the list, and it's harder to get to it. It takes just that little extra bit of time to locate and navigate to the tab.

Good news, though: Mozilla evangelist Chris Blizzard pointed me to a blog post by programmer Mike Beltzner, which says the same behavior is coming to Firefox:

• tabs that are opened from links will open to the immediate right of the current tab
• new tabs created by the New Tab button or keyboard shortcut will open at the end of the tab strip
• if multiple tabs are opened (in the background) from links, they will open sequentially to the right of each other; as soon as focus changes, this sequential opening behavior will stop, and tabs will go back to opening immediately to the right or at the end of the tab strip as per the above

After typing 'g' in Firefox, it takes two more keystrokes to load Gmail.Searching from the address bar
I think Firefox's awesome bar does a better job digging previously visited links out of my history, but searching directly from Google's Omnibox, which adds online search into the mix, is more useful. I search dozens of times a day, and now I have to remember either to visit a search page or head over to Firefox's special search box (to do the latter faster, I hit Ctrl-L, then Tab).

Some folks are concerned about sending lots of juicy personal data to Google's servers, which monitors what you type so it can supply suggested search results. But except for typing in Web sites, it's the same stuff I'd type into a search page anyway.

After typing 'g' in Chrome, hitting the Enter key will load Gmail.

One less keystroke
When typing addresses into the address bar, both Chrome and Firefox offer a list of suggestions in a drop-down box. But Chrome highlights its top pick, while Firefox puts it one entry below the box.

That means if the pick is right, I just have to hit Enter with Chrome, but the down arrow, then Enter with Firefox. It's a tiny thing, but I do this hundreds of times a day. (full Story)

Qualcomm Grabs AMD Handheld, Graphics Tech  

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Qualcomm has picked up handheld assets from Advanced Micro Devices, including graphics chip technology.

San Diego, Calif.-based Qualcomm and Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD announced on Tuesday that Qualcomm has acquired graphics and multimedia technology assets, intellectual property and resources that were "formerly the basis of AMD's handheld business."

The acquisition includes "graphics cores that we have been licensing for several years," said Steve Mollenkopf, executive vice president of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, in a statement. The agreement provides Qualcomm with "vector graphics and 3D graphics technologies and IP," AMD said in response to an e-mail query.

AMD would not provide further details on what Qualcomm got but said that AMD's handheld graphics is centered on "unified shader architecture" technololgy that has been used in Microsoft's Xbox, for example. "We have not disclosed the specific assets and technologies that Qualcomm has acquired. Our Handheld 3D graphics technology is based on unified shader architecture," the AMD spokesperson said. AMD, however, did make it clear that the agreement does not include its Imageon processors. "The agreement does not include the AMD Imageon processor products, the Imageon brand, or any existing Imageon customer commitments," an AMD representative said.

"AMD will retain rights to the AMD Imageon products," the spokesperson said. "We intend to honor existing customer commitments for the currently available AMD Imageon products, including the A250 application processor and the M180 media processor, for the remaining lifecycle of these products."

AMD added that it will not update the Imageon road map. "We will not add any new AMD Imageon products to the road map," according to the representative. (full Story)

HP Unveils TouchSmart TX2 Multi-Touch Tablet  

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For years, the computer industry has been pushing the concept of the tablet PC, but save for a small percentage of professionals in specialized fields, the form factor has largely failed to catch on.

Hewlett-Packard is looking to change that with the Wednesday introduction of the TouchSmart TX2, the first multi-touch tablet for Windows.

HP took some interesting baby steps with touchscreens with the launch of the TouchSmart IQ816 all-in-one "kitchen" PC. Designed for family use, the PC proved its usefulness when it came to multimedia, letting users get more hands-on with things such as digital photos.

Like its predecessor in the TouchSmart line, the TX2's touch capabilities are largely focused on multimedia--flipping and expanding digital pictures and things of that nature. Some of the touch functionality extends to other apps, but it's fairly limited.

PC Magazine got some hands-on time with the computer earlier this week, and the first thing HP showed us was the ability to launch HP MediaSmart by drawing an "M" with two fingers (even this simple gesture took some getting used to, however).

HP is also being a bit generous with the multi-touch classification. While it supports more fingers, the gestures at this point are still limited to two. An HP rep suggested that there were limited functions that might require more than two fingers, but Apple's new multi-finger trackpads for the Macbook certainly make a different case.

Otherwise, the tablet is a lot like its predecessor, the Tx2000z. It features a 12-inch widescreen, a stylus, a dual-layer DVD burner, three USB ports, and a multi-card reader. Inside the tablet has a 250GB, 5400-rpm hard drive, a 2.2-GHz AMD Turion X2 ZM-82 processor, and 4GB of memory. Pricing starts at $1,149. (full Story)

With Earnings Call, Apple Heads Back to Business  

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After a week spent worrying about the health of CEO Steve Jobs, Apple will look forward to getting back to business Wednesday when it reports its fiscal first-quarter earnings.

The last three months were not kind to computer and consumer electronics companies, but Apple is expected to have weathered the storm better than others. Analysts are predicting the company will report revenue and earnings per share at the high end of the guidance it provided in October, with expectations of $9.76 billion in revenue and earnings per share of $1.38.

The three-month period between October and December is usually one of Apple's best quarters of the calendar year, but this was anything but a typical holiday season. Overall retail sales fell 2.7 percent in December as compared with November, as the full emotional impact of the late-2008 stock market swoon took hold. We got a bit of an earnings preview last week, when IDC and Gartner reported their PC market share estimates for the fourth calendar quarter. Apple's Mac shipment growth slowed from the strong pace it set throughout 2008, but the company is still growing faster than the market itself.

Measured against a U.S. PC market that fell 3.5 percent compared with last year, Apple's shipments grew 7.5 percent. That suggests that Apple is still enjoying momentum in its Mac division, which no doubt got a boost from the introduction of new notebooks in October.

Still, the economic climate is having some sort of impact on the Mac, which is almost exactly what analysts felt would happen going into this quarter. Most analysts seem to be expecting Apple to have sold around 2.6 million Macs during the quarter, representing decent year-over-year growth at around 13 percent but slower than Apple had been reporting over the last several quarters. When it comes to the other two legs of Apple's business, however, the prognosis is less clear. iPod shipments, usually the crown jewel of Apple's first fiscal quarter, are expected to decline from last year's 22 million shipments to around 19 million. But there could be a silver lining for Apple if the momentum toward higher-priced iPods like the iPod Touch continues, allowing the company to offset a volume decline in sales with an increase in revenue obtained per iPod.

Predicting the iPhone shipment totals is even less of a science, since Apple's history in this market is too short to have established seasonal patterns. The company sold way more iPhones last quarter than anyone had expected, shipping 6.9 million units. That has dampened expectations for the current quarter, since many of those sales were used by Apple's carrier partners to build inventory ahead of the pent-up demand for the July iPhone 3G launch. Financial analysts seem to expect around 5 million iPhones to have been sold during the quarter, which would be a steep decline from the company's fourth quarter but a 116 percent increase over last year's first-fiscal quarter iPhone sales. (full Story)

Google Kills off Print-Advertising Project  

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As the publishing industry gradually moves online, Google has discovered that it's hard to shift some of its initiatives in the other direction--specifically, advertisements.

"While we hoped that Print Ads would create a new revenue stream for newspapers and produce more relevant advertising for consumers, the product has not created the impact that we--or our partners--wanted," Spencer Spinnell, director of Google print ads, wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "As a result, we will stop offering print ads on February 28."

Google launched the print ad program in November 2006, then expanded it in 2007, but with the recession in full bloom, the search giant has been winnowing projects to cut expenses. Google also offers programs for video and radio ads.

Spinnell said Google still wants to find a way to help the ailing journalism trade.

"We remain dedicated to working with publishers to develop new ways for them to earn money, distribute and aggregate content, and attract new readers online," he said. "We will continue to devote a team of people to look at how we can help newspaper companies. It is clear that the current Print Ads product is not the right solution, so we are freeing up those resources to try to come up with new and innovative online solutions that will have a meaningful impact for users, advertisers, and publishers." (story Link)

Archive Mail on Your iPhone  

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Pretty much everyone with an iPhone and a Gmail account has a preference for how to use the two together. Some people prefer the iPhone's built-in email client -- it's fast, syncs everything via IMAP, and works like the rest of the device. Others, myself included, can't live without search and threaded conversations and prefer to bring up Gmail in the browser. And a few people, for whom this tip is geared, read their mail via the client but switch to the browser-based version to clean out their inboxes so they can easily archive rather than delete.
See, the default Gmail set up for iPhone's built-in mail client configures things such that if you delete a message on your iPhone, it's sent to Gmail's Trash. That means in 30 days it's gone forever. Sure, you can archive by clicking the "Move to" button and then selecting "All Mail," but if you're an archive junkie and want mail you delete on your iPhone to get archived in Gmail instead, you just have to re-do the Gmail set up on your phone.
First, get rid of your default set up. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar. Find your Gmail account under "Accounts," click on it, scroll to the bottom, and click "Delete Account." Don't worry -- it'll be back and better than ever in a sec.
Then manually configure IMAP using the "Other" menu option by following the instructions this video (also available in the Gmail Help Center) (link)

Intel Pledges 80 Cores in Five Years  

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SAN FRANCISCO--Intel has built a prototype of a processor with 80 cores that can perform a trillion floating-point operations per second.

CEO Paul Otellini held up a silicon wafer with the prototype chips before several thousand attendees at the Intel Developer Forum here Tuesday. The chips are capable of exchanging data at a terabyte a second, Otellini said during a keynote speech. The company hopes to have these chips ready for commercial production within a five-year window.

Intel uses its twice-yearly conference to educate developers on its long- and short-term plans. Over three days, hardware developers and partners get a chance to interact with Intel employees and take classes on new technologies.

As expected, Intel announced plans to have quad-core processors ready for its customers in November. An extremely fast Core 2 Extreme processor with four cores will be released then, and the newly named Core 2 Quad processor for mainstream desktops will follow in the first quarter of next year, Otellini said.

The quad-core server processors are on a similar trajectory, with a faster Xeon 5300 processor scheduled for November and a low-power Xeon slated for the first quarter. Intel's first quad-core processors are actually two of its dual-core Core architecture chips combined into a multichip package.

"Performance matters again," Otellini said, disclosing that the quad-core desktop processor will deliver 70 percent faster integer performance than the Core 2 Duo, and the quad-core server processor will be 50 percent faster than the Xeon 5100 introduced in June.

One reason performance didn't matter to Intel during the last couple of years was because it was getting trounced on benchmarks at the hands of Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron and Athlon 64 server and desktop processors. That all changed with the introduction of the Core 2 Duo chips this year.

"With this new set of dual and quad-core processors, we've regained our leadership," Otellini told developers. The growing Internet video phenomenon, as evidenced by the spectacular rise of Web sites like YouTube, will keep these processors busy during intensive tasks like video editing, he said.

Road to Santa Rosa
Notebooks will get a face-lift next year with the Santa Rosa platform, which will provide notebooks with new technologies like 802.11n wireless and flash memory. Intel believes that it will be the first to add flash memory to a notebook motherboard, which will improve boot times and reduce power consumption, Otellini said. (full Story)

Wait no longer. Although Microsoft is still trying to add servers and eventually post the download link on the Windows 7 website, we’ve figured out how to download the official Windows 7 Beta ISO images and acquire an activation key.

  • Step 1 - Download:

    The first thing you want to do is of course, download the ISO images of Windows 7 Beta.

Click here to download Windows 7 Beta (32-bit)
Click here to download Windows 7 Beta (64-bit)

  • Step 2 - Get your activation key:

    Even with the slmgr -rearm trick, your Windows 7 Beta copy will only last 90 days. An activation key will extend your expiry date all the way to August 1, 2009. To get your activation key, first sign-in at the Technet website with your Windows Live ID. Once you’re signed in, you must copy and paste one of the following links into your browser.

Windows 7 Beta 32-bit Activation Key:
https://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/scripts/gcs.aspx?Product=tn-win7-32-ww&LCID=1033

Windows 7 Beta 64-bit Activation Key:
https://www.microsoft.com/betaexperience/scripts/gcs.aspx?Product=tn-win7-64-ww&LCID=1033

Copy and paste the appropriate link into your browser. At first you may receive the following error message:

The site is currently experiencing technical difficulties, please check back in the next business day.

Disregard it and continue refreshing. Also keep in mind that the 32-bit and 64-bit Activation keys are interchangeable, meaning you can use a 64-bit activation key to activate a 32-bit edition of Windows 7 Beta and vice versa. If you can’t get a 32-bit key, try getting a 64-bit key instead. Once you’ve acquired your activation key, you’re all set to install Windows 7. (story Link with Thanks)

MotoGP 08 Coming To The Nintendo Wii  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

Capcam has announced that their multi-platformed title, MotoGP 08, will be extending its console line to the Nintendo Wii. The game features different modes such as Championship, Career, Time Attack, and two-player split-screen action. They have also added all 3 of the MotoGP classes; the 125cc, 250cc, and MotoGP.

Capcom also wanted this to be a more serious type racing title, so they have included the option to either play in arcade or sim more. Also, you will be using your Wii Controller to steer the bike by holding it horizontally, like handle bars of a real bike.

Also, we bring you the entire fact sheet.

Game Description
The first officially licensed MotoGP title ever for the Nintendo Wii platform, MotoGP turns the Wii remote into a virtual set of handlebars to deliver the definitive two-wheeled racing experience.
The development team’s overriding aim is to deliver an unparalleled handling model that allows access points for gamers of all skill levels and just as importantly provide a challenge to meet each player’s abilities.

3 MotoGP Classes
MotoGP for Wii puts the player at the centre of the world’s premier motorcycling championship by letting them join a team and compete alongside their sporting heroes in all three race classes – 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP. Recent MotoGP titles had excluded 125cc and 250cc at a cost and Capcom is keen to ensure that all the riders are faithfully represented, which also enables complete progression through the ranks as well as giving the gamer a different racing experience per class. The game features a scaled and competitive AI which adjusts within limits to give a more enjoyable race experience on the lower levels but shows no mercy in the higher levels. (full Story)

Sony Ericsson W595 review and price  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

The W595 is a simple upgrade to some of Sony Ericsson’s other Walkman handsets. In fact you might say it’s the same as an earlier model the W890, only in a different form factor. The Specs are almost identical with a few minor distinctions. Take a look.
Form Factor
I’m not crazy about the color of the handset I got in for testing. The glossy red lines and white body give it a very distinctive girly feel. But thankfully, if you’re of the same opinion, the handset is also available in Jungle Grey, Lava Black, Active Blue, and Peachy Pink aside from this Cosmopolitan White. The design is sleek and slender with a smooth slider mechanism. The W595 is equipped with a 2.2-inch TFT LCD display with a light sensor (that’s quite erratic) and a 240 x 320 pixel 256K color resolution. The navigation system and keys are a little too close together on the same level. This is a bit of an issue as you’ll sometimes end up hitting the wrong key if you have pudgy fingers like me. I also believe that the keypad could have been a bit larger although I have no problem with the design.

Once again Sony has gone with their proprietary USB/Charging/handsfree port that will allow you to use the handset for one function at a time. It’s a good thing that the handset charges through USB in this case. There’s no dedicated camera key for the 3.2 megapixel camera, just a Walkman button for shake control. If you’re under the impression that the same key will activate the audio player you’d be wrong. I even held it for few seconds and it did nothing. A set of volume/zoom keys are located on the same side.

The W595 is a decent looking handset, and I can only say that because I have seen the other colors, but one of the biggest pains is that it has no hot swap for the M2 card (2GB included) and removing the rear panel for ANY reason is not something I recommend as it has the highest potential for the plastic clasps to break. It’s tough enough to break a nail. I think this is what SE hopes will be your final mobile that you’ll never ever want to change. The panel is so tightly wedged in that it’s a deterrent for anyone who could ever have the inclination of removing the battery for one reason or another.

Features and Performance
Interface

There’s absolutely nothing new with the interface. It’s still quite vibrant, colorful and animated as any of the other SE handsets. So I can say, in compassion, it’s not slow but it’s not fast either. One of the biggest problems was, as I mentioned earlier, the very erratic light sensor. It seemed like all the ambient light surrounding our world was going a little nuts and hence caused the display to constantly become brighter and dimmer alternatively. Although the handset has an accelerometer, it’ll only function for web pages and the media menu. That means you’ll be constantly turning the handset one way or another for viewing. (full Story)

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